What follows are excerpts from The Edge Of Reason Chronicles. These few chapters from one of many books, are incomplete, but serve as a strong indicator of the activities and mind set of one of Bigany's largest and most varied adventuring companies. The leader of The Edge Of Reason Adventuring Company (TEORAC) is Quenn Nadine McDuff The Only, Queen of McDuff Isle.
The members of
The Edge Of Reason Adventuring Company
Queen Nadine McDuff The Only (female human frenzied berserker),
Fuergan Stoneskin Krumnor (male dwarven hunt-beast fighter),
Vengeance Thaliad (male elf fighter)
Sir Alexandrus Count Von Westfold (male human cleric of The Moons)
Sever Ecks (male drow arcane trickster)
Samui Chai (male human monk)
Vadannos Paros (male human druid)
Vitorio Garibaldi (male human fighter gunslinger)
Willowshade Ebo (male gnome wizard)
Azer Feywood (male pixie assassin)
Ajax Avalon (male human battlemind)
Sir Ector De Beaumaris (male human paladin)
Orin Redhammer (male dwarf battlemind)
Prince Aendyr Mantorok (male human vampire assassin)
Sir Xaos De Slayer (male human paladin)
Coilte Rarok (male half-orc barbarian)
Druss Creed (male human cleric of Cogadh)
Habea Mortussen (female drow necromancer)
Chapter I: We came, we saw, we failed our saving throws...
Having had a over month to prepare, since they had first visited Nulb and 6 weeks earlier, the Characters entered town with a clear course of action in mind. The only problem was they couldn’t remember what went before the bit where they got the treasure.
The Necromancer Waif Habea, newly appointed leader of the group denied all responsibility and tried to unburden himself of his Canoness Y'Dey designed role as leader of the group. He chose Vengeance, who was still trying to figure out how he should use his new found feats with the cleaver.
Fed up with all this Nadine decided to kick up a fuss and worked her way through several doors heading inexorably towards the harbour and the Pirates. Meanwhile Ebo the “Familiars are people too” gnome was bonding with his familiar. Garron was sniffing the air and commenting on how fine a day to die it was.
Vengeance remembered that the Herbalist’s shop hadn’t been destroyed and mentioned it to the party. Nadine, hearing that there was a door in town that she hadn’t kicked in led the charge. Most of the rest of the group were reminiscing at this point: the “Group Leader” was reading through his spell book again, searching for that ideal combination of spells to cast. I’m not sure exactly what the gnome was up to, I think he was exchanging pleasantries with Garron at the time, Garron seemed to have a (somewhat appropriate) premonition of doom but failed to act on it...
Vengeance readied an action, remembering the Ghost in the inn, though what he hoped to do against incorporeal undead with an arrow, is anyone’s guess. Nadine kicked open the door and tumbled as far as she could into the building...
...next thing (quel surprise!) an evil cleric strides purposefully down/up the stairs (Depends how you visualised it though the DM said up) and cloaked in all sorts of magic defences, beats lumps out of Nadine. Vengeance, having miscalculated his vectors was left with an impossible and ultimately futile readied action...
Now you would think, having learned from almost every other situation where we meet enemies for the first time, that we would have withdrawn and regrouped. However, we were bigger, tougher and meaner - and that month off really softened our heads - so we charged!
Vengeance remembers 5 arrows, the first from outside was a miss, the second at the evil cleric was a success! It was soon followed by a Confusion spell, that had him wander out of the place, along with some of the others - not before he got caught in the gnome's 'Attack the nearest person' attack in which he fireballed his pet ('feel my pain' it shouted as it hurled towards death with 1200 of Ebo’s XPs in its claws). Meanwhile things were getting worse back in the herbalist’s. The Necromancer having danced the length of the bar and 'touch attacked' herself found the negative side of low con as she passed into unconsciousness - in Nulb no one hears you scream, especially when you are unconscious, bleeding and invisible... Outside Vengeance remembered how to fight and shot Nadine dead and nearly skewered the gnome as well, however, due to some dextrous rules lawyering by Dave Nadine's death was overturned on a technicality - at least for the time being. Back inside Evil Cleric dude decides to Death Garron's Knell - lucky for him Áis Néis had a soft spot for him and he was saved from the Abyss by an Avatar- his adventuring goal, Death, accomplished.
Outside Vengeance and Nadine wander off some more, while the Dave looks for a loophole. Evil Cleric Dude, confident of the fact that he has gone up a level since the encounter started legs it down the street and takes Vengeance straight to -10. He has to take the servants entrance to the afterlife.
A bit fragmented now, but Evil Cleric dude goes back to the invisible unconscious spellcaster (How did he remain invisible after casting an offensive spell? - not that anyone could have healed him or anything) Surviving the death knell of her foe she is hastily dispatched by a knife administered to the throat. Dead, she gets to the afterlife nanoseconds before the 'real time' systems for logging follower actions transmits to the doorkeeper. Rather than admit it doesn’t know what the penitent did it guesses based on last available information - she gets in, with a commendation: Now that's leadership!!
Oh and where are the others? schemes the evil cleric dude as he mentally counts his remaining spell duration...Ah! he muses and runs off down the street to hunt them down. Lo and behold he is greeted by the sight of 4 Super powered Paladins. Now, if you are an evil cleric there has got to be no better way to go than 4 Paladins on flying steeds...
Sitting in the bar on the junction of Abyss Planes 104 and 555:
Oh how did you die?
‘Bad DM let low level characters kill me in my sleep',
'4 Paladins on Griffons coming to rescue the other party I (yes just me) had just vanquished Rahhhr!!!'
Oh yeah, he runs down the street and moshes the Paladins, not clear whether he just kills them (illusions as they are) or saw through them. Either way he gets to the gnome and Nadine before the healing kicks in. Damn don’t you just wish that you had bought that amulet-of-Mass-heal-15-time-per-day: Shouldn’t have let the 'But only when you are fighting enemies' restriction put you off.
Next thing you know they are hanging upside down etc etc etc.
And then the rescue mission. We Planned (a little not a lot) WE Countered, saved against his spells. We kicked him to bits.
And all in 18 seconds (or there abouts)
Prequel: The temple vanquished (or loot the place)
Having valiantly defeated their fearsome foe, a tale that was never told alas!, the company set to vanquishing what remained of their enemy. At first the y ensured that they had properly vanquished their opponents of all their belongings then they set out once more. That is to say that Nadine set out once more in search of Hobgoblins while the rest of the party struggled to remember how hard it was for the bad guys to hit them. That and which direction they should walk in. Meanwhile Nadine decimated another family unit of Hobgoblins, not that its genocide - she doesn’t get her hands on enough of them at any one time for that, besides, they are evil so it doesn’t count.
Anyway, everyone is back together again as a group. They reach a consensus that they should turn left. They reach a wooden door. Druss taking over the group accounts spots the darkwood door and does a quick calculation as to how much Druids would pay for it. Unfortunately the door was attached to the wall with hinges. That and the minor matter of enemies within. After a fruitless search for traps and a failed attempt to pick the lock someone, Druss I think, thought of trying the handle. It worked!! -the door opened. Inside in a smoke blackened room were ACME dungeon bedroom stuff and an incense burner, a locked chest. Druss, incensed at the absence of anything else to do attacked the Censer and knocked it to the floor -where it made an even bigger mess, more smoke. While some of the rest of the party stood looking at the Iron-chain bound chest Lissian (not to be confused with Lucien- one plucks strings the other punches things) decided to mightily assail the flaming puddle in the corner of the room before its vapours overwhelmed the party. Whipping out his favoured weapon he showered blows upon the fire, but alas, in his eagerness to quench the flames he leaned to close to the fire (not being proficient in the use of that weapon was part of the problem) and though he did quench the flame with the veritable torrent he unleashed upon it he gained an unsightly scar on his favoured weapon, never would he walk the same again. Meanwhile, back at the chest things were getting interesting. Expecting, nay hoping for a trap the entire party stood back from the chest - a full 10'; enough to foil only the most basic of traps. The multi talented sever practically invisible and soundless prepared his sneak attack on the chest, remembering that it was immune to sneak attack he started playing cat and mouse with it, gradually drawing it towards the edge of the table. Looking for a carefully concealed ruse in his opponent he found none and proceeded, he attempted to disarm his opponent using all his wiles. He failed. Meanwhile, Nadine went and got the key and opened the chest. Sever dived in and palmed the 2lb bag of coins that was in the chest, carefully concealing it beneath his clothing. Having been spotted by everyone he grumbled and admitted that he was carrying it. Soon the characters were across the hall. Not so soon really, Nadine had time to erase at least one other Hobgoblin bloodline, the last of the mgh-hyk-ans fell beneath her fury, with a cry of 'I will find you'.
Around this time the gallant Paladin and the Druid returned from their wanderings. Nearly killing Sever (Andy actually - who definitely had the look of grey hairs afterwards) Oh yeah, crossing the great hall we encountered a rather foolish group of hobgoblins. They assumed that because we had destroyed 40 odd grunts, 20 odd elite warriors, a chieftain and a couple of spellcasters - and looked unhurt(healed), at least apart from Fuergan that is that we would be a cake walk. Again Nadine was first into the fray, showing her utter disregard for that 'don’t split the party' rule. Guess total defence works. The druid's primary concern in this instance was subduing the dire ape so that he could add it to his menagerie. There probably is a fable in that: A wolf a dire boar and a dire ape are stranded on one side of a river... Anyway not sure if anyone remembered to stop it dying.
So, the second door. On the other side of the great hall they found themselves faced with another implacable foe. A door. Since the party's rate of movement was so fast it counted as immovable. Immovable, Implacable - no one was going to make it out of this. Druss advanced on the door, convinced by his prior success that o open it would be a thing of simplicity. He failed. Sever advanced once more on the door. He failed. Finally, Nadine remembered the Key and the odds were turned in our favour. No need to fireball the door, this time.
Inside we were confronted by a ghastly sight (no, that's later) a side of rotten meat on a hook swaying in the flea infested air. On the plus side we found several expensive items and a *fountain*. Now, it must be said that no one was particularly interested in the treasure, not when there was a *fountain* to investigate. Sever began with his by now customary insults/pleadings to Feo. Calling on that divine intervention stuff. And it nearly worked. his insanity deepened (no one would claim that he was sane to start with). Everyone crowded around, hoping that there might be the shine of gold or gems in the fetid 2' diameter pool that stood atop the dais. More of a dish really. At the very least we hoped that a (small) water Naga might turn up. So what happened, Druss decided to purify the water, although it must be said that once purified most people lost interest in it. Everyone wandered off to do their own thing. mostly looting. Sever ran out to the door and though about getting separated from the party. Sir Ector still had to stamp his mark on the proceedings, the Druid's (I cant spell his name, sorry) menagerie had already participated in a convincing butchery, though Ector did land a few shots on the dire ape.
Anyway, Lissian was convinced that there had to be a secret passageway in the room. And he knew where - under the fountain. Now before you laugh remember the moat house. Mustering his not inconsiderate strength he applied himself to the task, and found himself lacking. Before you know it the party had once more found its purpose, kind of like that story about the people pulling the giant turnip out of the ground. So there we were, even Sir Ector's horse was giving a hand (Cant remember if we enlisted the boar, reckon he might have carried the day). But to no avail. This thing was solid rock. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world a volcano erupted due to the transmission of seismic forces and clashing tectonic plates, it spewed forth gobbets of fire - one hitting a butterfly *that flapped its wings*, and all because Lissian wanted to move the fountain. DIY freaks.
Eventually we reach the hocus pocus room where really bad things happen. Everybody gets nervous, Sever calls on Feo, Sir Ector gallantly charges forward by guarding our rear from attack. Next thing you no Nadine is playing trampoline on the ashes of humanoid sacrifices. She suddenly recalls that this is not a good idea and hops out. Druss decides to consecrate the thing and it blows up. Sever, recognising a turning tide in the battle of good and evil goes for the winner - he backs Feo (Come on Feo old buddy)...oops! Druss has an idea of what to do to the really nasty main altar. Only because his boss told him mind you. There is still a room left to explore and the natives are getting restless.
Anyway count the loot loads for everybody, every body gets loads of XPs - especially Druss. Nadine grumbles about clerics and there adventures. Probably just annoyed that she wasn’t allowed to kill the recently converted Charon worshipping Hobgoblins outside
End of Part one. In part two we find out what happens when Paladins skip the class dealing with 'what to do if your comrade is killed by undead'.
And so, onto Sir Chaos. Having destroyed the temple
While all this was going on the rest of the party were losing levels and lives being hacked to pieces by Ghosts and evil clerics.
So, Sir Ector offered us something to do (other than lose our money in a drinking competition) and besides, it was only 10:45.
We set out tracking Sir Xaos and his rampaging band of Undead. Of course, before we set out Sir Ector bought the Scrolls of Remove Paralysis - there seemed to be some confusion about this as he forgot he had them for quite some time (More on that later). Druss stayed at home and his spells and abilities were sorely missed. Approaching the place where they knew that their enemy awaited they were filled with trepidation, after all their history of dealing with enemies who were waiting for them was not so good. Vadannos the Druid solved this problem by calling on the powers of the wild and transforming into an Eagle. Taking to the skies he scoured the area in search of the enemy, his keen eyesight spotted the foe awaiting in ambush at the end of a Gorge - ready to pounce on the heroes as they marched carelessly, or at least without care, along its path. Returning to the group he told all of his comrades of what he had witnessed. The time had come to make a plan, the advantage had switched from Sir Chaos and his minions to Sir Ector and comrades.
The plan involved a lot of prejudice, eradicating the enemy in an extreme manner.
Essentially Sir Ector was to ride into the trap like the Knight he is and trigger it - thereby drawing the enemy into the open. Vadannos would call upon the power of the elements to breath forth their very essence and strike down the foe, the very clouds in the sky responded to his call. Ebo would summon forth burning fire to scorch the undead minions from the face of the earth. Nadine would summon forth the power of the spider to ensnare her opponents. Vengeance, Sever, Lissian would await their opportunity to strike deep into the enemy flanks.
The battle began as planned. All defences raised Sir Ector guided his steed forward into the very maw of danger, calling on his foe to abandon cowardice and face the wrath of his former god. Ebo showed great courage for one so small and accompanied Sir Ector, for while he was invisible he would become visible as soon as he took his first act against the enemy. Sir Ector Advanced, Ebo Cast his Flaming Sphere; Nadine her Spidery web ensnaring fully half the enemy in its midst; Vadannos called forth the plants to deal with the travesties against nature; The others rained down arrows on their opponents. So far so good. Sir Ector's Insults drew forth the opponent - a mighty roar was heard and the approach of galloping hooves. Vadannos awaited his opportunity, Sir Ector levelled his lance, Ebo prepared another spell. Unfortunately things were not as perfect as planned. The party had overestimated the power of their artillery and underestimated the enemies toughness. The enemy also showed a greater tactical awareness than had been anticipated. Ebo's second fireball was away. Rather than concentrate on the already injured he spread out the damage as far as possible. Unfortunately he took in most of the area of the web in his attack. While he inflicted great damage he also freed those caught in its bounds. Vadannos called on the elements and they were not found wanting. A massive bolt of Energy lashed out and destroyed the dark knight, there was something wrong. Sir Chaos could not have been taken so easily. On the right flank Vengeance and Sever advanced picking off enemies as they went. On the left flank Nadine and Lissian advanced to press home the advantage on those trapped in the under-growth. Suddenly, unexpectedly the true Sir Chaos the fallen charged Sir Ector from behind. The other knight on whom so much energy had been expended was but a ruse. Sir Chaos closed on his snarling steed and his lance dug deep into Sir Ector's back while he called on dark powers to aid his blow. Fortunately for Sir Ector his training had conditioned him to ignore such pain - he turned to face his opponent. Ebo caught between two such dread foes went pale. He suddenly realised that sitting behind a Paladin on his steed was not such a good idea. The undead who were released from the webs began their steady, implacable advance towards the party. Those in the tangled undergrowth started to crawl their way out. Things were starting to look perilous for the party. In the face of such a foe the party turned its combined force on the enemy Knight. Vengeance unleashed an arrow, Ebo his magic, Sir Ector Rained down blows. Lissian and Vadannos picked off those in the tangled undergrowth while Vadannos split his resources to attack the enemy on two fronts. The war boar thundered forward to leap atop the dread knight, for his trouble he was skewered on its sword and collapsed paralysed on the ground. The Dark Knight dropped his weapon and shield, reading his terrible talons to inflict his opponents with paralysis - and should they die they would join the ranks of his followers. Vengeance buried an arrow in the Knights side, Ector rained more blows upon him felling him at he last. Nadine protect the fighters on the road from the undead that were climbing from the undergrowth down to the road. The Undead pressed home their attack. Ebo was paralysed by the touch of the fell Knight, Lissian fell to the touch of another undead, Vengeance to yet another. Sever fought and ran for his life as he played cat and mouse with an undead - fortunately distracting it from killing Vengeance whom he had just paralysed. Vadannos's wolf protected Lissian but then he too was felled. The tide turned somewhat when the Fell Knight was turned, but the minions of that dread creature carried on their attack reaching always towards the Paladin whom they sought to tear apart, so much so that they ignored their victims who lay prone on the ground. The Fell beast that served as mount pressed the attack inflicting mighty blows on Sir Ector, eventually knocking him senseless. Nadine battle against the army of undead - fending off a half dozen single handily, but surely she must tire soon! Vadannos, with little care for his own safety reached to Sir Ector healing him of much damage, Ector who ad willingly sacrificed his own ability to heal to better dispatch the undead whom he fought. Sir Ector, revived, suddenly remembered a scroll, nay a brace of scrolls that he had obtained in the temple prior to leaving town. Drawing on the power vested therein he unleashed the spell loosening the poisonous shackles that held so many of his comrades. All bar Lissian, who was too far away to feel the benefits of the spell, were released from the torment. With renewed vigour they assaulted their opponents: The battle was turned once more. Ebo, hasted, flew to safety and fired magic missiles penetrating the dense hide of the beast that had served as mount, others rallied to the cause. Vadannos protected Nadine from the beast with a sphere of elemental fire, now he moved that flame so that it immersed the beast - with an anguished scream, or perhaps a shout of relief - it's spirit was sundered from the flesh and the mount lay dead atop its master. Freed from this danger in their midst the group faced outwards and made quick work of the remaining foes who, alone and unaided, were no match. Meanwhile, Sever ended his game of hit and run by impaling the undead that had dogged his steps. Lissian was soon reunited with his comrades, freed from the touch of the beasts. They breathed a sigh of relief. Lissian and Vengeance who were merely scratched had awaited a certain death at the hands of the undead, fortunately the creatures were drawn away by the divinely favoured Knight. Ebo, who had played such an important role at the start of the combat, lay for most of the combat beneath the sure footed hooves of Sir Ector's mount. In the end he was able to bring his magic to the fore and apply it to destroy the foe. Vadannos showed great bravery and together with his woodland allies made a great impact on the enemy lines, in the end it was him who returned Sir Ector from the brink of death so that the group might be saved. Nadine having tumbled through most of the battlefield and caused great damage to the foe single handily held the gorge against a horde of undead, preventing them from overrunning the group. Sever, never seen by the enemy nevertheless struck many a blow to their ranks, distracting them so that his companions might avoid certain death. Finally, Sir Ector having achieved his mission of laying Sir Xaos, or Sir Chaos, to rest valiantly took the blows of the enemy to protect his comrades, in the end he released them form the fell touch of the Undead.
Indeed, a story of legend.
The Razors Edge Adventuring Company, or was it the Homlett free Mercenaries, or the Company, or the Company of Eagles, or the Masters of the wild...so confusing really- actually now that I remember it was the Edge of Reason Adventuring Company (TEOARAC for short).
Anyway, our heroes, returning to Bigany - for some on a first visit - arrived just as the Supporters of Shale were about to have a shin dig. For the non magic user elements of the group (Everyone except Ebo) there wasn’t much going on. Except drinking, a lot of drinking. Seems rather badly designed for the best time to cast spells coinciding with the best opportunity for magic users attuned to Shale to get drunk: Drink/Magic..Magic/Drink... Ebo, fortunately for him wasn’t attuned to Shale so his choice was made easier. Especially when they kicked him out of the library for climbing on the bookshelves to reach that book on Monster lore... So, party over all of the group settles into its new found life as Adventurers at ease, hanging about the Heroes' guild drinking, mostly. All except Ebo that is: HE was busy scuttling around the libraries of Bigany 'Yes, Yes that is the secret I sought mhuagh ha ha'. A strange glow was also to be seen from his bedroom window as he wrestled with the very elements to produce magical items and alchemical compounds. All the while trying to convince the landlady that he was only running a drugs den (to explain the noise and smoke). 54 Days later he emerged from his travail, the look about his eyes intensified, slightly drained, yet with an unmistakable aura of power about him...It must be said that he was a jolly good sport and made some items for other group members as well (Yeah Ebo).
In the meantime the rest of the group were doing 'stuff' Sever bought a small bar in a little known side street. It hadn’t much: a stage, a bar and some stools. But he had a dream, a dream of a place where people could come, listen to good music and have a drink. And leave their money behind. Lucien Xilocent, the bard, caught by the audacity of this idea agreed to join Sever in his enterprise. Soon, the place was filled every night - and not just by people avoiding the rain or using the toilets. Word had gotten out that there was a new place in town. Not on the usual circuit, just slightly off beat and a little Funky. The place was mobbed. Soon they had to expand the business - turning the downstairs into a dimly lit bar with overpriced drinks and a smell of incense that battled with the leaking sewerage pipes to give it an atmosphere of its own. Again it was a hit. There was interest from the big establishment owners and several offers were made. Sever wouldn’t sell. Suddenly, he decided to go a roving once more. He upped and sold his interest in the place and himself and Lucien set off once more with their comrades of the err.. group. Meanwhile, Nadine was scouring the woods nearby, doing her best Hemmingway impression: If it moves shoot it. Fortunately not too many people walked that way. She returned to town with a wild look in her eye and suddenly defined appearance wearing her winter collection of furs from at least a dozen different animals. Rumours that one of the hides looked decidedly like old Jake as had gone missing in the woods were quickly (s)quashed. Vengeance, meanwhile, after investing a lot of energy and cash in a magic item that Ebo made for him found himself at a loose end. HE tried for a job teaching people how to use a bow: But there was no work to be found for a poor down on his luck hero with nothing but a strength bow and good dexterity
Anyway in they go and are introduced to Lord Bracknell Onassis. The Harbour Master. they had a chat, eventually he points them towards a ship headed that way. Not before suggesting to them that any help in reduction of tariffs for his clan would be greatly appreciated. Off they go again and reach the Docks. By now Nadine and Vadannos had arrived, sensing (hoping) that there was going to be trouble. Barney the Dire Boar and Fred the Dire Ape sidled non-chalantly along behind them. Whistling quietly so no one noticed that they were there. Occasionally stopping to eat the occasional vegetable stall or slow moving beggar.
Reaching the docks they met William (Not Sir) Adder the Factor of Lord Robinson (Not Crusoe) Mome. He decided to put them to a series of tests, to ensure their suitability for the job. The looked under pressure, tests of combat ability hadn’t always worked out in the past. However, more challenging than that was the need to come up with a name for their enterprise. After a week long brainstorming session including off site meetings and strategic reviews a name was decided on (and no one else was using it): The Razor's Edge Adventuring Company.
The tests were simple. There probably were simple solutions. 1)Stop a catapult ball from landing in the sea. 2)Avoid being hit by a big and then hit it back.
Vadannos and Ebo took the first challenge. Vadannos sat on top of the catapult - drawing quite a crowd - some even threw coins. Next thing the shot was fired. Vadannos, now in Eagle form, and the shot were travelling in different directions! Vadannos righted himself and swooped down to grab the ball. Meanwhile Ebo got carried away with himself and started to change into a creature of claws and wings. But it was too late, Vadannos had seized his prey and brought it back to shore. He spent the rest of the afternoon flying people around the harbour (Though nowhere near the Citadel air traffic exclusion zone. The wand of O2 Swarm trained on him persuaded him to the contrary. The powers of reason had triumphed! Suddenly, it was back to the Edge: Could the brawn match the brain. Nadine was up first (just as well) she had to avoid a swinging bag filled with all manner of stuffing. A total of 10 times it swung past her, brushing her occasionally; once she even stumbled -but she never lost her feet. Part one was complete. The next part was 'Sever'ing the bag from the hoist above. Where was he anyway? Nadine lashed at the rope with both blades nearly cutting through bag and rope. Vengeance scored a hit on the rope nearly cutting through. It was back to Nadine - could she make the cut? (Actually I cant remember) Followed by vengeance firing another arrow, cutting the rope in twain at the same spot as he had already hit. The Edge had matched those who live in hedges (Wizards and druids).
Just after that Nadine picked a fight with a crewman. A big burley bruiser (where was he when we were being attacked by the sea monster - but more of that later). He started suddenly, no one had seen him move that fast before, but Nadine was quicker, she casually kicked him around the place, enough to kill an ordinary person - but he was still standing. This guy wasn’t first level!!!!!!!!!!! Over and back the fight went the y guy looking more and more like a safe driving advert when suddenly he hit Nadine (the crowd gasp!) but his respite was short lived; she soon knocked him to the deck - taking another hit on the way - and foot on neck demanded his surrender. He refused and surged to his feet, but not before he was crumpled by a blow to the midriff.
A day or so later Vengeance loitered into an Archery competition -time to get revenge for all the times that those high level guys had beaten him in competition. The first round. He won it comfortably. The field reduced from 8 to 4. The Second round. A bit closer, but still ahead. The field is down to 2 The Third and final round. He draws with the outside: Farmer ham from ham. The pressure is on. - A shoot off. David Bowie adjudicates. Vengeance misses his first. Can Ham get the advantage - he shoots, oops...he scores oops....the target collapses...oops! - but luckily this is the time of Charon and there goes a priest marshal to kick the guy back into order, he intones (with extreme prejudice) the powers of his God, most of the people on the field feel better after that. The shoot continues. Vengeance scores another. So does Ham. The last shot, the decider. Vengeance scores a good shot, Ham does his best but cant quite match the superior talent (and weaponry) of Vengeance, if Ham hadn’t made a hames of that shot he probably would have had it. Vengeance in magnanimous mood gives the prize to Ham (Yeah Vengeance).
Anyway, Sever turns up just as the boat is about to sail, straight from a night on the town where he was wishing farewell to the lovelies he was leaving behind...not to mention their husbands. Vadannos pulls his menagerie out of the bag and off we go.
Sail, Sail, Sail, Tack, Tack, Tack. Oh look its Dolphins. Nooooooo! Nadine don’t shoot the Dolphins -they're nice creatures. Nadine gets in a huff and fires a shot anyway -Wave huggers. Shortly after an Albatross flies overhead, sailors rush to dive in the path of the slowly rising bow of Nadine mc Duff - A sailor dives through the air trying to intercept the arrow - better that than incur the wrath of Uisce for felling his most favoured creature. It was too late though, and the arrow flew ......but wide of the mark (phew!)
Sail, Sail, Sail, Tack, Tack, Oh the dolphins are still there. Hey what’s that, another is swimming over what! they are all leaving. Hmmm this sounds like a bad thing. Flipper never abandoned the anyone!
Battle Stations -DEFCON 4 (Whatever that is)...1 minute - shields blink out....1 hour...mage armour is gone...Downgrade to DEFCON2. Alarums! Alarums!
Shiver me timbers its a beast from the depths!
hey - where is Sever the Bronzed (Dragon)? wasn’t he watching underneath the boat?
Anyway, It attacks the side of the ship: bye bye sailors, guess you guys shouldn’t have worn red shirts today!
Suddenly the battle is unleashed. The sailors all run away (cant say I blame them. They must belong to Players in a 'you cant die if you’re not there' campaign. The Beast is going next to last so we all (except for I'll kill-it if-it moves) get to go first. twang! 2 arrows, Fireball, It gets its ass bitten by a Dragon, Speared by the Druid - The Dire duo get their summons. Hah! we're going to wipe this guy out!! OK, that’s it 27/13 from the Fireball; 25 from the Fireball, another dozen from Vadannos, same for Sever (what do you mean I cant change back) the Dragon. It attacks - but no! it merely climbs aboard the ship near to toppling the boat over (Glad I was wearing a life vest and no armour), Nadine shoots -sneak attack -another dozen or so. -Hey how many hit points has this thing got? Round two, Another Arrow, Haste Magic Missile from Ebo, The Dire Duo arrive and lay into it -attacks of opportunity - who cares Rohr take that. Aha, hang on a second that about a hundred hitpoints.. Wait a minute this guy isn’t taking damage to his body!! Concentrate all firepower on the body No the head Nope the body No... Sever the Dragon severs a head with his claws - Aha! the weak spot wait a minute the bite didn’t have any effect! what he's immune to piercing attacks!! Its go Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang Blang - that’s a lot of hits -Armour class what!! Even Boghadoir would have been hit by that! Things are looking bad, nearly everyone has been hit. Nadine Jumps in - literally landing blade first atop its body - she took the no its body option - Aha! a mighty cut - but no effect oops, aha she decides that a 20' x20' 12 headed monster is quite similar to a horse and attempts to ride it -oops guess it wasn’t. OK, concentrate all firepower on the heads. Vengeance drops his bow, the cleaver is out Kathump -that's put paid to a head aha! Barney the Boar howls in frustration he cant hurt it!- You don’t want to frustrate a Boar, you don’t want to see it when its Frustrated. He grapples a head, successfully! Not to be out-done Fred the Fiery Dire Ape leaps in and does his rend thing, or at least tries he only gets one claw to the head, aw didn’t rip it off - next time. Sever the Dragon having taken a battering from the beast did a flight to freedom, but he decides in a moment of foolhardy bravery (not in any way inspired by the satire that the Bard is humming under his breath) makes his bid for greatness and rushes over to the boat to attack the creature. As he leaps through Vadannos lays his healing touch upon Sever so that despite the blow from the dragon he still makes it through, and lands his claws squarely on it. Uh oh, its go. Vengeance is left staggering on the verge of unconsciousness (Don’t fall, Don’t fall, not so soon again)Ebo is down, Sever is back down to low reserves again. but we nearly have him! what’s that, heads, growing back! Nooooooooooooooooooo! Nadine throws some Greek fire -its worked !The head is gone. Nadine Lashes out, Another head gone, at least for now, she tumbles away. Vengeance ducks behind the crows nest and downs a potion. Madra whistles in a completely unthreatening manner as he casually slides Ebo to safety, Ouch that hurt - guess the beast saw huh? Sever is getting Nervous, another head, How many of these has thing got? what is it an ooze? Vadannos holds the fort together, Bert is holding on - but no! it breaks free, Fred the fierce No! he's down and down bad. Its go, Vengeance realises what cover is when it is ripped from underneath him, then the beast rips a good portion of him along with it! he is left hanging by one hand from the crows nest OK, not sure who else does/doesn’t get hit at this stage -but its a mess
It gets messy there for a while every body who can is hacking the thing ,those who cant are chucking Greek fire and oil at it. Vadannos unleashes the force of raw elemental fury on it and starts blasting it with flame -its Limbs are being cauterised!! -they are not growing back. Way to go Vadannos!.
Think I missed a turn there because Super Ebo back from the edge casts one of his mightiest spells and the ship is covered in illusions, the creature is too dumb to realise that there shouldn’t be three of each of us, but that is OK we aren’t complaining. Its go - it is hitting the wrong ones! good on ya Ebo; the tide has turned.
IT takes Vengeance a few seconds to realise that he can stop throwing oil and hit it with a good chance of not dieing! he laps in and cuts through a limb, Sever the bronze does likewise, as does Nadine, poor Fred the Fierce is gone to that jungle in the sky but goring Bert the big boar just wont give up. It takes a while but Vadannos is picking off the heads; The crew find their courage and start firing at the thing with Fire arrows. Some of them pick up Ebo's flasks of acid and throw them, somehow missing a 20'x20' creature - how do these guys survive in the rigging?
The last head is cut, Vadannos burns it.
It rears up and .... dies! yeah us!
Vengeance in a long tradition of adventuring cuts open the belly of the beast and lo and behold it contains a skeleton wearing plate mail armour and a *Magical Ring*!
Everyone is delighted, but then the curse of the ring starts to descend on the group, each casts their beady eye upon it, each has plans for it...could this be the very thing that will drive a wedge through the heart of the group? Magic rings are a dangerous business.
AH, well that's that - another monster killed. pity about the long sword of ghost touch and Fuergan's armour though. OK, time to heal up and regain spells an' all. After all we want to be at our best when we meet these bad guys. Lets wander back whence we came.
do de do. OK we reach a *closed* door - time to be serious for a minute. Sever will you listen at the door, yeah ok you hear an owl land on the shoulder of a Troglodyte (or was that Habea? -hearing that is, I'm not comparing Habea to a troglodyte, err, am I'd better stop now). Gee what next, lets have a look see. Habea glides through the door and spies our enemies passing with a cart. Sever: 'Hey Habea, where'd you get the cool threads' Habea: 'I made them myself, I'm an elf you know,
A short time later: Fuergan lies dieing on the ground. Ebo decides to be heroic and try out his newest spell. Nothing like field trials of area effect spells in confined spaces to separate the men from the gnomes as it were. !Whoosh! a firewall erupts The bad guys are all caught by the Firewall !Yeah! Fuergan and Habea are caught by the firewall - !boo! Sever has a cunning plan to kill the bad guys - do it this way shouts Ebo who is having a really bad day and is trying to bring it all back under control. 'Ok' shouts sever jumping onto a blade as he tries to comply with the suggestion. oops. Sever is down, hey who is left? Ebo and Madra, come on guys you can do it - only 6 guys and an evil cleric between you! yeah they are invisible! Nay Ebo is hit...and down...and bleeding...dead Madra in a heroic effort to escape so that he might die another day gets twenty feet down the passage before he realises that he is in fact not invisible and is in fact dead.... ... .... .....
On a distant beach lightning crackles... a statue appears.. and then crumbles to reveal a dwarf of large size, he staggers, somewhat disoriented. A distant voice cries in his head, repeatedly, 'What Day, What Year'. He lives so Vengeance is dead...
2 weeks later the party figure out that either the others are in real trouble or trying to figure a way off the island without sharing the treasure.
They set out, nearly killing a bunch of natives on the way. Instead a guy who tagged along with them starts speaking in Orc to these guys and finds out that there is another entrance...
Anyway, there we are standing at the bottom of the incline trying to figure out what to do about these guys when suddenly we notice that Garibaldi is gone missing. Now it is always a concern when characters split and go to negotiate with the evil guys. but this guy hadn’t been with us an hour! We let him off and he made a really bad attempt to bluff his way inside the place 'any chance of a start boss' - from a guy wearing 300gp of silk costume! So they shoot him up a bit, His comments about what he was up to with the captain of the guard's wife were not appreciated. Carefully they gesture him on. Whistling softly if out of tune he attempts to load an cock two pistols while walking with his hands in the air -without them noticing. They shoot him again, get him to throw down his weapons and escort him inside.
Meanwhile another new guy on the block decides to follow him up the road, traces of the hobbit here. one at a time so as not to arouse suspicion - 'Ah its alright they are only extremely well armed troops matching the descriptions of the Edge of Reason Company, sure what harm would they do? SO up he goes and dominates a Gnoll >>You are mine Mwuh ha ha ha<< For some reason (the edge?) he gets the Gnoll to pick up Garibaldi's weapons and wander off down a side passage with them. how suspicious does it get!
Meanwhile, Sir Ector and Vengeance are staring at each other wondering exactly when it all went pear shaped...
Psion guy marches forward, pulls a sack on over his head, ties it around his neck and then allows himself to be led inside the gate. Hmm that wasn’t too bright
Evil Cleric to Garibaldi: 'Who are you' Garibaldi: 'I am the guy who talks a lotta hoping that you donta listenta the wordsa cos then you will realisea that I ama lieing' Evil Cleric: 'You are lying, get in there with the other zombies'
Evil Cleric to Psion: 'You are psionic there is no point in denying it, are you psionic?' Psion: 'No' Evil Cleric: 'OK I know that you are lying so lets do it this way, I cast a spell on you, you agree to allow it to be cast and then we are all happy' Psion: 'That sounds like a really good idea, after all Evil Clerics are notorious for their willingness to leave potential opponents anything other than dead'
Meanwhile, outside. Vengeance: 'Sod this I'm attacking' Suddenly the rest of the company arrive storm the gate and kill all the bad guys. Lucky for them we rescued the Psion and Garibaldi before they got dragged off for 'Investigation'.
Lucky for Nadine that the bad guys couldn’t coup-de-grace her
Moral of the story: When you are in need of a place to rest don’t travel through a few miles of tunnels trying to find 'the best spot' - chances are someone else has already got it.
oh and don’t split the party
oh and don’t bring 1 fighter and 4 spell casters
oh and don’t miss your go
oh and don’t get your body burned by the bad guys
and lo, our heroes didst find themselves victorious after their mighty battle...pausing to view the results of their victory they noticed that most of the company had suddenly gone missing! Was this a temporal or spatial phenomenon? ...then they remembered that this sort of thing happens all the time, anyway if it was really dangerous Ajax would still be around... So standing at the crossroads waiting for the fiddle player to turn up they suddenly espied a group, nay a squad of hulking ogres approaching them in a menacing manner...and look! what is that in their midst? no it couldn’t be! The dirty little traitor what the heck is Sever doing leading an Evil cleric and a group of Ogres to our location? - Ah well, we'll kill him in a bit. Nadine goes first, not really surprising that but off she goes 'yahhhrrrr' as she charges like a paladin in an all out attack on a bunch of ogres. Not much chance of flanking there. Oops, she doesn’t kill one. Vengeance fires of a few shots hits an Ogre, kills him (he cant get a line of sight on Sever - the traitor) Garibaldi fires off two shots at the ceiling and then sever...he doesn’t attack us! he backstabs the evil cleric! yeah Sever! - we knew you weren’t a traitor, honest. Sir Ector Revs up and goes into first gear, second, gears grate a bit as he jumps from second to fourth and moving like a locomotive he winds up a smite and lays it on the Evil Cleric 'gahrrr' says the Cleric this wasn’t meant to happen - the two ogres Sir Ector charged past were so surprised that they forgot to hit him. Anyway its their go and the evil cleric shouts help me!! and the Ogres do, whack whack whack, Sir Ector bounces the blows off of his dazzling smile, Nadine isn’t so lucky and Sever shouts something about MageArmourAndShield - a free action one word spell. Uh oh! the Evil Cleric dude gets his spell off, Sever is held! Panic! Nadine shouts at sever for not providing flanking. OK, Ector finishes the Cleric Nadine tumbles around, kills one hah! we have them now. Into routine mop up, hey the uninjured one is grabbing the evil cleric's body - no fair - he runs, Nadine Runs after him, she catches up but is hit in the process -her telling blow not enough o kill the creature. Vengeance looses a shot. It hits. Bit of confusion about who got the killing blow. Sever (was he really held at all? - or am I imagining that??) does an extremely thorough job of finishing off the Evil Cleric. we win, gather the treasure and burn the bodies. We fortify ourselves in a room near by and settle in for the night securing the doors against assailants. A while later we hear some voices...'Hey guys lets be really afraid and cower a bit', other guys answering: ' yeah I agree but lets make it quick, they might still be around'. Sever decides to take them on, there are only four of them and all he has to do is send the next five minutes unblocking the door so he can get at them... He knocks on the door...they panic they run off taking the news of our continued presence to their bosses.
night, day, night. Off we go again. Lets go and ransack the temple of...enie meany miney moe...Earth! - well its nearest. off we go, junction. Left or right. left is the natural choice but Right leads down steps and everyone knows that treasure flows down hill, we smell the air 'this way smells better says Sever' or at least talk about it...we go downwards phthunnng - hey what’s that, a Javelin? thinks Vengeance badoinnng rings Sir Ector's armour he looks surprised, although he is a slow mover so he always looks surprised. Hey what's that smell, I thought you said that that way the air was fresher...by the way where are you standing? I can't see you in this dark...oh, that's alright Nadine has a torch, I just needed to open my eyes, OK can see them now! Phtwannng, badoooingg another two Javelins, we had better attack these guys soon. Garibaldi with pistols and Sever with crossbow - its still standing, Nadine with short bow yeah! one of them is down, Vengeance shoots the other one (he remembers it as him killing it) OK loot the bodies off we go, downhill, side tunnel curving this way that way oh a room! and its got evil occult symbols and all, lets de-desecrate it says Vengeance, I'm up for that says Sir Ector Off they, go deciding to really annoy some deity they use the dead and burned evil cleric(of fire?)'s mace and knife to break up the artwork and make a smiley face in the brickwork on the floor hah hah; meanwhile an unimpressed Nadine watches the door, Sever skulks up the passage and Garibaldi swaggers in the shadows - say is there a passing resemblance between Garibaldi and Sever? 'Once more for the Shweet Souvenir' floats out of the darkness... hey wait a minute what's that noise? from the other side of the room...hey what are doorways doing there? 'Incoming' suddenly the earth erupts at Sir Ector's feet as a mighty elemental bursts forth and attack's him. Wait a minute says Vengeance, where'd that sickle come from damn evil cleric's and their spells... 'Chanting over by the doorway' - Nadine rushes to attack the unseen opponent but doesn’t find one... Garibaldi fires off his shot at the elemental 'Once more for the...' hey wasn’t that Sever's line...'...Morale Conundrums...' who are these Irish he is on about? are they like Bugbears or something? Sever casts 'MageArmourAndShield' and moves into the room, but hey doe to some temporal factor he only gets to cast 'Mage Armour' and move...he's going to regret that one later... Rahrr mighty beast thing attacks Sir Ector -Clang- Sir Ector Beams at him -aha! I have you now fell beast >It would look confused if it could< Nadine's disappointment is short lived, a reassuringly evil Troglodyte charges at her waving a lump of stone - ouch that hurt - hey what's that muttering the distance that sounds like chanting ,cant' be something important, back to more serious matters, another darn earth hugger. Nadine chops at the guy, death! she missed! damn unsporting of him. Sever gets confused with all the suggestion being offered and ends up in melee instead of casting a spell damn. Vengeance looses a volley, kills one of the smaller elementals, tries for the big one, hits -'tis but a flesh wound. Sir Ector smiles at the creature, does some sort of funky thing in which he seems to seat blood out though the blade of the sword (now that is weird) and then >WHAAAAACKKKKKKK< Now that was a hit, take that you monster, but hey he's still standing. That blow would have sunk a ship. That's not fair. Wait a minute, he seems to be soaking up the damage...this fight could be tougher than we thought... Time passes another elemental arrives each round, The Trog champion dies, Nadine is surrounded, Vengeance withdraws and summons the power of the deep woods to aid his shot as he becomes one with his bow...Garibaldi moves in to help Nadine...another Elemental arrives each round, this is getting tricky, hmmm why are these guys arriving one per round? ah well doesn’t matter they are here now... Vengeance returns from the woods and fires off a few shots at the big creature finishing it off, Sir Ector takes on the other 4, Sever does some stuff but is felled in the process, Garibaldi and Nadine are under pressure, its time for the total defence! Nooooooo! Sir Ector is dead, Vengeance is down, come on Garibaldi and Nadine you can do it...hey there is chanting coming from down that passageway...Nadine tumble tumble tumble take that you swine! oh it misses :-( Sever remembers that he is still alive and rushes over to heal Vengeance, Vengeance stands up shooting and gets a line on the evil cleric, takes a long shot at the evil trog cleric >If you had just one shot< - a miss!!! Nadine is down! Garibaldi takes his chances and rushes to help Nooooooo! he is felled by a slobbering mound of earth...'One more time...' Vengeance is Down!! -its all down to you sever and you have only 12 seconds to save the party >Music< Sever uh oh , Saviour of the universe he saved every one of us >/Music< !!!!Lightbulb!!!! Hey I can cast spells ! Hey I can cast charm spells! Have at you evil cleric - will your way out of that!
Hey sever me old buddy how you doing
OK, so here we are all good friends eh?
'One more time for the Shweet souvenir' 'Trophies of the day are Ears and Noses!, Aw shucks them piles of earth don’t got no ears nor noses' guess we have to settle for the tog’s equipment
Phew another day down the dungeon.
Finally our brave hero's had escaped from the city, leaving a wake of entirely balanced death and destruction in their wake.
In their escape they encountered the Dragon Jade Typhoon who, rather than killing them rescued them.
The Dragon told them of the Artifact that was held upon the isle: Part of the Chain Gate that had its creation in the Elder Days.
An artifact so powerful that it was broken into nine parts.
And of those nine parts 3 are held by Istha Fellweaver!
We came to kill Hobgoblins and now we get caught up in saving the world.
I thought we left all of that stuff behind us on Belcher Isle with the temple of whosewhatsit evil.
Following our discussion we go back to the Druid Veritas Oakenstaff and have a bit of a chat with him - he is a bit surprised to say the least when we tell hum about the three pieces.
Though he still seems to know more than he tells us.
Ah well, keep us ignorant and well stocked with Special Weapons I say.
So, off we go to the place that shall not be visited i.e. the Derro temple beneath what was the Barghests lair.
On the way we encounter a bunch of Goblins lorded over by a couple of Barghests.
We make short if slow work of them (except for the pesky Barghests who teleport away) and then proceed onwards.
Fuergan would like to point out that the injury he sustained was caused by tripping over a log.
He was not hit by a Goblin!
Anyway, we get fed up of chasing Barghests (Only 2 days ago we would have spent days tracking them down) and proceed on to the abandoned settlement.
We go indoors and underground and just as we are about to find the secret door to the secret temple we are beset by Bodaks.
Rushit, Vadannos's latest *friend* gets attacked by most of them - after all he is biggest and last in line.
Having found out on a previous occasion just how dangerous it is to look a Bodak in the eye Fuergan remembers to drop his visor - though not before retrieving the Cold Iron Axe from his backpack.
During this time he ignores the Bodak behind him who is trying to catch his eye.
Nadine stares right back at them - she is as tough as old boots and doesn’t really care how horrific their ugly little eyes are.
Vadannos settles for trying to avert his gaze while casting area affect spells.
It isn’t until both he and Rushit nearly die that they decide to close their eyes.
Having finally found his spare axe Fuergan is about to start hitting Bodaks with it when Nadine starts complaining about not being able to damage the bad guys sufficiently. Muttering he lets her have the axe and flipping his shield in the air starts to lay into the Bodaks.
Some time later the group is gradually working their way through the Bodaks.
They really are tiresome monsters - they just won’t die.
There is a momentary flash of excitement when in the midst of casting one of his area affect spells 4 Bodaks manage to catch Vadannos's eye.
Somehow he manages to pull through.
Later still we are bringing the battle to them but they keep on coming.
Its not that they represent a threat (once our eyes are closed) but they are tiresome.
Right about then Fuergan's shield starts to act up! Humming loudly and glowing.
OK, so it can fly.
OK, so its got Symbols of the Church of the Moons, Dlí the god of Law, the Blackguard and Darius of Bigany.
So it used to belong to Sascha Bellicose (Why didn’t someone mention that before?).
But there is really no excuse for that sort of behavior.
Anyway things are getting a bit flaky.
Eventually these things will wear us down.
Nadine tells Fuergan what she sees and he takes a chance on trying to activate whatever latent powers rest within the shield.
He calls upon the assistance of all and sundry and low and behold the shield starts to thrum glow a lot more (he cant see that though cos he's got his visor down
Typical, a really graphics intensive fight and he cant see anything! - luckily Nadine is doing Narrative(Strange how her voice is so masculine, almost Deific, when she is describing the fight))
So suddenly the shield boss pops open (who forget to search the shield for secret passages?) and out pops a glowing sphere.
The sphere creates a very fancy cog shaped gate and inevitably brings in an ally, or was that brings in an inevitable ally?
A giant figure made of onyx with clockwork parts wearing golden plate-mail. Anyway cog head takes hand of the situation and starts trouncing the Bodaks - instructing us to leave the area et etc. So we go deeper into the dungeon - he pops up a wall of force behind us - ostensibly to stop the Bodaks following but it has the effect of blocking off one of our exit routes! Fortunately we have two others.
We find the secret door to the temple and wander in keeping our eyes on the floor.
The temple has this circle of protection thing in the middle with two really nasty (don’t look at them under any circumstance) symbols on either side.
We know how nasty they are cos one of them already killed Vadannos!
Anyway, equipped with his new Goggles of Detect Magic Vadannos espies a secret meaning beneath the magic circle in the middle! It is a (non-fatal) symbol of the Church of The Moons.
Eventually we figure out that its a puzzle put the pieces together to make a symbol of Seilig (Go Seilig! Go!) Then a few other gods and finally Shale. Yeah! the evil symbol slides up to reveal a secret door!!
We go in and are in a temple with loads of words - must belong to the Shale guys:
There is a lot of writing.
Do de do.
Oh a lectern with a book!
Oh a movable pillar!
Oh a door! (We never did go through the door)
Fuergan and Vadannos rush forward to be the first ones to read from the book (echoes of another Dwarven temple on Belcher Isle).
Vadannos is nabbed by a sepia snake sigil but Fuergan (somehow) is too quick!
He starts to read the book, but to no effect.
Then he tries reading it aloud and realises that it might be taken personally by Shale (or Seilig, or Bás) and decides to stop.
He did manage to do the open/close sesame seed thing though on the magic doors.
Nadine somehow manages to trigger Vadannos's staff to dispel the magic that has entrapped him.
He refuses to acknowledge that he actually was suspended.
Anyway, push, pull drag, click, click, click, Nadine disarms the Lectern, it pops into the ceiling and a glowing amber pool opens up in the middle of the room, complete with a black marble 8 man boat!
We pop in and figure out that this is a rock boat.
We have loads of fun confusing the item by shouting random place names eventually settling on the Derro high priest as he has the Black Glove (Who's bad) of nastiness that we are looking for.
Some time later, after a nice cruise through the substratum we reach the Derro temple just in time to interrupt their feast of the champions or some such.
We hadn’t really been thinking of meeting THE Derro high priest.
Unfortunately Vadannos hadn’t been at mission briefing and was expecting to launch into combat.
Though we did (just about manage to restrain him and Rushit).
I think that might have been a moment that Vadannos 'I can take the Dragon' might have died.
So we sit quietly, with the other 2,000 members of the congregation for the rest of their ceremony, quite neat the whole multi-magical interactive worshiping environment, though not as good as hunting.
First the High Priest talks to us in the ante chamber, then he realises that we know too much so he takes us into a more ante ante-chamber. No he won’t give us the glove, yes he would be mad to do so. Oh by the way that crystal is one of the artifact pieces (you might want to give it back to King Edgar I of Bigany). Oh and yes we are in way above our heads and who exactly asked us to retrieves this item? Oh, the Dragon, I see.
Well it wasn’t all bad.
We admitted to not having a clue what we were doing, we agreed to the Derro's parlay terms we were blessed by the gods! Fuergan was granted the power to bless and consecrate in the name of Seilig after he re-consecrated an underground temple! Vadannos Hallowed the underground grove and was granted the ability to tap into its natural power. Nadine found religion at last, as per her pledge to Seilig. To mark this great occasion, Seilig fused her amulet to her body allowing her to take any humanoid form at her whim.
Oh and we got a chest containing a magical care package from father Rilmani which is to be distributed...
… and how it Scattered the brains of those who opposed it
Having bravely vanquished the evil clerics the party paused for a moment of smug triumph, however, it was not to be. In the distance they heard something, the booming of a mighty door opening. 'They are coming' said Orin. And then...the party waited, everybody in ambush position...still nothing...anything around he corner? Aha! non specific enemies - my favourite sort (thought Vengeance) the clearer the detail on an enemy the more likely they are to kill you) Sever, getting bored with the wit decided to send his earth elemental after the enemy. It appeared in their midst and started to lash out at all and sundry. Orin unleashed the not inconsiderable forces of his mind on the situation staggering most of our opponents. Vengeance pulled a bit of a robin hood putting three arrows through the same wound, Nadine ...waited... (this was the start of a serious concern about the mental health of Nadine which eventually resulted in her being relieved of her command - more of which later). Following a quick strategic rethink the enemy decided to run. The battle had not run to plan, if they had thought about it and examined the battle scenes of our previous encounters they might have discovered that huddling together in a group doesn’t work. So off we charged down the passage shouting 'Oi! you lot come back here!! NOW!!!' and the like. Orin nearly burst a blood vessel trying to run his little legs as fast as he could just to catch up, luckily for him the blood vessel remained intact for Vamp boy the friendly fire level drainer was right behind him... At some point along the passage reason was restored and we decided to explore a bit. Off we went: store room net worth negligible -oh except for the incense thankyouverymuch doorway on right - off goes Vamp boy under the door, I mean don’t they have door handles where he comes from? Its just not right all that. Next thing you know he'll be sneaking into the bedchambers of wealthy young heiresses whose fiancées he has captured in his castle...where was I, oh yeah he found a balcony, kind of neat really, chairs, window onto room, crater views. A steal at life long servitude to the temple of all consumption (air division)
Situation: Dwarven Treasury untouched for centuries, no sign of forced entry.
Picture: A bunch of characters pressing against a potentially trapped door just as it is about to open.
We were lucky, Sever nearly wasn’t. Only the boars made it through unscathed. So we broke in counted the loot, realised we couldn’t take any of -( Off we went, found the Dwarven priest's chambers - more robes for Sever, although I wouldn't wear them in here if I was him, and oh, a key. A key to the - you guessed it - the treasury.
Anyway just as we were about to press on we returned to the slithering many footed thing. A hydra. Nothing like all out assault to begin a game session.
Fires burned throughout the city as the battle raged around the temple precincts. Bolstered by the ease with which the devil horde and their allies were vanquished, the forces allied to the Temple of the Moons grew stronger by the hour, gaining control over more of the city. However, they were cautious, aware that Istha and her inner circle waited on the hill overlooking the town.
Meanwhile, the Champions of the Moons, airborne upon wings of Divine power, surveyed the scene. Basking in the glow from the city below they appraised the situation. Suddenly they espied a ship leaving harbour, a red ship. The ship of Ukthas ‘Manslayer’ Kabaal III, the Dread Pirate Captain “Red Hat”.
Quickly they formulated a plan, they would attack Red-soon-to-be-dead-hat and take his ship. Relying on their enhanced Chosen strength they plucked boulders from the hillside and flew over the ship through the darkening clouds’ cover. Dropping below the clouds they released the boulders, which from that height punched through the steel-clad decking of The Crimson Death. It had begun.
Vadannos summoned the powers of Stoirm and Aer to his assistance, ready to provide support where it was needed. The others called upon their recently gained powers to boost themselves with divine might. Gathering in their wings Fuergan, Samui and Nadine plummeted to the deck while the bugbear crew were still in disarray over the rocks that had fallen in their midst. Surprisingly, Fuergan was first to land commanding a position overlooking one of the entrances to the hold. Nadine and Samui followed, landing so as to control most of the deck. The enemy attacked, somehow knowing that they had to make every blow count or their future was bleak. After all, they had left port to escape these adventurers and their bloody feud with Red Hat. Fuergan waited at the top of the hold, treating any bugbears that attacked him with the disdain that they deserved. He was here after bigger prey.
Nadine tumbled into the air and unleashed the power of ‘The Song’ from within her. One perfect note, reverberating across the deck like the peal of a mighty bell. Few Fallen or Risen creatures are capable of withstanding even one Note of ‘The Song’. Most of the crew, who were nearby, had their spirits and bodies ripped asunder by the power. Their leaders survived, paralysed, blinded and deafened by the power. They struggled to overcome its echo before they two were ripped apart, albeit by more mundane means. From beneath the decks howls of anguish and anger went up. Denizens of the lower planes struggled to maintain a grip on the reality, which they had entered, desperate not to be sent back to the lower planes before they had sated themselves on the power and sustenance of Talamh. Their Fallen powers assisted them as the waves of power washed over them, somehow leaving them unaffected.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the ship, hill giants and ogres burst forth to assail Samui, slamming him with massive great-clubs several times before he darted away. Then he too unleashed a Note of ‘The Song’. The ogres fell to their knees, blood pouring from their shattered ears and blinded eyes, the giants staggered back, blinded and deafened by the wave of perfect sound. Beneath the decks, cries of rage could be heard, as two ice-devils were banished back to hell by ‘The Song’, which sundered their forbidden grip on the Prime Plane.
As if in retaliation the remaining enemies burst forth. A horned devil erupted from the deck in front of Fuergan howling in anger and attempting to drive him away with fear, however, thanks to the spells of his comrades, he held his resolve and stood his ground. As the fiend rose up, he lashed out at it with his sword, ‘The Flame of Seilig’, cutting deep into its horny, scaled hide. It staggered but unleashed its attacks upon him, causing him a fell wound that began to fester and oozed darkened blood. Having caught it with an opportunistic attack, Fuergan followed up with three mighty blows knocking the beast senseless, so that if fell back into the hold. Unfortunately, Fuergan did not follow up and finish off the devil. It later escaped for the second time – as it had fled the devil horde battle at the Temple of Charon.
The remaining ice-devils charged forth from their hiding places and beset Nadine, Fuergan and Samui. Most were concentrated on Samui and Fuergan, leaving Nadine to the hill giants that followed in their wake. As if out of nowhere their quarry appeared, dropping down along a sail trim, from a shadow among the bloodstained sails, swinging onto the deck and firing off both pistols at Nadine. His aim and his enchanted bullets wounded her grievously. The devils that assailed Fuergan managed to overcome his mind with horror, causing him to cower before them as they began to beat him to death. Samui was surrounded by enormous foes and was pressed badly. Things hung in the balance, yet the Champions were, as always, confident that they would prevail.
Nadine was kept busy by the giants as Red Hat had leisure to fire another two shots at her, his enchanted adamantine bullets punched through her magical protection. Nadine railed at this affront to her person and flew at him in blind rage, lashing out as she tumbled through the air past him. Unfortunately his lightning responses were quick enough to land a vicious blow as she went past, she opened a savage gash on his chest, as she raged and channeled the power of her Chosen sword, The Tempest.
Floating above the water away from the enemy Nadine took a moment to heal her savage wounds, drinking potions and accepting extra healing from Vadannos. Meanwhile, Samui had rallied and was kicking lumps out of the hill giants and ogre barbarians that beset him, dancing rings around them as they fumbled in the darkness of blindness to find their foe.
Vadannos released Fuergan from the grip of ice devil’s supernatural fear, long enough for him to recover his will. They had lost their chance and he proceeded to devastate them with two-handed blows, caring not whether they hit him.
Nadine and Manslayer faced off. She in the form of a fiery Azer, floated over the rough sea, he stood firmly on the deck. Neither was prepared to give the other the advantage, both had healed fully since their first clash. Manslayer took a few shots at Fuergan to show his contempt for the best efforts of the party.
Nadine saw red. A red Ship, a red sail. A red hat. The past came back to her and she saw red rage as she launched herself in fury at her Nemesis. This fight would be swift and could only end with one of their deaths.
The rapid blows rained down, Manslayer landing blow after blow with his twinned Iron and Adamantine cutlasses, Nadine lashed out two-handed with the Tempest using only one of the blades of her double sword - opting for more ferocious attacks. Blow after blow fell and the decking ran with their blood. Nadine was lost in the rhythm of grinding down her opponent while he realised that his blows were not sufficiently strong to overcome the strength, fuelled by rage that she displayed. He fell.
Without drama or display, he fell, gutted by the weapon that had killed so many of his kindred. Nadine paused, briefly, to survey her work. There was a time when this kill would have been the most important thing in her life. Yet, she had moved on. She had greater enemies now. Enemies that had no place in this existence. Enemies that still stood before her. She leaped once more into the fray aiding Samui, in his decimation of the devils before moving on to the hill giants that were their allies. Fuergan finished off the ice devils that he was fighting and moved to the hill giants. He dealt massive damage to the giants opening wounds that would have destroyed lesser creatures, but hill giants have their roots in the strength of the earth and are formidable foes for any.
Together the group finished the giants and then proceeded to recover and investigate their prize. Fuergan, fuelled by paranoia checked the ship for opponents, he found some bugbears alive and was about to finish them off when his hand was stayed by Nadine of all people. Her visit to the island of her people had changed her. His paranoia was not unfounded however, for the horned devil had escaped him yet again. That hunt was not yet over.
Nadine sought to sail the ship into harbour with the heads of the defeated mounted on the masts, however the others dissuaded her. Reluctantly she agreed that to do so, would invite another attack. Now though, the Chosen powers that had given them such advantage, were waning and would not be renewed until the morrow.
The bugbear Knight-Captain and his crew converted to the Moons on the spot, gaining themselves a reprieve from summary execution. Whether they would later answer for the crimes during their servitude to Manslayer was for others to decide.
Nadine led the search of the ship and there was great plunder aboard. Manslayer alone was equipped as well as many Kings. His quarters were trapped and filled with secrets, secrets that gradually revealed themselves during the slow and careful search of the area. The captain’s log was a grizzly affair, penned in blood and written on the skin of the unborn. The revulsion all felt towards this abomination had to be suppressed so that the secrets within might be fathomed. With the information within and the help of the bugbear Knight-Captain the company descended to the hold where they found a great wealth of treasure and in the lower most deck a chamber with no door.
The chamber was magically sealed and had been visited many times by the sorcerers that followed Istha. Of those on the ship, only Manslayer had been within. After a careful search they found a strangely patterned device, on it lay patterns matching the symbols of the gods: Magic, Water, Air, Travel and Wealth. And a symbol that none had seen, though it had been referred to in passing, in the captain’s log. A throne.
The characters prepare themselves to face whatever lies within.
It could only be viewed as survival snatched from the hands of defeat.
All of us had to face up to that old friend - The Grim Spectre of Death.
Yet, we had survived.
Surviving, we knew that we could do better. We withdrew to the safety of the mountain fastness and started the process of recuperation. At first we thought to recover there and launch our next offensive from that site, however it soon became apparent that the optimum staging point was the Temple of the Moons in the town. Once there, we prevailed upon the local clerics to heal us in preparation for the next phase.
Preparing, we assessed our options. It was clear that Istha was beyond the immediate scope of our abilities. Despite Vadannos, Sever and Nadine's spell casting abilities it was clear that the sheer volume of Magical firepower he had at his disposal would provide him with a tactical advantage. Besides, there was a Pit Fiend on the loose and he had beaten us once, claiming the victory for the Fallen. Apart from the personal ire we felt towards him there was the matter that Sever had promised the fiend’s dead body to Draíocht in atonement for his varied and frequent transgressions. Uncertain as to how we should continue we decided to rest up for the night, anything beyond two minutes of fighting in a day being beyond our optimal fighting conditions (Bright flames and all that).
The following morning we assembled with no clear ideas as to how we should proceed. The Crimson Death was last seen flying into orbit and was well outside the range of Salieri's conventional telescopes. There was a certain amount of dithering before we obtained a seed of an idea as to how we should continue. The idea was provided by a Ranger bearing a symbol of a hook in addition to the symbol of the Church of the Moons. The fact that the Ranger was known as 'The Ranger' as opposed to 'A Ranger' was not lost on us. As she dropped her hood we became aware that The Ranger was, despite her manly gait, a Female! (In fact we later found out that despite her membership of the order of the Hook she even had a name - though we would be hard pressed to remember it other than at began with a 'G').
The Ranger, who had so recently joined our company reminded us that the Church of the Moons is a big organisation and had at its disposal several hundred thousand troops eager for a bash. However, that is where the problems started. Despite our best effort to have the Charon High Priest Taugrim, along with ‘Champion of Seilig’ Nadine McDuff, make the formal request for assistance, it appeared that they did not have the authority. They needed the assistance of the High Priestess of The Moons for the region, none other than that epitome of charm and grace Kara McDuff. Despite our best efforts it seemed that once more we would have to put up with the verbal diatribe that seemed to form the core of her existence.
We proceeded to Oakenstaff's grove where we had left her (Having recently regained her body, she was ensuring, with the aid of Veritas Oakenstaff, that all her biological functions were in full working order). We arrived and tried to gain entry, failing miserably until Nadine managed to make contact with a small squirrel (Native to the area?) who she persuaded to ask Oakenstaff to see us. Some minutes later we were introduced to Oakenstaff and his house guest (Wearing a fashionable tunic of homespun fabric in discreet autumnal colours which nicely set off the newborn skin tones of her skin).
A considerable argument with Kara ensued. Sever attempted to cajole her, using the 'I've been cursed by the gods too' card. Fuergan attempted to intimidate her, 'What are the ways in which your office as high priest can become vacant'. Finally Nadine persuaded her using the ‘as one contrary 'it’s my island' McDuff to another’ argument. We managed to get her to agree to help.
We proceeded to the temple and helped her kick start the ceremony whereby she formally requested help from the Prime Temple of the Moons in Bigany. It seems like we were waiting for us because just as the Spell requesting aid was completed, an army of Charon Priests started to flow straight through the doors into the fighting.
It seemed that the day had been saved and we were about to lay back and take life easy when the Charon Knight Commander came through. After a while we realised that the SWANT unit that he was referring to all of the time was in fact us! We were to be dispatched into orbit with the purpose of recovering the Crimson Death, the flying ship that contained the entrance to Istha's lair. In preparation for this we were given additional power and aid in the form of spells cast aforetime and further items (to which Sever replied 'yeah but what else are you giving us'). Anyway, we obtained our mission, identified our target and put together a plan: Bull's Strength, Owl's Wisdom all around with a good dose of Stoneskin to backup and bob's your aunt's brother! Of particular note was the fact that Vadannos gained use of Veritas' Oaken staff for the duration of the mission. IT would seem that everyone was taking the Pit Fiend's incursion seriously.
The Mission had begun. Rilmani opened a portal, leading us straight to the Deck of the ship. Once there we started to activate such powers, as had short durations. However, the Pit Fiend was soon aware of us and activated such of his powers as would give him the greatest advantage. While we mustered at the end of the ship closest to the throne room he appeared towards the prow, no doubt using his teleport ability. He opened the proceedings with a barrage of vile essence. While it caused some damage to party members most managed to avoid it completely.
Samui was first in drawing the Demon's attack as he moved in to strike it. His initial strike missed but his second seemed to warp time and his fist traveled at such a slow but lethal rate that it was 6 seconds later before it impacted. Nadine was next and she assumed an attitude of attack against the creature, raging at it and bringing all of her intense dislike of the Fallen to bear (and she is capable of deep dislike - just ask the corpse of red-hat). Next Vadannos brought in support from an Elder Air Elemental, using it to provide the much needed flanking on the Demon. Finally trundling forward on gossamer wings Fuergan lashed into the creature ignoring use of a shield in favour dealing more damage. Sever in an act of disdain summoned a Demon to attack the Pit Fiend, seeking to have the fiend suffer the humiliation of defeat at a demon of lesser rank.
These blows had no sooner landed than the Demon surrounded himself in another blast of vile essence, fortunately, his fearsome presence was counteracted by the powers that had been embedded in Fuergan's armour when it was converted to a receptacle for the power of Seilig. The battle might have gone differently, if the party was divided by fear of the creature that they faced. Following on from the blast of vile energy the Demon unleashed a swarm of Meteors impacting into the characters with sickening force. This was followed by a wave of Fire which swept from each as it exploded. Having played his strongest card the demon was surprised to see that all had survived the blast and worse, that most seemed barely affected. He began to know fear and wisely retreated to a higher altitude removing himself from the circle of death in which he was enmeshed.
Samui followed, again drawing the Fiend's attacks to allow his companions to approach more safely. Again he hit but the Demon's powers were such that it regenerated damage almost as quickly as it was hit. Vadannos struck using the Staff he had but recently received from Veritas. With a blast of power he overwhelmed the magical barriers that the demon had erected, making him suddenly more vulnerable to our attacks. We pressed the advantage and he knew fear. Rather than stay to face an uncertain future he fled hoping, no doubt, to stay hidden until such powers as we had raised winked out once more leveling the playing field.
However, we had an inkling as to where he was hidden and Samui bravely raced forward to the chamber leading to the throne where he suspected that the demon might lie. His suspicions were confirmed when the Demon lashed out an attack from the shadows encircling Samui with its tail and nearly crushing him to death. Sever was next to the fray taking a gamble on the location of the creature which had remained hidden despite his best efforts. Unfortunately his gamble had not paid off but at least we knew where the creature was not. Vadannos held back, summoning another Elemental to help barricade the creatures exit. Nadine was next to the fray and she managed to determine the location of the creature but avoided confrontation for the moment. IT was all that Fuergan could do to arrive in the chamber, red-faced from his exertions - even flying he was not meant to move so fast.
The Pit Fiend spotted an opportunity and moved to attack - focusing its immense firepower on Nadine who somehow managed to fend off almost all of its attacks, utilising the stoneskin to good effect. The creature was in trouble, it had played a trump card using all of its attacks in favour of a more conservative approach and its vile energy blasts were having little effect.
Samui withdrew, taking the opportunity to heal rather than risk another blow. Sever reached out with a spell a green ray of energy extending from his hand and impacting on the Demon. It tried to resist the spell but to no avail. He was bound to the spot and could no longer avail of his powers of escape. Nadine stepped in and unleashed her tempestuous fury upon the creature - it staggered. Next Fuergan stepped forward using his spell increased size to better reach the creature and thereby bring his full assault capabilities to bear. The Flame of Seilig his greatsword of Divine flame gathered speed as it approached the creature, the divine aid he had gained enhancing the blow: The blow landed square on the creatures neck and cleaved its head from its shoulders.
It was dead.
Meanwhile on deck the creature that Sever had summoned using the staff provided by Draíocht was decimating the devil crew of the ship. However, it did not go as simply as planned. The horned devil which had evaded them on so many occasions was once more in the fray. Sever and Nadine rushed to the deck but it was Nadine who acted first invoking the harmony of the universe to destroy the Fallen and dismiss the creature back to where it had come from. Had it succeeded in that it would most likely have been sent to another plane than its own by Sever who had a spell lined up for the purpose. While the creature may not have been destroyed it was cast back whence it came and removed from world.
The ship secured we proceeded to the control room where a tortured sorceror was impaled upon the throne. Several of us attempted to negotiate with him, weakened though he was, to no avail. Then Sever stepped from the shadows carrying with him an aura of dread and in a few simple words turned the sorceror into an ally. With the sorcerors help we returned the ship to orbit and then landed it in the environs of the island. We had defeated the pit fiend and more importantly gained control of access to Istha's lair.
The story continues...
Queen of McDuff Island
Female Human Fighter 4, Monk 1, Rogue 1, Ranger 3, Tempest 3
Profile provided By Sir Alexandros Count Von Westfold of the Bigany Inquisition
Nadine wants to destroy the Hobgoblin with the Red Hat and all Goblinoids. The Bugbear Chieftan works for a Hobgoblin Pirate Captain with a Red Hat. This Pirate is a stronger and smarter Hobgoblin than usual and has made an alliance with the Temple to supply additional troops. The Barghest at the Air Bridge has more clues.
Nadine McDuff is apparently unaligned. However, she is an avid disciple of “The Hunt” (Seilig). However she refuses to acknowledge any power greater than herself. She has the contaminate attitude of genocide (Fraoch) evidenced by her hatred (Gráin) of the Hobgoblin race. Supportive action of the regional Hobgoblins may be required. No direct intervention shall be provided in unprovoked actions of direct destruction. In these cases healing services will be provided at market rates.
Male Hunt-Beast Dwarf Fighter 12
See also Vengeance, Thaliad
Fuergan is the spirit of a Dwarven Warrior who was slain in a Mountain Kingdom decades ago by the forces of the Cult of Fraoch and The Hooded Claw. This dwarf was also a follower of Seilig and was on a Hunt of Retribution when he was slain.
The Dwarf Fuergan and the Elf Vengeance agreed to a Soul Pact with Seilig and Bás. When either of the two is slain then the other is returned body and soul to Talamh. The Stronger of the two spirits would not be disrupted when passing through the wall of souls while the weaker would always pay the price to Bás. Vengeance has recently been the stronger while in the past Fuergan held dominance. Fuergan had been 'rewarded' by Seilig with the 'Spirit of the Hunting Beast' in accordance with The Balance, Seilig infused Fuergan with the spirit of a Beast Dragon.
Currently Fuergan and Vengeance hunt the Cults of The Fallen, readying themselves for the day that they will be ready to Hunt The Dragon of Nagaranthiel. A lofty goal indeed. Priests of Seilig have hinted that when the God of The Hunt believes they are ready, they will both be sent to Talamh in body and soul and they will hunt The Dragon together.
Fuergan and Vengeance's share one incarnation. Due to the magic bond placed upon Vengeance, when he dies, the Spirit of the Hunt takes over and changes him into the Hunter persona (this has mental and magical effects).
When Fuergan is killed, the cycle ends. If someone attempts to raise Fuergan, then Vengeance is brought back. If Furegan gained levels while Vengeance was subsumed, Vengeance takes one of these levels on being raised and so does not loose a level.
If Fuergan ever has more levels than Vengeance then the order is reversed. i.e. If they are both dead, Fuergan is raised and if Fuergan is killed Vengeance takes over. (The dominant persona returns from the dead and the submissive persona takes over when the dominant is killed). The process of take over by the submissive persona takes 7 days less 1 day per level of the submissive persona. It takes half the time during cycles dominance. (Seilig Priest levels count as double for this calculation).
Male Elf Fighter 12
See also Fuergan, Krumnor
Vengeance is not particularly young for an Elf and has a dark history. His family were of Nagaranthiel origins. Hunting was the favoured passtime of his youth even though his people were predominantly focused on the crafts for which Nagaranthiel was so famous. His life of hunting was carefree and consited of hunts, banquets and revelry.
This ended when his entire family and tribe was slaughtered by the minions of The Dragon of Nagaranthiel when he was young. Upon return from a hunt the hunt party found their village burned, the rest of the villagers dead. The bodies of the sword wielding elves still lying in the street where they had been overwhelmed by the spears and lances of their assailents, Marauders from the west, minions of The Dragon of Nagaranthiel. They had slaughtered the villagers and defiled the temple of Seilig Such was the anger and grief of the returning party that they swore a dread pact of revenge. Each foreswore his heritage in a pact of blood dedicated to Seilig, the lord of the hunt. In so doing they lost their identity bwcoming subsumed into the hunt. The priest of Seilig sounded the horn of Seilig and the hunt began. No marauder lived to leave the forest. The hunt over the hunters dispersed, no longer a pack they wandered the world knowing that they could never return home. Each took a name to reflect the aspect of the hunt that they had represented during its course. Each lost a part of their old identity in so doing. If ever the hunt is called they are bound to follow its call, wherever it might lead. Those who depart from the path of hunter become prey.
Vengeance has particular hatred for The Cult of Feo, The Cult of Slaughter and the Cult of The Hooded Claw. Vengeance has an abiding hatred of the God Fraoch as it was followers of Fraoch who were responsible for the atrocity that defines him. Vengeance and his Bretheren of The Hunt, have long since brought justice to those who were directly responsible for the Slaughter. However he contineus to fight the Cults of The Fallen, and against The Dragon.
Of Particular note is the Vengeance transforms into a creature known as Fuergan when he is killed!
Male Gnome Wizard 8
Ebo Willowshade is the youngest son of the gnome nations most renouned alchemist. Encouraged from a very young age to follow in his fathers footsteps Ebo became quite an adept alchemist in his own right. However it was never his dream, from before he could recall Ebo had stared longingly at the great adamantite bound door that led to the underground halls that houses Draiocht Breag the gnomish academy of magic. When he approached his father Ebo was promptly informed that no willowshade had ever been a mage and that he should stick will his heritage and take his place at his fathers side. Ebo's aptitude for magic came from his mother's side, she was the only daughter of a long dead powerful illusionist of high repute. Ebo's mother secretly encouraged Ebo and argued his case to Ebo's father .... to no avail.
Without the formal support of his family Ebo sought other means of learning magic, unable to afford the apprentice fees without family support Ebo stuck a deal with a wandering human mage by the name of Vetal Thames, in exchange for ebo's willingness to 'Aid' in the construction of magic items for sale he would teach Ebo how to do magic. With little other option Ebo accepted the deal and left his family with only a note explaining his abscense and a promise to his mother that he would send word often and the next time she would see him he could teleport directly into her kitchen. For two years ebo traveled with Vetal but at any point when Ebo felt he was about to make a break through Vetal would use Ebo to fuel another Item. Eventually Ebo realised this man would never let him progress and decided it was time to cut his losses. Vetal swore vengence on his apprentice's betrayal but let him leave unharmed with only a bitter smile as a parting gift. Since then Ebo has been a wander mage himself, self educated and independant.
Male Pixie Rogue 5, Assassin 3
Azer was exiled early from his community of Pixies because of his evil tendancies, the elders of the clan thought a years exile would set the you Pixie straight. Unfortunately he fell in with a local band of bandits who made use of his special abilities to rob, murder and kill travellers in the forest. Azer loves to kill, dis satisfied with the challnges and reward availble in the forest, he murdered his fellow theives and made his way to Bigany where he was quickley recruited by the assassins guild. He quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most feared of the guild. Subsequently he went independent, now practicing his trade at a global level. Eventually Azer was captured by the agents of the Crown and offered a deal. Either he could honor the pact made by his clan and work with the Crown, or he could die. Permenantly. He agreed, and now works both sides of the criminal divide, ensuring he doesn't upset the thief takers and taking counsel from the Preists of Bas.
Modas operandi: once the deal is organised and 50 % of the fee is paid (500 gp/ ECL although bulk deals are available) Azer proceeeds to track down his victim using his rogue skills and sometimes employing mages and bards to scry out the victim, Distance is not an issues with his boots of teleportation. Once the target is located Azer travells to the location and cases the situation out, assesses potential threats, esablishes multiple escape routes etc.
Once prepared he attacks whilst invisible using his death attack abilities with long bow and poison. He would normally use a silenced displell and true strike to ensure success. If the death attack fails multiple sneak attacks usually seal the targets fate. Once the vitim is slain Azer teleports away with the body to a fallen cleric whom he pays to ensure the victim cannot be raised. If at any point the encounter turns against azer significantly he will retreat eith flying away or teleport out.
Male Human Cleric 11
Inquisitor Abbot of The Bigany Inquisition
Knight Exorcist Of The Order of Croí
Specialist in Summoning and Exorcism
At 5'10 with a clean shaven and a crew cut. Alexandrus resembles a career soldier looking. His eyes are dark and intense having seen too many of the horrors of the world.
Alexandrus is a cleric of the Cycles. He is focused on creation not destruction and insists on crafting his own equipment whenever possible. He does not focus on melee combat. He will always use spells and preferably fight through his minions. Alexandrus is basically a career inquisitor. He is a no frills type of guy. He is solid, dependable, and a good organiser.
Inquisitor Abbot Alexandrus Count Von Westfold (Pronounced Vestfold), Knight Exorcist, order of Croí is also known as simply Alexandrus. Originally from some a distant outpost of Torland, he served with the army for a short while, as is expected of Torland nobility. During this time he was a very effective staff officer in a Legion.
Initially he saw little active service. He was already a cleric at this stage having taken on religious orders within the chaplains of his legion and he took a keen interest in Summoning. While on manoeuvres near Tor he destroyed a demon worshipping cult who specialised in possession and this was where he first realised his potential for exorcism.
After his military service was completed his was discharged with high honours and joined a monastery of Croí. Due to his military training and organisational skills he moved through the ranks of bureaucracy quickly. Several senior bishops were monitoring his progress. At his time he was involved in several border skirmishes of a mostly political nature. In these instances he always made sure that prisoners were taken and tended to rather than killed or left to die. This was taken as proving his opposition to destruction.
Having inherited the family title he was dragged into the failed Torland invasion of Bigany. He served with distinction and was again noted for a balanced approach towards prisoners. Even when the Torland Armies were defeated, he evaded capture with his unit and managed to slip back across the border. During this flight he encountered a lost temple to the Fallen. With a small force of fighters he reconnoitred in force deep within the temple, destroying some of its guardians and dispelling others with extreme prejudice. For this he was awarded the honour of Knight Exorcist. He was also seconded to the Inquisition for an indefinite term.
He has since served on a number of inquisitions, mostly those that require sudden overwhelming force - where he can bring his summoning into play. Due to his success in this he has been appointed to the position of High Inquisitor.
Sever The Grey, Sever X
Male Half Drow Rogue 3 Wizard 5 Arcane Trickster3
Journal Entry of Sever The Grey:
Sever’s journal is witten on the third person.
I can honestly tell you I was devastated last night about the death of Sever, although brought back to life for this he is great full .
Yet he is bitter angry at his foolish mistake (the dice of fate never lie)
Angry at the party for it's constant mistrust of him and lack of understanding of his character.
Inside he grows black, bitter and twisted.
A great wave of sinister emotions is seizing him.
He is turning away from religion from the Gods they hold no favour with him Offer him nothing.(is this possible)
The new Creed is gold, with that power perhaps himself become a God.
Sever has not bowed to evil nor good for that matter.
And will Stand in the middle. What he calls the Grey Quarter.
Hence Sever the Grey (from now on that is his title)
He does not hate the party but see's them as a means to an end.
A little give a little take.
They help him and he helps them.
He dislikes Nadine the most for she constantly harasses him and questions his role in party. But admires her strength in combat and believes she is useful for now she can take care of the enemy.
Orin, he feels is much like himself, money is what motivates him. He believes that’s Orin is not doing this for his love of the Dwarfs ( Codswallop)
Alex, Hmm bearable he did bring Sever back to life. Following a stupid God and for what ? He will gain no favours.
Sever renounces them all.
Kebo will also die his head will hang from a pike in this dreaded temple.
Yet Sever thanks him. Foe it was in Severs death did his eyes open and see a greater and more accessible path.
SEVER THE GREY
Profile by Alexandros
Strives to gain wealth and influence among the Vec families. Wants to ruin Arturo Futso Vec. Verachan will request an audience with Sever. And will give him a map of the Inner Fane.
There is some indication from preliminary observation that Sever X may have had at least some interaction of a non-hostile nature with forces of the Fallen. The extent and nature of this interaction is unclear, however, in the case of a sole survivor scenario he should be evaluated with extreme prejudice. He is also noted as carrying a wide range of Fallen religious paraphernalia about his person as well as at least one sacrificial dagger.
A letter to Caman Redman from Callum Golden Page - (Local Poet of Bigany)
AK510 – The Third Week of Dark Autumn
Alas it is through the pale candlelight that i right these notes on a man whom I love to hate.
Its cold and the money is gone and so have the woman (they follow the shine like rats to a dead body. I am bitter from my misfortune but I doubt it will affect my writing mood, for the man I write about is the same. His voice harsh and raspy, somewhat sounding constantly tired, he speaks to people with contempt, his words like the juice of a lemon.
The man I talk of is Sever Ecks.
Its was 3 years ago I met this man in the Yellow Tree Inn (apparently named after a lemon tree, the coincidence is too much to think about, ha ha)
It was Summer and I was writing my poems, and enjoying the company of my fellow artisans, when through the door of the inn walked a man dressed for winter, all in black, hood hiding his face he spoke to no one and sat funnily enough in the centre of the room watching them all.
I paid no mind to him but was drawn to watching him from the corner of my eye.
He ordered lemonade (I kid you not).
This man was strange drawn to the light yet thrived in darkness!
It was not until a serving wench brushed by him and tussled his hood that I realised his true nature. A lock of shiny grey hair fell from his face, which he quickly brushed back beneath his hood with a gloved hand. This man was a Drow or form of, he was to tall for an elf, maybe a half elf.
Intrigue took over and I approached his table, they say curiosity killed the cat, in my case it nearly fried the poet! I introduced myself and in an instant a flame emerged from his hand, as he told me where to go (in not so polite words).
After a while of polite cajoling he allowed me sit with him (Now I remember why he asked me to sit with him, for at the time I had a heavy purse, my writing was good)
He told me little of himself only that he was a Drow half elf, his mother been Drow, (what kind of sick human beds a Drow, of course I didn’t bring that up)
He had traveled far across Talamh, searching for nothing and everything, having elven blood, time was on his side.
I could tell from the get go he was a rogue and I was none the wiser during our talks as he surreptitiously lifted my coin purse took what he wanted and replaced a tad lighter than before.
I asked him of his thoughts on many things he answered rarely (why I found myself sitting with this man time and time again I have no idea, did he charm me? For I know he was some sort of mage) He was dark that much was true he had a vile tongue and would lash his tongue out at any one, and at times protect others. He was torn from his human life and the evilness of the Drow. This conclusion was my own, I dare not bring it up with him least loose my life. He asked once whilst drunk about the DePeche family this sent a spark of intrigue within me as only the week before a cousin of Depeche was found murdered with his family, in a most gruesome way. Yet no one was brought to justice. He smiled a wicked smile when he asked me that day, a small inner gloat I no doubt. This man had much blood on his hands……..My drunken eyes saw him bathe in it!
I recall a day in his company when he mentioned the Gods. This was out well out of the blue for not once had it ever been mentioned. I favoured Fileadh my prayers were met when he gifted my pen which in turn gifted my purse (which also helped the sneak thief Sever). I asked him who he looked to he uttered words that no man alive in Bigany would dare, he thrived on the different this was clear. ‘What of Feo?’ I nearly fell off my chair. He laughed his evil empty laugh and told me he was jesting – this was a lie. He told me it was Shale who he followed, to some extent.
I am tired tis late and I must rest when I can, I shall continue tomorrow.
Fileadh grant me luck with my words and let me read in between the lines of love and hate.
Male Human Psychic Warrior 7
Male Human Monk 12
Male Human Paladin 6
Sir Ector de Beaumaris is a risen Paladin associated with the group. It is fortunate that at this time he is less than active. He represents a potentially unbalancing variable in the eradication algorithm to be applied at this site. It is currently recommended that in the case of his continued survival at least one grade 3 threat be allowed survive from the site.
Male Dwarf Psion 8
Wants to reclaim the Dwarven Mines. Tulian's Eye contains a curse for all non-dwarves. It will mark Orin as a leader of Dwarvenkind and the true heir to the Dwarven Mines. But what lurks below the mines. Oamarthis has not heard of Tulian's Eye but if he does, he will stop at nothing to "reclaim" it from Orin, there are more Duergar in the underdark...
Orin, a psion, seems to be acting in accordance with profiling. Thus far he has been focused upon the restoration of the dwarven enclave within the complex. However, he has proved willing to reach accommodation with the orcs who occupy the area immediately surrounding the enclave. It is a matter of curiosity as whether this entente will outlast the arrival of dwarven reinforcements.
Human Vampire Spawn 6, Assassin 2
Has been assigned to destroy the Undead of the ToAC. Mantorok seems to have not yet stabilised in his current form. He is still growing into his Bás-favoured role but seems to be having difficulties adjusting to the true strength of his powers.
Male Human Druid 12
Vadanos has two animal companions, Red Rumm and Blue Rumm
Profile by Alexandros:
The Druid Vadannos also appears to have had some interaction with Fallen representatives. He is known to bear a flesh imprint of a Fallen symbol. He has made no effort to have this removed. However, he is also carrying Cycles and potentially risen symbols so this may be a misguided attempt at balance. No immediate rectification is required.
Wants to become the Protector of Rastor Island. Chatrilon Unosh will co-orinate raids on the village in order to get the PCs kicked off the Island
Male Human Monk 12
Male Fighter 6 Rogue 1, Gunslinger 10
Male Human Paladin 6
His Special Mount is called Buttercup. Nice.
Male Half-Orc Barbarian 6
Likes to hit things.
Male Human Cleric 6 of Cogadh
Female Drow Elf Necromancer 6
Male Orc Barbarian 6
Murant is the leader of the orcs in the Red Hammer Mines. He is looking to barter for any items, preferably magical, that he can use to enhance his own abilities, protect his tribe, secure his position as it's leader. He has a reasonable idea of how much things are worth but doesn't devalue things that are second hand, as long as they work.
He can craft scorpion poison. He will barter at full market price. Crafting poisons takes him the usual amount of time. He will have to research other poison and he will require a couple of neutralise poison potions to ensure that he doesn't die during his research.
Murant is smart enough to realise that an alliance with adventurers is a very beneficial one for him, his tribe and for the party, so he is not likely to betray or cheat them.
Aka 'Tharg Ogre Hunter'
Male Orc Cleric 7 (Seilig), Ranger 1, Barbarian 1