zondag 10 maart 2013

The Lunar Slave Farm

The party lacks focus... (c) David Dunham
From Whitewall, the travel to Orlmarth territory is quick. The sorcerer's magic enables the party to keep running at a Leopards speed, and they arrive in Clearwine at sunset. The party get a Room in the Ram's Head Inn in Clearwine, and drink more than is good for them. They meet a Thane, Osric, who is also drinking heavily, and complaining about the Lunar oppression in general and the decadence of the Seven Mother Cultists in particular. The party make some good acquaintances and spend a heavy night.
The next day, at a a dying Red moon, the party starts investigating, but it is as if their spirits have left them. Nobody takes any initiative, and before noon, already they are sitting in the Inn, drinking the local wines, ciders and ales rather than preparing a plan of attack. Some of the party members find nothing better than pretending to be in the wine business in order to get some free drinks and samples, and they particularly annoy Alembic Curcuricson, a local major wine trader, with their drunken talk. It takes until the evening before they think of having a meeting with the Ernalda High Priestess, and by then their minds are less than clear. Still, the High Priestess recognizes their quest and tells them the story of the Colymar Council, and the banishment of Benava Chan and Kallai Rockbuster. That night the party goes to bed in a sombre mood. The Orlanthi still are reluctant to spring into action, although a full day has passed, and Jaya of Yelorna is getting restless.

Some secret information from an ancient tome...
The third day of the Dark Season, and a black moon rises. The party seems to be paralyzed with indecisiveness and unable to act. Herculon is ready for action, but without a plan. Raiko and Daerius further investigate the business opportunities the wine trade offers, without finding out much useful information. By nightfall, the party is once again in the Inn, a silent mood has taken over the heroes. Jaya, however, refuses to wait for a battle plan, and feels she must act. She manages to sneak up to one of the guard towers around the Slave Farm unseen, and attempts to surprise the guard. For several heartbeats it looks as if she is going to kill the three guards, but then bad luck hits, and she drops down, bleeding to death. With her last breath, she invokes her power of Yelorna, and makes sure what she has learned is transmitted to the rest of the party. This information, as will later become apparent, is the difference between life and death.
Alarmed by their vision of Jaya dying, the party finally springs to action. They learn of the earlier purpose of the Slave Farm site: a Issaries trading compound. They find an underground tunnel to the Slave Farm and manage to get in unseen. The second they are spotted, they find themselves in a large cave, and through the exit overhead several Lunar soldiers are preparing to open a large trellis, behind which the party can hear shrieks and furious howling. Before the Lunars manage to open the door to the monsters' lair, Giomanach manages to holdfast the locking mechanism, making it impossible to release the beast without powerful dispelling magic.
The party now quickly escape the cave through the opening, and after some brutal killing, they have managed to make a foothold for themselves. The building nearby has a balcony, on which a class of Lunar students is preparing a Lune spell. As more and more guards pour out of the door, and Herculon, Raiko and Daerius go butcher style, Giomanach is having a hard time keeping the troops channeled. Still, they manage and seem to start getting the advantage, when out comes a full Lunar Sorcerer. This fellow turns out to be a serious threat, and Giomanach exchanges a few spells, but the guards prove to be no match for the brutal combat experience of this party, and before the Lunar Mage can do more damage, he finds himself opposing five furious opponents. The Mage shapeshifts to his Griffin form, and, after looking Giomanach in the eye with a look full of revenge and hatred for a few seconds, flies off beyond reach.

zondag 3 maart 2013

Herculon becomes a Storm Acolyte

1622, End of the Earth Season

The reception committee

The party is received in the great hall, and encounters a number of famous Orlanthi. The High Priest tells them about the underground maze, and the acolyte challenge, and Herculon decides to take the test. The tunnels are magical in nature, and tend to change layout depending on the situation. They can lead to the evil town of Karse, into the Troll Woods, or into the ancient chaos remnants underground. The party decides to aid Herculon - passing the test of leadership - and they descend into the catacombs. Most of the threats are taken care of without too much trouble, but a headhunter poses a big problem. The beast carries a sorcerer's head and it has Daerius marked. The monster attempts to cut of the party using darkwall, but this is averted three times in a row, and the party understands they have no choice but to advance - passing the test of strategy - and hack the evil being to bits.


Skeleton agression.

The party then advances into another room filled with skeleton remains, and they rightly expect a trap - passing the test of insight - and walk in anyway - passing the test of courage. Sure enough, the bones form into skeletons, and it takes the party quite a bit of trouble to get the better of the undead, with Herculon narrowly escaping l;osing a leg and prematurely ending the examination.Herculon distinguishes himself with four decapitations. Daerius also fights bravely, and separates two skeleton heads from their bodies. After the fight the party returns a magical sail to the High Priest, and Herculon becomes a proud Acolyte of Orlanth. The party has some opportunity to do business with some of the traders in the temple, and Giomanach puts in an order for a silver dwarven axe with Ironmound the dwarf. The party also finds a master leatherworker that can turn the dragonscale skin into armor.
After the test and ceremony the party decides to continue their travels, and they take the tunnels to the Troll Woods. There, they are quickly spotted by Troll patrols, but the haste cast by Giomanach makes them too swift for any opposition to organize, and they make it out of the dark troll woods in a record time. As they re-enter Heortling territory, they run into a village with a peculiar visitor. A talking wyvern has convinced some of the villagers to become his followers, and this creates enmity in the clan. Things get out of hand, and a fight ensues, in which Giomanach suffers a serious wound. The wyvern is slain, and another dragonscale hide is looted.


Beware of false prophets!

The party take the road to Whitewall, the last bastion of Orlanthi freedom, and here they find another leatherworker. The last day of Earth Season, the party spends in Whitewall.