Session 10 – Entrepreneurial Spirit

On returning to Womford to resupply, the party decided to hire a captain and crew for the Soaring Hippogriff, their freshly re-christened keelboat.  soaring hippogriffThe captain agreed to a fee of 10gp per day plus 15% of the proceeds.  The adventurers assigned him the task of rummaging through Rivergard Keep and salvaging anything of value.

After a busy day of shopping and negotiating, the party attended the Bargewright Inn for some dinner and a good night’s sleep.  Of course, they were welcomed with open arms and immediately recruited for guard duty for a convoy headed to the north up the Long Road to Yartar.  The trip was largely uneventful, excepting when the convoy was attacked by some bandits.bandits The bandits struck hard with crossbow quarrels flying everywhere.  One of the wagons caught fire.  Then the bandits took off, running into the trees and hills.

The party pursued.  Right into an ambush.  At first, it looked like it wouldn’t go well for the party as they were surrounded and outnumbered.  Woe be unto the bandits though as first the captain, and then the individual bandits were picked off or taken down.  Reyroris was in rare form, testing his range, he brought down bandits at further and further distances.  His final shot at a speck in the distance was rewarded by the speck crying out and vanishing into the undergrowth.

After safely returning the convoy to Womford, the adventurers headed for Summit Hall.  En route, they investigated a pillar of thick black smoke in the distance.  The smoke turned out to be a burning farm.  On hearing a plaintive cry from the farmhouse, Reyroris rushed in, dragging the farm’s owner out of the collapsing building in the nick of time.  After healing, the farmer explained that orcs had taken his wife and farmhands and left him for dead.  His wagon was missing too.

The wagon was easy enough to follow and find.  The adventurers quickly slew the four orcs that were with it, a little surprised at how squishy the orcs turned out to be.  The farmer was elated to be reunited with his wife.  The farmhands were exhausted from pulling the wagon, but they would recover.  The party agreed to escort the farmer to the Dellmon Ranch where he and his could seek refuge.

The ranch was abuzz with activity.  They were clearly preparing for war.  Earthworks had been established at the perimeter, makeshift crenelations were mounted to the top of the buildings, archers were posted around the farm and every able body was armed with something.  The adventurers were quick to volunteer to help with the defense of the ranch.

The next day, the ranch was surrounded by an orc warband of 40 or so orcs.  Aria, a druid from the Scarlet Moon Hall camp, had discovered that she had an adventurers spirit and had accompanied the party since having a taste of what they could do.  Aria cast Spike Growth, immediately hindering the progress of the advancing horde.  Their leader, an Orog, ignored the brambles, to his own detriment, and plowed forward, only to be taken down by Keeley’s fine bow skills.  The orc’s incompetent spellcaster, an Eye of orcsGrumsh, tried to be useful and failed.  Meanwhile, Telfid called forth some Spirit Guardians and a Spiritual Weapon, and, contributing his own prodigious melee abilities, became a whirling cyclone of death and dismemberment, chewing through the perimeter of orcs like a scythe through wheat.  After only a few minutes of slaughter, the defenders raised a loud cry of “Hurrah” as the last orc fell.  While there were a few casualties in the ranch, the Dellmon family survived and there was much to celebrate.  Several of the farmers and ranchers that had sought refuge had tales of narrowly escaping much smaller orc warbands as they overwhelmed defenses, killing or enslaving those within.  Many a mug was raised in praise of the party and their contribution to the successful defense of the ranch.

With the immediate danger past, the party continued their journey to Summit Hall.  There they recruited a dozen soldiers to guard Rivergard Keep and defend it from what may be left of the Water Cult.  This contingent agreed to a fee of 5gp total per day.

keelboatUpon returning to Womford, they party was delighted to find that the Soaring Hippogriff had been busy.  After expenses, they netted 825gp from the ransacking of the keep.  Their fledgling shipping business was, so far, a success.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level /
To Advance
Treasure
Ildon
Ganus
0 / 6387 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Skywrite
Fenvalur
Reyroris
980 / 7816 5 (14000) 250 GP gold ruby ring
Sytarii 0 / 6999 5 (14000) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Taban 980  / 5038 4 (6500) N/A
Telfid 980 / 7296 5 (14000) Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Keeley 980 / 4581 4 (6500) N/A
Aria 980 / 4581 4 (6500) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 6110 4 (6500) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 / 4942 4 (6500) N/A
Proceeds from shipping, less expenses and upkeep.
(Keelboat – 50gp per ten-day, plus crew – 10gp per day plus 15%.
Rivergard Keep defense – 5 gp per day)
825gp
Advertisements

Session 0: And They Met in a Bar…

Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Murfreesboro-Board-Games-Meetup

DnD Beyond Campaign: https://ddb.ac/campaigns/join/2038241466181279


How cliche is that?  But it worked, and the party assembled to take down some bandits on the South road.  With the rogue’s serving as killing machines, the party was victorious, though the cleric did have to heal some of the adventurers who thought of themselves as pincushions.

Character XP Treasure
Ildon 75
Fenvalur 75
Telfid 75
Olive 75
Sytarii 75 Potion of Healing
Taban 75
Keeley 75
Brawn 75

Let’s meet the motley crew:

In counter-clockwise order from my right, I introduce:

Ildon

Human (variant) Bard.
Ildon claims to be a World Renowned Actor. Exiled from his troupe for certain unnamed indiscretions, he is now a traveling performer, and, judging by his performance of Ildon Defeats the Dragon this evening, is quite good at it.

  • Bonus:  Advantage on Performance Skill Rolls
  • Bonus:  Earnings at one level higher when performing in a tavern

Fenvalur

Aasimar Warlock.
Fenvalur grew up as an outsider.  His only childhood friend was a Tiefling named ______________.  They got up to all sorts of mischief.  Fenvalur learned magic quickly and early, finding he had a knack for using Mage Hand to cause, or get out of, trouble.  As soon as they reached the age of independence they set out on a bold adventure.  [What happened next?  Where is the friend now?  How did they separate? – DM]

  • Bonus:  Advantage on Persuasion Skill checks
  • Bonus:  Mage Hand, Range: 60 feet, Capacity: 25#

Telfid

Human (v) War Cleric.
As an acolyte for Tempus, Telfid was charged with performing battlefield rites for the dead and dying, occasionally having to grant mercy when healing was not an option.  Telfid developed an affinity for battle.  Eventually, he was commanded by Tempus to go out into the world and protect the recently fallen in battle from physical or verbal desecration.  “Take their boots, gold, or [whatever…] but harm them no more and speak no ill to the spirits as they pass beyond the vale of death.” Telfid figured being in the battles gave him the best chance to follow this command. So far it works! Also, his order believes special heroes that prove worthy in battle will be called upon for THE FINAL GREAT QUEST at the end of time.  He plans to be in that party…

  • Bonus:  Bless for 1d4+1 (2-5)
  • Bonus:  Ceremony, Funeral Rite – Touch 1d4 Corpses, Use once per day without using a Spell Slot

Olive

Wood-elf Druid.
After a marauding gang of Goblins tore through her village, slaughtering many, including her parents and siblings, Olive was severely wounded but survived.   [Does she have a scar?  A gimpy leg?  Any lasting effects?  – DM]  A wandering minstrel took pity on the poor orphaned elf and took her in, only to trade her to a circus when times got tough.  At the circus, Olive was enslaved.  Whipped and beaten when the circus performers felt like she wasn’t working hard enough, she grew to resent them and especially their harsh treatment of their animals. Trained on the trapeze, she was constantly berated for not meeting the trapeze master’s exacting requirements.
Determined to escape and desiring to help the animals, she developed an empathic relationship with some of them that sometimes felt like she could talk to them.  Eventually, she seized an opportunity to escape, releasing the animals and encouraging them to attack their captors, she ran away in the chaos and headed for the forests where she nurtured her relationship with nature for many years before venturing back into the cities of men.

  • Bonus:  Preferred Enemy – Goblins, Advantage on to Hit, +1 Damage
  • Bonus:  Advantage on Acrobatics Skill checks

Sytarii

Human (v) Rogue.
Born a noble in De’Arnise Hold (less than half a day’s travel to the east of Athkatla), Sytarii was rendered homeless when a small army of Hobgoblins, led by an especially nasty pair of mountain Trolls (Grubcruncher and Meathook), invaded the town and razed the Keep.
Now out in the wide world seeking his fortune, Sytarii is not above petty crime to further his ends and delights in swindling the highbrows.  One day, he hopes to defeat the trolls and take back his home.

  • Bonus:  Preferred Enemy – Hobgoblins, Advantage on to Hit, +1 Damage
  • Bonus:  Advantage on Deception Skill checks

Taban

Human (v) Paladin.
Taban is a bit of a mystery, not just to others, but to himself as well.  Son of the Earl of Sandwichburger[?] from somewhere just north of Greenest.  He’s looking for someone but has no inkling of who that might be.  He is certain that he will know when he has found the person he is looking for though.

  • Bonus:  Advantage on Perception Skill checks
  • Bonus:  Advantage on Insight Skill checks

Keeley

Wood-elf Rogue.
Keeley’s mission is simple, find her lost sister.  Along the way, she is up for adventure and larceny to finance her pursuit of her sister’s kidnappers.  Arriving in Red Larch on a tip from a guy who knew a guy who slept with a whore who talked too much but might have known something, she is following the trail of a delegation from Mirabar who passed through Beliard.

  • Bonus:  Advantage on Sleight of Hand Skill checks
  • Bonus:  Advantage on Investigation Skill checks

Brawn

Hill-dwarf Forge Cleric.
As a forge-sworn cleric of [Who?], Brawn is on a pilgrimage to find magical artifacts of interest to his order [Which is?].  He seeks to gain magical [and political?] power.

The Story So Far… 2014-10-04

The adventurers stealthily approached the dragon cultists camp. Using the talk grass for cover they circled the entire camp, a little taken aback at the scope of the sight before them.
Their investigation showed them the location of the prisoners from Greenest, and a solitary prisoner tied to a post in the east end of the camp. They also identified the well guarded tents of the leaders of the camp and a cave, also guarded, at the back of the camp.
Needing a closer look, they finally decided to march in as if they owned the place. A plot that worked until they tried to burn a tent near the leader’s guarded tent with Vokul’s fiery breath. A chase ensued and the adventurers were captured. Langdedrosa, recognizing Anna from his challenge in Greenest, mocked her mercilessly for coming after him and for getting caught. The two adventurers we’re tied to posts next to Leosin. A fortuitous, if awkward, predicament. In the darkness, Anna used the dagger in her boot to cut them free. This time, they were more stealthy and they we’re able to sneak out of camp and back to Greenest without event. In the town, Governor Nighthall was glad to see them returned, but sad that they weren’t able to bring any of the missing captives with them. Nevertheless, he paid them handsomely for the information they brought.
The adventurers took the opportunity to rest in town and help with cleanup, earning good favor with the townsfolk, the Governor, and Leosin.

Introducing Lt. Vokul Korshim

As 1st Lieutenant in the King’s Dragoons, Vokul Korshim was widely accepted as a great and honorable fighter. This could be attributed to his Brass ancestry as a Dragonborn, as well as being a soldier since the age of 8. Because of this, combat has shaped him into the six foot tall 285 pound fighter that he is today. His fellow Dragonborn have followed him into battle countless times and he has always emerged victorious. This made Vokul think that he could not be bested in combat, which turned out to be a fatal mistake for him and his soldiers.

A simple mission is always a great thing isn’t it?  That’s what Vokul thought when they were sent to destroy a bandit camp that had been raiding the town of Mirilav. These bandits had been reported to have been raiding the town week after week, but never taking anything.  “Interesting,” Vokul thought, “usually these bandits would take anything that isn’t nailed down. No matter.  My Dragoons and I will bring them to justice, whether it be in shackles or by the edge of a sword.”

Once he arrived at Mirilav with the rest of the Dragoons, Vokul had sent some troops to scout the surrounding area while he spoke to the Mayor. The Mayor was in shock as was the rest of the town, why hadn’t these bandits taken anything? The bandits would burst in the town, with mysterious black robed figures behind them.  These figures had no other features other than a red circle on their back, with a line drawn down the middle. They would order the bandits to grab the townspeople, and would examine them almost as if they were looking for someone. “I have no idea what language they spoke but,” said the Mayor as he was interrupted by one of Vokul’s soldiers bursting through the door to the Mayors room. “They have captured most of our forces Vokul!” the Dragonborn said, while clutching his side, which was devoid of scales. “What happened to you? Why are you clutching your side?” Vokul asked. Before the soldier could answer, he was engulfed in a bright flash of red and fell to the ground, but as a human. Standing behind him were the robed men, one of them holding an orb that had sucked the draconic essence out of the Dragonborn soldier.  Angered, Vokul charged forth, hacked the figure in two, and proceeded to slaughter the remaining enemies.  One of the bandits sneaked behind him however, and drove a poisoned dagger into his side. Vokul began to stagger, and then fell, unconscious.

* * *

Vokul awoke in a forest glade, naked, bleeding and feeling terrible.  Struggling, he tried to remember what had happened.  The details were slow to come back, and to his horror, he did not remember much more than scattered imagery of an orb, a flash of red light, his friend falling before him, blood, anger, and then, pain.

After heading East for several slow and painful hours, by his reckoning, Vokul came upon a village.  Laughing at his nakedness, the layabouts looked on as a kindly old woman brought him a pair of trousers to put on.  She then led him back to her humble, thatch-roofed cottage, where she inquired as to what had troubled him such that he came here in this manner.   He explained as best he could, but he just could not remember anything.  As he rambled on, the old woman puttered about the kitchen, boiling water on the pot-bellied stove, adding a variety of herbs and spices to make a tea.  With a fancy flourish, she laid a cup and saucer before him and said, “Drink up dear.  Here, let me take a look at that wound…  It looks like you’ve seen the sharp end of a sword a lot, some sort of fighter are ye?”  Puttering around again, she assembled something in a bowl that smelled horrible.  Vokul hoped he wouldn’t have to eat it.  “Here dear, let me put this poultice on your wound, it will help to draw out the poisons and rot that are in there.  As she applied the foul mixture to his wound, she said kindly, “There’s a cot in the back for ye to rest upon.  Take a nap to let this medicine work its magic.  I’ll be back shortly.”  Then she picked up a basket and went out the front door.

Vokul stood up, and immediately regretted it.  His head was swimming and his side was hurting.  He tottered on wobbly legs into the back room and just about fell into the cot.  Within moments, he was sound asleep.

* * *

Vokul dreamed.  Of meadows and sunrise, of maidens and kisses.  Then a giant figure in black robes, a red circle for a face, smashed his dreams to smithereens.  It conjured an orb into its hands that seemed to be sucking the whole universe into endless darkness.  Red flashes of lightning pierced the darkness.  The sky turned blood red and poured into the orb.  Then he started falling, and falling, and falling…

With a start, he awoke to the old woman’s touch.  “Ah, the great beast awakes,” she smiled.  “You had me worried there for a few days, but you took the gruel well enough, even though you would not rouse.” “A few days?  How long have I been asleep?”

“Nigh on a 10-day, I should think,” she replied.  “I found you some clothes, some armor and a sword while you slept.  I think they’ll more-or-less fit ya. Ye bein’ a large fellow an all.  I imagine you’ll be wantin’ those before you leave.”

For some reason, Vokul found himself dressing, suiting up, and strapping on the sword belt; then sitting in the old woman’s kitchen and eating a feast fit for a king, thanking the old woman then departing toward the west, hoping to find out who and what he was and what had happened to him.  After a few days journey, he came upon the town of Greenest, where he took a room at the Inn on the Green.

Backstory – Berrian the Genasi (formerly Eladrin) Mage

Berrian story begins like so many of our stories with his father. Authron was a powerful sorcerer and a well-respected adventurer, who – after saving many a village and many a fair damsel in his younger years – settled into a life of teaching.  Near the end of his career as an adventurer of fortune, Authron defeated a powerful summoner and, when rummaging through the spoils, found amongst the summoner’s possessions what he assumed to be a fairly normal storm in a bottle.
After thorough study of the artifact, he found that the storm inside the bottle was sentient and beginning to learn. He found that it had no memories and a childlike personality. For a short time, he kept it as a familiar. The storm soon proved to be burdensome. The old wizard cursed the storm and trapped it inside the physical form of an eladrin baby. He thought this would be a fitting way to instruct and train the young elemental. In the early years, when the elemental was first learning language it began to refer to the old wizard as “father” and the wizard saw no need to correct it. Thus, the elemental grew to think of itself as a young eladrin and the sorcerer’s son and apprentice.
As such, the young eladrin found himself adept and easily able to out pace his peers. His classmates tended to claim it was nepotism because he was the son of an elder and an adventuring sorcerer. Berrian felt his father was too busy with his pupils to find time for his son. Authron showed little approval for any of his pupils, and did not make an exception for the fooled elemental.
The child grows and becomes a man. His classmates, despite being far less skilled and of obviously limited power in comparison to the elemental, still venture out into the world to seek their own fortunes. Still, the old sorcerer forbids the elemental to do the same. He uses his position as Berrian’s adopted father to pin him down as a journeymen in limbo. The son sees this as an act of protection. He endures for a time, but as the next batch of apprentices begins to take on their own adventure and as Berrian is called into consultation on the adventures of his erstwhile classmates, but never allowed to make adventures of his own, he devises eventually to set out on his own.
Basically he is a runaway and a mercenary sorcerer for a time. He goes where the wind blows him and ends up in Harkenwold.

When he arrives, he is immediately aware of something being wrong. He finds out quickly that the Iron Circle that runs everything only took over recently and that they took control while the majority of the Keep’s army was busy elsewhere. The impetuous young Berrian saw this as his chance to overthrow the Iron Circle. He would infiltrate this small band of poorly organized miscreants, assassinate their way-turned leader, Nazin Redthorn, and {depending on the disposition of the remaining thugs} he would either lead them himself to right the wrongs they had done {if they were just mislead} or else flee in the chaos of their mourning should they actually look up to the evil boss.
He joined the Iron Circle at a time when they were in some need of extra guards because there were but few remaining in the Keep. At the time of his joining he told them more or less the truth as he knew it. That he had run away from his father after the father had shielded him to forcefully from the world; that he had traveled many months and many many miles from home to seek his fortunes; that he had lived this time on his craft; and that he would join the Circle in search of money, power and respect.

He omitted that he intended the money to come more in rewards than wages, that the power would come at the Circle’s expense, and that he intended to be respected as a champion and enforcer of the law. These three things he omitted for his own safety, and it’s a good thing that he did.

The Circle accepted him quickly and with little if any ritual. He took up residence and earned little notoriety, but was well liked by those who worked with him. He kept his mouth shut and his eyes and ears open, biding time until he could assassinate Redthorn. He found out soon enough that the leader was in hiding, deep within the Keep and would not emerge for any reason until his trusted lieutenants returned from their current tour. They had been sent out with detailed strategical orders to divide and destroy the scattered remains of the HarkenWold’s armies before they could be regrouped and led back against the castle keep.

Now Berrian faced a catch 22. No matter how he tries he will not be able to get at the leader for some months until the current campaign is ended and the lieutenants return with their men. But at that time, the castle will again be overflowing with regular Circle scum and if he is found out he could be in real danger. The confidence his early successes inspired begins to wain, but Berrian decides to bide his time and wait. And his patience is rewarded.
Eventually, an adventurer is found trying to infiltrate the Circle. The adventurer is questioned but will not reveal his true identity or his intentions. He is imprisoned in the keep dungeons. Soon thereafter there is an attack in force on the castle keep. Berrian springs on this as his best chance. He heads for the dungeon and tells the guards there that all available archers are needed at the west wall [somewhere where archers won’t be helpful, but it would sound like they would] and that he will remain to guard the prisoner (being of no use as an archer himself). The guards go. Berrian stays and releases the prisoner, explains that he wishes to help and joins our merry band of adventurers in their travels.

Backstory – Kerigor the Minotaur Cleric

All minotaurs have a deeply held respect for Baphomet, the Horned King.  He represents raw, bestial power – the fury and savagery of a predator at the moment of the kill.    Many succumb to their dark impulses.  Some, rise above it, their conscience is more developed and through discipline, prayer, or both, they control their inner beast.  Spurned by most civil societies for their terrible appearance, they usually live in distant conclaves, or wander the land in search of adventure.

Thus I found myself in Fallcrest, a wanderer, seeker of adventure.  The Paladin’s order found me first, removing my hooded cloak to reveal the ugly beast hiding there.  They were this close to killing me when an angel appeared, a messenger from the great and mighty Bahamut himself.  The messenger said, “We expect great things from this one.  Lay up your swords and let him live.  Teach him of the Great Master and look past his visage to the strength within.”

I stood up, shaking off my attackers, who fell back, awestruck.  They escorted me to the temple where their Captain told the story.  The elders took me in, training me as they would any acolyte.  I sparred with the Paladins, often 2 at a time.  By size, and strength and ferocity, I was their equal in the practice yard.  But, always, I would struggle with the bloodlust that lay beneath the surface.

I showed some talent with the healing arts, so the miesters helped me focus on channeling those powers.  I am truly blessed by Bahamut to be able to swing my hammer at the foe and lay my hands upon my allies.

A few years ago, I met Sir Oakley.  He immediately recognized my strength and at arms, and soon came to appreciate my other talents as we fought in battle after battle.  He has a hunger, some need in his soul that has yet to be fulfilled.  He searches for something, I know not what.  But he has allowed me to go with him and work for him, developing my power as a warrior and my talent as a cleric.  Last year, I was named a Templar in the Order.  One of many, I know, but a proud distinction nonetheless.

Now, a group of adventurers – none less than the Defenders of Harkenwold and Slayers of Shadowmire, has found their way into Sir Oakley’s plans.  He has asked me to accompany them and keep them well.  Which I shall do, or die trying!

Backstory – Alphazar the Wilden Druid/Shaman

Deep in the Forest, at the Council of the 4 Winds, there is much debate.  Finally, after listening to all the arguments, Jolindarel, the Eldest, rises on withered limbs.  As he reaches his full height of 9’, the whispered shushes ripple down the length of the table rock.  Tattered burgundy leaves hang here and there in the branches that stem from his head and body.  In the winter of his life, his great girth showing his great age, the Eldest speaks in the old tongue, a sound not unlike the whispering winds rustling through the tree tops.  “My fellow councilors, we are faced with challenges throughout the Great Woods and we have much higher priorities than this rogue Wizard in our forest.  Even now we amass an army of tree folk to combat the Burners in the Eastern Wildwood.  To the South, the Leafless are ever expanding their cities and towns and bringing demons, death, and destruction with them.  There, many tree folk die to feed their need for wood and coke.  To the North, the ice demons are also expanding their range bringing winter too soon for the saplings to grow properly.  Much must be done.  Much will be done.  Though, to this matter of the Wizard, Lorameer has made a good argument.  The Wizard is a killer and is working dark magic in the forest, which must not be tolerated.  We cannot spare the strength to deal with him ourselves.  We shall send out some of the older saplings to recruit help from the Leafless.  We may hope that some of these will see the evil this Wizard represents and wish to destroy it.  We may hope.  Oleafshank, Mahindarel, send two of your saplings to the cities of the Leafless that lie to the north and to the west.  The Wizard must be dealt with before the moon turns, and, hopefully, before his dabblings in dark magic cause any further harm to the Forest.”