Tag Archives: fantasy

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.

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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.

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!

Plains of Aeco – Session 7

I found I had some time before dinner and far more money than I knew what to do with, so I wanted Sentem. Preparations for the festival was evident everywhere, as people were moving to and fro. It was in passing just such a group that the attention of my nose was captured by the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread. The aroma took me back to the enclave where we would bake sweetcakes together, and I had a brilliant idea: I would share those sweetcakes with the town of Sentem at this festival! I found the baker, a man named Har, and bought everything he would have sold and then some and commissioned him to make the Hulathi sweetcakes and distribute them freely during the festival. I left him and made my way to Sameel’s house quite content with myself and eager to attend the festival and have that little taste of home.

Sameel’s ‘feast’ was a spartan affair, and I think we were all too polite to eat much. The conversation quickly took a turn toward the inner conflict Sameel had between what he wanted to do, what his father would do, and what he thought would be best for the surrounding lands. He recounted a tale to us of the Fountains of Amena Woami and how it was a place where the three people had gathered: the Hann, the Hulathi, and the humans. Sameel has a vision for this land to return to such a time…a time where people can come and go in peace. I was deeply moved by his vision, and promised I would do what I can to aid him in that.

Shortly after our ‘dinner’ and conversation, Dubar requested that we be able to see Jepeth, for he might be able to better ascertain what is ailing him. Sameel consented, and we found ourselves in a darkened, warm room with a crazed, naked man hunched in the corner. What caught my attention though was that the windows were boarded up from the outside. Glyphs had been scratched on the walls, and one of them matched the scrap of map that we had previously found.

In asking Sameel about it, he said that the ‘black-bound tree’ had long been used by the takan. That phrase reminded me of some ancient murals back at the enclave. Painted images of armies rising up against my people carrying banners with the symbol of the Iron-Bound Tree emblazoned upon them. That phrase whispered from my lips and Jepeth reacted violently. He hovered in the air while I felt my very soul begin to leech from my body. We both collapsed at the same time – he looking haler, and I feeling quite weakened.

Our course of action is confirmed. We must drive out that which is embodying that poor man. Its evil was a force that drove my people into hiding, and I will not stand by and let it be unleashed again. We will spend tomorrow gathering our supplies, then we will head East to look for the last ingredient needed for this ritual of cleansing.

Plains of Aeco – Session 6

After we finished scavenging the remains of the norakan and tucked the ayal’s heart safely away, we took our bearings and decided to cut as straight a course as we could back to Densem. With Malak leading the way, we made good time and found a nice hill to rest for the night. Everyone but Dabar and I were too tired from the forced march to continue the next day, so we took it easy. Arina found some more herbs and I wandered around, looking for any evidence of the civilization my people left behind. Other than a few scraps that might have been something once, I didn’t find anything.

The second night also passed uneventfully, and the next day Malak led us unerringly to the banks of the Wuma Amwa. Dabar was familiar enough with the surrounding area to know that Densem was just a ways on the other side. We found a long-abandoned raft, but not quite trusting it, everyone but Toara got into the water and tried to wade across. The current was stronger than we had anticipated though, and we all lost our footing. Other than getting wet, no harm was done, and we finally made it to the other side and then on to Densem.

The sights and sounds of an event being prepared assaulted our senses, and Dabar told us that the Festival of First Planting was only a few days away. Gann and Zakar spotted us as we entered the town and gave us their greeting and congratulations on our success. Before leaving us, Zakar told us about a Ger trader that had passed through on his way. He then gave Arina a missive to deliver to Sameel upon our return to Sentem.

Gann pulled me aside and asked if I had found anything in the woods. I suspect he was looking for more electrum, but he wasn’t explicit about it. I showed him the two rings I had found but he wasn’t very interested in them. We spent the night at his place again, and I was able to regale him with the tale of our slaying the tiger beetles. I might have embellished the truth a bit, but he was certainly entertained. He and I had a good chat later that evening after the others fell asleep. He seems like a good fellow, though lonely. I wish there was more I could do for him, though I think simply being friendly might be helping in some small way.

Ari met us the next morning with horses and told us to make for Sentem as fast as we could. She bade Dabar return soon and asked us to take word to Sameel that she doesn’t think Densem could wait much longer for aid against the takan that have taken residence in Ba’tak Kentak.

We had an enjoyable ride North and came across the Ger peddler Zakar had told us about. He introduced himself as Ashoar, and he was very keen on the various pieces of jewelry we had found in the woods. He promised to buy them once he set up his stand in Sentem for 1100 gold! I had no idea that what we had found would be worth that much!

Riding ahead, we found Arashad as quickly as we could, who rejoiced at our success. We have just one more element to recover, and she’ll be able to complete her ritual. And on that note, she had heard rumor of a piece of an old Hann road had been discovered in the mountains to the East.

I think we’ll probably head there next, but before we can resupply and depart, Sameel has requested us to join him for dinner.