The Story So Far – 2011-10-19

 

Player Character Role Class Race
Lofton Lorian Controller Wizard Eladrin
Jason Reef Striker Rogue Changeling
Sabin Xaelin Striker Sorcerer Dragonborn
Pete Orin Tank/

Striker

Fighter/

Barbarian

Mul (half-dwarf)
Michael Kriv Tank Paladin Dragonborn
Perrin Alphazar Striker Vampire Revenant
Jason Berrian Controller Mage Genasi
Brett Phalanx Leader Warlord Dragonborn
Lance Garo Tank Swordmage Genasi

 

It turned out to be a rough morning with most of the party suffering, to one degree or another, from the mysterious pox.  By lunch time, most of the guys were up and about with only Kriv still abed and feeling lousy with sores over roughly 10% of his body.  (Lose 1 healing surge.)  Orin had no sympathy though and got Kriv up so the party could go and do.

 

Meanwhile, Reef had met a fellow from the village of Clearwater in the Witchlight Fens.  This fellow, Gander, had come in search of aid, having heard of a band of adventurers who slew the Bullywugs in Toadwallow Marsh.  It turns out that the Clearwater, Treewater, and the Witchlight Hermitage were in grave peril.  Gander explained that the Brackmarsh Lizardfolk, servants of the dragon, Shadowmire, and several other Lizardfolk clans were vying for territory.  The Brackmarsh had decided it was time to get the settlers out of the Fens, especially those at the Hermitage.  Raids were becoming more frequent and the Brackmarsh were becoming bolder and more dangerous.  Several villages have been abandoned already with the evicted settlers either dead or scattered.  Some were now refugees at Treewater, but based on where the Brackmarsh have been raiding, Treewater might well be next.

 

Orin gave Gander the money for meals and a room and said they would discuss this later, after the man had taken some rest.

 

Someone finally figured out that the worst of the pox from the morning was around the bite’s they had received from the demons the night before.

 

While the party lunched in the main dining hall, a pair of adventurers entered looking for Kriv.  Phalanx, it turns out, was at the monastery where Kriv was raised.  Alas, Kriv had no recollection of Phalanx at all.  Nevertheless, after much discussion, it was decided that Phalanx and Garo could work with the party on one mission to see if the new recruits were nothing but a lot of talk and a badge.

 

Once the party got moving, they headed directly for the cave the Abyssal Plague Demons were coming from.

 

Without a lot of fanfare, they strode into the cave where they came face to face with a young Bloodfire Harpy.  The Harpy immediately attacked, swooping in and blinding and burning several people with a cloud of hot ash.  Alphazar fought back and then 3 young Harpies (regular) swooped down Screeching a thunderous scream that crushed the body and mind of its victims, dazing some.

 

Thankfully, all the tanks were well positioned to take the brunt of these attacks, and though he was blind and dazed, Phalanx rallied valiantly, soaking up damage left and right, earning himself the title of Meat Shield.

 

The battle was a hard one.  Thankfully, the young Harpies were acting like bunch of foolish school girls, and the Bloodfire Harpy had not come into her namesake yet.  Even so, it was a hard fought battle as the Harpy’s screeched and sang.  A couple of Spiny Devils joined the fray, tossing their spines into the crowd, and then thought better of it, slinking back into the shadows.

 

Alphazar and Orin engaged them when all the Harpies were dead.  Alphazar misjudged an attach and almost got himself killed, but by then, Kriv and Meat Shield Phalanx were there to help and short work was made of the Spiny Devils.

 

A search of the cave found a fiery circle hanging in the air — a portal to the Abyss.  As the party recuperated, studied the portal and decided what to do, Reef explored the cave edges and found the Harpy’s nest.  Amid the refuse and the other nesting materials, Reef found a small hoard of gold and silver, with some pretty things (gems and artifacts) thrown in for good measure.

 

Back at the Portal, Kriv and Phalanx stepped through, finding themselves in the middle of a black-as-coal island amid a burning sea of fire.  On the island were several Spiny Devils, one of whom noticed the intruders.  Turning, Kriv and Phalanx saw a gold hoop suspended by some strange device, and in the center of the hoop was the portal.  They jumped through to get away from the spiny devil.

 

Back in the cave, they watched Alphazar step through.  Expecting him to jump right back, they waited and discussed what they had seen and how to close the portal.

 

On the other side, Alphazar had stepped through and was face to face with an angry Spiny Devil.  They traded blows for a few rounds, with Alphazar almost falling, but thanks to his new race’s abilities, he was only dazed, which let him strike back at the Devil one more time, killing it.

 

After waiting as long as they dared, Kriv and Orin stepped through pushing Phalanx ahead of them, to find Alphazar standing over the corpse of the Spiny Devil that spotted them earlier.  Looking around for other danger, they saw another Spiny devil, but as they drew weapons, it turned and flew off the island, leaving them on this barren stretch of rock with nothing but the golden hoop contraption to amuse themselves with.

 

_______________________________________

 

Treasure:

 

3 x 500gp gems

 

4 x 100gp gems

 

2 x 80gp gems

 

340gp + 800sp

 

250gp golden chalice

 

120gp silver chandelier

 

Lvl 7 magic item

 

Experience:

 

Alphazar: 250 for Spiny Devil solo’d

 

All: 206 ea.


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The Singers: A Wagon Approaches

The northern most scouts chirped like the Caroji beetle, sending the simple message to ready for battle.  Throughout the wood, 45 archers re-nocked 45 arrows and waited.  The wagon was coming from the North, this would be a shipment of payment from Daggerburg.

Omni, a warrior, prepared himself for the attack.  Around the corner to the north he saw two dire wolf steeds with goblin riders.  His bitterness and anger flamed as more goblins, on foot, came into view.  By his count, nearly 80 goblins had rounded the corner before the wagons started to come into view.  As the lead goblins passed his position, roughly midway down the line of Singers flanking the road, he glanced back to see the last wagon, followed by yet more goblins, 8 wagons in all, most, heavily laden, each being pulled by a pair of large sized Spitting Drakes.  Goblin herders wrangled the drakes and kept the train moving forward.  Following the wagons, another 30 or so goblins came into sight.

Omni did the math, this would likely be a bloody fight and several of the Singers might die today.  With that, he focused his bow on a particularly ugly goblin approx. 100′ away, and glanced to the right to check the position of the lead wagon.  As it approached the stone that marked First Shot, he drew back his bow.

As soon as the first wagon’s wheel passed the stone, 45 arrows flew into the unsuspecting goblins, pin-cushioning the Hobgoblin Commander, the dire wolves and their riders and dropping some 25 Goblin Cutters.  Even as they were falling and the goblins started to scramble about like ants after their nest is kicked, a second volley was loosed, felling another 20 Goblin Cutters and wounding most of the Goblin Warriors ahead of the wagons.

A third volley landed, dropping the drake herders and several of the warriors.  As a fourth volley flew, the drakes were getting agitated, the Hobgoblins in the rear were rallying the goblins into ragged ranks and the goblins in front of the wagons began throwing javelins into the trees.  It was obvious they had no idea where the elves were though, as all the javelins flew too low to be of any danger.  A fifth volley sung through the air, finishing more of the Warriors and the last few Cutters.  Of the original 80 goblins in front of the wagons, less than 20 remained.  The bows and arrows of the elves were finely crafted weapons.  When combined with the accuracy that years of training gives, the Singers were extremely accurate shots.  The Warriors ran around and around on the road, this way and that way, in and out, making seemingly random throws into the trees.  Seemingly random, until three of the singers fell out of their tree tops, each with a javelin in their chest.  The remaining Goblin Warriors targeted the right height and the right trees with surprising accuracy.

As the sixth volley flew, two more singers were taken down.  But, it was too little too late:  the seventh volley killed the last of the goblins in front of the train.

The Hobgoblin Commanders in the rear had split up, each taking a group of 16 Warriors with them as they flanked the wagons, looking to the trees from behind small wooden shields.  As the eighth volley started to fall, the hobgoblins shouted a guttural command, and the goblins all raised their shields, blocking nearly a third of the archers’ shots.  The remainder were wounded, but shook it off, responding by throwing javelins back into the trees.  Only 1 singer was hit, but not knocked out of his tree.  Two of the singers who had been knocked out of their trees were getting back up and gathering their bows.

A ninth volley fell and once again the hobgoblins’ command had the goblins raising shields.  This time, less than half the arrows found their target, 2 of the goblins fell, but the rest advanced toward the trees at a run in a more-or-less straight line, the hobgoblins pressing from behind.  The archer’s launched their tenth volley into the advancing line of goblins.  Several more fell, but the line kept coming.  Omni and a few others aimed for the hobgoblins, several scoring hits, but this seemed to do little more than piss the Commanders off as they urged their charges to move faster toward the trees.  Moments later, the archers were nocking their eleventh arrows, but the goblins were now obscured by the same foliage that had kept the archers safe.

Omni spotted one below him, its shield raised above its head, making itself a very small target indeed.  The goblin started climbing Omni’s tree.  Returning the arrow to his quiver and shouldering the bow, Omni started down the tree to meet the goblin.  Drawing his sword he picked a likely place and drew his longsword.  As the goblin clambered up the last branch, it dropped the shield and poked at Omni with a short spear, it missed and the elf swung down, hacking toward the goblin with a vertical strike.  The goblin ducked back around the massive trunk of the old Oak.  On the other side of the tree, just above the elf’s position, a javelin was flying at Omni before he realized the goblin had moved.  At the last moment he twisted out of the way so the sharp tip glanced off his ribcage, cutting through his leather armor and leaving a stinging gash in his flesh.  He reacted with a powerful swing of his sword, scoring a glancing blow of his own that left a dent in the goblin’s rusted helm.  Another stab missed him as he parried its thrust.  Another stab, and another, and he found himself, to his surprise, staying on the defensive.

With a determined effort, Omni swung a feint as he Danced the Steel, delivering a slashing blow that took the goblin in the thigh.  For an instant, the goblin reacted to the cut in his leg instead of the elf in front of him.  It was his undoing.  Omni seized the moment and delivered a Brutal Strike to the goblin, driving the point of his blade through armor, flesh and bone.  The goblin fell, twisting through the air and bouncing off tree limbs, landing on the ground below with a sickening crunch.

Omni looked around to see goblin corpses at the bottom of several trees.  He looked down at the wagons, the drakes had not bolted, which surprised him until he realized they were chewing on their fallen handlers.  Back down the road, he saw one of the hobgoblins and two of his warriors, running back the way they had come as a rain of arrows fell toward them.  When it landed, the three creatures were each impaled by no less than eight arrows each.  In the forest, the elves were coming down out of their trees.  There were six dead and two badly wounded, Wolajun’s leg had been pierced by a goblin’s javelin and Nijana’s hand had been run through by a goblin’s spear.  Several of the druid’s charmed the drakes so they were docile and manageable.  The Elders inspected the wagons.  One was laden with barrels of disgusting slops, the goblin’s food supply.  Another contained crates of chickens, likely intended for the drakes.  The others were laden with gold, weapons and armor.  The dead and injured elves were loaded into the wagons, and the train began to move.  Within an hour, they turned off the main road and headed north east, back to the Songwood.

The Singers

Crouching on one of the thick upper limbs of the oak tree, she waited.  Patiently.  It took three days of exploring to find this particular trail.  But that’s why the elders sent her.  Olea was one of the tribe’s best hunters.
This trail was one of the main supply lines from the sea ports far to the south, most likely Areadne’s Cove (a favorite of smugglers, thieves and briggands) to Daggerburg.  As soon as they found it, Olea sent Naheala to gather the other Singers. Within hours they started to arrive; warriors, seekers, rangers and druids.   Now, Olea was surrounded by 45 of her brothers and sisters, all camoflaged and nearly invisible with arrows nocked and spells readied.  Now they waited for the caravan to Daggerburg.  Who could say when it would pass, but the singers were vastly outnumbered so they were forced to harry the supply lines and make the occasional sortie as they could not attack Daggerburg directly.

Sand and Blood

Scrambling to his feet, his head reeling from the new dent in his helm, Goff turned to face the swordsman, expecting a follow up attack, but the swordsman was basking in the accolades of the blood thirsty crowd.  Goff launched forward, weapons thrusting out before him as the swordsman turned, battle ready, balanced on the balls of his feet, sword coming down to block.   Like a snake darting out, Goff’s net spun forward snagging the other’s sword hand.  Yanking it aside, Goff leaped, stabbing forward with his trident, aiming for the center of the swordsman’s chest.  With a sickening crunch and a spurt of hot, red blood, the swordsman’s chest was destroyed and he fell limp to the sand beneath their feet.  Goff yanked hard to pull the trident out, gore and all, then raised his arms in empty triumph as the crowd roared.

***

Back in his cell, Goff knew it was only a matter of time before the Master came to chastise him.  It was never enough to win, the Master always wanted something more:  more speed, more blood, more show, more suspense — always something more.  Later, caught dozing, Goff was on his knees before he became fully aware of what was happening, Clegain, the burly personal bodyguard of the Master was still holding his hair, pressing him forward and down so that he fell to his hands.  With Goff on all fours, the master spoke, “You should not have fallen so easily, you nearly cost me a lot of coin.  Next time, I want more speed.  Clegain, show him what happens when I am disappointed.  Then the beating started, sometimes, Clegain used a whip, but today he bore a cat-o-nine-tails.  Without mercy, the cat tore strips and chunks out of Goff’s bare back, eventually he screamed, but as the fog came over him and he fell to his belly in the dirt, the beating stopped.  His last thought before blacking out was a single word:  Revenge!