Difonix: Living Zimerhelq

The Road to Dagger Rock
Deja vu

I need everyone’s characters names again aside from Lily’s. More to come when I’m not at work. Ha!

The high-elven dignitary of Amberilla departs from Lomara, the capitol of Zimerhelq, setting forth for Dagger Rock with her wild elf and Zimerhelq escorts.

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Patrol on the Yubaswill
Patrols are never the same when PCs are involved

A patrol sent to check the northeast frontier of the Ulurassal Forest finds petrol on the waters of the Yubaswill and orcs attempting to make off with ‘godmetal’ which leads the wild elf patrol to the site of a ’Thor’s Portal’, a place where the god’s lightning strikes down, leaving pieces of Asgard behind.

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The Griffon Spy
Part 1, written by Ved

The Griffon Spy, Part 1

In the realms above, upon the sky
mythic beasts and knights do ride,
with wings of gold, body of lion.
and riders clad in the finest iron,
all do respect, if not fear, the griffon riders of valkrehq,

half of one, we did meet,
beast and saddle, but no rider in seat,
its crest was false, faded and worn,
and with this, deception was born,
“I know this symbol,” wise Bartholomew did say,
“It belongs to a spy, of whom we must slay”

We marched with conviction, to do the deed,
following the trail left by the steed,
when demons we met, with bodies of blue,
who desired nothing but to add us to stew,

A Balista they had, a machine of death,
all had thought they’d drawn their final breath,
when the great sage Manara, with conjuration and curse,
created a cloud, to obscure the bolts course,

With Mist on our side, quick work was made,
the demons stood no chance when put to the blade,
Now we go into the pits, to find a spy,
into the lair of the demons, and their watchful eyes.

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The Man of Masks
Written by Ved StringSinger, the bard of ballads

Every show, there is one who asks,
and answering is such a disagreeable task,
so I wrote a song, so all may bask
in the answer of why I wear the masks

Mayhap I am humble, in the eyes of the gods,
Not wanting to show such a hideous visage,
Do the masks hide a beastly grin?
No, I am too handsome, the prettiest of my kin

Perhaps they hide a sneak, skulking in the shadows,
Stealing into the night to dodge the gallows,
Do the masks hide a clever thief?
If they did, this song would be brief,

No, I wear the masks, like all men do,
Not to hide, but to show whats true

The father wears a mask of happiness and glee,
When the burdens of life has brought him to knee,
Life weighs on him greatly, on shoulder and soul,
But it will not break him, it will not take its toll,
So he wears the mask, to bring joy to his kids,
So they do not see the pain he has hid

The priest wears a mask of devotion and piety,
To hide the anger, fear, and anxiety
It is a great gift, to be chosen by a god,
But the horrors you see, make the world seem flawed
Other men are the demons, that is his view,
Murderers, pillagers and rapists to just name a few,
But god has taught him forgiveness, to all others be kind,
So he wears his mask to keep these thoughts in a bind

I do not wear the masks due to burden or shame,
They are not hiding some monstrous maim,
I wear the masks only to show what I can,
Like all do when donning a mask of man.

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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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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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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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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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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 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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