The Nine and Six and One

Wherein we find we are not special
Danger in numbers

Session Date: 5/22/2012

We are back in Fairhaven. It is getting late and we need to find a place to stay.

We go to the Smiling Mutton. Orwin Lurd gives us a suspicious look but lets us stay for the night.

Aldric looks for somewhere cheaper. The rest of us stay there. Aldric finds an inn, near the lightning rail station for 2sp/night. No lock on the door.

The rest of us spend 1gp to stay. Zel stays up all night thinking about his mother. Hogar stays up thinking about Stonefist.

Next morning, the smell in the Mutton is delicious. Lowella wants to eat here. She orders 4 helpings and eats all of it! Zel decides to look for his fiance,and figures she will be in the temple of Colkerane. Lowella wants to go shopping, Hogar and Bulwark go with Zel.

Neils (ultimately) goes with Lowella and Breaker.

Aldric will be making contact with Cutthroat Charles.

The 3 of us head to the church. They recognize Zel and let us in.

They have been following his dictates and the church stature in the city has been much improved. Now it looks like a church interested in helping people. There is a soup kitchen outside.

They say Paladin Stonefist left last night, heading back home, after waiting for Zel for the past few days.

Zel happily tithes 40gp on the way out. Bulwark and Hogar tithe some, too.

Meanwhile, Neils is shopping with Lowella and Breaker. Lowella wants a new suit of armor. Where to go? He “thinks” there is one…on…somewhere. Neils leads them down the main street where there are no armor shops but lots of other things. Lowella is rushing into each shop looking for armour.

At some point, Neils thinks someone is following them. Middle aged human male, portly. He tells Breaker to have a word with the man, then decides to accost him himself. Neils chats up the man. Man stammers some answer. He uh…is also looking for pets…small pets…for his…daughter…and scarves…for his wife…sure.

Neils tells him to go shop somewhere else. The man tells Neils to mind his own business.

Something about this guy seems strangely familiar.

Neils asks if they have met. The man denies knowing him, and asks about Lowella. Breaker is there now, asks him about his interest in Lowella. The man says she may know something about his mark; says he felt a connection. He just want to talk to her. The man refuses to leave and tries to shove past Neils and Breaker. Breaker shoves back. Neils steps back to let Breaker handle this. Breaker reaches down rips open the front of the guy’s shirt…revealing a mark much like ours. Neils very quickly hides it with magic. He tells him to come with us.

Elsewhere, Aldric goes to see Cutthroat Charles. As he navigates the dock area, h sees HKC strong arming a guy in the alley. Aldric watches. HKC is shaking him down for the guild’s money. The guy falls unconscious…HKC takes the guys money…and his pants.

Aldric asks to meet with CTT about recent news, and is taken to CTT’s office by the docks.

Aldric asks for information and resources for a joint venture of interest…regarding Thrane’s holy war. CTT notes it is easier to free prisoners from a camp than from a prison. He has a man he can put on the job for intel and for springing Chireal. CTT agrees it is a good opportunity to free him. The man can blend in with the Thranes.

CTT wants 100gp up front. He will send the man over to Thrane to join them and report back at an advantageous time. He figures it’ll be a while before the holy war starts…Aundair isn’t likely to grant them passage through their lands any time soon.

Aldric asks if there are any short term jobs and is told that there are none right now that befits his skills.

Neils runs into Paige Neverdown on the way back. (Note: The guy’s shirt is still torn, though the mark is hidden). She asks, “Hey, what’s the current story?” Neils keeps walking. Paige follows behind, and asks if the man is in duress. Does he know Neils is responsible for the Etc fire? Neils just walks away. She continues to pester the group and begins to agitate the man regarding Neils’s previous alleged deeds.

Neils fixes the guys shirt with magic, and tells Breaker Paige is a threat to Lowella. Breaker pulls his axe. Paige flees!

We are back at the Mutton, except for Aldric, who stops by the Wayfinder Foundation.

Neils introduces us to him. The man’s name is Dennis Chandler. Asks how he came by the mark?

Neils admits we have the mark as well. Dennis’s appeared overnight as he slept in the city, and his roof had a scorch mark.

How does he know the girl? He didn’t…just chanced to see her and felt a connection to her. He has a wife and two daughters. Wife saw the mark, took her daughters away.

Neils senses the same bond between Dennis and Lowella.

Note: Unless someone is looking for it specifically the bond would probably not be detected. For accomplished magician, can sense it in the same city.

Neils tries to sense more connections…dozens in the city. Some are more or less distant. None as close as Aldric (who is still near the docks).

Probably no one else in the city. Does she only hurt those closest to her?

Note: Breaker is not marked.

Neils tells Zel to stand next to Lowella. Neils gives Breaker a needle, tells him to poke Lowella. Zel feels it.

Does again…Neils gets pricked.

Again…Aldric gets pricked (“Damn it, Neils!” mutters to Aldric, to no one in particular).

Neils takes the needle back. Hmmm…inconclusive.

Dennis has had enough. He puts his shirt back on and heads out. Zel tries to stop him. What? Wants to find out what we have in common.

He give us his background and seems like an average guy. He leaves.

Hmmm, now what?

Meanwhile, Aldric is at the Foundation. It is bustling — it looks like a recruitment drive is in progress. There is some sort of interview process going on.

Aldric looks for posted materials, and finds info on the annual expedition, to Xendric! The promotional poster shows various adventurers leaping out of an airship towards a large temple on the ground.

The lady Sherary, with her ant, is sitting out in the hall, talking to a line of people.

She recognizes Aldric. He asks for more information about the expedition. Well, it departs soon. Lord Erdain is not doing very well so they need to get going expeditiously — within the week say. They will depart from Sharn. How long? Well, healers give Lord Erdain a month at most, so that drives the time table. Rules and restrictions? People who sign on get a share of the profits. They can buy additional shares too. People who survive will be offered a membership. Everyone is expected to follow the Foundation rules. Erdain will be leading this expedition himself. Sherary gives a booklet to Aldric.

Aldric heads back.

We are all there now. We fill Aldric in on Dennis and our non-special status. Aldric pitches the idea of the expedition to us, and we head back to the Foundation to sign up.

Sherary welcomes us.

Erdain speaks with us.

He is floating behind his desk.

The plan is to head down to the temple in Xendric where he was first exposed. Hopefully can find a cure there too. Maybe it was more a curse…since no one else on his expedition got sick.

There has been lots written about Xendric, but mostly hearsay.

We will be leaving from Sharn in 6 days time. We must be at the airship dock at that time. We’ll be taking the Ride the Lightning. Sherary will help us.

We buy an additional share each (6 total).

We sell off the 3 dragon statuettes and amber. -30gp each.

Aldrics asks Sherary if there are any flame serpents in Xendric. Sherary says she’s seen pictures of these from Xendric, so probably there are.

Sherary provides travel papers for Lowella and Breaker.

As far as supplies, the expedition will provide all mundane items. We stock up on supplies and head towards Sharn. Or maybe we’ll go to Sharn and stock up there. Either way…

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Looking for a different sort of rail ride
Talking talking talking...

Session Date: 5/15/2012

We are talking with Lowella and Breaker. Where do we go from here?

Aldric wants to find out more about the Speaker and the prophecies about it.

Where do we find dragons again? There is their continent: Argenesson. It is a very dangerous land. None of the civilized races have had expeditions gone far in it. They are typically driven back by the dragon worshipping cultists. Others are never hear from again.

We would also like to see what Hogar’s tattoo does, so we need to find a flame serpent somewhere.

We could also try going to Xendric with the Wayfarers.

Neils tries arcana to gain some insight on our bond with Lowella. He thinks it is a protective measure, activated instinctively by her latent powers and she can’t be hurt while someone she is bonded to is alive.

Neils pokes Lowella with a needle. On the same spot on his finger, it bleeds. Lowella is not hurt. Breaker gives him the eye.

Lowella now looks like an 18 yo tall, beautiful woman. She looks strong. She does have warforged components embedded under her skin, however.

Perhaps we can research at the wayfinder’s foundation and the university about the shadowfell and the dragon that is there. The dragon knows the speaker of the dead’s birth..and probably other things.

Hogar can ask the Wayfinder’s foundation about where to find a flame serpent.

We know of the Shadowfell because we can feel (have felt) the effects of various planes on Eberron. Like the Mournland.

Aldric is interested in going to the Xendric expedition.

What to do with Breaker and Lowella? Lowella is mentally a 11 yo.

We also found Lightning Armor and Boots of Speed in the mansion. Hogar takes the armor, and Neils takes the boots of speed.

Lowella is interested in coming with us. Breaker also agrees to come with us, look after Lowella. He laboriously gets to his feet. We ask if he is ok. He thinks he has been pushed too far. Bulwark looks him over…reminds him of other warforged that have fought days on end. They get worn down. It is a systemic wear…repair would basically mean a full rebuild; very risky.

While we were asleep, Breaker searched the mansion. A lot of Koro’s equipment were destroyed, but found enough for 175gp for each of us and three stone dragon statuettes with small dragon shards embedded in them….with a quick appraisal they ar eobjects of fairly valuable art..about 250gp each. Mild magical effect…protective…of the statuette only.

And Lowella gives us these 3 Ivory Songbirds. They look like little keepsakes. Not magical. About 100gp each.

Zel will hang on to them.

+175gp each

We finish resting over the course of a couple of days. Neils browses the library. What was Koro studying? Books on alchemy. Any books on warforged? Neils finds (lucky) a small journal that he must have gotten from his family that details the creation and maintenance of warforged, the binding spells the use of creation forges. But nothing on how to instill them with life.

As Bulwark reaches for a book on alchemy he feels a twinge in his arm.

-7 damage

Ah yes, Lowella is training with Breaker outside and he has scored a hit.

Bulwark’s book is about healing potions with secondary effects, most seem to go very wrong. No other books on the Mournland.

Zel goes into town and reads the Cornberg Chronicle. Trouble in the capital…rogue wizard Neils causes a scene in the Etc. There’s been talks about the councilors about what to do with wizards that haven’t received proper training.

In the world a new SilverFlame crusade in the demon wastes(in the west). They’d have to come through Fairhaven (Aundair) Zel remembers when they launched their crusade against lyncanthropes, making them almost extinct.

Zel shares the paper with us. Neils is outraged.

Zel laughs at Neils.

Neils sets Zel’s shirt on fire. Zel stop drops and rolls, gets up and pounds Neils.

Hogar’s hands starts feeling very warm as Lowella tries to bat out the flames.

Combat? Zel just punches Neils. Misses. Cools down.

Aldric wants to go to Thrane, to stop the Silver Flame from turning some people from becoming cannon fodder. But really to save his mentor.

What’s the plan? Aldric figures it’ll be along the lines of a jailbreak.

Zel also mentions local news that the peasants will be coming to the manor to see why no one has coming…Zel had tried to assuage their fears, but they didn’t believe him.

So, it’s time to leave soon.

Aldric asks Breaker….do we need to cover things up as we leave? Maybe for the best. We complete our extended rest and on our way out, Neils puts the manor on fire.

We head back to the lightening rail station… We get there…and…hmm…no passes for Breaker and Lowella. Also no ID to cross borders. Aldric starts thinking on that problem. We book passage to Fairhaven. Neils and Zel notice that when the clerk looks at him a bit before handing it back. As we sit to wait, we notice the clerk has disappeared briefly, and returns after a bit.

Aldric takes Lowella to go look at the tracks. Tries to distract Lowella. Neils finds himself alone.

After about an hour and a half later…Aldric sees a speck in the sky coming towards us. Probably the Aundarian Mage Corps.

The griffon lands outside the station. The other people are amazed. These are the heroes of Aundair. Kept them free from Thrane during the war.

The sword mage dismounts, strolls in. Addresses Neils and hands him a letter.

He has been commanded to appear before the Circle of Magi at the school before the fall session otherwise he will not be allowed to practice magic in the city.

Neils figures it is about time he got some recognition..

The mage says, with that attitude, he expects that from a Barak.

Family?

Mage says, your father tried to hide his shame. Or his mother? Dead at his father’s hand.

So this is the floating mage college. It floats above Lake Gallaher, with three towers suspended above the earth on three separate chunks of earth. It is one of the premier mage colleges. The fall semester begins in 3 months (which concides with the date of Neils’s appearance before the Magi).

Mage passes out through the crowd, remounts his griffon,and flies away.

The crowd wonders what the mage said to him, about what?

The train arrives. We hop on. Breaker buys a ticket for Lowella, and we go back to Fairhaven. Wayfarer foundation is closed. The party is hungry. The line at Et Cetera is much reduced.

The line at the Smiling Mutton is a bit better. We go to Et Cetera.

Diesel greets us coldly. Says, he didn’t know that Zel being owner was going to be so much trouble. He points to a dwarf in plate mail. It’s Zel’s fiance. Cateran Stonefist. She looks like a paladin of Colkerane.

Stonefist confronts Zel. Where has he been?? Didn’t he get the messages? His mother is getting married. To some goblin! Why not take it up with her father. He is gone…back to the anceteral homeland due to some trouble . Needs Zel to come back to Sharn with her.

Some back and forth bickering. Oh this is something of an arranged marriage honor between family. Isn’t he going to keep his word?

Eventually…

Stonefits shoves Zel. Into a table. Knocks some customer’s meal off.

Where was the mail? It was sent to the Smiling Mutton which we haven’t been back.

Is Zel coming or not? No? Fine, she’ll handle it herself. Stonefist storms out. Zel goes to get the mail.

Letter 1: Business is good, contacts among nobles. Scarves will be big this year. Missed your last letter. Cateran comes in often to look at the dresses. Probably make a good DIL. Missed your last letter Hope you’re alright. Father didn’t write much either on campaigns. Met the most interesting person today. Short little Goblin. Funny way of speaking. Think you’d like him.

Letter 5: Think I’m in love. You should come back home. Hope to hear for you soon.

Seems very weird to Zel. How would his mother even find a goblin?

So there’s that.

Aldric follows up with Cutthroat Charles to get a band together to help with the jailbreak in Flamekeep.

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Marked for Success!
(That's a good thing, right? Right??)

Session Date: 5/8/2012

(Neils/Seth is absent this session)

NOTE: No one actually died in the restaurant attack from the previous session.

We are still there eating our meals in the aftermath of the battle with Breaker and Renix, when a guard comes in to investigate the disturbance. Zel says it was the changeling, and doesn’t mention Breaker. Between Hogar (who keeps Breaker quiet) and Zel, they spin a fairly convincing story to the guard. They’ll put out an order for his arrest but…you know…

We discuss our options with Breaker.

Breaker will teach Bulwark how to steel his mind against Koro’s influence. He doubts Koro will flee and instead will probably do something with Lowella. Koro won’t leave his creation forge behind.

We wonder how Lowella will react to our rescue attempt. Breaker says Lowella has suffered under the Lord. She is also more mature now mentally than when we last saw her. He does not know if she is controlled by Lord.

Koro’s first experiments were finished (the addition of warforged components) and she is now faster, stronger than ever before. He now wants to waken her true powers as Speaker of the Dead.

Before Breaker left, he saw Koro round up the servants, but does not know what for. He does not know if he believes in the Speaker of the Dead.

We ask about the layout of the manor.

He describes the manor. Most of the other entrances are strongly warded. Aside from the main entrance, Koros had 6 warforged…but they are weaker, seemed wrong. Koro had also created some mechanical spider. There are no breathling guards.

We board the train headed towards Trevick Manor and continue to talk to Breaker. Despite exploring a few possibilities, it seems like the manor house itself is well guarded and a frontal assault seems to be the only real option.

Breaker will wait for her and us at the lightning rail station by his manor, since Koro’s control may make him more of a liability than an asset in our fight.

It is night. Aldric climbs up to a darkened room window on the second floor. He sees wards in there but they don’t look as well made as the ones on the ground floor. He tries to break the ward. He doesn’t set it off, but it doesn’t work. He thinks it is out of his league.

We try to sneak in the front door instead.

Zel kicks the door to check for traps, making quite a racket. No traps, apparently. She tries opening the door. It opens easily and we step in.

Up on the balcony we see Koro and Lowella. There are some warforged with staffs flanking them. They look strangely malformed.

There are some war forged on the ground floor as well, facing us.

Koro has two arms now. One is mechanical. He has been expecting us, and tosses an acid flask to start off the battle.

This was a pitched battle. The malforged on the ground floor weren’t too bad, but the staff-bearing ’forged cast lightning and thunder down on us, and that hurt. Also a mechanical spider emerges form the top of one of the trees outside. It has a lightning web attack and a painful bite.

Dailies are expended, as well as the Pearl, the Helm, and the Macetail.

As our foes dwindle in size, Koro tells Lowella to end this.

Ropes of black lightening shoots from her arms and grabs ALL of us (including Neils from outside) and pulls us together and it cuts down the remaining enemy malforged. We are connected by ropes of black lightening to Lowella, immobilized.

Koro thanks us for realizing her true potential. That she is made stronger by death. The servants had been killed/sacrificed in front of her. Now it is our turn. Bulwark mouths off to him and incurs his wrath. Bulwark loses a surge.

Aldric tries to talk to Lowella out of her trance/daze. Hogar and Bulwark intimidates Lowella, says Breaker is in danger. Zel tries to reason and persuade with diplomacy. The black lightning tightens aroundus and we are forced down to our knees. Each losing a surge. We try again to reach Lowella.

Aldric actually manages twists out of his bonds. Lowella screams being free….the black tentacle (previously holding Aldric) wraps around Koro and he disappears.

We are all drained of our surges and collapse.

Sometime later…Hogar wakes up first, in a strange bed. He sees us in beds around him, still unconscious. We may be in the servants quarters. He rouses us. We see blasted channels through the stone, through the walls, like bands of black lightening had whipped around the whole place.

We try the door and it opens.

Aldric hears a warforged singing a lullaby upstairs. The rest of the party also notices something strange on Bulwark. He now has the mark of Death, over his right chest.

We all feel terrible, but stable.

We head upstairs and arrive at Lowella’s room. The door is open. We see Breaker at her bedside and singing to her. Lowella is asleep.

Breaker tells us, when he found us, that we were all unconscious, as was Lowella. Koro was gone, the warforged were destroyed. He had waited for a day before coming, but we’ve been asleep for 4 days since.

Lowella has been sleeping…She has not awoken. Do we all know? About our marks? We check ourselves out and find that we all have mark of death.

As we sit and talk, Lowella starts to stir.

She sees us and is glad she didn’t “hurt” us.

She tries to get out of bed and stumbles, banging her knee. She doesn’t feel the pain, but WE feel it. We appear to have a link or bond with Lowella, though pain we feel is not experienced by her (it is a one way link?).

Breaker says we should rest here. No one else has come during this time.

We wonder what happened to Koro?

Neils thinks that Koro was enveloped by black lightning and…disappeared. Probably moved. Perhaps to another plane?

Zel feels that Lowella was channeling a divine power but not really in control, and just wanted Koro to go away, so she sent him away, subconsciously.

Zel convinces Lowella it isn’t her fault and gets a hug from Lowella. We decide not tell her what had happened to the servants.

We reach Level 7!

We search the manor and find some stuff which the DM will tell us about later. We take an extended rest too.

What next?

Aldric wants to find more about his role in being linked to Lowella and more the Speaker of the Dead.

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Beaten by the hand that feeds us
Oh, yeah, that whole "being a bastard thing..."

Session Dates: 4/17/2012 and 4/24/2012

4/17/2012 (reconstructed from partial data)

In order to keep the party together (and avoid being attacked from all sides), Bulwark, Neils, and Aldric all jump down into pit to join Zel and the Wordbearer goblin soldier. Hogar was left behind, lost in the underground warrens; we hear echoes of fists punching things. (Aaron was absent)

The large breathing creature is an odd pale dragon. No face, just very white skin. It seems to detect us nevertheless, however.

It was a hard fought battle. Neils is basically out of surges, though he did contribute greatly by wiping the acid-spitting minions gathered around the edge of the pit opening above us. We did not defeat the pale drake, as it phases out of the pit. It turns out that the goblin soldier was with the party sent by Twar Dukan. They had found the shard (which was in his hip pouch) but were set upon by the drakes on their way out. We decide to book it out of there. Before leaving, we did find +84gp each, an emerald statue of a macetail (which lets us summon a small dinosaur) and a chunk of amber.

We arrive back in the fortress on the eve of the siege. Because of the shard and the power it lends to her dirge song, Twar is able to grant us two standard actions during battle. We are attacked primarily by a very large bugbeast and a Captain Baumble. Zel does VERY well in battle, dodging all attacks and landing several critical hits. Bulwark does not fair as well, getting put down to the ground, and again into a pit. Thanks to Zel’s impressive opening round, though, we are able to defeat the bugbeat and Captain Baumble. The remaining enemy archers, caster, and Bladebearer commander do not pose as much of a challenge and the field is cleared in short order after that.

4/24/2012

We are on the bloody field of battle having killed the Bladebearer commander.

As we look around, we see the Wordbearer soldiers around us. As the dirge ends some of them clutch at their wounds and start falling.

Others are pursuing the Bladebearers into the mountains.

And others looking at us. They cheer.

Neils figures it is about time.

We return inside the fortress and get a heroes welcome.

Twar Dukan thanks us. Now,she thinks a new order will come to Goblinkind. A return to the Dakkan of old. In honor of this day, she will get her first mark. The story of our deeds.

She takes us to OldSkin, who is a most talented tattoo guy. We now have access to him now if we want a magic tattoo if we want one.

There is much celebration and drinking.

As we leave, Balgrim runs up to us. Where are we going? Many business opportunities here now. Valuable investment opportunities for investors! He looks at Zel expectantly.

Zel talks to Balgrim about the opportunities. Not impressed, declines.

We head back towards Fairhaven via rail. We need to discuss what to do about our employee and Lowella. Neils knows that mage bred creatures, once they reach their full grown status, live a long life.

We have a few choices:
- Sever the contract with Lord Vanwick.
- Continue in his service
- Kidnap and save Lowella.

The discussion is cut short when Aldric reminds us that there could be eavesdroppers (i.e. the shapeshifter in the Lord’s employ).

Eventually we pull into Fairhaven.

Zel wants to check out his business. We head there having only had Goblins rations so far so we want some “real” food.

They bought the place! It is next to the Smiling Mutton. We see Diesel all dressed up and fancy. The crowd inside is well dressed and enjoying their meal. The smell is divine.

As we walk past the Smiling Mutton, Orwin Lurd shouts…“Meal for five?” He pleads,“Please?”

We go in to Etectra. Zel chats up Deisel.

Apparently, Castle is a real good cook. Profit? Expenses are high but…they always are at first. The kitchen is extremely well lit.

Meal for Zel and friends? Sure! He waves us in.

As we walk in, we see Breaker rising from a table. Hogar realizes violence is imminent. Breaker crushes a red orb and sparks of magic shoot out and leap to separate points in the room. Two leap toward us, and another into a cluster of people and another towards the bar. Breaker draws his sword.

Neils can try to stop some of the sparks. He manages to snuff one of them out with his mind (one of the two coming towards us). Then the restaurant explodes into flames where the sparks went.

Deisel is out the door. Castle is screaming in the kitchen. The patrons are rushing out or down in fire.

Hogar shouds,“Something on your mind?”

Breaker mutters,“Your service is no longer required.”

(Turns out our speaking stone was eavesdropping the whole time)

He is not alone. We are flanked and attacked by a shapeshifter. Breaker is a TANK. We land hits, but he is not fazed. Hogar tries to attack the shapeshifter, misidentifies his target and hits Bulwark instead. Bulwark goes down after a few more hits from Breaker.

The rest of the party notices that Breaker is moving stiffly, as if against his will.

We Remember in the vision that Warforged were able to break out of the control. But only in moments of intense emotional distress.

Zel, Hogar, and Neils use diplomacy/intimate on Breaker, playing to his concern for Lowella and his hatred of being a slave to the Lord.

Aldric attempts a thieving check, flips onto Breaker’s back and sees an incision or scar at the base of his neck. He is thrown off before getting a chance to remove what is in there.

As the tide shifts, the shapeshifter flees, muttering “Half pay is good enough.”

Breaker drops his axe and drops to his knees. Tries to dig out the control component. (We talk him down)

Aldric jumps up again and digs out the component. He pulls out what looks somewhat like a small speaking stone.

Neils figures it can let Koros project his presence into Breaker’s mind.

We destroy both the speaking stone and the control component.

We check around for survivors, and stabilize them.

Breaker is still down; his mind is his own for the first time since ever.

He will join us.

We learn Koros has a working creation forge; received about two weeks ago. He has tried to create new Warforged, but they come out twisted and wrong. In constant pain.

Diesel returns and is like ZOMGWTFBBQ!!!

Zel tries to give him insurance advice and how to spin this as a way to get free publicity for business.

Paige Neverdown rushes in. We try to spin a positive story about how it was a magnificient magic show that got a bit too “real”. We get caught up on our own lies, and Paige has her own agenda anyway. The headlines will read: Neils the Magnificant goes rogue. Injures 9.

We go and restock our inventory.

+140gp each for goblin campaign

We buy Aldric a teleportaton whistle. We all chip in to make the purchase.

Breaker wants to help, but says he will be a liability in the fight against the Lord.

Next week: Onwards to Trevec Manor! Payback or bust!

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Partying like it's the last week before the siege
And a helpful flashback...

Session Date: 4/3/2012

Week Five of our stay at the Word Bearers’ fortress.

Group quest — Balgrim found something…speaking with these goblins and they have treasures of power and riches in a spot in Khyber. (We decide to pass on this — riches won’t help defend the fortress).

Easy — repair arms and armour
Medium — assist in dirge singing.
Medium — Block certain passes with rock slides.
Hard — raid a bladebearer supply cam and raze it

Aldric picks up passable goblin during this time.

Zel’s business when she gets back…things have gone well.

Hogar and Aldric will do the raid on the enemy supply camp.
Neils and Zel will sing dirges to boost morale.
Bulwark will help with rock slide ambushes.

Book translation stands at 11 days out, siege starts in 9.

We start off with dirge singing.

Neils and Zel go to Twar Dakkan, leader of Word Bearers, who has requested their help. She wants to plan a big inspiring feast. Zel should go around and collect funds from merchants to fund the event. Neils will help with the actual singing.

Zel convinces all the merchants to chip in for the feast, but he will need to organize a staff cooking staff since all the regular cooks have been pressed into service elsewhere. He pulls out some old Vanderbeck recipes and the goblins love it! The feast goes well, but in the middle the goblins demand a speech, in goblin. Zel charms them with his wit, even though he doesn’t speak goblin…some jokes are universal. Well done!

Bulwark sets out with a small engineering squad to set up some rock slides. This doesn’t go well. First, Bulwark and the engineers get into an argument about where to place the traps. The engineers want to ambush the forward elements of the Bladebearers, but Bulwark wants to hit their supply train. Bulwark intimidates them to attack the supply train. Unfortunately, they fail the rig. The rocks don’t fall when they are supposed to. Spontaneously, Bulwark claws his way up the mountain to force the rocks down upon the enemy. He takes some hits from the enemy during this maneuver and loses a healing surge. Half credit!

Aldric and Hogar are on the supply raid. They scout the camp and decide they can’t sneak past the sentries. They decide to wait for night, then kill them. They do very well. They’re slitting throats and sinking arrows into enemies. They find their way to the supplies, douse it in oil, and set it all on fire. Time to run! Unfortunately, they cannot outpace the pursuit! Also, around the corner, they find their escape path is blocked by a rock slide (doh). Fortunately, Hogar is able to climb over the rubble and pulls up Aldric with him. They escape.

Congrats to us! The siege now starts in 8 days, but book translation will be done in 4!

Part 5 of translation: The child needed to be born in the influence of the plane of Dolar, the shadow fell of the Dead. It was during the birth that the plan fell into ruin. As the mark of death was settling…the gates to Zoriat sprung up all over the empire and creatures came through. They took the child, which was now twisting into something horrible.

Oldskin miffed, says, “We…we…brought the invasion on ourselves? The mark of dead triggered the appearance of the gates?”

The party ponders the text. Hmm….the Lord’s daughter was born in Mournland….could that have been under influence of the shadow fell?

Twar Dakkan wants to speak with us.

She lives in a common house. No guards. She has the only unmarked skin we have seen in the city. When Hogar asks about this, she says that in the future the Word Bearers’ victories will be inscribed up on her clean skin.

She thanks us for our help, and offers us a gift in return…Bulwark gets Helm of Heroes!

She has another gift for us. She offers to sing a dirge for us, to see an important event to us, in the history. We agree. She starts singing and we fall into a trance. We feel ourselves settling into new bodies and new memories.

Vignette starts! (See separate previous post for character backgrounds)

Cthulu Dark system.

Ferrous and Maela (two Sentinels) are in Cyre, tracking a criminal — someone suspected of mage breeding humans (Koro d’Cannith is involved…Nadine Seryon also). This is an abomination. Highly illegal.

This area of Cyre is under the influence of Dolar. They track the suspects to an underground cave complex. They face many undead sentries, it seems.

Meanwhile, inside the cave complex, Koro and Nadine are there. Nadine is in labor with Koro’s child. Nadine’s trusted Midwife is attending; she has delivered mage-bred children before

Ferrous and Maela approach the ruins guarded by ghouls. They trick and distract the undead with some magic and enter the caves.

During this time, Nadine is giving birth. But unlike other times, it’s like this baby is the perfect child…there is no trouble at all, no fussing, no violence.

Koro, being the bastard he is, realizes that the midwife is now a liability, a witness. He excuses her from the room, tells her to retire for the night. As she leaves, Koro uses his thoughts to order one of the Warforged to follow her and make sure she stays in her room until he decides what to do. For that matter, he also realizes that Nadine has now served her purpose and is dispensable as well.

Suddenly something seems to swirl into being on the child’s shoulder. A mark appears. An aberrant mark! Koro feels his sanity pulled loose just a bit. No! It can’t be! Not this child! Not HIS child!

At the same time, everything seems to shift sideways. It’s almost like two realities have smashed together. We are completely disoriented…..there is howling in the air that we do not hear with our ears…the sky brightens….cackling…cries of the dead….

Visions of death cloud some of our minds.

Ferrous and Maela charge inside and meet a Warforged guard. The Warforged tries to charge Maela, but stumbles and Maela kills the warforged. Meanwhile, driven temporarily mad, Koro orders the earlier Warforged to kill the midwife. It complies.

Maela has heard of this in the dragon prophecies. They must hurry.

Nadine is feeling so weak…but she has prepared for this — this is not her first mage-bred birth after all. There are healing potions near her bed, but she needs Koro’s help to fetch them.

Koro sees an opportunity, lies to Nadine saying that she needs something stronger to help her, and leaves the room to rig another potion (poisoned). Nadine sees through ploy and balks. Suddenly, Koro tries to shove the potion down Nadine’s throat, but she uses magic to explode the potion. Some of the contents get into both of their mouths. Both Koro and Nadine fall into a drugged sleep.

Ferrous and Maela charge in. Maela looks at the mark on the child and sees that this is the one that could become the new Speaker of the Dead. A perfect child, born in the influence of Dolar. She knows how often it has gone wrong in the past. Ferrous just knows that mage breeding is bad but doesn’t know about draconic prophicies that Maela does. The child is almost growing before their eyes!

Ferrous tries to kill the child — the abomination — but two Warforged burst in and one pins her against the wall. Maela tears one Warforged apart with magic.

Koro and Nadine wake up.

Maela grabs the child and makes a run for it. In the hall, wraiths come out from walls. Ferrous tries to attack Koro but fails.

Ferrous is mind-controlled by Koro (he has that power over Warforged).

Maela tries magic against wraiths. Succeeds. She sends the wraiths back into the walls. The baby screams in his hands.

Nadine charges after Maela. She snatches the baby out of Maela’s hands. Maela’s arms stretch out (!) and grab the baby back.

Ferrous, under Koro’s control, steps out and tries to kill Maela but fights the control. He stops the attack just in time. Ferrous recognizes Nadine from investigation and reports; knows Nadine is a magebreeder.

Back in room, wells of shadows appear and skeletons of great hounds start pulling their way through. Koro runs out with his two remaining Warforged and gets pounced by the shadow hounds. He jumps out of the way into the brawl outside. One of the wraiths has the baby, though, and is carrying it out.

Ferrous kills one of the shadows. The one carrying the baby has left the room. We all chase after them. Maela starts transforming into a dragon! (Note, at this point, many of the characters’ “sanity” counter is so far gone, that this event is easily observed without remark or injury up on their sanity)

Nadine chases after them, outside into Cyre…which has turn into a blasted wasteland. Shadows dance in air…the sun is obscured. This was not the Cyre of just an hour ago!!

Ferrous attacks Koro, cleaves off his arm as he tries to block the strike. Ferrous gets piled by Koro’s warforged.

Koro orders one of Warforged to bring him a healing potion and he takes it. But something is wrong. Koro’s wound erupts into flame! This stops the bleeding but leaves black burn marks all over his shoulder and face. Oddly enough, he feels great and powerful — better and stronger than he’s ever felt before! He tosses the Warforged aside — incidentally putting his hand through its chest and killing it.

Maela is now a female silver dragon, trying to grapple the wraith with the child…the child falls to the ground. As she kills the shadow hound…from around her more creatures spring up. She is slammed aside as they pile her.

Ferrous attacks Nadine, but Nadine blocks the strike and Ferrous just ends up cutting deeply into her face. Nadine’s magical failsafe triggers, and she disappears. Ferrous goes insane!! Nothing makes sense! His partner (Maela) is a dragon!?? His brethren Warforged are mind-controlled?! What has happened to Cyre?!? It is too much!

Under the strain, Ferrous realizes that the only way to stop such abominations is to ERADICATE ALL BREATHLINGS FROM THE WORLD! They are the cause of all that is wrong!

Ferrous, tells the remaining Warforged to join him but K’s last remaining Warforged refuses!

In a desperate bid, Maela decides to pull all the shadow hounds down into the under world with her. She is actually Denandran the Silver Dragon. She and the shadows are sucked into the gate away from the child. Maela is now in Dolar (shadowfell). Once there the shadows break away to find another way. She doesn’t have the strength to get back.

Meanwhile, Ferrous (Lord of Blades!) storms off into the blasted wastelands of Cyre. Koro and his last Warforged (now referring to itself as Breaker) leave with the child. They emerge into Breland. Behind them, a wall of mist slams down, sharply delineated at the border. Cyre has become Mournland.

Ferrous becomes the Lord of Blades. The only beings that can be trusted are Warforged…except Breaker. Hmm, Ferrous figures he should have Breaker killed at some point. He sets out into the Mournland to gather survivors and finds Koro’s creation forge. It seems he can use it despite not having the mark of making.

Denandran, the dragon (Maelan) knows that the child will have to come to Dolor. Whethers he will be here to control it or help it, she is not sure.

Koro knows he needs to lay low. The mark on his child worries him, but he needs to put Warforged components in her soon, to continue his project.

Nadine…her face is torn asunder…is back in Mournland, surrounded by hundreds of insane mage bred children. She feels safe there.

The song fades and we are back in our own minds and bodies we now recognize them as Lord Vanwick (our employer), Breaker, Lowella.

Hogar ponders the perfection of self….the blood of vole….pursuing inner
perfection, sounds like the mark of being. Hogar is unsettled by implications of his religion.

Zel thinks he can save Lowella. Be a hero!

Aldric needs to decide who to support…or kill Lowella.

The last section of the book is translated:

The Dakanni has nearly fallen now though the Zoriat forces have been pushed back and the gates sealed. So many souls failed to continue on the journey due to the failure of the creation of the speaker of the dead. The followers are blamed and being hunted down. But it is clear another speaker of the dead is needed so this text is copied and sent elsewhere….being sent across Ebberon to keep it safe and to help others on this quest.

Now the question is…will we continue to support the Word Bearers?

If we decide to help she needs dragon shards to sing a dirge during the siege.

We decide to help! (Over Neils’s objections)

Now, regarding the mission Twar needs us to do. She has already sent a group of gathers and hunter down to find it, but they have not returned. They knew of a place where a dragon shard as large as a goblins heart grew from a cavern wall. She needs it.

It is deep in Khyber. If we can do this…we get an extra standard action a turn!

We head into the tunnels, back through the old city.

The ruined city is very quiet.

Very dark. We come into an area of branching caverns and tunnels. The silence is broken. Around us from all sides is an undulating scream, ripped form an inhuman form. We break and run as a primal fear strikes us.

The cackles chase us through the passages. They are driving us somewhere. We can’t fight the fear.

Zel outpaces the light source and falls as the floor falls away. Takes 11 damage as he falls not a pit of sharp splintering bone. Hears something breathing. Something large. A voice whispers. “Don’t move. It can see you when you move.”

The rest of us find ourselves at the edge of a large pit in a large cavern with many entrance. We can see Zel. Also there is a hobgoblin soldier, in bad shape.

With the light shining down there…some shadows look wrong, as if cast from another light source (except that there are none).

And that’s when we see them. At the edge of the light. They look like raptors (drakes). We are surrounded by the hunting pack of drakes.

To be continued…

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Dirge Song Characters

Koro d’Cannith- You are an ambitious lord of house Cannith, with a powerful mark of making on your right arm. You are in your late 30s. You have allied with Nadine Seryon to create a magebred child strong enough to fulfill your goals of inserting warforged components into a living human, making them greater than the sum of both their parts. You think accomplishing this feat will secure your position as the greats of Cannith’s makers, and once you have control of the house your real rise to power can begin. Nadine thinks you love her due to an elaborate ruse you have concocted, after having your spied find her and they confirmed that she was part of the magebred human program. You romanced her over several months, coldly calculating the right moments in order to turn her to your will. The fool is hopelessly in love with you, but you will discard her once her role in securing your greatness is finished. You have control over 4 warforged servants, and can override their thoughts with controls you have implanted.
Goal- To secure yours and your newborn daughter’s escape from Cyre. No one else really matters to you.
Good at- Alchemy,forging,arcana,lying, knowing things you shouldn’t, being a bastard
Meta goal- Lose your right arm.

Nadine Seryon- You are a member of house Vadalis by nature of the Mark of Handling you possess. However you are of the Seryon line, a secret conspiracy within the house that practices the forbidden magic of magebreeding humans. House Vadalis only acknowledges that magebreeding can be done to animals, making them stronger, faster, more attractive and quicker to reach maturity. You however, know that this can also be done to human and have done so yourself many times. The magebred humans you have created and seen created so far have been physically ideal but their minds have been broken and warped. They have survived and in their own way, thrived in a hidden enclave inside Cyre. You theorized that the only way to properly magebreed a human is to carry it yourself, and work the magics through your own mark into your child. You love Koro d’Cannith who has supported your dreams of creating a perfect human. It is his daughter that you are pregnant with, and the time has come for her to be born.
Goal: Successfully escape from Cyre with Koro and your new daughter.
Good at- magic, paranoia, conspiracies, secrets, fooling yourself into believing something is true
Meta goal- Go absolutely insane and go to the hidden enclave to raise all those magebred children as your own.

Maela Truthsworn- You are a female silver dragon named Drenandryn who has murdered and taken the form of a human sentinel warden named Maela Truthsworn. She was a member of House Denieth and bears the mark of warding. Sentinel wardens are international law enforcers, authorized by the ancient Galifar code of justice to hunt down lawbreakers wherever they might hide. You have taken this form in order to partner with Ferrous, the warforged sentinel who you know from the dragonmark prophecy will be the one to lead you to the child who could become the new speaker of the dead. You are a much better researcher than you are a criminal investigator or fighter. You have not interacted as much with lesser racers in the entirety of your multi millennial life as much as you have in the last few days. The world is strange and overwhelming to you, but you know you must try and grasp this chance to make your own mark on the prophecy,
Goal: take the child and raise her to fulfill your interpretation of the prophecy.
Good at: changing shape, lying, history, geography, magic, being a dragon
Meta goal: Pass through a gate into Dolurrh, prepare for the child’s eventual arrival there.

Ferrous- You are a male oriented warforged who bears the mark of warding, the only warforged to bear a mark of any kind as far as you know. You have long been a subject of curiosity but house Deneith took you in as one of their own. You have served as a sentinel marshall for years, and are much more comfortable tracking a wanted criminal then you are being in any kind of company. Sentinel wardens are international law enforcers, authorized by the ancient Galifar code of justice to hunt down lawbreakers wherever they might hide. You have been assigned a new partner recently, Maela Truthsworn, who has been helping you track down rumors of human magebreeding. If this vile crime has been perpetrated, you will need to bring justice down upon the criminals who had done so. You are extremely proud of your record as a marshal, and have brought in more dangerous felons than any 3 other sentinels combined. You are starting to look down on the other races for the crimes they commit. You have never had to track down a warforged, after all.
Goal: Bring to justice anyone committing the crime of magebreeding and their accomplices.
Good at: fighting, tracking, intimidating, being a lone wolf, not examining your misperceptions
Meta goal: Be so repulsed by the actions of breathlings that you resolve that the only way to have true justice in the world is for them to be destroyed. Sway other warforged to this point of view.

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Paige Neverdown Interview

An exclusive interview with the owner and chef of the newest restaurant in Fairhaven
by Paige Neverdown

It’s a true tale of rags to riches for the owner of Etcetera, the trendiest new restaurant in Fairhaven. Diesel, the owner and representative for the chief investor, made his start in the slums of Fairhaven. After serving in the Aundairian army on the Thrane front, he came home at the end of the war to find their were few jobs for a man of his talents. During the war he had served as a ratcatcher in the reserves, making sure the food shipped to the front went into the bellies of our brave servicemen and not to vermin. After a tough time trying to establish himself as a name in the culinary scene for years, he says his luck started to turn around recently when the ruffians who had infested the old cathedral district were run out of town.

Paige Neverdown: So tell me, how did you come up with the idea for Etcetera? What inspired you to create the innovative cuisine you serve?

Diesel: Well, the ways and whys of it is pretty plain. There ain’t much call for no spiced rat in the city no more so’s an inspirin’ business type man must needs meet the demands of his clienteles. As for the fancy grubbins that’s mostly the work of my chef, Castle.

PN: Of course, and we have Castle here. Where did you learn to cook Mr… Oh umm, how embarrassing I don’t have your last name.

Castle Roderick?: My name is Roderick, yeah Roderick and it always has been and there never was another Roderick and certainly not one who died impaled on spikes and no ma’am that never happened and my name is Castle Roderick and I learned to cook in the military but I wasn’t a good soldier no but I’m a good chef and and and hahaha.

PN: Yes. Well. Umm.

D: Oh don’t mind him none he just ain’t so good with people askin’ him questions. He just works in the kitchen and if sometimes he breaks down when they push a roast pig onto the spit don’t make him any less of a man.

CR: Sobbing

PN: Perhaps we could talk about this chief investor who provided you the funds to start your restaurant?

D: Yeah well, that’s my partner and chief financialer type man, Zel Vanderbeek. Yeah and maybe he didn’t like invest in it persay, but it turns out that the Vanderbeek name will get you in a lot of places. Nice places. Banks.

PN: Wait, I thought he had invested?

D: You could call er that, yessum. He just don’t know about it yet. Nor the money he owes. But Etcetera is really taking off! And I gots more plans beyond this one. Diesel ain’t plannin’ on stoppin with just one business no sir. You gots to diversify your holdin’s, and i plan to do just that. I’ll do right by the Vanderbeek name!

PN: There you have it folks, Diesel and Castle, names that have already set the food world alight here in Fairhaven, and apparently they won’t be stopping there! Thank you very much gentlemen!

D: Bring your fancy lady dates to Etcetera! Ain’t no rats to scare em cept on the menu!

CR: We don’t ever turn the lights off. Ever. They stay on! Always! The light!

Transcription provided thanks to House Sivis transcription stones

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The Wordbearer Fortress
(collecting war assets)

Session Date: 3/20/2012

Last time we collected 6 Blademark tattoos and Neils pries some scales off the wyvvern.

We have arrived at the fortress stronghold of the Wordbearers. While imposing at first sight, a second look shows it is not kept well. Probably due to lack of manpower.

The goblin archers posted on the walls see us approach, but they don’t bother us. We are obviously not Bladebearers.

A goblin guard hails us. Balgrim pushes to the front. Says he’s there to trade. Kind of insults them. Zel tries to smooth things over.

We show the signet ring and tattoos. They let us in to speak with Thunder Sparkstone, the war chief hobgoblin. We walk down into a natural cavern.

The song of the Wordbearer dirge echos in the cavern. We are the only people in sight who are not covered in tattoos. There are even some humans and dwarves there. They do not appear to be slaves. Some of them even have tattoos.

We see militia training. Go there. They are training for battle, but not doing well. Not enough veterans to put a spine in the force.

We are recognized as definitely made of sterner stuff.

Thunder Sparkstone is grizzled veteran, with an eyepatch. He is shouting commands down from his office as we enter.

He turns and looks at us. Asks what we are here for.

We learn that Oldskin is their foremost scholar. In the library.

The library is more of a giant warehouse. Boxes of books scrolls and relics stacked high. Not the original storehouse for these works. We see robed goblins and hobgoblins scurrying around.

We see the oldest hobgoblin we’ve ever seen.

Neils talks to him. Oldskin keeps reading.

Has to raise his voice to get his attention. Shows him the book. He grabs it and scans it. Fascinating….but can’t read it. Looks like a holy book, ancient text. He can translate it for us…about six weeks.

We agree for him to keep the book in exchange for the translation.

It looks like they are packing things up to ship. He says the city isn’t what it once was. With the threat of the bladebearers…….they have to be ready to leave again. So packing the most important things. Expect us to be under siege in four weeks.

Oldskin doesn’t intend to leave…. Will die there.

What happened to the rest of the city? There was a collapse of the cavern wall and khyber horrors emerged. Had to collapse the ceiling to cut them off.

As he understands it the bladebearers decided it was time to unite the empires. Submit or die.

With some hasty repairs, the walls can be made sound again.

Ok, so we will have week long projects to work on. To help with the siege. Easy, medium, and hard. And quests. These can delay the siege or speed translation.

42 days to translate, siege in 28 days.

Week one: Train militia with shield — easy
Assist Oldskin — Medium
Build siege — medium
Scout nearby mountains — hard
Prepare safe refuges in mountains — medium

Hogar, Aldric helps with walls
Neils, Zel assists Oldksin.
Bulwak trains troops

Bulwark trains the militia = pushes back siege by 1 day.
Neils and Zel — run around fetching stuff on a list. Wasted some time yelling at scribes, but find some of the material. Push siege back by one day.

Hogar and Aldric do Walls — Hauling stone. Also build siege engines.

After one week. Siege in 23 days, and translation 34 days.

Oldskin has translated a portion of the book.

Talks about the goblins god as the Gatherer unaligned and responsible for gathering the dead into into the next stage of realm. Much maligned, worship of this god is frowned upon. Worshipers don’t worship death but rather the continuing journey.

Zel shows his hammer. Oldskin calls over a scribe. He has a tattoo like in the temple. That is Zoriat’s Bane. Forged to help fight the invasion of Zoriat that brought down the temple. Wielded by one of the greatest warriors.

Zoriat is another plane of existence. Mercurial changing chaotic plane alien to our existence.

Week Two

Easy — train goblins in archery.
Medium — Scout for hidden Khyber entrance and secure them.
Medium — Convince Balgrim to go back to the city and supply the citadel.
Medium — help alchemists collect ingredients.
Hard — Raid slave caravan and recruit the freed slaves to their cause.

Neils and Hogar scout for Kyber entrance
Zel talks to Balgrim
Bulwark helps alchemists
Aldric trains archers.

Training archery — Kills one goblin on accident, but serves as a motivation for others.
Searching for khyber entrance — Hunt and find a section of the city there is an opening in a cellar that leads down and down and down. They collapse it.
Convincing Balgrim to supply the city — Zel does well with economic theory. But Zel has to go with Balgrim to open the trade route.
Alchemy — Bulwark collects and brews potions. Going well. Got poisoned a bit when he tries some of their brew.

Slave caravan didn’t go well. The warriors sent out didn’t come back.

After that week +4 siege. Siege in 20 days, translation in 27 days.

More translation: The gods only speak through heavenly intermediaries who pass it on to the worshipers. The chief intermediary…the speaker of the dead is gone, but his position is unfilled.

This is heresy!

Oldksin…hm…maybe this is why we don’t worship the gods anymore. After what happened to the empire. Makes sense.

After two weeks Neils picks up passable goblin…

The dirge sings of their history, the loss of the empire and how it will be great once again. Terem Dkhan…fated to lead the empire to greatness…….greatest dirge singer. No mention of gods.

Week Three

Group quest. Oldskin wants us to retrieve a tome to help. It is in the sealed section of the city. Probably in the hands of the khyber monstrosities. Will probably be facing dholgants and dolgrims. This is in the old library.

Easy — construct traps and place around citadel.
Medium — Supply caravan escort and bring in the farmers
Hard — convince another clan to help them.

The tome is known as the Emerald Tome of the Devourer.

We decide to all go together to get the tome.

We slip into the ruined half of the city through a large boulder-sealed tunnel.

We stealth our way to the old library. See carrion crawlers, hook horrors, slimes, stuff like that.

As we enter the old library. We see robed creatures but the bookshelves are filled with burned books. At a desk, we see a dolgant behind it. It is looking through a pile of books. As it touches a book, it catches the fire…but the dolgant keeps reading.

Behind it is an emerald tome that is untouched.

They ignore us at first.

We try to speak with them, but they accuse us of being ….bookworms? Combat begins

Hogar recognizes the librarian is a monk..

Aldric tumbles to the book (thrown by the librarian) and picks it up.

As Hogar kills the library his tattoo swarms up Hogar’s arm and settles into a fire snake and goes dark.

We win. We get the book. Reach milestone…..get action point , We get surges = CON + 1

Noise in the combat stirs up the creatures in the street, so we hide out a bit. We can heal up.

Neils gets the book (it grants him powers).

Hogar gets an odd tattoo. He thinks if he dipped his arm with tattoo into the blood of the creature it resembles (fire snake) it may grant some power.

When we get back to the city…….have to sing that dirge as the passphrase to get back through. Neils does good enough. We get back in again.

We get back to the storehouse. Oldskin wants the book. Will give it back after a week.

How did other things go?

They lose the clan allies (couldn’t convince them to stand with them). But we got 5 days on translation.

Translation snippet.

Because the speaker of the dead is gone, they can’t talk to god directly. The souls of the dead are not being sent on the journey but kept in holding until a new speak is found so the gathers will will be known once more. The worshippers have tried to create a new speaker of the dead.

Week Four

Group quest — to protect outlaying fortification from attack.
Easy — lead the militia in mountain drills.
Medium — rig bridges in mountains to fall.
Hard — Poison wyverns in caves so they can’t be used.
Hard — Search kyber for dragon shards for use with rituals to commune with dead scholars for insight into book.

Aldric and Hogar poison wyverns
Zel and Neils do bridges
Bulwark trains the militia.

We all succeed and also the fort holds.

11 book days for translation, 9 for siege.

Heading into week 5.

Translation.

To create a new speaker, the worshipers need an exemplar of a species. A natural born creature. The leaders figure they need to channel the power of the unformed plane Zoriat into an unborn child. This creates chaotic mutability and allows the individual to take the position of the speaker of the dead so they can hear the words of the gatherer.

Week Five

Group quest — Balgrim found something while speaking with these goblins and learned they have treasures of power and riches…in a spot in khyber.

Easy — repair arms and armour
Medium — assist in dirge singing.
Medium — Block certain passes with rock slides.
Hard — raid a bladebearer supply camp and raze it

Aldric picks up passable goblin language skills.

Zel’s business when she gets back….things have gone well.

Hogar and Aldric will do the raid.
Neils and Zel will sing dirges.
Bulwark will help with rock slides.

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Book of the Gatherer

Part 1
This section of the text talks about the Goblin’s god, translated into common as The Gatherer. This god is unaligned, and is responsible for gathering the dead into his realm so that they can move on to the next stage of existence. Most people frown on the worship of this god, and his adherents are much maligned. Those who hold true to his teachings do not worship death, they worship the idea of a continuing journey.

Part 2
The Silence of the Gatherer. The sect acknowledges the fact that their god is silent, and disputes the fact that any other god speaks directly to any worshipper. Gods only speak through heavenly intermediaries, who then pass down these commands to the worshippers on Eberron. The Gatherer’s chief intermediary, the one they call the Speaker of the Dead, is gone. How this came to be they do not know. They only know that his position in the heavens is unfilled.

Part 3
Because the Speaker of the Dead is gone, they cannot communicate with their god directly. The other intermediaries in heaven are also unable to communicate with the Gatherer. The souls of the dead are not being sent on the eternal journey that they should be. They are being kept in holding until a new Speaker of the Dead is found, so that the Gatherer’s will might be known once more. Because of this the worshippers have tried to create a new Speaker of the Dead.

Part 4
To create a new Speaker of the Dead the worshippers found that they would need to have an exemplar of a species. No naturally born creature would do. Their leaders in the sect surmise that in order to create this perfect goblin specimen they would try to channel the power of the unformed plane, Xoriat, into an unborn child. This would create the conditions for chaotic mutability, which would allow them to craft an individual that would be perfect enough to take up the position of Speaker of the Dead, so that the words of the Gatherer could be heard once more.

Part 5
The perfect goblin child needed to be born in a specific place, so that the power of the Gatherer would be able to manifest in it. It needed to be born in an area under the influence of Dolurrh, the shadowfell, the realm of the dead. This would allow the mark of death to be branded onto the child, a sign of the child’s future importance. It was during the birth of the child that their plans fell into ruin. At the moment of the child’s birth, as the mark of death solidified on the squalling child’s perfect skin, gates to the plane of Xoriat sprung up across the Dhakaani empire. Creatures pushed through these gates and invaded Eberron. The child itself was corrupted by this planar influence, creatures springing forth from nothingness to devour those present, and then carrying it off, it’s perfect form twisting into something hideous in their hands.

Part 6
The Dhakaani empire has nearly fallen now, though the forces from Xoriat have been pushed back and the gates sealed. So many souls have been kept from proceeding on their journey because of the failure to create a new Speaker of the Dead. It has been determined that the worshippers of the gatherer are responsible for this invasion and they are being hunted and cut down. It is crucial however that another Speaker of the Dead must be created, and so copies of this text have been secreted across Khorvaire and beyond, priests of the Gatherer making dangerous treks across the oceans to keep this text safe. It is hoped that those who come after will not repeat the same mistakes, but will be able to bring a new Speaker of the Dead safely into the world.

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Bearing word to the Wordbearers
And the many gray shades of heroism

Session Date: 3/11/2012

Last time we learned that the Wordbearers and Bladebearers are the two major clans in the city. Aldric via streetwise gleans that Bladebearers are on the rise. They are very aggressive and expansionist.

The ruler is named Lhesh Harucc. He has united the clan of the Guldar under his banner. These are the tribes of the plains.

The Marguul clan control the jungles.

The Bladebearers, although claiming to uphold the ideals of the former Dhakanni civilizatiion don’t seem to hold some aspects in high regard, e.g. they keep slaves. They have been known to destroy ancient ruins. But they do have the captured knowledge of several clans, and currently have their sights on the Wordbearers.

Wordbearers are not expansionist. Major export are their musical historians. Have tattoos denoting their history. It is said that they hold true to the old ways.

Balgrim agrees to take us to the palace. Claims to have many important friends.

Aldric thinks supporting the WordBearers long term helps.

We decide to talk with the Wordbearers. Balgrim, says yes yes weaklings probably need our help.

Takes us to palace to meet clan dignitaries.

King is a hobgooblin, except Marguul, which are ruled by bugbears.

Wee are getting a lot of stares as we walk but Balgrim is keeping them at bay.

Balgrim bribes the guards a lot, and gets us in with our weapons.

He eventually gets us in to see a hobgoblin named Rhone Dremal. A female dirge singer. Tattooed. Shows sscenes of battle between goblin armies and Zoriaat abominations which we recognize from the ruined temples. Keeps a small hand drum on her belt.

Neils rudely stares and studies the tattoo.

Zel says wee are here to seek guidance in translating this book (we show her).

Rhone recognizes it as an ancient artifact. Surpriseed to find it outside of Darguun. She is not a linguist, but there are those are among the Wordbearers.

Can find them in the stronghold of Volar Draal in the Seewall Mountains (which we crossed 4 days ago on foot). But the way has grown dangerous…due to Bladebearers. Her people are not able to mount patrols outside of their city for fear of attacks.

Translation will likely take time. We’d be more welcome if we killed some Bladebearers along the way.

We can help gain goodwill by training their military.

Unfortunately, she cannot send a guide but can provide a map and letter of introduction.

Balgrim offers to sell us supplies, and ddecides to coomewith us to open new chaiin with Wordbearers.

We get back the book and a token of good will/introduction (her signet ring), and map.

House Dennith and House of Finding have a presence here. As we leave her room, Balgrim offers to take us to Bladebearer dignitary, but we decide not to.

We buy some basic rations from Balgrim.

We head west out of the city towards the mountains.

Balgrim rides on the conjured disc.

As we head west. We don’t pass many people. On a small trail. Spend the first night in a “safe” area.

The next day we are travelling a long stretch of road when we come across a slave caravan. 6 gobblins and a hobgoblin, with cages women children men, human….Sirian refugees. Look poorly treated.

Balgrim abhors this. Tells us to kill them. He knows master. Very bad. The slavers have a purple patch…mark of a merchant house. We wonder if he is a competitor?

As we pass, the people in the caravn cry out for help.

Zel wants to help and advances. The rest of us step aside and Zel hesitates. The caravn passes us by. The slaves’ sobs fade in the distance as we keep walking.

We continue onwards and start ascending the a mountains after a few days. The way iis difficult. Bulwark and Hogar get caugght in a rock slide and lose a surge each.

We spot a goblin with a bow hiding behind an upcropping. Hogar and Aldric note bowman has a blade mark on his arm.

Goblin sniper does something. We hear a shriek. Neils says that sounds like a wyvern. Large predators with a poison stinger and can fly.

Goblin pushes tree over edge and hits Bulwark and Neils.

General combat. Bad rolls on our side, but we win.

We collect 6 blademark tattoos from the bodies and Neils pries some scales off the wyvvern.

Enemies aren’t carrying much. Seem to be just be a patrol out to stop allies…like us.

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