The Northwild: Manifest Destiny

Session 36: Every ROSARET has its thorns
In which closure is found via violence.

In attendance: Braktisur, Saza Loripine Spirewind, Gloria, and Flint

Part I

- So with the Crawling Throne destroyed, it’s time for Brak to finally get his vengeance against the man who abused him, the corrupt Grand High Crusader General of the Light: Rosaret!
- Saza disguises Brak as a page with polymorph. He goes into Rosaret’s tent and finds him as a disease-ridden old man shitting his lifeblood away (which brings him joy.) He convinces the other two pages to leave by “accidentally” tripping over the chamberpot.
- He’s about to kill the bastard when his hand is grabbed — by a beaten-up solar missing its wings.
- And that’s when things go south.
- In the tumult, Saza summons a fire elemental and casts blight on Rosaret. Much to her surprise, this kills him outright. Brak says we can leave now.
- This unfortunately does not disperse or desummon the angel. Which gets pissed off and kills Saza and downs Brak — all in the space of a single round (!).
- Gloria bashes the angel and runs for it. A crusader asks her if the fire elemental it just saw go into the tent is still there. “Yes, but it’s changed form!” The soldiers form up but aren’t sure whether or not to attack. The angel makes up their minds for them by cleaving straght through them.
- Having taken no damage yet, Flint tells Gloria to take off with Brak and Saza’s corpse. Knowing he has no chance of taking the thing, Flint resorts to trash talk. Eventually, he strikes a nerve. The angel teleports behind him and grabs him by the neck. (Triggering Flint’s seizure curse — which is by the way kind of the worst thing ever.)
- That’s when Father Bertio — an elderly priest and Brak’s father figure — creeps up behind the solar and strikes it from behind with banishment. He nails it (1). The fallen angel goes back from whence it came.
- In the aftermath, it turns out that the fallen angel and Rosarette have been pulling the church’s strings for a long time. A lot of the army’s more immoral actions — including the raiding of civilian supplies — can be traced straight back to him. In penance, Perrinar and Hawthorne decide they’re going to go after the death knight. Since the road doesn’t appear to be agreeing with Father Bertio, Flint suggests that he set up shop at Dauntless and stay close to Brak.
- Brak and Gloria head back to Dauntless to get Saza rezzed. While she’s dead, though, Saza has a conversation with the Raven Queen (who initially appears in the form of Squib.) (Fun fact: she and Marthammor are besties!)

Total XP: 9250 XP (more fun with CR 20 creatures!)

Treasure: TBD (Gloria raided Rosarette’s chifferobe for bling when no one was looking)

Part II

- Weeks later, we head up north to help Perrinar and Hawthorne track down the death knight. Going through Bael Turath, we make sure the refugees we met make it back to their village.
- While on the road, we got attacked by trolls when a certain someone I won’t mention(2) falls asleep on watch. After the initial shock, we take care of them without too much trouble.
- As we move further north, we come across Mordrick’s Factory. Flint takes note of the location.
- Finally coming across the death knight’s tracks, we head into the wilderness. In the process, we come across two packs of canines fighting — one side being two-headed death dogs, and the other being these weird human-faced things (3). Before we can move on, they turn on us when they detect easier prey. Saza takes the initiative and cheerfully uses chemical warfare (aka cloudkill) to clear out the warring packs. The other hounds go down fairly easily, but one gets Victor with a diseased bite, which means Gloria forces us to go home so Mac can cure it.

XP: 1800 XP (trolls) + 2000 XP (hounds) + 1000 XP (session bonus because Dan has nearly enough to level up (4))

(1) Ryan rolled two crit fails in a row for the solar’s saving throws.
(2) It was Brak. He made up for it later by rolling two twenties. It was that kind of session.
(3) Yeth hounds.
(4) FYI Flint is now level 13.

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Session 35: Scry The Throne
Power Word Biff

Attending: Saza Loripine Spirewind, Iskandar, Flint, Sir MacDougal Wyth, Gloria, Sir Calaph di Sutherland,

{editors note; at Shelby’s request, I’ve been asked to ‘punch up’ my progress reports to the Duke to add a more humanoid interest angle. While I resent this impingement on my creativity, I told them I’d give it a go if they promised to tell me where they keep the good pens.}

The day I saw the world end in flames

We set out to negotiate a cease fire between Bael Turath and the Crusaders of Lathander who have been in conflict ever since Rosarette led the knights north. Both sides feel equally aggrieved and disinclined to trust each other. When Saza and Iskandar arcane eye the Crawling Throne, however, they discover that the throne is not weeks away from discovering the ancient mass grave, but days. Days until the world ends. We do more recon, discovering that the Throne is a series of platforms carried by zombies and pulled by undead giants. A Dracolich and cultist-operated catapult provides aerial support, a massive organ seems to mesmerize the undead legions, and in the center is the Hex Lich that rules them all. It’s a mess. And it’s almost at its goal.

The day I realized I was the only one who couldn’t hear the voice of God.

We teleport to Bale Turath, grab some supplies and a letter of introduction from Ambassador Karakass Endell, and head towards the two armies in the field to convince them that the real enemy is the Throne. It’s….challenging. Both sides are stubborn and planning treachery. Fortunately, they both agree to attack the Throne while we conduct a more surgical strike. Commander Perrin, however, has received orders from High Command to betray the Bael Turath forces, which is kinda stretching the definition of ‘neutral good’ if you ask me. We plead with him to act with more honor. Bael Turath promises to do their part, which should have been a warning sign, in retrospect.

The day I left my home to find something more.

The day of the attack is overcast and stormy, thanks to some divine intersession. As the armies harry the front left of the Throne, a sabotage team of Sir Renfro, Sir Georg of Caer Greenwald, and Captain Vyentuk goes for the catapult. We strike from the air, with Mac and Saza on flying carpet, Calaph on his owl, Gloria and Flint on Victor, and Iskandar riding himself in bird form (dirty). Our plan is to free a captive frost giant in the hopes that he fucks things up. We’re immediately met by the Dracolich, which engages with Gloria and Flint, while Saza and Mac descend to the giant. Iskandar dive bombs the Dracolich, which shakes him off, bites him, and temporarily strikes fear in Flints heart, causing him and Gloria to battle over Victor’s reins. Iskandar is freewill and fails to thorn whip lasso the Dracolich, who slashes, wing slaps and bites us. Then the catapult fires.

The day I lost everything.

Mac and Saza free the giant and turn it invisible, so now a massive empty space is smashing zombies left and right. Sabotage team launches the catapult not at the Lich, but at the massive organ, destroying it and breaking the Lich’s hold over the horde of undead. Meanwhile, Calaph is knocked off his owl and starts falling as the Dracolich readies a breath weapon. Flint channels Lara Croft and rope arrows the Dracolich. He swings underneath it, causing it to loose it’s aim, and then tangles its wings in the rope. It plummets to the ground, ultimately crashing into the catapult and killing Captain Vyentuk [DECEASED] in the process. Two vampires arrive and leave in short order after getting fireballed, frost giant-ed, thunderwave cannonballed, and raked by giant bird talons. Calaph grabs his owl’s serpentine tail and descends low enough to jump onto Baba’s back. He checks the package strapped to the owl and commands it to climb. Reunited on the Crawling Throne platforms, the party confronts the Lich.
As we approach, we attempt to take the initiative by killing the zombies supporting the Lich’s platform. This works, but Flint gets cursed for his trouble. Calaph gives the signal and something begins to fall from the sky: EV-9D9, the battle droid we brought Back from the Future. Lightning strikes it several times, causing it to power up and enter ‘combat mode’, just as a Bonestrider arrives to flank us. We confidently descend on the Lich with curses, lighting and dispel magicks.
The Lich casts power word kill on Saza.

The day I discovered the power I had inside me.

Power Word Kill is one of the most powerful spells in the world. Counterspell is known to almost any semi-literate hedge mage. The chances of successfully countering an instant death spell is maybe 10%.
Saza does it.
The Lich strikes back with life disruptions and Lair effect, but now we’re in mêlée range. Gloria finally throws down her gods-damn bow and fire up her lightsaber, charging in on victory to swipe at the Lich. From the beginning, Sir Calaph had argued for a decapitation strategy. Most thought he was being figurative. Baba leaps across a chasm of grasping zombie hands and Calaph, infused with divine power, takes the Lich’s head from its shoulders. The Lich’s Phylactery, spread throughout the army, glows brightly, as a rapid-firing EV-9D9 starts to get overwhelmed by zombies. Saza, still shaking from her miraculous save, unloads her magic missile wand on the softened up Bone Strider.
We grab the Lich’s body, get on our mounts, and flee as the EV-9D9 goes critical. For a moment, there is no sound. Then a deafening roar as the Battle Droid ignites and obliterates the Crawling Throne. In the aftermath, we confirm the Lich is no more and help the survivors of the battle bury their dead. Bael Turath ended up betraying the Crusaders, but at least Perrin didn’t betray his beliefs. We return home to Castle Dauntless, wounds mending, friends mourned, apocalypse cancelled.

Today. Because today I can still make a difference.

XP: 12,400. Damn.
Loot: items taken from the cultists.
[In a quiver on a deceased Crusader sharpshooter] x3 Lightning arrows (+2d8 lightning damage and 1d8 lightning damage to all creatures within 5 feet of a struck target, no save)
x2 Net Arrows (Target entangled until they make a DC15 Athletics/Acrobatics to escape)
x2 Rope Arrows
x3 Healing Arrows (Heals 2d8 to struck target)

-Battle Standard of Dawn: When planted in the ground as an action, it grants the same buffs as bless to all allies in 60 feet of the standard. If a foe drops the standard, the same stats are debuffed accordingly until it is raised again.

[Lich] Robe of Scintillating Colors

[Lich] Spellbook with the ritual to become a lich, an advanced version of it to spread one’s phylactery about, an interpretation thereof for making demiliches (which can be further blunted to make flame skulls) Every spell listed in the entry for “Lich” in the MM

[Lich] Staff of Skulls – It’s a staff made of skulls. Go figure. +1 to save DC of necromancy spells, and 1d6 charges of Animate Dead per day. Undead made in this way are permanent. This staff slowly but surely corrupts its user.

[Cult Leader – killed by Crusaders] Pallid Mask – Grants advantage on saves VS gaze attacks. Makes one immune to the Hex Lich eye. Looks spooky.

[Found in the cultist’s quarters] Scrolls: x2 Bestow Curse, x3 Speak with Dead, x2 Feign Death, x1 Locate Creature, x1 Word of Recall, x1 Forbiddence, x1 Symbol ,x1 Divine Word, x4 Cure

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Session 34: War! Huh? What Is It Good For?

We head North by way of Bael Turath, but we don’t spend too long in the city itself. The place rubs Flint the wrong way, and I am growing tired of hearing about my dancing skills. Not far from the city, we find a massive shanty town where refugees from the farmlands have set up camp. It’s not a pretty picture. A woman named Sishenna explains just how bad things are since they were driven from their homes by the presence of the undead and the fighting between Bael Turath and the Crusaders of Lathander. We delay our scouting a day while Mac buys some warm clothes for the freezing people, and we promise to do what we can for them. Apparently some of them want to leave Bael Turath, but the tiefling Council of 666 treats their common folk as little more than slaves. Note to self: start working on disguises.

Also, it’s a good thing we stayed a bit longer. The camp was attacked by ettins in the night and we were able to help fend them off. Flint was …. bloodthirsty, but effective.

A couple days west of the refugee camp we find the trail of the throne, still making its way north. There are also some weird lights painting the sky in unnatural colors, Mac thinks it’s a sign of something big is about to happen. Maybe Saza will know more?

The first life we see in the farmlands is some scouts from the Crusade. They bring us to a nearby village to speak with their commander, Major Janica Hawthorne. She seems decent enough, and is just as frustrated as we are that the two armies cannot stop fighting each other long enough to deal with the undead threat. When we fill her in on what they’re looking for, she’s even more worried. Mac sends word to the other Crusaders through some of the folks he met before, and we offer to bring Ser Caliph up to see if he can help with their faltering truce, but Janica has more immediate worries.

Turns out a mercenary captain named Chernow is not up the (ammitedly lacking) moral standards of the Crusaders, and she’s got a mutiny on her hands. We agree to help her with her problem, but I’m still pissed that she seems to think she’s the good guy in all of this. Just because her boss ORDERED her to pillage the countryside, doesn’t mean what they’re doing to these people isn’t wrong. At least she and her men have the decency to be ashamed once they learn that the people their torturing are less than willing participants in the war currently destroying their homes. Hypocrites.

But one problem at a time. Captain Chernow is about fifteen times worse than the rest of them, and thinks this war gives him free reign to rape and pillage his way trough the countryside. He and some of his men are planning to attack if Janica won’t step down and let them keep doing whatever the hell they want. We do our part to help prepare for the battle. Flint lays some traps, Mac helps boost morale and helps our fledgeling commander find her groove, while I play some mind games with the enemy troops. Side note: my reputation around Bael Turath is starting to get a little weird. I’m some sort of clumsy oaf in daily life that turns into a true terror on the battlefield. There’s potential there I can work with.

The battle goes well for us. Between the traps and Flint’s archers, their vanguard fell apart fast, and Mac basically destroyed half their army on his own. Do not piss off that dwarf or his god. Chernow thought he could outsmart us by flanking the town with some fo the cavalry and going after the few civilians that were still around, but I stayed back with some fo the horses Flint stole just in case he tried to pull something like that. It did not go well for him.

No time for celebration though. The battle wasn’t even finished when a swarm of undead came over the horizon, led by a towering deathknight on a flaming horse. We got the people out of there as fast as we could, and he seemed content to let us go. The thing made it clear that the Crawling Throne doesn’t want us there, so we better get back up there real fast.

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Session 33: Deck the Mak’Nathals with bowels of folly!
Walking in a Neverwinter Wonderland

Attending: Saza Loripine Spirewind, Gloria, Tobbar Riker, Sir Calaph di Sutherland, Flint
Observing: Tobbar’s girlfriend

It’s February 7 and it’s cold in the Northwild.

Dashing through the Snow

  • Tobbar Riker emerges from his laboratory needing a special ingredient for a new potion: the tip of the tongue of an orcish matriarch. That’s a metaphor, right?
  • No, no it wasn’t.
  • After some thin justifications about whether or not tongues regenerate, we head north to the orc camp that apparently was there the whole time, just waiting for us to notice it.
  • We run into bearfucker Hendrick, dressing a deer with abandon. Gloria’s new mount, a griffon named Victor, takes the deer’s skull as a toy, and Hendrick warns us that the orcs are dangerous. Sir Calaph di Sutherland buys his carved-bone chess set.
  • Later on, we free some humans and hobgoblins who were turned into tormented trees by an orcish shaman. Dick move.

Hot Mayonnaise with a side of steak

  • Beautiful clear skies!
  • We come upon the orcs in the midst of Mak’Nathal, a relatively peaceful time when Orcs don’t wage war and give each other presents (which might be a dagger in the gut, we’re told). * Our presents to them end up being a bone carved chess set, a painted skull, some flying dwarf fists, a scroll of identify, and, of course, 2 gallons of hot mayonnaise.
  • Okay, was that a metaphor??
  • The camp is alive with the song of Mak’Nathal!

Most days it’s war and blood for all
But we halt on Mak’Nathal
A blessed day of keeping the long view!
Orcs never give, they only take
But every shield must bend and break
If it never meets the smith’s expert hands
And so we share with each berserker
Words, good food, and a hauberk’er
Two. It’s what we do on Mak’Nathallllllll

  • While Flint settles some racial scores, Sir Calaph sputters in the face of Zemankur, one of the orcs who fell in the golem factory in Session 29. He now has a limp, but his daughter can’t walk at all. Sir Cal gives them the chess set as a rather insane compensation.
  • A venerable orc named G’Urukh tells Tobbar that to get what he seeks (which, let’s not forget, is the tip of the tongue of living being), the party must walk the Koon Ut’Khali, a hallucinogenic vision quest. Sans mounts, we all crowd into a sweat lodge and soon find ourselves in misty-shrouded snowy vale.

I’m Dreaming of a Koon Ut’Khali

  • We’re not alone! We are joined by an fierce warrior halfling, a teen halforc in medieval workout clothes, and a cadre of elf rangers, led by Lineradil, who is known to Flint from his upbringing.
  • This is clearly some sort of magical land. Is it real? Is it a dream? IS IT A METAPHOR???
  • We slog our way through a pond, solving riddles and getting spanked by tentacles, a prelude to the later BDSM delights of this land.
  • Shouts draw us to a red-suited old man being menaced by three krampuses…krampi? One of them is a Krampus Lich and no, I didn’t know that was a thing either. As we engage the Krampae, Saza returns on her flying carpet, only to have an undead reindeer shoot her with nose-mounted heat weapon.
  • Tobbar gets whipped up into a Krampus sack, but an ingenious use of shockwave rockets him out as Flint hacks and slashes some peppermint scented blood.
  • Gloria runs and guns while Sir Calaph pick and rolls, and Saza fireballs the undead Rudolph who takes flight and knocks Saza off of her flying carpet.
  • Flint crit fails a lightning arrow, but fortunately isn’t near any harddrives, and he makes up for it by wasting Rudolph. The rest of the Krampi fall to the party and Santa rewards us all with presents. We apologize for killing his magical caribou, but he laughs like a bowl full of jelly and says “The mutation comes back every few years, there will be another Rudolph soon. At this point we’re about 8 Rudolph’s deep.”
  • When Santa isn’t looking, Tobbar cuts off Rudolph’s nose, in case you were worried he wouldn’t desecrate a corpse on this adventure.

Questions are gifts, Elven Commandos are thieves

  • We arrive at the Chasm home of the wise old orc woman. Saza plays magic carpet Uber driver for us, and Tobbar solves a fun little (s)laughter pun puzzle and we’re inside, ready to claim our prizes.
  • Fortunately, the next thing that happen does not involve slicing off a tongue, but rather the receipt of a coffee plant.
  • The warrior woman shows up to find out how to turn a bag of bones back into her brother (soup), the halforc asks how to defeat an orcish chief (bum knee), and the elves show up to kidnap the wise woman (dicks). Flint attempts to put them off by giving them his Menorah of Guidance, and then the wise woman sweeps them back to their land, and us to ours.

These orcish delights have orcish ends

  • We emerge from the sweat lodge and immediately start fighting for our lives against a horde of orcs. It’s touch and go.
  • Saza cone of colds and machine gun missiles, but gets dropped by Zemankur!
  • Tobbar wastes some skirmishers before also getting dropped by Zemankur!
  • Gloria ends up in pitched battle, dealing some good hits, but taking a fair amount herself.
  • Sir Calaph attempts to calm emotions before he and Baba wail on G’Urukh, with both ending up within one lighting blast away from dying.
  • Flint manages to stay on his feet and cuts a bloody swath through a number of orcish foes.
  • Eventually, Zemankur loses his temper and charges Calaph right before he loses his head to a divine smite. G’Urukh turns the rest of the orcs into eagles and attempts to flee, but Gloria and Victor give chase. They almost get zapped by fatal lighting, but fate is on their side and they bring down a junior druid AND G’Urukh!
  • Bloodied, Battered, but Unbowed, we return to Dauntless with a ton of stuff scoured from the orcish camp and the bodies of the fallen:

+ Crook of Calling (Staff) – When casting a conjuration spell, the save DC is increased by one, and any creature summoned by the wielder gains +1 Hit die. This hit die is maximized. This staff is fashioned of seared driftwood. Atop it is a massive bell that chimes with foreboding, It is always kinda loud.

+ Stalker’s Gorgonmail (As Scale Mail but available to druids. Does not incur disadvantage on stealth). Scales expertly assembled from the hide of a gorgon, and thus, composed of natural elements and not in defiance of a druid’s tenets.

+ Fletcher Catcher (Tower Shield – As a shield but permits you to use your reaction to gain 3/4ths cover vs. any ranged attack. This enchanted shield also provides resistance to damage from non-magical ranged attacks). A shield emblazoned with a complicated heraldic array, dominated by white, blue, and gold enameling.

+Slithering Mantle: A black cloak that causes your shadow to move and waver of its own accord. Adds +10 feet to any teleportation spell/ability

+Crone’s Eye Pact Necklace: A blinking, rheumy eye on a chain made of finger bones (Adds 1d6 damage to your eldritch blast, and you may pry a secret from the mind of a target hit by this attack. This ability refreshes after a short rest)

+Ring of Malfeasant Whispers: Grants a +2 to ARCANA rolls made regarding fiends, the 9 Hells, The Abyss, or similar topics. This ring is made of a pure, smooth, dark read stone. Staring at it too long creates a sense of deep anxiety.

LOOT: All art and gems worth 50 gp: 2 Quartz, 1 Sardonyx, 2 Zircon, x1 Chrysoprase, A pristine Megaloceros hide blanket, Hobgoblin Battle Standard (Eagle with a helmet on), Ornate orcish headress, Gold inlaid captain’s cape

+ Enough food for Caer Greenwold to last a week if you can transport it.

COIN: 2,000 GP | 59 PP | 7,800 SP

Merry Mak’Nathal to all, and to all a good trip down the Koon Ut’Khali!

XP: 6500

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Session 32: Coming up with puns is a real BASTION sometimes.
Golems, guards, and good times.

Flint’s log. Northwilds Year One.

Active adventurers: Flint, Sir MacDougal Wyth, Gloria (with her new griffin mount), Iskandar

February 29th: about a hundred dwarf refugees arrive from Khal Therum in the middle of a blizzard. They’re fed up with the King. Mac made arrangements to shelter them at Caer Greenwald. Supplies are short there, but they should be alright for the moment.

March 1-2: We pick up Vientuk. Mac can tell you more about that.

March 3: Set out from Caer Greenwald for the factory. Explored on the way. Iskandar explodes birds sometimes.

March 4:

  • Went into the factory. Place was dead. Huge, metal-eating maggots all over the place. Avoided them and headed to the office.
  • Ran into golem trouble in this hallway with conveyer belts. Vientuk was helpful. Iskandar fell into a molten metal pit and came out a spider.
  • After that, Vientuk and Iskandar stayed back to cover us.
  • Got into the office. Mac tried to banish the demon; didn’t take the first time. Casting the spell activated a Shield Guardian right on top of us, of course. I attacked it, got burned. Gloria took out an animated tablecloth on my back and called in her griffin; it managed to finish the thing off. In the midst of things, Mac got the demon banished.
  • Raided Camarata’s library. Grabbed whatever was left in the food stockroom for Caer Greenwald.
  • Weren’t equipped to blow up the factory altogether, but found the blueprints for Einarr to take a look at.
  • Explored further up the road. Found desert out past the factory. Came across this big party being thrown by a guy named Garakthur. Macdougal got us in with a growler of ale. Thought this was… suspicious. (Where do they get the food from?) I got some wine and listened to music. Macdougal stuck with Garakthur and tried to figure things out; got wasted. Gloria had a bath and a fight — at the same time.

March 5:

  • When we woke up, party was still there. Garakthur said we’re welcome back at any time. Vientuk decided to stay. We promised to send on his hobgoblin buddies.
  • We explored further up the road. Found the Highlanders. Came across a big fortified town, under a blue and white flag. Guards called the place Fife Bastion. Said something about the “Royal Decree” — a hand-to-hand combat tournament to determine who the queen’s next consort will be. Dwarves need not apply.
  • Big temple at the center of town is completely locked down. Inside is infested with undead.
  • Found an adventurer’s guild that’s been converted into an inn called The Prayer and Slayer. We convinced the barkeep into clearing out the old portal room.
  • Meanwhile, Gloria was putting her griffin into a stable when a woman came out of nowhere and shoved a bag into her chest. Turned out to be full of gold clerical ornaments. We had Mac take a look; turned out to all be fake stuff from a cleric of Loki. Naturally, it was stolen; the thief showed up looking for it later on. Mac thought she was trying to pass the blame on us, so he blew her out of the window with thunderwave. Thief name’s Loose Lips. We wound up recruiting her for Calaph’s spy network. Bail was conditional on her staying out of Fife’s Bastion from now on. Mac took her back to Dauntless.
  • Gloria found a guy to make her griffin armor.

Goals Accomplished:

  • Banished the demon in Camarata’s factory
  • New location discovered: Garakthur’s Oasis
  • New location discovered: Fife Bastion
  • Quest unlocked: The Royal Decree
  • Quest unlocked: Cathedral of the Dead

Books recovered from Camarata’s library:

  • Phantoms of the West (adventure story about… well… adventurers)
  • Armies of the Ancestors (mythology)
  • Officers of Light (a buddy paladin mystery)
  • Kids and Kittens (primer on Common for halfling children)
  • Sinners of the South (southern thriller of some kind; may be of interest to Irakli)
  • Angry with the Pants (comedic autobiography of a court jester)
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Session 31: Bael Turath is a hell of a town
Do the crime, pay the fine

Attending: Flint, Sir Calaph di Sutherland, Saza Loripine Spirewind, Gloria, Irakli

It’s an overcast February 24, and the weather is a chilly 15º!

Cast Mending on our Fences

  • _Prior to the adventure, Flint and Mac kills Camarata, get Caer Greenwald wrecked, and Sir Orin dismembered. (Mac Note: Saza and I were defending the keep when our horned prisoner was so brutally done away with) Anywho…_
  • The first rule of Gloria is to start fight club. Gloria gets some underground fighting pits started and the guards love it. She’s 1-2 so far!
  • Sir Calaph di Sutherland meets with a super-maimed Ser Oran of Cottonwood and gets him a little pep talk and makes him Master of Whispers in the burgeoning diplomacy network. Flint is also starting to outfit him with a prosthetic using golem parts.
  • We decide to investigate Bael Turath, and the shortest distance between two points is a dwarf. That requires a significant amount of negotiating with Khal Therum as they were ‘at war’ with us. Some gentle overtures gets them down to Hostile, and they let us teleport through…for a fee. When they give us a through TSA pat down, Flint starts to speak and Saza polymorphs him into a teacup pig to ease the passage. Flint….doesn’t like this. Calaph tries to smooth things over by giving the gatekeepers a cast of ale from it don’t matter where.
  • On our way east, we encounter a rookery for hippogriffs and a treasure cache containing multiple erotic art objects and a motherfucking ROD OF LORDLY MIGHT, which Gloria takes possession of.
  • Irakli’s cat, Kata, and Baba become friends! Cats are good!
  • We pass by the giant keep and do some spying: a massive wall blocks off part of the valley and there are fire giant heads on spikes, which is troubling.

Bael Turath: city of meph-ights!

  • Tielfings, everywhere! As well as all kinds of folk. Turns out that Bael Turath is the most advance metropolitan city in the Northwild. It’s beautiful in a 1980’s brutalism kinda way, albeit literally filled with devils.
  • Fun fact: The main gates were featured in the pantomime “The Devil’s Advocate” starring al’Pacino, a famous elven bard.
  • The guards, er, ‘Peacemakers”, need to be bribed, which means we have less erotica for the time being.
  • The city turns out to be devlish, but overall very mundane, with posted laws, peddlers of all kinds, and little urchins.
  • The party splits up. Gloria, warrior on fleek, and Sir Calaph meet with Ambassador Karakass Endell in the chainway district. He is a fan of the bloodsports and knows Terynon somehow.
  • Flint goes wandering, spotting the massive colossus Tielfing in the harbor that functions as a lighthouse and the city center/buildings in the shape of outstretched claw, and discovering an abandoned Adventurer’s Guild in the city.
  • Saza and Iraklı infiltrate the Library of the Severed Stacks. While exploring the lower levels, Irakli finds and purloins a damaged copy of the book he’s looking for. He sets off a bit of an alarm and commits the finable offense of magiking-on-literary-grounds. He attempts to run, but is intercepted by a peacemaker and is forced to pay an 80 gold fine.
  • Overall, the city is literally filled with devils, and has a strong BDSM vibe, but it’s not the demonic chaos realm we were led to believe it was.

Bloodsports Illustrated

  • Sir Calaph gets the group to agree to a bloodsport team match because it will help build connections to Ambassador Karakass and the city in general. A dark idea!!
  • The night before, some of the group hit the town with Drobad the Knife, a gladiator with a knife. Gloria tries to urge moderation, earning her the nickname ‘Mom’. Sir Calaph licks a drug fish, gambles his way into some coin, drinks, and does something unmentionable with a pig faced woman. Fun night.
  • The next day, the group is redubbed Barracuda, Gore-ia, The Purrrfect Warrior, and Flint the Dwarf Machine. They face off against a tough little group in the bloodsport arena.
  • Gloria gets herself in the thick of fighting but manages to extricate herself and deal some lordly damage.
  • Flint pulls off some sneaky surprises and ends up using a rope arrow to pull a flying pyromancer into a Home Alone sequence of traps.
  • Saza Loripine Spirewind flings some spells with the climax being a polymorph on a warlord that turns him into a disintegratable turtle.
  • Sir Calaph di Sutherland commands and chops his way across the field, and lays hands full-on on Gloria (respectfully).
  • Flint also attempts to show mercy to one of the combatants, but Drobad won’t have any of it and delivers a brutal coup-de-grace.
  • Councilwoman Lady Verinstrike offers us all a boon: Sir Calaph asks for a carriage to act as a mobile office for maintaining diplomatic relations, Flint asks for access to the Adventurer’s Guide, Saza asks for [something], and Gloria asks for big nice animal friend
  • We’ve finally visited Bael Turath! No sign of the crawling throne however…

XP: 5200 for most of the party, 2600 for Irakli for staying out of the final fight

Postscript: The morning after the party returns to Castle Dauntless, a haunted looking Sir Calaph can seen in a nearby icy stream, igniting his sword and plunging it into the icy waters until it is extinguished, over and over and over again…

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Session 30: Take a look, it’s in a book: a fire demon
Yass Fiend!

Attending: Irakli, Iskandar, MacDougal Wyth, Saza Loripine Spirewind, Sir Calaph di Sutherland

Date: February 16

The S’No’s of Winter

  • We head towards the ruins of an Ioun Abbey that is rumored to have a library beneath it. We’re seeking 1) Irakli’s lost magic book, 2) Information about the Crawling Throne.
  • Recon provides with 4 facts and ONE LIE. We charge forward blithely. The main thing we know about the temple is that is spooooky and overly warm!
  • Enroute to the Abbey, we dodge an owl bear hunting party, and come across a decaptiated dryad, prompting Saza to declare that is has die-ad.
  • An, um, autopsy, reveals it was also gored, and scrying reveals the culprit to be a pack of highlander skinwalkers. We put a pin in their justice until later, contenting ourselves with boring the Dryad in her tree.
  • An evening campfire has us asking ourselves “what is the most evil thing you have done?”. Our answers look positively quaint in retrospect: arson, blood rages, terrorism, mind ripping, and betrayal. We will be adding to this list by the end of the adventure.

Drinking lib-tears from book cucks

  • The Abbey is in ruins, but the stained glass windows showing be-candled scholars are still in great condition
  • A guardian gargoyle only permits scholars holding candles into the temple, which means we quickly descend into mêlée.
  • A glorious flaming skull enchants Saza while the gargoyle loses a tail (and the masterwork * battle ax it was holding). Turns out we’re all good at killing things. The flaming skull dies screaming, as does Saza’s dreams of being turned into one (for the moment).
  • Getting into the vault below the temple requires solving a prime number puzzle, which we don’t do, opting to brute force our way in via chime. After spraying the floor for glyphs, which puts the kibosh on a sneaky entrance, we discover a cadre of goblins doing some unauthorized historical revisionism, escorted by a cambien and one two many bearded devils. Not wanting to get embroiled in extra planer politics, we decide to proceed cautiously, which means everything descends into chaos immediately.

Goblinoidus Interuptus

  • Battle in the stacks!
  • MacDougal Wyth’s botched stealth check kicks things off, which means it’s banishing time! The cambien gets deplaned and Mac retreats to avoid breaking his concentration, letting his his magic weapon do his fighting for him.
  • An invisible Saza Loripine Spirewind gets off a good headshot double tap with eldritch blast, runs down some goblins, and unloads a magic missile machine gun to earn the BadAss of the Night™ award.
  • Sir Calaph di Sutherland starts a flame war before losing Baba to rapidly multiplying bearded devils. Then he issues his CHAMPION CHALLENGE which remains a meaningless gesture.
  • After summoning a truly clutch gargoyle, Irakli gets harassed by an iced-over nilbog and tries to keep out of the fray because wizard.
  • And Iskandar becomes a giant spider, which is still fucked up. He shoots webs among the books, creating the world’s first internet, and then rustles up some dire wolves, which I guess would be the world’s first packet sniffers.
  • We mop up the hirsute-faced devils and the goblins which means no interrogations this time.

Blurred Lay Lines

  • In a room for forbidden books, we meet four prisoners and a really fucked-up book that has become the pied-à-terre for a* possessing demon.* He does what he does and possess one of the prisoners. But which one! The one acting like a dick, that’s who.
  • We do the normal thing and stab his book with a fire sword, ripping a dimensional hole in the floor to a plane of fire. Saza supermarket sweeps some books before we seal the room and the emerging fire elemental beside us.
  • Our homage to John Carpenter’s The Thing ends with multiple banishments of the demon and some real cleric heavy lifting.
  • As the demon vows revenge, Sir Calaph makes sure they know the name of their true enemy: Flint the Dwarf. Yup, that’s right, his name is Flint, Flint the Dwarf, F-L-I-N-T, best friends with the Dread Pirate Irving, no question about it.
  • Releasing the prisoners, we meet Narathon the Sage, a mage from the group of reclusive elves to the North. He warns us that they want to be left alone, but if we do meet them, a secret phrase will keep them from killing us outright (he whispers this phrase in Irakli’s ear).
  • We also meet Gwen, who is not a cultist, and who Sir Calaph recruits for his growing mail delivery system.
  • Irakli gets a lead that an unfinished copy of his book lies to the north
  • We learn the Crawling Throne is likely seeking an evil mass grave related to Bael Turath. If they find this mass grave, it’s bad news, so maybe we should find it first.

XP: 4080 per party member
Loot: Masterwork Battle Ax, a bunch of spell books that Saza grabbed (DM to fill in later)

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Session 29: Camarata Dentata
No plan survives contact with the frenemies

Attending: Flint, Gloria, Irakli, Iskandar, MacDougal Wyth, Saza Loripine Spirewind, Sir Calaph di Sutherland

If you want to make a god laugh, cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter

  • It was early in February that we gathered around the war table/brew buffet and shared glasses of (insert brews) while Macdougal delivered a sermon about being “works in progress”. A omen for the coming events, if ever there was one!
  • We spent a week preparing for our planned abduction of Camarata. Scrying and prayers seemed to offer useful information for the operations. I say seemed because they….uh….they didn’t. Still, we trained and bought magic items and did mathematical calculations and did everything we should have done other than, you know, actually scouted the factory, which in hindsight should have been something we added to the agenda.
  • Iskandar gave us a report that a dwarven caravan of envoys was en route to Camarata’s factory. Some backchanneling with Morivkraft from the eastern fortress indicated that he was aware of the Western fortresses dealings and that ‘competition is encouraged” between fortress commanders. He also indicated that if Asshole Wimp fka Drigtar of the 99 Fists was to be removed from power,Captain Vyentuk would take over and that would be to everyone’s benefit.

The Room Where It Happened

  • The party gained entrance to the factory with Sir Calaph impersonating a mustachioed Southern Lord named Reginald P. Wallingsburg, joined by Macdougal and Saza and a chest of beautiful gold!
  • Rather than arriving for a private audience with Camarata as they expected, the party instead joined a group of villainous scumbags and jollywastrels all bidding for Camarata’s operations for the coming year. Representatives from Kael Therum wanting to dig out the under dark, a contingent of orcs, a lord from south of the wall-er-mountains, and our old “friend” Vientuk, who is doomed as doomed can be.
  • Saza was sent away with the gold as Sir Calaph attempted to gain an upper hand in the negotiations. Nonsense followed!
  • Saza turned invisible in front of some robotic Rooks and “snuck” off towards Camarata’s office, which set off every alarm in the entire place. Sir Calaph and Mac were dumped onto a factor kill floor and left to fend for themselves.

Battle of the Bureau

  • The bulk of the party, which had been hiding in a bag of holding using some very sound calculations, was upended in the corridor in front of Camarata’s office and started to fight their way in.
  • Meanwhile, in the factory room, Sir Cal and Mac found themselves surrounded by mechanical constructs hell bent on disassembling the two heroes.
  • As Iskandar filled the upper levels with wolves, a rough battle ensued that involved Flint growing marginally as a character and Camarata getting turned into an adorable little pig.
  • Down Below, Sir Cal activated his serpentine owl, which helped even the odds long enough for Mac to unleash the Anti-Matter Rifle on the ceiling and drop some orcs onto the machines.
  • With a hole blown out the fourth floor of the factory, the main party beat a hasty retreat even as Mac and Sir Cal fled the blast furnace basement…only to be stopped by Clague and a contingent of Dwarves who demanded Mac hand himself over for, well, being a terrorist. And maybe they had a point, but they’re timing could not have been worse. After quickly dispatching the whole lot of them, Mac shoved Clague in a bag of holding.
  • Back at Caer (something), Mac resurrects Clague and send him back to Kael Therum with a warning. Flint begins his interrogation of Camarata

XP: 4000 each
LOOT: A wand of some kind, a weapon of some kind, a handful if interesting books including a treatise on the great libraries of The Northwild.

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Session 28: Shorty Squad
frontier justice

In Attendance:
MacDougal Wyth, Flint, Saza Loripine Spirewind, Gloria.

Start Date: January 31
Weather Conditions: Blizzard (non WoW/Overwatch variety)

Introducing: GLORIA and her glorious domination

Gloria, the halfling Kensei, arrives in the dead of January to join our ranks. She’s the first person to make purposeful use of the training room. Her igikai is “proving herself” and her interest in the Northwilds is delivering a hurting. Her words are shorter and more terse than her compact stature. We all take a shine to her right away and decide to head west of Caer Greenwold and begin to map things out west. We fjord the river by Marthammor Thuin Water Walkin’ right over it.

We come upon two Wyvern’s in the sub zero temps and they are less pleased to see us, as if we were some unnatural predator. We quickly prove that true when Saza reads a scroll of flight and allows to Gloria to bust out some Wuxia sword and bow action. Flint, newly infatuated with trick arrows, does his best rodeo impression by firing a rope arrow and hoping to lasso Wyvern No. 1 and crash it into Wyvern No. 2. Some confused expressions aside, we indulge our favorite awkward dorf and it goes swimmingly. Saza is buffed with Sanctuary and is functionally untouchable, so she menaces with her dagger and it goes well and we disgard the beasts. Flint and Gloria find them Wyvern eggs Tobbar Riker has been lusting for so long. 400gp in Potions for the party!

Gloria vs Drigtar of the 99 fists

The old Dwarf maps Flint had pointed us to some treasure located in a relatively frozen lake. Smart Saza does Smart Saza things and jumps (is tossed by Mac) into the lake and turns into a happy octopus to find the treasure. Gloria, Mac, and Flint see torches and recognize the colors of their tabards as the Red Hand. Flint hides for an ambush, Mac does the appropriate semi-fore gestures (thanks Sir Cal!) and Gloria glowers. This retinue though includes human conscripts and they start throwin’ shade our way, explaining that they find our Hobgoblin frenemies cowards for even talking with us and want to take a “tax” from our presence (read: all our good weapons). They have a Kensei with them: though who is itching to fight “the child”. Gloria prepares the next knotch in her spear of victorious battle as we arrange a duel to First Blood™. Drigtar gets the first strike but then Gloria promptly humilitates the hobgoblin mother fucker so badly he is canonically renamed “Asshole Wimp”. The Western Fortress Red Hand team leave and gives us 24 hours to clear out. Saza explodes out of the iced out lake with a big old treasure chest full of some sweet, sweet goodies. (final loot tally below).

The next morning Mac and Saza get their divining on and do the Scry/Arcane Eye combo. Mac learns a lot more about Drigtar and the land holdings of the Western Fortress (think 1950s suburban planning but farms and human slaves/workers). Saza learns a ton: the Western Fortress (here now referred to as Caer Bellswade) is an aquired fortress and heavily fortified. The hobgoblin territory is vast, and primarily east and west with a HQ located in the far Northwest. They don’t appear to keep any dragons, but they have specifics on troupe movements, have noted were a neighbor Orc tribe lives, and even have notes on Castle Dauntless (primarily the Eastern Fortress is plying us for weakness or ways to redirect us/buy us out). Of particular note is a chapel labeled “forbidden” and a fortress simply titled Camarata. This triggers Flint and we had off toward both those things.

The crew encounters a lost highlander. Magics help us accurately deduce Saza’s vision: he’s a wifebeater who is looking for his wife who ran out on him because he (repeatedly) beat up his wife. He attempts to reason. Gloria and Flint break his jaw and become bashing buddies. Mac breaks his hands and heals them as a reminder to that his habitual mistakes require greater contrition than “I’m sorry”.

Chapel Flameskull and Golems

Gloria has emboldened us out of caution, and she’s feeling pretty damn cold so we decide to camp out in the creepy abandoned chapel to Lathander. Turns out the gargoyles aren’t the stationary kind. Saza lights up with the Fireball special, Mac uses the sonic boom, and Flint and Saza decides to dimension door to safety in the rectory. Turns out the rectory and safety means meeting the resident Flameskull who is very infatuated with Saza and clearly a fan of her work. So much so the skull tosses out their own fireball in imitative flattery. Gloria and Flint end up sashiming the skull into dust and the last gargoyle eventually falls. We decide to camp out for the night and our friend Flameskull still has more to say. Mac spittakes some holywater at him and just says “no” (banishment).

We conclude our trip with a quick scout of the Castle/Foundry labeled “Camarata”. It is surrounded by perfectly synchronous Golem Knights. Inside we learn that Camarata has a variety of of contracts out: one for some hobgoblins, one with orcs, and one with the Dwarf King of Khal Tharum to build a golem that can “dig through mountainous rubble” so he can say RESTART HIS GENOCIDAL WAR AGAINST HIS OWN PEOPLE. Flint’s murder lust is wetted and he’s ready for more. We head home.

Total Loot:
Wyvern Eggs for the Party (Tobbar gives us 400 gp in potions and ‘something special’)
7 Art Objects- Each is worth 750 gp.
11 Gems-Each worth 500 gp
1st level spell scroll
A potion of healing
A potion of fire breath
1 Gold Piece stuck to the back of the chest that Saza personally takes.
An additional 11,000 GP in GEMS!
5th Level Spell-Dream (proprietary spell, disadvantaged on save if the spell is lusty/sexy)
Elven Chime of Opening. It has ten uses, and functions with Knock.
Bead of Force-60ft range. 5d4 Force Damage and Knocks Stuff Away.
(breaks down to about 5437 gp per party member present, excluding Wyvern eggs)

Total Hexes Cleared: 15!

Total XP: A lot. Ryan?

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Session 27: Should've known not to HAG-gle with a necromancer

The Adventuring Party: Flint, MacDougal, Teyrnon

I’m still not sure how it happened, but as Flint, Mac, and I were making our way to the Heath on the Hearth we found ourselves completely turned around in this strange mist. Next thing we know, we were at this in, but it was most certainly not Kar’ghul’s establishment. The gate was closed and it’s self-appointed guards were this bitch named Drotha Kreel and her brother Dreban (he was truly unbearable). Once it was clear that the three of us were not undead, they let us in and explained that they had also gotten lost and wound up at this in that shouldn’t exist. We went inside, and things only got weirder.

The Innkeeper was Grath, a human of immense girth, and the only landmark he could give us to explain where we were was some city called Baldur’s Gate, wherever the hell that is. The patrons were an eccentric mix with questionable fashion. One mousy looking girl had a massive pompadour and dark cloth covering her eyes, and don’t even get me started on the young man wearing an entire cow’s worth of leather who wouldn’t shut up about his mother.

Anyway, we split up and tried to get to the bottom of things. I talked with this mysterious adventurer who told me his name was Gorbek and literally nothing of value. Flint managed for the most part to avoid getting sucked into the Kreel sibling’s competition to see who could curse the most and shout the loudest, while Macdougal got his fortune read by the old dwarf lady sitting in the corner. Turned out her name was Shouja, and she was the only native of this weird realm we had stumbled into – Ravenloft, the plane of dread.

Shouja continued to read people’s fortunes, eventually getting to the mousy girl with the blindfold. That’s when her crystal ball showed us a familiar face: Khar’ghul alive again, dragging the corpse of a woman I didn’t recognize. I tried to reassure the young woman, but that was about when everything went to hell: the zombies were coming!

We barely managed to get the innocent bystanders into a safe corner before our fortuneteller and her accomplice revealed their own monstrous forms, leaving Mac and I to deal with a hag and a medusa while Flint and the Kreel’s tried to pick off the approaching undead. In the chaos it soon became clear that most of the patrons were not what they appeared. As it turns out, Gorbeck was more interested in stealing our things than trying to help any of us survive the night, probably because he was already dead himself. Meanwhile, Flint charmed Drotha so completely that she gave into her animal instincts. She transformed into a werewolf hell-bent on tearing out his throat. Of course, her brother wasn’t about to be outdone, and his wearbear form proved to be another added difficulty.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the plane itself had its own ideas about our own divine magic, trying to distort and corrupt it every time we attempted to draw on our powers. It must have gotten me, because I completely lost it, and nearly got myself killed in an attempt to hurt anything and everything that came within reach. It’s a good thing that Flint managed to deal with the zombies as quickly as he did and came down to lend us a hand, or I might have been the first to fall. We fought off most of the monsters, and Mac managed to rein in my sudden bloodlust, but not before I brought down one of the shapechangers. Before we could do anything to help him though, the mist disappeared taking the inn and everyone but the three of us with it. But Ravenloft had one last surprise in store for us before returning us to our home plane.

Khar’ghul appeared out of the void with some unsettling news: he had become a lich since losing his life in the battle of Kal Tharum, and our trip to the plane of dread had been his doing as he grew into his new powers. He offered us a warning as a token of our supposed friendship: the next time he sees us, he will kill us. That’s about the time that Mac turned the newly undead mage, and he ran off screaming that our end would be especially painful. Then his entire inn exploded to accentuate the point.

While we were out that way, we stopped by to check in on Lady Khemstoc, who I STILL couldn’t remember a damn thing about. I’m not sure what I expected, but the girl we met was not really the idea that Mac had given me. She and I came to an agreement, and well… I guess I’m a hedge knight now. Good thing I didn’t take her up on the loan she says she offered me back when I knew who she was. We also helped them get the portal in Caer Greenwold’s Adventuring Guild up and running, which should come in handy in the future, and Mac consecrated the site of Khar’ghul’s inn to make sure whatever else is still in the ground stays there.

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