Expedition 41 - Diplomacy

August 5, 2017

[[Submitted on time — all attendees get +0.1 HP]]

Ezra Argent (Paladin 4)
Pierre Lee (Cleric 4)
Sovan Dareshin (Bard 5)
Ent Springvine (Ranger 2)
JP (Cleric 5)
Kalandria (Sorcerer 1)

Character Changes
Ezra gains Winter Wolf blessing: his cold breath does an extra d8 of damage, and uses Cha instead of Con for the save DC
Sovan gains Winter Wolf blessing: Vicious Mockery also slows enemies by 10’ (like Ray of Frost)
JP gains Winter Wolf blessing: can project Shield spells onto other people 1/expedition

Ent levels to 3!
Kalandria levels to 2!

Gold and Treasure
Sovan and JP earned 374 gp, lost their horses and gear
Ezra, Pierre and Kalandria earned -102 gp
Ent earned -702 gp, bought Exhausting Longbow

LMF earned 483 gp, lost 3 horses and their gear

Each character earned 624 xp (687 xp with sheet update)

Treasure Found
Magic Items:
Exhausting Longbow (600 gp) – claimed by Ent
-1/day use action to spend a hit die to give +1 for a minute

Nonmagical Items:
Silver Bracelt (60 gp)
-From the BB
Precious ores (230 gp)
-from the grosQua
Demon ichor x2 (200 gp total) (bought by Sovan on behalf of the guild)

Potions x18 (900 gp total)
Rations x27 (13.5 gp total)
Ritual Components x2 (10 gp total)
Horse x5 (750 gp total)
-3 killed by ghouls, 2 fell down a hole
Horse gear (685 gp)
Door (30 gp)
-made by JP for dug out tunnel
Holy water x3 x3 (75 gp total)
-for the Abyssal Guard

Points of Interest
GrosQua Fort, in hex 7.10 (200 gp)
BB diplomacy, in hex 7.13 (175 xp, no gold)
GrosQua diplomacy, in hex 7.10 (200 xp, no gold)

Minor Points of Interest
Millitaur camp, in hex 6.11
Hob Camp, in hex 5.12
Hob Fortress, in hex 6.11
Ant nest, in hex 6.11
GrosQua Fort, in hex 6.11
Militaur camp, in hex 7.10
Earthenworks and GrosQua fort, in hex 7.11
- w ballistae and a massive siege weapon sized slingshot
Crested Skull diplomacy, in hex 6.12 (50 xp, no gold)

New Hexes
Hex 6.11 (75 gp)
Hex 7.10 (100 gp)

Ghouls, 5 killed
Flame skull (regional power but we already got 1/4 xp for it so we only get 1/4 xp this time), 1 killed
Killer birds, 12 killed
Zombies, 17 killed
GrosQua, 10 fled/bypassed
Better GrosQua, 1 fled/bypassed
Earthbender GrosQua, 1 killed
Winter Wolf, 1 killed
Vrock, 1 killed (half xp due to Abyssal Guard helping us)


Day 1
Wall slides up party rides out, wall slams shut
We start in 4:13, and travel along the road to 5:12

Hobgoblin Camp
Northeast along road, in northern part of 5:12 near edge of grey hills we see small military encampment with armored patrol. New camp contains tattered looking hide tents, looks thrown together around a building in the middle.

JP says they’re hobgoblins and reassures us we’d be able to handle them, we decide to approach on horseback. We are greeted by a volley of arrows, we de-escalate, getting off our horses and waving

Two of the creatures move towards us and ask us what we’re doing, Pierre tries casting a spell and gets owned by an arrow. Sovan calms them down, asks them about Banded, they said the Banded attacked and raided a settlement they had been planning to attack, Sovan tries to entice them to join our efforts against the Banded by convincing the hobgoblins are facing a real threat to their “business”

Hobgoblins want magic weapons and armor as an exchange, saying that they’ll send 15 – 20 hobgoblins to fight in exchange for a magic weapon. As we leave, we successfully intimidate them to refrain from shooting us on sight next time

Ambush and Fireball in the Necrozone
We enter necrozone, there are corpses littered all over the place

Horses suddenly spooked, they were attacked by ghouls. They’re crowding around Sovan and focus firing, killing his horse, Sovan takes quite a bit of damage

A Skull floats up from the ground 20 ft behind ghouls and starts burning with fire, it spits a bead of fire that grows into a fireball towards our rear, Pierre and my horses die, Pierre drops (permanent injury – disadv on athletics and strength saves)

Ent rides off in a random direction and fires one arrow on skull, arrow punctures magical screen around skull and hits for 3 dmg

JP attempts to hit skull with spiritual hammer, but attack is repelled by magical screen. JP kills one ghoul with spirit guardian

Remaining ghouls attack Pierre’s prone form, I attempt to protect him, Sovan healing words Pierre back up. Another ghoul misses Pierre, a fourth ghoul hits him, a fifth ghoul lunging for Pierre, but gets intercepted by Kalandria, who kills it with a swing of her quarterstaff

Flaming skull goes for Pierre, dropping him a second time, (severe temporary injury – 7 points of charisma damage, 1 additional dmg every time he takes dmg for rest of session)
JP’s spirit guardian damages flaming skull, making it retreat slightly

I lay on hands Pierre for 15hp, Sovan heals Pierre for another 9 hp.

Kalandria casts magic missile on ghouls – she kills two of them with a flash of magic. Then her hair falls out and immediately starts growing back at a rapid pace. Ent fires another arrow, hitting skull for 6 dmg

JP rides towards skull, spiritual hammer bashes its skull, JP sends a guiding bolt that is blocked by the skull’s magical barrier. Pierre gets up, casts magic weapon, lifts his hammer and bashes the last ghoul, killing it

Flame skull takes damage from JP’s spirit guardian. Skull uses flaming sphere on Pierre, who gets slightly charred for 5hp. Then the skull gets blurry and attempts to escape by flying straight up into the sky, it’s 35ft in the air

I throw a javelin that bounces off the flame skull’s shield. Sovan casts shatter on skull for some damage, Kalandria rides out to avoid AoE, and Ent shoots an arrow, hitting skull for 5 dmg.

JP spiritual hammers skull, smashing through its shield and sending it reeling, it flies 40 ft up and is 80ft in the air. None of us can reach it, JP fires at it and misses, Kalandria takes a moment to examine her reflection and her new coiffe

Skull keeps flying farther up into the air – it is now 200ft up. As the skull makes its escape, Ent makes a final effort to shoot it, inspired and blessed by Sovan and Pierre, and shoots the skull out of the sky – taking it out.

JP remembers that some undead can only be permanently destroyed through consecration, so he walks up to it and burns it with his holy flame, then pours holy water on it. This destroys it permanently

End of Day 1 – Ent finds us a very very secure place to take a short rest. I pass out sandwiches and juice bottles and everyone feels a bit more refreshed (extra 8 temp hp)

Day 2
Now we’re moving into 7-13, we see a walled town ahead of us on the bottom part of a lake

The Blazing Banner Town
Blazing banner town, large group of them are exciting the city and they’re going east around the lake towards the top of the lake.

Because Pierre is worried that the BB might also have instructions to party takes time to disguise Pierre and JP, Kalandria – assisted by Sovan – makes them entirely unrecognizable

We all dismount before approaching the walled city, the gate opens and a group of cavalry rides towards us

I walk 5 meters in front of group, keeping eye contact with captain, holding my stance like I’m not going to budge, as the cavalry approaches it splits and rides around me
They’re very intimidated, Sovan speaks on behalf of an inflated representation of me and asks about collaborating against the Banded, they reveal the cavalry was getting ready to attack the Banded, and suggest we join them. They take us to their leader to discuss

We pass camps of GrosQua (running a forge) and loafing ogres, and are brought into city centre

Their leader is a huge burly BB, sitting on a heavily gilded throne in a room full of treasures, he punches the knight who was announcing our arrival. I pretend punch Sovan into the ground for “speaking too slowly”, earning the hulk’s respect. One of the low level BBs approaches me and offers a silver bracelet as tribute, Sovan takes it and puts it on my wrist

We discuss a mutual solution for combining our forces against the “tar people”, they agree to this if we prove our worth. We have to get them demon ichor for their shamans. They agree to “ride with us” if we deliver. We swagger our way out of the camp. They say that we still have to decide who will lead when we come back.

We find a very safe place to sleep, and pass the night undisturbed.

Day 3
Next day, we are travelling through the necrozone, a dust storm kicks up, visibility severely compromised

We come across a group of zombies swatting at a flock of birds that is eating them
Sovan shatters birds, killing a third of them. JP snaps his fingers turning all 7 zombies into ash. Sovan shatters the rest of the birds again (all 12 are dead).
We take a short rest to wait out the sandstorm. Once it’s over, we exit 6-13 and travel into 6-12

Crested Skull Fort
We see crested skull’s fort in the northern section of this hex

We approach the crested skull dismounted, leading our horses. They send a hail of arrows to intimidate us, arrows land around us in a circle, we indicate that we want to talk and are coming in peace.

They allow us to approach. They also point out specific locations to avoid by shooting arrows where traps are. We learn this by trying to follow the arrows and being hit by a trap.

Guard uses a rope and slides down the wall, making a soft landing

We make the same proposal to this guard, who indicates that the Banded are not a big problem for them, but they’re concerned that they have become more of an issue, they are more concerned with evil things and ghosts

They really hate the flaming skull thing and they’re extremely relieved that we were able to kill it for good – after we revealed that we are very good at dealing with ghosts, spirits, etc they expressed their willingness to help us out with the Banded if we helped get rid of the wraith, which once killed an entire battalion of theirs

They remarked that they saw someone who looked like Sovan working with the wraith. (party is pretty sure it’s the black magic user) Managed to convince them that we have nothing to do with that “degenerate”

We made an arrangement with the crested skull that we would come back in a couple of days and kill the wraith, they’re going to send two guys to “observe” that we truly killed the wraith. They want proof that we are strong before they would send two guys to accompany us on our wraith killing expedition. Sovan suggests them fire at a JP standing still against a wall as a test of strength, wall guards shoot 20 times and the arrows all fall off him

The rope-climbing guy requests to shoot JP 2 more times and wagers his fancy bow, we wager 7 health potions. We win the bow (minor magic item, 600gp). He climbs back up the fortress wall on the rope, whacks another guard on the head and takes his bow – other guy protests “I didn’t make you lose your bow man” – and rope guy says something to the effect of “when you can shoot better than me you can have your bow back”

The Crumbly Hills
We enter 6-11, walking northwards through the hills, as we are walking, we see holes in the ground and feel the hills crumble slightly under our feet. Motion to rename hex to “crumbly hills” unanimously passed at this point – justification: texture like a ravaged box of biscuits

Ent casts speak with animals and lures huge ant to the surface with offering of rations

Ant shares knowledge about the area: “Food along 221A, danger along X41C, and others are encountered when you follow M7”. We eventually work out that food is northwest, enemies are close and directly north, enemies northeast are farther, other ants are mostly east a teeny bit north (but there’s a break, you have to keep following when it breaks, and find it again to otherside), more southeast past the things that are kinda like you

2341F, directly west, also contains food “easier to catch, don’t have to chase it so much”
When asked what we could do that would provoke the ants to attack us, ant says “Don’t go to where you find X22 or X1” (basically, don’t go into our holes bc those are only accessible from within)

Ant asks for more rations before it leaves (-2 boxes in total), then leaves for “L14”

Party goes north to scope out the “enemies” – they’re giant centipedes that move like cobras, with the top half of their lengths standing up 90 degrees from the ground – they also have arms that are holding axes and weapons. We observe them cooking and eating a giant ant corpse. Party decides to approach

They make clicky bubbly sounds and weave in and out of the ground, as we approach they communicate to Sovan “What are you doing here, prey?” Sovan tries to speak to the centipedes in their own tongue, and does not succeed.

JP casts tongues on Sovan, centipede tell us that no one talks to them except a group of other “diggers” (GrosQua) who they can understand, but who don’t understand them. But they’re a quite isolated species and they say they’re glad to meet other species that are able to talk and understand them

Sovan tells them that instead of calling us prey, maybe they should refer to us as friends. They’re a little confused but they seem to be on board with the idea, they agree that if we can understand them and talk to them, maybe we’re not prey. We convince them that even if we are prey, it is not in their best interest to eat the only other people who can understand and talk to them

At this point, JP suggests that he has magic that can help the centipedes be able to talk to more people, they kinda freak out bc they don’t want to be able to not eat anybody, Sovan just reiterates that we are not prey, and that they just have to worry about not eating us
They said they would spread the world about us not being “prey”.

Sovan suggests that we trade them for bits of creatures they hunt that seem special, and warns them against hunting ‘prey’ like us, e.g. other guild members, because “prey” like us will put up a massive fight and cause trouble, they agree to avoid attacking guild members, which they decide to call “confusing people”. They disappear into the ground

We see a hobgoblin fortress, we avoid it

Ent tries to find us shelter by luring out another ant, and asking where ‘good shelter’ might be. Ant tells us to shelter in our own tunnel, we tell them we don’t have tunnels, it’s disturbed that we don’t have a tunnel and we leave it alone

Ent finds us really good shelter anyways – a large hole in a hill that someone dug out at some pt, north centre of 6-11. JP builds a door for it, writes on door “Our Tunnel”

Day 4
Next day, still sunny, we make our way east
We encounter a small, well repaired fort NE section of hex

GQ attack
Something pops out of the ground and walks into the fort, like weird whack-a-moles – looks like the GrosQua

We approach, a couple of them are halfway dug into the stone in the fort (Diglett?), one of them hops out of the stone, leaps and pounds on the ground. The ground cracks in a line that spreads and runs beneath the party’s feet. The top layer of earth crumbles and falls into a 30 by 30 pit, 30 ft deep – mad earthbending skillz.

Ent and I manage to avoid falling in, but the rest of the party falls in – JP’s horse dies from falling – JP’s distraught and swears to avenge his lost pony. The pit is full of these creatures, 11 of them are in the pit with Pierre, JP, Kal and Sovan. Sovan shouts in Qua “WTF is wrong with you why would you attack your friends?!” They said in a different variant of Qua “They’re with them!” and they keep attacking

Pit: A GrosQua hits Pierre and makes him more vulnerable to future hits

Topside: Ent roots – seeing this, the creature who created the pit kicks a boulder at Ent, I protect Ent

Pit: GrosQua shoot 5 Crossbow bolts at Pierre, two hits for 5 and 4 dmg. JP spirit guardians, Kal makes herself small and ducks between armored people, fires one firebolt that missed. 5 of the GrosQua say fuck this and burrow away. Pierre does some damage to the remaining GrosQua, Sovan heals Pierre for 6

Topside: A few more whack-a-moles pop up on the wall, and shoot at me, hitting for 12. Ent attempts to hit earth bending whack-a-mole but misses.Big earthbender kicks a huge rock that smashed me in the face for 12

Pit: another 5 digletts fuck off, leaving one poor sod behind, everyone takes a swing at the guy but they miss and he fucks off. JP ties a rope to his spiritual hammer and around Kal, starts levitating hammer out of the pit, letting Kal try to get out. Pierre is like that’s a sweet idea and tries the same thing to get Sovan out of the pit
Topside: I am is still charging towards earthbender, lay on hands myself for 17. Sovan dissonant whispers – 5 dmg on the earthbender

Topside: Ent crit shoots earthbender Diglett for 14 dmg. Earthbender Diglett tries to slam me with a spear of rock but misses. Archers ping me for 3 pts

Kal manages to climb out of the hole and unties spirit hammer

Sovan dissonant whispers the earthbender, who runs. I make an attack of opportunity and smite the shit out of earthbender, killing him

There are still 5 more archers up on the wall – they are shooting at us. JP tries to climb out, gets 20ft us. Sovan uses Pierre’s Hammer Rope contraption to get 20 ft up, then clambers up the rest of the way on his own

Topside: Sovan heals me for 4 pts. I haul Pierre halfway up pit. Archers hit me and Sovan for a lil bit of dmg. Ent shoots and misses. JP makes it topside, scorching rays the wall Digletts, they duck out of way and JP moves hammer slowly towards them. I lift Pierre out of hole, archer focus fire me, JP and Sovan protect him. We flip them off as we ride off into the sunset with our one remaining horse (we leave Kal’s horse in the pit).

We head north and east into 7-10

In 7-10, we see another millipede camp, this is where the ant said the “other enemies” were
We see a fort by a river about 3 miles off roughly centre of the hex – looks like it’s more of the GrosQua. We remember that millipedes said that the bulk of the east of the river is filled with “diggers” (GrosQua)

We head north, countryside becomes mountainous, more solid, less crumbly

Meeting the GrosQua (the nice ones)
We take short rest – 20 min into rest period a pair of the GrosQua pop up into our hole
Sovan speaks with them in dwarven this time, and they’re open to talking. They agree with Sovan that the Banded are the worst, Sovan proposes collaborating to take down the tower and get rid of them once and for all. They said that if we could get through the magic part of the tower, they can make the ground collapse under the tower.

They said before we launch the offensive against the Banded, they want us to recover a thing “that makes the mushrooms grow” that “some of them” stole when they broke off the main herd and moved away (the assholes we fought in the west are the same group)
If we bring back the mushroom grower, they will fight with us. Another request from the GrosQua: They said the millipedes keep eating them, so they’d be willing to send more guys with us if we helped get rid of them

Also, they have nothing against the Qua, the group of GrosQua that attacked us seem to be a group with a weird and specific set of beliefs.

We negotiate a trade – our food for their metals – future longer term arrangement. JP creates food and water for an initial offering/trade – 45lb of food, 30 gallons of water

Sovan says we could do that a couple more times if they want to trade now, they tell us to follow them. They take us through a bubble of moving earth that shapes as they move through it (srsly earthbending Diglets), leading us into the fort

They give us a pouch of silver, platinum, gold worth 100g. They said if we stay another day, we’ll get another pouch.

Nothing happens overnight and when we wake up, it’s really uncommonly cold for the summer.

The Winter Wolf
I use my divine senses – I detect a thing some distance to the west – we offer the GrosQua one food to fulfill our promise and then we go and check out the source of the cold fae energy. The snow swirls around us and we hear a distant howl, which spreads all around – we feel like we’re being watched from all sides in the snow

Sovan and I start jammin and playing music for the fae, it’s really good. Huge white wolf walks out the swirling snow – walks towards us and shrinks to husky size as it approaches Sovan and me, looks up and blows a swirl of cold air at them.

I breathe back cold breath – my cold breath is perm enhanced (DC 14 instead of 10, extra d8 dmg) and Sovan gets to add ice effect on a spell (his vicious mockery gets an additional slow 10ft)

JP challenges wolf to a duel, wolf grows into size of bear and starts whaling on JP

JP TAKES DOWN THE WOLF in a lengthy battle.

As it collapses, bear sized wolf shrinks down to normal wolf – human spirit in wolfs garb made of spirit of icy wind – a cold breeze flows over JP and he gains the ability to project shield spells onto other people once per expedition. He tells the spirit he’s much nicer than grandmother dryad, spirit laughs and says he’ll “tell her you said that” before disappearing

Back to the GQ
We go back to GrosQua and tell them we need to wait an extra day before we can give them more food. We stay an extra night with the GrosQua, JP conjures them more food. They give us another pouch worth 130g

Day 5
Next day, we head south along the river, planned path: 7-10 to 7-11, then 7-12, and 7-13, then 6-13, 5-13, then 4-14, 4-15, 4-16. Day is largely uneventful.
On west side of bridge in 7-11 we see big dirt fort made by the GrosQua
We pass through necrozone and JP dusts 10 zombies bc no big deal right
In middle of 5-13 we slept in abandoned manor

Day 6
The ice region is spreading, three chilly fela are scrambling to evacuate home, poor things
150ft a month expansion

Battle with a Demon
The AG’s fort is being attacked by a huge demon – it’s raining disgusting demon spores down onto the AG, and they’re responding by firing a ballista with silver tipped bolts, and some silver crossbow bolts at it.

We toss them 15 healing potions, telling them to evacuate and just man the ballistas while the party takes out the demon (turns out this demon can regenerate health by eating the life energy from sentients it kills) I climb up the fort wall to help shield and heal people who are running the ballista.

Demon swoops down to try to pick up an AG, I whack it with a shield – “BAD!”, the demon crit fumbles and crashes into a wall before getting back in the air, taking 5 dmg

We fire another volley – the Ballista misses.

Demon descends and sprays disgusting black dandruff everywhere, I pass con save but AG start coughing and choking

Everyone fires another volley. I ready a smite to hit demon as it swoops down Demon descends, I do not succeed at smiting, Demon eats another healthy AG. The cluster of AG still does some damage to the demon.

Sovan casts vicious mockery. Coughing AG retreat and are replaced by fresh ones

JP does 43 dmg with a combination Lv. 3 guiding bolt and spiritual hammer. Pierre hits for 21 with the same spells. Ent hits 11 with an arrow. The demon dives down into AG hedgehog, 2 AG manage to catch it. My axe shines brilliantly as it swings towards demon, smites it for 22, destroys it.

We heal all the AG back to full. We chat for a bit and the AG tell us the reason they were so unprepared because it came in the heels of them having to lead horrible two battles against something that was contaminating the region. They’re not doing super hot right now. They say they remember another time that was really bad about 20 years ago and they almost got wiped out.

We take 2 barrels of demon ichor worth 100 g each – apparently demon ichor can be used to make weapons that are better at hitting demons temporarily – we are going to see if we can manufacture weapons that are more effective against demons long-term with it.
We spend the night and make them 3 holy waters before we leave.

The trip home is uneventful.


James_Elcombe Del_

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