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It’s a Miracle We Aren’t All Dead (Session 5)
Finally, we seemed to be safe. I tried to heal Snowy, but he assured me that he had it taken care of and sure enough, after mumbling a few words his wounds almost completely disappeared. I was very relieved, though my feeling of peace at last was cut short.
“Come on guys, we have to hurry”, came the always irritating voice of Tirondel.
Still, I wasn’t willing to waste time telling him off for yelling at a man who had been, just ten minutes ago, almost dead. We continued on, with me still leading the way. There was a glimmer of light a long ways down this tunnel. Eventually, we found the source. The tunnel opened up into a large cave. The ground sloped down, looking like there used to be a pond or something here. It was completely dry now, though, and there was a fire going to our right. Near it was a horse that had several bites taken out of it and looked disgusting. There were no other signs of life, but we proceeded with caution, knowing the chances of it being uninhabited were very low. Tirondel went towards the horse, Snowy stayed back with Anssi, and I led Thomdril to the other end, which as we moved on and my torch lit up the darkness, we saw had many different tunnel openings. One went straight forward in front of us and when I strained to listen for sounds, I heard a low growling coming from down it. I relayed this information to the others and decided to scout ahead. I put out the torch and slowly walked forward, taking care not to make any sound. Just then, I heard a loud crack from behind me. Turning around quickly, I saw Snowy, who it looked like had just trodden on a stick, making the loud crack. I put my finger to my mouth and continued to creep forward. I made it to the opening of another tunnel leading to the left from the tunnel that had led forward, the one that I had heard the growling from, and I peered around the corner. There were wolves, trapped in a wooden cage. They were pushing against each other and the sides of the cage, growling all the while. Breathing a sigh of relief, I looked farther down the tunnel. What I saw frightened me down to my bones. I saw a few orcs who appeared to be guards and past them was what looked like an entire civilization of orcs, with several dozen at least. Realizing that going down there was certain death, I went back to tell the others about this. Tirondel, realizing that nothing good would come of observing the horse I suppose, had come back to us and we all grouped up and talked it over. Anssi and I had the obvious plan of looking down the other tunnels for a different way out. There was no way that even Tirondel would argue this, I figured. But no. Tirondel said that what we should do was try to sneak down the tunnel, past the orcs. He convinced Snowy to his side, and though Thomdril seemed to agree with both of our plans, when we pushed him to choose one or the other he chose Tirondel’s plan. By this point I was just done with all of their idiocy. Even so, I couldn’t leave them. They (except for maybe Tirondel) were my companions, my brothers in arms. And so, we went on our suicide mission, with Thomdril leading. We managed to sneak past the guards and saw a side path that led to an opening to outside the mountain. However, this path went around a large open area. In the area were all the orcs. If just one saw us, we would be dead. In the very middle of the orcs was what looked like a giant spike going into the ground. As many questions as this raised, I couldn’t dwell on them. We had to get out. We continued sneaking along. We got about halfway before an orc saw us. He shouted, “Hey!” and pointed at us. We found ourselves facing all of the orcs. Certainly a nerve wracking situation if there ever was one, but somehow Thomdril got his wits and began talking to them. Before long, though, it became obvious that he wasn’t the greatest negotiator, so Tirondel began feeding him words. The orcs seemed to be swayed by his words. They looked at what looked like the orc chief for orders. The chief deliberated, and finally had his verdict. We would leave immediately, and if we were ever seen in the mountain again, we would be killed. Happy with this, we got out as fast as we could. I knew that I would never live this down. Tirondel would brag about this forever. Thinking this, I sighed and we began trudging down the mountain.
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Jack
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Heroes of Cambria
Episode 11: Treasure Dragon
Moving through the large cavern, the party navigates past the mounds of treasure, taking care to not take any coin from the piles. Running into some Kobolds and Yuan-ti, the party finds some powerful magical items. Encountering a platform with a clockwork lever, the Party rides the moving stone across a 500ft abyss... with their cursed treasure waking a treasure-clad dragon. After an EPIC battle with the Dragon, the party defeats the flying lizard, claiming much of his treasure. Venturing deeper into the Dungeon, the party encounters the God of Moon and Seas, Swae Lee. Finishing his trials, the party gains many Boons. Advancing further through the cavern, our heroes destroy the demon corrupting the area. The God Swae-Lee then offer to teleport the players anywhere they want on the map.
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Session 0: And so it begins


“Now what?” Trinique adjusted in her seat and strained to hear what the young magic student was saying. He was called Sparrow, but the rumor was that he was the great grandson of Reslin Kine, the famed adventurer. And as some knew, Kine’s fortune had never been found. It seemed that Sparrow was booking passage on a caravan to Drellin's Ferry. Was this related to the treasure? Perhaps it was just an errand for his masters in The Citadel.

Every time she thought of that name it made her laugh. The Citadel sounds so foreboding. Indeed, the Brindol Academy of Magic Arts was headquartered in a large tower complex near the middle of the city, but it was by no means a citadel. Yes, there were some magical wards around the place but there were also mortal guards and any mortal guard was a weak point in any defense. Of course, while they had not been sufficient to block her from getting inside, they had been more than enough to keep her from gaining any magical training. Even with her father's influence and wealth, she had not been able to make the planets align for her to be admitted as a student.

Yes, he was booking passage. The mage was trying to convince the man to take him all the way to Oakhurst but there was no way the caravan master would agree to that. He was one of the Black Knives men and he would surely be arranging a way to steal the cargo before they hit Drellin's Ferry. Perhaps to rob young Sparrow and leave him for dead too. So, if the mage was going, Trinique would make sure to be on the trip too . . .

*****

A golden apple? Why was she dreaming about a golden apple? That and a death white apple, twirling in torchlight. And those beasts with their pointy ears and feral eyes? There was something to it. Were they the ones who took her from her family? No, that was not it. She touched the scars on her neck. Then why did it terrify her so much? Surely an apple could not grow in darkness whether it was golden or not. But she got the distinct feeling that that apple was in her future and it was not in a place in which she would be comfortable.

This was not the first vision Quinn had had. Ever since she had “returned” she had a jumble of dreams which were surely more than just her brain trying to figure out the day. Sometimes they were premonitions and guided her in the face of danger. Sometimes they led her to new discoveries including her new ability to cast spells. But this golden apple was new. She needed a sage to help her explain.

Quinn splashed her face with water, ran her fingers through her hair since she had no comb, then shouldered her pack. It had been a long time since she left Witchcross. Too many days to count. However, she should be in Brindol City by night time and perhaps she could get an answer about this golden apple.

*****

“Hello little one. How was your day?”

Trinique did not think her sister even knew the possible darkness in her future. If she could not find a way to buy her freedom, Jasmine would definitely become a prostitute or a gangster’s wife if she stayed here much longer. The money Trinique was able to scrape together for extra jobs was enough to keep her sister in the kitchens away from the worst of the crowd but she could tell by the way the rougher men and women looked at her, that it would not be long.

Jasmine, covered in the smell of cooking all day, looked up from the wash basin where she was cleaning dishes. She broke out into a smile at the sight of her sister. “Hey you. What are you doing here?”

“Checking on you. Going to be away for a while. Have to go to Drellin’s Ferry for work.” Trinique came around the side of the wall, grabbed a dish and began drying. Jasmine frowned, “work? What type of work? Is it dangerous?”

“Nah,” said Trinique, drying another dish. “Just a little bit of an armed escort. But the pay may be good enough that we could leave this place behind once and for all.” With that Jasmine smiled but her mind was elsewhere.

The sisters washed and dried in silence for a while then Trinique moved over to Jasmine and brushed hair out of the young one’s eyes. “I will get us out of here soon, Jaz. I promise.” Trinique left the room and went back into the streets.

*****

Quinn did not like this city. It was big and fascinating, but it also stank, felt stifling and was way too noisy. She did find a respite. The garden within the walls of The Citadel was quiet and filled with plants, flowers and trees. She could not exactly ignore the walls that seemed to jail the growth of the wild things, but it was better than nothing. She also found information about the golden apples. Talking to an apprentice who had the misfortunate of being assigned to the entry and public question area on the day she arrived, she discovered that the golden apple was real. The apprentice was named Sparrow and he said that he was on his way to Drellin’s Ferry, near the place known for the golden apple, Oakhurst. He invited her to share his wagon at least that far. He was to meet a priest named Derny who had information about his great grandfather, an adventurer of some sort. Apparently, the old adventurer had hidden away some treasures and Sparrow believed there were things too important to be left to the dead.

As for the golden apple, Sparrow said that legend has it that a goblin tribe from near Oakhurst has turned from raiding to trading with the town (that in and of itself sounds like a tall tale). However, every year, slightly after the summer solstice, these goblins sell a single piece of magical fruit to the highest bidder in Oakhurst. The fruit, apparently an apple of perfect gold hue and shine, heals those who suffer from any disease or other ailment. The townspeople sometimes plant the seeds at the center of each fruit, hoping to engender an enchanted apple tree. When the seeds germinate in their proper season, they produce a twiggy mass of twisted sapling stems. Not too long after the saplings reach 2 feet in height, they are stolen — every time. The townsfolk assume the goblins send out thieves to ensure their monopoly of enchanted fruit. Of course, this must be a myth, but it is the only story that seems to involve a golden apple in this area of the Vale. How could a band of wretched goblins ever possess such a wonder, and how could they steal every sprouting sapling grown from the enchanted fruit’s seed without the townspeople noticing? This is a mystery worth pursuing.

*****

Sparrow was apprehensive about the caravan driver and his crew. Luckily there were other passengers heading his way. There was safety in numbers. And at least he had met Quinn, a traveling Druid, and Trinique, a guard of some sort, before the start of the journey. They were the only passengers with him on the way to Drellin’s Ferry. Of course, Quinn was going beyond, all the way to Oakhurst. But it would be good to have their companionship on his journey.

For now, they had been on the road for several days, stopping in the towns of the Dawn Way and either dropping off or picking up goods. Mostly it seemed just heavy barrels and crates with markings indicating linens, ceramics, weapons and other sundries. Nothing too exiting and hopefully nothing that would attract the attention of ruffians. Today they had left behind the last of the towns before Drellin’s Ferry, Terrelton. The only memorable thing about Terrelton was the smell. In the early summer heat, the smell of the tanneries that lined the way into the town from the east, hung low over the entire place, making being outside difficult. Luckily, they were there just one night. Tomorrow, they should reach the banks of the river and his destination. He hoped that Brother Derny had received his letter and knew he was coming. To think that he was close to finding his great grandfathers tomb and treasure was exciting. Particularly exciting was the thought of bringing the Sryix back to the Citadel. Magical artifacts were too important to be left to the dead and had to be studied and observed and used to better the lives of the living. That is exactly what he would do even though he was not sure exactly what a Sryix was . . .



*****

“We have to pull over and water the horses,” said Goran, the caravan driver. The man hopped down from the first wagon and motioned for everyone else to stay put. He then walked a bit away to the side of the road, making no move towards the barrels of water on the second wagon. Shortly thereafter, a group of armed men came out of the woods. While Sparrow was consumed with reading over the notes from his great grandfather’s old journal, Quinn looked up from her notes long enough to notice a man in leather armor and a crossbow hiding behind a nearby tree. She started to say something but Trinique put a hand on her shoulder and shook her head to indicate they should not do anything quite yet.

One of the armed men, clearly the leader, began a friendly looking conversation with the caravan driver but the words were indiscernible as they were too far away. Goran soon returned to the party though and explained that he needed their help in making one of their deliveries. The men were concerned about receiving their shipment in town due to bandits and decided that they could just have the items they were expecting offloaded in a nearby cave. It would go quicker if the three adventurers would help with the unloading.

The cave was just a short distance away from the trail. It was clear that it was an encampment of some sort and had been for some time. Quinn and Sparrow began helping with the cargo while the man with the crossbow climbed into their place and observed. Trinique made no effort to hide that she recognized the men as Black Knives and spoke to the leader.

“So, what is the plan here?” she asked.

“Well, which one do you like the least? We have to kill at least one of them to make this look good. Perhaps both of them.” He laughed harshly and wiped spittle from his red beard.

“That’s not going to happen” Trinique said calmly. “Seems we are going to have to lose two of your men on this job.” She looked him in the eyes without hesitation.

“Fine, we can just hurt them if they will play along. I will talk to them.” The man walked away from Trinique and entered the cave.

“Hey, you two look like smart people who could use a few kronas. You may have figured this out already but you see, this here is an arrangement. We help unload some of this cargo early, make sure it looks like bandits attacked the caravan then we sell it and the owner gets some insurance money for his loss. Everyone wins. You can win too, 10 krona for the two of you to split. But to make it look real, I am going to have to hurt one of you. Fair?” The man looked at both Quinn and Sparrow expectantly.

“Fifteen” said Sparrow. “Just not in the face. I know how this works. I’ve been through this before.” The mage braced himself for a punch to the gut. When it came it was a bit more painful then he expected but not too bad. Quinn looked very uncomfortable. Between the darkness of the cave and this whole situation, she was starting to hyperventilate and panic.

“Well,” said the man, “that’s not enough. I am going to have to hit you both . . . a few times. You’ll heal.” He grinned and took a step towards the hunched over Sparrow. In a flash, Quinn and Trinique were there. The fighter stabbed the man in the shoulder as he looked on in horror. “Trinique! What are you doing? Your father will never stand for this!”

“I am not my father,” Trinique said as Quinn struck with her staff and pushed the man backwards.

Sparrow scooped up a pebble from the floor of the cave and gripped it tightly while saying something arcane. Light burst into the cave, illuminating it like sunshine and the wizard dropped it to the ground. “Now that is better,” he said. Quinn said nothing but appreciated the darkness’ retreat.

Seeing the other men beginning to enter the cave she raised her hands and pleaded to Obad-Hai. The patch of ground around the cave mouth quickly sprouted into a tangled mass of vines, flowers and shrubbery. The bandits barely escaped being entangled in it.

The bandit leader was alone in the cave with the three adventurers now but underestimated their battle prowess. He quickly succumbed to their blows but not before scoring a hit on Trinique. He was supplemented by bolts from the crossbowman but none of the others dared cross Quinn’s barrier of flowers and brambles. After his death, they were at a stalemate.

“Come out and no one gets hurt any worse than they are. We can work out something,” the bandits outside the cave yelled.

Sparrow cupped his hands around his mouth and they glowed ever so slightly. “Leave here and you will be spared. Stay and be doomed.” His voice came out as an incredible deep and loud bass, echoing in the cavern and shaking the leaves on the trees just outside.

There were a few chuckles from the bandits and two ran off at the direction of the caravan driver. He had shouted something about bringing wood and oil to the cave mouth. The closest bandit growled into the cave saying that the adventurers would soon be crispy unless they surrendered. None of them seemed concerned about Sparrow’s trickery.

Quinn responded by producing a ball of flame in her hand and flinging it at the man. He screamed in agony as his beard disintegrate in a twist of foul-smelling smoke. Hands slapped the fire out but not before dropping him to his knees from the pain.

Quiet settled in again as the bandits awaited the arrival of the fire making materials. The three adventurers stayed out of sight as best as they could but occasionally a crossbow bolt streaked into the cave, letting them know that they were trapped. Quinn and Trinique quickly consulted each other. Perhaps there was a way out after all.

Quinn stepped into the light and held her hands outstretched. With a whoosh of air and tinkling like icicles snapping in the wind, a snowy, icy dagger of pure ice appeared then streaked toward the ruffian. It struck him in the chest then exploded in a shower of jagged crystals, showering both him and the Goran in a storm of deadly ice. Both men were knocked back then fell into the dirt. Their faces were pocked with bloody shards which began to melt and their beards were frosted as if from a blizzard. Their eyes flickered and remained open, staring at the sky above but without any sign of life.

Sparrow again cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted for the men to abandon their siege. A crossbow bolt was returned in response. Still an impasse but the effort to smoke them out would soon be underway.

Trinique looked at Quinn and shouted, “Now!” Instantly the bramble of flowers and vines were gone and Trinique was in a run. She passed by the bodies of the dead and leaped up towards the wagon’s side, vaulting over it and right beside the crossbowman. Her rapier flashed and was at his throat before he could blink. “Drop your weapon,” she said through clenched teeth. He did and got down on both knees, his hands in the air.

Quinn and Sparrow followed quickly, rushing out of the cave with fire bursting from Quinn’s hands and Sparrow’s booming magical voice echoing through the cave and out into the clearing beyond. Fire sparked from the balls of it that Quinn threw, none hitting their marks but certainly adding dramatic effect. The remaining bandits surrendered without further combat. But one, Jarrald Halfgiant, who had been returning with a load of branches, turned and ran. Trinique sent the remaining wagon driver after him but the tall bandit eluded him.

The adventurers searched the dead, finding numerous kronas (gold pieces), soldats (electrum pieces) and talents (silver pieces) as well as a heart shaped bloodstone. The crates and barrels were filled with mundane items which may fetch some krona, but were not worth the trouble of having to fence them by the party itself. Trinique told the remaining bandits to carry on with their theft and insurance scam but add that a rival gang, perhaps the Shadowbanks, had attacked and killed the others. They all swore to Trinique that the true events would be kept secret and there would be no hard feelings.

Once everyone had their stories straight and the dead were buried in the cave, Trinique motioned to the new caravan driver and they continued on their way. She could not help thinking that allowing Jarrald get away would present a problem but also knew that he was a coward and would likely disappear for long enough to allow her to make appropriate arrangements. Either that or she could ensure that he turned up in the Elsir River after a tragic accident.

The rest of the trip was uneventful and before nightfall, the thatched roofs of the village could be seen up ahead and the caravan entered the town of Drellin’s Ferry . . .




Session: Session 0 - Friday, Nov 30 2018 from 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM
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Jack
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Heroes of Cambria
Episode 8: War!
Our heroes ventured down to Cambrian, where they discovered that the forces of Dracon had besieged the city. Rushing to the aid of King Cain, our heroes fought off the majority of the attacking army. Taking a quest from King Cain and Sir Alex (Head Console of the Free city of Aelton), our Heroes teleported to ElfHeim, where they discovered that Prince Magnus, long thought to have been in Dracon, was really hiding in the City of ElfHeim!
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Lucas
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O Mundo de Aedda
Ato II - Aliados Desaparecidos
O Ato II ocorreu entre os dias 6º e 9º do mês do Dragão de 2978 p.C. (pós-Criação)

A chegada a Galrey trouxe algumas surpresas ao grupo. Após receber suas recompensas e explicarem o ocorrido n'As Fazendas, Kriv é recebido com a notícia de que o que item que procura se encontra nas Ilhas Umnia, um lugar sem regras ou supervisão, conhecido por reunir os piores dos piores de toda Aedda. Junto de seu aliado Firahel, ele partem imediatamente, deixando o grupo com suas comemorações ao fim do Festival das Escamas. Essa comemoração, no entanto, não durou tanto.

Nelath, que se direcionava À Torre para mandar uma carta para sua amiga Áster, em Ark'halla, um retiro de aasimars, recebe da mestra da Guarda Leswin Windhorn a notícia que esta mesma amiga foi selecionada para uma missão de escolta até a cidade anã de Vom Garohm, onde desapareceu, junto de Finelien, mãe de Leswin e uma das regentes da cidade, Zoë Imlerith, a diplomata de Ark'halla, e o resto do grupo de escolta. Leswin então propõe um trato para o grupo: se eles a escoltarem até a cidade, lhes dará uma boa soma em ouro, uma vez que o caminho, mesmo nas trilhas reais, é recheado de perigos.

Já no dia seguinte, o grupo começa sua jornada. Os cinco dias de viagem passam um tanto tranquilos, com exceção do encontro com um elemental de terra, o qual o grupo lutou com facilidade.

Chegando à imponente cidade de basalto, com suas angulosas e altas muralhas, o grupo vai diretamente para a Torre falar com os outros regentes. Eles lhes informam que uma invasão de duergars aconteceu meses atrás que os forçaram a fechar partes do esgoto e que, pouco antes do desaparecimento de Finelien e da caravana de Ark'halla, crianças vinham sumindo.

Os aventureiros resolvem investigar a casa de Finelien, onde todos estavam hospedados e posteriormente pesquisar mapas dos túneis do esgoto na biblioteca local, que vai pelo nome de Tinta e Pena. Dentro da construção, que muito lembrava o formato de um livro aberto, se deparam com um estranho anão arfando, que se apresenta como Arkud Steelback. Desconfiados do anão, eles o interrogam sobre seu passado. Passado uma série de perguntas, Nelath consegue, com seu firme olhar, notar a ilusão por trás da aparência de Arkud, que imediatamente fica invisível e foge.

Buscando desesperadamente rastrear os traços de Arkud, o grupo sai pela cidade, mas sem muito êxito. Após alguma discussão e busca, eles resolvem descer para o esgoto, sua única pista.

A viagem no esgoto não foi das mais agradáveis. Ragnar mal conseguia se concentrar devido ao mal cheiro, chegando a vomitar algumas vezes. Uma armadilha quase tomou a vida de Áquila, falcão de Akin, que com seus gritos desesperados, acabou atraindo um bando de goblins.

Seguindo curso, eles encontram finalmente o covil do que vem atormentando a cidade: uma dupla de bruxas verdes, chamadas Annie e Matilda. No fundo do covil, amarrada por correntes, Finelien e em gaiolas, a caravana de Ark'halla.

A luta se mostra frustrante para ambos os lados: as bruxas, em menor número, utilizam-se de feitiços de Blink para tentar atacar mais adversários sem se machucarem, mas sem sucesso. O outro lado, por conta do mesmo feitiços, precisavam acertar golpes certeiros. No fim, Annie acaba abatida e Matilda, furiosa, lança um feitiço de Blight em Nelath, torna-se invisível e foge.

Sem conseguir acompanhar a criatura, os aventureiros são deixados no covil, sem nenhuma baixa e buscam retornar para superfície.

fin
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Epic!
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