Silanya

Expedition 58
RIP in Pieces

All members MIA or lost.

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Expedition 56 - From Linna to Aa'li'naa

September 30, 2017

Characters
Sovan Dareshin
Amara Invictus
Linna Aurae
Pierre Lee

Experience
to be updated

Gold
To be updated

Changes
Amara and Linna have been turned to stone
Linna is now a Warden

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Expedition 55: Stealth Mission turned sour

September 23, 2017

Characters
Silverleaf Moonshadow – Lvl 5 wood elf druid
Lee-Jean – Lvl 4 Drow Paladin
Linna Aurae – Lvl 4 High Elf Rouge
Ent Springvine – Lvl 4 Wood Elf Ranger
Demitri Thornwood – Lvl 1 Wood elf Druid
Regis LeBeur – Lvl 3 Hill Dwarf Monk

Experience
800 xp per character

Gold
209 gp per character

Changes
Ent Springvine has perished
Demitri Thornwood levelled to level 2

Log to be written

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Expedition 54: Death Underground

September 23, 2017

[Posted on time – characters get 0.1 HP]

Characters
Oscar (bard, 2)
Beau (ranger, [hunter], 4)
Bugle (fighter [arcane archer], 4)
Syathir (fighter [eldritch knight], 3) Log writer

Experience
Syathir and Bugle: 330 XP (includes sheet update)
Beau and Oscar: 273 XP (includes sheet update)

Gold
Oscar: 47 GP
Beau: 38 GP
Bugle: 72 GP
Syathir: 54 GP
LMF: -71 GP

Acquisitions

  • Chunk of boat gunnel coated with alchemical varnish (20 GP)
  • POI – Mansion with ghosts, vampire spawn
  • MPOI – Bat Colony

Summary

We went underground in hex 4.12 and explored until we reached an island in an underground lake, with a mansion full of ghosts and at least two vampire spawn. They killed Beau and Oscar. Bugle and I escaped.

Log

We travelled to the entrance underground in 4.12. It took about three hours to get there, through heavy rain. As we moved through the hills, the ground beneath us collapsed into a mudslide from a combination of the heavy rainfall and the hill having been burrowed out. We heard chittering and a large-sized insect dug its way out of the ground. It vaguely resembled a beetle, but with the sharp front legs of a praying mantis. Oscar cast Vicious Mockery, the rest of us fired arrows, and we killed it. [did 35 damage and then a final arrow killed it, AC < / = 15]

We reached the entrance and climbed down through the narrow passage. The walls are covered thickly with a moss to which I am severely allergic. Bugle, Beau, and Oscar were not. My allergy made it very difficult to do things properly [disadvantage to climb checks because had to try to avoid touching it, failed a con save and had to take off her gloves to get past one part, so ended up with -2 to attack rolls until next short rest].

We spotted an aberration waiting to ambush us. It was a large-sized and very disturbing jellyfish-eque creature made of rock. It was hovering in the air and its tendrils stuck out at weird, nonsensical angles. It was immune to Bugle’s poison darts, Beau’s ranger training [colossus slayer didn’t happen], and Oscar’s Sleep spell. We attacked it with physical weapons, Firebolts, and Vicious Mockeries, which all seemed effective. After several attacks, it went limp but continued to float. Then it shook itself and started moving again. It attacks with its tentacles. It appeared to target Oscar preferentially from the rest of us. We attacked it and knocked it limp again, only for it to revive itself.

Then we noticed that while it had some moss on it, it did not have any of the glowing moss, and it had been hiding in a shadowed part of the tunnel even though it would have camouflaged better in one of the lit-up areas. When Bugle moved forward to place it within the radius of dim light from his continually flaming bow, it moved back. Beau grappled it and dragged it into the circle of bright light. This time when we “killed” it, it fell motionless to the ground. We speculate that it was just a boulder that had gotten changed and animated by aberrant energy, as its rock body appeared to have formed naturally.

We started exploring to the south. Four cave bears passed by us, but we hid from them.

Eventually the narrow tunnel that we had been walking down opened up into a gigantic cavern, mostly taken up by a lake about a mile across and two miles long. We could see an island with man-made structures. The shore and cavern walls were covered in glowing moss and the same dotted the cavern’s ceiling like stars and coated the structures on the island. The lake itself was an inky expanse of total darkness.

We began to walk around the edge of the lake. A swarm of approximately 20 gibbering, chittering creatures — vaguely humanoid, with large bat-like ears, not armed or armoured — came towards us. Oscar and Beau tried to talk to them. They said that as they came within range of the creatures, they could make out extremely unsettling snatches of what they were saying, even though they did not recognize the language, and even though they couldn’t retain or really understand any of it. Oscar was deeply shaken [failed wis save: no reactions until next turn and roll a d8 to find out what you do on your next turn!]. The creatures lunged forward to attack. Bugle shot a magical arrow towards them that created a beam of ethereal missiles. It destroyed the lot of them.

We continued our loop around the lake and found a stone jetty, completely grown over with moss and mushrooms but in otherwise perfect condition. There were two boats – one in quite good condition due to a likely magical varnish and the other in much worse shape. The varnish was some sort of alchemical seal, strong enough to last centuries. We have collected a sample of it for study. The boat and jetty were of dwarven construction and looked expensive and well-designed. We used the lesser boat to patch the single hole in the first and rowed to the island, over several trips as the boat holds only two people.

We snuck towards the centre of the island and came upon the previously cultivated gardens of the manor house. Its trellises were covered by the ubiquitous moss and mushrooms of the underdark but had clearly held decorative plants at one point. The house was large and beautifully designed. It appeared to be a summer home of some sort. Moss grew on it in patches, as some areas were still warded against it. I cast detect magic. There were several abjuration effects and a statue of a fish in the garden with evocation in it.

We heard movement behind the door as we broke it down. Oscar conjured a minor illusion of a mirror, which we angled to reflect the inside of the house. We saw a ghostly figure, dressed in well-made servants’ clothing, standing to the side of the door and watching. Upon seeing the mirror, it phased back through the wall. The hallway inside was richly decorated.

Beau stepped inside and then Bugle followed. Each of them triggered three scorching rays from the the fish statue’s defenses. Two ghosts phased through the walls into the hallway and attacked. We attacked with spells, if we had them, and physical weapons for those who didn’t. They faded back through the walls. Oscar and I entered the house as well. We stopped to heal Oscar, who had been badly burnt by the scorching rays, then continued into the house.

There was an extensive coat closet, an ostentatiously empty room, a dining room, and then a kitchen. We saw a stairway leading up and one leading down.

We caught sight of a ghost phasing through the wall as we entered the kitchen. Beau called to it in dwarven. It returned and asked us what we were doing there. Its dialect was archaic but not corrupted or evolved. Beau explained that we were exploring. It asked us to leave. Oscar told it that its home was beautiful and offered to help repair it. It repeated its request that we leave. Beau asked if it would be willing to talk to us in the garden, if we left the house, and it said yes. Bugle and I didn’t want to leave the house, since the scorching rays would make it costly to re-enter. Beau asked if we could go back to the front hallway and talk there. It paused and tilted its head. At the time, I wasn’t sure if it was thinking or listening. In retrospect, listening. It said we would have to wait. We waited for two or three minutes while Oscar played dwarven music for it. Then we went to the hall, where they had prepared an ambush. We were, depending on the individual, too trusting or too confident.

There were four ghosts waiting, to be joined later by six others. Two extremely gaunt, pale dwarven figures leapt out from hiding. Bugle saw them and immediately signalled for us to run. He had recognized them from his prior service. They are vampire-spawn. Their attacks sap your vitality [subtract damage from max HP until short rest].

They attacked Bugle and Oscar. Oscar fell and was revived by Beau. Beau charged for the door and almost made it. The ghosts saw that we had healed Oscar and attacked him again. He died almost instantly. Bugle ran for the door and maneuvered around the vampire-spawn guarding it. More ghosts attacked. I dodged past the vampire-spawn at the door. The ghosts felled Beau.

Bugle and I were outside in the garden. A ghost had followed us outside but was watching us instead of attacking. Bugle could have run then, but he stayed. He made a lasso and managed to get it around Beau, who was unconscious but breathing, and drag her outside. Three ghosts attacked him then. He dropped but the gem he’d received from the mushrooms revived him. I fed Beau a healing potion, yelled to the ghosts that we were leaving, and ran for it. Bugle was surrounded by four ghosts. Beau ran up to them to distract them. They all swung at her and missed. Then they attacked Bugle and Beau and dropped them both.

Four of the ghosts chased after me. They are extremely fast [50 ft?]. Twice they caught up and attacked me – I Shielded against some, and lucked out on others, and was only hit once. The ghosts stopped abruptly at the edge of the property. The vampire-spawn had not left the house itself. I found a place to hide and waited to see if Beau or Bugle would make it out.

After an hour of waiting, I saw Bugle stir. He crawled to where Beau lay. He removed one of her eyes, retrieved her axe, and snuck away. There was no way to do anything similar for Oscar. I met him at the edge of the property.

We spent the night on the island. In the morning, we rowed back to shore. Bugle requested that we keep exploring. We found our way around the tunnels relatively well. Eventually, we came to a large cave with a gigantic colony of bats. They appeared normal except for their sizes, which ranged up to huge-sized. This constitutes a Minor Point of Interest.

We reached an area where the mushrooms began to push out the moss, and grow larger, and glow more brightly. I had difficulty breathing so we turned back. We climbed back to the surface via a new tunnel which we had noticed on the way down. There was one place with a sheer wall leading to an overhand 25 ft up. I boosted Bugle up, then climbed a rope that he tossed down. We came up about a mile north and a touch west of the other entrance in 4.12 and returned to Sila.

My condolences to Oscar and Beau’s families. They will be missed, and avenged.

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Expedition 53: Silanyan Diplomacy

[Posted on time – characters get 0.1 HP]

September 17, 2017

Characters
Sovan Dareshin (bard [lore], 6)
Brier Demanscus (paladin 2 / sorcerer 2)
Amara Invictus (wizard [necromancer], 4)
Rowan Kyrie’yva (paladin, 3)
Jean-Pierre du Veyrir de la Grand Contumace Saint-Emilion (cleric [forge], 5)
Morgan Wheeler (wizard, 1), Log-writer

Experience
672 XP, or 740 XP with sheet update

Gold

Amara: 88 GP
Brier: 76 GP
JP: 46 GP, 30 Blazing Banner token
Morgan: 88 GP
Rowan: 88 GP
Sovan: 76 GP
LMF: -10 GP

Items

  • Ornate silver cup (from cyclops) – 60 GP
  • Jewelled bracelet (from shaman) – 40 GP
  • various valuables (from shaman) – 30 GP
  • token from Blazing Banner champion – 30 GP, claimed by JP
  • specialized stiletto knives (from GrosQua) – two knives, 20 GP each

Summary

The Purple Tower in Hex 9.11 and the Banded that it controls have been increasingly destructive in the plains. Our eventual intention is to attack the Tower while simultaneous attacks by our allies draw away its forces and its attention. We set out to cement alliances with: a) a group of GrosQua, by taking their side against another group of GrosQua and retrieving a magical item which they rely upon for food, b) the Blazing Banner tribe, by delivering demon ichor to them as proof of our martial prowess, and c) Broadleaf the ent, by helping it escape from the Crumbly Hills to more traversable ground. Roaring success on all three counts, on a purely goal-oriented metric.

Log

We planned to deal with the GrosQua first – travel directly there, scry and spy their fort, and attack it in the morning. Our route was through Hex 4.13, taking the road up through 5.12 and 6.12 through the hobgoblin and Crested Skull territory, and then through the Crumbly Hills to the GrosQua fort. We travelled along the road and across the bridge without incident. The hobgoblin camp was minimally active and had substantially retracted its perimeter.

Suddenly Brier sensed something unidentifiably off [20 perception]. Sovan and JP inspired and guided me [35 perception] and I noticed a disturbance in the air in front of us and a soft footfall behind us just in time for them to go visible and attack us. There were four banded – twisted and tarry creatures with prominent silver veins. They attacked in pairs and targeted me and Amara as the two most vulnerable. Each banded attacks twice at a time with its claws.

One attack hit me and one hit Amara, who immediately pointed at it and evoked retributional flames around it. The battle was joined. JP cast Spirit Guardians and the air filled with ghostly dwarves. Fascinating. Also deadly. Brier attacked one and sliced into it with his longsword – then green flames leapt to the banded next to it. Half paladin, half sorcerer, all business.

Sovan used Vicious Mockery on one of the ones attacking me. Then he ran up to them and back again – provoking their reactionary attacks, so that I could back away safely. Then he approached them again, so that they would attack him instead of chasing me. I backed away safely. They didn’t chase me. ‘Thanks’ seems quite insufficient here but – thanks.

Amara cast Shatter. On seeing that we were tougher than they had perhaps expected, the banded turned invisible again and tried to run. JP’s ancestors slowed them enough to keep them in our sights (figuratively speaking) despite their speed [faster than 30 ft]. Brier ran up and took a swing at one that he ended up adjacent to – apparently standing directly beside one of them allows you to find it despite its invisibility. Sovan ran up and stood directly beside one and helpfully pointed it out to the rest of us. Amara and I missed with firebolts, Rowan missed with a rapier, and we all felt very good about ourselves.

A quite injured banded died beneath the diligent weapons of the dwarves of old. [Rough guestimate because didn’t track very well which ones took which damage, but about 40 to drop one.] The others kept running. Brier grappled one – a good move if they’re invisible, since getting a hand on it lets you know where it is [roll flat not disadv.]. Eventually we killed it. They are decently tough to hit [AC 16-17ish], frequently invisible [disadvantage on attacks] and fairly dangerous [6-7ish damage each of two attacks]. A delightful first encounter. We took some biological trophies from the two corpses – in case we needed to prove how tough we are to anyone – and moved on.

Amara found us a place to rest and we spent an hour without incident while Sovan sang for us. On reaching the Crumbly Hills, a sudden and torrential downpour turned the ground into a muddy morass half a foot deep. We slogged on northwards. Rowan sang to bolster our spirits, on the assumption that the rain would drown out any noise we made. Altogether more singing that I had expected but very nice.

We saw four hobgoblins stumbling down a hill near us. They spotted us at the same time and tried to backpedal up the hill, to no great success. We floundered towards them. Ah, mud, that great equalizer of men.

They wore standard armour and two were carrying a large chunk of giant beetle carapace. Sovan hailed them, and Rowan cast Friends on one of them. Our new, and very very temporary, friend told us that they were headed to their camp in the north, where they intended to work the carapace into shields. The other three hobgoblins shuffled around and knocked arrows in our direction and generally berated their overly-communicative friend. He reported lots of giant beetles and GrosQua in the region. Then we fucked off before the spell ended.

A little ways on, we came upon a cyclops stuck waist-deep in a collapsed hill. Sovan hailed it. It went ‘argh’ but also managed to communicate that it would appreciate our assistance in getting unstuck. Cyclops generally are known for their tendency to throw boulders at people and then eat them, but this one promised us treasure so we elected to free it. Rowan pulled out his block and tackle, we found a likely looking rock to brace against, and the more mighty members of our menagerie muscled it out.

The cyclops sprawled on the ground and went ‘argh’ again and told us that it hated the hills, which honestly seemed pretty reasonable. Then it pulled itself up to an impressive 11 ft height and off we went. It led us to its trove and, after offering us a variety of garbage and partially masticated bodies, gave us a be-gemmed silver cup. We showed it a guild crest and explained that we are both dangerous and helpful and ought not to be fought. It grudgingly agreed and we parted ways, reluctant non-combatants if in no way friends.

We continued on our way. I felt the earth tremble beneath us, yelled a warning, and then immediately faceplanted into the mud. A gigantic beetle stuck its head and shoulders, and most noticeably its mandibles, out of the mud and tried to grab me and drag me down. I Shielded, Sovan Cutting Wordsed, and I barely slipped out of its jaws.

Brier smote it with a booming blade attack, with Rowan’s assistance [19 damage]. Sovan used Dissonant Whispers [12 damage]. It tried to burrow its way back and triggered thunder from Brier’s attack [8 damage]. Brier swung at it again as it fled [crit: 30 damage] and that was the end of that. The beetle had beetled its last. [Shell worth maybe 50 GP, but too heavy for us to bother with.]

We reached the rebel GrosQua fort in the late afternoon. There were four concentric earthen rings around the fort, constructed since the guild’s last visit. Each was 20 ft tall and 15 ft thick, with 30-50 ft between them. I sent my familiar over to scout. It didn’t return.

JP conjured a Clairvoyant sensor into where he guessed the main hall would be. He saw a hallway leading from the entrance into the main room. Portions of the stone floor had been torn away to give access to raw earth, and there was a tunnel going diagonally downwards in one corner of the room. Half a dozen GQ sat at a guard post – dwarf-like creatures with strange metal plates, and armed with mostly shortswords and crossbows. One carried a long, dirk-ish knife and displayed agility. JP overheard them say that they would be ready when we came – dumping us all in one pit hadn’t worked, so they intended to split us up.

We headed over to our GQ allies’ base to recruit some of them to accompany us in the morning and get us through the earthen rings. On our way, we saw a flight of banded in the distance – approximately 30. We practiced the better part of valour and hid for our lives [group stealth 15]. They swooped around and dove periodically as if hunting, but didn’t catch anything so far as we could see.

Sovan sought out a GQ, Allard, whom he had met last time and correctly identified as the brave sort. He talked up the mission, Rowan played some adrenalizing music in the background, and she and a friend, Fronc, agreed to join up. No shamans were available – there are only three, who are necessary to maintain their defences and probably irreplaceable at this point.

We interviewed Allard to get a rundown of her abilities and the shamans’. Her armour wasn’t particularly good, but the metal plates buried in her body likely help in that regard. Allard reported that she could kill a wolf or hobgoblin easily, or probably one of the giant ants. She could maybe kill one of the rebel GQ, although she and Fronc would manipulating the earth instead of fighting. Individually, we estimated that each of the experienced guild members – i.e., everyone except me – could likely match 3 or 4 of the GQ in a stand-up fight. She estimated approximately 30-40 people in the rebel settlement.

The shamans are tougher: they can collapse a significant piece of ground from 50 ft away (other GQ must touch earth to move it). They can move stone, instead of only dirt like most GQ. They throw huge boulders and can pull up a shield of dirt to block ranged attacks. They can do this as many times as they want, but not necessarily in quick succession. They can also raise pillars of dirt beneath themselves – only a limited number of times, but bad news if they do, as they can kick two chunks of the pillar off at you at a time. The rebels had two shamans remaining, because the last guild expedition here had already killed one.

Allard warned us to expect a lot of pits designed to separate us. We formed groups of two – me and Sovan, JP and Amara, Brier and Rowan – who would try to keep together so that nobody ended up on their own. Once you’re in the pit, trained GQ attack you with specialized stiletto knives – they can strike through the earth, so the wielders don’t have to expose themselves. Rowan and Brier bought two, so that they could stab back into the ground if necessary.

Sovan asked what they find frightening. He has found a way to add a fear-inducing element to his Major Image spell – not something I’d see before. Allard described a bulette – a large, clawed burrowing creature with astoundingly massive jaws. In the morning, Sovan created an image of one, Allard and Fronc stuck their hands through it to prove to themselves it was fake, and off we went.

There was one section where the earthen rings were significantly closer together – which would have potentially meant a faster approach, but Allard confirmed that it was likely too substantial a deviation from their norm to be happenstance. We avoided the most compressed part of their defences and entered through an only slightly compressed section.

Brier blessed himself, JP, and Rowan. We started to sneak towards the walls, heard the amount of noise that we were making, and turned it into a charge. The archers on the walls spotted us at 450 ft, shouted some warnings, and scrambled for their weapons. Allard and Fronc laid their hands on the first wall and it opened to reveal a very startled scout. He took one look at the bulette image and Amara – thaumaturgied with a booming voice and accompanied by small tremors in the earth – and froze. Amara growled to him to “RUN”. He ran away. We ran forward.

The archers had collected their bows and their selves and began to fire at us and, luckily, our illusory bulette friend. A shaman popped up on the wall. We took a couple of shots at him as Allard and Fronc re-opened the next wall – the first time they’d done so, a GQ inside of it immediately snapped it shut. We all dashed through. The GQ caused the ground beneath Rowan and Brier to collapse but they dodged it.

The shaman leapt down from the wall and slammed the earth where he landed. A crack shot out towards us and the ground beneath us abruptly fell away. Brier, Rowan, and JP kept their feet. I cast Feather Fall on Amara, Sovan, and myself and we grabbed onto the edges. Three arrows hit me. I came to with a healing spell from JP. Sovan had been holding me up – he placed my hands back on the ground and healed me. He, Amara, and I pulled ourselves up. I drank a healing potion and watched JP’s spiritual ancestors roll in and do their spiritual work. Amara threw a warning firebolt at the archers. Brier summoned a Fog Cloud to block us from view. Sovan used Dissonant Whispers effectively on the GQ who had opened up the pit. Allard and Fronc killed him as he ran past. Allard and Fronc ran up to the next wall to open it – as they did, a pit opened up beneath Fronc and he was dragged down by a stiletto-wielding assassin.

The shaman sent a gigantic rock flying towards Rowan, who was standing up with Allard by the wall – the rest of us still covered within the Fog Cloud. Rowan dodged and it embedded itself in the dirt when he had been.The shaman took more damage from the Spirit Guardians and Rowan’s divine rapier. He looked almost dead. Sovan cast Dissonant Whispers and Brier, Rowan, and JP attacked as he fled. Then he looked fully dead.

I ran to the pit where Fronc was and found him alive – doing quite a bit better than his attacker, actually. I firebolted the rebel, Sovan came up behind me a cast Dissonant Whispers, and he burrowed away. Sovan tossed down a rope and Fronc quickly scaled the pit.

JP signalled Allard to open the wall. Two rebels had been waiting inside it – tried to close it and failed, the other was clearly poised to strike. JP’s ghostly ancestors swarmed them and he shot a sacred flame at one. The rebel crumbled the ground beneath JP, who used his Ring of Agility to get clear.

Sovan moved his bulette image to burrow out of the ground near us. The nearby GQ stood their ground, but Sovan jumped it up towards the archers, all three of whom dropped their bows and fled. Sovan’s use of that spell is quite a sight. Two of the three rebels near us died to the Spirit Guardians a moment later.

JP positioned himself in from of the door – next to Buttons, Amara’s mushroom sprout familiar, whom she had summoned unobtrusively by the door. Suddenly Buttons shambled into action. It rapped on the door with its tiny, squidgy fist. The knocks echoed and reverberated and the door swung open. Strategically sound and incredibly stylish.

The shaman inside instantly kicked a boulder towards JP, who raised his shield and his Shield and planted himself in the doorway and just – stopped it. The shaman and his three companions backed out of range of Spirit Guardians; they learn quite quickly from our tactics.

Brier and I came to the doorway to firebolt the shaman [hit on a 17]. He didn’t use his shield ability – to save it for a larger attack, presumably. Sovan cast Fireball and aimed it right over his head, at a pretty non-shieldable angle. It went off. The three non-shamans died. Rowan dashed up, hexed the shaman, and hit him with a divinely smiting rapier blow. He surrendered.

We demanded the mushroom idol (a magical item which causes mushrooms to grow more plentifully, and the price of our GQ allies’ help). He shiftily agreed to take us to it – not out-right lying, but he certainly would have taken an opportunity to fuck us over if one had presented itself. We strode forward to dispatch him and he dropped a ton of dirt from the ceiling to block his escape route.

Allard and Fronc couldn’t move it. Amara, who had cast Alter Self [15 ft burrow speed] and grown a set of magnificent claws, dug most of the way through it. Sovan Shattered it – revealing the two rebels who had been holding the wall shut and who were currently reeling from Sovan’s shatter. We killed them.

We found evidence that the shaman had burrowed away, but couldn’t follow the trail. We took the existing tunnel down to try to find him. We ran into two rebel GQ who yielded to Sovan’s terrifying bulette and JP’s Spiritual Guardians. They led us to where the mushroom idol had been stored, although the shaman had clearly been and gone by the time we got there. They told us the likeliest places to look when we reached the looting stage of our attack (mainly precious metals buried in the ground or stored in the leaders’ rooms on the top floor of the fort) and we released them.

We rushed back up to the surface to try to cut the shaman off before he could escape with the mushroom idol. Sovan cast Enlarge on Amara [25 ft burrow speed] and up we tunnelled. We breached the surface and saw about a dozen GQ and no shaman. They were gathering themselves to run, but sent off a volley of crossbow bolts on our appearance.

Brier conjured a Fog Cloud. Sovan pulled out a shawm and began to play shrill, shrieking music with it [26 intimidate]. Rowan strode out of the fog and yelled that we would let them go if they told us where the shaman went. JP followed him out. The rest of us loitered around under cover. There was a tense moment. Then one of them stepped forward and agreed to lead us to a hiding place where the shaman had likely gone, in exchange for our sparing the rest of them.

The shaman stood at the top of a huge, stony hill. He saw us approach, saw that we were being led by one of his own, and waited. We shouted that we would spare him if he gave us the mushroom idol. We told him that there was another Fireball if he didn’t. He tossed down the item. He asked after his followers – if we had killed them all. We told him that many had surrendered and lived.

We elicited his side of the story – what had caused the schism between the groups. He looked disdainfully at Allard and Fronc, then wearily approached us and sat down. The story we got was that the GQ had originated as two distinct groups. They had joined about 10-15 years ago because of the threat from the millitaurs. About 5 years ago, this shaman had fallen out with another lead shaman – he’d picked a fight with her and lost, although he never really said what the fight was about. His supporters kept fighting hers but were outnumbered 2 to 1. Eventually, there was a fight that killed a few people. He took the mushroom idol and left with his followers.

The story came out vague and disjointed. I cast Detect Magic to check for enchantment and saw that all four of the GQ were showing signs of lingering magic – not a discrete spell, just a greater concentration of the untyped background magic that permeates everything. The mushroom idol had mostly conjuration magic, as expected, but also had a hint of this other kind.

We questioned the shaman specifically about the idol – apparently they’d had it for many years, most of the time that they’d been working together. The shaman couldn’t recall where they’d gotten it, which was strange because – well, you’d think you’d remember getting an object that you’re clearly willing to kill for. Neither could his supporter, Allard, or Fronc. We tried to convince the shaman that it was weird that they couldn’t recall, which mostly convinced them that we were weird.

We set up JP to cast Protection from Good and Evil and Sovan to cast Countercharm. Amara cast Detect Magic to observe any changes. What she described was amazing; she saw the very nature of – the logic of – the corruption [41 arcana check! 41!]. Their behaviour was a manifestation of the corruption that had wormed its way into them – not a pierce of magic that could be dispelled, but something that had rooted itself deep within them and shaped them. The illogical split between the groups is a symptom of their corruption. They hadn’t even divided into their original groups – that story is something they tell themselves to make sense of their otherwise inexplicable behaviour. They couldn’t remember getting the mushroom idol because it had gotten caught up in their story and they could barely conceive of a time before they owned it. Over about 5 years, their brains had been irreversibly and inescapably rewritten to be unable to stand each other. Not heartening to know that the corruption is actively worsening, at least near the tower.

We tried to negotiate peaceable relations – separate forts, with a lot of distance between them; application of Plant Growth to provide more food; each side committing to only fighting the other in self-defence. The shaman clearly understood the logic of it and was trying to agree, but just couldn’t. The corruption had warped them too much to be reasoned with.

We discussed options. The other side had promised to join us against the banded. Their strength would be sapped by on-going civil war with the rebels. Removing the rebel’s last shaman would massively stabilize our allies. The debate went in circles with no satisfactory answer. Finally the dissenters stopped dissenting. We killed the shaman. This follower attacked us. I yelled to her that we had killed the shaman because he was dangerous, but that she didn’t have to die. I told her we would let her live if she ran. She ran. Allard and Fronc attacked. I yelled at them to desist but they were unable to stop themselves from shooting after her, and then chasing her down. I fervently, if only momentarily, considered casting offensive magic at the allies with whom we had just risked our lives. Instead I stood and passively watched them murder someone who I had promised safety to, twice, and who had volunteered​ to go with us to spare her companions. Rah-rah, go team.

We shuffled around uselessly for a little while. I mostly busied myself trying to not look at either of the corpses. We got a jeweled bracelet off of the shaman and some valuable metals from a cache in his hidey-hole. Can barely kill anybody around here without turning a profit. Amara went to find Sovan, who had wandered off during the debate. Then Amara and Sovan came running back following by a cloud of insects. There are some aspects of Silanya that do rather incline one towards pathetic fallacy. They had been sitting in a little hollow in the hill, apparently, which was actually the mouth to a cave inhabited by some sort of yellow-jacket.

Amara roasted many with Burning Hands and then JP tromped over with his Spirit Guardians and that was that. They were pretty tough – I cast a decent Sleep spell [25 HP of creatures] and only affected two of them. They’re also poisonous [DC 11 con check].

Allard and Fronc were getting agitated to bring the mushroom idol back to their group. We didn’t have any strong objections. We went back, handed over the idol, and were assured of their intention to honour their promise to fight against the banded with us.

In the morning we went back to the rebel fort for a traditional post-victory sacking. The archers were back on the walls. Not sure if that was deliberate strategy or the corruption not letting them adapt. We left it.

We went down-river to go free the ent – referred to here as Broadleaf as its full name is, to be frank, quite beyond me. Broadleaf seemed pleased to see us – because of how quickly we had returned (NB: it was several months). We all climbed into its branches, Sovan cast Fly, and off we went. Easily the most fun part of this expedition. We didn’t even have to kill any prisoners.

We flew for ten minutes to more solid ground. Broadleaf planted itself by the river near the lake in the middle of the eastern plains. I believe it intends to head into the Dark Forest for now, although it has pledged us its help.

We travelled up to the Blazing Banner fort after that accompanied by a harrowing illusion of Ezra Argent, provided by Sovan. Apparently Ezra had quite impressed them on a previous mission – he’d even stared down a cavalry charge and broken their morale. We turned up at the gates and explained to the four guards there that Ezra was back in town but communicating long-distance via our Moste Powerful Magicks. Ezra glared at each of them individually. Two discreetly slunk off. The other two steeled their nerves and demanded to know if we had brought them demon ichor, as agreed. We handed over a sample and assured them that we were fearsome demon killers who had barrels of the stuff back home – if they wanted to trade for it. Their shamans gain power from it. They told us to bring the barrels to their fort. We tried to hammer out the details of exactly what they would offer for it, but they just told us to bring it and they would give us something. Not big on negotiation. Seem to see bargaining as either disrespectful and/or degrading.

They confirmed that they would fight with us against the banded, now that we’d proven ourselves as demon-killing warriors. Then they asked if we could settle the matter of which of us would lead that fight. Single combat between our champion and theirs.

We and the Blazing Banner would each put forward a champion, and a second to support them magically before the fight. Brier lent Sovan his magic gauntlet and Sovan used it to Bless JP.

Amara went through the increasingly large crowd trying to get them to bet on the fight. Sovan helped get them riled up. By the end, they’d laid out 400 GP worth of money and valuables.

A truly enormous Blazing Banner came out, following by a shaman. Sovan buffed up JP with Bless and an Inspiration. The shaman took some ichor and traced it along his own arm, then touched the champion, who shook and stretched, hefted his giant war club, and stepped forward..

JP opened the fight by casting Heat Metal on the BB’s chainmail 20 damage, then follows up with a spiritual hammer crit, 9 damage.

Bb throws himself at JP, making three wild swings, reckless attack, surprisingly light on his feet, one hits JP through a Shield.

JP follows up with more Heat Metal, and a guiding bolt.

The BB misses three more times.

JP heats metal again, but misses with guiding bolt – BB was moving very, very quickly and sidestepped it.

The BB lands another hit, even after JP used Shield again.

JP heated metal again and cast another guiding bolt that caught the champion full in the chest. He staggered back and dropped to a knee. The crowd, which had been cheering wildly up to this point, seemed very taken aback. JP approached and offered his hand, then pulled the – and I cannot stress this enough – absolutely massive warrior to his feet. The champion gave JP his token. All very manly and brusque.

They honoured their bet and the leadership confirmed that we would lead in the fight against the Banded.

Our mission completed, we returned to town. We saw a group of BB along the way, who acknowledged us but didn’t stop to talk, and then we were back at the wall.

I saw some wonderful things I would never have expected to, saw some terrible things that I really should have seen coming, and got some loot. Much blood and tears were shed. Pretty typical expedition, I assume.

View
Expedition 52: Jean-Lee and the Glowing Jewels
We learn about the Brightarms and make some new friends!

[On Time – All participants get 0.1 HP].\

Adventurers:
Valerian (log-keeper)
Jean-Lee
Tabatha (cartographer)
<bugle>
Finnegan
Silverleaf

DAY ONE
Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day! I’ve got a wonderful feeling, everything’s going my way!
We set off under a gorgeous bright sun and the bluest of skies, quickly transitioning to the… most muted of suns and the greyest of skies. Still a lovely day! There is sweat in between my thighs.
We make it to the border of 4.12 and 5.11 without incident, near the entrance to the Underdark. We somehow did not notice it on the way up, but all the tunnels appear to branch toward each other at the top. Going down, many tunnels branch off from a singular entrance tunnel; we do not know which one we are supposed to take. I feel as though if I had paid more attention on my way out last time, I would know which one to take… but I was distracted by the glorious glowing moss, and did not.
Bugle, glorious perceptive friend Bugle, notices that we can trace the thicker patches of glowmoss and that the correct tunnels have thicker glowmoss. Thank Shelaira for Bugle!
Tabatha, Finn, Bugle, Silverleaf, and I climb down with no difficulty. Jean-Lee, unfortunately, gets a face full of moss while trying to free himself from a sticky patch. Well, trying to free his posterior. (It is a beautiful posterior though.) In the process, Jean-Lee gets an inspired idea for an addition to his new Destruction fashion line.
(Jean-Lee: “Someday I’ll be a big boy!” <bugle>: “You’re already a big boy. That’s our problem.”)
With my hands full of fashionable posterior, I hear a commotion from up ahead. I finally manage to shove Jean-Lee with alacrity as he tumbles into the rest of the tunnel. As the combat finishes. I do dearly appreciate my friend, but I feel a little irritated that I did not get to participate in the first bloodshed of the day.
Anyhow.
We continue down the tunnels to where we last met the Airden[phonetic]. Interestingly, the moss on the walls and floor seems to be moving out of our way. Jean-Lee mentions that this, being a carved-out area, is in a perfectly circular shape. The dwarves of old really apparently loved circles. Silverleaf adds that the moss is reacting not so much to us, but to the other moss; it is very polite and does not like to get in its fellow mossy brethren’s way. Silverleaf also notes that there are many different kinds of moss down here and this is a kind we have not noticed before.
I take a sample of the moss. A mushroom falls from the ceiling. Hello, friend! I take a hearty sniff.
It is not a good sniff. [4 damage]
We continue.
We hear yelling and weapons clanking of blunt weapons wielded by large individuals. Silverleaf informs us that they are yelling in Giant.
Silverleaf, Finnegan, and I stealth up. We see three ogres beating up another ogre. (Finnegan: “Looks like it’s all ogre for him!”)
The ogre being beaten up looks in fairly bad shape. We go back and retrieve the rest of the party for a Good Old-Fashioned Rumble. We wait until the one ogre dies and then launch our attacks. Bugle and I both kill one each; the rest of the party finishes off the third. We loot the bodies and obtain… a treasure sack… full of painted wooden coins and other rubbish. Thankfully, by pure random chance, not all of it is garbage.
We rest and I make one dose of truly excellent tea. True to the spirit of my gift to Granny, it does nothing but make my tastebuds tingle (Rolled with advantage; critted on both; I would’ve gotten 50xp; IT’S FINE)
We continue to the Airden meeting place, but they are not there. However, we manage to follow their scent. Tabatha’s bat Neato leads.
Neato advises Tabatha that he sees a group of eight Airden tucked into a side tunnel. Jean-Lee and I go ahead to say hi. Well, I say hello; Jean-Lee says “AYYYYY, IT’S JABOYYYYY!”
The Airden pull out weapons.
Jean-Lee offers to party with them.
“What are you?” they ask.
“I’m a dwarf. Well a half-dwarf. It’s complicated. Well I would like you to meet my friends – I’m friends – I’d like to be friends with you – we could be! A friend is just one beautiful night away.”
After a moment, the Airden start laughing. “You’re very strange.”
Jean-Lee tells them we have crossbows to trade for gems. And some “kickass stories”. The Airden admire how shiny his axe is. At this point, the rest of the party catch up and we trade stories. They do not seem to appreciate our liquor, but one little one greatly appreciates Jean-Lee’s mind-altering substances. I try flirting with a particularly cute one, who seems somewhat interested. Suddenly, there is a commotion – Jean-Lee has taken his pants off and the little one is now trying to shove him backward. Jean-Lee apologizes profusely.
While all this is going on, Tabatha has an eminently reasonable conversation with some Airden. They are mostly nomadic, though some of them have little nests. Sometimes they organize for particular goals, such as to launch an attack on the Brightarms. By and large, they do not have much of an overarching social structure. These Airden do not know the Airden with whom we traded before.
Jean-Lee puts his pants back on.
The Airden further advise that there is a structure they have been trying to get into some ways south of here. North of here is an area that belongs to the “Asha” – the Brightarms. It is a good place to ambush them apparently, because they go there so often. Southwest to the other end of the hex are areas of high Asha density. The Airden seem to be obsessed with killing the Asha/Brightarms.
While all of this is going on, Finnegan, Bugle, and Neato are playing a game of craps `125 feet away.
We trade one crossbow and 20 bolts for an 80gp pelt. Plus the intangible value of friendship! We agree that they can meet us in the morning – well, as close to “morning” as they understand, being underground cave dwellers – to trade for more lucrative materials.
We make our farewells and hunker down in their sleeping place to meet them when they return. Ah, the glow of new friendship keeps one so warm in the cold, cold mossy cave of life.

DAY TWO
In the middle of the night, the Airden returned with 600gp worth of various jewels and pelts. We traded three more crossbows and six sets of bolts. We are truly the arms traders of Silanya! I am not sure if I should be excited about that. I do enjoy sharing the art of murder with friends, though.
We also learned from them that the Brightarms are about the size of an elf and glow all over, though they wear thick clothes to camouflage their shine. They do magic. The Airden can tell which ones are more powerful than the others, but there is no way for non-Airden to distinguish them. We also asked the Airden if they could tell which ones of us were more powerful than the others; they said no, but they were clearly lying. In the interests of new friendship, we let them continue with their lives. (But not before I sneak off with my pointy little paramour for some more… hands-on networking. I return him, hair only slightly mussed, without anyone noticing, and with the sweetest gift – a little Old Empire figurine of a fox – in my pocket. And now our secret tryst, I suppose, is public domain.)
In the morning, we head west into the patrol tunnels. Silverleaf notices that a particular branching tunnel appears to be decorated with glowing streamers pinned to the walls. Something has been bringing brighter stuff to this area and now it took root. Bugle, Finnegan, and I stealth down the shiny tunnel to see what we shall see, and as we come down the tunnel, we see a single Airden coming toward us, pointing a spear at us. Bugle reproduces some of the Airdens’ language from the group we spoke to yesterday. I try to mime a dwarf, with a “talking” motion of my hand, to signify that we have a dwarf friend who can translate. The Airden turns and runs away. I sigh in disappointment. Suddenly, Bugle shoots him in the back and he dies.
In disgust, I turn away and go to get the rest of the party while Bugle mutilates the Airden’s dead body to disguise its cause of death.
Bugle and Jean-Lee have a heated argument regarding Jean-Lee’s ability to perform last rites on the Airden. Bugle wishes to just throw his head down a hole. Jean-Lee says this is not a proper burial. Bugle: “It’s a sky burial! Earth version!” Finnegan: “Isn’t that just a normal burial?”
We continue down the tunnel. I have to admit I am not feeling very kindly disposed toward Bugle right now. There is nothing to be gained by shooting a weak creature in the back. There is no bloodlust to be sated or combat skill to be gained. It just feels… pointless.
We see a statue of a shrouded woman with her arms outstretched, which Tabatha advises has some religious significance.
We come to a large set of double doors surrounded by gloriously scented mushrooms, of which I collect many for my tea kit. Jean-Lee, studying the statue intently, tells us that there was an Old Empire dwarf goddess named Miar who was mentioned in the old texts of Shiranna. Jean-Lee says a quick prayer and then we regard the door. I knock on it; we hear some movement and chanting from within, but nothing more.
No one responds to Jean-Lee’s proclamation of “Praise, behb!” Tabatha, unsuccessfully, tries to push the door open. Jean-Lee then tries to speak to the person behind the door in his best impression of Airden Dwarvish.
The doors swing open to reveal friends!
I jest. The doors swing open to reveal very much not-friends. Brightarms. Wearing flower crowns that match the mushrooms.
Four small Brightarms Faerie Fire Jean-Lee, Finnegan and I having just barely escaped its range. They then focus their attacks on Jean-Lee, who drops and faceplants into a patch of moss.
A large Brightarm slashes its swords at Tabatha.
More of the Brightarms Faerie Fire us and I escape again while Tabatha is caught. They shoot Tabatha, who goes down. Two more shoot me, but miss. Another fancy one comes up and also shoots me and I go down.
(I get temp stat damage – Wis-1)
Sil yells “we didn’t come here to fight you, let us leave”, heals Jean-Lee, and conjures 8 wolves.
Tabatha shoves a potion down my throat and I splutter awake, take one look at the carnage around me, and Disengage and dash back 60 feet.
Jean-Lee also Disengages and backs off.
The largest Brightarm points a sword threateningly at Tabatha’s throat but does not stab. He says “Why did you come here?”
Sil says, “We were just exploring. We don’t know what this place is.” Tabatha adds, “Our priest’s god is related to Miar.”
“Why were you yelling in their language?”
“We thought you were them.”
“So you are allied with them?”
Bugle pulls out the head. I put it on record that I still do not approve of Bugle’s actions in killing that Airden, but… I am also quite glad that we are in possession of a severed Airden organ at the very delicate moment.
They ask, “Who are you? Where did you come from?”
Silverleaf tells them, “We are from the surface, two days in that direction.”
“Your priest’s god is related to Miar?”
Jean-Lee, through Sil, clarifies that Shiranna took on some of Miar’s duties.
The Brightarms gesture to Tabatha to retreat and beckon Jean-Lee forward. Jean-Lee reverently says “Behb” and shows them his glasses.
“So you are here to pay your respects?”
“Yeah, I saw somebody cool, and…there ain’t no party like a Jean-Lee party…”
Jean-Lee Walks Like A Runway into the temple (FABULOUSLY) and the Brightarms look as though they will close the door behind him, but Silverleaf says, “He will go alone if you wish, but I can translate for him if you’d like that.” The Brightarms refuse Sil entry and take Jean-Lee, alone, into the temple.
(MINUS ONE POTION)
Inside the temple, as Jean-Lee tells us later, the Brightarms give him a mushroom crown and he demonstrates his light spells, while sharing his flask. They allow him to partake, as he explains very convincingly that this is an Important Shiranna Ritual. As the Brightarms’ ceremony goes on, Jean-Lee begins to glow. (Oh yes, and as my debauched dwarven friend informs me later, he is naked.) Jean-Lee and the Brightarms share a fruity drink and snacks.
After about twenty minutes, Jean-Lee comes out.
(minus one Bugle potion, minus one me potion)
Sil sees a group of Airden sneaking toward us. Bugle readies an arrow as I try to talk to them. Between myself and Tabatha, we convince them to continue on their way.
(POI FOR TEMPLE)
Once the Brightarms come out with Jean-Lee, Tabatha tries to ask them why they are fighting with the Airden, with predictably rote results (“Because we are enemies.”)
They notice my flower crown, take it, and hang it on the door of their temple. I manage to make them a beautiful flower crown (22 herbalism) with my remaining whole flowers. They say they will pay for any future flower crowns should I bring them next time.
What a strangely productive day this has been! Would have been more enjoyable had I not nearly died, but true friends are forged in adversity.
Before we part ways, the Brightarms tell us that they have a city in 4.10’s Underdark, that they spend a lot of time fighting off the Airden. We tell them there may be more explorers of our group and show them our Guild crest. They tell us to stay away from the centre of 4.11, as there are many aberrations there. They refuse to tell us about their governing bodies or their tattoos, but they do give us a friendly pass phrase to use should we encounter them again. They also show us where another one of their holy sites is, also in 4.12 (MPOI for this and also MPOI for general location of their city – and MPOI for aberration zone in 4.11).
We decide, with the time we have left in the day, to investigate the Airden structure we were told about before. I disguise Jean-Lee’s glow to the best of my fashionable abilities. It is… well… I do have my off days, I suppose. But he is mostly covered.
We spot the tracks of a different group of Asha as we go along, branching off in another direction. We turn away from those tracks, figuring we have had enough Asha diplomacy for one mission.
Finally we come across a large locked gate. Neato flits through the bars and spots another gate far down as well as arrow slits in the wall. There is a large reinforced iron door past the second gate. Neato spies through one of the arrow slits and sees no one in the tunnel above. Bugle and the Rogues (amazing band name) (myself included for I am a Rogue!) stealth down the hallway.
We trigger a button in the floor and an arrow hits Bugle.
As we investigate more closely, we realize that the floor is entirely made of these trigger buttons. Every time we reach out with a sword and press a trigger button, it releases more arrows.
Sil becomes a spider and carries a rope across the wall, sticking it to the gate 40 feet down; Finnegan climbs across and tries to tie the rope to the other gate, with some difficulty. Bugle shimmies across and reties the rope more properly. Finnegan keeps trying to unlock the door and eventually jams it. I am not going to say that perhaps another, more fashionable and beautiful rogue, could have done a better job… but… perhaps I am saying this. (Finnegan probably will not read this log anyway.)
We give up (POI for this gate/tunnel system though) and leave the cave system. I help Finnegan re-lock the gate before we leave, and with my assistance we manage to learn the mechanism of the lock (advantage to unlocking these gates next time we come back).
On our way to the exit tunnel, we find some cave bear tracks in the moss, and decide to continue on. We finally make it to the exit tunnel and climb up, having to burn the moss out of the way so that Jean-Lee’s airways do not close up when he brushes up against the moss to which he is now severely allergic.
We try to hunker down for the night, but our sleeping place is not very secure. Thankfully, we manage to sleep through the night without encountering anything.

DAY THREE
We start heading toward Wolf Hall, but it gets oddly darker as we advance. We detect necrotic magic as being the cause of the darkness. While we would love to stay and investigate, we decide to return later with a more necro-focused party.
We head home without incident.

View
Expedition 51 - Displays of Strength
We made a Guild bank account.

Sept 10 2017
[Posted on time, everyone gains +0.1 hp]

LMFfAG: +606.5GP
Everyone is donating.

Assuming everyone updated on time. 1364 XP otherwise.

Name XP GP Items Notes
Brier Demanscus +1500 +605 None Quiet and protective of others. Respectable for his calm stature in stressful situations.
Ent Springvine +1500 +605 None The log writer.
Raevori +1500 -595 +Mostly intact cluster of regeneration (Crafting) Wields power with little restraint. Confident.
Sovan Dareshin +1500 +540 +Sasquatch vocal cords | +2nd Modron chit I’m thankful for his protection.
Tabitha Errsule +1500 +605 None Tired from a night at the tavern but manages to stay excited nonetheless. Interested in meeting her again.

Permanent changes:

Raevori applied for were beast induction: Status TBD

Levels:

None

Loot:

Item # Total Value
LUA breastplates 2 200
Book (quirking a level 2 druid spell) 1 100
Sasquatch pelt – Bought by Silverleaf 1 100
Sasquatch vocal cords 1 60
Quick-donning padded armor of darkness (0 charges) 1 400
LUA Poison darts Claimed by Bugle 10 120
2nd Modron chit 1 5
Ebon Bank POI 1 250
Ebon Bank account 1 250
Mostly intact cluster of regeneration (the thing that lets heads to be regrown) [CRAFTING] 1 1200
Gems for renegade heads 1 400
LUA Squad Loot 1 249.5
A’sshel’t’kov reward for LUA 1 400

My day begins by The Wall. Finally, some peace from the perpetual noise of Sila. The day is bright and the parasite lays dormant. Perhaps I can go another expedition without expelling it. The thought reminds me of Raevori’s quest. As the rumor goes, becoming a were beast can cure particularly vicious wounds, normally unhealable. I would stop her if I could but her mind is set and I dare not oppose her determination. I suspect that she will come to regret her choice. In time, she will learn. Better to bear the weight of injury than the curse of defeat. As I finish the thought, I pluck a splinter from my arm, the first of many on this fine day and toss it to side.

Day 1

Shortly after stepping beyond the wall, the skies become overcast and quickly transition into downpour. The parasite drinks thirstily. Through the downpour, we spot a few Blazing Banner stabbing ineffectively at the overly aggressive birds of the plains Jerk Birds. We consider helping but Raevori decides that there are more pressing matters to attend to.

A long day of travel and a couple of fireballs later, we find a safe place to camp just north of the Poison Jungle. I reflect on the destruction we caused on our way here. A pack of skeletons incinerated in an instant and lurkers suffering the same fate at Raevori’s hands. Each explosion is followed by the worryingly envious stares of Sovan and Tabby ready to cast their own fireballs. Such a display of power reminds me all too well of the giants I used to hunt, flaunting their power until they wander into their deaths. At the very least, I have Brier standing guard with me in case anything goes awry.

Day 2

Upon entering the poison jungle, we stumble into a disturbing sight. Dozens of horses tied together with vines stumble in our direction. Their modron riders are clothed in costumes vaguely depicting guild members. One especially loud modron shouts “Beautiful Melody, Beautiful Melody, Harmonize, Harmonize, The world changes to match my song”. We cautiously approach and they tell us that they are preparing for a post summit pageant. The party approaches and inspect the quality of the costumes for a good amount of time allowing me time to relax away from the disturbing imitations. A few moments later of me actively avoiding the sight of my modron counterpart, the modron and their float depart. A bit surprised at the abruptness of their departure, we continue towards the Ebon Bank clearing.

The sound of a snapping branch brings us to attention. We pause for a second but see nothing around us. Raevori is already preparing to cast a fireball. Thankfully, Sovan convinces her to reconsider her attack just as flames begin flickering into existence. It would be much better to act as a group. With our guard raised, we continue until we hear footsteps and slithering a short distance behind us. Now aware of the threat level, we agree to turn and fight the wardens. There is a brief moment of silence before the shadows of the surrounding trees are blasted away. Three blazing orbs hurl in the general direction behind us. The battle is over before it starts as two wardens fall face first into the newly made clearing. Sovan is already offering high fives (Which were surprisingly satisfying).

As the day nears its end, we come upon the clearing and meet with the half elf woman of the Ebon Bank. After some negotiating, she tells us to wait in the clearing until further notice. A few hours later, the sun sets and the half elf is nowhere to be seen. Tired from the day of travel, we prepare to sleep near the clearing.

Day 3

I wake up to the sounds of spells, a quick survey reveals the bodies of a few burning lurkers. It seems the threat has already been dealt with. My thoughts are interrupted by a amazingly loud roar. I turn to face the threat and allow an exhilarated grin. A hydra rushes us as the rest of the group wakes. Immediately, we spring into action. Brier immediately steps up to pull the hydra’s attention, Tabby and Raevori launch devastating spells and I begin loosing arrows. The battle goes surprisingly well thanks to Sovan’s slowing spells which practically immobilize the hydra. After a quick scavenging of the body, we return to sleep.

By the end of my last watch, I take a quick survey. I see nothing but the adventuring party so you can imagine my surprise when the half elf woman of the Ebon Bank begins introducing herself beside me. Her name is Calliope. She was watching while we fought the hydra and notes our lack of stealth. After we exchange some words and agree on being taken to the Ebon bank blinded and deafened. Raevori manages to get an invisible owl familiar to follow us and see where we’re going.

The bank nears. There are fortifications, trenches and an army preparing for battle. By their still stature, we assume they are part of the modron Red Wing. The last thing Raevori’s familiar sees before we enter is a pentadrone guiding from the back. As we enter, sounds of a fire are heard before our masks are taken off revealing multiple figures in a fire lit room. They introduce themselves as members of the Ebon Bank. Negotiations begin and we discover that the Ebon Bank accepts magical items as deposits and that for our payments, they will allow us temporary use of their warriors.

Sovan, apparently not intimidated by the bank, starts talking himself up when the strength of our guild is brought up. A bardic dual is crudely set up with Raevori, our physically weakest party member sitting opposite their physically weakest member. The bards, Sovan and Rahul, will be using nothing but their inspirational music to tip the balance in the coming battle between Raevori and her opponent. Raevori detects the magical flute Rahul and gets him to use a non magical instrument. Raevori clasps hands with her opponent and they begin to arm wrestle. The battle is long and arduous with Rahul playing gracefully and Sovan drowning out the song by screaming motivation at Raevori. “YOU CAN DO IT! GO RAEVORI!”. This aggressive inspiration works and the fight ends with a not so satisfying plop. With our capabilities proven, and negotiations finished, we are sent back into the Poison Jungle.

We leave as Silver 1 members with a few magic items deposited. The account is linked to the guild and holds a value of 1 Ebon Bank warrior. Having asked to joing the Ebon Bank, Raevori is given an application asking for information about herself. She leaves out how she learns spells, blood magic and her familiar. We say the Ebon Bank call the guild for help any time.

With the bit of extra time we have left, we visit A’sshel’t’kov and ask if he needs anything to be done. Apparently the LUA are having meetings with the Ebon Bank. He wants them dealt with without destroying relations with the Ebon Bank. We accept his quest and suggest finding a replacement for the Abider at the modron summit. A brief moment later, A’sshel’t’kov finds us an unlucky warden, Narsen to represent the Abiders at the summit. As we lead him to his prison, Sovan and Tabby ask about his love life and more importantly how warden weaponry works, sadly he knows much too little to tell us anything useful. The most we learn is that Narsen has an eye for a girl in engineering and that the warden hierarchy consists of Strikers, Fangs, Engineers and a few other groups.

Upon reaching the summit the Abiders are switched and Razz’soon, the original Abider at the summit is released. We also give a book which helps them take care of humanoids.

Conveniently, we run into the LUA group A’sshel’t’kov wanted taken care of. They give Tabby some trouble but she stands strong and we kill them to the last.

Our journey home is filled with fireballs and without trouble. (Ran out of time. No xp for trip home)

View
Expedition 48 -- Crouching Tiger, KO Raevori
Relations with Wardens improved dramatically. See notes.

September 3, 2017

Days out: 4

IMPORTANT TAKE-AWAY
The Sneeple Warden known as Ashel’ti’kov is now a close ally of ours. We returned his son’s remains to him and helped prove that the Consumers (the ‘bad’ Sneeple faction that stole the blood of Sovan, Melora, Camille, and Ent) were behind the debacle that killed his son. We are working to strength him politically within the Sneeple, so he can help tear down our mutual enemy.

CHARACTERS

Raevori (wizard [raevori] 5) Log-writer
Lee-Jean (paladin [devotion] 3)
Robert Cinis (sorcerer [draconic], 1)
Tabitha Errsule (sorcerer [phoenix] 4)
Linna (rogue [eldritch trickster] 4)
Brier Demanscus (paladin 2 / sorcerer 1)

CHARACTER CHANGES

Robert Cinis level to 3 (from 1)!
Tabby levels to 5.
Brier levels to 4 (paladin 2 / sorcerer 1 → paladin 2 / sorcerer 2).
Lee-Jean levels to 4.

Raevori has suffered a severe concussion from Eadgil’s wickedly unlikely kung fu kick. She loses 3 points of Intelligence, as her magical synaesthesia becomes so severe as to be distracting in basically all activities.

XP

2068/person (includes sheet update)

GP

Raevori: 1160.5 gp, included a donation to LMF (repaid for using her Scepter Bazooka to turn the tide on Eadgil), 200 gp double strength healing potion, 500 gp Ebon Bank token.
Lee-Jean: 814 gp, includes a special double donation to the LMF
Robert: 983 gp, includes a donation to the LMF
Linna: 383 gp, donated to LMF, and bought the 600 gp studded leather healthy armor of 0 charges of ray of enfeeblement (+1 AC at full HP)
Tabby: -767 gp, plus half (1750gp) of the Bracer of Eadgil, and a donation to the LMF
Brier: -767 gp, plus half (1750gp) of the Bracer of Eadgil, and a donation to the LMF

LMFfAG: 1153.5 GP

Loot
Double strength healing potion (+200 gp upgrade over common healing potion), claimed by Raevori.

Arnament Token for the Ebon Bank of the Second Degree, 500 gp, claimed by Raevori.

Six passes for gun training in Oubliette (100 gp each). Claimed by…?

10 gp book
10 gp book
10 gp book
60 gp book
80 gp book
100 gp technical manual on gun training

Blood dagger, sweet glove, bowl 30 gp (tentatively claimed by Jean-Lee for the sweet glove)? [110 gp if we sell it to super sketchy people but we aren’t doing that]

Two bottles of poison (75 gp each) – Jasper bought 1

Vial of Broodwarden Serum (was destroyed post identification because holy crap evil)

Secret Journal of the Son of Ashel’ti’kov (being held by Raevori, copy given to Sovan for translation), 0 gp.

View
Expedition 47 - Temple of Graz’zt
We sacked the temple of Graz’zt.

[Posted on time, everyone gains +0.1 hp]

August 27, 2017

Days out: 4

CHARACTERS

Silverleaf Moonshadow (druid [moon], 5) Log-writer
Sovan Dareshin (bard [lore], 5)
Jean-Pierre du Veyrir de la Grand Contumace Saint-Emilion (cleric [forge], 5)
Tabitha Errsule (sorcerer [phoenix], 4)
Melora Blackfingers (paladin [devotion], 4)
Brier Demanscus (paladin, 2)

CHARACTER CHANGES

Sovan levels to 6.
Brier levels to 3.

XP

1805/person (includes sheet update)

GP

Sovan: 117 GP, two sasquatch vocal cords (120 GP), reagent wood (400 GP)
Silverleaf: 143 GP, two sasquatch pelts (200 GP), reagent wood (400 GP)
Tabby: -1133 GP, two barrels of demon ichor (200 GP), pile of magical crafting stuff (600 GP), Protective Earring of Blade Ward (750 GP), Tweed Jacket of the Historian (200 GP)
Brier: 237 GP, reagent wood (400 GP)
Melora: 637 GP
JP: 337 GP, double-headed coin (400 GP)
LMFfAG: 535 GP

ITEMS

Magic Items:

  • Double-headed coin (400 GP) [Claimed by JP]
    • Once per expedition (or week, for downtime), can use an action to flip the lucky coin, adding the flipper’s Dexterity bonus – 2 (so +3 for a bonus of Dex 20, +0 for a person of Dex 14) to an ally’s next roll. Does not require attunement.
  • Tweed Jacket of the Historian (200 gp) [Claimed by Tabby]
    • When attuned, grants +prof to history checks (stacks with being trained)
    • Has elbow patches
  • Protective Earring of Blade Ward (750 GP) [Claimed by Tabby]
    • Once per expedition, can auto-pass a saving throw
    • Contains 3 charges of Blade Ward that can be used as a reaction
  • Quick-donning Ring Mail of Sleep (250 GP)
    • Contains 1 charge

Nonmagical Items:

  • Sasquatch vocal cords x 2 (120 GP total) [Claimed by Sovan]
  • Sasquatch pelts x 2 (200 GP total) [Claimed by Silverleaf]
  • Magic focus column from Treehouse – had been casting sleep but is used up (10 GP)
  • Wooden vanity sculpture (70 GP)
    • A very well carved wooden vanity sculpture of the owner of the house. An attempting to be tasteful but really failing at it nude sculpture of a male half-elf surprised while bathing (standing, holding a sponge, shocked). Body type clearly altered to look more elven, contrary to the real-life owner’s stubby ears and tendency to portliness. Worth 70 gp, because the marker’s mark (investigate DC 18 to find) on the bottom of the statue contains a biting commentary on the subject in Old Elven (Wis DC 15 to decipher), interlaced with positive words to distract the subject if he tried to read it.
  • Books x 4 (60 GP total)
    • (Hilarious) details in the Library Spreadsheet
    • Be Prepared: Elven Weapon Training for All, The Point of Elven Ears: How You Too Can Have Spectacular Hearing!, Sleeping is for Suckers: Trance Like A Boss!, The Raw Egg Diet: Eat Like an Elf and Add Decades to Your Life!
    • These books, written by Oneathallin Maestovoth, né Tomas Blainsly, contain horrible advice for becoming elf-ier and chronicle his depressing, self-hatred-induced decline into malnutrition and sleep-deprived hallucinations.
  • Old empire silverware (110 GP)
    • Medium to low quality elven knockoffs masquerading as elven masterpieces
  • Super hard reagent tree (1200 GP) [Claimed by Sovan, Silverleaf, and Brier]
    • Cylindrical, 1 ft wide, 15 feet long
  • Lamia high priestess shoulder bling (430 GP)
  • Statue of dread lord Graz’zt (300 GP) [Sold to Good Cult]
    • Sold for below market-value – 80 GP – to a Good Cult who will destroy it
  • Barrels of demonic ichor x 2 (200 GP total) [Claimed by Tabby]
  • Pile of magical crafting components pile (600 GP total) [Claimed by Tabby]
    • details TBD
  • Assorted valuables (300 GP total)

Points of Interest

  • Heir of Graz’zt, in hex TBD [major]
    • actual location TBD after DM consultation
  • The Stone in hex 4.14 [minor]
    • They witnessed a funeral ceremony there and saw that it’s hypermagical

Encounters

  • Sasquatch, 2 killed, 2 fled/bypassed (525 xp)
  • Treehouse Guardian, 3 fled/bypassed (412.5 xp)
  • Lamia, 3 killed, 1 fled/bypassed (962.5 xp)
  • Jackelwere, 7 killed (175 xp)
  • Lamia High Priestess (regional power), 1 killed (2300 xp)
  • Succubus/Incubus, 2 killed (550 xp)

Summary

We witnessed funeral rites at the stone. Asha is dead. Sekk is mayor now.

We harvested some of the tree in hex 6.14 for crafting. The LUA band that captured the others passed by.

We looted the treehouse and the temple of Graz’zt. Graz’zt might have an heir in hex TBD.

Log

[Session notes.]

[There is a crowd of 20-ish people when the expedition sets out, with one guy serving as a tour guide and floridly announcing each of the party members. Sovan shouts helpful suggestions to him. The crack is still running ominously ⅓ of the way up the Wall.]

Stone was deserted. The fela were gathered at the stone on the cliff above the village. They were chanting. It was a funeral for the fela that died in the Ks’shan raid. Asha is dead. Sekk is in charge now. Sovan chanted with them [32 perform, 26 cha]. Power surged around the circle. He felt their emotions. Beams of light from the Black Tower and White Tower shot into the stone. The corpses sank into the stone. As that happened a doorway appeared. Inside was pitch black. The doorway shrank into nothing. The fela stopped chanting and dispersed.

Sekk told Sovan that he strengthened the ritual and showed the fela the time for old magics isn’t gone. The Lords of Webtown annoint who they like, but Stone remembers Sovan. The ritual is something the Lords of Webtown can’t control. He refused to say more. Sovan asked other fela about it. They didn’t explain well but he figured out that it is a language or song-based magic. It has abjuration and necromancy in it. [Sovan took detailed notes – hopes to figure more out, although very very difficult].

Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E talked to them about starting convoys soon. Sila’s militia is not trained yet. Sekk asked someone to stay in Stone because fela in Webtown are afraid to come to Stone. Brier Demanscus will do it.

We entered the Dark Forest. We headed for the treehouse. Two sasquatches attacked. They howled [DC 13-ish?] at Brier Demanscus and Sovan. They paralyzed Brier Demanscus. One swung at Sovan [two attacks, one hit, 14 damage]. Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E tried to block Brier Demanscus from them. They ran around to attack him from the other side. They are fast. They dropped him. We killed one. Two more appeared in the trees. They paralyzed me and Melora Blackfingers. We all shook off the paralysis [repeat save at the end of your subsequent turns – once you have saved against it, you are immune for an hour]. We killed another. The other two ran. Too fast to chase. We got their pelts and vocal cords.

We rested in the secure room. Then we went to the treehouse. Turns out Oneathallin Maestovoth [né Tomas Blainsly] lived there. He wrote a famous book on weapons training and pretended to be an elf.

The sign outside the house has abjuration magic. A staircase spirals up the tree to it. The three guardians are 12 ft tall and made of metal. They rotate around the treehouse. They use boomerangs to knock things off the walkway. Each has two. If there are seven items, one also uses its greatsword. I threw a ball of taffy onto the walkway. The boomerangs stuck in it. The guardians started wobbling. Sovan played his stupid song [really tacky stereotypical pseudo-elven song, since a half-elf had lived here who dearly wished to be a full elf but was real bad at it]. The guardians landed on the walkway. They sheathed their swords and listened.

We used a grappling hook to get onto the back porch. People without elven blood briefly felt drowsy. There were no traps. The door was unlocked [but it was Elaborately Carved: a scene of a heroic elf triumphing over an unlimited number of faceless orcs, riding a moosicorn (a moose whose antlers are comprised of horns), all completely coated in gore in true elven fashion].

A magical jacket hung in the bedroom closet [+ prof to history checks, stacks with normal proficiency]. There were a lot of shitty statues [poor taste AND low quality] and other trash. [There was a room set up to be a spa, by someone who had once HEARD of a spa. Instead of a beautiful, tasteful elven-style spa, it was more of a basic room with a big fireplace and a couple of places to hang bathrobes.]

The house feels sad and lonely [supernaturally, not just because this guy is extremely pitiable]. There are cold spots and strange echoes. A ghostly figure stood by the front door. It didn’t react to Sovan’s song or return Tabitha Errsule’s attempts at conversation but it followed us. Sovan sang out the window so the guardians would stay docile. He played continually.

A staircase leads down to a panic room. The sleep effect went off twice more. We found the column that had been casting it. It was used up. We took it. We found a statue that was ugly but not poorly made. There was a training room with useless practice weapons. The library had a cabinet with abjuration magic. It ran the length of the wall. It contained four books. [And they were HIS four terrible books. RIP our dreams of loading up an entire library on Melora and just going home with our mountain of books.]

We found some corpses. Maestovoth’s idiocy probably killed him. Looks like the servants locked themselves in when the corruption hit and killed themselves so they wouldn’t have to deal with it. We didn’t find whatever controls the guardians.

We went to the crafting tree. Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E made a saw magical and cast Silence. He and Melora Blackfingers sawed at it. The saw went dull. He remade it. She worked herself into exhaustion. He cured her. They used five saws. He reshaped it repeatedly [JP: “Tree, I am so, so sorry…one more time…”] Eventually we got some wood, 1’ wide and 15’ long. It weighs about 100 lbs.

Nothing found us while they sawed because of the Silence. The LUA band that kidnapped the others passed by. We didn’t engage. Two lurker berserkers carried a hemispherical hut of sticks and woven leaves past. It was empty.

We left the wood at NoSpiderDen for the rest of the expedition [JP: “Hey, cats, could we possibly store this COOL TREE with you SWELL DUDES?”] We spent the night. They have an escape tunnel with a secret door and a javelin trap.

[Tabby rolls a nat 20 to do the secret knocking code, so she just starts jamming and they swing the door open and she ends it all with a high five and IT’S VLIBLIN! Inside is a bunch of elderly fala, including VLIBLIN’S GRANNY!! Who later tells us EMBARRASSING STORIES ABOUT VLIBLIN!!!

Vliblin asks how Melora is carrying something so heavy. Sovan says it’s very light, JP says that the power of the divine can accomplish many things and tries to hand over a pamphlet but isn’t that persuasive.
Fala: We’re glad you found your bliss
Tabby: His bliss is right here AAAYYYY
Sovan: AAAYYY (high five)
Fala: Now kiss!
They kiss.

When Sil walks in, Vliblin does a little quiet warning hum to the other fala in the room which is basically their version of the Imperial March. Two elderly fala who had been walking over to Sil suddenly find other places to go. She broods in a shadowy corner doing some equivalent of ominously sharpening your knives. Some fala suuuuper casually remove the nearby lamps to give her more shadows to brood in.

Tabby gets Hot Goss in the form of AN EMBARRASSING STORY ABOUT VLIBLIN from his GRANNY:
Once when Vliblin was this high (current height), he was all psyched because he was about to get a surfboard for first time but he tried to do a double corkscrew and bailed out so hard he had to use his web, backup web, and feet webbing and ended up stuck to FOUR different trees and they had to cut him down.
Sovan immediately tells the story of the time HE got stuck to four different things, when he was this high (current height). It was several days ago when he was picking up the taffy.

JP Creates food and water, so everyone has a super nice dinner.

In the evening, Sovan and Tabby tell the fala that we’re going to play everyone’s favourite game: actually working on the secret evacuation tunnel! (They have 100% not been working on it.) Mel just starts digging the tunnel for them – out of her armour for once, and getting very attractively sweaty. Tabby is Overcome.

Sovan convinces Sil to turn into a giant badger and dig out the tunnel. Terms: the next time she tells him to shut up, he actually has to, and nobody is allowed to speak to her or be near her, except she permits JP to help remove dirt.]

We went to the temple of Graz’zt. The area around the temple is cleared to 100 ft. Hard to sneak up. I summoned wolves to draw them to the other side. Sovan cast Calm Emotions to protect our minds. We charged. I tried to climb the wall as a bear. It was an illusion. I fell through it. Two lamia attacked me. They cast Mirror Image. Had to keep destroying images. Annoying.

One Suggested Melora Blackfingers to barricade herself in a room. Calm Emotions blocked it. A lamia made it past Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E’s Spirit Guardians and ran inside. We killed the other [Becky]. We chased her. We found the door she went through. We broke it down.

A corridor led to a room with a trap door to a storeroom. People got hit with six sleep effects. Calm Emotions kept them awake. The lamia weren’t there. Melora Blackfingers saw through an illusory wall in the corridor. There was a pit behind the illusion. On the other side were seven jackalweres and two lamia. One lamia had cast Spirit Guardians [High Priestess Vanessa]. Both used Mirror Image.

Melora Blackfingers warned us in elvish. They understood and threw daggers at her. Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E shielded her. A lamia slammed shut a blast door between that room and the corridor. Sovan Shattered it. We attacked.

Tabitha Errsule scorching rayed the priestess. She lost concentration on Spirit Guardians. Melora Blackfingers, Brier Demanscus, Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E, and I jumped over the pit. We meleed with the lamias and jackalweres. Sovan and Tabitha Errsule cast spells from the far side. Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E cast a fireball that caught most of us, then healed us all.

[JP to Sovan, wanting help on an arcana check to reduce friendly fire: “Inspire me, duckling?”
Sovan inspires JP: “You’re even hotter than they’re about to be. Light ‘em up, babe!]

Sovan needed to cast Calm Emotions again because it was running out. He jumped into the pit to get in range of us. He fell on javelins. He cast the spell again. [And passed his conc. save and an arcana check, so there wasn’t even a gap between Calm Emotionses!]

I re-conjured the wolves. Brier Demanscus smote the priestess and she died. The jackalweres were dead too. A lamia climbed down into the pit to attack Sovan. An illusion was hiding a ledge down. I sent the wolves after her.

A lamia appeared behind Tabitha Errsule. Two batlike creatures entered the pit. A succubus and an incubus. [We didn’t realize what they were at the time, because Calm Emotions kept them from affecting us, but they WERE described as having great boobs and an eight-pack.] They attacked Sovan. He climbed out of the pit. We killed them.

Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E and Brier Demanscus jumped back across the pit to fight the lamia. Both lamia tried to say clever things and then ran. [Bianca: “My sisters will finish you interlopers! But if not, I will return and finish you one day! You will rue the day when you crossed (audio glitch on skype) ssssssssssBianca!” Felicia crit fails and stabs herself in the leg: “You cannot finish me! Even if I give you some help! You will fear the name of Felicia, mightiest of this wood!”]

The lamia in the pit surrendered. Bethany. Sovan stayed with two wolves to guard her. [Sil almost just let the wolves kill her when she surrendered, but Mel convinced her not to because of potentially valuable info. Tabby tried to use moral grounds to help convince. It was not notably effective.] The rest of us chased down the two who ran. We killed them. [Sil paused so Tabby could get on her back, since Sil could run fast enough to get them to the lamia. Sil then crit failed her attempt to move her paw out of the way of Tabby’s high five. It was her worst day.]

Jean-Pierre dVdlGCS-E put Bethany in a Zone of Truth. The temple was guarding a powerful good-aligned item. The Plate of the Dwarven King. They tried for 150 years to corrupt it with succubus orgies. Graz’zt wanted to give it to a favoured child of his. Likely in hex TBD. We swore to let her live if she gave us the plate. [Swore not to harm her, unless she tried to harm us. Mel and JP by their holy symbols, Brier by the noble family he’s sworn to protect, Sovan by Faer’s god, Sil by her connection to nature, Tabby by ‘that which she values most’.]

One tower held a giant purple worm. They’d kept it captive and sliced off pieces to eat. We killed it. Bethany led us up the other tower. [The walls are decorated with pictures of the perverse and unimaginably debauched sexual acts they committed in depraved orgies to try to corrupt the item. JP, recognizing his inexperience and wanting to be the best boyfriend he can, takes diligent notes.] There was a coffin sealed with infernal chains. Bethany could have used a stone to explode the room and kill us. She didn’t because she wanted to live. She undid the protections on the coffin. It took hours. Inside was a paper mache copy of plate armour. The holy light was a preservation spell. A coin spun in the air in the middle. [Bethany is very upset that her evil sorority wasted a century and a half and then died trying to corrupt a fake. It does explain why the corruption never worked, though.] She didn’t know who stole it. The thief might have come from TBD region.

We went home. I cast Plant Growth for the fela. They paid with magic armor and an earring.

View
Expedition 46 - Risin' Up, To The Challenge Of Our Rival

August 26, 2017

[Posted on time, everyone gains +0.1 hp]

Beauregard-Pierre d’Henri au Amélie-sur-Mer … (etc)…le Maurice: 1121XP with update bonus, 414GP

Marc Cooperson: 1121XP with update bonus, 414GP

Pierre Lee: 1121XP with update bonus, 414GP

Samuel Fehler: 1121XP with update bonus, 414GP

Party expenses: -367 GP

LMFfAG: +417GP

Permanent Party member changes:

  • Pierre has undergone a ritual with currently unknown consequences, though it’s given the old fighter quite the spring!
  • Marc & Sam both leveled to 4.

Points of Interest:

  • Gorgon Nest (MPOI)
  • Weretiger Circle (POI)
  • Hidden Warden Outpost (POI)

Loot:

  • Reactive Light Hammer with one charge of Invisibility: claimed by ? – 500gp
  • Pierre’s Golden Flask: claimed by Pierre, obviously – 1000GP. 1/day, can drink a draught, lose 1d4 max HP until LR, to receive bonus Level 1 Domain Spells as follows: Roll 1d6. 1 = Knowledge, 2 = Life, 3 = Light, 4 = Nature, 5 = Tempest, 6 = Trickery. Can swig again (2. d6) for -1d4 max HP at next spell level (i.e 2d4 = Lvl 2, 3d4 = 3…)
  • Assorted gems (headhunting reward) – 250gp
  • 3 apostate scimitars
  • 2 apostate longbows
  • 1 apostate shortbow
  • Poison conceentrate from Poison Spawn, could likely be worked into an antivemon (bought by Beau)

Sam’s Log (written very scantly, as he was preparing for a new crop of religious students in a week).

FIRST DAY

Uneventful at first, a grey day. The sky was slate and it rained, tears from times of flooding. We headed along the ‘plains route’ to the jungle, crossing a bridge, taking a road, and generally building up our sense of camaraderie. I feel Pierre was rather cross with me still, after the grievous misstep with the twin liars.

birds

Halfway through our day’s travels, a swarm of birds emerged from a particularly thick buildup of storm clouds and assaulted us. Four surrounded me and, in an instant, took me down (temporary injury, wisdom). I woke with a start and, in a blind fury, killed as many birds as I could. We made short work of the remainders, and then rested for awhile. When we continued, we passed a burning banner fortress, where a train with fifteen-or-so-banners and horses were pulling a siege tower. Their heading was vaguely northeast, and none of my allies seemed concerned. We continued on, prepared camp near the jungle’s perimeter, and took our watches. Before bed, Marc [redacted, in Samuel’s own hand]

friendly modrons at night
Marc and I were speaking of prophecy—I am quite certain he is my excellent champion of sunny seas, for reasons I will leave to the churchgoers in the guild—and during our watch a rather curious modron popped out from the jungle’s edge.It asked us if we were planning to join the peace accord, or if we had found it new participants. We assured it that our hearts still yearned for peace, though truthfully I find those words quite false on the lips of some of our members, and it eventually went away.

Uthgar at night

As it left, a red-headed gnome, bedecked in plate armour, riding a massive tiger came upon us. This was Uthgar, the fabled warrior Pierre was supposed to find. He gave us directions to his people’s encampment, and then went on his way.

SECOND DAY

We woke to such a beautiful downpour that we could not bring ourselves to break camp. We sat and looked up as the sky cracked open like a great waterfall. Truly the Sunfish had blessed this journey. After five hours, the glorious display of days to come ended and we continued on.

We went to the outpost where I met Asheltov previously, to pick up our quest book.

savage modrons

On the way, about an hour into the day, we happened upon a group of the savage modrons, standing over the bodies of some Apostates and stripping their corpses. We tried to sneak away, but some of them heard us. We fled and eventually a small group caught up to us. We stood our ground against them and, though the fight was long, we killed them all without sustaining much damage to ourselves. Despite being mechanical, land-loving, and vicious, the creatures cannot help but being curiously and endearingly adorable.

gorgons

Continuing south, we found a ruined clearing and immediately heard a familiar sound of rumbling, grinding, and the hiss of steam. A disheartening shaking of the earth followed. The steel bull, which assaulted us on my last expedition to the jungle. We watched and it was in a clearing, and it was not alone. A pair of gorgons – parent and child – wandered into the clearing, the parent dragging a large sack along with them. We were intrigued by this curious behaviour, so I stealthily made my way closer to the herd and tried to detect their thoughts. We were sad to find that the creatures are not very intelligent.

apostates

As we continued through the jungle, Pierre heard some apostates mutter head: “we’re in too deep, we can’t pull out… we will not learn anything else.” After I almost accidentally gave away our position in a fit of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter (did it erupt form a plant?), Beau and I sneaked up to get a better look. There were two Cobra-for-Heads, battered, and one of them had a strange looking hammer. Two of the snake-like humans rested nearby, and seemed ready to fall asleep. We attacked them quickly—and learned, soon, that one of the Cobra-for-Heads was more like a large vicious snake with arms! Beau was knocked out (temporary injury—athletics) but we fought on. One of the snake-humans tried to escape with their magical suggestions: he told Pierre, “don’t let your allies kill me” before running away. Pierre realized that the snake made a fatal flaw in their suggestion: if Pierre killed the despicable creature himself, then there was no way in the world we could hurt it! In the kerfuffle one fled. We embarked on the grisly affair of collecting their heads—for Ashelkov’s quarry. We looted their equipment, which included a rather curious magical throwing hammer. We slipped away before we could be caught.

Ashelkatov’s outpost

We arrived at the outpost and the Wardens were, as always, more cordial than trustworthy. Ras greeted us—this snake seemed to have a good rapport with our friend Sovan. Gornoth, who beat Sovan viciously, is currently being punished as our party’s aide-de-camp. Curiously, he now introduces himself as “None-of-Your-Concern,” a name we took up using with all due deference. NoyC fed us dinner and waited on us, and we agreed to hold off on our actual meeting to the morning to get some much deserved rest. We made camp in the outer grounds of the outpost.

THIRD DAY

Ashelkatov’s outpost, continued

A feast was prepared for us, and our palates, outside the outpost. Ashelkatov paid us a sizable bag of gemstones for the three apostate heads. He then offered us a series of possible quests that he might send our guild on, if we are willing they are:

  • Hunt and kill (or capture) a party of seven lua, included the tattooed one kissed by fire
  • Examine an outpost to the far east that went dark; it used to communicate regularly, but they haven’t heard from it in some time. When they sent a party to investigate, that party never returned.
  • Something that requires stealth
  • Something that requires diplomacy

After we deliberate, we decide to investigate the dark outpost. NoyC handed us a starmetal pentagram with a raised series of indentations on one side. This strange device is the key to the missing outpost.This very morning, NoyC will lead us to the outpost but he will not go inside. Once he has shown us how to locate it and enter it, we can return and investigate at our leisure. We learned some other helpful facts about the modrons as well, including:

  • The violent wing, the red wing, have been tricked into fighting the LUA (by the wardens). They notch their kills just over their eyepieces.
  • The “grey wing” stay near and around the portal, and protect it without letting others near it
  • The peace accord are a third faction
  • There is a fourth faction, the painted modrons, that we re not to attack under any circumstances.

After we chose our quest, we gained a strange psychic sensation deep within our minds. Something within stirred, and we all felt somewhat obligated to make sure the guild goes after this quest as soon as possible.

she-that-increases

With NoyC in toe, we headed to she-that-increases, where Pierre left an offering to some false god in hopes that the god would smile kindly upon him. He was rewarded for his faith: he received a flask that fills, every day, with brackish liquid. Such a tempting treasure, surely the god mocks me and my true faith. Fittingly, the liquid seems to let one cast random spells from under the bosom of other false goods.

We then continued our travels through the forest. NyoC made a few strange comments here and there—there was low hissing and crashing sounds in the underbrush, for example, and he muttered aloud “Not these ones, regrettably. Thank you little ones.” When we pressed him on this, he said that the little ones are a “higher order of being” but would tell us no more.

We detoured around the weretiger grove (POI), as NoyC did not want to deal with them. We would be meeting them later!

dark outpost

Finally, we found the lost outpost. Found is a strong word. NoyC told us to stop, though we could see nothing. He took out a rod, put it into the ground, and we were suddenly all able to see a hatch set into the ground some ten feet away, set into an incline in the ground, capped by a metal door with a wheel in the middle. It isn’t and was never invisible, but until the rod was set it seemed impossible to notice. As NoyC prepared to return hom, Pierre asked for a cup of water. Our aide acquiesced, but his true serpentine nature came forward: he let Pierre sip of a liquid that was poison to taste. Marc reacted swiftly, and told NoyC to tell his commander about this infraction, and reminded him that we would check with Ashelkatov to ensure he did so. Defeated, NoyC went back towards their outpost with no spruce in his slither. POI

weretiger grove

We decided to return to the outpost with a fuller party, in case truly dark things were at work there. Instead, we went to fulfil our mission on this outing: for Pierre to meet his challenge against Uthgar and the weretigers. They are a rowdy bunch, but the weretigers were friendly hosts. Their grove, surrounded by perfectly spaced trees, includes many huts, a fancy house with decorate banners, and a strange stone stepped pyramid. We met a rather dapper weretiger named Smithe and a huge, dwarf-sized gnome with battle scars named Karek. The pair are more champions of the tigers, like Uthgar. They invited us to drink and eat, and then party. My allies did so with gusto.

The process of initiation was simple. Each of Pierre’s heralds—that is, Marc, Beau, and myself—were given a challenge to prove that Pierre had the proper servants at his disposal. First, Marc was challenged to a drinking contest against a huge tiger-gnome hybrid. Round after round, however, Marc’s endless well of resolve and fortitude wins out: he defeated his opponent handily, who passed out from a drink as Marc maintained the sort of poise one would expect of a champion.

Then, Beau was forced to wrestle a smaller weretiger by the name of Finn. The fight was hard, but Beau eventually slid under Finn and successfully took him down onto his back. She consoled the young one—her heart is undeniably good and pure, very little of the evil of the world lives in her.

I was then called for a contest of storytelling. Uthgar told a ridiculous tale of him slaying Lua, and I riposted with our escapades in Xen. Something about my story did not quite land—perhaps I embellished too much, or perhaps I was not the correct choice for a “hype man”—but enough of the weretigers were swayed that I did not cost Pierre his chance. The heralds passed: Pierre would be challenged in the morning.

That evening, during the revelry, that well-dressed half-elf who works for the Ebon Bank showed up. He was trying to hire Karek for a job—a rather high paying job. It seems that these weretigers are mercenaries. Not only mercenaries, however: they are under something of a metaphysical compulsion to take any job that pays their set wage. Their wage is set based on passed success, and Karek’s wage has apparently hit a price far too high even for the Ebon Bank. My allies spend the rest of the evening enrapt in the revelry, and I excused myself to an isolated corner to commune with my god.

My god told me that the Ebon Bank may know where my relics are hidden.

FOURTH DAY

The party was lead into the challenge room. There, Karek, Smithe, and Uthgar awaited us.The party was destined to take one of these champions on in combat. If we succeeded, Pierre would be admitted into their order. In the far corner of the challenge room lay a giant tiger, black with white stripes, watching with placid eyes and a menacing aura. I did not trust this place. After deliberation, we challenged Uthgar.

The battle was brutal and fast-paced. Uthgar closed any distance quickly, and struck with deadly precision. Realizing that my allies needed me and I could not help them deal damage, I ruthlessly mocked Uthgar and his religion until the tiger turned on me and attacked (temporary injury – religion). I went out quickly, but I’m told that the distraction allowed the others to maximize the spatial arrangement and take Uthgar down. When I awoke, we were being congratulated on our victory. Uthgar, bleeding to death on the floor, was healed by strange wisps of red energy emanating from the master tiger. He watched over with dark purposed.

The heralds were told we could visit again whenever we wanted, but we were escorted from the room while Pierre underwent his ritual. If you want to know what happened therein, you will have to ask him.

We spend the day resting at the grove, because the battle took everything out of us.

FIFTH DAY

We traveled home. We witnessed a lurker fighting a pile of slimy combatants (poison spawn), which we quickly eliminated with a few well-placed shatters. Later in the jungle’s depths, we were nearly assaulted by a wandering hydra. We finally made it out of the jungle, where we met a set of Severed Hand riders. They told us they aim to get in contact with us shortly (I made use of my psychic openness to facilitate conversation).

We returned home without further incident.

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