Charon woke from a troubled sleep, the taste of sleep thick in his mouth. The images from his dreams twisted into smoke becoming something less than even a memory. The morning was comfortable, the smell of earth and leaves on a light breeze. Waking on the forest floor was not something Charon was used to. There was a feeling of peace in the air among them that was not there before. He wondered if perhaps he just didn't notice it before.
Eswarth was already awake when his small companion began to stir. It was early still, the others continued to sleep soundly.
Based on an instant message discussion I had with Steve: I'm not sure who else played this particular game. I feel like
I recall entering the chasm, and (someone) spotting ogres perched on either side of the entrance, though they were asleep I think... I believe we managed to kill one with ranged, but got pelted by the other.
Somehow, they didn't raise an alarm though... I remember one of the Garachi healing Belwar.
Belwar entered the chasm, while the Garachi stayed out of sight with whomever else was with the group... I can't recall who played that session with us...
There are three fires in the chasm, one surrounded by Humans, one by Gnolls and Orcs, a third by Kobolds and goblins. There seemed to be some in-fighting among one or both of the latter two...
Belwar talked with the humans, and they were some kind of forest clan folk. I seem to recall that they were passing through, or perhaps came to trade or something, and were detained... They were sort of putting up a happy face, but they were very scared, and said that someone* wouldn't let them leave...
*this someone, I can't recall the name right now, but it was the person for whom Dannobar and Melzak worked... I BELIEVE it was Urguth, a prick from Belwar's past, but I could be wrong... I get the feeling that I'm forgetting about someone.I believe Belwar told the guys at the fire, that he intended to get them out of there somehow, to which they were cautiously relieved, but remained skeptical.
I think Belwar returned to the Garachi and ... Mirri? Zurn? and that's where we left it.
Here's what the area you're traveling in looks like. The map is to scale, and can be printed (scaled to fit) 8.5"x11" landscaped. (Right click on it, and save it.) http://griznuq.com/random/es/gamemap.jpg
Sorry, It's been a very long time since this session, so the stuff I'm remembering here is only the big ticket items... IF you happen to remember something else, feel free to pitch in.
The party had left Maragarn's village to continue the quest to eliminate the apparent evil in the... Somethingorother woods to the north. I can't find a mention of what it's name is... However, I do remember that the party was heading for the old Temple of Skarth.
Now... I do have a document that says the followinig: Charon It'd been a long time since you had seen anything even closely resembling battle, much less a goblin. Fortunately, they didn't seem like too great a deal to dispatch, because judging by Eswarth's reaction, they weren't exactly uncommon.
As you and your new companions walked, you did a good amount of thinking. It was of some relief to you to have found that cremation was the preffered method of disposal for the centaurs. Would have been a shame if they'd seen it as anything less than honorable.
A veteran from the battle of twelve nights! Whatever'd killed him must have been something indeed! Something you definitely would never want to meet, yet somehow, you expected that you would.
Once again, your wandering thoughts brought you to the small length of rod that sat in your pocket, and the fact that Su'tharc called it a "he". It wasn't every day someone referred to an inanimate object as he or she, or suggested that it had wants of its own. Ironically, your friend Collinsworth bumped against your leg as you walked. Maybe it was every day, after all.
Even still, even if this little rod were alive, or a he, or... whatever... Why you? Why would something presumably had spent so much time inside the arm of an ancient Centaur want to travel with Charon?
Well, whatever, you thought. The fact remains that it wasn't alive. Perhaps it was just some useless piece of metal, and Su'tharc simply didn't care where it ended up. Then again, if it is what the Half Orcs were after, it had to be worth something... And as soon as they realized you were missing from the City, which was probably about a month ago, they'd likely be looking for you... You silently hoped that the Half Orcs would never get their hands on either the report you'd sent to the council or the one given to the Temple.
Eswarth The taint on the air was gone, and for the first time in a while, a chest full of air didn't feel dirty. Even the stink coming off of the goblins a few nights prior wasn't as unpleasant.
As if the spirits of great warriors coming back to warn was strange enough, they had to use the bodies of the enemy, only to find that they didn't know how to work the strange vocal cords. Almost made one wonder at the wisdom of burning the dead. Then again, if the dead Centaurs could raise old Orc bodies, why couldn't Orc bodies raise dead Centaurs?
Three weeks had passed since leaving the Centaur city. By and large, the weather had been steady, and the road clear. The pace had been brisk, stopping to rest at regular intervals and to catch a meal when the dried meats and cheese that was packed were of no one's fancy.
It'd been a week since fighting the goblins along the way and all seemed quiet. Mornings were cool with dew covered leaves. The rays of sun that poked through the forest canopy showered the ground in little dots if light that dances as the leaves swayed in the breeze, so high above the ground.
Early morning, day 29 out of the centaur city. The sun had not yet risen. Halfway through the last watch...
If a spot check of 15 is made, rustling can be heard off the road to the west. A listen check of 15 will then reveal distant guttural voices.
Assuming this is investigated...
Two kobolds are apparently bickering to one another in their native tongue while dragging the carcass of a freshly killed deer, moving east. The deer has two small spears sticking out of it, one in the flank, and one in the side. The one in the side pierced organs and was the killing blow. The one in the flank would have only slowed it down.
Eswarth would understand the conversation they're having as bickering over who had the killing strike. They were also talking about how happy (two generic gargan names) would be at having this fresh kill.
Knowing a few things about Kobolds, Eswarth expects these three would be servants to other, bigger gargan.
If they're followed, they will lead to a small clearing.
The three kobolds drag the deer carcass for about a half mile, before they start calling out in their guttural language. They appear to be a little lost. After a moment, a reply comes back from the same direction they were going.
They start to drag faster, half running.
In the clearing, there are two half Orcs, sitting boulders around a large fire. They appear happy about the deer. These are the two half orcs from town that Charon had met.
This clearing is large, around 100' in diameter. There are four tents, and two small bed rolls laying out on the ground.
As I recall, the consensus was to kill them, as I have another document (printed, not electronic, so I can't cut and paste it... but I'll paraphrase.)
As the party approached the woods, the traveling became more difficult. Undergrowth became thicker. By the time you reach the edge of the woods, it's very inconvenient.
Eswarth notices with no real surprise that there are no Ironbark trees. Fir'Ath notices the same about Knuckleroot.
The travel was fairly difficult. Eswarth and Charon notice more of the same taint they'd detected in the Ironbark. The rest of the group just feels an uneasiness.
After the first day's travel, the group stopped, and during Eswarths watch, Balori, a druid appears. She's got the body of an elf, but skin of bark.
She said "Brother," Her voice was like a breeze through the leaves of a sapling, a hushed whisper. "Shepherd of men. You lead your flock toward cursed pastures. There is something foul, that goes against the laws of nature. Have you come to right this wrong?"
I'm sure Eswarth said something just as wordy and flowery.
"The help of your noble race is precious. My name is Balori, I shall help you, but I shall not be seen by your flock. Follow the road..." - she made a gesture in the direction you've been heading - "And I will help where needed. Stay sharp shepherd, for wolves do lurk."
She stepped backwards, and melded into her tree.
The morning comes, the party moves on, day is event-less.
Zombies attack during the 2nd watch. (330 XP to all involved (Not sure if xp was awarded for this!?))
One more day of unhindered travel.
Balori comes back during Eswarth's next watch.
She motions toward a hill and the side of the hill splits and the growth receds, showing a large door about fifteen feet tall. The taint grows sharply, clearly comes from behind the doors.
The entrance is to the underground temple of Skarth.
She warns to be safe and leaves again.
The group gets up eventually, and starts to open the door. it's very tough to move and makes a lot of noise. Anything intelligent inside is definitely aware of someone coming in now. That's all I have, so the rest is from memory.
The group investigates the temple, but find the first floor deserted. There's an alter, and several rows of pews. (I don't remember if anyone found any relics or anything, so let me know if you have anything like that written down anywhere...)
A search in the lower floor revealed a couple things. One, there's a large stone sarcophagus in the middle of a large room that was presumably for "Skarth" the high priest. The lid has been removed, and lay cracked in two on the floor. It's unclear if it was opened from the inside or out. There is nothing inside. Second, there was a hole in the wall. Something had tunneled into the temple. The group followed the path, which went for a while, and then came to a small bridge that went over a small stream. There, they were attacked by frog-men-like things.
Defeating these things, the group moves on. The tunnel opens into a large room. The tunnel enters the room from the west, there are two larger tunnels to the south and the east, but they've been caved in. The tunnel is now the only exit from this cavernous room.
Someone (Eswarth?) detects evil and finds a shit-ton of it. There are zombies galore, and one Ghoul. They are all eradicated. Some are killed, I think some were turned, and a bunch were controlled by charon.
With the dead stuff... well, dead... The group leaves. The taint is gone for now. It's unclear if the Ghoul was the remains of Skarth, or what.
Belwar scowled as he wiped the fresh blood from his Axe using a scrap of cloth he'd torn from a fallen giant's shirt. He wondered to himself if this was going to be something that he'd have to contend with if and when they were successful in relocating the Gracchi.
He knew that there'd always be adversaries, and there'd inevitably be conflict at some point. Belwar sighed admitting only to himself that he wouldn't mind a break from the bloodshed. Grinning, he said to himself, Ach, yer soundin like an old man!
Satisfied that his Axe was as clean as this not-so-clean rag would make it, Belwar turned his attentions to the rest of the group. Having given chase to the fleeing foes, they were down field. They'd caught the giant and finished the job, but a couple of Gnolls seemed to have gotten away. Just as well, Belwar thought. Perhaps they'll teach their families to think twice before planning against a Dwarven temple!
The thought struck Belwar like a bolt from the skies. He'd heard Zurn talk about events that Belwar had always dismissed as coincidence before. uncomfortably, Belwar turned his eyes to the sky and wondered if Moradin had sent the formidable group from the Keep to this spot to help rid a threat? Could it be more than coincidence that the group came upon a mound of stones?
The thought sent shivers down Belwar's spine. A strange feeling washed over him that he couldn't readily identify. It was a feeling that someone was watching. Not merely watching him, but watching over him. It was slightly creepy a feeling, and yet comforting. The thought brought a strange calm over Belwar, regardless of the rush that was present during and after a heated battle.
He wondered what Zurn would say.
Belwar turned his attentions to the rest of the group, and walked out to rejoin them.
Submitted for your Approvals... This thread was at some point torn into two threads... I pieced the 4 posts that were divided into the two threads. Is there anything missing?? - mjc
ZURN The sun fades behind the dense gray trees that are budding with the onset of the warmer season. The warmer temperature of the day fades with the sinking giver of light. The crooked branches of the trees weave together and seem to become one shadowy wall.
The last few weeks have been somewhat bleak with the situations stacking against this troupe of wanderers. Seemingly lost in a maze of swamp islands and with some of the companions plagued by some feral disease, the spirits of the party are dwindling.
Zurn sees and feels the frustration of his companions. "We be needin' some release.", he mutters to himself. "Something to take da gloom outta this wild place." He looks over to Arlen and says, "Arlen, do ya know any tunes thata could take the sadness from this place? Somethin' that speaks o' heroes with da odds against them? It might do us well to be inspired by their courage an' faith."
ARLEN "Yes, indeed, friend Zurn! I have endeavored to lift this group's spirits ever since our battle with the Wendigo. Alas! It is, at times, an overwhelming and thankless task. Indeed, I have spent many-a year in the forests south of here, but the atmosphere in this swamp seems particularly overbearing, even to one such as me.
"'Heroes with the odds against them, eh?' Hmmmm..." Arlen rubs his chin as he considers and recalls...
"Well, there's the 'Tale of Sir Edmund vs. the Army of the Dead'. Poor, unfortunate Edmund does overcome much to win the day, yet there is also much tragedy in that tale, so that may not be the wisest choice for lifting spirits...
"Er, Then the there's the Saga of Parthaan. A classic tale, to be sure! And one that I never tire of telling!
"And, of course, there is also the little known tale of Rahani, the infamous rogue who overcame seemingly insurmountable odds in order to steal the gem known as the Cat's Eye from beneath evil Prince Harrahd's palace and set things a-right in the realm again. It is an interesting tale, to be sure, and one that is not always told correctly or accurately!"
ZURN "Ah, The Saga of Parthaan thata sounds like'n it be a good one. But, The Tale o' Rahani, yeah, thata sounds like'n it be a good one too! Perhaps ya could be tellin' us both methinks. Be they poems er songs er just stories? Ah, no matta...Any way id be jus' fine! Spin us the tales if'n you would. No one else minds, eh?"
Belwar ran his hand over the shaft of his axe as he came back up into the common area of Trillomore's apartments. He couldn't begin to guess how much time had elapsed since they'd descended into Trillomore's lower chambers, though his face showed a measure of fatigue from performing stubbornly far outside one's comfort zone.
He searched the surface of his axe for any sort of sign he could possibly find that might confirm Trillomore's simple statement that it had been a success, but he found nothing.
"An ye be sure it warked?" he he stated as much as asked either of the two elves who ascended the ramp behind him.
This post would take place the night after the first in game session.
With the source of undeath gone from the temple, tforest seemed to breathe a sigh of releave in Eswarth's ear. His companions slept soundly, though Charon seemed to be a bit restless, though not necessarily in a distressing way. He seemed to be enjoying his dreams.
The arrival of Balorie (like in Bertinelli...I've had a thing for her ever since One Day at a Time...hmmmm..) was heralded by a sound like wood sliding across the grain of another piece of wood. Slowly her slender frame stepped out of the trunk of a nearby Knuckleroot.
"The ancient ones sing your praise sheppard," She said to Eswarth, her voice the sound of dry leaves in a soft wind. "You bring credit to your name and honor to your people. This place will ever welcome and shelter you and your flock."
Belwar had trouble sleeping that night. Of course, he had been having trouble sleeping these last weeks anyway, and the unusual heat of the late spring night made him kick off his few covers and he was sweating profusely. Still, tonight's restlessness was different: he was more mentally restless than usuall. He was eager to set back out to the temple again.
Eventually the sun poured it's light over the keep, and Belwar rose. He groaned as he stretched and his stomach protested it's own neglect.
It was still a bit early for visiting anyone, so he spent time oiling his armor and sharpening his axes while he mulled over what to do next.
Communication, he decided would be the most difficult obstacle to get by. Perhaps Trillomore could help. However it worked out, this time Belwar wanted to do the talking, but he certainly wasn't going to be reading off of any scroll. The simple thought of casting magic sent a shiver down Belwar's spine.
Perhaps an enchanted item though... For some reason, magic that made inanimate items more useful was much more acceptable to him.
Belwar grabbed a piece of dried meat from his travel pack. No sense letting it go bad, he though. He chewed on it while he went to see of Trillomore was awake.
OOC: This thread is for Harrison's Journal entries. These entries do not exist anywhere in game, so as not to be found, but they're entries in a journal in Harrison's mind. These are thoughts that he's having starting at the age of 15 - right around the starting point of the campaign.
Clive chittered at the window as Harrison tried to push it open silently. The window slid up making minimal noise, and Clive slipped in, scrambling up and into Harrison's bed to hide under the covers. Harrison had taught him to do that in case someone was awake.
Harrison returned to bed, hoping there was a note from his Emmanuelle.