Into the Mists

Chapter 5: Vallaki Cont.

Chapter 5: To Vallaki

Session 10, 11, 12

 

  • Danika and Urwin Martikov tell the party they are running low on wine and if they are back on the road soon if they could investigate the wine shortage coming from his family's vinyard, about a day's ride away.
  • The party discusses with Rictavio his going ons. He only tells them that he is a trapped wanderer, like them, who tries as he might to get by in this evil land. He tells them that he is from a faraway land and owned a carnival once. He mentioned that he gave his monkey, Piccholo, to a sad toymaker who needed a friend. He fell into the mists while traveling, just him, his horse, and his cart. The players notice he takes an apple and a steak each day and after following him discover that he has a horse in the stable and his cart is on the other side of town in the stockyards. It seems there is a large beast within his cart. While searching in the night, Lectos notices a magical aura from a building near the stockyard that later turns out to be Henrick's coffin shop.
  • While searching the stockyard the players encounter a small group of misguided cultists and fend them off. One escapes. While the party is camped overnight in the abandoned building, the cultists return in greater numbers. They capture one and interrogate him. They belong to a group of people who follow the teachings of Lady Fiona Watcher, who can summon demons and is out to overthrow the burgomaster's reign in town.
  • At Blinsky's toy shoppe the group is attempting to find the girl Gurtruda from Barovia who was missing and find a rather rotund man who is immensely animated. He also has a pet monkey named Piccholo, whom does tricks for trinkets, coins or treats. Blinsky goes on to try and show them each of his newest toy inventions and explains in fine detail the craftsmanship that goes into the disturbingly bothersome toys. During the conversation they find a series of dolls that look exactly like Ireena. He explains that he makes the dolls for a man names Isek, who is the right hand to the Burgomaster. The man is mean and gruff, and has been describing a girl he has been dreaming about. Each doll gets closer to the likeness. Isek demands the toymaker create these toys for him, but always pays.
  • The party investigates at the Burgomaster's mansion to learn about Isek. They have a meeting with the Burgomaster and are uncomfortable with the man's insistence that they be happy and that he was the reason Strahd and his minions were not a problem for the town. He explained to the party that both his butler and his wife's lady in waiting had disappeared over the last week and that his man Isek had launched an investigation. Assuming that the party was here with information about this he sat down with them for tea. When he realized they had no information for him he became frustrated quickly and told them to report to Isek and angrily left them, not before reminding them that they would be expected to attend the festival.
  • The party discusses Blinsky's toys with Isek. Isek denies any knowledge of the toys in question, even when presented with one of the dolls. He demands he has work to attend to and leaves the mansion in haste, on horseback.
  • The party save Blinsky from his burning toy shoppe as Isek leaves the scene. After saving Blinsky, Treller yells out to the gathered crowd that Isek tried to kill this man, that he set fire to the building. The crowd looks uncomfortable and quickly disperses. Blinsky's shop is lost to the flames.
  • Confronting Rictavio with Blinsky in tow, Rictavio doesn't know how to help the party. He can't take on Blinsky, despite being friendly with the man. He recommends the party take Blinsky to Father Lucian at the church. When questioned for more information, as the party believes Rictavio is hiding something, Rictavio explains that he will allow the party access to his wagon only if they can either find what it is the Martikov's are hiding and who they hold allegiance to, or if they can discover what is happening with the Dusk Elf encampment outside of town and why there is a Vistani camp seemingly staying with them. If they can bring any of that knowledge to him, he will allow them to look through his wagon in the stockyard.
  • While trying to investigate the Martikov's on the lead from Rictavio the party skulk around their dwellings and the rest of the Blue Water Inn. They discover a raven roost with hundreds of ravens above the stables. Additionally they find that the bedrooms of the Martikov family are all a facade, and that they have a private roost above in the attic. While investigating in the bar, a young orphan boy who works for the church approaches Hanif and tells them that he heard a rumor they had a paladin in their group. If so, Father Lucian wanted to meet them!
  • They bring Blinsky and Ireena to Father Lucian at Saint Andral's church. After a long discussion the priest feels confident in the party after discovering that Krackle is a paladin. He explains that the sacred bones of Saint Andral were stolen from the church, that these bones are the true reason that the surrounding area is free from the undead. That if they are not returned, Strahd and his ilk will be able to overrun the town. They were stolen the night before, and only the Priest and his young orphan assistant knew about it. Father Lucian agrees to keep an eye on Blinsky and Ireena, giving them a safe place to stay while the party investigates and a safe place to keep Ireena away from Isek.
  • The party confronts the Henrick at the coffin maker's shop. After repeated attempts to convince him to let them in, they break in. The man is clearly charmed, but willingly gives up once cornered that there are Vampires among the boxes upstairs and that the bones from the church are also among the boxes. He warns them against disturbing the Vampires, and believes he had no choice but to work with the creatures after a noble man from out of town promised him a great sum of money and prolonged work for his establishments services. The man's name was Vasili von Holtz. Henrick readily agreed and invited the man in to discuss, and was shortly afterwards put into the services of Vampires, and storing the bones until they could be collected.
  • The party opens up all the windows in the house and forces the vampires to fight them in daylight. They seemingly kill them all, except one escapes. To be sure, after winning the encounter they proceed to put stakes through the chest of each, while having them rest in the crates filled with dirt that they were resting within. Afterwards they each turn to ash.
  • The party attempts to give chase to the one which escaped, following it's trail as best they could. Eventually the trail begins to run cold and the Festival of the Blazing sun is about to begin so they give up the hunt.
  • During the "Festival of the Blazing Sun" the group raced to gather with the crowd of townsfolk in order to attend. They made it just as the main parade was beginning and attended the affair with as much enthusiasm as the rest of the crowd. Especially knowing that such things were not what kept the town safe, but instead the sacred bones they carried with them even then. At the end of the parade, the effigy of the giant sun was to be lit by the Baron. Unfortunately a massive torrent of rain came upon the town at this time, and the burgomaster couldn't get the effigy lit. The crowd stood through it, silent, except one guard. That guard burst out laughing. Not to be embarrassed, the burgomaster soaked the man in oil and forced him to try and light it himself from below the oiled wooden display. After complaining that he had no way to light the torch, the monstrous Isek unveiled a demonic arm beneath his cloak, throwing fire upon the man and effigy both. As the man screamed and the blazing sun effigy burned, the town clapped and cheered in a depressed and sad semblance of joy while the burgomaster proclaimed "All will be well!". The characters were unable to commit to action fast enough to stop it all, or perhaps chose discretion was the better play?
  • As the Festival of the Blazing Sun was coming to an end, Karl and Nikolai Watcher came sprinting down the main road from the stockyards, screaming of a beast hunting them! Just behind them came a bounding, massive and monstrous tiger. He jumped into the crowd, roared, and ducked in through the buildings. A chase ensued, with the characters splitting up to give chase through the alleyways and the town guard rallied to find and kill the beast. During the chase, Hanif managed to hit the tiger with a rock, seemingly driving it into a further rage. Later, Rictavio bumped into Treller while hunting the beast and explained that the Tiger wouldn't hurt anyone. It had a "specific prey" and that he needed help getting the tiger away from town.
  • The party made a plan to get the bones back to the church, check on Rictavio's cart which had the prophesized item they were looking for, check on the coffin maker, and reconvene.
  • Krackle knocked out the coffin maker after it was obvious he wouldn't leave his wrecked shop due to magical compulsion and carried him away.
  • The investigated the remains of Rictavio's cart. Discovering that the Watcher brothers seemed to have broken into it and set the tiger loose by mistake. After going through the wreckage the party discovered that Rictavio was no carnival operator, but a man named Rudolph Van Richten, an aging monster hunter of seeming renown. They also discovered a sword hilt that seemed to emotionally overwhelm whomever touched it with desires and feelings.
  • By the time Van Richten arrived at his cart, the party had gathered and repaired the cart. Van Richten proceeded to explain that he is a monster hunter, in this land with the sole purpose of finding a means of killing Strahd. He gave them a copy of his guide to Vampires and eventually gave them the Sun Blade, a magical hilt that was once a blade created to kill Strahd. The blade was broken and destroyed, but the hilt remains, able to cast a blade of pure light to combat Strahd. The blade is sentient and both hates Strahd, and fears him, knowing that Strahd wants to see it destroyed completely.
  • While discussing the prophecies laid out to them, Van Richten explains that he has a pupil, a Vistana warrior named Esmerelda D'Avenir. The description seems to fit her, based on Madam Eva's prophecies. He tells the party that she can be a staunch ally of theirs, if they can find her.
  • Van Richten gives them what knowledge he can of the lands and people before departing. He was cursed by Vistani and knows that any who he gets close to and aid him in his fight against Strahd are doomed a terrible fate due to his Curse. So even though their goals align, he can't travel with the party or aid them directly. Van Richten believes that the Wereravens belong to a cult of sorts called the "Order of the Black Feather" and mean to work against Strahd. However he hasn't been able to completely prove it as of yet and isn't willing to tip his hand to them for fear of Strahd becoming aware of his presence. He recommends the party investigate further. He also has immense distrust and disdain of the Vistani with the exception of Esmerelda and warns the party against trusting them. He also explains that the Watcher family is opposed to the current Burgomaster.
  • The party returns to the church to find a black carriage leaving as they arrive. As they approach the long drive of the church, they see dozens of zombies storming the church. The party rushes to the church, with the bones being given to Krackle who manages to call upon her divine powers to pass through the smallest of cracks in the window shutters, into the main hall of the church. He and Father Lucian quickly put the bones back in Saint Andral's tomb, sanctifying the church and surrounding town once more. The zombies outside seem to be simultaneously dealt a massive blow and all fall to the ground, slain, at once.

 

Below are the EXP rewards for the sessions.

 

50 EXP:  Learn about the wine shortage at Blue Water Inn

50 EXP: Find Rictavio's cart and discover the beast inside

200 EXP: Defeat the original cultists in the abandoned warehouse.

500 EXP: Defeat the cultists that returned to fight the party.

50 EXP: Learn about Fiona Watcher's desire to take over town leadership through interrogating the cultist.

50 EXP: Uncover Blinsky's toy making and Isek's desire to recreate Ireena's likeness.

300 EXP: Save Blinsky.

50 EXP: Rictavio's request for information on the Wereravens and the Vistani's involvement with the Dusk Elves.

50 EXP: Learning about the truth of Saint Andral's bones.

200 EXP: Attended the Festival of the Blazing Sun and went on a tiger chase.

200 EXP: Recovering the Sunsword and uncovering Rudolph van Richten's identity and purpose.

5,500 EXP: Uncovering the Vampire Spawn and defeating the Vampires to recover the bones.

500 EXP: Returning the bones of Saint Andral, hallowing the surrounding area of Vallaki

3,000 EXP: Roleplay Bonus

300 EXP: Email Roleplay Bonus

100 EXP: Letter to widow of Dimitri Dalca

Group Session Total: 11,100 EXP

Individual Session Total: 2,775 EXP

 

Lectos Total: 8,888 EXP (Level 5)

Krackle Total: 8,888 EXP (Level 5)

Hanif Total: 8,888 EXP (Level 5)

Treller Total: 8,888 EXP (Level 5) 

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To the wife of Dimitri Dalca
Hanif Letter #2

<meta />

To the wife of Dimitri Dalca,

 

Through my negligence I have killed your husband. No words I could ever write would make up for that. I doubt there is anything I could do that would make up for that. I doubt you could forgive me, and I do not ask you to.

I am a poor man. What little wealth I have I leave with this letter. I hope it helps in some small way, although I understand it does nothing to alleviate the wrong I have done.

I do not plan to submit myself to the authorities. I have many reasons for this none of which I believe will or should satisfy you. Please keep this letter, one day I hope to put my name to it.

 

Sincerely,

Edifeiriol



(Hanif signed the letter “penitent” in Halfling. I substituted Welsh since there’s no actual halfling language.)

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Chapter 4: To Vallaki

Chapter 4: To Vallaki

Session 8, 9

 

  • After leaving town the group was approached by a group of traveling Vistani. The party managed to talk their way out of an altercation that might have proven to be deadly
  • The party cut through the woods in an attempt to save some time and succeeded, although they had to traverse through a swamp and thought they might have been stalked by some creatures for part of the journey.
  • The group was attacked by a Revenant while on the trail, but managed to kill it. Knowing a little about Revenants, it may not be the last time this one attacks.
  • Crossed the bridge north, over Tser Falls.
  • Saw a gate on the road, with an intersection leading toward's Ravenloft Castle. At this gate was a corpse in the bushes with a note, seemingly inviting the Burgomaster to the castle with his family. The corpse was half buried in a bush. At night, a pack of wolves seemed to devour the corpse as the party camped nearby.
  • Off the main road the party found a windmill that was in disrepair but still in operation. Needing somewhere to camp the group approached, only to find a "cookie factory" where three night hags in disguise seemingly took abducted children, grinding the children up into their famous "dream cookies". The group recognized one of the women as the old woman from Barovia and attempted to attack the evil creatures. However they were quickly overmatched and fled. The hags seemed to let the party escape, and were overheard discussing whether or not to kill the party, for fear of retribution from Strahd if they took his toys away.
  • Camping instead in a small cliff side cave a mile down the road the group broke camp. However when Treller went hunting in the evening he was beset upon by a Wolf, who turned into a man and seemingly charmed Treller. After a rather tense conversation and the party having to physically bind and restrain Treller to keep him from communicating with the Vampire, the group hunkered down for a frustratingly sleepless night. In the morning a gift basket with a wine bottle was left for the group with a viscous red liquid inside.
  • Found a bunch of crazed mountain people preparing for an ambush at the base of the cliffs. Managed to scare a few off before abandoning the cart they were pulling, only to see the mountain people immediately swarm and scavenge off the cart as they abandoned it.
  • The party marched to Vallaki, reaching the gates at dusk. The town guards were very unhelpful at first, opposing the group entering the town for fear they had ill intentions. Eventually reason won the day and the party convinced the guards to let them in and escorted them to the Blue Water Inn
  • The party met Urwin Martikov and his wife Danika, the owners of the inn and rented rooms. The tavern filled up and the party learned a number of interesting things about the town while at the tavern. Through some conversation, a little spying with the help of invisibility, and some transparancy about their mission they uncovered the following: Urwin, Danika, their children and possibly the entire Martikov family are Wereravens. The family business for the Martikov's is in wine, and the wine shipment is late to the Blue Water Inn. The town is a bastion of hope against Strahd and quality of life is much higher here. The Burgomaster forces several festivals a month in the hopes of keeping the spirits and hopes of the townsfolk vibrant and alive, defending against the oppression of the land.
  • Szoldar Szoldarovich and his partner Yevgeni Krushkin are local hunters and trappers that are experts in the surrounding lands and do the hunting and foraging for the Blue Water Inn. They have offered guide services to the party when they are ready to leave town.
  • Nikolai and Karl Watcher became interested in the newcomers and began to try and start a drunken encounter. However a little piss-drink solved that.
  • A wanderer named Rictavio, a stranger to Ravenloft much like the party, regales the tavern with tales of a faraway land. He seems to be a carnival operator, stranded in Vallaki and torn from his homeland. He is talkative and inquisitive but doesn't reveal a lot. Krackle's paladin-sense tingled that he was a very good individual.

 

Below are the EXP rewards for the sessions.

 

1,500 EXP:  Defeated the encounter with the Vistani on the road without a blade lifted.

100 EXP: Successfully navigated a shortcut through a nasty bog.

1,800 EXP: Defeated the Revenant

1,500 EXP: Successfully escaped the hags at Old Bonegrinder windmill.

1,000 EXP: Got through the night in the cave and the encounter with the mysterious individual who bewitched Treller.

800 EXP: Made it through the encounter with the cliff-folk.

100 EXP: Convinced the guards to let the group into Vallaki at night.

2,800 EXP: Roleplay Bonus

Group Session Total: 9,600 EXP

Individual Session Total: 2,400 EXP

 

Lectos Total: 6,113 EXP (Level 4)

Krackle Total: 6,113 EXP (Level 4)

Hanif Total: 6,113 EXP (Level 4)

Treller Total: 6,113 EXP (Level 4) 

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Chapter 3: Barovia is lovely this time of year.

Chapter 3: Barovia is lovely this time of year.

Session 6 + 7

 

I'm changing the formatting of how I'm going to be displaying session details. Instead of writing an account of each session, I'll simply be posting the details of the session in these recaps. If any player wishes to establish a storied recount via a journal or simply internal perspective or a log of some kind, I'll reward bonus XP for the group to such accounts.
 

  • The party was given a room in the Blood of the Vine tavern after Krackle impressed the owners, simply by being a black birdman. During the night the group witnessed ghostly figures marching the streets, and would later discover that the ghostly apparitions appear every night. They were former adventurers over time, marching to their doom as they look to defeat Strahd. In their defeat their ghostly visages are eternally bound to repeat their folly for all eternity.
  • Dredged out a map and some information from the three Vistani sisters Alenka, Mirabel and Sorvia, who own the Blood of the Vine tavern.
  • Managed to magically compel Bildrath to sell goods far below what he would normally sell them to foreigners.
  • Listened to Mary's tale of her missing daughter, Gertruda. She believes her daughter went out to seek the toymaker of Vallaki, who made her favorite doll. A very unnerving thing that's eyes seemed to follow people.
  • After finding out Strahd had bitten Ireena Koylana twice, and been harassing her family in a seeming attempt to get access to her, the group has agreed to escort her to Vallaki in hopes of finding her safe sanctuary away from Strahd. She is a rare beauty in such a depressed landscape, an adopted daughter of the now deceased Burgomaster of Barovia. Her brother Ismark arranged the agreement and will be staying behind to try and convince Strahd his sister is still in-town to give the group a head start.
  • Arranged the burial of the Burgomaster and witnessed Rahadin, a dusk elf and seemingly Strahd's right hand man, tell Ismark that he was expected to lead the town as the new Burgomaster with the unfortunate passing of his father's death.
  • Witnessed an old woman with a cart full of cookies attempt to abduct a child. The party jumped in and prevented the kidnapping as well as admonished the parents for letting such a thing happen.

 

Below are the EXP rewards for the sessions.

 

200 EXP: Bonus roleplay for prying information from the Alenka, Mirabel and Sorvia (Vistani owners) at Blood of the Vine tavern by playing into their superstitions of ravens.

500 EXP: Bonus roleplay for uncovering the going-ons with Ismark and Ireena and accepting their help in getting her out of town.

200 EXP: Bonus roleplay for organizing the details of leaving Barovia, including securing needed equipment from Bildrath's Mercantile and the burial of the Burgomaster at the insistence of Ireena.

100 EXP: Viewed the March of the Dead

250 EXP: Stopped the kidnapping of a child by an old woman selling cookies.

50 EXP: Listened to Mary's tale of misfortune, that she believes her daughter has ran off toward Vallaki to seek out a toymaker

2,700 EXP: Roleplay Bonus

Group Session Total: 4,000 EXP

Individual Session Total: 1,000 EXP

 

Lectos Total: 3,713 EXP (Level 4)

Krackle Total: 3,713 EXP (Level 4)

Hanif Total: 3,713 EXP (Level 4)

Treller Total: 3,713 EXP (Level 4) 

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Chapter 2: Death House

Chapter 2: Death House

Session 3, 4, 5

 

As the group made their way back to Barovia, they came down a quiet and empty road when entering town. Finding two young children in the road, one clutching a toy doll. The group approached the children and found out that they had escaped their home across the street, fleeing a terrible monster in their basement. They also feared for their little brother, a baby named Walter, whom they claimed was still trapped in the home. After finding a safe place nearby for the children to wait, the group went into the home to investigate.

The home turned out to be much more than it appeared. They explored the interior of the home, noticing grim depictions in every decoration they studied of violence, death and evil. As they explored deeper into the home they eventually found letters and information that led them to believe the home was actually a front for some cult, meant to appease the vampire Strahd von Zarovich.

In one of the upper floors they actually came upon the bodies of the two children they had encountered outside, and the ghosts of those children. The children seemed to have no idea about the interactions outside, instead their ghostly forms tormented by a feeling of abandonment and fear. They seemed to have been left to starve to death in their rooms, locked in from the outside years and years ago. The party did uncover more about the home though and came to conclude that the home had much more nefarious uses than simply a monster in the basement. When trying to leave the children, the children attempted to possess the party without success.

Deeper into the house the party found themselves battling a ghoul whom they later established was the once-maid of the home, along with animated armor and flying brooms. They eventually made their way to the home's library, uncovering a letter from Strahd to the cultists who ran the house, demeaning their attempts at his favor and making mention to a curse they had wrought upon themselves. It seemed as though the owners of this house would never gain his favor. They also found the body of an adventurer in a hidden alcove in the library that was also filled with later uncovered bogus spellbooks and rituals. Lectos attempted to contact Pandlewick without success, and after resting the party moved on.

They eventually discovered a way into the basement. A narrow spiral staircase led them from the attack all the way into a series of crypts and tunnels below the home. The crypts seemed to be for the family members, and the tunnels led to a series of rooms and storage facilities for a cannibalistic cult whom was seeking Strahd's attention. The deeper they delved into the tunnels they discovered that the cultists had all succumbed to various forms of undeath. Zombies, ghouls, ghasts made up the cult members. In the battles the party eventually lost Gwendolyn, as she was overcome in a desparate battle that took place in a narrow four-way intersection.

The party eventually found the owners, Elizabeth and Gustav Dhurst as ghouls whom hunted through the home. They quickly dispatched of Gustav as the ghoul's charged, but Elizabeth ducked into the darkness, and a fevered hunt began. Eventually Elizabeth led the party through the tunnels, causing them to activate a Mimic disguised as a door in an attempt to weaken them before she came out to attack again. In a struggle that left the remaining party nearly defeated they eventually killed both Elizabeth and the Mimic, retreating for a day and a half into the upstairs library to recover.

When they continued on into the lowest levels, following a nefarious chanting through the caverns. They eventually discovered a prison deep down in the tunnels, and surprisingly found a living bird-man within. Although there seemed to be a very big language barrier, the prisoner could only mimic and repeat, not form language of it's own. Lectos found the solution with telepathy, exchanging thoughts and coming to realize that the creature was a Kenku from a far away land, he and his party had followed a similar path to the group nearly a year previous. The rest of the party being killed by the cultists, where the Kenku, appearing as a raven-man, seemed to hold some sort of importance to the cultists. They did not kill the Kenku, named Krakle, but instead paraded him in front of a statue to Strahd, attempting to gain his favor to no avail for going on a year.

After establishing the who, how and what of the new addition to the group they fought on. Ending up in a lower level of the tunnels with 18 pedestals that had seemingly important artifacts on them in the room the chanting emanated from. They followed another tunnel to come into a half submerged marble ritual chamber, with a raised sacrificial platform in it's center. When Krakle and Hanif stepped onto the platform two dozen ghostly images appeared in a ring around the raised platforms surrounding the room, demanding a living sacrifice. When the party refused, a massive heap of refuse rose from the water to destroy them. Although using a tight doorway to their advantage, the party managed to destroy the creature with relative ease.

With the monster defeated, the two dozen ghostly images disappeared and the chanting ended. The tunnels seemingly becoming inert. The party went to leave the house, believing that they were free of the curse bestowing it only to realize that the house above had come alive, looking to destroy them. Each doorway was full of magical blades swinging through them, every room with a fireplace or stove spewing acidic clouds of acrid smoke, and the walls full of enraged rat swarms. The party bashed through the home, fighting off all the challenges and eventually spilling out into the road just before the entire home collapsed in on itself. The ghostly children were also nowhere to be found.

Regaining their composure, the group left the house to the nearby Blood of the Vine tavern, hoping for a moment of respite and time to make plans for their next steps.
 

Below are the EXP rewards for the sessions.

 

400 EXP: Survive the flying brooms.

300 EXP: Defeat Nursemaid's Specter

700 EXP: Deal with the children's ghosts.

100 EXP: Defeat Centipede Swarm

450 EXP: Defeat Grick

800 EXP: Defeat 4 Ghouls

500 EXP: Defeat 5 shadows

450 EXP: Defeat Mimic

900 EXP: Defeat 2 Ghasts

1,800 EXP: Defeat Shambling Mound

1,500 EXP: Roleplay Bonus

Group Session Total: 7,900 EXP

Individual Session Total: 1,975 EXP

 

Lectos Total: 2,713 EXP (Level 4)

Krackle Total: 2,713 EXP (Level 4)

Hanif Total: 2,713 EXP (Level 4)

Treller Total: 2,713 EXP (Level 4) 

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Letters to My Father Prt1
On the Road to Borovia

(Hanif writes letters to his father—who died many years ago—as an act of self-reflection. In the letters, he attempts to work through his thoughts and better himself. This is the letter he wrote while traveling to Borovia)

 

<meta />

Father,

 

I find myself in the company of liars and cheats. Stanomir struck me as a dishonest and intemperate man, and these past few days have only cemented my judgement. His cohorts are little better and at times much worse. I worry their poor behavior will influence my new friends.

 

Despite Stanomir’s flaws and those of his friends, I believe his plea is genuine. He may be a liar but so are many men. He needs help, and if I were to deny help to every morally imperfect man, there would be no one left to aid.

 

Still, I cannot shake this sense of foreboding. I have never heard of this Borovia, and I can find no reference to it anywhere. Wherever it is, it is far away, and I find myself—despite myself—fearing that I will never see my home again.

 

After the fight between Elder Granbry and Lucca I told you I had learned two things. I was not helping my fellows in Hartglen, and staying was only serving to enlarge my desire for the comforts of home. If my town and I were to grow stronger, I would need to leave.

 

As I promised you, I left Hartglen. I admit now that for a time I deceived myself. I volunteered again with the Scabbard, secretly hoping that I could stay near my home and perhaps even return to it. It was weak of me.

 

Fate, however, has conspired to make an honest man of me. I now find myself traveling to a faraway land, and I do not know if I will ever return to my little village.

 

I should feel great joy. I nearly gave into weakness and broke my word to you; I nearly lost what’s truly import for the sake of passing pleasures and comforts. I now have the chance to do great good for Stanomir’s people and my friends, each of whom seems lost in their own way.

 

I should be rejoicing that fate should conspire so laboriously to make a good man of me, but again and again I feel only dread.

 

But as Marovan taught, “If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now.” And so I will root out my need for home and safety and find happiness wherever this road takes me.

 

Thank you for holding me to task in all that I do,

Hanif

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Chapter 1: Dragons and Gypsies!

Chapter 1: Dragons and Gypsies!

Session 2

 

<meta />Coming off the heels of a pitched battle with a cavern full of Lizardfolk and a wyrmling black dragon, the party mustered their energy and cleared out the cavern. Coming away with the beginnings of a dragon horde, some vile looking potions, and a unconscious baby dragon, they counted themselves victorious. However the logistics of exactly what would be done with the dragon was of some large debate.

 

Eventually the group decided to split up, with Luc and Lectos going back into town and the rest of the group camping out and keeping the dragon on guard. This was mostly successful, although it led to a restless night for those who stayed behind as the dragon attempted to free itself from it’s bonds, although it did not attempt escape. Back in town Luc was to procure a cart pulled by horse in the morning, and Lectos wanted to check with his wizard instructor to find a better solution.

 

When Luc and Lectos arrived back with the group Lectos had a strange ornate staff and circlet. He explained that it would help them transport the dragon undetected through town and that his instructor had agreed to take the dragon off their hands, hoping a black dragon might be able to be raised to be good natured. They attempted the staff on the dragon, polymorphing it into a baby turtle.

 

As cute as this was, it only lasted about an hour. When the dragon reverted back, it did so while being carried by Gwendolyn on horseback, knocking her off the horse. The dragon then took a bite out of the horse before going airborne in an attempt to flee. Lectos managed to polymorph it again, back into the turtle, preventing the escape. The party then rigged up a tie-down onto the cart to hold the baby dragon when it turned back to it’s original form. Having to cover the dragon with tents as they passed by other traders on the road.

 

When arriving in town the party gave the dragon to Lectos’ instructor, a wizened gnome with high-magic they found in the library. She dropped the baby turtle into a book, using strange magics that boggled Gwendolyn’s mind before thanking the party and melding into the book herself. Luc invited the group that evening to attend a feast with Lady Morwen, duchess of Daggerford to congratulate them on the successful mission and formally recognize them as members of the Scabbard.

 

That night the group was celebrated as heroes. A feast was had and the group enjoyed themselves with the elite of city. Gwendolyn retold the group’s exploits with her exotic barbarian storytelling, symbols and all, to the delight of all in attendance. At the end of the night a messenger came to Lady Morwen, before she dismissed all in attendance except for the party and Luc. She then explained a situation that needed attending to, with gypsy-like individuals just outside of town accosting those coming into town from the south. Apparently they had been taking wine and money from those coming into the city, beguiling them with tricks or magic. When guards were sent to see them on their way, they too seemed charmed by the ways of these strangers.

 

The group was asked to see these intruders away from the city before daybreak, or Lady Morwen would need to resort to force, which she was loathe to do so close to the city. Agreeing the group set off into town, finding the beguiled guardsman and realizing their fears of the men being charmed to be true. After a small fight, the group decided to set some contingencies with Lectos’ wizard colleague in town and set off to confront the group outside of town.

 

They found the intruders, a dozen in all, amidst jovial libations as they partied and sang into the night. Deciding to come at the intruders as friends, they presented wine and stories while they befriended them. They exchanged stories, Gwendolyn once more telling her story of the group’s battle with a dragon, wizards and book-dimensions. The intruders ate up all of it, joining in with their unique flair. At the end of the storytelling their leader, a man named Stanomir told his own story after agreeing to leave the city due to the growing unrest with lady Morwen.

 

The story Stanomir told was one of a great prince, conquering his enemies in a land far away. Of a valiant hero and friend of the man’s people, whom they helped when he was at his most dire need. He then explained that this prince, now king, was a man cursed and that he and his people would see their friend’s curse lifted. However they were sworn not to interfere or harm him, and needed some outside hero to help their friend and king. A group such as theirs, whom captured dragons, might just do the trick.

 

After some discussion the group agreed to travel with the band of outsiders, through the “lost roads” to the kingdom they spoke of. A few weeks of travel was all it would take. The group went back to town to prepare, Hanif growing immensely concerned as he had not heard of such lands, people or events such as those that were told to them by Stanomir and his group. Surely no kingdom existed within a few weeks travel by horseback that Hanif knew of. Just before dawn the party rejoined the now packed up outlanders and they left on a multi-week journey to save their king.


 

Below are the EXP rewards for the session.

 

300 EXP: Keeping the Black Dragon under control

500 EXP: Roleplay bonus!

150 EXP: Bar fight.

200 EXP: Successfully removing the gypsies from Daggerford

Group Session Total: 1,150 EXP

Individual Session Total: 288 EXP

 

Lectos Total: 738 EXP (Level 2)

Gwendolyn Total: 738 EXP (Level 2)

Hanif Total: 738 EXP (Level 2)

Treller Total: 738 EXP (Level 2)

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Prologue - A Lizard Infestation
Session 1

Prologue – A Lizard Infestation

Session 1

 

It was midmorning in Daggerford and the group had all received message from the Scabbard that it was the day they would be tested for acceptance as full members of the Scabbard militia. The messages all instructed the individuals to meet at the town gate at their earliest convenience and left information regarding the clearing of a suspected den of Lizardfolk who had attacked a cattle farmer as he brought cows into town to sell.

 

As the group met Lux Sunbright at the entrance to town and saddled up onto the horses he provided the details came. There had been an attack a few miles outside of town on the trade road, where it butted up against the Lizard Marsh. This was a common enough occurrence, but the severity and number reported was anything but. Luc also instructed the party that he would be there to observe, and only lend support if they were overmatched. This was a test for them, first and foremost.

 

The day progressed as the party journeyed, eventually coming upon the scene where the cow herd and caravan had been attacked. It was easily identified by the dried blood in the road. Tying the horses up the party entered into the marsh searching for the Lizardfolk. Their first encounter came as they found the location of a half submerged and torn apart caravan in the mud and water of a stagnant pond. Two Lizardfolk were rummaging through the remains as the party came upon them. (this was only after Gwendolyn had fallen into the mud a few times). The party easily dispatched one of the Lizardfolk, however one managed to escape and was thought to warn the others.

 

Following the trail after this encounter they eventually came to a clearing on some raised ground with a dozen reed and mud crudely built huts, with an impaled and half eaten cow laying in the middle of the clearing like a kebab. There were two lookouts here, whom the party tried to lure into a trap, but failed the ruse. They then attacked in force, killing one of the Lizardfolk while the second escaped.

 

They eventually followed the trail deeper into the marsh, finding a large mound of mud on a peninsula followed by deep, fetid water. In the center of the mound was a cave and tunnel, however when they arrived they were greeted by some Giant Lizards and Lizardfolk. In a battle that saw Gwendolyn drop twice, they eventually defeated the lizards, with one retreating into the tunnel.

 

They followed the enemies into the tunnel, with large puddles of water knee high in places within. The cavern looked like it was constantly needing to be reescavated as the mud continued to fold inward. They disarmed a net trap in a 3 way fork in the cavern, as a number of Lizardfolk jumped out to attack them. They dispatched the enemies using the narrow cavern to their advantage. Only to have ###### be nearly incinerated when activating a trap in the Lizardfolk Shaman’s quarters down one of the forks in the muddy cave.

 

While debating whether or not to continue the party tried to provoke whatever lay in the large cavern where they had heard some splashing, by throwing items and potions found within the shaman’s enclave. Eventually this started a large pitched battle that they narrowly won, eventually capturing the master of the lizard nest, a wyrmling black dragon.

 

Below are the EXP rewards for the session.
 
 
450 EXP: 1 Black Dragon Wyrmling
 
450 EXP: 1 Lizardfolk Shaman
 
200 EXP: 4 Giant Lizards
 
500 EXP: 10 Lizardfolk
 
50 EXP: 1 Net Trap (spotted and triggered)
 
100 EXP: Successfully completing mission and finishing storyline objective.
 
50 EXP: Bonus roleplay EXP. Wasn't much roleplay in this session, but there wasn't meant to be, either. That said, there were certainly some entertaining roleplay moments and I think it gives a good sense of characters going forward.
 
Group Total: 1800 EXP
 
Individual Total: 450 EXP
 
Everyone now has enough EXP to level up. Advance to level 2 before next session. If you prefer to roll for HP over taking the average, do so at the beginning of session.
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