Friday, July 31, 2009
Realizing that the DM is busy, I thought I might try my hand at the recap as I have little going on at work today. Please go easy on me, it's my first time, and as always if you see a discrepancy or something that was missed please do let me know.
With the miraculous reincarnation of Pudge who is now Luethar again, the party finds themselves outside The Longest Mile once more. Still undecided about what to do with the ships log that they had successfully recovered from the Widow MonTorrey's house they hold a quick meeting outside the inn. Luethar asks to see the book and after a slight hesitation it is handed over for him to examine. The halfling begins his examination as the rest of the group continues to discuss how they will move forward. Before long Luethar discerns a code hidden within the old, tattered pages and excitedly reads a snippet of the message, "the treasure-". Immediately the DM's best laid plan is dashed as the group votes to keep the book and attempt to defuse Black Rhett's impending tirade when it comes.
Luethar, being in his new, new body has not yet been seen with the party and is asked to stay behind in the parties covered wagon while Raell, Cor'Nal, and Ademar go inside the inn. They choose to get rooms at The Longest Mile and plan to rest the remainder of the day while they wait to hear of Ryan's fate. A mere hour after they arrive at the inn Flanders summons the group for a meeting with Black Rhett.
Rhett is quick to business after demanding that everyone be seated. He is direct to the point asking if the mission was a success. The companions feign ignorance of the whereabouts of the ships log saying that perhaps the previous party found it and never delivered. Raell attempts to shift the subject, saying that the mansion was full of undead including a banshee. Rhett is unconvinced of any of this and blames the part for the burning of the house and the failed mission, suspecting that the party is holding out on him. All attempts at deflecting blame and making compromises with Rhett fall on deaf ears. Rhett quickly tires of the meeting and promises a slow and painful death to them all (especially Cor'Nal) if he finds out that they have his book. Following this most of the group is promptly ushered out of the room by Cypher, Rhett's orc bodyguard. The exception to this is Raell who pokes his head back into Rhett's meeting room long enough to leave him with 300gp as a good will offering. Raell hopes this will diffuse Rhett and leave the group with a window for future work. Rhett is caught off guard by the gesture stating that it is either "stupid or revolutionary".
The group decides to pack up and move to the west side of Henutsen in order to put some distance between the angry guild leader and them. Raell, not wanting to eat at Low Skye again convinces the group to try Tread Light instead. Ademar readily agrees stating that he will not sleep in "that crap hole again". The group collects their belongings and travels to Tread Light, opting to leave Loomis at Low Skye as his room is paid in full and, the companions joke, he has probably found happiness in the arms of Neesa. Raell decides to go to the Temple of Myrrdin to check on Ryan, the elves go to Tread Light to secure rooms while Luethar remains in the wagon reading and attempting to keep from being recognized as part of the party.
********** It is about this time that the DM berates himself for mentioning anything of a secret code or treasure as his plan goes completely off track****************
Tread Light the elves find, is a middle of the road inn/tavern although the help is a little strange. They first encounter Stuckpig, a handicapped young man who walks with a heavy limp and a lame arm. He seems thrilled to see customers and promptly hollers for Tink. Tink is a thin and worn looking man of middle age who apparently runs the establishment. He takes their orders for food and collects for the meals and rooms before disappearing into the back. Stuckpig brings out drinks for the elves which includes wine much to Ademars delight, then promptly begins a conversation with the two asking all manner of questions and giving many answers to the pairs questions (after being slipped a couple silver of course). For all of sympathy Stuckpig's appearance conjures the elves are alarmed his knowledge of slavery and slavers within the town. Although they are friendly with the table boy they regard him with a great deal of suspicion. They do find that Farkas Winslow has visited the tavern recently which is encouraging. Ademar and Cor'Nal also pry a bit of information out of Stuckpig on The Blackglove XIII, another secret and apparently dangerous organization in Henutsen.
At the Temple of Myrrdin, Raell is informed that nothing has changed with Ryan and this will probably not change until tomorrow. Raell decides to sit for a while at the temple apparently in spiritual support of his fallen brother-at-arms. The half-elf barely sits down before Cypher shows up to escort Raell back to The Longest Mile for a private meeting with Black Rhett. Apparently he left a better impression than the rest of the group and Rhett gives Raell a chance to earn back his 300 gold. All he has to do is visit a farmer who has been losing livestock and remedy his malady. He is given strict instructions that if he employs his friends on this mission that he not mention Black Rhett as being involved. Raell agrees and leaves the inn, going straight to the farmer McMartin’s house at the south west side of town.
While Raell and the elves are doing their thing, Luethar quickly becomes bored and wanders over to the east side of town to see what Henutsen offers in the realm of magic. He eventually comes to a three story tower, the tower of Gaen Baliol an aging mage with weathered skin and hair that is more grey than black. Luethar asks if he has any items for sale which Gaen has none. The halfling settles for having his cloak identified (+2 cloak of charisma) and his fortune read. During the palm reading Gaen notices that Luethar has seen death before and no longer inhabits his original body. He also gives a cryptic description of his future which includes a dangerous one eyed dwarf that one of Luethar’s company will fall to, a change in Ryan, and the potential for riches. Gaen also notes that his companions do not always work in his best interest and Luethar should be wary of them.
After eating their meal the elves take their leave of Stuckpig and retreat to their rooms. Cor’Nal takes up the ships log from the Crimson Chimera and promptly shape changes into a hawk then, flys out of his window straight to Snoam Schlabach where he leaves the book in safe keeping with Derris MacBrady. The druid leaves a purse with 100 gold in it as payment for Derris’ services. This journey will take most of the day.
In his conversation with farmer McMartin Raell quickly surmises that he is dealing with one (if not more) owlbear which probably is living in a cave near the farm. He decides that he will need help and promptly seeks out his companions at Treadlight. Ademar and Luethar thinking that they should be fine without the druid on this side quest and, having nothing better to do, readily agree to help Raell. This will prove to be a major mistake.
********** a great deal happens next but in the interest of time I am forced to pear it down a great deal **********************
Around dusk the group (minus Cor’Nal and Ryan) goes to the farm and tethers an injured lamb outside the cave in hopes of luring the owlbear out of hiding. This only brings in a pair of dire wolves which are eventually killed before they can eat the lamb. After regrouping they decide to enter the cave as their trap did not work and darkness is closing around them. Inside the cave they are attacked by carrion crawlers which prove to be a larger threat than expected. The following encounter brings in several dark winged creatures which float about the ceiling before descending on the companions. This encounter decimates the party laying low Raell’s wolf companion Salem twice before Ademar and Raell both retreat into a cave too small for the monsters to follow. Luethar, becomes separated from the group and fears that both the ranger and rogue are dead. Knowing that he will likely not survive on his own the halfling flees the cave and runs directly back to the inn. Luethar brings the druid, just back from his long flight to Snoam Schlabach, back to the cave in hopes that they might save somebody from the massacre. With the help of the druid the flying ray-like creatures are eventually vanquished, but not before Salem is killed. Following this Luethar asks for a moments rest so that he can prepare some spells. He is ignored by Raell who charges on deeper into the cave where he encounters two owlbears. The ranger charges headlong into battle and is handily defeated by the two powerful monsters before the remaining (and heavily injured) party members can intervene. The owlbears are finally defeated but it is a hollow victory as the party is left with two more dead members (Raell and Salem) and the remaining, living members are near death.
The companions scoop up their dead, cut the heads from the owlbears and leave the cave. Heading for the inn they leave a great deal of the cave complex unexplored and a lot of speculation as to what will happen with Raell now dead.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thick steam rose from the water all around him. Soothing heat crept slowly into his thin frame, comforting his aching bones and easing tense muscles. Ademar watched lazily as a delicate hand brushed past his neck, and began stroking his chest, gently playing over the half dozen puckered white scars that dotted his torso, then dipped lower, tracing along a long jagged line that crossed horizontally along the bottom of his ribcage.
“So many scars,” the girls’ soft voice lamented in his ear “a shame to blemish such a beautiful body.”
Ademar was paying little attention to the woman sharing his bath. He had paid for her services not, her conversation. Enjoying the heat of the water the elf simply lay his head back on the woman’s breast and closed his eyes completely relaxing his body which slid lower into the tub. She kept talking despite the lack of response yet, Ademar had already slipped into his inner thoughts and her quiet banter fell on deaf ears.
Strangely though, his thoughts lingered on the scars he wore. Not those which disfigured his face but those that laced his arms and torso, the jagged reminders of the often dangerous life he now lived. The small white rings on his torso were testament to a barrage of arrows which had nearly killed him. The long slash across his upper stomach was the doing of a curious snake creature which seemed to be part man, one of many injuries which nearly ended his life. Unseen beneath his thick copper hair was another disfigurement, a mark left by a boulder throwing giant who had tried to crush him from afar. Various other, less noticeable white lines marked him, the signs of battle.
It’s all Cor’Nal’s fault. It was his idea to come to this frozen wasteland in the first place! Adventure is what he had promised; adventure and gold to help us travel back to Caercaster. Now, two years past, I have come within a breath of death too many times and I am no closer to my goal than when I left. Bitterly, he wondered, not for the first time, if he would ever see his ambitions completed or if he would die in the wild wilderness of Eldridge.
His anger passed quickly though, he found it difficult to be angry with the one person who kept him grounded to his past and never questioned the secret motives of Ademar. Despite Cor’Nal’s sometimes infuriating character traits, he had become a dear friend who had saved Ademars’ life many times. When others faltered in battle it was always Cor’Nal who managed to get them out of trouble.
Unlike Luethar. Ademar didn’t know what it was about the halfling, he hadn’t been able to gauge him. The only thing he really knew was that when violence broke out it was likely that the halfling would disappear. Even in the comfort of an inn or tavern, Luethar was more interested in reading than conversing. He did seem to be warming up to Ryan though which, was encouraging, perhaps he would find his place among them and contribute something…
Ademars’ thoughts were interrupted as a glass was pressed into his hand. Opening his eyes he was greeted by a goblet full of wine. Bringing it to his lips he glanced around the room. It was a good size as far as inns go, and clean too. The bed was soft and piled high with blankets, it even had a chamber pot so he didn’t have to go outside. His survey ended on his equipment piled haphazardly beside the bed. Hidden somewhere inside that jumble he knew, were several pouches full of gems and coins, the spoils of their recent exploits. The smooth skin of the womans’ leg rubbed seductively against his own then, her hand slid along the inside of his thigh. Ademar took a long swallow from his glass before placing it back on the table next to the tub. Perhaps the scars were becoming worthwhile after all…