Author Archives: NickJ

Ta’nar PF2: Session 5

We talked 6 dwarves into carrying the entombed Artalava out of the sewers and to the Tower of the Gift in the hopes that Lord Rannick could help. It took some convincing, but the guards let some of us past where we (Hadrion) explained everything to Rannick: the Alchemists’ Guild’s involvement in setting the bombs, what was going on with Elios, the Guild of the Falling Leaves’ cube entrapping Artalava, everything. While he took it all in, he sent Tokalo to the armory to get a more appropriate weapon for his new fighting stance.

Meanwhile, Raksha went back ‘home’ to gather intel on breaking into the Alchemists’ Tower. She traded her alchemical fuses and her month’s quota of dessert for a distraction and was able to steal a map from Mushi’s quarters. The real trick will be returning it leaving Mushi none the wiser.

Rannick agreed to cooperate against Elios as long as there was hard evidence and sent us off with a few elixers and a Warhorn, which would summon a squadron of guards.

We regrouped at Woolrin’s Tale and made our plans. There were three entrances into the Alchemists’ Guild, and after deliberating through each of them, we set off for the sewer. If we survived all the traps, we’d enter 3/5ths of the way to our target: the Grandmaster’s Workshop.

Invisible Army: Session 5

The crazy carnival master swung his sword at me again, but missed. Then his form shifted and he was suddenly a massive Hound that started bounding away. I thought about chasing after it to put it down once and for all, but Thranduin convinced me that we should escape while the exit was still visible. As we ran toward the rent, I felt a burning sensation on my chest. We emerged into the bright light……..

(side note, while we were fighting Felix, Cassandra made a deal with the god of time, who ‘rewound the clock’ 6 hours)

……….We continued to follow the trail of the rhinaffalo and came upon half a man lying in a clearing. At first we thought he was dead as it the entire lower half of his body was missing. But no, he was very much alive, even though his brain was a bit scrambled. James T was his name, and we discovered that some guy named Archie made him like this. Archie works with the guy I saw in my vision, whose name, turns out, is Hagan. We converse with him a bit only to discover that James T was unknowingly transmitting everything back to Archie! So much for our super secret plans of sneaking up on them!

I tried to get a Read on James and was overwhelmed by a vision of this massive spider-like creature commanding an army of robots. At Archie’s command, the robots literally tore James apart. That sight completley unnerved me. The fluid pouring from James’ limbs, the metal of the robots glistening as they were spattered by it. The look of cool contempt from Archie. It all made me feel so dirty! Even after I snapped out of the vision, I could feel the grime coating my body. Thranduin pointed me in the direction of a nearby stream, and I raced to try it to try to get clean.

When I took my shirt off to wash it too, I noticed a red blotch on my chest. It looked like I had been branded with a 6-pointed star! What the!?!? When did that happen? In vain, I tried to scrub it off, but it was no use. Meanwhile, Thranduin must have done something to the river, because it reared up in the shape of a woman and it started telling him off. Something about the water being used for evil or being poison or something like that. The lady didn’t seem to care for me too much, which I was fine with. The last thing I need is to bathe in some poisoned water! I readily gave them some space and got dressed, not entirely sure what was going on. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure we’re in over our heads.

Cassandra and Thranduin both seem to have an idea of where we need to go, so we set off in that direction, after tying James up in a tree, promising to return once we take care of Archie. A short while later, we camped for the night, wanting to be well rested when we faced whatever was ahead.

The next morning, we continued our trek and found ourselves overlooking some sort of dam, blocking the river. The reservoir looked pretty oily…I certainly didn’t want to swim in it. Yuck! Thranduin and I scouted ahead a bit and saw a door that looked like a promising entrance. We headed back to get Cassandra only to find ourselves surrounded by a pack of robo-dogs!

Invisible Army – Session 4

Rapiel led us to a small, circular tent that had a long line of people waiting outside its door. That line was halted to allow us to pass, and those nearest the door were visibly relieved at the delay. Not good. We had a brief discussion, and Thranduin nobly agreed to enter the tent with me. The door snapped shut behind him, and we found ourselves stumbling about in utter darkness. I made a globe of light appear in my palm, but it shot up into the sky and lit up the entire place. We were standing in a large, grey wasteland – much larger than the size of the tent we entered.

Felix was there, tapping his cane on the ground and chiding me for breaching the terms of the contract. I asked about that, because I hadn’t seen any contract, but Thranduin pulled out his ticket and read off what it said. My worst fears were realized when he got to the end and it saying that the bearer agrees to pay the remainder of dues with his life. Hearing Cassandra’s future was so not worth it!

I tried to wiggle my way out of it, but he would not relent. In my desperation, I started offering him any life but my own, and I’m ashamed to admit that I even briefly considered offering Thranduin. Thranduin, who has been such a loyal friend that he entered the tent under no compulsion other than the goodness of his heart! Felix finally settled on a price in exchange for my life. I was to deliver him 100 souls. Trade my life for a hundred others? When the chance of escape was made in such blatant terms, I knew there was no way I could agree to it. I would rather die than subject a hundred others to this hell. And if that was my option…..I raised my hand to him and blasted a blazing bolt of fire at him, striking him in the chest!

A skirmish ensued. Thranduin threw a flash of light into his face, which left Felix slashing and stabbing blindly with his sword. I threw another firebolt at him, which melted a portion of his face off revealing strange bone spurs where his chin should have been. Thranduin hacked mercilessly at him with his axe while I tried to fire my new Wilk’s Laser Pistol at him. (If I survive this, I need to practice shooting!)

Felix pulled away momentarily and brought his offer down to 50. 50! That’s fifty too many. I’m determined to put an end to this horrid slaver or die trying. If I end up spending the rest of my life serving honeycakes (or being served AS honeycakes!), I want to do it with the knowledge that I tried to save everyone and that I gave it my entire effort. After refusing him, he cut my blaster in half and sliced through some of my armor. I recognized my end drawing near, but I was oddly at peace with it all.

Then we saw a sliver of light cut through the wasteland near us. I think it’s the door! Decision time: do we flee the foul skeletal creature we’re fighting, or do we slay it now and end its reign of soul-stealing?

Heroes of Harrowdale: Session 4

Returning to Harrowdale with the moonstone, we were amazed that so much was dying so quickly after the river’s course had been changed. But between us, we were able to transform the moonstone into a magical latticework that spanned the chasm, restoring the water’s natural flow. A magical, white spire rose from the latticework, forever commemorating what had transpired.

We gathered supplies, information, and errands from those in Harrowdale and set off on horseback toward Anvil. Along the way, we faced a number of setbacks, culminating in a wandering band of undead. We tracked them back to where they had come from and found a cave, whose archway had been protected by the Icons’ magic. But that magic was failing, and undead was escaping.

Fearing the depths, we sought to perform a ritual to reseal the opening, and Arthus summoned a powerful undead to be used for it. That decision proved to be fraught with peril. While we managed to subdue the monster and use its power to seal the archway, it came at the cost of Emberlight and Matraz’s lives.

The remaining two days’ travel to Anvil passed in silence, and when we arrived, we kept our saddened minds and hearts occupied by seeking out contacts there who might be able to help us in our quest.

Invisible Army – Session 3

It turns out that we truly HAD stumbled into a carnival, but it was the weirdest one I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen that many!) We were promptly greeted by a young man who introduced himself as Felix and his flower as Andromedin. He told us about the various attractions and sold us a few tickets. He also provided valet services for Ajax….if you consider a two headed dog named ‘Bones’ sitting on the Glitterboy’s feet a type of valet service.

We wandered the carnival and tried a wonderful treat called a ‘funnel cake,’ which tasted amazing but left me hungry for more. Not in sense that it wasn’t filling…I mean, it wasn’t. But not at all! Even though the thing was bigger than my face it was like I hadn’t put anything in my stomach. I took a look around for magic and the place was flooded with it. Between that and being smack dab on a ley line started making me wonder what was actually going on.

But despite those misgivings, we gave a valiant effort at the ring toss game. Cassandra and I both walked away winners having gotten one of the three rings on, but Thranduin either wasn’t lucky or wasn’t as skilled as we were (he talked big beforehand though!). Another odd thing happened after the ring toss. Thranduin made an offhand comment about needing more tickets, and Felix was there right behind us. I certainly didn’t hear him sneak up behind us, but even still, there he was – and all too eager to sell more tickets.

We all entered the fortune teller’s tent, but Thranduin took one sniff of the intense incense and left. Not sure where he went, and honestly, I didn’t care all that much. My attention was arrested by the woman shuffling a deck of cards and offering to tell us our futures. Now, let’s get something straight. I’m not the type of guy who believes in all that, but there was some serious magic going on at this carnival, so I figured that if anyone could divine the future, this lady might.

She drew three cards for me and explained what each card meant. All of it was pretty grim, from Ajax falling to a message from ‘the Devil,’ to seeing myself hanging from a gallows. As I watched that last image, I could almost feel the rope around my neck! It may have just been my imagination, but I found myself seriously doubting my doubts about her veracity.

She offered to also read Cassandra’s future, which she agreed to. I opted to stay for it too. Some of my future had Cassandra in it, so I wondered if I might see more of my own. I wondered for a moment if I’d have to pay to stay, but she never said anything, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt. Her future didn’t seem as grim as mine. I got the impression that there are some serious decisions and choices in Cassandra’s future, and her decisions may mean life or death for me and Thranduin.

As we left, a masked man grabbed me and said that Felix wanted to talk to me about me being over my ticket limit. The little bit of uneasiness in my stomach suddenly increased tenfold as I realized that I really should have paid to stay for Cassandra’s future! Rapiel said that I could have a few words with my companions, and I used that time to give Cassandra and Thranduin the recovery roses. If I was going down, I didn’t want to cause their demise too.

We left toward Felix’s and I caught the briefest glimpse of a sign over a new attraction, “Coming Soon – Brent’s Honeycakes.” This can’t be good.

Heroes of Harrowdale – Session 3

We emerged on the hill overlooking Harrowdale to see the walls engulfed in flames and besieged by trolls. Their leader, Bloodtusk, was at the city gate, tearing it apart piece by piece. He became aware of our presence and threw a piece at us where it crushed Kawanishi. We met in combat where Emberlight cast lightning into the river, damaging friend and foe alike, hidden thieves’ guild traps went off, Matraz discovered his sword could be used like a boomerang, he was also beaten with the gate like a nail and hammer, and Arthus deathknelled Bloodtusk who then rose from the dead to strike out one last time at Maris, knocking her unconscious. But despite all that, we emerged victorious and set about helping the town put out the fires, heal their wounded, and cleanse the undead taint from the battlefield.

As the tempo of battle disappeared, we learned much about the Stone Thief – a massive living dungeon that the Prince of Thieves and the Archmage had subdued years ago by taking its 13 eyes and hiding them. But it seems that the Lich King is seeking to summon it again and slay its heart thereby subduing it and raising it as a living necropolis. We learned that the Eye that had been hidden nearby was taken by Darien the Great to either ShadowPort or Glitterhaegen, and we committed ourselves to tracking him down and recovering that Eye.

But in the meantime, Harrowdale and those downstream will suffer from the damage wrought by the Stone Thief’s disruption of the river’s flow. We could perform a healing ritual to mend it, but that would require a potent source of earth energy. The mushroom-eating, puma-riding, pixies told us where we could find such and object, and our dryad and druid contacts sent us across the root systems to the location. We had to fight off a band of redcaps, but at last, we had secured the ‘ground magic’ needed to fix that which the Stone Thief had broken.

Invisible Army – Session 2

I felt a buzzing, tearing sensation moments before landing face first in the dirt. I sensed more than saw Thranduin and Cassandra/Ajax follow after me. I felt like throwing up; I came here wanting to make a difference, but it was all becoming too real too fast for me.

I heard Thranduin say something about smoke in the distance, and I followed the others in that direction. The trail of smoke ended in the savaged remains of a couple ATVs and motorcycles. Markings on the vehicles and bodies indicated these were the remains of fellow Invisible Army personnel. There was little sign of what tore into their allies with such savagery, apart from the strange remains of some giant creature whose bones were made of steel. Neither Thranduin nor I were able to deduce much from it, so we took inventory of what was salvageable. I took some energy cells and two laser pistols while Cassandra had Ajax pick up most of the rest. I’m still in awe that I’m working alongside a real-life Glitterboy!

We heard a loud crashing sound suddenly start toward us and breaking into the clearing was a massive cross between a rhinoceros and a buffalo. Pure terror flooded my veins with adrenaline, and I stayed close to Thranduin and activated my shield. For the rest of the relatively short battle, I alternated between awe watching Ajax go toe to toe with this creature, and panic every time I fired a shot at it. And when it turned its attention from Ajax to us, it completely destroyed my shield with just one hit! But Cassandra proved to us why Glitterboys are so awesome, and she took down the monster!

I’m ashamed to admit that when my shield was destroyed, terror overtook my bladder and I tried to hide that my pants were wet. Thankfully Thranduin and Cassandra didn’t say anything, but I’m still really embarrassed by that. I pressed my gloves against the dead beast and triggered my visor to see what I could find about where it had come from, and I saw someone spooky wearing some sort of helmet with wires and mech dogs. I pressed into the connection harder and knew that he was just a couple days’ travel from here. But then he looked up and I knew he could somehow see me! I almost wet myself again and hastily severed the connection.

We talked about it for a few minutes then took some trophies from the monster and carefully followed the tracks of the rhinaffalo. As night settled in, we heard laughter and loud voices. Thranduin and I crept closer and could make out 3 or 4 bonfires and a number of tents. Commonly dressed people were just wandering around talking with some others in a sort of uniform. It took a few minutes of watching them to realize that we had stumbled into a carnival! What the heck?

We pulled back to talk to Cassandra and figure out our next step, but I think we’re going to the big top!

Zaharets: Session 1

The five of them, Kenin, Famia, Bet, Shem, and Azor had been journeying togethers as Jackals for some time and recently found themselves arriving in Orsem Yahan where they were hoping to find employ. The various traders in town were worried about recent attacks that had taken place, and the town leader, Nomar, explained that two caravans headed North had been beset by local bandits, otherwise known as Wolves. In the most recent attack, a Trauj warrior by the name of Bai had managed to escape after slaying a number of them.

The five Jackals agreed to pursue the Wolves and easily followed the tracks to a cave hidden being a cascading waterfall. Leaving the sunset behind, they stepped into darkness and were greeted by the smell of blood and death. They found the Wolves, but they had been slain by something else…ancabars! The surprise attack by the burrowing spider-like creatures was as quick as it was vicious, and Bet was almost taken alive down one of the ancabar’s tunnels. But the Jackals emerged victorious.

After scavenging bits of black coin and examining the Serpent-like tattoos each of the bandits wore, the party descended into the tunnels and discovered an ancient complex. The party momentarily split, with Shem and Azor finding a massive mosaic map while the others broke a pulsating orb of corruption. The explosion drew the attention of a large group of undead, and Famia, Bet, and Kenin fought a retreat until they were bolstered by Shem and ???. Shortly thereafter, the undead were put to their final rest.

Curiosity getting the better of them, they traced the undead’s tracks back to a room housing a large, stone sarcophagus. There they also found the skins of the missing caravan. Disturbing the sarcophagus brought forth a fierce battle against a potent spectre. Again, flesh and blood prevailed against the dead, though the battle was closer than any cared to admit.

Licking their wounds, the Jackals returned to Orsem Yahan where they got some much needed rest in the barracks.

Heroes of Harrowdale – Session 2

We all entered the underground chamber and took a look around. Kawanisi emerged from the shadows to join our group just in time to pocket one of the finely wrought pieces of miniature gear we found. But she freely gave it up in the next room when we were faced with an unique challenge of matching equipment to statues then throwing them into the correct gullet.

That opened a door to another chamber where we fought gemstone dragons and guardian constructs after touching a fake rendition of the Eye of the Stone Thief – left by the one, the only, Darien the Great! We looted his cache then narrowly escaped back to the surface as the puzzle reset itself and several of us were almost eaten by hungry stairs.

Up top, we found the remains of a necrotic ritual that we destroyed with some excellent sake before following the tracks back to a troll warcamp. The camp had been abandoned as they all marched for war, though there were an unlucky few who stayed behind to fix a siege engine or tow. Like the heroes we are, we promptly ensured they’d never make it to the front lines.

After gathering some intel, we sent out an alert to a number of the Icons and hightailed it back to Harrowdale. We encountered a few hardships along the way, and crested the ridge overlooking the town to find Bloodtusk and his horde besieging the place.

Plains of Aeco – Session 8

I awoke famished the next morning and ate a massive breakfast. Malek joined me for the meal which was concluded by him combing wine through is beard and tucking fish under his arms for later. I made my way over to Tagi’s armory and inquired after some sort of bracer with a blade attached. They said they could fashion one, but with Sameel’s group departing for Bar’tak Ken’tak, my project would be a lower priority.

Content with that, I wandered outside where I met Dabar’s new friend, Shuma. He looks like an able enough lad, and it will be nice to have someone else for Dabar to talk to. We also ran into Nabal, who is exploring what could be Hulathi ruins to the West. He requested our aid when we were done helping Japeth, and he was kind enough to give us a blessing for our journey. Dabar wasn’t impressed with him, but I liked the priest. I’m looking forward to spending more time with him.

Shuma then led us to a vendor where I could buy a mule. We briefly haggled on a price and settled on one that seemed fair. Just as our business was concluding, Malek offered to buy up the rest of them! The owner was just as shocked as I was, but he gathered his composure quickly enough to take Malek’s gold and dance away, rejoicing at the windfall. Malek attempted to let the mules go free, but this was obviously a new concept for them.

I spent the rest of the day amused by Malek’s attempts at releasing them and finished my evening back at Sameel’s barracks. The afternoon rains had cleared, and as the stars slowly twinkled into existence, I was once again reminded of the skies over our enclave. The sky is the same, but the world seems a much larger place somehow out here on the plains.


The next morning, I saddled up the mule, swung by Tagi’s (only to find the bracer wasn’t finished yet), and we left Sentem behind. I can see the mountains rising up from the plains in the distance; it’s looks like it’s going to be a good day for traveling!