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Ende Neth bis Abadius
Nachdem wir uns einen ganzen Tag ausgeruht haben, machten wir uns auf, den Wald weiter zu erkunden. Wir hatten Kunde, dass ein Irrer sich dort aufhalten solle, also waren wir dementsprechend vorsichtig. Nachdem wir den uns verfolgenden Irren gesichtet hatten, schlossen wir den Plan ihn nah genug herankommen zu lassen, um ihn mit Pfeilen durchlöchern zu können. Allerdings lauerte uns sein Freund, ein Leopard, auf und griff uns an, bevor wir unseren Plan in die Tat umsetzten konnten. Der Leopard fiel, nachdem er den ersten Schlag in diesem Kampf ausführen durfte, mit Pfeilen durchlöchert zu Boden. Der Irre bot uns auch keinen schweren Kampf und fiel einige Sekunden später, ohne großen Schaden anzurichten. Er sah dem Einsiedler Bekken erstaunlich ähnlich. Den Rest des Gebietes konnten wir ohne weitere Zwischenfälle erkunden.
Im nächsten Gebiet hörten wir einen heftigen Disput aus einiger Entfernung. Natürlich machten wir uns auf den Weg zu diesen Unruhestiftern. An einem kleinen See, umringt von wunderschönen Bäumen, trafen wir dann auf Meljannse der Nixe und Lorex mit seiner Gruppe Holzfäller. Offenbar wollten die Holzfäller die sogenannten Couchwood-Bäume fällen, die um den See der Nixe herum wuchsen. Natürlich gefiel das der Nixe gar nicht, weshalb sie zwei der Holzfäller verzaubert hatte, um ihr im Falle eines Kampfes beizustehen. Wir versuchten natürlich deeskalierend an diese Situation heranzugehen. Nach langem hin und her, vielen Beleidigungen, Bedrohungen und Bestechungsversuchen, fiel uns ein, dass wir eine Gruppe dieser Bäume nicht weit von hier schon einmal gesehen hatten. Wir schlossen deshalb ein Abkommen mit den beiden Gruppen, dass wir die Holzfäller zu dieser Stelle führen und für die Nixe sogenannte "Feathertokens" besorgen, welche anscheinend nur als Geschenk einer Dryade zu erhalten sind. Als Dankeschön bekommen wir von den Holzfäller dafür ein bisschen Gold. Um der Nixe unseren guten Willen zu zeigen, lies ich meine Waffe in ihrer Obhut(Ich frage mich, ob sie für immer ihre Stimme verloren hat, oder ich einfach nicht würdig genug bin, um sie zu hören... Ich muss dringend mehr Duelle absolvieren!).
Nachdem wir die Holzfäller zu den Bäumen gebracht und unseren Lohn eingestrichen haben, machen wir uns auf den Weg zu dem Gebiet, von dem wir vermuten, dass dort eine Dryade lebt. Auf dem Weg dorthing fallen uns viele Spinnennetze in den Baumwipfeln auf, weshalb wir besonders vorsichtig vorgehen. Prompt entdeckten wir zwei riesige, schwarze Spinnen, von unserem Waldläufer als Schwarze Witwen deklariert. Da wir nicht als ihr Mittagessen enden wollten, griffen wir sie natürlich an. Navarion durchlöcherte die Spinne mit Pfeilen, ich mache ihr dann mit einem gezielten Schuss dann den Gar aus. Die zweite Spinne floh, woraufhin Navarion ihr noch zwei Pfeile hinterherschickt, was ihre Flucht allerdings nicht verlangsamte. Als wir den Weg folgten, trafen wir auf Tyressia, die Dryade, welche gerade die Wunden eines Satyrs(Falchos) versorgte. Sie berichtete uns, dass sie in Schwierigkeiten sei, da eine bösartiger Ent, ein sogenannter Scythe Baum, sich in ihrem Wald befände und ihre Existens bedrohe. Sie ist damit einverstanden, dass wenn wir den Baum besiegen, sie uns als Dankeschön Feathertokens herstelle.
Am darauffolgenden Tag machten wir uns deswegen auch auf den Weg diesen Baum zu finden. Auf dem Weg tiefer in den Wald kam uns ein modriger Gestank nach Tod und Verwesung entgegen und die Pflanzen sahen immer kränker aus. Wir wussten, dass wir richtig waren. Plötzlich lichtete sich der Wald und wir sahen uns drei riesigen Bäumen entgegen. Auf Ansprache reagierte keiner von ihnen, also ging ich auf sie zu und klopfte gegen sie. Nachdem ich vor den dritten, am weitest entfernte Baum, trat, wird Navarion aus dem Dickicht von einem dicken Ast getroffen. Kein guter Anfang für einen Kampf, denn Navarion wird so stark verletzt, dass er das Bewusstsein verliert und erst wieder aufgeweckt werden muss, dafür stellte sich Mephisto heroisch in den Weg des Baumes, woraufhin dieser auch sehr stark verletzt wird, ich konnte meinen Kameraden erst ein paar Sekunden später zu Hilfe eilen, da ich ein Stück entfernt die drei harmlosen Bäume überprüft hatte. Fantir war den ganzen Kampf damit beschäftigt Navarion und Mephisto aus den Klauen des Todes zu entreißen und ich war geschwächt, da ich nicht mein richtiges Schwert dabei hatte und deshalb mit einem schäbigen Ersatz klarkommen musste. Schlussendlich konnten wir den Baum allerdings unter schweren Verlusten zu Fall bringen. Dort fanden wir auch eine verwunschene Robe, welche nicht mehr abgelegt werden konnte und eine Konzentration jeglicher Art nahezu unmöglich machte... das könnte noch hilfreich sein! Von Tyressia erhiehlten wir die versprochenen Feathertokens und das Versprechen, dass sie uns von Feinden aus dieser Richtung beschützen wird. Sie war allerdings etwas beleidigt, dass wir eine ihrer Spinnen getötet hatten, vielleicht sollten wir doch versuchen unsere Kämpfe zuerst friedlich zu lösen... Vielleicht kann ich irgendein Gerät besorgen um mit Tieren und Geschöpfen anderer Rassen zu sprechen?
Meljannse war zufrieden mit den Feathertokens, mithilfe derer wir sofort ein paar Bäume nachwachsen lassen konnten (einen haben wir noch, vielleicht wird der irgendwann hilfreich, wer weiß?). Ich erhielt mein Schwert zurück und auch sie versprach uns vor Feinden zu beschützen.
Jetzt war Zeit sich wieder etwas dem Königreich zu widmen und dort ein Paar Probleme zu beheben. Wir machten uns auf zu Oakport, wo wir von dem Hetzprediger Gregory erfuhren. Er dreht einem jedes Wort im Mund herum und verwendet es gegen einen selbst. Wir mussten uns um ihn kümmern, damit er das Volk nicht zu sehr in Aufruhr versetzten konnte. Eine Einladung zu uns wies er zurück, weshalb wir uns zu ihm begaben. Auf dem Marktplatz kam es dann zu einem heftigen Disput, was damit endete, dass wir ihn und alle Anwesenden großzügigerweise zu einem Bankett in einer Woche einluden. Unser Plan war, ihn unsere verfluchte Robe als Geschenk zu geben und ihn damit bloß zu stellen. Mithilfe der Robe konnten wir ihn ohne Probleme hinter das Licht führen und er floh aus unserem Königreich mit Schimpf und Schande. Allerdings schwor er uns Rache, wir sollten Aufmerksam sein!
Den restlichen Monat benutzten wir damit den Bau eines Klosters, einer Straße in das Gebiet mit der vorher gefundenen Goldmine, und den Ausbau der Mine zu beaufsichtigen.
Im nächsten Monat beschlossen wir auf eine Schreinerei zu sparen, damit wir unsere nächsten Gebäude günstiger bauen können. Deshalb erschlossen wir nur ein weiteres Gebiet mit einer Straße und legten einen Farm darauf an.
Session: 9. Session - Monday, Oct 02 2017 from 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM
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First Night
It was a time of exhausting toil and practice to hone the mind and discipline the spirit. Just as I desire, I had nothing but training as my focus. Mid-day, we met in the Strategy House with the great Dicere and formed a group to finally use our training. I was excited to watch Dicere speak to us. He was a mountain before stones. He told us of a recent trouble in Sumpter and how we could help. Well, how some of us could help. Rogar, too concerned with poisoning himself, was distracted and distracting. Eventually, we travelled outward with special rings that were precious and secret, and so I not write down what they do.

Soon we were making camp under a million stars. But the peace was interrupted with foul music. It wasn't a dance and it wasn't for war. It was something else. Had I been closer to death, maybe I would have felt its pulse deeper but I was here and alive in the wild. We set out to see more. The drums crescendoed as we approached a clearing with cloaked figures and skeletons around a runic circle. Aja told us his ritual had to be stopped. Vegard and I posted against some trees to keep our cover and wait for the signal from Aja, Merida and Rogar as those three got into strike position.

We barreled through skeletons and men in a furious charge as Aja and Merida delivered attacks from tree-high darkness. Soon it was just us, a dying man in a runic circle and the dark wilds. We brought the man back to Whispero but in the mania of such a new adventure, I forgot to give the cloaked figures a proper burial. I know the consequences of forgetting a burial, maybe my allies do too but it was not discussed as we carried the dying man in the dark.
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Tags: Journal , Recap
Epic!
Waking from a Nightmare
As we pass through the mists and back into our homeland, the memories of our recent adventures start to seem foggy and unreal. At this point, the following still sticks in my mind:

Oscar, Anton, and I left the Vistani wagon heading out of Ravenloft, and turned back toward Valaki. We were met by Laucian - a Cleric survivor of Mordenkainen's peasant army, Randy - a Bard from another world, and Sergei - a Paladin who had a run-in with the Vistani. They agreed to join us, so we gathered up supplies & horses and headed towards Strahd's castle.

Rather than barge through the main gate - setting off traps and attracting guardians, we discovered a back door of sorts. We had just enough magic between us to levitate slowly up behind the castle to the attached outbuildings, then shatter a window and enter. We discovered coffins identified as King Barov and Queen Ravenovia. There seemed to be no threat, so we left them in peace.

We dispelled a blue magical field around the outbuilding, and entered the burial vault. We explored a group of numbered crypts, including one with Laucian's named on it (and containing his 'corpse') - more of Strahd's deceit, no doubt. Another crypt belonged to Gralmore Niblenobs - inside we found a white-bearded corpse clutching a staff of brass and marble. Ray put the staff into a shallow recess in a slab within the crypt, which opened a chamber containing a leather case containing a sword hilt.

We discovered that the hilt was magical - upon wielding it, a shimmering blade projected from the hilt. Somehow I got an empathic reading from the blade - it apparently belonged to Sergei (Strahd's brother). It was originally a thin crystal blade, before Strahd instructed a wizard to destroy it. Somehow, the wizard's apprentice (Niblenobs) snuck the hilt out and preserved the enchantment - deadly to undead creatures. I accepted the weapon to use against Strahd.

Further inside the vault, we discovered a room containing three coffins - these turned out to belong to three women in wedding dresses who rose out to attack us (along with swarms of bats from the vault). We were able to destroy one and drive off another, only to be confronted with Strahd himself.

Little remains in my mind of the fight with Strahd, except that it was long and grueling. He struck again and again with powerful spells, transported himself around the room to frustrate our tactics, and taxed the last reserves of our strength - but somehow we prevailed. We did everything we were aware of from Van Richten's notes to dispose of the beast for good, and left the castle behind.

Unfortunately, it seems that this evil realm abhors a vacuum - without a new Lord to take Strahd's place, he main return again regardless. I'm not sure how I know this - perhaps a final taunt from the vampire. All I know for sure is that my vengeance is spent - yet it feels empty.
Session: Stay Alive - Wednesday, Oct 12 2016 from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
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Finale
How to summarize recent events?

Bextl's mother's last words to him were not to trust anyone, which seemed like a safe bet. It didn't seem prudent to throw our lot in fully with either side: A Sith Lord with an army of clones (some loyal, some rebelling, and some just convinced he's invincible), or a Moff with ties to creepy alien things who ingest people and spit out other alien things.

Playing it by ear, we head back to the gas giant to pick up the Plaque, and then arrange a meeting with the Moff. Despite the precautions we took (leaving it locked in the Headhunter, slaved to our ship and booby-trapped), Bing still managed to get his hands on the Plaque, and started proceeding with plans of his own. At least we make it safely back to Kal'Shebbol and arrange a secure dock - on the Hungarian's space station of all places. We narrowly avoid a firefight between Bing, the rest of the group, and the Hungarian's security forces.

Sargusta Jors shows up, and accompanies us to the Moff's real seat of power - a gas giant with bunches of moons 8 hyperspace-hours away from Kal'Shebbol. The Moff's fortifications include a number of Star Destroyers (with unusual energy signatures from their tech), and an odd rocky moon with no atmosphere but heavy shielding. We land and head deep underground - leaving Bing behind in the Headhunter and passing through tight security before meeting with a huge football-field sized centipede-looking thing. This creature is DarkStryder, and it is surrounded by an orb with flashing purple lighting, jars in brains, and unrecognizable tech. The Moff meets us here as well, and allows us to converse with DarkStryder.

We next discover another huge creature - a green/black 'queen-alien'-looking thing chained up with various tubes attached. The creature was apparently made using DarkStryder. The Moff brings in Caitlyn, and agent of with extensive injuries - she is slid into one tube of the creature, and comes out another tube apparently transformed into a Krayt Dragon - she heads off to enact retribution on the Hutts responsible for her injuries. This is apparently the 'new start' the Moff had mentioned in our last meeting.

We are then taken to a meeting with the Moff's Generals, Admirals, and Intelligence heads. We explain about the Plaque, 000, Darth Vex, and our work for ISB. We explain that we could use our status as double-agents to his benefit - revealing tech he can afford to lose, to throw ISB off his trail. The Moff is surprised to learn Darth Vex's identity, but believes she is dead in the most recent outbreak of 000's droid rebellion.

Around this time, Bing goes missing from the Headhunter, and alarms begin going off. The Death Star has arrived, and destroys one of the Moff's Star Destroyers. The Moff asks us to use his 'Sun Crusher', a small vessel with similar power to the Death Star, but created using his unusual tech. Further alarm klaxons blare, and main power goes off.

The party splits up (always a good idea), with some headed towards the Sun Crusher, some back to our ship, Bing doing his own thing (giving cryptic reports over the comms), and Bextl staying behind in the meeting room (hearing voices in his head of someone coming to him). Emergency power comes back on, and we get reports over our comms of Imperial ships landing to secure the bay where our ship is docked.

Jocko and Maris take off in the Sun Crusher, which takes the opportunity to make 'modifications' to them for proper interface. They gain innate knowledge of the ship, and discover it is a Yuuzhan Vong craft. They head to the system's red giant and absorb energy to use against the Death Star. They bank around the sun and head straight for their target, taking a hit but continuing on. They plow into the core and expel all of the energy - destroying it and two nearby Star Destroyers.

The rest of the group hides to let a group of stormtroopers from the landing party pass (leaving only a dozen or so behind). They then assault the troopers - taking hits buy laying down enough smoke cover to get inside our ship. From there, it's a simple matter to gun down the remaining troops and enemy craft.

In the meantime, Bextl has a rather explosive disagreement with Palpatine, who showed up to recover him. Bextl released the deadman switch on a readied thermal detonator, taking out many troopers and all but one backup clone, with Paltaine was able to 'jump' to. Our ship takes off, destroying more of the dock on our way out, and meet up with the Sun Crusher. We clamp onto it and prepare to leave under impulse power.

At this point we discover Bextl himself (or yet another clone) still on-board. He says that we need to stop the DarkStryder-created bug-creature, before the Palpatine can use it to restore his imperfect clone body. Bing finds another docking bay for us to use (near him and the creature), and we land there & use vac-suits to enter - oddly enough, we discover barefoot Toydarian footprints on the outside.

Maris rigs up an explosive vest for Bextl to wear (at his suggestion), in case Palpatine takes over his body. We enter the base, and Bing rigs up an isolation helmet for Bextl as well, in an effort to limit any information Palpatine may be able to pull from his mind over a 'tether' which may still exist.

Bing pauses at a console to deal with some remaining troopers, and we discover other Star Destroyers have arrived and begun shelling the area near our ship. It becomes apparent that Palpatine is somehow listening in despite our preparations, and that he appreciates our idea about the bug-creature - he takes it over, and begins moving quickly towards the moon's surface.

Bing touches Krieger, somehow signaling him to head back to the ship and get it operational (also providing schematics for the moon\space station). The rest of us follow, quietly. We discover that it's badly damaged, and time for repairs is in short supply. It looks like one of the Star Destroyers is trying to land to pick up the Bug Emperor, so Bing takes control of the moon's propulsion systems to slam it into the Star Destroyer. He tries going after others, but they wisely keep their distance.

Bing then tries to eject the Moff and his remaining techs, to take full control of the moon, but this starts up a scuffle with the rest of the party, and he's knocked down by Zansatsu. Eventually, the rest of the party leaves him behind, to try and deal with Palpatine. We drive off on a ground vehicle loaded on our ship towards the wreck of the Star Destroyer.

Around this time, additional Yuuzhan Vong craft begin showing up in the system. Bing and the Moff come to a tenative agreement to deal with them - it seems as if the Moff wasn't actually in league with the Vong, but just attempting to hijack their tech. The rest of us drive up to a hidden turret, hack into it, and begin firing on an Imperial Shuttle headed to meet the Bug Emperor as it breaks free of the Star Destroyer's wreckage (sporting an impressive-looking shield of some sort). Bing provides additional fire from another turret.

The shuttle takes heavy damage, but manages to land and out steps a young Anakin Skywalker? (apparently a clone). Krieger shoots at him, and he tries (and fails) to block it with his lightsaber, taking a solid hit. The rest of us join in, including Zansatsu who lands a heavy punch. 'Derp Vader' manages to block further blaster fire from us, and throws his saber - destroying Zansatsu's shock gloves and wounding him. However, Kel'Kabukk knocks him back with an explosive quarrel, and Maris leaves him on the ground twitching after a full-auto burst from his blaster rifle - should've held onto that lightsaber.

The Moff & Bing use the Moon's guns to take out the incoming Vong craft, leaving just us and Palpatine. Unsurprisingly, he now wanted to talk. Bextl is able to lull him into a false state of security and get close - walking inside the bug's shield. Maris then triggers the explosive vest - the explosion amplified by being inside the shield, it basically atomizes everything inside. Both Bextl and Palpatine try to jump into the barely-alive Vader clone, but Bextle gets there first.

It's unclear if Palpatine was able to jump to another, further-out clone, or if he still exists in some other form. At any rate, we're still alive, the Moff seems grateful (if a bit shell-shocked), and for once we may even be free of bounties. Kel'Kabukk takes the opportunity to reveal Barret Demora's treachery to the Moff (hey, the guy was definitely guilty of something, right?), and is granted a favor: a nice trip for two back to Kashyyyk for a prolonged hunting trip. Some things, you just need to savor (like medical trials on how many body parts a Wookie can tear off and cauterize, while still keeping the subject staggering along).
Session: Get ready for a surprise! - Tuesday, Sep 12 2017 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
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Ostog writes home
Dear Mom and Dad,

We've finished our third excavation, and the lottery has been declared over. I'm proud to announce that our team finished all of its possible assignments, and we are awaiting the financial fruits of our efforts.

I intend to stay in Wati for a while longer, so I am looking for a long-term residence. Tell Aunt Rox that I will remember her rule of "Buy, never rent" in a new city. One of our excavation sites was an atrium-style house that I would have loved to have moved into, but the Necropolis is not an renewal project, and I shall have to pay the prices charged for living among the living.

There's been a bit of a discovery in some of the digs, so that's why I'm sticking around with this team. The folks in charge would rather it stay quiet, so I won't say anything at this time.

The auction of some of the things uncovered in the excavations is tomorrow, and we've been quite busy with descriptions and cleaning and so on. I've gotten a bit of research on the potential buyers, and things look promising for profits.

I will end on that promising note,
Ostog
Session: Game Session 7 - Saturday, Sep 23 2017 from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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