Difonix: Living Zimerhelq

Wednesday Session 7/22/15
Sweep the leg!

Sir Andred Trellic kneels down to administer a healing potion to the fallen dwarf, Corkscrew. As he helps the dwarf up, he addresses Sereg, “We have the fight under control and your party looks to be in need of healing. Perhaps it is time you return and rest.” Unable to see any remaining giants, Sereg finally relents.

“Your assistance has been a great help to me, as always,” Lady Indilwen thanks Sir Trellic.

“My help is yours, my lady. Always,” he replies, reaching for her hand and planting a reverent kiss upon it. “For you truly are my valkyrie.” Indilwen preens under the attention while the party gathers to depart.

Descending (down) into the town, Indilwen announces that they’re headed for the Mithoi School. Kael is able to grant them access and Indilwen asks to see Flynn Mithoi. Flynn arrives shortly, wrinkling his nose at the dirty, bloody, battle-worn group dirtying the carpets.

“Sir Mithoi,” Indilwen begins. “I must ask you for a boon…”

“Wine,” Corkscrew interrupts. “Then bed.”

“Of course, you are welcome to rest here,” Flynn replies, signaling a servant to bring wine. “Master Corkscrew, I believe we have one of your best vintages.”

“Sure you do,” Corkscrew enigmatically replies1.

As wine is poured, Indilwen explains. “My retainers are being held for ransom, and I don’t have time to obtain the funds from Amberilla. I was wondering if I might beg the assistance of House Mithoi.”

“How much?” Flynn asks. “And when do you need it?”

“Eight hundred gold,” Indilwen replies. “By noon tomorrow.”

Flynn’s eyes widen. “I have to admit that I don’t have that amount immediately available in coin. However, would a number of (100gp) pearls suffice?”

Indilwen agrees and the group begins to retire to their rooms. Before resting, Indilwen composes a letter to her father requesting reimbursement for House Mithoi.

The next morning, healed and rested, the group breaks their fast at the Mithoi School. Sophos eschews the use of any silverware, much to Flynn’s horror. Indilwen thanks Flynn for his assistance, and the party heads out in search of Sir Kinndyr Davvydq.

As they make their way through Dagger Rock, the group finds the townsfolk cleaning up in the aftermath of the previous night’s battle. Indilwen picks her way through the debris and unwashed bodies, nose in the air, when she feels a tugging at her leg. She screeches in fright, startling the small, half-elven(ish) girl at her feet. The girl’s large, steel-colored eyes begin to tear, as Indilwen composes herself.

“I’m so sorry, dear,” she comforts the girl. “You startled me.”

“It’s okay,” the child replies, evidently recovered. Inexplicably, her eyes widen even farther. “Are you a princess?!”

Indilwen laughs, “Well…basically, yes!” The two chatter about princesses until the girl hears her name called.

“Krystal! Are you bothering the lady?” asks an odd-looking halfling as he walks up. Skinny, his hair is pulled into a top-knot atop his head and pouches adorn his clothing.

“Sir Davvydq!” Indilwen exclaims. “We’ve been looking for you.”

“What?!” Kinndyr replies. “Who? When? I didn’t do it!”

“I was told you could lead us to the tunnels beneath the Dagger Rock,” Indilwen explains.

“Nope, not me,” Kinddyr says innocently. “I don’t know about any tunnels.”

“Me neither!” Corkscrew contributes1.

“Please,” Indilwen says to the halfling. “I’m in great need. Grog sent me to you.”

Kinddyr’s eyes narrow. “Well I suppose I may be able to help.”

“Very good,” Indilwen replies. “We will return shortly. First, we have business at the Dagger Rock.”

The party heads towards the river, with the intent of dropping the ransom in the slot beneath the Dagger Rock. At its nearest point, the rock lies 160 feet from the shore. Raven announces that he will swim the box of pearls out. Indilwen agrees and passes the box of pearls to the lieutenant.

His armor removed and armed with only a dagger, Raven swims for the Dagger Rock. He makes it almost halfway out before the group on the shore sees a finned creature in pursuit.

“Bunyip,” Sereg mutters, drawing his bow. The other elves follow suit, as well as Dragas. Arrows fly towards the creature, Indilwen’s scoring a hit as the bunyip’s body rises above water level. Unsure of how to assist without a ranged weapon, Corkscrew is hit with a heroic inspiration. Slicing his palm, he jumps into the river, allowing his blood to infuse the water and hopefully attract the creature’s attention2.

Dragas lands a hit with an enchanted arrow on the bunyip, scaring the creature off, and Raven is able to make it to the rock. Corkscrew pulls himself from the water and asks Indilwen if she will wrap his wounded hand. The lady tends his wound, steeling her expression of disgust at having to touch the sopping wet, uncouth dwarf.

Meanwhile, Raven investigates the drop slot on Dagger Rock. He finds something strange, and calls back to the group. “There’s something unusual with the drop slot!”

“Just make the drop, Lieutenant!” Indilwen yells back, annoyed. “We’re on a deadline!”

“Something strange?” Corkscrew calls. “I might be able to help. You know, like how I open wine bottles and crates and stuff.”3 Corkscrew and Dragas take a raft over to assist Raven, while the elves choose to remain on the shore.

Corkscrew finds an opening beneath the drop slot that opens into a water-filled room. For the second time, the dwarf willingly splashes into the water. He finds that a string had been rigged to break if the door was opened. He also discovers a portion of the room’s floor where the sandy bottom has been disturbed. Pulling aside a tarp, he retrieves HIS large, heavy box, which he passes up to Raven and Dragas. Replacing the broken string, the dwarf leaves the ransom drop, and the three raft back to shore.

Meanwhile, Sereg and Indilwen have found common ground, speaking quietly about the ineptitude of the lower races. Surprised by the apparent moment of peace between them, Sophos immediately becomes suspicious and begins to look around. He happens to see a human taking a particular interest in the party’s activities. As Corkscrew loads HIS box on to the raft, the human’s eyes widen and he turns to leave. Sophos takes off after him. Catching up, the monk “sweeps the leg,” sensing at the last moment to aim lower. The human’s body appears to flicker, and a gnome sprawls to the ground before his illusion snaps back into place.

Back on the shore, Corkscrew utilizes those “winemaking” skills3 of his to pop open HIS box, revealing a number of bags. He swipes his dagger across the tops of the bags, opening them all to reveal 3,000 gold Zimerhelqian coins.

1 This is not sarcasm, it is completely legitimate (roll insight).
fn2. As deliciously as possible. that line was left out
fn3. I’m a legitimate businessman, this is legit. Tell the guards to go away.

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Wednesday Game Between-Session RP April/May 2015
Who knew Sereg had so much to say?!

Memorializing the between-session RPing we did on the forum as part of the adventure log so it’s all in one place.

After slapping Sereg across the face, Indilwen scrambles to her feet, rather ungracefully.

“This is amlug’muk *,” she proclaims, with even less grace and clearly upset. “I’m going to find my retainers.”

And with that, Indilwen stalks off.

“Oh.” She pauses, without turning around. “Someone else will have to heal the dwarf.” And she continues towards the ramp down into Dagger Rock proper.

*For our purposes, amlug’muk translates to the Common equivalent of “bullshit”. It’s a messy interwebs translation of “dragon feces”.

Bearclaw falls to a knee thrusting his sword into the ground. Exhausted, bruised and bloodied he raises his arms and proclaims, “Tyr! Tyr! Thank you for giving us the strength to vanquish our enemy!” Bearclaw rises and looks over his shoulder to give an approving nod to Sir Trellic, whom he knows pretty much saved everyone’s posteriors. He then surveys the field and sees Dragas and Sophos standing strong, true friends till the end. He also sees the crumpled body of Corkscrew. Oh ..dear dwarf.. if i had only found my courage earlier. To his puzzlement he also sees the half drow teacher from town. What the hell are you doing here? In the distance he can see Sereg who appears to be having words with Indilwen. No surprises there. Gathering his remaining strength Bearclaw prepares to make a litter for Corkscrew and return to the safety of the keep.

As the red haze of battle recedes and his bloodfire is banked with the death of the cave giant, Sereg takes a deep breath and takes stock of his companions. Their strength is spent, he thinks, at the same time he hears Indilwen utter a curse more suited to Ukutay than a blooded noble.

“High maintenance”, he mutters. Calculating his response, Sereg says, “Indilwen, wait. What ever we do, we should do as a group. Your companions look up to you and need your guidance. Don’t leave them without it now.” He hides the smirk and looks bland before she turns.

The glow of fires had turned the early evening darkness of a Spring night into a bright, Hellish affair. The stunted cave giant and its attendant orc puppet masters, their bodies still shuddering in the final throes of dying, were a bizarre sight even in death. In closer proximity, Sereg could see the giant was rather small for its species, not for a lack of maturity but from a hard life and under nourished by its orcish masters.

“A pathetic beast that deserved the fate it was given,” Sir Andred Trellic commented to the half-elven militiaman, Dragas.

“Aye, m’ Lord. We were in bad place until you swung around upon your gryphon.”

“From my vantage, you looked as if you all had the situation under control, where I was still unable to deal with the threat.” Andred continued, “I was focused on the breach in the bluff, an entrance that this dead beast had dug out, one that I had seen others entering. I suspect this whole attack on Dagger Rock is a ploy to get to whatever has been exposed.”

From below the bluff where the fires of burning buildings smoked, a loud bellow echoes followed by the sounds of growling bears, before growing quiet. A moment later, a loud cheer is heard.

“It sound like Lord Bearclaw is dealing with the orcs adequately.” Dragas points to the south and west where silhouettes of armoured orc warriors are seen fleeing Dagger Rock proper.

Sir Andred pulls a warhorn from his belt and sounds the call of summons. In the glowing smoke and surrounding darkness, gryphon calls can be heard in response.

“Soldier, give this vial to my Lady Indilwin…who seems to be leaving…well, Master Sereg, it is good to see you are well, can you administer this to the fallen dwarf off yonder? I need to gather my allies and prepare to meet our adversaries that have fled into the darkness of this new cave.” Andred salutes Raven Bearclaw and moves up the slope to the few trees found there where other gryphon riders are assembling while a few still remain aloft swooping down to attack the fleeing orcs.

Sophos surveys his surroundings, viewing the chaos around him, his ears still ringing from the last blow he received. A dead giant. Dead orcs. A newcomer who smells oddly of Corellonian incense, reminiscent of rats from the xvart lair, and speaks in a mad tongue. Raven has a look of recognition in his eyes upon seeing the half-drow and Lady Indilwen seems less bothered by him than she is by most things, and thus Sophos lets it pass.

As Sophos hears the exchange between Dragas and Sir Trellic, his wounds from battle suddenly open as he finds new stores of ki within himself. “…Sir Trellic, I don’t suppose you have anything to tend my wounds? I aim to protect Lady Indilwen, no matter where we go next. But if we find ourselves in battle again in our current state, I may not be of much use.”

“Thank you Sir Andred, I will see to him. Your aid was timely, you have my thanks for that as well.” Sereg steps over to the fallen dwarf and kneels beside him. Lifting his head, he administers the potion.

As Corkscrew becomes aware of his surroundings Sereg says, “That was bravely done Master Dwarf. Charging a giant while under boulder barrage. However, it appears there is a hole in your people’s giant fighting training. When giants hurl boulders at you it is customary to dodge them. While your attempts to block them with your face were successful, it appears even dwarf heads aren’t hard enough to avoid damage. I trust you’ll follow my advice in the future? Good! Now, on your feet, that’s a good lad!”

After helping Corkscrew to his feet, Sereg calls out, “Everyone, please gather ‘round”,

“I thank you all for your bravery in facing the giant—I know none of you owe me, or Daggerock your allegiance. There would have been no shame in not taking up arms, this hasn’t been your fight before now.” “However”, Sereg Continues. “Those of us in the borderlands between the Ulurassal and Zimerhelq have known the scourge of the giants and there allies for too long.” “Too long”, Sereg whispers, his eyes reflecting black from the flames.

“Yes, too long have we suffered their depredations and unrelenting attacks. Always defending, never attacking. Watching our villages burn and our loved ones die!” He sweeps his arm in an ark to take in the devastation around you. “Year after year, the attacks grow worse, the death tolls rise and we do nothing but cower behind our walls—or shelter under our trees. And what does this gain us? More attacks, more death, more sorrow.” A shadow seems to cross Sereg’s face at the same time his words seem to take on a lyrical quality.

“Enough I say!. It is far past time we take the fight to them. Let them know the ruin of a destroyed home. Let them feel the pain from the death of friends, if they have them, and family. I say we clear this cave, keep them from their goal, then we hunt! We hunt them down in whatever Steading, Rift or Hall they may call home. Be they misshapen inbred cave giants or the Tyrant himself, we take the fight to them!”

Sereg pauses, draws a dagger and cuts a streak in his palm. As the blood wells in his hand, dripping down his bow he yells, “Correllon, hear my oath! I pledge my life and blood from this day on to end the threat upon your people brought by the giants. I will take no rest, no comfort, know no home until the Storm Tyrant and his minions are dead, their shades howling in fear at the wrath brought upon them. Witness my vow on this night of blood!"

Corkscrew stares blankly and the smoke filled sky, trying to make out what few stars he can through the thick clouds.

Apples, he thinks quietly to himself. I should try my hand at ciders.
Now that this years harvest was gone, and soon his shop, corkscrew had to think of something. The business side of him was taking over, subconsciously trying to avoid the subject of his near death experience. He props himself up on his elbows, taking a look around. The giant was dead, or dying, which was good. He didn’t remember much about the fight, just that he had charged in recklessly and was repaid with two dwarf sized boulders. He winced in pain. The potion was helping, but it still felt like a few ribs were broken.

Why did I do that? he asks himself. Why charge the giant? that was stupid.
So what if the orcs raised the town? The grapes were gone, so there was little use for the surrounding area to corkscrew anymore. The damage done to the town proper would cause most available funds to go to repairs, not wine, so there was little profit to be made here as well. Why charge the giant? there was no profit to be made in it, and the chance of a reward were slim to none.

He sits up, wary of attempting to stand. Sereg is standing there, swearing his blood oath to his god. Sophos, seemingly in meditation, radiates energy as the wind swirls around him. Bearclaw and Dragas beam with newfound vigor after the victory, while lady Indilwen stomps off with more grace than corkscrew could ever muster, even on his best day.

These are heroes. These are what fables are made of. That is why you charged, just so you could be a part of their story.

“You’re a damned fool, Sereg.” Corkscrew squeaks out, his throat cracked and dry. “But a convincing one. If you can, take back that part about the comforts, cause you’re buying drinks when this is over.”

Hearing Sereg yell his vow, Indilwen stops and looks up to the sky. “Corellon help me,” she mutters. She turns around and approaches the group.

“Sophos. Come.” Indilwen orders, stomping a foot and pointing to the ground next to her, as if ordering a trained dog.

She turns to Corkscrew. “Dwarf, if you believe that you’ll find the secret to elven winemaking in that cave, by all means go. If not, I suggest you return with me.”

To Raven, “Lieutenant, I believe your father’s orders were to accompany me. Surely you don’t mean to disobey him?”

“And you say you’re from the Mithoi School?” Indilwen questions Kael. “That’s where I’m headed. Lead the way.”

Finally, she faces Sereg, sadness replacing the anger in her face.

Boe naid bain gwannathar,
Boe cuil ban firitha.
Boe naer gwannathach. ”

Even those who don’t speak Elven sense the words’ intent. Those who do recognize the words of an Elven funerary rite.

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Sereg's Folly
Written By: Imanelf

Many know not of the hunter Sereg,
Feller of beasts,
Destroyer of Xvart’s ,
and ender of the Tirapheg,
Master of Arrow and bow,
Maker of many melodies,
Favored by the gods,
and son of the bough

He has but one flaw,
In which he will not bend,
All giants must die,
To any length he’ll go to reach that end,
No rest, no waiting,
No time he will waste,
If there is a giant nearby,
He will dispatch it with haste,
It is a noble thing,
That the hunter will do,
But blind to the perils,
Like that boulder it threw

Many battles will be fought,
Each has a price to pay,
Many giants will die,
many friends will be lost along the way,

All will know of the Hunter Sereg,
Slayer of Giants,
Tamer of Storms,
And Breaker of the Tyrant,
Many will speak of his heroic deeds,
But not of his friends, his allies, or even his creed
They will see his results, and all will be jolly,
But by any means an end, is Sereg’s Folly

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Wednesday Session 4/22/15
We're #1! I mean, we roll 1s!

The drama continues…

“Sereg!” Indilwen yells. “How many giants will you kill? Before they kill you? Before they kill us all? One? Two?”

Sereg pauses and Indilwen continues, “If we recover and prepare, we can kill them all. I will help you kill them all.”

“If we take the time to prepare, we’ll lose them,” Sereg replies.

“Surely you could track them,” Indilwen counters with a smirk. “Aren’t you Corellon’s favorite ranger?” The rest of the party catches up with the bickering elves.

Just then, screams fill the air as three griffons in formation swoop in for an attack up ahead. Some form of weapon whips out, sending one of the griffons plummeting down in a burst of feathers. Horn blasts from Bearclaw Keep call the attack. Sidon Bearclaw leads on his cave bear-driven chariot.

Sereg whistles a call, getting the attention of one of the griffons, who circles closer. “Sir Trellic!” Indilwen cries, recognizing the rider.

“Follow me to the giant and his handlers!” Sir Andred Trellic commands. “Beware the chain!”

The party comes up on said giant, which Sereg recognizes as a cave giant, extremely rare to find above ground. Even more strangely, two orcs are perched on its shoulders. Upon closer inspection, the orcs wield chains attached at the giant’s wrists by manacles. One of the orcs wears a strange set of goggles. Similarly, two more orcs balance on the giant’s feet, the four controlling the giant as a bizarre marionette.

The elves in the party fire arrows at the giant and its handlers, with varying success. Corkscrew moves forward, only to be pulverized by a huge rock hurled by the giant. Unfortunately, Đragaš slips on the muddy ground, slamming into Raven’s back, stunning himself. (For those of you keeping score at home, this is confirmed critical fumble #1).

The group fails to notice an unusual eldritch blast that hits the giant, as Lt. Raven Bearclaw charges forward. The giant hurls another rock, which violently takes Corkscrew down. Indilwen begins to make her way to the dwarf, attempting to fire off a shot with her shortbow. She too slips on the mud, painfully twisting her ankle. (Yes folks, confirmed critical fumble #2).

Sir Trellic guides his griffon in for an attack, scoring a hit on the giant with his lance. The giant retaliates, whipping the chain out for a hit on the griffon, Gryfwen.

Indilwen hears a strange chanting behind her in the language of creatures of the Underdark. Turning around, she sees a brown-skinned humanoid with somewhat elven features. Not forgetting Grog‘s theory of the Oa’xacoa potentially responsible for the abduction of her retainers, Indilwen calls down the sacred flame of Corellon, singeing the dark half-elf. She hears Corkscrew’s shuddering breath, assuring that he yet lives.

Sir Trellic lands Gryfwen behind the giant, who begins to swing its chain for another attack. Fortunately for our heroes, the giant is evidently confused and ends up wrapping the chain around its own head. (Mmmhmm, confirmed critical fumble #3). Sereg lands a powerful arrow shot in its chin.

The dark-skinned half-elf moves past Indilwen, who hears a voice speaking elven in her head, “I’m a teacher at the Mithoi School.” Huh?! Sophos fires his bow, killing the goggle-wearing orc. Đragaš also lands a shot, finishing off one of the foot-orcs. Indilwen attempts to move forward, but her injured ankle crumples under her weight.

Sir Trellic smites the evil giant, which falls to the ground dead. The party fires arrows and magical blasts on the remaining orcs, felling one. Sir Trellic finishes off the final orc with a blow from his greataxe.

Indilwen attempts to tend to her twisted ankle, despite having exhausted her magical healing. Both Sereg and Sir Trellic move forward to assist, Sereg reaching the lady first and healing her with a spell granted by Corellon Larethian. In thanks, Indilwen slaps the ranger across the face.

FADE OUT.

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Wednesday Session 4/8/15
Decisions, decisions...

This session’s guest stars: Dan, owner of Đragaš Brewing, playing Đragaš the ranger and Derek filling in as Flynn Mithoi.

As the party tends to their wounds, Corkscrew “investigates” the bodies of the fallen creatures. He finds that the orcs bear markings of the Twisted Nail tribe, known to be in the employ of the Storm Tyrant. They also appear to be well paid in gold coins identified as being from an ancient dragon empire.

Đragaš runs in from further afield. Seeing Lt. Bearclaw, he reports that the orcs only appear to kill the militia and anyone fighting back. Otherwise, they are only herding people towards the keep. Flynn rejoins the party, as they continue through the streets of Dagger Rock’s second terrace.

Coming up on an intersection, members of the party hear some disturbing noises. Three tribal orcs are having their way with some poor women, while four more orcs wait their turn. Everyone moves to attack, including the clearly incensed Lady Indilwen.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of the previous fight, the party members are slow to deal damage, taking more hits than they give. But an impressive sneak attack from Corkscrew provides the motivation needed. Sophos dodges blows, while Flynn shoots rays of frost into the melee. Lt. Bearclaw lands a successful hit with his greatsword, following up with a maneuver to disarm his opponent. Sereg fires a lethal shot to an orc threatening Indilwen, allowing her to move forward and send her longsword through another orc attacking Đragaš. Sophos scores a mighty blow, felling one of the three orcs surrounding him and breaking the morale of the other two, which turn tail to run away. Not having it, Sereg downs one with an arrow shot and Indilwen calls down a sacred flame of Corellon Larethian to finish the other.

Lady Indilwen immediately moves to comfort the three women, speaking soothing words and recommending a tea of pennyroyal and angelica root. Flynn conjures the illusion of a comforting blanket to cover the women. Corkscrew kindly drags the bodies out of the view of the women, where he can loot they no longer have to see the creatures that violated them.

While Indilwen heals Lt. Bearclaw and Sophos, Đragaš observes giant figures excavating into the bluff of the upper terrace. The party debates whether or not to proceed. Indilwen informs the group that she has exhausted the magic granted to her by her god. Flynn also reports that he is low on available spells.

“Besides,” Flynn adds, “It’s almost time for my bath.”

It seems the party has decided to return to the keep to rest. Except that Sereg has already started in the direction of the giants. Indilwen chases after him.

“Sereg, it’s too dangerous. Corellon has granted me no more healing magic for the day,” she tells him.

“I don’t care,” says Sereg, affecting a reasonable impersonation of Indilwen’s voice. “I’m his favorite ranger!”

Frustrated, Indilwen calls back to the group, “Sophos, stop him!”

Sophos is barely able to contain his patronizing look. “How?!”

While the rest of the party tries to decide what to do, Flynn is suddenly struck with an insight into the giants’ activity. He describes to those listening that the land of Zimerhelq was historically populated by dwarves and orcs and that the very land they’re standing on was the orcish capital. Uskroth, an orcish war-chief, is known for standing against the human invaders led by King Zimer and, in fact, slew the king himself. His tomb is purported to remain hidden in the area, housing magic beyond legend. In particular, a dwarven-crafted warhammer possessing giant-slaying magic.

Meanwhile, Indilwen catches up to Sereg again.

“Are you or are you not a member of my official diplomatic escort?” she demands.

“I am,” Sereg answers warily.

Indilwen straightens. “Then I order you to stand down!”

Sereg doesn’t stop. “I can’t do that,” he replies.

Indilwen freezes, out of options. “Sereg, this is reckless!” she pleads.

His muttered response is only audible to Indilwen’s ears. Her face pales as she watches him continue on…

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Wednesday Session 4/1/15
Raven Bearclaw activate!

Scott H. joined us for the first time and agreed to play Lieutenant Raven Bearclaw, favored son of Dagger Rock.

Lady Indilwen, Sereg, and Sophos head out of the back room of Grog’s Happy Half-ogre Inn, now accompanied by Corkscrew the dwarven vintner. Indilwen breezes by the escort of local militia, intent on finding this Sir Kinndyr Davvydq and rescuing her ransomed retainers. Upon leaving the inn, however, panic is spreading through the streets of Dagger Rock. The vineyards are burning, silhouetting large forms along the upper terrace.

In elven fashion, Sereg and Sophos fire off arrows, scoring hits on the closest silhouette, which disappears beyond the edge of the bluff. Meanwhile, the alarm bell sounds and Lt. Bearclaw orders the town’s citizens to retreat to the keep. Sergeant Oakheart volunteers to lead the people to safety, while Lt. Bearclaw initiates a charge through the town. The party ascends the ramp to the second terrace, only to watch in horror as a monstrous orcish creature in strange spiked armor strikes a mighty upward blow with a battle axe, rending the head of one of Lt. Bearclaw’s comrades-in-arms in two with a shower of brain matter.

Indilwen calls upon the blessing of Corellon Larethian, as Lt. Bearclaw, Corkscrew, and Sophos charge and Sereg begins to rain enchanted arrows down upon the creatures. The three powerful, strangely-armored orcs and a more conventional tribal orc are ready, and the battle begins.

Lt. Bearclaw enters the fray, exchanging blows with the creatures. Sophos practices his control of the elements, pulling water from the very air to bring one of the orcs into striking distance. Unfortunately, the creature returns the favor, felling the monk with a single savage blow. Corkscrew weaves in and out of the scrum, scoring precise and painful hits. Sereg continues to fire arrows, while Indilwen moves to tend to Sophos.

Despite the arrival of an additional tribal orc, the party prevails. They heal and take stock of the fallen creatures before looking up to the third terrace, where the vineyards are still in flames…

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Wednesday Session 2/25/15
Competing theories

The party left the xvart lair behind, deciding it would be more useful to report the intelligence they gained rather than succumbing to a horrific sonic demise.

As they enter the vineyards surrounding the town of Dagger Rock, a strange, muttering dwarf finds his way through the vines to Lady Indilwen’s horse. She screams in terror, almost kicking the dwarf in the face. Confused, the dwarf scurries off. Only Sophos notices that the dwarf stuffed a note into one of the saddlebags on the lady’s horse.

The group is met by an escort from Bearclaw Keep, led by Lieutenant Raven Bearclaw. The lieutenant seems relieved at their arrival. Indilwen explains that they have important information to report. “Also,” she asks Lt. Bearclaw, “Do you have a problem with vagrants in your vineyards?” Raven simply looks confused as they continue into the town of Dagger Rock.

The party is given time to clean up before reporting to Sidon Bearclaw, Raven’s father and constable of the town. Most of the group fails to notice that Ved doesn’t accompany them. Private Wilster reports their information on the xvart lair, the fire giant army, the downed griffon rider, and the falling sky castle.

After Wilster’s report, Sidon informs Lady Indilwen that two of her retainers disappeared from their inn the previous night. He suspects the Storm Tyrant may be responsible, the mastermind behind the giant activity in the Thermal Mountains. He suggests that she visit Grog’s Happy Half-ogre Inn, where the Storm Tyrant’s spy network is rumored to meet. Indilwen thanks Dagger Rock’s leader and takes her leave. Private Wilster is asked to remain behind, where he receives a promotion to Sergeant for his assistance to the town.

Before heading to Grog’s, Sophos informs Indilwen of the note left behind by the dwarf in the vineyards. Conveniently, the note says to meet the dwarf at Grog’s. The group makes their way to the inn and Grog shows them to a private back room where the dwarf sits at a large table.

The dwarf introduces himself as Corkscrew Vines and says he has information on the whereabouts of the lady’s retainers. He has a price for the information, however, which angers Indilwen. Corkscrew relates that he is a well-known vintner in the area, and that he desires to know the secrets of the elven winemakers of Amberilla. Indilwen only agrees to discuss the possibility after the dwarf provides the information on his retainers. Corkscrew relates that he suspects the halfling and gnomish nation of Poota Belly, who aren’t shy in demonstrating their desire for access to the Ulurassal poppy.

In addition, Grog presents a ransom note requesting that 800 gold pieces be delivered to the Dagger Rock by noon the next day. But his theory is that the surface drow of Oa’Xacoa are behind the kidnapping. Frustrated by the extortion and competing theories, Indilwen insults Grog, who calmly informs her that her character will be judged by how she deals with the issue. He also suggests that the group seek out Sir Kinndyr Davvydq, who can provide information on the tunnels beneath the Dagger Rock, where the kidnappers may be lying in wait for the ransom drop.

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It's a... what now?
Wherein the heroes encounter some things with subsonic sacs and descend down into the darkness.

tirapheg2.png

Sketch from Flynn’s “Exotic Monster Parts ’n Sundry” field notebook.

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Excerpt of a dwarven drinking song
found in the dwarven ruins

Brothers of the mine rejoice!
Raise you pick and raise your voice!
Down and down into the deep,
Who knows what we’ll find beneath?
Diamonds, rubies, gold and more
Hidden in the mountains core.

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The Griffon Spy, chapter 2
Part 2 , Written by Ved StringSinger

She stood there proud, without a doubt in her eye,
she glared daggers at us, I thought I would die,
and with a scoff and a scowl, The good lady did protest,
“I’m not going down there, surely you jest”
“its filled with vermin, demons and filth”, to which I would agree,
“but there is something that needs doing, it might as well be you three”

Sereg did not let her finish, he turned boot to heel,
turning his back to her, walking away with zeal.
I followed him in time, not sure in the matter,
thinking this foolish, we must be mad as a hatter

These demons prepared traps, Sophos did see,
I did not, and took a blade to the knee,
an ambush was laid, it was poor at best,
Sereg wasted no time putting arrows in chests
They fled like cowards, victory was within reach,
until the rats got out, pouring out of the breach.

the battle was taxing, our resources drained,
spirits were low, we were all in pain,
but continue we must, to find this man,
to save him from demons, and shed light on his plan

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