Monday, July 28, 2014

The Battle of the Crimson Field

Human Army: 100 Tellgart spearmen, led by Zaros and Marcus. 100 volunteer spearmen from nearby towns, led by Sir Reynard. 50 Tellgart archers, led by Morty the alchemist. 100 Bauchfort heavy infantry, lead by a captain from Bauchfort. 50 Bauchfort crossbowmen. 30 paladins. 30 mounted mercenaries "the Storm Riders". The army is under the command of Sir Lautrec.

Demon Army: 50 boar-men, led by Bath'gu Zar. 50 blood men. 400 goblin spearmen, led by blood men. 100 goblin archers. 30 hellboars hidden in a nearby farmhouse. 

Demonic Descriptions: The boar-men resembled Bath'gu Zar, but were smaller in size and much weaker. The goblins wore red war paint. The blood men looked like armored humanoids made completely out of a mixture of solid and fluid blood. The hellboars were bloated red boars that breathed fire out of their snouts. 

Speeches: It should be noted that some speeches were given prior to the battle. General Lautrec gave an epic Shakespearean-style speech that left his men stunned. Marcus's speech was short- "There won't be a battle today. It'll be a massacre." Zaros promised to give a speech honoring the dead after the battle. 

Humans- Tellgart spearmen on the north flank. Heavy infantry in the center. Volunteer infantry on the south flank. Paladins attached to each formation. Archers and crossbowmen in the back.
Demon- Boar-men on the north flank. Goblins in the center. Blood men on the south flank. Hellboars hiding in a farmhouse to the south.

Initial Moves: The human army advances. The mercenaries charge the southern flank. They crush most of the blood men, but are surprised by charging hellboars. The mercenaries are slaughtered and the remaining blood men mount the hellboars. The north flanks clash, with the humans gaining the advantage. In the center, human heavy infantry decimate goblin infantry. Tellgart bowmen take heavy fire from goblin archers, but stay together. 

Collapse of the South Flank: The hellboars crash into the human south flank, breaking the volunteer spearmen. Sir Reynard, realizing that he has no chance of survival, hopes to buy time for his army by challenging the strongest blood man to a duel. The foe he faces rides a massive hellboar and wields a wicked serrated sword. The two warriors slug back and forth, neither side gaining a definitive advantage. Finally the blood man falls off of his mount, which promptly flees. Reynard tries to land a killing blow, but his attacks are parried by the prone champion. In the most tragic moment of the battle, the enemy champion severs Sir Reynard's legs in one fell blow. He rises from the ground and lops off Reynard's head, which he presents to his nearby men. 

Holding the North Flank: Bath'gu Zar's boar-men are slain by Tellgart spearmen. He remains steadfast, slaying spearmen by the dozen. Zaros and Marcus decide to move in only after he is sufficiently weakened. Morty's remaining archers provide supporting fire.

Decimation of the Middle: The human heavy infantry mop up most of the goblins in the center, and move down to the south flank to screen the Tellgart spearmen from rear attack. Although the heavy infantry and supporting crossbowmen inflict heavy losses, it is evident that they will soon fall to the remaining goblins, blood men, and hellboars. 

Fighting Bath'gu Zar: The party engages the demon. Lautrec attempts a lance attack from behind, but fails to penetrate the demon's hide. Zaros weakens the monster with magic, and he, Lautrec, and Marcus engage in melee. Lautrec is severely wounded by the demon and retreats to Morty for some healing potions. Zaros takes a massive hit to the chest by the demon's axe, but remains conscious on one knee. The demon turns his attention onto Marcus, but divine protection saves the young paladin. Marcus delivers a mighty blow with his greataxe into the neck of the demon. Bath'gu Zar falls and stops breathing. His demonic minions are dispelled, and his goblin army collapses into flight. As the army prepares to move out, Bath'gu Zar rises up, his neck injury knitting back together. He wallows back to his mountain hide-out. 

Returning to Tellgart: The army returns. They did not succeed in slaying the demon, but both the demonic and goblin threats to Tellgart have been significantly reduced. Marcus is heralded as the hero of the battle for delivering the blow that saved the heavy infantry (and most likely the spearmen) from certain annihilation. The rest of the party is honored as well, as is Sir Reynard "the Brave". 

Humans: 20 Tellgart spearmen dead, 20 wounded. 20 Tellgart archers dead, 20 wounded. 50 heavy infantry dead, 40 wounded. 50 volunteer spearmen dead, 50 wounded. 10 paladins dead. 20 mercenaries dead, 10 wounded. Sir Reynard killed in action. Sir Lautrec and Zaros wounded in action. Marcus "Boarbane" and Sir Reynard "the Brave" cited for extreme heroism. 

Demons: 50 boar-men slain/dispelled. 50 blood-men slain/dispelled. 30 hellboars slain/dispelled. 320 goblins slain, 180 wounded. Bath'gu Zar wounded. 

A Brief Summery of Events Prior to the Battle of the Crimson Field

A Bardic Quest- Clay sought out a wizard to teach him magic. By chance, there was just such a wizard in Tellgart. After revealing himself to be extremely weird (possibly insane) the wizard directed Clay to a cave north of Layfell. There he would find a magical fiddle that could unlock his true potential. The party headed out to Layfell, where they spent the night. 

The Battle of Layfell- Their sleep was short, as the town was attacked by a warherd of beastmen (satyrs and minotaurs). The party rushed to the outskirts of the town, where an impromptu army of militia and townsfolk had formed up. Marcus took command of the townsfolk, Clay the militia, Lautrec the knights, and Edmund the archers. The beastmen army, over 250 strong, attacked. The townsfolk attempted to guard the left flank of the militia, but were slaughtered by beastmen infantry. Lautrec's knights cut down the minotaur shock troops, and then proceeded to cut into the beastmen middle. The battle was won, but at the cost of 100 human lives. 

The Blind Man- The party met the wizard again, who told them that they could be guided to the cave by a blind man who lived in the woods. They were warned that this man was crazy, and that he "must not see" under any circumstances. They went into the woods, where they found an old man wearing a black blindfold. He introduced himself as Serf. He took them to the cave, speaking in riddles the entire time. The party decided to leave this man alone. 

Belly of the Beast- The party discovered that the cave's only entrance was through the jaws of a long-dead dragon. The party descended down the neck and into the stomach, where they fought a gargoyle and some skeletons, and found a magical sun spear. Breaking out of the stomach, they found a campsite. There they were greeted by Professor Hucklefin, leading researcher at the State College of Saardam. He was greatly distressed that the party had damaged the insides of his dragon specimen.

A Cave of Sounds- The party journeyed further into the cave, where they encountered several sound-related creatures and puzzles. Two bucking brute monsters fought in a loud battle. A room full of cave paintings was discovered- paintings that made noise when they were touched. Some giant sonic lizards were encountered and avoided. A disintegration circle left Byrin the Squire naked (that wasn't sound related, just funny). A banging a drum would allow the party to collect a valuable necklace, but would also unleash a deadly monster. They banged the drum, killed the monster, and collected the necklace. Clay played into a magical fire, receiving a box of treasure for perfect musical skill. A sonic bat causes serious damage to the party, who promptly flee its presence. The World Obelisks- The party enters a room with a mysterious pit. The pit is covered by energized bars, and seems to keep horrible monsters from climbing up. They find an obelisk like the one in Klingsberg. An old satyr emerges, explaining that the obelisks protect the world from demonic invaders. This cave was dug out under the remains of Symphiel the dragon queen. Her husband was Zengius, an ancient dragon king that disappeared after her death. The great bard Lyrius expended his life force creating the obelisk. The party sees a skeleton laying next to the obelisk, holding a golden fiddle. Lautrec picks up the fiddle, but it crumples into dust, leaving behind only a small key. Lautrec and Clay have a fight over the key, interrupted by Byrin turning demonic and nearly killing everyone. They leave, and Byrin is later purified by Zaros. 

The Fight Over the Stupid Key- Clay and Lautrec continued to argue over the key. Clay secretly hired strongmen to "get rid" of Byrin. The party heads to Tellgart so that Lautrec can attend his knights' meeting. Soon after the meeting, Lautrec is attacked by these men, who fall to his and Byrin's immense strength. Clay is revealed to be the one who hired the men, and guards arrive to arrest him. He goes with great struggle, nearly killing Lautrec in the process, but is finally subdued by Zaros. 

Jail Adventures- Clay is thrown into jail. By accident, they place the man who ratted on him in the same cell. Clay, resigned with his fate, leaves the man alone. He gets a will written up, but the guard informs him that his weapons are now "evidence" and can be held indefinitely- specifically his sun spear and shrieking swordsword. The next day a fat pedophile is placed in the same cell as Clay. He confuses Clay for a little boy, and is promptly punched in the dick. A day later the wizard appears in jail. He pulls out a wand that he claims is the most powerful of its kind in the world. After a long and detailed history of the wand, he declares that the final use of this wand will free him from the confines of this jail. Clay asks why he doesn't just teleport out, but his question is ignored. The wizard sticks the wand into his mouth and blows his own head off. The night of Wolfgang's birthday party the jail is set on fire and Clay dies trying to rescue the other inmates.

The Count's Birthday- Sir Derruk is throwing a celebration for Count Wolfgang's birthday in his neighborhood. The party (minus Clay) attends. They are waited on by beautiful servant girls who provide plenty of free food and drink. Lautrec attends a private knights' dinner in Sir Derruk's house. Derruk leaves his knight friends with some lusty servant girls. Around this time the guard tower (containing the jail) bursts into flames. The servant girls at the party turn demonic, killing townsfolk left and right. Huge demonic boars burst up from under the tables, adding to the chaos. Lautrec and the other knights fight a desperate battle at their dinner, as none of them are wearing armor. They finally succeed, and Lautrec and Reynard lead the bravest knights downstairs. At the main party, Zaros and Marcus are able to beat down most of the demonic creatures, when Derruk sheds his skin and reveals the hellboar demon from Session 1. The knights lead a desperate charge against the demon, and one knight is cut in half. The demon is run off by a combination of the knights' efforts and Zaros's magic. 

Researching the Demon- Marcus learns from a paladin lorekeeper that the demon's name his Bath'gu Zar the Hellboar. He has appeared in Rhurland four times in the past, and was always banished at a great cost of human life. Meanwhile, Edmond and Albert return to town. Albert is haunted by talking animals, that warn him of a great danger. Finally a rat instructs him to go to the great library of Saardam, where he will learn how to defeat the demon. An army has assembled in Tellgart to face the demon, but the party convinces the count to wait a few days to allow them to gather information. The count introduces them to Morty, an alchemist he hired to study the demons' bodies. They go to the library and convince the owners to let them into the long-locked forbidden archive. This archive contains books that cause the reader to physically experience the subject. Zaros gets the plague. Lautrec experiences an elven brothel and gets elf herpes. Finally, they find a book that recounts an old battle against a crocodilian demon. That party put six magical coins onto a special shield, which shot demon-weakening energy and cleansed a world obelisk. The party decided that a quest to find magical coins would take far too long, and proceeded to lead the army into battle. 

A Brief Summery of Events Prior to the Battle of Layfell

Celebrating the Knights' Return- The party attended a celebration in Tellgart. A fat dwarf stripper was involved. An Asian woman was spotted. The party learned that bandits were preying on the eastern road between Tellgart and Klingsberg.

Securing the Eastern Road- The party fought through an ambush of human and goblin bandits on the eastern road. Their new friend Tycho the Shadow Ranger tracked the bandit's trail back to their lair in the mountains. After clearing about half of the lair, the party found the bandit leader holding a paladin hostage. After a three-way negotiation between him, the party, and the goblin king (who had taken another paladin as his bride) the party slew the goblins and walked out with the prisoners. Then they promptly walked back in and slaughtered the human bandits. 

Journey to Bauchfort- The party headed south to find instructors for the new Tellgart militia, passing through the Great Forrest en route. On the way they met an armature artist. While camping with the artist, the party was assaulted by a band of gnoll raiders. They slew all but two- the great grey gnoll lord and his only surviving minion. They tracked the two gnolls to a clearing in the woods, where they killed the gnoll lord in a difficult battle. They continued on to Bauchfort, where Lautrec (after some negotiating) was able to find decent instructors for the town. 

Journey to Wellwald- After escorting the instructors back to Tellgart, the party took the eastern road to Wellwald. There they discovered that a local farmgirl was murdered. One farmer claims that it was a mysterious creature known as the "owlbear". The Kato the dog tracked the trail of the supposed beast to a pond-side tent in the woods, where a mean hobbit shooed them away. They spent the night reconnoitering the hobbit. It was then that they met the owlbear (who was trying to steal food out of Lautrec's pack). He proved to be a nice creature, and informed the party that the hobbit was the real killer. The party entered a tussle with the hobbit, culminating with Clay severing one of the murderer's legs. 

The Owlbear- The owlbear (his real name being Jonathan) took the party to his cabin in the woods, where they all had lunch. The owlbear explained his story. He used to be a human adventurer, but was killed by a gnoll lord in the Great Forest. His girlfriend, a young druid, tried to reincarnate him. Unfortunately, the spell was too powerful for her to control and she was killed. The spell worked, in a fashion. Jonathan isn't sure if owlbears are real creatures or if the spell fused several animals together to create him. While they are eating, the cabin is approached by two Shadow Rangers. Tycho had gone off to get help to fight the owlbear, and returned with the captain of the Wellwald Bluecloaks. The captain declared that the owlbear was sentenced to death for being a magical creature. He would return at sundown with his band of Shadow Rangers to carry out the execution. 

Dilemma of Zaros- Zaros felt conflicted with the current situation. The owlbear was a nice fellow, but he was a resurrected being; an abomination in the eyes of his religion. Zaros went to the local temple to meditate. There he met a wise old priest. Using cups of water, he and Zaros concluded that his resurrection did not disrupt the balance of the world- the druid's death set everything right. Zaros realized that he had been missing the cornerstone of his faith; he needed to fight for the sacrament of death because death brings balance into the natural world by feeding life. He was so touched by this realization that he later purchased a grey cloak to replace his black one. 

Flight of the Owlbear- The party (minus Zaros) fled with Jonathan. Their goal was to get him to the druids of Hanlin, where he would be well treated. They ran for two straight days, finally stopping in Tellgart. Meanwhile, Zaros crossed paths with the Shadow Rangers, who were in hot pursuit. The rangers stole Kato to use for tracking, and Zaros tagged along. They reached Tellgart soon after the party, but wanted to rest a few hours before fighting the monster. They released Zaros, who immediately found his friends and warned them. They went to the church were Marcus, the owlbear, and the shadow rangers were staying. In the ensuing battle, four shadow rangers fell to Zaros's sound burst spells. The fight was broken up by Sir Derruk and Sir Reyndard, who sent the two groups out of town at separate times. The party got the owlbear to the druids, then promptly slept for two days.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Battles!!! War DnD Playtest Results

Naileye's Rebellion- Battle of Bloody Gulch (934 Red Age) 

Human Army: 200 spearmen, 100 heavy infantry, 100 shortbow archers, 60 mounted knights, four imperial officers.

Hill Dwarf Army: 200 light infantry, 100 crossbowmen, Throm'zuk Naileye and his two sons.

Battleground: A valley in the mountains north of Ostenfort.

Background: Throm'zuk Naileye rallied an army of hill dwarfs to mount a surprise attack against Ostenfort. He attempted to skirt his army around the fort and attack it from behind. Word of his plan reached the Duke of Ostenland, and a force was sent to ambush the dwarves.

Humans- Infantry centered in one rank. Knights on the right flank. Archers on the left flank.
Dwarves- Infantry centered in one rank, led by Naileye. Archers on the flanks, each led by one of his sons.

Battle: Human archers and knights destroyed the crossbowmen and killed both sons. Dwarven infantry stood firm, but were shattered by cavalry on their flanks. Naileye was the last to go down; refusing to surrender, her was run down by knights.

Humans- 40 dead, 30 wounded.
Dwarves- 180 dead, 120 wounded. Naileye family destroyed.

The Battle on the Border (994 Red Age)

Human Army: 400 spearmen, 200 heavy infantry, 150 shortbow archers, 100 crossbowmen, 120 mounted knights, four imperial officers.

Orc Army: 400 spearmen, 200 heavy infantry, 200 shortbow archers, 60 ogres, one orc war-chief, two ogre chiefs.

Battleground: A flat, barren plain southwest of South Lake.

Background: The provinces of Westenland and Togland requested the aid of the Empire in battling an orc horde amassing at the border. Knights flocked from Saardam and Bauchland to aid in the fighting.

Humans- Infantry centered in one rank. Archers up front. Knights on flanks.
Orcs- Infantry centered in two ranks. Archers up front. Ogres on flanks.

Battle: After some fierce fighting between archers, humans gained the advantage. The ogres were crushed by cavalry charges. Orc infantry at first adopted a defensive formation, but abandoned their tactics after the loss of the ogres in favor of an all-out charge. Other than losing a few heavy infantry, the humans easily broke the charge and shattered the orc lines. The orc war-chief and the two ogre chieftains were slain.

Humans- 85 dead (including 15 knights). 115 wounded.
Orcs- 670 dead (including 30 ogres and all leadership). 260 wounded.

Honors: 40 human knights dubbed "The Decimators" by infantry. Includes 20 imperial knights, 10 Bauchfort knights, and 10 Wellwald knights.

Session 4: A Miner Terror

Entering Klingsberg: The party arrives at the ancient dwarven city of Klingsberg. The city is built between two mountains, and features large stone walls, a mighty steel gate, and beautiful brick buildings. Long ago humans conquered the city and expelled all of the dwarves. Immediately upon entering the party notices a large number of hobbit and elven immigrants. Clay goes off to order a fancy new helmet from a master blacksmith and socialize with hobbits. Most of the hobbits are from the faraway Sylvani Empire, and have immigrated due to increasing food shortages in their homeland. Marcus goes into the paladin embassy and informs Commander Tallmart that the paladins he sent to Tellgart are missing. Tallmart promises to send more men, but orders Marcus to search for his missing brethren. Lautrec buys a room at a local inn (the Silver Tongue Tap) and learns that his contact in Klingsberg, Sir Neco, owns a mine north of town in the "Great Quarry".

Mine Mystery: The players head to the quarry, passing through the poorer parts of town along the way. The find a massive quarry with dozens of mine entrances. Eventually they come upon the Neco mine, deserted and boarded up. The party meets with a frazzled Sir Neco, who explains that his mine was overrun by some unknown terror three days ago after some kids snuck in. Many of his workers did not come out, and the ones that did boarded up the entrance without offering him an explanation. The party visits a few miners' homes, and receive contrasting accounts. One man reports a sudden flash and a spray of blood. Another recalls a giant monster. Yet another talks about his friends going mad and killing each other. With little idea what to expect, the party pries open the boards and enter the mine.

Mine Investigation, Take 1: Entering the mine are Lautrec, Clay, Marcus, Zaros, and Harold. Almost immediately, they find a room filled with possessed miners. These miners have been working mindlessly for three days straight; their bodies are skeleton-like and their eyes glow bright red. In the insuing battle, Lautrec is knocked out by two nasty pickax strikes. Marcus is also knocked out, but is revived by Zaros. While this is happening, Harold is chased down by a miner and brutally killed. Clay is also knocked unconscious, but Zaros is able to slay the rest of the miners and the party flees the mine. City guards come to carry Harold's body away to the church for burial.

Mine Investigation, Take 2: Two days of rest later, the party returns to the mine. They battle an over-sized demonic mole with little difficulty. Advancing further into the mine, they find a room with a dozen bodies heaped in the center. To the left is a cave passage guarded by a golem made from the organs of the corpses. The party defeats the golem before he can attack, and advance into the now-unguarded passage.

A Change of Scenery: The party finds themselves at a massive metallic door. The door features the symbols of the six gods of the Hexsol faith. Marcus touches the door and it slowly moves open. On the other side of the door is a corridor of stone brick. Immediately the party encounters two ghostly dwarven warriors blocking their path. The ghosts only seem to speak dwarvish, and they angrily flash their weapons at the party. Marcus steps forward with his holy symbol. The ghosts allow him to approach. When he is within arms reach, one of the ghosts grabs him and views Marcus's life in an instant. Satisfied, the ghosts disperse. 

Paintings and Traps: The party encounters several rooms with paintings on the walls. They also survive a fire-shooting rune on the wall and two spiked pit traps. The paintings appeared in pairs, as follows:
  1. A black wall and a white wall.
  2. Shield, leaf and sun on one wall. Sword, skull, and moon on the other.
  3. The Hexsol gods with winged angelic creatures in plate armor bowing down to them. The second wall was defaced long ago.
  4. Both paintings were defaced. 
  5. One wall showed a blue orb with green splotches on it. The other showed men, dwarves, elves, and hobbits bowing down to the angels.
  6. One painting showed dwarves, goblins, and other savage creatures bowing down to a mighty black dragon. The other wall showed them taking up arms for this creature.
  7. A large battle was depicted on one wall, showing the dragon's army clash with the angels' army. The other painting showed a great city being destroyed by dragons while a golden angel wept. 
A Tangled Web: The party comes to a large room with one big painting across from them. It shows the golden angel casting a spell with red and black energies. In the center of the wall is a broken-in passageway, covered by energized red webbing. Ghost dwarves stand waiting in this room. The party notices a ghost dwarf pinned to a side wall by this red webbing. Attempts to cut the webbing with fire and normal blades fail. Zaros grabs Albert's magic dagger and easily cuts away the binds. While he does this, the weapon forms a magical attachment to him. He also cuts down the web blocking the passageway, and everyone (including the dwarves) move forward. The party finds a ancient hallway filled with metal dwarven statues. At the end of the hallway is a metallic door similar to the one found at the entrance. This door is decorated with the image of a dragon's head. The door is covered with red webbing, which Zaros cuts down.

Battle Arachnid: The door opens into a massive room. In the center of the room is a glowing red obelisk surrounded by three cultists. Beyond that is a giant painting with thousands of monsters of all shapes and sizes in it. One cultist turns around and charges the party. He draws his short sword, which gives off a terrible shriek that stuns half the party and disperses the ghosts. With some difficulty, he is brought down. Marcus and Clay step forward to knock out the cultists while Zaros goes about the process of blessing the obelisk. Before the process is complete, a huge red spider steps out of the wall painting and assaults the party. The beast recoils in the presence of Marcus, but has no difficulty attacking the rest of the party. The spider manages to bite a charging Clay before he is brought down. During the fight, Zaros notices that whatever weapon he draws, he always attacks with his dagger (even if he just threw it out of reach). 

Exiting the Temple: The party collects the magical short sword and its sheath, a magical black book carried by the lead cultist, their one surviving cultist captive (the other was burned to death when the spider died). As they pass through the first door, the wall caves in behind them, sealing away the temple. On their way out of the mine, they find another cultist (this one completely mad).  

Wrap-Up: Marcus drops the cultists off at the paladin embassy for interrogation. Clay learns that his helmet's construction has been delayed, and gets some white ointment for his bite wound. Lautrec finishes up his business with Sir Neco. Zaros and Clay learn that the magic short sword unleashes a powerful shriek upon enemies and allies only when removed from the magic sheath. The party returns to Tellgart to allow Lautrec to attend his bi-monthly knight's meeting. On the way, Zaros starts to read the evil book. The words seem like nonsense, but over time Zaros claims that he is beginning to understand what it all means. Marcus suggests destroying the book. Zaros overcomes his suddenly unnatural fascination with the book and agrees. They lay the book on the altar of the Hexsol church of Tellgart. Zaros blesses the book, and it bursts into unholy flames. Natural water only makes the flames larger, but Marcus is able to snuff out the fire with holy water. They then go out to buy a new alter for the church.

A Quick Summary of Session 3

The Premise: Sir Lautrec is tasked by Count Wolfgang to help with the rebuilding of the town militia. To do this they need discount resources for weapons, armor, and other equipment. Wolfgang sends Lautrec to nearby towns, cities, and forts to secure those resources from old friends. Lautrec presents his mission to the party, who agree to help out the town. They decide to head to the closest town, the lumberjack community of Hanlin. Along the way they meet a mysterious master of unarmed martial arts.

Saving Harold: On the road to Hanlin, the party finds a young messenger boy being mauled by a feral grey wolf with blood-red eyes. They kill the beast, and Lautrec offers to make the boy a squire. The young messenger eagerly accepts.

Discovering Hanlin: The party enters Hanlin late in the evening. They learn from the local inn that wild animals with blood-red eyes have been killing lumberjacks. Townsfolk are speculating that it is the work of a nearby community of druids. That night, the party is awakened by the cries of a homeless man being murdered by red-eyed raccoons. The party dispatches the vermin, with only Edmond suffering serious wounds. The next morning they meet Sir Sessuc, owner of the Hanlin Lumber Company. He offers cheep lumber to Tellgart if the party can uncover why the animals are attacking. The party accepts the proposal.

The Druids: While searching in the woods, the party encounters a hairy nude man communing with nature. Calling himself "Wildfoot", he offers to take the group to the druids. The party follows him to a clearing in the woods, where five other druids reside. Among them are a squirrel-obsessed man (Squirrelius), a depressed-looking boy holding a flower, two repulsive women holding turtles, and a muscular man sitting on a rock with a dark wooden sword. The muscular man calls himself Blackbark. Through the magic of a ghost sound spell, Albert tricks the druid into helping the party in their investigation.

Wood Inspection, Day 1: The first day of searching proves fruitless for the party. Blackbark is joined by his burly black bear companion, Minnie. The party spends most of their time following after Blackbark. That night, the druids are threatened by paranoid townsfolk. They are given a deadline of 24 hours to leave the forest, or they will be attacked.

Wood Inspection, Day 2: The second day of searching the party takes matters into their own hands. Clay, Marcus, and Kato the dog find scorch marks, ax cuts, and broken foliage that lead them to a medium-sized pond. In this pond is the corpse of a dead stag, his side gored by something viscous. Marcus detects an evil aura in the waters, and Zaros feels the presence of magic. The party drag out the deer and discuss the possibility of this pond being the source of animal corruption in the forest. While they do this, Minnie leans his head into the pond for a drink. Suspecting what will happen, Marcus leaps onto the bear's back. Sure enough, the bear's eyes turn red and she turns viscous. In the ensuing battle, Marcus distracts the beast while Lautrec and Zaros cut into its flank. Blackbark becomes distraught as his best friend is slain before his eyes. Zaros blesses the pond and lifts the curse.

Success and a Side Quest: The party returns to town and informs Sir Sessuc of the situation. He promises to protect the druids from harm. That night, Zaros is approached by members of the Order of the Reaper, clerics of Sol Mortalus that work to make sure the natural order of life and death is maintained. They send him to investigate an old man that has seen nearly 100 winters. Zaros takes the party on his investigation. They find the man surprisingly healthy, wearing a medallion with the elven symbol for vitality around his neck. The necklace has a faint aura of magic around it. Albert steals the necklace, Zaros knocks the man and a nearby witness unconscious, and they make a break for it. Out of danger, Albert realizes that the necklace is simply a piece of wood with characters magically written on it. That night Zaros learns that the quest was a test: the Reapers knew that the necklace was not magical, and they expected Zaros to learn this without harming or stealing from the old man. They inform him that he will have other chances in the future to prove his worth to the Reapers. Marcus returns the necklace to the old man.

Return to Tellgart: The party journeys back to Tellgart. Marcus receives a letter addressed to paladins that should be in the area investigating his demon report. No one in town has seen these paladins. The session ends with the players heading to Klingsberg.

A Quick Summary of Sessions 1-2

Sorry this took so long. The move to California distracted me.

Setting: Bauchland Province, Empire of Rhur. Year 994 of the Red Age. Autumn.

Capture: Cultists near the town of Tellgart capture nearly a dozen travelers to be used in a demonic sacrifice in a mountain cave. They drag their offerings deep into a dark cavern and set up a pentagram. Among those captured are...

Sir Manfred Augustus Lautrec- A recently disenfranchised knight from the province of Westenland. In the past, his family had alienated themselves from the duke of Westenland by supporting the faraway emperor. In a lightning move, the duke robbed  the Lautrec family of their lands following the death of Manfred Augustus' father. The new Sir Lautrec left his home vowing to return and bring down the crooked Duke Von Kurtz. He wields a longsword that has been in his family for generations.

Paladin Marcus- Fresh off of his training from the paladin embassy in Klingsberg, Marcus has set out to bring light and protection into the world in the name of his patron gods, Illuminous and Indomitus. Though painfully average in nearly every way Marcus carries with him a determination to fight for what is right and just that goes beyond the will of normal men. He also has a large warhammer, nicknamed the "Hammer of Justice."

Clay- A hobbit born in the human town of Wellwald, Clay spent several years training with his local militia. His full martial potential was never unlocked, however, due to his increasing fascination with music and performing arts. Despite this, he is extremely muscular for a hobbit, and can hold his own in combat.

Zaros- A pilgrim from the Sylvani Empire, Zaros is an elven cleric of the death god Mortalus. He traveled to human lands to expand his faith in himself and others. He wields a large scythe, the symbol of his faith. At his side is his loyal dog Kato.

Edmond Randall- Grandson of a locksmith and brother of a slain soldier, 19 year old Edmond is now going out to find his place in the world. He carries few possessions, but wields a deadly longbow with surprising accuracy.

Albert (al-bear) Goddfrey- Kicked out of his home town of Layfell after a freak magical accident, Albert is a young wizard who stems from a magical family. He carries with him a heavily-decorated farmer's hoe and amazing luck. The rest of his stuff is carried by a mule named Pippin.

The cultists ritual is interrupted by a surprise kobold attack. While the battle rages, a large demon is summoned from the center of the pentagram. The party only sees flashes of him, but they recall a large humanoid body covered in coarse red fur, a viscous-looking battle ax, and a massive head shaped like that of a boar. The demon enters into the fray, and the cultists and kobolds flee. As the demon gives chase, the party breaks free of their bonds and work their way out of the cave. They find the young cultist leader at the mouth of the cave, mortally wounded. The demon has vanished. Marcus heals the cultist and carries him on his back all the way to the town of Tellgart, where he gives him over to local priests to be tended to.

The Goblin Debacle: While travelling to Tellgart, the party finds a group of town guardsmen sifting through the wreckage of a destroyed farmhouse. They are informed by a local knight, Sir Ultrec, that goblins are responsible. That night, the group attends a town meeting that is supposed to address "the goblin menace" head-on. They find the leader of Tellgard to be a bumbling noble by the name of Count Astor. He has neither the brains nor the gold to remedy the situation, so Edmond takes matters into his own hands. With a rousing speech, he encourages men to join him tomorrow to assault the goblin lair responsible for the assault. Afterwards, he learns that the knights that normally protect Tellgart are far out west fighting an orc horde in defense of the Empire. Meanwhile, Marcus tries to warn people about the evil demon loose in the countryside. His warnings are ignored by the count, and the rest of the villagers are too preoccupied with the goblin threat to listen.

A Game of Nobility: That night, Sir Lautrec gets inebriated with some rambunctious dwarves. He wakes up (fully clothed) in the bed of a young girl. She wakes up and screams. As he moves for the window, Count Astor (the father of the young girl) bursts into the room. Lautrec flees and hides in the local inn, paying off the innkeeper to ward away guards. A hasty plan to escape the inn with the dwarves is foiled by men dressed in black, who pay off the innkeeper, murder the dwarves, and knock Lautrec unconscious. He awakens at the table of a wealthy noble by the name of Sir Hubert Wolfgang. Wolfgang is the Guardian of Coin in Tellgart, but aspires to be count. He plots with Lautrec to kill the count and his two successors- his son Jason and Sir Ultrec, Guardian of Blade in Tellgart. Lautrec agrees to this plan on the condition that he receives sponsorship from Wolfgang.

Raid on the Goblin Lair: Edmond marshals a mob of over 20 townsfolk and peasants. Joining them is Sir Ultrec, who disagrees with the mission but tags along to defend his people from harm. Unbeknownst to the party, young Jason Astor has also taken up arms in defense of the town, and has joined the mob. The mob travels most of the day to reach the cave. As they are about to enter, Sir Lautrec arrives on a riding horse, pledging to help in the battle. He takes SIr Ultrec and Jason Astor under his command. The raid is a success: dozens of goblin warriors fall, nearly 30 young goblins are butchered in their nests, and the rest flee the cave. During the battle, Jason Astor falls to a goblin spear. Sir Ultrec, distracted by grief, is murdered by Sir Lautrec in the darkness. Gold is found among the goblins' possessions, as is a magical silver dagger and a powerful hook-claw weapon.

Triumphant Return: The mob returns to town with their dead. When they arrive, they learn that Count Astor went mad after his daughter was raped by dwarves. He killed her and himself. With his next two heirs dead, the mantle of count falls on Sir Wolfgang. Four days later, Wolfgang is sworn in by the Duke of Bauchland, and Sir Lautrec is in turn re-knighted as Guardian of the Roads of Tellgart by Count Wolfgang. Meanwhile, Marcus and Zaros help townsfolk. Marcus sends a report about the demon to his order, and requests an official investigation into the matter.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Known World after Session 1

Right now, the party is in the mountains west of Tellgart hunting goblins with a rag-tag army of townsfolk and peasants. Sir Lautrec is in the Tellgart Inn, hiding from town guards after he drunkenly broke into the Count's daughter's bedroom.

The red skull indicates where the party had their encounter with the cultists. The cave to the north is the exact location of the party (minus Sir Lautrec).