Monday, June 7, 2010

The Plight of Drangstern’s Uereka

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, Qualen Shadowbourne

NPCs: Vindar Drangstern, Gianza, Redescar

Synopsis: Hearing mysterious rumors surrounding the Dragonmere, Domollo gathers his companions and searches out a visiting nobleman named Vindar Drangstern. The baron speaks of his city Eureka, one whose trade routes have been victim to attacks from mighty creatures. Drangstern solicits their aid, requesting them to join his return journey to Eureka and investigate the attacks. So far, two individual caravans have been sacked and decimated, the only remains being victims bearing claw rakes and mighty gashes from a slashing weapon. It is agreed upon that the adventurers will see out the attackers.

The trek begins the following morning, and the group trudges through the snow to a rancher outside of Teziir to procure a wagon, work pony and riding horse. Bogged down and hindered by the treacherous weather, the group only reachs the midway point before establishing a camp. Qualen reaches out to his deity Kelemvor will the rest scavage for wood. It is on Domollo’s watch, the first of the night, that he spies the caravan attackers. A pack of wolves surround their campsite, wolves twice the size of a human and gleaming white as the snow they master. Domollo raises the alarm and is joined by the rest of the party.

As the fight rages, the breath of the winter wolves is debilitating and impossibly cold. But the companions pivot about the wagon and flank the bandits. The maneuvering allies provide excellent results, as does the ranged spells from Belton. Even the elder Drangstern, with his years of battle scars and disadvantaged limp, even he is able to fend off the attack exhibiting the skills of a master monk. Several of the beasts are made to flee while the rest die where they stand. A rare winter meal will be made of the group’s kill.

The rest of the watch is uneventful and in the morning they make for Eureka. Upon mid-day, they reach Drangstern’s Eureka and to the dismay of Domollo, it is but a hamlet with less than thirty citizens. Surely a name cannot be made here, at least one that will reach the ears of the masses some miles and miles away. The man makes a plea over lunch for the citizens to abandon their oversized camp and return with them to Teziir. But the unique physiques and attire of the villagers speaks otherwise as they have found contentment at the foothills of the Giant’s Run Mountains.

It appears that Eureka is a monestary of monks. Never one to admonish free will, Domollo abandons his proposal and returns to their quest. Drangstern speaks of an eerie glow about the shores of the Dragonmere, one that has been coincidal with the attacks on the caravans. The stories have caused planned shipments from other merchants to be canceled, challenging Eureka’s status. Drangstern assures the visitors that they are prepared for the worst, but would prefer to avoid that ultimatum if at all possible.

As evening falls the group prepares for a trek into the night to find the wolves of winter. Their trail is obvious as blood upon the snow serves as a guiding beacon to their den. In the wall of a cliff-face is a natural fissure that provides egress into a cave. Upon scouting the intial corridor, Barl trips a trap and springs back to the entrance. Lots of noises are the result, and the group readies for action. Spewing from within are the remaining wolves and their masters, two ogres, one of which bears a flaming sword. Immediately the area is engulfed in darkness, which panics the group and splits it in two, Belton and Domollo on the outside of the magicked area, and Barl and Qualen remaining inside.

The ogres begin their coordinated attack, one chasing Belton and the other facing off against Domollo. Barl and Qualen battle the wounded beasts as the ogres use spells to cripple the attackers. As the last wolf is slain, the group reunites. But it is too late as the damage is done to the wizard Belton. The would-be dwarf uses a spell to sprout wings, but as he flies to safety atop the cliff, the ogre mage delivers a final parting blow sending multiple force arrows into Belton’s back. He drops out of sight, his life escaping through a ravaged body.

Belton was not unsuccessful in assailing one of the ogres and Barl and Qualen make short work of the one with the flaming sword. Domollo spins a spell from somewhere as brilliant lights stun the remaining ogre. He is joined by the rest with much desired results. The last ogre falls. Atop the cliff, Belton is revived by two mysterious travelers hailing from the land of Tear. Belton befriends them and returns to the others with his saviors. Two bizarrely dressed humanoids stand well above the rest, their skin and countenance alien to the group. Gianza and Redescar seek someone named Morgrin who has stolen the Eye of the Dragon King. Their story is strange, but Barl surmises that this ‘eye’ that they seek maybe the source of the unnatural glow on the shores of the Dragonmere. The two motives are joined as they head towards the iced over Lake of Dragons.

Encounters: five winter wolves, two ogre mages with their ped winter wolves

Achievements: dispersed the attackers of the Eureka-bound caravans, delivered the head monk to his order at the foothills of the Giant’s Run Mountains, destroyed the bandits, and met two mysterious allies to find the source of the glow of the Dragonmere.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Talona’s Ebb and the Cure of the Bloodveil

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, JadeBlade, Vi’Helm

NPCs: Magoovial Hammerstriker, Olan Hanch, Dalvin Crand, Gurdainz Whitehorse

Synopsis: It is a brief moment after the death of Queen Andiasin that the group begins healing, pondering what their next action should be. As curing spells are cast, the light of the private chamber flickers slightly. The adventurers rally to the chambers exit, but their attention quickly shifts back to the body of Andiasin. Erupting from within, a tangled mass of flesh, muscle and bone twists the corpse seemingly inside out. Andiasin’s body has devolved into a diseased aspect of her twisted deity. Through concentrated efforts the group splinters the newly formed body, finally destroying the body with fire.

With only sections of the underground temple left to explore, the group rushes to the unopened doors throughout the complex. They discover a hall of prisons and rescue two survivors, stricken with the Bloodveil. Both Olan Hanch and Dalvin Crand are tired but healing spells allow them to rally and the group returns to the triage center where the two rescued prisoners find empty cots to lie in.

With enough evidence and conviction to expel Eliosa from her place of power, the group carries Magoovial back to the Temple of Torm where the guards quickly assume guardianship. The parley between the temple guard and Domollo is rapid and ratchets up the aggression between the two. Barl exposes the Torm’s brand upon his chest and the group is given audience to the high priests, lead by Gurdainz Whitehorse. Their explanation is presented and Priest Whitehorse thanks them for their valiant efforts. The high priests assume possession of the group’s evidence, promising swift justice after reviewing the facts.

The story of the Hospice of the Gray Maidens is punctuated with the presence of the vampire Arkmeinos. High Priest Whitehorse speaks of the vampire as from an empire that expired a long time ago called Korvosa. The master he spoke of is disconnected from the Material Plane and lost to the ages. But Arkmeinos has survived thousands of years, and the high priests are aware of his ambitions. Ultimately this includes a cure for his vampirism. Their collaboration with the vampire is a temporary, albeit uneasy, understanding.

The cleric Magoovial has survived the God-Touch of Torm and rests under the watchful eyes of temple priests. Whitehorse is at a loss for words when the group recounts Magoovial’s saving grace. It is a moment in modern times that is unprecedented; the last God-Touch was over a thousand years ago. The group is again thanked for their struggle and promised contact when the evidence results in the arrest of Eliosa. The long day has ended and the group returns to the Smelted Horse to celebrate a bittersweet victory, passing by many Teziirans still stricken with the Bloodveil.

The next few days quickly come can go. Four days following the defeat of Lady Andiasin, the adventurers receive word from the Temple of Torm. The healers were able to develop a cure for Bloodveil based on the hidden documents retrieved from the personal study of Doctor Duvalis. Clerics are working night and day to develop and administer it to the masses, which now number a third less of the total population. The plague has left a deep scare on the city of Teziir. But justice is to be delivered. The high priests of each of the represented gods in the temple district united in a single front to arrest Eliosa. She is to be tried in a tenday for her involvement in the outbreak, and the adventurers are to be key witnesses to bring her to justice. The promise of complete victory is enough to carry the group’s spirits for a little longer in this terrible time.

Encounters: aspect of Talona, temple guards of Torm

Achievements: defeated the last remnant of Talona, consecrated the evil deity’s shrine, delivered the collected evidence to the High Priests of Torm, and recovered the cure for Bloodveil.