Session 1 – 09 Mar 13
After a long journey walking overland to New Turath, the Cartographer and his mercenaries are caught in a surprise Jottun attack that caused the Source River to flow backward. The party is split, but the immediate danger from the attack seems to have passed.
Session 2 – 23 March 13
The last Jottun is torn apart by a crazed Banagher. Protector Hammerfast asks the group to take a risk to find the source within the city that caused this attack. Vhirelle is given a Grav signet ring. Cerlissa enters the city, disregarding usual laws of magic, and has a brief conversation with some of the party members. Afterward, the Cartographers investigate the conspicuously wealthy soldier. How is this soldier, Ashter, making so much money when he’s clearly so bad at gambling? Does the Crow have anything to do with it?
Session 3 – 30 March 13
After three days, Banagher wakes to find his glasses are missing. Many in the party develop a sudden fascination with eggs. Following up on Ashter leads to what looks like a brother of the crow and Fritz manages to secure his ledger. Simo hears an interesting rumor about rapidly falling crime rates in the infamously dangerous neighborhood of Lowtown. Wondering if the two events could be connected through the Crow Temple near the area, and having few other leads to go on, the party heads to the area to investigate. On the way, they are approached by a Beastman who calls herself Champion and claims to work for Cerlissa. She returns the ring with a cryptic message, “She hopes that you will find what it means.” Upon further investigation of Lowtown, an underground necromancy ring is found, along with their undead army. There are a few survivors, and after a dangerous escape where, if it weren’t for Simo, Fritz would likely be dead, Vhirelle covered their tracks and the party swiftly made their way to the nearest hospital.
Session 4 – 06 April 13
After recovering from the discovery of the necromancer’s ring, and the subsequent visit to the hospital, the Cartographers decided to take what they had discovered to Protector Arsenio Hammerfast. The Protector was surprised at their discovery, and began to put a raiding party together. The Cartographers accepted the invitation to join in the raid, though it would be some time before the raid would be ready to move out. The waiting problem was fixed, however, when Hammerfast noticed the cloth that Vhirelle had sticking from her pocket. It turned out that the cloth was a familiar kerchief of his friend, Lord Alem Grav. The Protector asked them to investigate at the Grav Estates, and the party was highly surprised to find that Alem Grav had not died. Their hopes of talking to the man were dashed, however, when they found him Lost and unable to give them the information that they needed to solve the mystery. They did, however, find more questions. For example, the son that the rest of the House thought dead seemed to be, instead, the King of Crows. Further, he made references to some kind of “Glass Goat”, though no additional details were given. Without any idea of what the Glass Goat might be, the heroes decided to go to The Crow to speak with the King about his father.
Session 5 – 20 April 13
After boldly approaching the doors to the largest of the Crow temples, the party is surprised to be given a grand, if silent, welcome from the Red Sisters. The party seemed to have arrived at just the time to witness a public meeting. During the ceremony, however, two of the party, Fritz and Albin, made themselves conspicuous by refusing to stand and participate in a harmless ritual. One stranger refused the same, and later seemed to have disappeared from the pews. Taking the same opportunity to leave, the party decided to investigate the temple while everyone was busy in the meeting hall. Opening one of the offices revealed the same mysterious Cambion rummaging about the office in an attempt to find… something. The Cambion, who called himself Batul, refused to extrapolate on the matter. A comment from Beefstick spurred him to rush to the top level of the temple, where the party followed in bewilderment. The Aviary (isn’t the word I’m looking for) was not at all what was expected. Opening the grand doors adorned with the image of a large, stylized crow revealed a plain room furnished only with plush rugs and large pillows as well as a scattering of popular books on low shelves. The high walls were decorated with beautiful tapestries, and large windows dominated one wall. A raised alcove was suspect, however, as it held a large, shallow bowl filled with blood. When Fritz touched it, the shimmering pool revealed an Orcish man with a pomander matching the one of the King Crow downstairs. It seemed to be a kind of journal, recounting the man’s disagreement with the conduct of his brother King in Lowtown, and his plans to eliminate the man that stood next in line to take the position of Lord Protector. A previously unseen woman appeared then, and the party swiftly left. Batul was missing once again, and the Temple remained conspicuously unguarded as they made their way back to the public area.
Session 6 – 27 April 13
After investigating the Temple of the Crow, the party decided that it would be best to head to Lowtown to check out the sister Temple there. While trying to make out what looked like the figure of a man watching them from the rooftops, they were hailed by a Lieutenant, who was confused as to why they weren’t with the raiding party that was about to head into the underground. Because this raid of the suspected necromancy ring had completely slipped their egg-obsessed minds, the party swiftly changed gears and went to Lowtown to help the special investigative team. Despite Fritz’s witty banter and Vhirelle’s disarmingly charming reassurances, the Captain was barely convinced to allow Beefstick into the raiding group. It seemed, in fact, that he had attempted to leave them out entirely. Finally, they all went down through the tunnels that Vhirelle had previously blasted as they left. The cave area was empty of prisoners this time, even the large room where the suspected necromantic activity had occurred. The guard had begun to fan out to investigate when the balcony they were on was attacked by a few dozen eerily single-minded humans. These humans were dressed in rags and didn’t appear rational as they tried to murder the party and the guard. Guarding the rear from any flanking attacks, Fritz found a strange, black feather. Despite heavy losses, including the Captain, who had been dragged entirely clear of the balcony, the group managed to prevail over their uncanny attackers. After taking over control of the group, Fritz noticed a shadowy figure on one of the top ledges, and called the party’s attention to it. It appeared to have the silhouette of the King of Crows, with the long raven mask that characterizes the office. After deciding that it was the same figure who had followed them before, Fritz decided to shoot an arrow at the figure, but Vhirelle managed to knock the bow aside enough that the arrow would’ve hit in a non-fatal area. The arrow, however, appeared to pass right through the figure, which didn’t even move to dodge. Simo discovered that he was an amazing climber, and managed to make it up to the ledge to get a closer look. The figure disappeared before Simo reached it and appeared, surprisingly, near the raiding party on the ground. After some threats were made the King only laughed and said “I am not the enemy you seek” and disappeared once again. It seemed as though he were using Pact Magic to do this, but it was not accompanied by the usual powerful magical reverberation. Finding nothing else of note, the party left the room with Simo leading. In the antechamber, the group was confronted by a handful of undead creatures. Vhirelle managed to kill most of the them with a well-aimed fireball while the soldiers and other party members took care of the rest. The remaining undead in the narrow passageway were handily defeated by the confident and talented Beefstick.
Session 7 – May the Fourth be With You
Shortly after exiting the underground, the party encountered an Elf that targeted the Leuitenant with a strange magic. Vhirelle deflected the shot and the party immediately began to make chase. Soon, it was known that this Elf was not what he seemed. When the party had injured it so badly that it barely stood, its true form was revealed as a bizarre, almost deformed-looking creature with six appendages. Two wings sprouted from its shoulders with long, chitinous arms below and legs that formed into sharp, pointed blades. They were not able to take the body before it self-destructed, however. On the way to ask THE BLOCKADE about the Changeling, the party came across a slave with a brother of the crow. He was shouting at her and promptly left, presumably to do business inside. Upon seeing the cartographers, she began to cry. Vhirelle and Albin couldn’t care less and moved on, but Beefstick and Simo stayed behind to talk while Fritz followed the Brother of the Crow. After some encouragement, Dedora admitted that the Crow were illegally keeping her past her contract. The party agreed to return to the temple that night and went on their way… after relieving the Brother of his fine spices. When they arrived at THE BLOCKADE, however, they admitted that Changeling folklore was not their specialty but they would keep an eye out.
Session 8 – 11 May 13
Keeping with their promises, the cartographers made their way to the Temple of the Crow just outside the Golden City. Dedora met them as she said she would, and led them inside. As she explained to the party their squalid living conditions, she implored them to help her set them free. The party agreed to find the slave’s contracts, but before anything could be done, a pair of Red Sisters, mistaking the party for slaves, instructed the party to head to the Aerie, as one of the Brides had become ill. After some snooping, and a short conversation with a very worried Interpreter (who is now missing a very expensive-looking quill and inkwell), the Cartographers made it to the Aerie as directed. There, they found the King of Crows in his sleepwear and just putting his mask on. After grumbling at the “slaves” for not knowing enough to knock first, he led his bride out of the room. The bride turned out to be Vhirelle’s very pregnant sister, though she only somewhat recognized her when Vhirelle called her name. This room was more traditionally furnished, though still contained the alcove with the shallow bowl filled with blood. When Fritz poked it this time, however, it turned out to be a scrying bowl, revealing the party’s location to the other King, who became furious with them. Luckily, Beefstick was able to cut the connection before the King could send his magical attack their way. After swiftly (and magically) cleaning up the small mess in the room, they made their retreat. The King of Crows was waiting for them in the wide hallway, and after a short conversation, a fight broke out. The King proved himself a difficult target, however, and managed to quietly teleport the party several times before finally leaving them in a cell near the servant’s quarters. The party was about to blast their way through the doors when Banagher showed up, using Dedora as an unwilling guide. Dedora unlocked the cell and I completely forget what happened to her. Now understanding how the King’s teleportation works, Beefstick decided to scry him with the intent of pursuing him and finishing the fight. They found him speaking to Vhirelle’s sister, asking her forgiveness. Deciding to attempt a different approach, the party knocked at his door. Surprisingly, the King answered and apologized. Inviting them to join him, he led them away from his Bride and to what looked like a lecture hall. It was talking to the King like this that the party learned a few things, such as the scattered, disconnected way that the King seemed to think. They learned that this King, the Cambion, was known as the Tudor King, while his counterpart was known as the Guard King. The Guard King had been looking for them, when the Tudor King found them in Lowtown, during the raid. They also found the reason that the King had followed them to the raid was to prevent them all from dying as a result of the traps. Fritz had, indeed hit the King when he had shot at him. And, perhaps most interestingly, the King had admitted to his flagrant use of Blood Magic on many of the people of New Turath, and even gave a demonstration. Lastly, he gave a bit of information, (that something interesting was happening in the Dogleg Forest) in return for the promise that the party would return to the church once a week for four consecutive weeks.
Session 9 – 18 May 2013
Having spent too much time talking to the Tudor King, the Guard King appears, clearly furious and intent upon killing the Cartographers. Luckily, the Tudor King saw fit to stall him long enough for the party to escape. Vhirelle offered to give him her blood, expecting something similar to the ritual she had become accustomed to. This time, however, the King merely stabbed her, nearly taking her arm from her shoulder. When the Guard King finally made his entrance, the walls nearly came down around them. The escape injured Vhirelle further, and ruined Beefstick’s shield. Once they seemed to be in the clear, however, Banagher suddenly collapsed from a mysterious illness. Though there didn’t seem to be anything physically wrong with the Fey, they carried him to the hospital. There, they found multiple other cases of the same strange, painful illness… including Champion. What is causing this mysterious illness? Should Cerlissa be informed of her agent’s illness? What can this band of mercenaries do to help their companion while not forgetting their original mission: find the culprit behind the Jottun attack.
Session 10 – 25 May 2013
It’s been a rough couple of days for our heroes, and after things began to settle they took some time to lick their wounds. Late the next morning, they went to Protector Hammerfast for advice. Luckily they caught him before he left, but he was not his usual, talkative, helpful self. Having donned full armor plate and making haste toward the stables, Hammerfast was only able to tell the party about a weak lead on the Glass Goat before galloping after some vague emergency that may or may not have been related to a possible second attack on the city. The lead that they were given came with a problem, however. The cartographers found themselves needing to find a way into a high class wedding at House Iendis. Fritz had an open invitation, but the rest needed to figure something else out. Luckily, they had some time to find it. Soon, the party found itself in the market, looking for some fancy clothes under Vhirelle’s direction. After a brief moment of confusion in a crowded area, Beefstick had found himself pickpocketed, and before Vhirelle was able to voice her concern about being touched, Fritz heard the familiar sound of bells and immediately gave chase. The sound was coming from a young Beastman who was swiftly leaving at an odd angle from which he had approached, and bolted when he realized he’d been spotted. When they finally caught him and his two companions, they scattered, forcing the party to capture them. Finally, it’s revealed that the thieves were not thieves at all, but tricksters. They had moved the money from one pocket to another, and had intended to follow and have a laugh when they thought they’d lost their money. The two Cambion girls were revealed to be Kana and Safara Rosornos, and the Beastman boy was Buckley, son of Champion. They had seen the flier they had for the wedding, and offered to help them get in… so long as the party returned the favor, as well as refrain from turning them all in. Randomly, the party went and visited Champion and Banagher. Getting into the wedding festival garnered little attention, and the party followed the teenagers to watch the bridal duel. Everything seemed to be going well until a whiff of Old magic caught their attention. Suddenly, the groom’s knife bit the flesh of his future bride. As he stared in shock, the blade stabbed her twice more of its own accord. That’s when the party spotted the culprit making his hasty retreat. In the mayhem, Albin left Beefstick far behind as he bowled straight through the crowd toward the Wizard. Beefstick’s bulk left him treading in the crowd, but allowed him to spot the teenagers racing off in another direction. Albin, Fritz and Vhirelle ran into Batul, who seemed to be chasing the same figure. Once Kana caught sight of Batul, however, she sent a powerful attack toward him, which was narrowly redirected by Vhirelle. There was a scuffle, resulting in Batul revealing himself as a Changeling as well as Beefstick spotting yet another Changeling in the area. The unknown Changeling escaped Beefstick, however. Batul seemed panicked, but willing to talk when he was attacked. He begged for Beefstick to “push” him, and when he obliged, Batul used the telekinetic energy to throw himself over the outer wall of the city.
Session 11 – 08 June 13
EXP – 2
Dumbstruck by the escape, the party returns to the crowd to find the bloodied bride in the arms of her groom and encased in a aura of thick, demonic magic. Seeing that the bride was barely holding onto life, Beefstick and Vhirelle jumped into action. Beefstick used all his skill in Old Magic to heal her while Vhirelle used her demonic knowledge to merge the two magics together. While they worked on that, Fritz and Albin attempted to help out their acquaintance, Lieutenant Anron, by calming a crowd of self-possessed nobles that were heckling the Heiress of Cinderfell, the Lady Astrid. It was swiftly resolved after punching out their ring-leader and staring down his wife, earning them the favor of Heiress Astrid herself. After finishing that up, Fritz and Albin turned to find Beefstick and Vhirelle finish up their wearying work. Just as Beefstick was about to collapse, an unknown Beastman, similar in appearance to Beefstick, boosted his magic and helped to finish the job. Vhirelle, having watched the display from a Pact mage’s perspective, was witness to the groom’s heroic attempt to save the life of his bride. He took her dying soul into his own, and returned to her half of what was left. With the help of Beefstick and Vhirelle, he succeeded. Romance is on their side.
Session 12 – 15 June 13
EXP – 1
Eager to show her gratitude, Heiress Valentine called the party over for a semi-private chat. She expressed her delight not only in the Mercenaries’ help during the aftermath of the wedding, but their continued help cleansing the city of Blood Magic in general ever since they had received the Grav signet ring, along with the telling kerchief… except the party wasn’t entirely sure what she meant. After conversing with the somewhat detached young woman, it was revealed that the “little girl” that had originally given Vhirelle the signet ring wasn’t a little girl at all. She was the fur-clad Heiress in disguise… a fact that she appreciates that the party keep silent, now that she realized that they hadn’t recognized her at all. This fact only further delighted the Heiress. In her excitement, Lady Valentine gave the party more information than they had actually earned on their own. She told the party how their actions against the Kings of Crow had led to them both disappearing. It was assumed that they had killed each other, and that the party (who had been witnessed leaving the ruined temple shortly after the fight broke out) was responsible for whatever had happened. The Kings of Crow had been suspected, but never proven to be Blood mages, and even so they were too powerful to be handled by conventional means. When she began to ask them how they had handled the rest of the Blood mages, the party was, again, baffled. That was when Astrid urged them to find the genealogical history of the Gravs, particularly of Alem Grav, as Astrid could only assume that Blood Magic was the reason that Cerlissa had culled him in the first place. Between Astrid’s exuberance and the possibility of an empirical reward, the party left the Iendis compound as soon as they were able, and made their way across the courtyard to the Grav compound… where they quickly met with a stalwart guard. The party was about to become angry with the guard when, surprisingly, Champion clicks up behind them and asks the guard to let them all by. Once inside, the party realizes that Champion looks drained, but healthy. She tells them that her “cure” was unconventional at best, and that Banagher was still sick in bed at the hospital. She then admitted that her reason for being at the compound happened to be similar to theirs. Champion led them to the library, where a suspicious librarian eyeballed them the entire time. Vhirelle found the genealogical records, a series of several large, dusty books. Albin and Beefstick distracted the librarian while Fritz made off with one of the tomes, the most recent account, and fled the scene, Champion bounding beside them and even giggling. Outside, the group of hooligans caught their breath and were about to make their way back to where they thought Astrid might be, when Champion stopped them, asking them to accompany her to the Dogleg Forest. Beefstick agreed before the party had the opportunity to discuss it, and they soon found themselves following Champion over the midwall straight into the forest. The forest was eerily quiet that afternoon, but they quickly found themselves at the door to THE BLOCKADE. When Beefstick knocked the door creaked open, revealing a six or seven foot sapling, blooming under the glass dome set into the roof, surrounded by small, colorful flowers. More interesting, however, was the presence of seven floating orbs of light. They were like will o’ wisp, untouchable and stationary in the air. When the party ventured back outside, they realized that there were more of these lights tucked away in the surrounding woods… but there was something else, as well. A loose ring of people began emerging from the wood, heading for the cabin. They battled the mercenaries, but were no match for them. One of them nearly made it through, only to be caught by Champion, who’s bells and colorful ribbons burned away from her, wreathing her in blue, swirling fire, before reducing him to soot without a word. The last Pact mage attempted to flee, only to be brought down by Beefstick’s Old magic. He still attempted to crawl away when a strange figure became visible from the cold fog. The figure stepped on the man, who immediate fell limp. When it came closer, Vhirelle could sense the pure demonic power of Neferelth itself. Its sleek, feminine curves sporting scales and what looked like a fin traveling its spine, it walked… jerked, really… toward the cabin. It did not engage the defenders, but Albin, convinced that it was after the tree he believed was part of the quest that Gwind had set him on, quickly attempted to shoot it down. Beefstick, however, saw no need to incur its wrath and stopped him, though only for a short time. Neferelth jerked and twitched and flickered its way toward the door while Albin broke free of his comrade’s restraint and shot her. Bright, agonizing light spilled from the demon. When the rest began to engage her, each wound spilled more light. It screamed as eventually the light inside her seemed to tear her apart. Points of it, just like the ones found in the cabin and the surrounding wood, flew from her in a fountain of thousands upon thousands of tiny stars until Neferelth’s body was consumed. The lights remained as an ephemeral monument of the death of an immortal being. The sun finally sets, and it begins to rain.
Session 13 – 29 June 13
EXP – 6
The Dogleg Forest remained quiet as Albin convinced the rest of the party to stick around until morning. Champion suggested that it would be kindest to lay the enemy combatants to rest. Beefstick agreed and helped her gather and burn them. In the morning, Albin had more questions than answers. Though he had managed to touch one of the lights, it had immediately disappeared. There wasn’t much more to do in that central forest, and after they had slept through the night and eaten their fill in the morning, the party moved on. Their first destination, the Valerica, was blocked by guards. This was only the first strange occurrence of the day, however. After visiting Vhirelle’s home, They decided to move through the quiet city toward Belphegor Academy, searching for answers to Vhirelle’s question; how could she still use magic while her family’s Demon had died? Again, however, information was not quickly at hand. Out of immediate options, Fritz remembers that Cerlissa had indifferently handed back the glasses he had slipped into her pocket. The hospital was busier than last time, using the waiting room as a sort of overflow triage area. Not thinking much of it, the group went up a floor to visit Banagher. Once he saw the long-lost glasses, Banagher was giddy to have them back. He crossed the room with an energy he hadn’t shown in days but… didn’t quite make it. He cried out, stumbled, sneezed, then stood straight as if nothing happened. Fearing that he was somehow Lost, Beefstick told him to take a step back. Banagher only looked at him, but eventually wandered off, leaving behind a small point of light. Baffled, the party attempted to find help, only to encounter a hospital full of frantic, helpless doctors and nurses facing a veritable mob of upset and terrified visitors facing the same problem that they did. Facing no other options, the party left to seek outside help. It was then that they heard the clanging, booming sounds floating from the North wall. In times past, it was a sound that the people of New Turath knew well. Hearing it, they immediately traveled North to offer aide. It wasn’t long until they were ordered off of the walls. Being very close by, the party stopped by the Armory in Garrison to refit their gear. Afterward, Batul was able to catch up to the party. He offered his help in exchange for asylum, and after a short conversation, the party accepted. Batul promptly led them to the man that had orchestrated the original attack from the inside. This man turned out to be the elusive Glass Goat, who admitted to his crimes. Albin shot him in the leg and dragged him off. Protector Hammerfast rode up to them on a great white horse with a new quest to see a group of dignitaries safely to Ibygia. This was task that Vhirelle refused, realizing how much House Rosornos would need her now. Hammerfast took the injured and tied Glass Goat and directed the Mercenaries toward the Valerica, where they met with a small group of Dignitaries from across Vulcanica. Their Pact Traveler admitted to being only an apprentice, and could only get them outside the city, where they would then have to walk. The Pact Traveler began to cast his spell when something seemed to go amiss…
Session 14 – 27 July 13
EXP – 3
AE – 1
After “landing”, the party realized that Batul, the dignitaries and even the Pact Traveler himself was nowhere to be seen, leaving the Cartographers and Champion in a very strange place. It seemed to be a city built into a hole in the ground. Houses clung to the sides of the sheer cliffs, and there were no visible exits. Cerlissa herself greeted the party and invited them to her home, a small building built into the back of a large cave. Cerlissa asked many questions about the state of New Turath, but before she was able to give many answers, the scout seeking audience refused to wait any longer. Goldie told Cerlissa that the Jottun were seen heading for the Lantern. Cerlissa got straight to the point and offered Fritz, Albin, and Beefstick a Pact as a vaccine to the strange illness that fell upon New Turath in return for their help. All three of them accepted. Cerlissa promptly tore out their souls in a painful, shattering experience, and replaced them unharmed… though perhaps not unchanged. She then told them to take Goldie as well as two of her prized Dire Horses and an empty cart to find Grakas and tell him that she needed him in the North. Goldie brought the team around and loaded the Mercenaries. The team of horses burst out of the cave, granting the party only a glimpse of the danger before the now-familiar feeling of a Pact travel overwhelmed them, leaving the party where they presumed was the original destination. Immediately, they moved Southward along the road to find their wards. It didn’t take long to find them, but they were all in serious trouble. A group of bandits were harassing them. The Mercenaries immediately bolted to their aid, shooting and hacking down anyone they didn’t recognize, including another friendly traveler that had moved to aid the vastly unarmed dignitaries. Their first few strikes were enough to chase off the remainder of the attackers, and it seemed that the only bodies on the road had belonged to their assailants. A Human woman was frantic, however, and Heiress Valentine was furious. Two members of their group had been abducted by the raiders, Princeps Atter of Eos and General Orlaith of Sunsung.
Session 15 – 10 August 13
EXP – 5
AE – 3
The Cartographers were lost. So lost that they were forced to make camp for the night. Unfortunately, with all the distractions of the night, including a Turathi Stag and possibly the bear pursuing it, some quiet thieves were able to make off with some essential gear. Albin’s armor straps were cut right off his body as he slept. Beefstick’s shield was gone, as well as Fritz’ bag of trinkets (and the party’s gold) and, perhaps worst of all, Arkh’s maps. Fritz spotted one of them as he made off with his bag and immediately took a shot. Arkh followed suit before he knew what he was doing, but soon realized that the thieves had taken his maps, causing him to fall into a frenzied rage. The party took after the culprit at full tilt, and before long he was caught… though he was a panicked boy, rather than the slimy thief they had expected. Arkh didn’t notice a difference, however, and Fritz was forced to knock him cold. Soon, Beefstick had convinced to boy to lead them to his hideout in return for the Turathi Stag Albin had shot earlier. When they arrived, the place was eerily quiet. The badly planted field was empty, as was the large barn and its accompanying lean-tos. The boy, Rikker, seemed confused, but noticed someone was out past the tree line, near the river. Jogging over, they found the rest of their stuff, along with the teenagers that had taken it. Noticing Arkh, the girl holding his bag immediately threw it into the river and ran. The rest of the teenagers scattered. Beefstick made an attempt to bring her back, but she was strong enough to resist him. Albin helped Arkh to retrieve his maps and the party went about tending to their gear. Albin, surprisingly, was even able to fix his armor up fairly decently, but it didn’t fit quite the same. As the party sat in the shabby barn with the abandoned animals, Rikker suddenly got up and walked stiffly to the corner, where he lifted a hatch and, turning pale, swiftly shut it again. Soon, there was a noise at the only door, and the party quickly realized that there was a fire. Fritz made his way up to the hayloft with Arkh while Goldie made quick work blindfolding the skinny horses in preparation for leading them out. Beefstick peered outside to find men in meager armor trotting about outside, and used his Wizardry to pull one unfortunate soul into his own flaming handiwork. Fritz was making quick work of the attackers, but Albin swiftly grew impatient and jumped out of the open hayloft door and into the fray, duel wielding his shields with marvelous results. Goldie used her ax to create an opening in the back through which the animals could be led out, as well as the families hiding in the cold storage cellar that Rikker had found. Beefstick lost interest in his limp target and decided to use his heavily armored new friend as a sort of telekinetic cannon ball. This was so effective that they were able to take out three of the attackers. The rest swiftly left the area. The Mercenaries exited the building to find that the meager crops were burning, and the tenants were attempting to put it out. Discussing it with them, the party found that they had been warned of a possible attack, and so hid. The attackers more than likely came from a nearby cave of bandits, and it was also the most likely place for the stolen dignitaries to be found.
Session 16 – 17 Aug 13
EXP – 5?
AE – 3
After a brief stay with the squatters, Arkh told them where to find safety with the dignitaries waiting for them on the road. The squatters only mumbled quietly, but the party needed to move on. They marched up the hill, through the trees and brush, sure of their path this time. Just before they expected to find the cave, and its accompanying attackers along with their quarry, an unexpected mass of excited puppies bounded up to them. Goldie was delighted. The puppies were huge for their apparent age, and oddly looked nothing like any wolves that anyone, including Arkh,had ever seen before, with their flatter faces, drop ears, and long fur. It wasn’t long, however, until a fully grown specimen was upon them. It seemed more bear or lion than dog, and the beast was upon Albin first, burying him in fur and fury. It took some time to convince the beast to pay anyone else any mind, but the combined effort of Goldie and Beefstick gave Albin enough room to work with to injure it. Instead of fleeing, however, the beast began to limp away, dragging Albin along with it. In their hasty pursuit, all but Arkh (who had tripped and fallen behind) fell into an elaborately hidden trap. The beast, apparently unharmed threw the unconscious Albin into the pit just before transforming into the more familiar form of an Elven woman. After calling the puppies to her, she seemed to consider Arkh for a moment, only to dismiss him and lope away, toward the caves. The party recovered quickly, waking Albin and moving to follow. When they arrived, whoever had been there had apparently left in a hurry. There seemed to be a few stragglers, though. There was a cage, occupied by Princeps Atter, and another elaborately armored Elf who was yelling at him in an unknown language. Odd for even Arkh to be unable to identify it. The Elf seemed to want him to follow, but the Princeps stoutly refused, shutting the cage door every time the Elf attempted to open it. When the Elf finally noticed the party, he turned to confront them. The Princeps took that opportunity to remind him that he was surrounded by shoving the cage door open, hitting the Elf with it. The Elf then attempted to run, but was tripped up by Fritz’ bow. Albin nearly had the Elf while sprawled out, but backed off immediately when the Elf transformed into another large Dog-Beast. This one fully armored. The party decided to let it go, and focused their attention on the Princeps, who explained that he was fine. He briefly told the party that he had feared for the safety of the Fey dignitary, and had not acted in her presence. Now that they had separated, he was more confident that they could save her if they acted quickly. After a short time of hot pursuit, the party heard a great noise, like trees exploding in the cold and sound of an earthquake, tearing the ground itself. It was closely followed by an intense wave of magical backlash, and then silence. When the party caught up to the source of the noise, they plunged into what seemed to be an entirely different forest. The trees grew large and thick overhead in strange, twisted scenes atop unnatural looking stone formations. It continued for as far as they could see, and soon they found the weary, confused form of the person responsible for the sudden change in scenery. The Fey General, Orlaith, stood holding the limp form of one of the beast puppies. She looked up, met the Princeps’ eyes and apologized for not freeing them sooner, but she was afraid that he might get hurt in the process. She passed the puppy to Goldie, and explained that she didn’t know why they didn’t take it with them, as they had ample opportunity to do so. She then collapsed, unconscious. Despite her strange state of mind, Arkh found nothing wrong with her and decided that she had fallen from magical exhaustion and merely needed rest. The party agreed that they all needed rest, and got comfortable.
Session 17 – 24 Aug 13
Happy First Birthday, Jace!!!