Saros

Questions answered, one mission complete, another begins

October 2nd

Soumgra begins searching for and finds a panther to replace Kotral, naming it Jathal, and a memorial service for Ashabrak is performed, led by Xonan, when the group gets to the elven territory Arturio, north of the human territory. The group is in a hamlet named Humbrell. The group moves on to Tordun, which turns out to be a tree city. The tree city practices peace bonding. Ogre’s Tusk Tavern is where the group is to meet Bannit. Xonan writes a letter to Bear, explaining Ashabrak is dead. He mentions that Lady Grey had charmed him, and as a safety precaution was shackled when the group took him towards the elven territory. He does not mention that Ashabrak was hobbled. In a separate letter, he asks Bear to check on the Aquans, as they received word that Certain’s sister may be in danger. The postmaster advises it’ll take some time for the mail to arrive. Xonan and Soumgra go to the cleric and are healed of their aging curse. An Aquan appears in the city with a pair of dwarves, with a different color scheme, female. After some time Bannit, a bald dwarf with a long white beard, appears in the inn, along with a grand meal and some fine ale at the back table. Marra sits down and starts talking with Bannit. He is clearly disappointed with the fact that Ashabrak is dead. He asks to speak to Certain. Certain sits down with Bannit. The latter asks about the invasion. Certain replies that the humans are planning to attack the elves but he doesn’t know why. He goes on to explain how Ashabrak was charmed by Lady Grey and Bannit indicates that he has some basic knowledge of Magicite. Certain then reveals his information to Bannit, who responds by saying that as there is only one source of information, it is difficult to act on or verify it. There is also a half-elf in the bar who seems interested in the back table. Soumgra and Xonan walk into the bar. Soumgra decides to go over to the half-elf with a drink. The half-elf introduces himself as Padou Thalou of the Red Ranger’s Society. He says that he’s looking for adventurers, and mentions that he would be particularly interested in Certain, given that some of the ruins is underwater. Soumgra starts to walk over to the other Aquan, and Bannit yells for her to join him. She refuses at first. The two begin conversing but it is a very heated exchange. Marra decides to pick Padou’s pockets and grabs several hundred business cards. She attempts to steal again in the hopes of finding more valuable loot but gets caught and runs away. Padou introduces himself to Certain and the latter mentions the artifact and how it poisons the water in the surrounding area. Padou states he was not aware of any poisoning but mentions a “vermin problem.” Bannit sternly tells Soumgra to be on time for the meeting tomorrow. He then speaks with Xonan and makes it clear that head coverings are prohibited by the elves, which Xonan relays to the party. Certain and Soumgra then approach the Aquan. Jothal and Certain stay near Ashabrak’s body. During the night Certain hears some voices and smells flammable oil. Soon flames start to spread. Certain grabs Ashabrak’s body and leaves the caravan. Two stalls down, there is a steady fire going. He goes to the guards and advises of the fire. They run off except for one, and later return, thanking Certain for advising of the fire. They take him into an office, with the body. Certain mentions the human conspiracy to attack the elves. The guard, whose name is Tim, sends the information up the line as it’s way above his paygrade. The lieutenant then comes down to confirm Certain’s story. The rest of the party rejoins Certain in the guard headquarters. They offer to give some cots for the night and protect the group. The night passes uneventfully. The group gets to the meeting on time, escorted by the city guard. They are led into the city hall through a side entrance. Bannit is there waiting. He seems momentarily perturbed. He dismisses the guards, including Tim. He mentions the elven representative, named Terian Kataris, is not a good natured fellow. Bannit investigates the corpse and infers that a small blade was the murder weapon. Certain shows Bannit the documents regarding Magicite. Bannit then leads the group into the inner chambers, which has a lot of ostentatious decoration as well as natural elements. Terian Kataris is a very elderly elf; slim, slender with short hair and goatee. The meeting at first starts to go well as the party explains what has happened so far. Terian then takes the floor. He at first seems hesitant and Certain uses somewhat harsh language to warn the elves of what is coming. The elf responds by saying they want to get all sides of the story and a female human ambassador appears. This is not someone who any of the party has met in the past. She refers to herself as “Miss Halloway.” She wears jewelry on and about her person, including a blue sapphire emblem which appears to be important. The group reiterates the story again. She seems accepting of the story and says the people performing the necromantic ritual to speak with Ashabrak’s ghost. Terian is unliked by Bannit and Miss Halloway. There was a recent trade agreement between Terian and the humans where the elves are buying metal and ore from the dwarves and selling it at a profit to the humans. And this deal was made with the Lord Marshall, while at Fort Kent and has met both him and Lady Grey. An hour later two clerics arrive with Terian, both elves. One asks if Ashabrak was evil and Certain responds no, and one goes to the back of the room. The other’s name is Cerias. Bannit asks the first question – if the humans are planning to invade the elvish nation. Ashabrak says yes. Miss Halloway will ask if anyone outside Direshire was involved in the conspiracy to the best of his knowledge. Ashabrak says no. Terian will state he believes the corpse says some truths, but some of the people in the party may say some lies, and asks if Xonan is a jungle gnome, to which Ashabrak says no. Bannit responds that they have enough information to open an investigation and Miss Halloway agrees, although she gives concern about Xonan not telling the truth about his past. She mentions to Certain that the Lord Marshall was a war veteran in his past, but known for being rather harsh. The ambassadors advise for the party to stay in the city while the investigation is underway. They mention an appropriate place to bury Ashabrak. Certain asks if the cleric dislikes the magic to speak to the dead. The cleric responds that he doesn’t necessarily like the magic but that it is useful. Bannit replenishes the party coffers by giving 1000 gold. Cerias offers any of the temple’s services for free in exchange for the party’s information. Three days pass. During this downtime, Xonan goes to the library and meets an elf named Ailluin Ilijor who is an older, quirky type, member of the church. He says there is a tribe of “star elves” as the two discuss the celestial bodies; uncivilized he says – he adds the elves believe Saros is the moon and Ataxia is the gas giant planet it revolves around. This triggers something in Xonan’s head – Xonan feels foolish as suddenly a flood of math and science comes into his head stating that the star elves are right. The reason the seasons last so long is because of this rotation between Saros and Ataxia. Xonan also gets the feeling that the Perigeans are somehow partly responsible for Saros and Ataxia being the way they are. He decides, however, to not impart this information to the elf, instead thanking him for his time and insight. A joint group of humans and elves from their respective capitals are sent to investigate the party’s claims. Marra is reassigned to another diplomatic mission, and the party is offered 500 gold and 1500 to escort some representatives to the camp with the war machines (2100 xp given. The session ends here.)

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August 21st - The Death of Ashabrak

August 21st

The group goes to a town to grab a wagon to buy, with the goal of concealing Ashabrak. Along the way the group runs into a small pack of wild animals but they give the group no mind. The group splits – one group escorting Ashabrak around the small town, the other going into town to buy a wagon and possibly one or a pair of horses. The former are surprised – the cat gets caught up in a net, set by goblins. Certain tries to get them to stop attacking but they don’t seem to want to let the cat go. The town they go into is called Arn’s Point. (Pop: ~250) They go into the stables to negotiate the sale of a wagon and some horses. The stablehand doesn’t have a wagon but goes to the traveller’s tavern and the two party members go to the local tavern. Xonan stays outside with the horse and casts Message on Mara, who goes inside to talk to the locals. The bartender is clearly unfriendly and offers to sell some ale but increases the cost a little. There is also a half elf wench. The rumors around town include a hanging at Fort Kent in two days time. They meet someone to offload a wagon which can be driven by one large creature. It is a burton wagon, which has a door in the front and back. A halfling type creature bumps into Xonan who introduces themselves as Gent. He says that he is also a spellcaster, he and his sister novice casters who learned under elves who have passed through in the area. He seems legitimate in his interest and the other townsfolk seem to know who he is. He offers to sell them a horse .They go to the blacksmith who sells them a masterwork mace. They then go to Gent’s house with the wagon who casts Sleep on them. Xonan counters by casting Sleep on Gent. The sister transforms into her true form, which is an Aranea. It gets onto the wagon but is knocked off by a Thunderwave. Gent says they want “the Perigean” which clicks in Xonan’s head – it makes him feel like he’s at home. They escape and rejoin the party who immediately mentions Xonan being a Perigean which Ashabrak reacts to. He refuses to say what it is in Xonan’s presence. He heard rumors during the war about a race of powerful mages which were behind the necromancer. He dismissed the rumors at the time but now says it all makes sense. He mentions the ship and that they disguise people to pit them against each other. Xonan dreams of hearing the word “Perigean” by others of his own race. The next day they pass through a hamlet but is otherwise uneventful. The next night, Xonan remembers more about his people. A large caravan passes by with salt. Then a few hours later, that evening a small caravan with silks approaches. The elves mention that the Red Ranger Society is looking for adventurers to clear out a set of ruins. He mentions that it seems odd that the ruins in question are extremely old. Xonan thinks they may be Perigean. Soumgra warns of the Aranea, and they give a ring with an Elven Sigil House (to be named) in gratitude for the warning. Xonan takes Certain aside and reveals some of what he remembers. The next day it is heavily raining. They also pass through a small human city but they do not stop. That night the rain stops. The group decides on what the full report Soumgra is to state. They will mention most of what was going on but leave out specific references to Xonan and the Perigeans. They will mention in the report the oppression in Fort Kent, the negotiation with the Aquans, the toll gate built up the river, the Araneas, the collapse of the mine, the slaves working there, the upcoming war that they’re blaming the orcs, they’re hiding from their own people an attack on the elves, the heavy militarization which led to kicking out blacksmiths that aren’t directly benefitting the Lord Marshall. The next day, it is heavily raining again. During the day, Blade catches up to the group from behind. The party prepares for a fight. Blade mentions that Lady Grey has eyes everywhere and Certain decides to attack Blade, who threatens Certain’s sister. During the fight, Xonan is blinded. The cat also dies during battle. Blade and the bard run off and Ashabrak is killed by the half orc. The party loots Ashabrak’s corpse, which gives them some supplies including Boots of Gusto and a mithral shirt. The cat is buried. A caravan carrying weapons and armor is heading towards the human settlement. They stop in at an elven hamlet which has a tavern, that mentions the Red Ranger Society. A supply post to the east was supposedly attacked by bandits, species unknown. They also hear about the Foremast Inn, which is a popular destination for travellers from the human kingdom. The elven king Ramuth Keng has not been seen in public in 8 months. Rumors abound that he is dead, crazy, etc. (1600 xp The session ends here.)

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July 24th - Ashabrak is bound to attack!

A human comes across the party. The party goes into threat assessment mode but soon meet and determine her intentions are not hostile. Her name is Ella. The party fills her in on some things including the loud sound she heard (the cave in.)

Ashabrak is taken to the group and the charm is suppressed. He states the humans are going to attack the elves for their resources, in particular the veins of Magicite. Ashabrak meets the Lady once a week. He knows nothing about any plans against the Aquans. The humans are working with the clerics in town. The engine that was previously recovered is being broken down to help power guns. He gives Certain a recipe that will “slow them down.” He also says the Lord Marshall is a lot stronger than he looks – that he’s crushed rocks with his own hands. There are other people who see the Lady once/week but he doesn’t know their names. There is a full-blooded orc who sees her. The mercs are training the regular troops and doing special ops but doesn’t know the details. He also gives the camp passwords and says they’re changed every two days. The person in charge of the camp, a soldier, named Brellyn, a highly skilled human rogue. Soumgra sends off another scroll of Sending to warn the dwarfs of the truth of the human’s invasion. The orc is often kept in chains. Ashabrak attacks the party but they are able to knock him out. Two guards show up but do not find Ashabrak. Certain has a charge of the Disguise Self wand cast on him and puts on Ashabrak’s likeness. He runs towards the base yelling “Mountain lion!” He then goes in and sabotages the Magicite and grabs Ashabrak’s things. The group meets back in the mines and Soumgra breaks Ashabrak’s legs and fingers. The dwarven council responds to Soumgra’s latest message:

“Do you have humint?”

She responds, “Yes.”

“Escort humint north to (elven city.) Look for <placeholder>”

“Understood. City one week away.”

“Prepare full report.”

(1200 xp given. The session ends here.)
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June 26th
The Cave in in the Cave and Ashabrak is AshaBACK

June 26th

Okitar leads the group at a slow pace. An hour later the group hears sounds of metal on stone which gets louder and louder. The sounds are clearly above the party. The party stops when they get to the middle of the sounds. He says the work has been going on for at least a few days. Xonan offers to scout ahead and they all move on. When the group begins to see sunlight, Okitar stops. The group without him leaves and figures they are 3.5 – 4 miles from where the party originally entered the mines. The opening is not a large or well used one. No humans are spotted. There is a distant sound of voices in Common. The group approaches stealthily. A lot of working sounds – metal on stone, metal moving through wood, similar sounds to when the group was in the smithy wood on metal. Marra moves ahead to recon then comes back with a strange look on her face. “Well I don’t think they’re mining, per se. Looks like they’re building.” Certain asks if they’re building a fort, and Marra says it looks more like siege equipment. There are also tents and large numbers of troops training. 100-150 are in chains working, many of whom are human, some half elves and halflings, as well as some half orcs. Some of the workers appear to be excavating into the mine, opening a large pit and working inside part of it. They go back to Okitar. There was a rumor that something was found that pulsed and irradiated… something that significantly increased the poison that killed the miners. When Certain asks if Xonan remembers anything about the airships, Xonan remembers other gnomes teaching him about engines with pure magical power, which used Magicite to power them, which despite being capable of many things, would still be stable and shouldn’t do anything negative unless something catastrophically went wrong. He remembers that there were clear, dire warnings about not messing with the core. They have a half life of about 70 years before they’re no longer dangerous should they leak. The engine cores were green Magicite. He also remembers a sense of community with the people who taught him, but a bit more cold, efficient than the community he feels with the group he’s in. He also remembers some things about magic, including his own magic and how it works. Xonan feels as though he understands a bit more about his powers. He also remembers the differences between divine and arcane magic. The group decides to investigate and see what the humans are after. The air starts to get a bit thicker. The air is palpably “off.” The ceiling is very low. Some deposits of iron and silver ore. Some remains of a mine cart in the middle. There is a strange, dense metal object that appears to be multilayered. Soumgra looks ahead and remembers reading about a vibrant metal cocoon that some creatures would hibernate in. She lets the group know what she sees, then moves back in. Another cocoon is suspended from the ceiling, large enough to hold a medium-sized creature. The ground is damp, but it’s not actually wet. There appears to be a small amount of movement. The group does make it through without incident, however. They go down and the next area has much denser air and more damp. Lot more rough stone about. The smell reminds Certain of when they came across the engine in the river some months past. Soumgra looks at a dead end and sees some exposed ore and the contaminant. She moves on and sees a beam of light which appears to be coming from the floor. The color seems to be shifting. Soumgra sees through her cat’s eyes and looks into the chamber and sees a sphere. Xonan walks up next and feels strange. It’s larger than an engine sphere and is running through the different colors. It appears to be rainbow. It seems to be significantly more powerful than the airship Xonan was on. It was probably there for centuries. It is broken but not inert. The group begins to go back up but hears something when they’re about to enter the main chamber. One of the creatures is walking about but is swiftly dealt with. Suddenly they hear a noise from the ramp from which they came that heads out of the mine. When they go investigate, they see the other four around a corpse, which are easily defeated, but the corpse turns out to be Okitar. In his body is a large group of larvae. They decide to bring it to the engine in the hopes the larvae will eat the engine. His body is looted for a fine short spear, a fine short composite bow, 17 GP in assorted coins and a scroll. Xonan identifies the scroll as a scroll of Resist Energy. They also find an ounce of Sovereign Glue, worth 1200 GP. (600 xp) When they get to the engine, an undead apparition that looks similar to Xonan and the undead gnomes he and the original party fought. Xonan attempts to speak to it but the rest of the party attacks it outright. It still responds to Xonan, instructing the party to leave. Xonan yells this and Certain decides to pull back. Xonan realizes that wild magic is in the air which means that anything could happen with a spell in the area. The apparition casts a spell-like ability and seems to teleport. Soumgra casts Detect Magic and faerie fire is cast around herself as well. Her cat and the larvae in Okitar’s body are both teleported to other parts of the mine. Engine is surrounded by Perigean runes. Some type of teleportation burst suddenly activates. As the only one who can communicate with it, Xonan again attempts to parlay. When the apparition asks what year it is, Xonan responds with “3728.325.” His reaction appears to not be happy, as if he’s having a hard time believing how much time has passed. He does seem to believe Xonan. Xonan asks what year does he believe the creature thinks it is and he responds with 1075.283, which is about 8 or 9 thousand human years. “No wonder you do not remember The Fall” he replies. He laughs in a fear-inducing, not pleasant sound when Xonan states he believes he is a gnome. He says that if Xonan finds their people, to tell them Dermot Ellson fulfilled his duties. He tosses Xonan a pendant, then proceeds to cause a massive cave in. They fall back to the kobold’s apartment, finding the panther en route. The pendant has an inscribed picture and some writing on the other. It’s more like a badge than pendant; a brooch that represents authority. He was a Chief Engineer. It also lists the name of the city Xonan’s people are from – Rille. The image is not a ship – it is an entire city. A potion of cure light wounds is found in Okitar’s apartment. They also find a mummified elf hand. A Hand of the Mage. (Mage Hand Amulet) Another scroll is also found. (Scroll of Hideous Laughter) The group rests without incident. Xonan has disjointed dreams but doesn’t remember them. The next morning, Soumgra decides to check out the cave in using the path the group used before. Soumgra wakes up and feels tired. She looks at a reflective surface and sees a wrinkle on her face. They make their way out and there is a path with traffic. Marra sneaks into the area and returns in an hour. She says a few dozen slaves died and the cave in only impacted the tunnel. The encampments and siege equipment are still intact. She finds Ashabrak and says that he’s giving orders, to both the slaves and his hirelings. The group decides to send in Certain alone and disguised as Ashabrak’s hireling Kaelbrak, but he is quickly spotted. Certain attempts to bluff his way out of the confrontation and while the guard doesn’t believe him doesn’t stop him either. Marra has given Certain an extremely well-detailed map, so Certain is able to find the command tent. The guard stops him, but he walks away and goes around to the back of the tent and casts a spelllike ability to see through the wall of the back of the work tent nearby. Inside the work tent is forging equipment with two people inside, one of whom is Ashabrak. There’s another partition behind a wall, so he moves to see it. Inside this is a table and workbench with a human who doesn’t appear to be a blacksmith, but the table appears to have what Ashabrak calls “rifles” and “bullets.” Also stones with contaminant, and some glowing green shards, which seems to resemble things from the engine. Some maps on a table showing Dirshire and the Aquan city, as well as the orc country and the elven country to the north with figurines on the maps. Another tent is a mess hall and a fourth is a storage tent that has a wagon and the engine the party found in the river several weeks before. He finally talks to Ashabrak and convinces him to see him outside the camp. He returns to the group and relays what happened. They plan to meet him and slightly injure him with the cat, then cast Suppress Charms and Compulsions while saying it’s a healing spell so as to convince him to not try to resist the spell. (The session ends here.)

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June 12th

June 12th

The group goes to where they believe the old mine is located, coming across an elven caravan. Marra sells the stolen gems for elven silk. There is a rugged path mentioned that would save time but involves fording the river. The longer, safer route involves a bridge and will add one day to the travel. They choose the latter. When they get to the bridge, they make camp. Xonan has a dream – remembers having sex. (Will get some more information later.) The next morning they go to the bridge. The bridge appears to be unguarded both above and below. They cross and Soumgra sees a stone with a symbol on it. She believes she may have seen this symbol at the fort while visiting the tower. The day is uneventful but begins to storm that night. Xonan remembers a female name during his night’s sleep. As they get closer to the mine, it is clear the soldier caravan did not switch to the smaller road the party is going to. The road doesn’t appear to be an issue for horses, although it would be for wagons. The mine is in a part of the forest that is less dry. Three hours later, the group gets to the mine. The mine does not appear to be occupied. A sign saying “Keep Out!” is on the outside. Certain had been to the mines about 10 years ago when they were shut down. Three entrances are found, one of which is far from the road and difficult to find. The roots help keep it stable. It is determined that this is the best entrance to take. The party cuts a few trees to make supports to further reinforce the entrance. They then go into the mine the next day. Certain scouts ahead in a river and comes across a hostile creature called a Grey Ooze. He gets injured but returns to the group and they decide to move on. A Periapt of Health – the wearer is immune to disease, including supernatural ones. Xonan takes this. Any existing diseases are not cured but the symptoms are suppressed. Worth 7500GP. There are three skeletons – 2 goblin and one kobold. The group decides to move on. The new area appears to have been previously caved in, but has been reopened due to shifts. The next area appears to be an old mining zone with a cart and 2 dozen corpses that are likely dead for 10+ years. 56GP found in coins and small valuables. There is also a scroll. It is a scroll of shrink item (unidentified.) They move on and toss Marra to the next area. She notices a door that’s smaller than a normal-sized one and metal slats hammered in. She returns and Certain goes ahead to see what he can. He notices some light coming through. He looks through and also sees what appears to be a wooden structure and rug. He hears someone speaking in Draconic asking “Who is casting spells at my door?” Unable to think of anything else, he responds with “It is Certain.” It invites Certain in. There is an elderly kobold sitting crossed-legged in front of the fire. The two exchange dialogue. Marra attempts to sneak in, but the kobold smells her straight away. A few minutes later the rest of the party joins them. The kobold reveals that he’s been in the cave far too long for him to remember. His tribe, the last after the great wars, was in the marsh before being destroyed by humans. The kobold begins cooking some vegetables. The kobold says Xonan is not a gnome, as he doesn’t smell like one. When Certain asks what he does smell like. He takes a very long sniff, then says “He smells like everything – human, elf, dwarf….smells like everything. Perhaps his parents were of mixed origin.” He says he lives alone, waiting to die. His name is Okitar. Certain offers to bring him into his village. He then adds that he heard some activity above ground the last time he went out a few days ago and offers to take the party to where he heard this. The party eats. Okitar grabs a bag and beckons the group to follow. (The session ends here.)

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May 29th

(May 29th)

The group stays at a room in the workshop called Bremond‘s Blades. The group brings in some leftover drake scales. Xonan wakes up that morning remembering his father’s name, which is Kell. He also remembers how his gnomish tribe names their families, and as such his surname, which is Kellson. Xonan and Certain have breakfast with the smith. The halfling festival parade will begin in a few hours. There will also be a jousting tournament, as well as an archery tournament. The Church of the Three Brothers is the main human religion. The three brothers are Grim, Genus, and Gaius. Soumgra goes to the beautician for more information. The lieutenant is upset that he’s going to be working and cannot compete. Garmund and Torn are the knights the lieutanent favors to win. She also mentions gambling on the tourney. When the dwarf asks what the Lady thinks of the tournament, she says she enjoys seeing her old friends, she likes big, ostentious things that spoil her. She apparently never takes off her necklace, regardless of what the beautician is measuring her for and all garments made for the Lady must be tailored to show off the necklace. Xonan and Certain decide to help the smithy, who does a decent job explaining the basics of smithing. Certain’s skin gets hot and dry from being around the extreme heat of the furnace. He mentions that he could be making plenty of money smithing for the lord, but feels that quality beats quantity. He does admit that not many can afford quality. Marra looks for strawberries but is unsuccessful. She later hears a trumpet blast, the type of which announces the arrival of nobility. About a dozen nobles and their entourages arrive. Most are human, a few are elven. An elf trader comes by. When Marra asks, he indicates he has some strawberries but they’re for “special clients.” Marra convinces the trader to sell to her, however. She returns to deliver the strawberries and see the parade. The two at the smithy also hear the trumpets. The smith imagines they signify someone important coming but isn’t overly concerned as he has no love for the upper class, or the jousting tournament. He doesn’t like any form of combat, being a war veteran, but believes in having quality steel. Xonan shows the smith a gear from the crashed ship asking if he knows anything about it. The smith replies that he has never seen markmanship, although he has seen gears with lesser detail in the capital and some major cities and other areas where religion has started to fall away. He says he imagines a single gear would’ve taken days to build, given the high level of detail. He recommends going to a major city to show it to a smithy there. He offers to buy the gear for a gold piece but Xonan declines. (Will get the name of a smith in the capital should the party actually go there.) Soumgra goes to the parade which comes and goes without any major incident. The archery tournament is next, and both Xonan and Certain go to watch it. Certain reminds everyone that Bear warned to watch for pickpockets. Bear is also at the tournament. They mention the other Aquan, which Bear says it’s rare to see a travelling Aquan. He says he’s putting some gold down on Baelfire. The tourney is in two stages, the first is in groups. Soumgra passes the first round but fails the second. She and Marra go into the tower, escorted by Bullen to change. Lady Grey’s room is on the 7th floor. Marra decides to sneak off to find information on the nobles by sneaking in their rooms. There is a signed document mentioning 250 humans, 50 of which are cavalry dedicated to Lord Grey. The lord comes out and gives a prize to the winner of the archery tournament. Bear offers some drinks to the other two. The next event is a sermon by Elder Cazan. The sermon is about death. Nobody really pays much attention to it, however it is rather boring. Bullen treats the ladies to some ice cream. The jousting tournament is next. The entire party goes to see it. Certain has, up to this point never seen a horse in full armor. The nobles and noble ladies are talking. The lieutenant is saying he’s tired from shuffling troops to “the site.” The lord also mentions “the site” a few times, including prepping the site. “Ashabrak” is also mentioned a few times. Lady Grey says that Ashabrak was being “put to the task.” The lord appreciates that and says he will be heading out tomorrow. The village is having a festival after the joust. There was a new tax given and more food given to the marshall. The people are mostly enjoying the joust. Winter is on the horizon. There are rumors that the Lady is a sorceress. Most people who entertain such rumors typically go missing not long after. Marra decides to go back to the tower but is stopped by the guards. She feigns fainting and a servant takes her to the stables. Blackroot sees her there, and it turns out he also wants to sneak into the tower. He formulates a plan to bypass the guards. He casts a spell that makes it appear as though Marra is on fire but it fails. Bear, Xonan and Certain are invited to join in the village festival. Certain asks Bear how one would stop a cavalry charged. Bear says the most common methods would be disguised pits, divination magic, making themselves larger and turning solid ground into mud. Soumgra goes to the noble feast. The elves seem more grateful for the feast than the humans, who seem more uppity and less appreciative. Xonan and Certain are welcomed into the home of one of the villagers, who is a friend of Bear. They feel welcomed and the conversation is much more down to earth and friendly. The adults mention the crops might not have a good harvest. No one seems to like the new Lord Marshall, given the new taxes and increased soldier presence. They did love the last LM. There are other changes like laws and regulations. The watch used to help civilians in need, but now will fine them. There are only three blacksmiths available to the public, as the rest work for the lord or left. This is the 4th Lord Marshall in the last 50 years, while many other places will have one LM that entire period. The current lord has replaced most everyone with influence and power. Marra decides she will try again to search Lord and Lady Grey’s room. She is successful in reaching the 7th floor, but there is a guard outside their door. She picks a lock on one of the doors. The room appears to be the lieutenant’s room. There’s a safe in the room as well as a desk. On the desk are many forms for troop movements and the like. Marra takes some of the blank forms off the desk and 6 valuable looking books. The next door is not locked. It turns out to be a privy. The next door is also unlocked. It leads to a bedroom but nothing of import. The fourth door is locked and proves considerably tougher to open. After opening it she hears sounds like feet on stairs. She moves to hide as the lieutenant walks in. She tries and fails to create a distraction and the guard confronts her. She jumps out the window and gets injured. A guard is right where she landed and attempts to help her but she knocks him out and escapes. She goes to her room and the dwarves look through the books Marra stole. One, “On War”, is autographed by its author. Three others are on tactics, another on training soldiers, another on horses and the last about oragami. There is a knocking at the door, but Marra is able to escape their notice. Security is now heightened while they search for the halfling responsible for the incident. The next day, the dwarves meet Bullen and say they will be leaving. They’re being followed by a tail. They agree to split up and meet again at a tavern in Kent. The tail follows Soumgra. She fails to lose the tail, who walks up and introduces himself as an associate of Bullen. The two go to the tavern. There will be a large gathering this afternoon, the only information is that it will be “an important meeting.” Xonan and Certain overhear that Ashabrak was seen leaving town, headed southeast. Marra sees the three and indicates the bar where she and Soumgra are going. The others sit at a different table than Soumgra. Bear indicates that he thinks the person with Soumgra is a member of the secret police. Marra is seen by the party. Bear distracts the soldier by starting a bar fight. Xonan and Soumgra go to the meeting. The other two stay in the village. The Lord Marshall appears, but it is a small gathering. Many guards are around. The Lord goes on about security and will punish the guards by stripping them of their armor and get 20 lashings each. Warns that thieves or sabateurs will be executed. The group rejoins and decides to go to the mines to find Ashabrak. (450 XP given. The session ends here.)

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May 15th

(May 15th)

Fort Kent is a small city with a population of about 10,000, most of which are humans. The watch is known for its cruelty. The citizens are extremely distrustful of magic and the unknown. The gnome is given a cloak to cover his tattoos. The group goes to a village along the way to the fort and there’s a holiday going on. Certain notices a river Aquan in town. The other Aquan appears older and is likely not affiliated with any tribe. Certain decides to get the same drink and strike up a conversation. The other confirms that he is independent of the other tribes and has been for 15 years. He says he is from a village about 300 miles south named Arreshalah. The other’s name is Blade. Certain asks what Blade does, to which he replies that he “solves problems.” Soumgra decides to speak with the locals. The locals are a bit surprised to see a dwarf in their village. Taxes have been increased and winter is coming, which makes it harder for the halflings to adequately stock supplies for the coming winter. There are also a lot more soldiers than there were. They also mention the cruelty of the guards in the fort and peacebonding, which forced smiths to go outside the village or work directly for the lord. Most have done the latter. Xonan decides to eavesdrop on the locals. He spots a couple of guards from the fort and listens in on them. He also overhears troop movement and rumors about a new operation to the south. There is also a new captain of the guard but they do not mention what happened to the old captain. The new captain is named Ardden. The group meets back up and share their information. (1GP spent from the party funds.) Marra talks to the halflings but does not return later. Certain mentions to the southeast is the old mine but doesn’t know why soldiers would be headed that way. He conjectures that they are likely forcing slaves to work the mines. Marra returns in the morning. There is an orcling mercenary in town. They buy some supplies including a warhorse and wines. The group ventures forth and finds Blade, who is with the orcling, named Rogor. Both groups indicate they are waiting on one last person. The newcomers are armed and armored, with 3 horses. The orcling seems interested in Soumgra and introduces himself. They talk for a bit before a human appears named Tumar Blackroot. The group mounts up and heads to the fort. Blackroot begins singing. Transmutation enhancement from the song allows the mounts to speed up slightly. The group sits and has lunch. Blade and Certain talk a bit more. Xonan feeds and pets the horses. Tumar stops singing as the village approaches. Blade advises they’re going directly into the fort. The village doesn’t appear to care about the group. Blade palms the guard some gold and the peacebond appears to be not very secure. The newcomers split off from the party and the party themselves decides to shop some more. Marra comes back and says he ran into Ashabrak’s cousin (and hireling) Kaelbrak. Ashabrak is working for the lord who is doing minor jobs for him but doesn’t appear to be in the fort right now. Bear has not been seen. Certain says they’d like to have supper with Ashabrak. Xonan opts to enchant his soul gem. Soumgra hears rumors around town. The old captain of the guard is retired and returns to the capital. Lady Lyrinn Grey, the lord marshall’s wife has come. The rumor is that she is extremely beautiful despite being the same age as the marshall. Lieutenant Arrden is a stern warrior, risen in the ranks, a man of honor. He is well liked by the soldiers and not hated by the people. It’s been about a week since mercenaries show up. Some stay, some go. Their purpose is still unknown. On the first day, the group finds Bear. He decides to wait with the group, but has some business to tend to. He stays outside the fort. Soumgra sends one of her scrolls of sending to advise her dwarven leadership of the situation with the Aquans and humans. She also mentions the mercenaries and that the treaty has been manipulated by the humans. The dwarves instruct her to gather information (and not interfere) within lunar phase, then move to next town. Soumgra decides to go to the fort proper to determine the reason behind the mercs arriving. An ambassador meets her. He introduces himself as Bullen. He advises the marshall will return in a few days. He does however, give the dwarf a tour of the fort, which is very well built. (For humans.) He also mentions a dinner that’ll happen tomorrow night. She says she’d love to attend, but needs a dress. He agrees to have them sent to the tailor. When she asks about the comings and goings of the mercs, he says there are many things going on, including orcs possibly getting ready to attack. He also mentions the Lady needs protection, thus the increase in guards and they plan to reopen mines. He also mentions there is likely an upcoming tournament which will include jousting. The tailor crafts a beautiful dress. The ambassador also shows the barracks and training grounds. He does not show her the dungeon. Certain goes through the markets in an attempt to learn more about the humans and their culture. He gives a bottle of wine to a very old elf who loves the humans, although has less love for its government. He mentions the engineer society in the humans’ capital city has created machines that move and respond and could eventually travel the skies. He also mentions a strange looking tattooed mage that was casting spells before disappearing into the night. He also says the previous marshall was “content”, whereas the current one is ambitious and wants more. Soumgra, on the 4th day goes to the beautician, a half elf. She tries to get information about Lady Grey. The half elf only says good things about her – likely has some negative thoughts about the Lady, but refuses to say as such, as if she’s afraid of her. Fashion and jewelry apparently are two of the Lady’s interests. She also asks about the mercenaries. The beautician does an astounding job on making Soumgra look extremely good. She also mentions having a dalliance with the lieutenant. Bullen clearly likes her new look. He escorts her to the dinner. She looks at Arrden who seems dedicated to the job and refuses to drink. The Lady seems otherworldly. Her beauty is beyond description, and likely enhanced by magic. There are some others who are not nobility but appear to be important. One is an alchemist, one is an architect, and the third is a human high priest of The Church of The Brother Grim. The priest’s name is Raul Cazan. The alchemist is a half elf named Jorell Dym and the architect is a human named Thomas Kenser. Both Bullen and a fool attempt to entertain the party but fail, for which the Lady apologizes. She introduces Soumgra as well. Lieutenant Arrden introduces himself to the dwarf. He says he’ll try to get a meeting with the Lord Marshall. Xonan on the night between 3rd and 4th nights dreams well. Upon awakening he realizes he can speak Common fluently, and has in fact regained all of the languages he previously knew. He also realizes crafting magic items fills him with a sense of comfort. Soumgra determines that someone may be following her and tries to lose the tail in the crowd. Certain continues to explore and gain information about the outer city. Soumgra lets Certain know what she’s found and vice versa. Certain speculates that the Lady may be responsible for everything that has happened with the Lord Marshall. Soumgra then decides to look for the servants to pump them for information. They realize that they’re the only two who speak Elvin. The cook says he has been ordered to make lots of waybread but provides no useful information at first. He then says that two days ago, he was ordered to make Trinakta, a special spiced cake that’s normally reserved for special occasions. The elf asks if Soumgra can find some strawberries. Certain sees Blade going into a closed store that was formerly a blacksmith. He decides to follow. Many guards are around the area. Blade is surprised to see Certain but admires his bravery. Certain says he’s looking to get a new sword. Blade says he’s there for some “problem solving.” He is not going to divulge specifics of his tasks, saying they’re “state secrets.” The blacksmith is unable to do anything to improve Certain’s weapon but sharpens Blade’s. Certain decides to have Coldiron inlayed into his blade. (535 xp gained. This ends the session.)

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May 1st

(May 1st)

That night, the gnome has some weird dreams. The sensation of being under the earth, but light above. Then darkness. A mechanical sound the gnome doesn’t immediately recognize. A clicking sound, echoing. Seems loud and disorienting, but not frightening. The mountain peak’s frostline is lower than one would normally expect. Ice is expected to be about 20 ft. thick. The ice is slippery and the snow cover over it isn’t thick. Marra makes frostward gel (cold resistance +5) to combat the cold. The gnome casts a spell to speak to the birds who indicate the drake is out. Certain states the party can set a trap. They climb to the top of the cave and begin walk through, with Bear trying to cover their tracks as best he can. Marra disappears for a moment, then appears and climbs up a tree. She then sees a bird but believes it’s the drake and falls out of the tree and plops under the snow. Xonan casts Message and communicates to Marra that she saw a bird. Soumgra decides to go into the cave to scout out the area. She finds 3 baby drakes and returns. The group goes into the cave and discusses their plan of attack. Drake’s treasure stock consists of 3 potions and 300 GP of assorted coins (2 1st level – a potion of disguise weapon and a potion of comprehend languages – and one 0th level potion of resistance. The comprehend language potion is given to Soumgra, the other two in the loot pile) The drake soon returns and the group gathers at the cavern to face it, and are successful in killing it. The frost drake appears to be male. They decide to feed the drakes, return to the cabin and rest. The gnome has a feeling that the cave seems familiar. They return to the clearing to report to the forest drake, who agrees to uphold his end of the bargain but the party neglects to mention the baby drakes. They move the drakes to the lower levels. As they move down, it gets less cold and some water trickles down, with the ice slowly melting. The group returns to the Aquan village, and the Aquans receive the news well. While gone, however, the humans have begun building a dam downriver. Pucca announces the village will take over the remainder of the relocation project and asks the party to investigate the dam. Soumgra pays the Aquans 200 GP to have them make her a mighty composite bow and 10GP is spent to get a new mule for the dwarves. Bear takes his leave. The party buys supplies then heads to the dam. There are 16 humans at the site, 6 of whom are armed guards. There is a platform on both sides of the river. It appears to the gnome to be a bridge, possibly tollway. Soumgra approaches the guards who say they’re building an “inspection point” to “appraise” goods that are being shipped along the river. The group returns and tells the Aquans of the humans’ intentions. (Xonan levels up to level 5. This ends the session)

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April 17th

April 17th

The group decides to rest upon finding the river, which is determined to be about 30 ft in depth. Xonan has pleasant dreams but doesn’t remember anything about his past. Soumgra tests the water and determines there are trace amounts of Canarecite. The river appears to be about 15 ft deep and wide, and is surprisingly smooth. The stream is a little cold and seems to be a steady flow, almost as if it’s engineered to flow at the rate it’s going. There’s a crack of water sprinkling into the stream. Certain decides to swim upstream, which is easier than he would have imagined. He gets to an area that appears to be the source of the stream. He finds a spot of air which he investigates. He starts to hear sounds – a cacophony of maddening sounds; a gibbering, yammering noise. He then hears a distance sound of the same. Certain listens and determines that what he hears isn’t a language he recognizes and he babbles incoherently in Aquan for a moment. After he regains his senses, he returns to the party and reports what he found. Marra says that it sounds like a Gibbering Mouther, which is a mound of flesh, eyes and mouths. An abberation, it breathes, eats and sleeps normally. They are resistent to damage. They appear to be intelligent, but not intelligible. They then begin to go into the river, but the panther and Marra immediately have problems. It takes a moment to straighten out but comes back in. They eventually have the gnome cast Ant Haul on Certain, who leads the group under the water while tied with rope. The group move into the new area which is cold, murky and dark. There is no sound anywhere. It is damp and there’s a metallic smell. The water has an odd metallic taste to it. The air is stagnant. We hear in the distance falling water. Bear informs the group that this is the cave he was talking about, but it had a lot more water to it at that time. He also says there was more light in it. The group decides to map out the cave and attempt to clear any threats. The cave appears to have been finished in most areas, but in the direction the group is headed, the cave is more worn. The cave appears to be ancient. Certain and Marra hear the Gibbering Mouther by the waterfall. It is bashing its head against the wall, which is soft and muddy. The group figures that the erosion they saw is not all from natural wear and tear. The group picks their positions and Soumgra pulls out her light source to lure the creature out. There’s a violent splashing and Marra throws a lit stone into the water. Soon thereafter the group attacks the beast and beat it. (400 xp earned) It appears as though the monster changed the earth and wall rather extensively. It appears as though was one other source of water, but it is not visible now. The water from the waterfall is perfectly clean. On the other side, near where the other waterfall should be, there are some fallen stone, possibly something has collapsed. The wall is clearly the most gnawed upon, which has a large vein of Canarecite. After some further exploration, the party also finds some treasure and some trappings of civilization, but no one can recognize its origins. Small pieces of metal objects, some of which are rusted, others are not. A scroll case is also found, which contains a scroll with a druid spell – “Speak with plants.” Scroll is worth 375 gold. Also some gears. Marra throws a lit stone at the center of the ceiling. The ceiling appears to have a hole that is covered by some type of webbing that does not appear to be manufactured. The group leaves the cave and returns to the cabin, where the horse remains. They rest and dry their clothes, then return to the cave. The group decides to climb the cliff. As the party climbs, they start to hear noises towards the top. It sounds like something reptilian moving around. The group decides to hide in the foliage to wait for the drake to fly off so they can set a trap. It turns out the plateau will allow the Aquans – with spyglasses – to keep an eye on the human settlement. After some consideration, the group decides, instead of attacking it, to negotiate with the drake. Soumgra also notices construction going on in the distance, which is at the fort they were to go to. Ramparts are being built up, apparently forges are being used. Approximate distance is 170 miles, 30 or 40 of which is rough terrain. Soumgra finds a deer to use as the sacrifice. The group surrounds the clearing where the deer is tethered. Diplomacy does not work and the group decides to try again tomorrow. They find two deer and tether them to the same place as before. The drake crushes one and the other breaks free from its tether, but the drake kills the other one as well. The drake makes an offer – if the party kills a frost drake, the first one’s rival, he will take the caverns and acquiesce to let the Aquans live there as well. (250 xp earned) This ends the session.

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April 3rd

April 3rd

The group is heading towards the eastern slope of Borsen’s Peak. The peak is lower than what most consider a standard mountain but the peak is high enough that it is always covered with snow. It is believed that the melting snow helps feed the rivers, including the one the Aquans use. It is still raining when the group begins to venture out in the morning. Something flies overhead, which is probably a forest drake. It is circling around where the party is headed, then heads towards the ground. It seems to spit something as it descends. The group decides to stop and not confront the drake. Bear mentions there were some settlers that came to the mountain a few decades ago, so he suggests looking for the river, which they find and start following. They eventually notice a square object ahead, about 25×25 ft. The group decides to bathe, and notices the tattoos on the gnome, as well as the soul gem, both of which seem unusual. The group then dries and goes into the small structure. Certain surveys the river and the newcomers attempt to converse with the gnome, but they soon decide to have a drinking game instead. Bear, while drinking reveals the goal of finding a new place to move the Aquan village. Certain later returns and also drinks. The gnome dreams of a party with alcohol that tastes beautifully. The next morning it is raining. They approach a waterfall about an hour later. Marra notices something glinting behind the waterfall. Certain volunteers to find out what it is. The glinting is a set of minerals, Canarecite, that, if mined, would release toxins into the water. He asks that everyone keeps this to themselves. They decide to cover it up by building a wooden structure. Bear suggests having some Aquan shamans build it with magic. With that sorted, they climb up the waterfall and the drake returns. It appears to be landing but is about 700 ft away. The halfling climbs a nearby tree and determines the drake has landed near a body of water or clearing. She also hears splashing. The group believes that this means there are a family of drakes there. They decide to bypass them. They eventually reach the cave they were looking for. Light is cast. Xonan casts message. Soumgra scouts ahead and sees a dead deer. It is bloated and difficult to determine how it died. She moves on and sees two more dead bodies which appear to be goblins and have decomposed to a greater degree. Fungi also appears to be growing on both corpses. The fungi turn out to be hostile and attack but are easily defeated. (900 xp earned) 22GP of various coins were found along the floor of the cave, likely owned previously by goblins, and a scroll containing a spell – a Paladin scroll “Bowstaff.” They find the river that goes through the cave. (This ends the session.)

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