Episode 1 - Four Kobalds and a Funeral

1st Week (June 25,2010)

The story starts off with four adventurers heading to the town of Hope, in the middle of South Caitonia. They do not know each other, but they are all there for a funeral. A man named Harold had passed away, beaten by a group of bandits, and that man has a connection to each adventurer, somehow. Some adventurers have parents who knew Harold, while others shared their life with him in some way. I gave each of them a backstory, but they haven’t really chosen to share it with the rest of the group.

Anyways, they get into town, and they hear there are bandits in the area, pillaging and taking from travelers. They go to the tavern/inn, where they meet each other. It is the night before the funeral, but the town has a little problem. A group of Kobalds had gone and overtaken the town mine, so the miners had been out of work for three days. Duncan, the barkeep, said he lost a ring in the mines while delivering some food up there. The ring is important because Harold gave it to him as a keepsake long ago. He asks the adventurers to go and clear the mine of the Kobalds if they are up to the challenge. The reward is three nights free stay and all meals and drinks on the house. After spending a bit more in the bar, the Rogue gets very drunk because he did not spend much money on equipment and decided to spend it on ale instead. Jesse, the attractive red haired barmaid, keeps it coming, just to see how much this halfling Rouge can handle.

The adventurers get greedy, and go see the owner of the mine, an old guy named Gilbert. They ask if there is any reward for clearing the mine for him, since it is his mine, and he’d want to get it up and running again. After hemming and hawing, he finally agrees to give them 400 gold for doing this for him. To the Rouge, it is not enough, and he asks for even more. He wants enough Iron Ore to make two breastplates of armor. Gilbert gets a little annoyed and finally is strong armed into agreeing.

They go and ask a few miners some questions, but don’t find anything new, except for the mention of an old alchemy lab that is in there, that no one has touched. It was here before their time, and since they were always busy mining, they just ignored it and locked it back up.

The adventurers head towards the mine, which is a brisk walk from the edge of town. The go into the mine and are instantly attacked by two Kobalds. Kobalds are tiny dinosaur men about the size of a Hobbit. They are dispatched easily by the Dwarf Palidin, Dwarf Cleric, Halfling Rogue, and Elvan Sorcerer.

They make their way through a few more rooms, killing Kobalds along the way, until they get to a door with a very rusted lock on it. The sign says “Friends Welcome, Enemies, Beware!” After listening to the door and detecting it for traps, they break it down and find an alchemy lab.

There are some magical spots in this room, and they find the ring they were looking for in one of the drawers filled with books. On the table, there are a few scrolls, and some powders and potions. In the corner of the room, however, there is a mirror. When they look into the mirror, a woman appears. She says she is trapped in the mirror, and has been there for years. She got to know the sorcerer who was working here, but didn’t know much about his experiments. She also warns them of a small dragon in the chambers deeper in the mine. After taking all they can they decide to head back into town.

Episode 2 - Jewel Quest

DM Note: 2nd Week! (July 3, 2010)

We had two other adventurers join us for this night. One was there playing Magic: The Gathering, and the other also plays D&D on Friday nights, but their Dungeon Master had to go to a wedding, so he asked if he could join our group.


It is deep in a cave somewhere. A man in black turns to face the mysterious woman.
“Yes, I understand completely, paramour….I’ll send word immediately.”

She does not say anything.

“But I must contact the Regent now.”
The woman fades into the shadows.
The man turns towards the mirror…..
In the town of Stormfrost, another man in black clothes asks his assistant if he got all that. The assistance affirms that he did.

“Ok then, the Regent says. “Feathers away”. The assistant opens the window, and a bird flies out there very fast.

…The adventurers get back into town to some heavy commotion by the town’s outpost. There are a lot of people there, in varying stats of ill-health. They have cuts, bruises, and various other injuries.

Upon talking to the townsfolk, they find out the town to the west of them, Lyons, had been attacked by the pirates/bandits from Black Dragon. People fled the town, most of them running to the closer town of Chantelle because they had family there, while others just took off in any direction. They are calling for a guy’s head outside the town outpost.

The Paladin and Cleric help who they can, and find out from overhearing people that there was a guy snooping outside the town alchemy shop. After not getting his way, one of the girls saw him sneaking around the back, trying to open windows, so she went and told the boys about it, who took him and dragged him to the jail at the outpost.

The people outside the outpost are hurt, but there is a barely contained anger. They want to see the guy in the jail executed.

The two new guys who joined tonight were a Wizard and a Fighter, and I decided to roll them into the campaign as refugees from the town of Lyons, who just got here. They are in the outpost, talking to the guard already, when the main adventurers arrive.

A man named Kenny is in charge of guard duty, and he’s trying to hold the people back. Tysoon, a blue haired elf, is also with him. In the jail cell sits a young man with blond hair and dark clothes, something people in Black Dragon are known to wear. The people outside, those not hurt and with enough energy, grow more hateful and demand justice.

The adventurers ask Kenny some questions, and find out although young, he is one of the town elders. They ask him about the prisoner, and he says what they sort of had been hearing. The guy was snooping around outside and when one of the girls got suspicious of him trying to break and enter, she called some of the boys, and they grabbed him and threw him into jail. Tysoon says the guy kept insisting he was trying to buy his daughter a present, and was looking for some potions and a nice mirror for her. Dwarf Cleric asks Kenny if he is in charge of the outpost and he says no, he just decided to do guard duty tonight and there are no official King’s guards here. He asked if they noticed the two tombstones in the front of the outpost. The pirates came and killed those two guards, and instead of letting the townfolks bury them in the cemetery out back, the pirates made them bury them out front as a reminder to not oppose them.

Outside, a girl in green clothes approaches Dwarf Cleric and asks “How’s Clericing these days?” After laughing about it, he says it is fine. She says the reason she asks is she was interested in going to that school in Denhim, and asks about whether it is a good school. She introduces herself as Sara, and she is a gardener. Also, she asks if the school has a brochure, which they also laugh at.

The Human Fighter then asks Kenny if he can question the suspect. Kenny gives the go ahead. The Human Wizard, Human Fighter, Halfling Rogue, and Elf Sorcerer all take their turns. They ask him to roll up his sleeve. If he is from Black Dragon, he will have a tattoo on his arm. Initiates have a Wyrmling on their wrist, lieutenants have a wyvern on their arms and shoulders, and full fledged members of Black Dragon have a full dragon on their chest or back.

He refuses. Human Fighter asks him about his daughter, and finds that the guy hesitates a lot when answering questions. He tries to convince the guy to not fear him, because there is a lynch mob outside that wants his head, and he can protect him and make sure he doesn’t get killed. The guy still refuses, walks away from the interrogation, and tells the to do whatever they want, and that he did noting wrong, so they should let him go.

Tysoon says the prisoner is fairly weak, and it really didn’t take much effort to drag him into the jail, so they should just open the cell, hold him down, and see if he has any tattoos. They agree that they should find out, but what if the guy has hidden weapons on him?

Elf Sorcerer whispers to the others and says he can cast a Sleep spell on the prisoner. Kenny agrees with it, and the Elf Sorcerer casts sleep. The guy dozes off. Kenny goes to the drawer. He looks at teh drawer and asks the adventurers if they feel like going on a quest to retrieve the key, because he’s lost it! The adventurers groin loudly! Kenny then pulls out the key and tells them he was only joking, much to their relief.

The cell swings open, and they all quickly move into the room. They roll up the prisoner’s sleeve, and sure enough, he has the wyrm wrist tattoo. They roll up his sleeve further, but he does not have any other tattoos. They remove his leather armor and keep it, and they check him very thoroughly for any hidden weapons but they find none. No one is willing to look in his asshole, however.

People start to come into the outpost, so the adventurers exit the holding cell and then Kenny closes and locks the bars. The people crowd around the jail cell and some demand his execution. One of the adventurers say this can turn out very very bad. The people already assumed he’s one of the pirates that sacked their town, and the Paladin and Cleric could end up having to fight all these people for trying to lynch this guy.

Kenny then steps up and calms everyone down. He says that justice WILL be served, and this guy will stand on trial and be punished by the town elders. So just calm the fuck down and let us handle it. The crowd settles down somewhat and returns to talking with each other.

Kenny says that with all these people here, they are going to need places to stay, but it’s impossible because there are so many people here for the funeral, and now this. He is borrowing some blankets from the townsfolk and making the outpost a place for people tonight, because he can’t have people sleeping outside in the open.

Jesse, the red haired barmaid from earlier in the evening, walks up to Dwarf Paladin and tells him the boys really appreciate him and his friends clearing the mines for them and giving them their jobs back, so if they want, to come to the tavern and let them pay for their rounds.

A heavy set half orc and a blond girl in a white and pink dress pass by with blankets while more people start to flood into the outpost.

Since all the people seem to be healed of their wounds, the rest of the adventurers decide to settle down for a few rounds.

In the Wise Owl Tavern and Inn, Duncan asks the guys what they will have. The people seem enthusiastic. The miner boys buy the guests several rounds. Jesse walks up and introduces her friends Jewel and Terri. Jewel appears to be very young and naive. She is a blond girl dressed in red, who always carries a mirror with her. Terri is a raven haired girl dressed in black, and carries what appears to be a skull wand.

Another lady also introduces herself as Taylor and her half orc husband is Hugo.

Rogue Halfling is sitting down at the end of the bar, and Terri approaches him and congratulates him for returning the ring. She then asks him if he does Epona. The Rogue is a bit shocked at this, and tells her no he does not.

According to local knowledge, Epona is made with Red Reed Funghi, a very rare plant that grows in the swamps around South Caitonia. They say it is the reason the pirates are trying to take over this area. It is a red reed type plant, and the funghi that grows in a circle around the plant is then dried, grinded up, and then turned into a powder called Epona, which has many different uses. It is used mostly to make Marii Tea, a tea that makes the drinker go into a trance-like state.

Suddenly, the Rogue is interrupted. “What are you guys talking about?” It is Jewel. The Rouge tells her it is nothing, and to go away. Jesse then interrupts and says “Excuse me, I need to talk to Terri for a minute here.” Then go to the other end of the bar where Jesse seems to give Terri an annoyed lecture and telling her she doesn’t want that sort of stuff in the town. Hugo, the half Orc, tells them in his deep echoing voice “Don’t do it. That stuff is evil.”

Jewel asks the Rogue what it is, and he keeps insisting she doesn’t need to know about it. Across the bar, where most of the people are congregating, the girl in green introduces herself to the rest of the crowd and says she is Sara, the gardener.

The Rogue then tries to get away from the young girl and she starts talking to Terri and Jesse again. He makes a really crude remark and Terri then rolls her eyes and tells everyone she’s leaving. The Rogue protests, but to no avail.

Dwarf Paladin asks about Red Reed Funghi, and finds out that even though King Maurius has not outright banned it in Catonia, it is extremely frowned upon. He asks what happens if someone is caught with it. The people beside him say the elders of the town will definitely take it away and give you a very stern lecture.

Sara says goodbye to everybody, and to have a good time. She leaves through the door, but the rogue follows her. “Hi, he says, so you are a gardener?” She nods. "Umm, I wanted to ask you something….do you have a herb that can knock somebody out for a few rounds? She asks him why he needs something like this. Rogue tells her it’s probably best she didn’t know. She says just to tell her, since she won’t judge him. He says he wants to knock out the prison guard so he can get into the prison. She asks why, and he tells her he wants to kill the prisoner. He plans to bring some tea as a nice gesture to Kenny, and then sneak in to the prison and kill the pirate. She says she really doesn’t want any part of this. He keeps insisting, and she says she’s not going to help him kill someone, and she doesn’t have anything that will do that anyways. “If you really want something like that, you should probably go talk to the chemist in the town, but that place is closed for the night.”

Rogue goes back to the bar after talking to Sara.

One of the miners says “Well guys, I’ve spent all my money buying you guys rounds, so I think I’m out.” Hugo and his wife also say goodnight and thank the adventurers for clearing the mines.

The new guys, the Wizard and the Fighter, ask if they can bunk with the other adventurers tonight, since there is no room anywhere. They tell them there is barely room to fit them all into their room, so sorry. The only ones left in the tavern at this point are Duncan, his wife the cook, and Jesse, who is finishing up cleaning the tables.

The only ones who are not completely intoxicated are Dwarf Paladin and Dwarf Cleric. (I make them roll a check to see who is wasted) Dwarf Paladin and Dwarf Cleric decide to stand guard over the room tonight, taking 4 hours rest, with the Cleric taking first watch.

The Human Wizard and Human Fighter turn in to the outpost, where they sleep uncomfortably on the floor with everyone else.

The town rests for the night…

The adventurers in the Inn wake up to the sound of screaming and commotion outside! Something is definitely going on in the town center. The Paladin bangs on the door of their room to awaken everyone, until the sound of rushed footsteps come up the stairs!

As he looks down the hallway, two men dressed in black round the corner and rush right towards him. The Cleric, Rogue, and Sorcerer quickly get out of bed, but the Cleric has no time to put any of his armor on! Paladin gets ready for the first attack, and dodges it! Two are on him, just as the door swings open and the Sorcerer steps out, throwing a magic missile at the nearest bandit. The spell chars the bandit, but he is no worse for wear. The bandits get their chops into the Paladin, but he is holding them off. The Rogue rounds the corner and throws a knife at the other bandit, just narrowly missing it’s mark.

Outside, at the outpost, Wizard and Fighter awaken to the sound of the cell being opened. Kenny is lying on the floor, in obvious pain. The wizard thinks fast, casting a rare and powerful blinding and paralyzing spell, trying to hit the two bandits with the area of effect spell, but it completely misses. The two bandits raise their swords high in the air, just as the eyes of the unsuspecting prisoner open. Coup de Grace! The prisoner is slaughtered before their eyes!

The fighter charges towards the two bandits, and with skilled swordplay, spirals his weapon into the hands of the first bandit, making him drop his axe. The second bandit tries to grapple with the fighter, but the fighter turns to the side and trips the oncoming attacker. The wizard casts a spell of enlargement on the Fighter, and waits anxiously for the spell to take effect. The Fighter is getting swamped, but hanging in there valiantly!

Up in the Inn, the struggle continues. The Paladin takes another swipe at the lead bandit, this time connecting with a severe blow. The bandit falls in agony, and blood covers the cheap wooden flooring of the hotel hallway. The other bandit sees the Rogue and Sorcerer bursting through the door, and starts to flee back down the stairs. The Paladin takes off, and with more swiftness, intercepts the cowardly bandit at the bottom of the stairs, as another magic missile crashes into the wall behind the bandit. The brave dwarf and the bandit lock weapons in the narrow corridor, fighting savagely! The bandit swings wildly with his sword, leading to his final fatal mistake. The Dwarf Paladin steps slightly to the side, and raises his axe to the sky. With a battlecry, he swings downwards, catching the unprepared bandit square in the unarmored head, slicing him in half and spraying blood everywhere! The Sorcerer runs down the stairs beside the Paladin and calls up the stairs. “Where the hell are they?” The Cleric and Rogue do not have their armor on, and quickly rush back into the room. The Rouge yells out “I’ll come out through the top window! Go ahead without me!”

The Fighter, now three times his normal size, is an intimidating presence in the jail cell. The refugees are beginning to get up and catch their bearings. One of the bandits grabs his fallen axe and takes a chop. It is hard to miss the giant, and a swing connects. The giant fighter swipes at the over matched criminal, connecting with a deadly blow. Blood gushes everywhere as he asks the other bandit to surrender. The bandit ignores the warning, and a few seconds later, is summoned to the netherworld, courtesy of an enraged, and now enlarged fighter! With murderous intent, the fighter runs out of the outpost to see what is going on, with the Wizard close behind.

All four adventurers, Sorcerer, Wizard, Fighter, and Paladin, burst through the front doors of their abodes, to the sounds of screaming and hysteria. There are more than half a dozen pirates in the middle of the town square. The loudest screams come from the west, where a half orc warrior on a horse is carrying away a crying girl. “Jesse! Help me, please!!” It is Jewel, Harold’s grandaughter! The Orc turns his mount towards the west and gallops out of town, leaving a trail of dust hanging in the air. The activity seems to be centered around the alchemy lab, where several bandits have gathered, beating their victims. Through the window, the inside of the shop seems to be on fire.

The townspeople fight valiantly, but are outmatched by the bandits. The Sorcerer rushes towards the west, where Jesse is being dragged away by a bandit. With a silver tongue, he recites a spell, and immediately, both Jesse and the bandit collapse in the middle of the road, fast asleep.

The Paladin charges towards the bandits, and is met by a spear and a sickle. Weakened by his previous fight, he must conserve his energy for what may be his final battle! The fighter makes a sprint towards the pirates, but falls short of being in range. In the distance, the remaining pirates seem startled by what sounds like running horses. It is the wizard, creating the sound of well armed men, racing to save the village. Several of the pirates flee the scene.

Sara, enraged at the death and destruction around her, charges towards a pirate, planting her sickle square in the back of her enemy. Terri, stepping into the light, fires a deadly line of icicles, hitting the unsuspecting bandit, and putting him on the ground.

The Paladin and giant Fighter make short work of the remaining bandits. The pirates are routed, and the town is saved, just as the Rogue crashes through the window from the second floor and injures himself severely!

Episode 3 - Inglorious Bandit

July 9, 2010

This week’s episode starts off with the villagers of Hope recovering from the bandit invasion. The bandit who tried to kidnap Jesse had been put to sleep by the Sorcerer. He quickly goes and unties her, then uses the ropes to tie the bandit. Another bandit had some critical wounds, but he was stabilized.

The town elders meet in the middle of the square. They talk about holding an emergency meeting, but decide it is too early. The two pirates have been dragged off to jail, and someone needs to interrogate them. Duncan’s wife Michele, the head cook at the Wise Owl’s Tavern and Inn, says she wants to go too, because she wants to see the bandit bleed. Gunmarr, one of the dwarf miners, says as soon as they were attacked, he had sent a carrier pigeon to the town of Chantelle, telling them to send help, and it would be a few hours before he would hear any word back. That, along with the villagers all being in various conditions of pain and injury, makes them decide to postpone the meeting till noon, at the tavern.

Duncan heads towards the outpost, with the adventurers, except the Cleric, in tow. He is busy helping out the injured people, now gathered by a house with white flowers painted on it. He patches up wounds and heals people as needed.

On the way to teh outpost, Jesse asks Sorcerer if he was the one who put the pirate to sleep. He tells her that yes, indeed he was the one. She asks him to walk slower so she can talk to him for a bit.

Terri waves to Jesse, then approaches the Rogue. She tells him she has a treasure chest that her grandmother has in her house, and she has not been able to get it open for years. And since he is a rogue, if he could help her. The rogue agrees, and they head off to Terri’s grandmother’s house.

The Paladin, Fighter, and Wizard reach the outpost, where Paol is tending to the pirate leutenant’s wounds. He looks to be too severely wounded to speak. The other pirate, Jesse’s would-be kidnapper, is behind bars.
A merchant, who’s name is Owens Asyncritus, comes into town, and is shocked at all the carnage. He talks to one of the people in the town, and says he was heading back to Hope because the bridge has now been blocked off by bandits. They told him they don’t want anyone crossing this bridge, and to stay away from the swamps at the eastern edge of Hope, because it is “their area”. They were kind enough not to take any of his goods though, so he is thankful for that. He begins handing out supplies and helping anyone who may have needs.
Back at the outpost, the interogation begins. The healthy pirate is cooperative.

His name is Hernandez. He’s from one of the islands west of Stormfrost.

Duncan says: Which Island are you from?
Hildababy Island, East side represent. You probably never even heard of it, right?

Duncan: If you’re from the islands, how did you get all the way here?
“I come from a poor family, and ma and pa were always struggling to put food on the table.
I never went to school, but I wanted my little brother to, so when a recruiter came into town and offered the taller and stronger boys some decent pay, I jumped at the chance to sail the high seas.

I did that for a year. It was hard work some days, and living on that boat with a bunch of other sailors who didn’t like washing was sick, but it was good pay.
Some days, all we did was play with little soldiers and dice on a table top.

Now if you want me to keep talking, can you at least untie me?

Duncan (asking the Paladin): What do you guys think? Should we untie him? Are you comfortable with that?

Paol says:
I’ve already checked him for weapons, except for orfaces. So if he starts to scratch his bum hole, draw your sword.

The Fighter, Paladin, and Wizard discuss untieing him. Since he is a fairly insignificant peon, they decide to untie him. Michele, the cook, protests and is the only one who disagrees.

The Cleric continues healing people at the flower house. A young, beautiful girl walks up to him. She is obviously infatuated with him, and asks him to come into the flowered house if he wants to relax with her a little and de-stress. He agrees to the meeting and heads into the house.

Outside, Jesse tells the Sorcerer that she is very thankful she was rescued, and doesn’t want to think about what would’ve happened to her if they succeeded in taking her away. She says that since she is an elf and he’s an elf, maybe their families know each other. She also mentions she has some interest in studying to be a sorceress, and asks if he would help her. Sorcerer agrees, and she says that they should have dinner sometime.

Inside the outpost, the untied pirate continues…

Ok, so about a year in, the captain brings us all up the the ship, and tells us we are all probably going to see an increase in our pay.
That we weren’t going to fight with the other pirates anymore, and we were all gonna work together now to become rich – by getting people all hooked to that special tea.
But some of us were going to transfer to land and pirate the land, kind of like what we did to you guys today.

So I got dropped off in Stormfrost and transferred to Captain Clegg’s group. They also told us we all had to get this stupid dragon tattoo.

Duncan (asking the Paladin): Do you want to ask him anything?

The Paladin asks him how many towns they have raided.

Hernandez: Since I’ve been here, I’ve raided a town called Corsica, and then yesterday, we raided Lyons. If you grant me immunity from being tried and let me go, I’ll tell you all I know about Black Dragon.

Duncan says
I think that is a decision we will leave for the elders to decide.

Duncan (asking the Paladin): Do you want to ask him anything?

Paladin asks about the power structure of Black Dragon, and what their primary mission was.

Hernandez says he knew they were suppose to go after some artifact in the alchemy lab, and their secondary mission was to kill Lindenbock, which they succeeded at. Lindenbock got a carrier hawk message late yesterday that said they were suppose to attack Hope immediately. Clegg, already half wasted, replied and said his union stated he could only sack one town per day, and they had just finished Lyons off. So they’d have to wait for tomorrow. Lindenbock was a guy who was always trying to one up Clegg, and he kept telling the others that someday he was gonna be their leader. And he left for Hope, trying to retrieve this item before Clegg got there. When Clegg found out, he decided he had had enough of Lindenbock, and ordered them to kill him.

Hernandez the exclaims, "….Look, I don’t know most of these guys ok? I’m not loyal…..and besides, if I go back to them, they’ll think you guys let me go for snitchin’, and last I checked, they ain’t too kind to snitchers.
..I’ve already told you guys way more than I should. I want immunity and freedom, or I’m not sayin another word!

Duncan and Paol decide that they can’t make this call by themselves, so they are going to have to call the rest of the town elders if they want to make any more “deals” with this person. The Wizard volunteers to go out and find them all.

Rogue and Terri are standing next to a big wooden box, and Terri asks him if he can open it. He takes a close look at the lock, and examines it for traps. None are detected, so he opens it easily. Inside there are a few odds and ends, and a cookbook her granmother bought at some store long ago. She gives the Rogue the book and then they wonder what to do next.

Terri asks him if he’d like to know more about what they were talking about before they were so rudely interrupted at the bar last night. At first Rogue is reluctant, but then decides that this type of knowledge might be useful later on. Terri then says they will have to go to her place to get something.

They take a brisk walk towards her house, and she opens to tdoor to hear the sounds of two people in the throes of mad, passionate love. She asks Rogue to wait outside, and then opens the door to the room. The couple stop and she asks the girl if Jesse knows they are in here? A meek “No” comes out from the other end, and she grabs a lizard statue off her shelf, and then closes the door behind her.

“That’s soo gross!” she exclaims. “Well, we can’t do it here I guess, but I have another place. Here, follow me…”

Inside the outpost, the elders and the adventurers huddle to discuss the fate of the pirate Hernandez.

Paol says: I think we should take this deal. He sounds like he doesn’t care about the pirates.

The Fighter, Paladin, and Wizard all agree that the information this guy may provide could help them track down Jewel and let them learn more about the pirates. The general consensus seems to be they should at least grant him immunity. Michele then groans outwardly…

Michele (sighs) : I can’t seriously believe you guys are considering taking this deal. Let him sit and rot forever if you want justice to be served.

Duncan: Michele, please let us talk it over first….

Michele (walking out of the outpost): Hey everybody, guess what? It looks like we won’t be getting justice again!

Duncan: I really wish she hadn’t done that!

A crowd starts gathering outside the jailhouse. Paol grabs the bandit and puts him into the jail cell while Duncan blocks the door.

Paol says: Ok everyone, nothing to see here! No one comes in!
Don’t worry, I’ll keep the crowd out. You guys just get to your meeting on time.

Michele runs into Sorcerer and Jesse outside the outpost, where a crowd is gathering. She tells them what has just happened. People in front of the outpost are booing.

“That’s so stupid.” Jesse exclaims. “I can’t believe they are thinking of letting him go!” She turns to Sorcerer. “Actually, I might need your help with something else. I have to ask you something, but that means you’ll have to miss your meeting. And yes, it’s important!” She takes sorcerer into a corner.

“Listen,” she says. "I want justice served just as much as you do, so I need you to help me with something. Jesse then takes out two mushrooms, and Sorcerer instantly recognizes them as Princess Toadstools. They grow around the shady spots in and around his hometown of Chantelle. The purple ones are poisonous, but in them, she has a bunch of blue ones mixed in, which are Princess Toadstools most people use for various types of ordinary potions or used to spice up dishes..

“I need to know which one of these are the most poisonous. Please tell me!”

The sorcerer hesitates, and says he does not want to be involved in this, but Jesse is very persistent.
“Please, just tell me which ones are the most poisonous, and I’ll do the rest. That’s all you have to do!” Sorcerer does not want to make Jesse angry, so he finally gives up and points to all the blue ones.

Terri and Rogue sit inside an abandoned outpost at the edge of town, right beside the tiny wheat farm. This outpost was here long before Terri was, and is now used as a storage shed for old farm equipment.

Terri takes out several mushrooms, and digs out the pea sized seeds from underneath the mushroom heads. They are dry and brittle. She then takes out a tool that resembles a pencil sharpener and puts the seeds into it, then starts to casually turn the handle.

Chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka
Chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka
Chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka chuka

She then dumps the powder onto a cloth, then takes out the lizard statue and removes to mouthpiece. She pours a small pile of greenish powder into a tea cup.

“This stuff is Chamyleana. See, Marii Tea affects everyone in a different way….
Some people feel stronger when they are on it, while others feel more tough, or more charasmatic. Still, others can’t cast certain spells until they drink it and they feel more wise or intelligent.”

Terri continuse as Rogue watches.

“Chamyleanis helps you not come down so hard off the Marii Tea, and you have to have it, or you could spend days not wanting to get out of bed….
And after you add the Epona and the Chamyleana, all you need is typical Royal Tea, and then you will have Marii Tea.”

She asks Rogue if he’d like to try some. He says he may as well try some and asks Terri if it affects one thing, will it just affect that one thing everytime he drinks it? She says that yes, it will affect him the same way usually, and she takes it to try and cast some spells.

He takes a swill of the Tea, and suddenly feels a lot stronger!

(Note: Marii Tea affects on of their stats, and gives either Strength, Intelligence, Chrisma, Wisdom, Dexterity, or Constitution a +3 boost for about an hour (1 battle) but then decreases all stats by -1 for the rest of the day. I made them roll a d6 to determine which stat Marii tea affects.)

The elders and the 3 adventurers meet at the outpost. Sorcerer, seemingly finished with his talk with Jesse, joins them. Gunmarr speaks and tells everyone that he just got a reply back from Chantelle, and they tell them that they are planning to attack and reclaim their hometown of Lyons from the pirates. They also tell them to send reinforcements, and to please help the villagers get through the wilderness to Chantelle. The elders ask the adventurers if they can do this for them, which they all agree to do.

Gunmarr also mentions Owens Asyncritus has decided to let them use his horses and cart to help transport people and supplies to Chantelle. The adventurers decide they would like to ask the town alchemist, who’s shop was sacked, a few questions.

On the way Jesse passes by and gives Sorcerer an evil eye. Fighter asks what that was about, but Sorcerer claims ignorance.

Episode 4 - The Countess of Chantelle

The first poisoning attempt by Jesse the red-haired elvan barmaid, did not succeed. She gives the Sorcerer the ol’ evil eye when she passed by, because he lied to her and told her to feed him the wrong mushrooms to the pirate.

Cleric wandered off to Lucie’s house, where he did some “healing” for her. As to what type of healing he did on her, we will leave that up to the imagination. The Cleric wanders back to the outpost, and the adventurers gather together to talk about the day’s events and what to do. They decide they should probably go to Harriette the Chemist’s shop and take a look around.

The get to Harriette’s shop and ask her if she knows what these scrolls and potions are that they found in the caves. She tells them the potions are ethers that restore a spell per day. THe scrolls, however, are written in very complicated script, and they are ingredients for alchemy. She could transcribe them into laymen’s terms, but she would need a few days to do it. They leave the items with her and head back to the outpost to ask the pirate more questions, passing Jesse on the way out, who gives the Sorcerer another dirty look.

Just then, they hear a choking sound coming from the cell. The jailer quickly opens the door and tries to help the pirate. It does not appear he is choking, so the guess is he is dying of poison. At least that’s what the Sorcerer guesses.

Rogue, gets up and runs as fast as he can towards Harriette’s Alchemy shop. He gets there and charges through the door.

Rogue runs in, “Quick, I need an anti-poison antidote.”

Harriette fumbles around and asks who got poisoned? He says the poison potion is needed for the Paladin. Harriette thinks for a moment and says she doesn’t believe him. The Paladin was just here a few seconds ago. How could he be poisoned? The Rogue breaks down and tells Harriette it’s for the pirate, and they need him to be alive because he might have information about the wherebouts of Jewel.

She looks at the Rogue. Rogue looks at her. She looks back at the Rogue. Rogue looks back at her….

Meanwhile, at the outpost, the pirate is dying and in agony. Cleric continues to cast cure light wounds on Hernandez, but he does not know how long he can keep it up. As he nearly exhausts his spells, Rogue bursts into the door with the supposed anti-poison potion. He wonders if this potion really is an anti-poison potion, or is this town really full of trecherous vipers who kill without regard?

Hernandez drinks the purple concoction, and after a minute of gaging, he finally stabilizes, holding his stomach and curling into a fetal position as he does.

Fighter and Paladin decide to go to the bar and arrest Jesse. They burst into the bar, and tell Jesse she is under arrest for the poisoning of Hernandez. Duncan the bartender and tavern owner says that is ridiculous, and they shouldn’t be taking the side of the pirates and turning on the townspeople. Jesse says she did not poison the pirate. The Paladin and fighter both roll a bluff check and fail miserably. Both then decide to arrest the cook Michele and Jesse, which are then dragged off through the town towards the outpost, with much of the townsfolk in tow.

At the outpost, the situation is quickly deteriorating. There are a lot of pissed off townsfolk outside, and the town elders have a hard time deciding if they actually are going to throw two prominent and very popular members of Hope into the slammer. Besides, Gilbert wonders, do they actually have any proof that either Jesse or Michele were both responsible. Michele could have cooked a very nice meal, and given it to Jesse to be delivered, only to have Jesse add in her very own fine sauces or powder. Or, Michele could’ve added in the trecherous ingredients, and not told Jesse about it. The Fighter then asks if the Pirate had any food allergies, and immediately, Jesse and Michele say that yes, they are SURE he had allergies to some, if not all of their ingredients. The crowd outside start to chant “execution! execution! Down with pirates!” The Fighter, then decides to swing a deal to save them all. They would take Hernandez off the townspeople’s hands. He would travel with them, and he’d be their responsibility, and he would help them find Jewel. If he was helpful, he will have earned his freedom. In return, Jesse and Michele were free to go, without any formal charge filed against them. This sounded agreeable to all involved, and so, it was done.

After the crowd dispersed, the adventurers go back to the mine to grab the mirror, killing two Kobalds along the way. They get to the old wizard’s lab, and the girl in the mirror ask who is trying to find her? before being stuffed into a bag.

They get back to the town, and their wagon is packed. Refugees from both the town of Lyons, which had been hit by the pirates, and travellers wishing to return to Chantelle start to gather their bags for the long journey. Jimmi, a tall strapping boy who used to work in the lumberyards, asks if he can join them. He can provide guard duty. His friend Keith said he’d also like to join. The adventurers agree, as more stuff is packed into their carriage. Sara the gardener, a young woman who’s long brown hair touched her lower back, also asked to join the adventurers, offering her services as a gardener to the crew. She had fought bravely against the pirates, and the group felt liek she could be of help.

Jesse then visits the adventurers, who are about to take off for the town of Chantelle. She also asks if she can join, in which immedietly, Hernandez protested. The rest of the adventurers agree with his assessment. She had tried to poison someone, and there was no way they were going to allow her to travel with them. Them trusting her with their food was just not going to happen. Jesse is saddened by this but accepts their decision.

Finally, Emerson the Blacksmith said that he could use a little vacation, and his son can probably take care of business for a little while. The adventurers decide to allow him to go along with them, as his skills might be useful.

The rest of the refugees say their goodbyes and thank you’s, and the people head out of town, past the lumberyards, and west, chasing the setting sun on their way to Chantelle, and what other adventures lie ahead….

There are monsters in the forests between Hope and Chantelle. Most of them in the Honey Forest, however are harmless. There are these persistent little dogs, however. The best way to describe them would be they are wild Dachund dogs, so they have that long body, bred for going after digging animals. But what makes them distinct are their red ears. These ears are covered in fine red feathers. The Chynchoad, a common pest found around the Honey Forest, are one of the only dogs to have feathers. And they can be pesky and brave. But they do not fly. The adventurers ran into several of these along the way, and besides trying to grab the children, and other objects from the entourage heading towards Chantelle, really did not cause much concern. Plus, they made a good source of meat when they needed to feed all the refugees.

The Neantherals, a primitive looking human, and one that appears far stronger, were of concern, however. The wizard, in his travels through the world, had read about these creatures. It is said that they were part of the Almighty’s creation, who were suppose to help mankind, but after the fall of Eden, they too also became corrupted by sin, and are now savage beasts, incapable of understanding humans. Referred to as “Neeners” by some of the less politically correct, they carry primitive weapons and fashion their clothes out of the hides and skins of wild animals they hunt. A few were encountered along the road west. But as a large group, travelling together, the Neantherals did not dare attack, much to the relief of the road weary travellers.

About two hours into the trip west, the group turned north, overlooking the Gorgon Valley, a lush valley known for its Truffalo, good, fertile soil, and of course, it’s Gorgon, far to the north. They would have to cross this valley to get to Chantelle. Pantheron, a tiger-like wildcat with sharp tusk-like teeth, were the first to attack the group at the valley’s edge, just before they headed down to the valley. Luckily, no one was hurt.

The Valley was also home to a ginat snail called the Glooper. Resembling and being the same size as a large monitor lizard, it had tall eyestalks and two hand like appendages, and a very large shell with spikes protruding from the back. This gave the party some challenges. It is a highly agressive creature, that detects sound very easily, and it is immune to sneak attacks because of it’s back shell. There were numerous Gloopers in the valley, and they attacked often.

As the group travelled up the valley, the monsters seemed to multiply. The Truffalo is a bull-like bovine, so aptly named because dieting on the sugary grass of the Gorgon Valley gave the meat a very distinct sweet taste, almost like eating a truffle. The easily agitated Truffalo were put to good use by Rogue, however, when a dancing lights spell placed in the middle of a group of Truffalo made them charge and kill an agressive group of Gloopers.

In the middle of the valley, a ginat Plumpkin patch was seen and, the group thought, best avoided. These evil Jack o’ Lanterns shot flaming seeds from their mouths, and their halloween-like cackle could unnerve someone very easily.

As the group approached the town of Chantelle, an old grizzled Dwarven Fighter and a human Monk came out to greet them. They had also been refugees, but instead fled to Chantelle. They were part of the group trying to gather allies to retake back the town of Lyons from the pirates and were glad to see more people ready to join the resistence movement.

Note: Dwarven Fighter is a new player we picked up since the Paladin got a job and decided he couldn’t play on Friday nights any more.

Chatelle is an affluent and wealthy town. It is a tourist hotspot, and probably the only South Caitonia town most commoners and nobles knew by name. The famous architecture, fertile farmland, and location at the bottom of a majestic mountain, overlooking a gorgeous valley made it a destination of choice for those nobles who wanted to get away from the everyday rigors of ruling people. And it was here that the working class fled when their town was overrun by the pirates.

Most of the affluent part of town didn’t really care one way or the other about the commoners. They just figured their own guards would take care of the problem if trouble got too close, so the cries of the downtrodden largely got ignored. Chief among them was Lady Genevieve, also known as the Countess of Chantelle. She married a noble, who spent most of his days talking politics, partying, and socializing with his friends and acquantences in Catonia City, far to the north, trying to buy influence, and furthering their family name or whatever nobles of high order do.

This left Genevieve to tend to their castle in Chantelle, and the Countess spared no expense in turning it into one of the most talked about dream homes in the kingdom. Parties with nobles were thrown in the castle on special occasion, and to get an invitation to one of these extraviganzas, you were considered very lucky.

But bored with just being a socialite, Genevieve also used her money and influence to shape, coerce, and bully the town into the image she had in mind. No longer were the small and large houses scattered together, but now there was a section up on a small ridge where all the wealthy wine owners and influential people resided, and the rest of the town below that, a place of have nots, the working class, and the petty criminals. It was said that if you wanted to go through the proper channels to get something done, you would talk to the town councilmen. But if you wanted to get something done faster, you needed to get a meeting with the lady.

As the adventurers pulled into the town, it seems as though a significant weight was lifted away from some of the townsfolk. Hugs and tearful embraces filled the entrance to Chantelle, as villagers ran to greet their family, who had been scattered through the countryside due to the pirate invasion.

As people thanked the adventurers, some gave them money, while others, who had nothing to give, thanked them profusely.

The Rogue headed towards the tavern immediately, while the others unpacked. Hernandez, not wanting to attract too much attention, decided he would probably best fit in by laying low in the carriage. One of the townsfolk had found a large, piece of dog leather, woven into a carriage covering. Hernandez was sheltered from the rain in there, and had the gardener’s and blacksmith’s work tables to keep him company.

The town of Chantelle, like most other towns, had a main street, where the shops and other places of business kept themselves. A single merchant yelled out that he was looking for anything Plumpkin related, flowerpots, flesh, or seeds, because his mother needed it to make her famous Plumpkin Pie. He could also, if they asked, give him a piece of Plumpkin for free, and in turn, he would tell them an interesting fact about the Ranson Hills area, which many adventurers find themselves in. Cleric thought about that deal, and backed away, thinking he could get that information elsewhere.

At the tavern, there was a gathering of people. So the adventurers decided to go there to see what it was about. They met Smokey, a resident of the invaded town of Lyons. He was organizing a resistence movement, but it wasn’t going very well. The people would not join up if they didn’t have any weapons, and without weapons, they had nothing they could practice. According to reports, Lyons had around 20 pirates guarding it, with more on the way from the port town of Stormfrost, about a day’s journey to the west from the Dew Bridge. They needed weapons, and true weapons like swords, not the clumsy farm implements they had been practicing with. The pirates had better equipment than them, and many in the town were afraid their foolhardy attempt would just get them killed. Worst yet, their pleas had fallen on deaf ears, and Lady Genevive had close to 20 soldiers at her castle, and wouldn’t even spare one to help them take back their town. Such was their lot in life. The people told the adventurers that maybe the Countess would listen to you. After all, they had brought some of the people back and people were talking in the town and calling them heroes.

Two of the peolpe in the group, who were brothers, said they also had a job for the adventurers. They usually went out to kill the Plumpkins because they were a nusiance and caused trouble for travellers travelling into their town. But because they were so busy trying to organize the restence movement, they had let the large Plumpkin patch in the middle of the valley grow too large, and now it was totally out of control. They needed someone to go and kill all the Plumpkins, and in exchange, they would give the adventurers a special piece of armor their uncle wore during his youth – a leather coat, scaled with shells from a Glooper.

At the tavern, Rogue saw a kid try and post a job to the bulletin board. Apparently, some bandits from the Ransom Hills took all his goats, and Goat Herder Ennis would be raging mad when he found out. Rogue helped the kid post the message, but said he didn’t know if they would have time to help him.

While taking stock of what they had for equipment and weapons, Smokey then asked the Cleric if he wouldn’t mind doing a particular job for him. He wanted to keep it private, so he wanted the adventurers to help, instead of anyone from the town. He wanted to populate his farmer’s field with snails. When asked why, Smokey said it was because he didn’t want his field to grow into a Plumpkin field, and these snails would eat the magical energies emanating fromt he ground and help them grow into normal pumpkins. A bluff check by the wizard told the group that Smokey wasn’t entirely being truthful. But in order for them to know whathe was talking about, they would have to see the snails. They asked him why he didn’t do it himself, in which he replied he didn’t want his competition to see what types of snails he used. A miserable bluff check result told them he was totally telling the truth.

Reluctantly, the Cleric agreed, took the bag, and for the next half an hour, the group decided what they should do. Should they not do it and just tell Smokey they did it? Could they trap him and get him arrested? But the bag was in their hands now. Could they even prove that Smokey gave them this job, or if the snails were in fact, his?

Heading back towards the group, Rogue spotted a wealthy looking man grumbling to himself while sitting in his cart. He approached the man and asked how it was going. Richard replied that life sucked, and he was thinking about killing himself. He is, or was a procurer for Lady Genevieve, and she hired him to procure her a Soul Jem, one of the rarest and most expensive gems in the entire kingdom. But he had only begun to find out where to get one when she fired him. Now his wife will kill him for not having a job, and he was wondering what to do.

Sara, being at the bar this whole time, came up with a young Elvan woman named Jerica she had been talking with. Sara told the adventurers that Jerica was sick and tired of working in the kitchen at the tavern, and wanted to take her sister, nephew and niece to Nephilim Falls, a waterfall about an hour west of Chantelle, in the Ransom Hills. She had promised to take her nephew and niece forever, and work just kept demanding more and more of her time. But the Ransom Hills could be dangerous, and she needed people to protect her while going there. The Cleric said that he would try and fit it in the schedule, but couldn’t promis anything. After all, they were trying to figure out what they would do with this bag of snails.

Then the Wizard decided to show the snails to Sara. She might know what these snails do and just how much they “help” a garden. Sara took the bag, and immediately, she gasped softly. “These snails are REALLY harmful to a garden,” she exclaimed. “They will eat all the nutrients out of the soil, and you won’t be able to grow anything for close to 2 years after that! Please, wherever you got them, throw them away!” The good thing though, she noted, is they reproduce very slowly. (I put this little fact in just in case the adventurers decided to spread the snails everywhere and turn the area into a desert wasteland in a few years. )

The adventurers discussed it more, and finally decided they would not go ahead with Smokey’s request. Sara told them to please be careful with those snails, because they were extremely harmful and to not accidenly release them somewhere. The Cleric decided to give Sara the snails, and she responded by immediately tossing them on a nearby rock and crushing them all underfoot. The Cleric looked at the slime and wondered if he could harvest any slime oil from the crushed snails, but found out he could not because these were not the right type of snails (Gloopers).

After taking inventory, the adventurers decided to head to the Countess’s house and tyr to convince her to lend them a few soldiers. As they head in that direction, Richard, the unemployed procurer, asks if he can join them. He is a procurer of rare and wonderous items, and he also has an unused carriage. He can also help obtain better quality items from their monster kills. The group overwhelmingly agrees, and they head up the hill, to the rich affluent area.

As they pass by rows and rows of large houses, a somewhat familiar face greets them. They ask who this older couple is, and they say they are the Sorcerer’s parents, and where is sorcerer. Rogue tells them he’s masturbating furiously. (Sorcerer was not with us this week) They asked if they had a place to stay yet, and since the Rochon family was away, and he was the chief butler of the house, that the group was free to stay in their mansion.

The Rochons are a very wealthy family, and make their money from the vineyards in Lyons. They are best known for making Chalet Wine, which is a moderately priced wine enjoyed through the region as a casual, yet good wine.

The group thanks Sorcerer’s parents, and heads for the Countess’s castle. As they approach, their eyes widen as the most beautiful, meticulously kept garden spreads before them at the entrance to the castle. The lady seemed to spare no expense, and was in stark contrast to the much less wealthy neighborhood they came from.

The guard standing at the door, did not let them in, so they had to decide what they could do. Lady Genevieve was not a lady who liked to be disturbed, or liked having her time wasted.

They backtracked to the Sorcerer’s parent’s house, and asked if there was a way his dad (Mr. Sorcerer) could put in a good word for them so that they could see the countess. They figured, after all, he was a butler to the Rochon family, and Lady Genevive, if not familiar with him personally, would at least be familiar with the Rochon family name. The father agreed happily, and after some haggling, finally convinced on of the guards to at least mention to the countesss that the people from Hope were here to see her.

The guards finally got the OK, and let everyone in, where their eyes feasted on the spendor of the house. If the outside of the house had any compentition as to what was the most luxurious location they’ve ever been, the insode of this house would be that competition.

After waiting in the big room, they were led to a smaller more private room, where several ladies with swords drawn walked and stood in a row in front of them. After awhile, one of them announced: “The Countess will now hear you”. From behind the wall, out stepped Lady Genevieve.

Lady Genevieve was dressed in a tight little outfit, and wearing a long coat. Though the style of dress she was wearing was casual, the materials looked extremely rare and expensive. She eloquently thanked them for being nice enough the bring some of the refugees back to Chantelle, and then enquired as to what they were there to see her for. The Cleric started to give an impassioned speech as to the pirate problem and why she should send her soldiers to help them fight off the pirates. She asked them how many pirates there were, and the adventurers told her there were about 20 in Lyons, and perhaps more on the way. She commented on how she had about 20 troops in her castle alone, and asked them why she should send any soldiers when she was safe and protected in her castle? The adventurers try to clumsily convince her it would be better to send the pirates a message before they bring the fight to her door. She asked about pirate activity, and how many they had encountered on the way to the town, and their answer of “none” did not convince the countess that there was any danger at all. She asked if they had seen any carts overturned or any signs of people being mugged. This led the adventurers to further enquire what she was talking about. She revealed to them that her jewelcrafter had gone missing recently, and that she was carrying an item worth a lot of money to her. The lady asked what direction they came from. The Wizard (or Rogue) remarked at how she did not know what direction Hope was, which she got annoyed at them because she does not usually remember the names of every insignificant town around here.

The Cleric then decided to try and make a deal with her. They would try to find her lost jeweler, and in exchange, she would help them by sending troops to help them reclaim Lyons. She began to say something, when the Rogue interrupted her and suggested she throw in additional swords, armors, and items for the invasion. Lady Genevieve then wagged her finger at Rogue and told him to shut up, as no one interrupts her, and she found him very rude. She said the deal was this: She would give them three soldiers if they did these three tasks.

1) They will find the missing item.
2) They will return her jeweler to her safely. She is not easily replaced.
3) They will kill everyone involved that forced this unspeakable inconvenience for her.

Also, Gregory, a trusted Ranger and tracker under her employ, will help them track her down. She asked them if they had a deal or not. After discussing it among themselves, the adventurers decided to take her deal. The Lady was pleased with the decision, and then clapped her hands. Four beautiful, scantily dressed ladies appeared in front of them. She said that if they wanted, they could stay at the Lapin Ranch. The ladies here were all tested, and free of how do you say – ze clape, unlike Sorcerer’s father. The Cleric said his morals would not allow it, and the Wizard and Dwarf Fighter did not trust the ladies, so it was all up to the Rogue to take all four in one night.

They decided to spend the night in town and wake up early the next morning to begin looking for the lady’s jeweler.

Setting out early in the morning, they get ready to leave. They decide to leave the rest of the party (Sara the gardener, Emerson the Blacksmith, Hernandez, Jimmi and Keith) to guard the carriage in town. No sense putting them in danger. They deide to, however, bring along the Procurer Richard, and his horse cart.

The adventurers head up north, and as they predicted, they find a cart overturned, with two soldiers dead beside it, Gloopers absorbing their insides slowly. After fighting off the Gloopers, they exampine the broken cart’s contents, and see a jeweler’s table inside. They take the table and put it into the procurer’s cart, and Gregory finds a bunch of footprints heading west. Following the trail, the adventurers find themselves near a cave. They decide to leave the cart with Gregory and take the procurer along with them, since he can help them find better loot.

Heading into the caves, they encounter various traps of Kobald design, which they spring and keep as loot. They fight their way heroicly to the end of the cave complex, where they hear the screams of a young halfling woman. The Rogue sends his crow to look ahead of the cave complex, while the rest of the party fights off a ham fisted surprise attack by several Kobalds.

A final fight ensues with the Kobald Wyrmpriest, armed with a Serpent Rod. The Serpent Rod poisons the Wizard, and he nearly dies, while the fire spell unleashed from it burns the fighter. As the fight winds down, the Wyrmprienst begs for mercy and surrenders in the middle of the fight. The Fighter will have none of it, however, and decides to splatter the brains of the Wyrmpriest all over the cave’s floor. The rest of the party is a bit annoyed at him. They could’ve interrogated the Kobald leader, and he could’ve given tehm information as to why so many Kobalds seemed to have been popping up around the area lately.

The Jeweler, named Francine, is glad to see them. She reaches down her pants and takes out what appears to be a glowing jewel of many colors. It is a Soul Jem, and is one of the rarest and most valuable jems in the world. It contains the power of all the elements, and can be put into armor to protect the wearer from all types of elements. Francine tells the adventurers she had never had to go through such humiliation, and it is a good thing that her boyfriend is huge, or she would have never been able to hide that jewel from those Kobalds! She had been brought here by the Kobalds, where they forced her to work long hours making bad jewelry and giving her horrible quality raw materials. Then they would take the jewels away to sell them to whatever people were dumb enough to buy them.

There was also a chest next to the makeshift table they set up for her. After fidgeting around with the lock, and trying to find a key on the other Kobalds, the lock was eventually opened, and inside, were three other brand new Serpent Rods. These were also flimsily made, and looked like one use items, to be discarded when all their charges were used up.

The adventurers looted what they could, and mostly ended up with a lot of Dog Leather, the primary Kobald armor made up of the skins of the local Chynchoad dog.

They stayed the night in the wilderness next to the cave.

*DM Note: The sorcerer decided to abandon his old character and create a Monk. So the Monk was with them for the above encounter.

Episode 5 - Smokey Gets In Your Eyes

The adventurers, tired and road weary, return to the town of Chantelle early in the morning. Monk and Rogue did not sleep well last night, and had come down with what the Cleric thought might have been Shivering Sickness. Thankfully, there most likely would be medicine in the town.

When they got closer to their first carriage, there was a commotion there. Upon coming closer, they could see that Sara was crying, while Emerson tried to comfort her. They asked what happened, and Emerson told them that Smokey had taken Sara aside and was mighty pissed that he saw her stomp on all his snails yesterday. As a result of a heated argument, he slapped her. Jimmi was mad as hell, and he was heading towards the tavern. Cleric decided to head there, while the Fighter and Wizard put the Rogue and Monk up in the hotel for the day.

Cleric intercepted Jimmi halfway, and attempted to convince him to keep cool, and he also wanted to talk to this Jimmi if he really did hit Sara.

Jimmi walks in, takes a look around, then heads to Smokey’s table. He takes one swing and Smokey is floored, with a bloody nose. A fight ensues. The other patrons seem to keep out of it, and the struggle continues. The Cleric tries to keep people safe by getting them to move away from the fight as Jimmi wrestles with Smokey towards a window, and then throws him out of it. Glass shatters everywhere as Smokey hits the dust, and then Jimmi continues to pummel him. Smokey then gives up and decides to cede the fight the the much younger and stronger Jimmi. The Cleric takes both of them aside and Smokey tells the Cleric that the snails he gave them were very expensive, and that they owe him. Cleric tells him that he would have not let them populate another farmer’s field with harmful snails. Smokey then gets agitated, and asks the Cleric who he thinks he is, coming into the town and interfering with the way they do things. He told him that the other farmer would not have hesitated to populate a rival’s field with those same snails, and to get out of his face. He was not going to join them for their invasion of Lyons, and neither were his boys. He stomps off angrily. The Cleric could not say anything, and internally, he felt the struggle between keeping his morals and compromising to make things easier on themselves.

The Fighter and Wizard return to the group after putting the Rogue and Monk into bed at the hotel, and managed to snag another bulletin board posting while they were at it. Apparently, a bunch of lumberjacks needed to chop down trees in the Gorgon Valley, and wanted some people to protect them from the creatures that wanted to eat them for lunch.

They returned to their carriages, to see the rest of the group intensely discussing something.

Emerson then tells them a young woman, claiming to be one of the pirates, wanted to speak with Hernandez. Against his better judgement, Emerson allowed it, because he trusted his gut on this one, and he told her that as long as she didn’t try to help Hernandez escape, she could talk to him. Some of the other people in the group disagreed with his decision, but it seemed to turn out alright, since as far as Emerson knew, they were still talking in the back of the covered carriage.

Cleric, Fighter, and Wizard all take a look in the back of the cart, and they see a young blond lady, in tears, being comforted by Hernandez. Hernandez calmed down the group and said that her name is Tawney. She is the sister of Lindenbock, who the other pirates murdered in cold blood. She joined the pirates to keep an eye on her young brother, and now he is daed. She said she didn’t know how she was going to explain it to mom and dad. She also said she doesn’t want to be part of these pirates anymore, and she didn’t know who else to turn to. Hernandez and her had become friends, and when she heard that he survived, she decided that she should seek him out.

According to her, someone had burned down the Dew Bridge, which is the bridge linking the coastal town of Stormfrost to the rest of the land. Without that bridge, the pirates couldn’t send reinforcements to Hope. Lyons, or Chantelle, and is the reason why they pirates hadn’t invaded Chantelle yet. They were looking for a very important artifact, and that’s why they are invading all these towns at the moment. The Dew Bridge, she said, was going to be rebuilt in about 3 days, and then the pirates would be able to flood the area with 20 more soldiers. She also said the pirates had sent two people to spy on this town, and she had seen them going towards the tavern. She described one as having dark skin, and the other as wearing a bandana.

Cleric and Fighter rushed to the tavern, and when they entered, they immediately saw two men turn towards the door and look nervously in their direction. Whispering to one another, the one in the bandana headed towards the window. The Cleric circled around outside and waited for the bandana’d one to come out the window. The Fighter went up to the bar and tried to make small talk with the dark skinned one. A distant and unfriendly disposition was what he got back. He did not want to talk.

The bandana’d one returned to the bar, and told the dark skinned one they had to go. The Cleric and Fighter both followed them to a merchent cart, who was leaving for Hope in about an hour. Since they had no proof that either of them were pirates, and not wanting to cause any more trouble in this town, they decided to seek out Lady Genevieve and get their reward.

Heading to the Lady’s house was easy enough, but once inside, there was much waiting. Half an hour passed before she could see them, and with Francine in tow, they finally were able to arrange a meeting. lady Genevieve stepped out, as high maintenence as ever, and greeted them. The jewel was returned, but there was a problem. Francine had decided she did not want to work for the Countess anymore. She was constantly being stretched, and putting her life unnessicarily at risk. Lady Genevieve was offended, and told Francine that nobody quits on her, and that she would make Francine pay for her betrayal. She would ruin Francine and made sure she would never work again. The Cleric tried to convince the countess to let them borrow even more troops, but she quickly changed the subject.

She asked the adventurers if the three tasks she gave them were done. Two of them obviously were in front of her, but did they kill everyone who tried to screw her? The adventurers assured her that the job was complete. She also told the adventurers that they could borrow three of the soldiers, but only for the invasion. The last thing she needed was her soldiers galavanting around the wilderness, and when they needed them, to just come to the castle, and one of the guards would get three soldiers for them. The adventurers chose to go with two archers and a spearman to add to their team.

She then also asked if they had found two swords on the guardsmen who were protecting the cart. They had taken them a few days ago, and if they saw them, she would like them back, but if not, it was OK. The Fighter interjected and told them that yes, they had recovered them both. Lady Genevieve smiled, and said she appreciated their honesty. She dismissed them.

On the way out, Gregory, the tracker who had been with them, complemented them on their ethics, and said he also appreciates good honest people. He told them that when it was time to invade, he would be glad to lend them his sword arm.

The adventurers went back to their cart, and Francine said that now that she had nowhere to go, could she maybe join their party? They all agreed it would be helpful to have a jewelcrafter with them. A delivery person went up to their cart, and gave the Cleric a letter. It was from Paladin, who was stuck back in Hope with the other Pirate. The letter:

To [Cleric]
I am sending this letter in regards to the issues that have plagued this forest kingdom for the past few months. I sat down and interrogated the other pirate. Turns out he was a deep undercover agent sent by King Marius himself. I didn’t believe him at first, but the more I talked to him, the more I was convinced. He had a few revelations.

The reason the pirates have invaded the kingdom is to harvest the Marii Tea for use in tea houses. But he began to uncover a plot much more sinister than that. The pirates have formed an alliance with another group. The Marii Tea you see people drinking is a hallucinigenic, but according to him, can be used to control the minds of people. The artifact you guys carry is also somehow needed to control people, and he said the powers behind the South Caitonia invasion desperately want to find it. Under any circumstances, do NOT let the mirror fall into the hands of these pirates, as it is an ancient artifact, and according to his sources, is priceless!

My doubts about the pirate’s true identity were dashed this afternoon when a few of the king’s men rode in on horses with papaers and freed the pirate without so much as a complaint from the townspeople. They are a little bit upset that their undercover agent was captured by us, but the pirate said that there were others who were undercover, though he would not identify them.

Stay safe and keep me updated. The pirates from the Honey Bridge have been in town lately to recruit more people to work in the swamps, and I am the only thing stopping them from taking the whole town as slave labor.

[ Paladin ]

Cleric let the rest of the group read it. The Wizard went and checked the mirror, to make sure it was still in the back of the cart. Before the image of the woman appeared, he quickly stuffed it back into the bag.

Sara came to the carriage, with Jerica in tow, as well as her sister Synergy, and her two children Starla and Rio. She asked if they were ready to go to the waterfall yet. The Cleric told them that he didn’t promise anything, and that they may be too busy to take them. Emerson then mentioned it might be worth going to try and also find that little boy’s lost goats. The group agreed, and then Jerica told them in return for the favor, she could cook them two or three meals, since people tell her she is a pretty good cook. The group then agreed to take her.

A messenger approaches the group, and tells them that the town counsel of Lyons would like to meet with them to talk about plans to retake the town from Black Dragon. They are in hiding at the moment, fearing that Black Dragon would send assassins to kill them, thereby starting a power struggle within the counsel itself. Leaving the rest of the party with the carts, the adventurers head down to the basement of a large house, arms at the ready in case this was an ambush.

At the end of the hall, a room filled with several people appeared to be talking. The town counsel of Lyons introduced themselves. There was Conway, the mayor, Sheena, a businesswoman, Preston, the president of the company that made Chalet Wine, Esmeralda, and a few others. As they sat down to discuss the situation, Smokey walks in. He, too, is a member of the counsel, being the leader of the grape picker’s union.

As they begin to talk, it comes to light that two of the town cousellors are missing, being scattered to parts unknown due to the invasion of Lyons. Without their voice, the town counsel cannot decide on anything, because if one of them is missing, a counsellor can veto any decision that gets made until such time the other members return. And Smokey was vetoing just about every decision, in the hopes of raising the wages of his workers. Leveraging the situation to his advantage, Smokey told the town counsel that breaking their own rules regarding the methods of running the town would lead to protest and strikes, with him and his union leading the way. The counsel was almost all in agreement to give the adventurers and the rest of the party some weapons to liberate Lyons. The counsel, being desperate for a solution, pleaded with the adventurers to go find the two missing counselors, fearing the longer they are missing, the worse the situation would be. The adventurers refused, deciding instead that they would focus their efforts on liberating Lyons first. After much heated discussion and angry words, the adventurers got fed up with their bickering, and told the counsel that they would be back and to sort it out amongst themselves. Smokey’s tactics of playing politics in the situation infurirated the adventurers, enough for Rouge to consider assassinating him. They decided to eventually come back and see what conclusion the town counsel would come up with. The grape harvest that year was already in jeprody, easily falling victim to a local parasite unless tended to every day.

As the group was readying their supplies, two elves who looked like they were also adventurers wandered onto the main street. The Cleric struck up a conversation with them and asked them if they would like to join the resistent movement agains the pirates. One of them turned his head an stuck up their noses at them. The other introduced himself as Xavier, and told the group not to mind Winston. He was perpetually stuck up. Winston asked him why they were wasting time talking to these people, and they should be on the way to the hunt for their next mark. Xavier replied and said that he should try and be more friendly to people. Being nice doesn’t cost a thing, and maybe one of these people could help them. Winston scoffed at the notion, and boasted he would bet five of his swords that they couldn’t bring down the Iguanadon they were hunting. The Cleric said he’d take their bet, since they needed the swords. Xavier mentioned that they were from the Hunt Club, a group of adventurers who seek out notorious monster and kill them for sport. Winston loudly boasted that the adventurers would never be worthy of such a thing, and he’d take the bet just because he would like to see them die. Xavier said that if they did manage to kill the Igunadon, they would want to keep all the items on it. The Cleric said that if that were the bet, then if they defeated it, he would want them to join the resistence and help take back Lyons. Xavier said that he would do it, although he doubted Winston would agree. The deal was made, and the group headed once more, into the wilderness.

The first stop was to help the lumberjacks in the Gorgon Valley. The lumberjacks had grown scared of the animals and creatures in the wooded part of the valley. They had grown more bold since the pirates took over, as there was no one left to patrol the area, and hence, the animals were now outnumbering the people needed to control their population.

They arrived in the woods, and the three lumberjacks headed out to cut down the trees. Two Panthrons and three Gloopers immediately smelled the scent of fine humanoid flesh, and headed towards the party. And….the party continued to miss and miss and miss their rolls! Round after round, for 7 rounds, the people charged with protecting the lumberjacks kept missing their attacks, and as a result, the first wave of creatures nearly killed them. Winston laughed his ass off watching these incompetent hunters keep swinging and missing their targets. One of the lumberjacks went down due to Panthron mauling, but luckily, the Cleric was able to revive him. Synergy decided to put both her children in the carriage, and asked her sister if these guy were really this inept and if she should be worried.

Things go so bad that Xavier, feeling sorry for the group, started shooting arrows at some of the monsters to help out.

Eventually, luck evened out, and the party was able to allow the lumberjacks to cut their wood, and to get them back safely. They made a hasty retreat as the second wave of monsters smelled blood and started gathering around the area.

Feeling shame about their last encounter, the adventurers decided to head straight to the Ransom Hills and try to take Jerica and her sister to the falls. The Ransom Hills was a trecherous piece of land, frought with little hills and thick undergrowth, full of blind spots and agressive creatures. Cliffcreepers, a type of spider known to crawl along the hills, jumped down at the unsuspecting Wizard, who was walking ahead of the party. Iron Chain Snakes jumped out from the undergrowth, surprising the party and making the trek across the hills dangerous and painful.

Halfway to the falls, they hear a distinctive bleeting of goats. These were Ballies, and according to Jerica, were not native to this area. She knew Goat Herder Ennis raised them, but other than that, they were more known to be bred in and around the Hope area.

Following the sound, they saw an old man watering the group of goats. They greeted him, and then started to ask him about the goats, and where he got them. A few bluff checks, and they knew he was lying to them. He insisted that he needed the goats due to the pirates. They followed him back to his cottage, built among the undergrowth of the Ransom Hills, and he sighed and finally invited them inside to talk about where he got the goats. His daughter was outside, busy tilling the garden.

They sat down in his living room, and his wife greeted them and put started to make some tea. Jerica and Jimmi both went inside, while the rest of the entourage stayed outside to guard the carts. The party figured that since Jerica and Jimmi were both from around this area, they would be able to quickly dispute any facts if the old man was lying. Jerica whispered to the others that they should be careful, since the tea might be poisoned.

The old man’s wife put a teapot on the table, and their fears were dispelled when the man took some tea for himself and drank heartily.

The old man explained that he had bought the goats from the Ransom Hill Griffons. Jerica explained that the Ransom Hill Griffons were a group of bandits that lived in the Ransom Hills. They go way back to when this area was first settled by humanoids. They would kidnap people travelling through the area, and hold them for a little bt of ransom. The wage was never that much, andbesides that, they were pretty friendly people. No harm would ever come to the kidnapped, but that was the way they made a little pocket money. The Ransom Hills, with its uneven terrain, thick bushes, and dangerous wildlife, made the perfect hiding spot for those not wanting to be found. The old man continued. The goats are needed, because they sold a lot of things to Lyons, but now that the pirates had taken that city, they had no one to trade with. The Cleric asked if he could just buy the goats off the old man, in which he replaied he couldn’t eat money. The goats provided meat, milk, and many other products and entertainment to poor isolated farmers.

Just then, the adventurers heard some talking and movement going on outside the house. The adventurers rushed out, and saw three men, armed with swords and knives, along with the old man’s daughter Speargirl Shaniqua, walk into the area. They asked what was going on, and if they needed anything. The Cleric asked who they were, and the leader, a man named Chief Charleyhorse, said that they were the Ransom Hill Griffons. They told the party that they were the ones who burned down the bridge the pirates needed. The Cleric said that was good, and it was very helpful. They then discussed the upcoming invasion, and the pirates attempts to repair the bridge, which would successfully be completed in about three days.. The Griffon leader could sympathyze with them, but also said the party would be taking those goats back over his dead body.

But he wasn’t totally oblivious to their prediciment. He offered them a deal. He could lend them two of his soldiers for their invasion, and they said there was an underground sewer passage that led directly under the town of Lyons and right up into one of the buildings. The sewers were filled with animals that might attack them, but it was a way in that no one else knew about. They would tell them about this passage, as well as offer aid, if they could keep the goats.

Sara interjected and told them that there was a goat farmer back in Hope that would surely give them a discount on Ballies, since they were searching for Jewel. The party unanaomously agreed to the terms. The daughter took out her spear, and impaled one of the goats, saying it was time to celebrate. The old man said they could stay at his cottage for the night, and although not everyone could stay inside the house, some of them could make due in the barn, if they didn’t mind sleeping on top of the haystacks.

A large bonfire was created, and the adventurers, Sara, Emerson, Jimmi, Richard, Francine, Keith, Hernandez, Jerica, Synergy, and the rest of them partied on into the night….

Episode 6 - Secondhand Lyons

The adventurers wake up early the next morning, and have a hearty Ransom Hills breakfast, provided by the old man and his daughter, Speargirl Shaniqua. Jerica mentions that she would, if possible, still like to take her sister and her nephew and niece to see the falls. The Cleric agrees, and they begin to head out, leaving the rest of the party behind, only taking Synergy, Jerica, the two children Rio and Starla, and the procurer Richard. On the way, the party discusses strategy, and agree that now is the time to take back Lyons. There is some debate as to whether they should take the bridge first, but Rouge is insistant that they have enough people to retake the town. Once this picnic is done, they’ll go back to Chantelle, see whether any of the town councellors decided to aid them.

They get near the falls, only to be surprised by a trio of Crying Cods, who shoot bursts of water at them. The party draws their weapons and kill the fish, receiving several Aqua Pearls for their efforts.

They join Jerica, Synergy, and the children for the picnic, and the view from the falls is refreshing and inspiring to everyone, especially Jerica. (DM Note: I should’ve given everyone a +1 bonus to all rolls after being inspired by the falls. They learn that Jerica is not happy with the way her life has gone so far. The tavern works her to the bone, she keeps long hours, and has almost no social life to speak of. She’d love to just take off one day to explore strange new lands. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Synergy agrees with her, and tells her she should do it. She loves her husband and her children, but she said if she could do it all over again, she would wait and go see the world a little bit more before settling down. Jerica then asks the adventurers if she could join them. The adventurers decide that they could use a good cook, and agree.

The children, playing up on the hill overlooking the falls, along with Richard and Rogue, are disgusted by something, and tell them to come take a look. Cleric goes, and below the falls, on the other side, is a huge pit, with a spider web draped overtop of it. Below some of the people see two shiny objects inside the pit, along with a few skeletons. The web and surrounding area is covered by Cliffcreeper spiders.

The Rogue wants to see what those shiny objects are, and the adventurers hatch a plan to kill the spiders and find out what those objects are. Pouring oil all along the side of the ridge, the Rogue throws a torch into the web, burning it and attracting the Cliffcreeper’s attention. The creatures start to swiftly move up the cliff face. As they get to the top, Rogue sets fire to the oil, burning the spiders. Some of them manage to climb up onto the ridge and attack them, but eventually, all the Cliffcreepers are killed before they can do any real damage. The adventurers then climb down the pit, and grab the two shiny objects, which happen to be magical rings. They decide to eventually take them back to the camp and ask Francine what sort of rings they are.

The trip back to the old man’s house, where they pick up the rest of the party, and the trip back to Chantelle went by without much incident. They run into some Bush Sheep, but decide they needed to save their energy for the fight to retake Lyons, and so pass up an opportunity to acquire some wool and meat.

As they enter Chantelle, a girl named Paris asks the adventurers if she can join them for the invasion of Lyons. She happens to have a few spare swords, and had gathered up some volunteers. Rogue asks if they all have weapons, and a bearded man with red hair named Billy replies he only has an axe. Rogue insults him, making light of his intelligence and telling him that an axe IS a weapon. Billy tells him to stick it where the sun don’t shine, and that he isn’t going to beg to help them out, and leaves the group. Cleric reprimands Rogue for losing what might have been a valuable contributor to the liberation.

The party then stops off at the basement where the town counsel is hiding and hoped they had finally resolved their in-fighting and could give them an answer. As they get there, Sheena and Preston are leaving the other way, and they say the situation is useless. They walk back into the room, and find Esmarelda, Mayor Conway, and Smokey having another heated discussion about the union, the pirates, and whatever else they can use to insult each other with. Conway apologizes and tells the adventurers that Smokey is still tying up the decision with his antics. After the rest of the counsel walks out, Preson and Sheena get the attention of the adventurers, and lead them to a different room in the house. They tell the adventurers that they are sorry they had to get involved in this situation, and to please take some of these weapons they had found to aid them in the liberation of Lyons.

The party thanks them for their contribution, and then head to Lady Genevieve’s castle. They pick up their troops, but Gregory tells them the guy with the spear is on vacation, and they will have to make due with a swordsman instead. He also tell them the Lady was kind enough to allow him to join them for the attack, and together, they head towards the carts and get ready to leave, followers in tow. They decide to leave Emerson, and Jerica behind, but take all the others.

Just before they head out, Smokey approaches the adventurers, and asks if he can join. He apologizes for having to leverage the situation to look after the interests of his union, but tells them that the vineyard owners have been known to abuse and mistreat their workers, and that it was necessary. The adventurers agree to allow Smokey to join them, but they are to watch their backs, and not lead the attack. Smokey tells them he will do anything he can to help. Of concern, there is an overweight kid named Archie who also wished to join the attack, but Smokey tells him he can come, however, they will not suffer to lag behind because of him.

The party shows the two rings they found in the spider pit to Francine the jewelcrafter, and she tells them one is the Ring of Tough Luck, which improves their luck, (Roll two dice, and take the higher of two rolls.) and a Ring of Vigor, which restores some life on a touch command for the wearer.

After some final preperations, the party, along with Lady Genevieve’s soldiers, Paris and her friends, Smokey’s band, and some Ransom Hill Griffons, they head out early evening towards the Ransom Hills and the secret passage to the inside of the town that Chief Charleyhorse mentioned. They hoped to take the town by surprise late at night.

Chief Charleyhorse leads the way, and helps navigate the often dangerous Ransom Hills, using his skills as a tracker to avoid the Iron Chain Snakes and Cliffcreepers that make their homes there. Eventually, they come to a river as dusk settles and twilight begins to linger. They hear voices, cheering. “Yess! You made it across! This is a much better path than trying to get across at the Dew Bridge.” The Rogue and Hernandez sneak up to the edge of the river, hiding in some bushes.

“C’om Romel, we’ve gotta get going,” a voice shouts out.

A dark young man jumps onto a horse drawn cart, and the group of people head in the direction of Lyons.

“Dammit!” Hernandez curses under his breath. “That was my brother!”

Rogue and Hernandez return to the rest of the party, further back of the river, to discuss the situation. The Black Dragon Pirates had found another less dangerous way across the river. There were four foot soldiers along the edge of the river, and they were watching their rafts, filled with people and supplies, float across the river. Suddenly, a violent surge jolted the raft, and the people aboard were overturned, plunging all on board into the murky water. A glimpse of a horrible looking creature with rows upon rows of razor sharp teeth thrashed below the surface of the water, followed by screams from the people aboard.

“That’s the fourth raft we lost today,” one of the men on along the river bank exclaimed.

“Well, it’s a lot better than the amount we lose at the bridge, that’s for sure,” another replied.

As they watch the people trying to bring their supplies across the river, they come up with a plan. Rogue would sneak behind them, and then charge out, with the rest of the party surprising the pirates from the side.

Rogue sneaks behind the bushes near the river’s edge, and spots several large, white eggs sitting in a nest-like structure. Ignoring them, he decides to concentrate on the task at hand, waiting till one of the pirate guards’s back is turned. Before that happens, he hears a low pitched growl from behind him. turning arond quickly, he narrowly misses the snap of the angry Rippersnapper, a medium-sized crocodile-like lizard with a sharp tusk growing out of its lower lip. Rogue panics and run out from behind the bushes, running past the startled pirates. The rest of the party charges out, and the fight between pirates, crocodile, and adventurers ensues. In confusion, the Rippersnapper lashes out at the first thing it sees, and a pirate is impaled upon the tusk of the angry reptile. Several more rounds of fighting go by, with Rogue attempting to push more of the pirates towards the creature. Eventually, all pirates are slain by the adventurers, and the Rippersnapper dealt with, but not before chomping down on some of the adventurers. Cleric heals who he can, and the party continues on the road to Lyons.

The party decides that this area should be watched in case more pirates decide to cross the river, and they ask Smokey and his band to stay there and make sure no one else gets across. He tells them he would rather join them in the retaking of his hometown, but is finally convinced to stay and guard the river.

Hernandez tells the party that the reason why he joined Black Dragon was to make sure his brother didn’t have to. He had hoped to make enough money to send his brother Romel to school, so he could have a better future than the one he painted himself. He asked that they not kill his brother. The Cleric tells him that his brother will be safe if he decides not to atttack them.

They get to the tunnel that Chief Charleyhorse mentioned, and begin to enter. It is shortly after dusk, and the tunnel sheds no light. Deep inside, they can hear the scurrying of several legs, and some of the party members feel a bit uneasy. Using a dancing lights spell, Rogue lights the hallway, revealing a few clusters of Rock Krunchers, small rock automations in the shape of crabs. They attack and try to eat anything with metal, and because they did not want to take off their armor, they decided to fight their way through.

They continue into a long dark tunnel with water up to their ankles. When they walk a distance, Chief Charleyhorse points up to the ceiling of the tunnel and tells them the secret entrance into the town is up there. It used to be an old outhouse, and the hole leads directly to a storage shed. Lifting each other up, Rogue is able to get up the tunnel with only a few falls and minor damage. Rogue looks around and hears several people talking outside the shed. The large shed looks like what was once an alchemy shop, is filled with dirty empty bottles and rickity old wooden shelves. The rest of the party lift Francine up into the hole, since she was also one of the lightest, being a halfling like the Rogue. Together, they lift up a few other people in their group, but Dwarf Fighter (Meldox) falls a couple of times before they finally pull him up. Rogue listens through the door, and he can hear the pirates speaking casually about expecting an attack tonight. Using ghost sound, rogue calls them away to an area further down the alley.

Carefully opening the door, they see that they are about 80 feet away from the castle where Clegg is keeping watch. Gregory suggests that if they capture Clegg, the rest of the pirates might surrender. Gregory would take the rest of the party and block the door while the adventurers rushed inside to deal with Clegg. Led by Dwarf Fighter, the party begins to sneak from the storehouse to the castle, but voices from inside break the stillness of the night.

“You’ve gotten soft, Clegg! This traitor deserves to die, yet you keep her alive?”

A woman screams and pleads for her life.

“Viper, I told you I would deal with her!” A gruff voice sounded increasingly agitated.

Cleric tells everyone that they need to move now, and starts to run into the castle. The rest of the party follows behind. Two of the archers on the second floor of the castle start to shout, and they begin to shoot. The archers from Lady Genevieve’s castle fire back, killing one of them, but barely missing the other. The adventurers rush inside the castle, and turn the corner, only to see a grren haired man with a mohawk slash the throat of Tawney, the girl who decided to betray them. Clegg and Viper, both on a balcony, are in the middle of an arguement, and perhaps attempted coup by one of his followers. Clegg lets out a blood curdling scream, and in one fell swoop, beheads Viper. Viper’s head seems to jump off his neck, hitting the stairway and tumbling down, leaving a trail of blood. Tawney struggles then her body lays motionless.

A bell sounded, and in the distance, torches began heading the way of the castle. Clegg demands to know how they got into teh city, and the rest of the pirates draw their swords. Hernandez steps into the castle, and his eyes meet with Romel’s.

“Romel! It’s me!”

“Brother, what are you doing here?”

“I’ve come to liberate this town. Don’t fight back! I’m with these guys!”

Romel freezes as his companions charge the adventurers. Lights, arrows and blood fly around the large room, in a dance of carnage and fury, as magic and martial weapons are released upon the fighters. Chief Charleyhorse fights fiercely with the adventurers, killing several pirates. The pirates call into the basement, and several other fighters emerge. With a mighty roar, Clegg sprints across the room, jumps, and attacks Rogue, narrowly missing. Before he follows up with another attack, he stops dead in his tracks and says “It’s you!”

Outside, Gregory readies the party for a pirate group of ten soldiers running towards the entrance.. With a thunderous jolt, the pirates charge into the crowd, trying to get through to Clegg to help him. The line holds, and the fury of the fighting at the gates of the castle is only matched by the battle inside. As more pirates emerge from the night, they hear a battle cry from further in the town. As the torches get closer, the cries get louder and more pronounced. It is Smokey and the rest of his band. With another battle cry, they charge the pirates attempting to enter the castle, sandwiching them between their enemies. Smokey dives into the melee, swinging his sword savagely and fighting with all his might. The carnage both inside and outside the castle turns the surface of the area crimson with the blood of the combatants.

The adventurers, successful in killing most of the other pirates, turns to deal with Clegg. With great swings of his greatsword, he bloodies the adventurers, but seems to make a point of not attacking Rogue, though he is given plenty of opportunities. A pirate cleric runs towards the battle, casting restoration spells on the leader of the pirate band. Romel, now with conviction, turns towards the cleric, and imales her in the back with one of his spears. Clegg, now beginning to weaken, eventually gasps, “I surrender.”

Dwarf Fighter raises his waraxe, and tells Clegg to drop his weapon. Clegg complies, and with a clang, the mighty sword falls from his hands. The gruff dwarf, not being satisfied, demands that he kneels. Clegg complies immediately, and Cleric asks him to call his men off.

Moving towards the exit, Clegg bellows over the fighting. "Men, stop your fighting. This town has been retaken, and I don’t wish anyone else to die in vain. Rogue demands that the rest of the pirates surrender, but some of them, refusing, turn to run. They are cut down with arrows to the back, courtesy of the soldiers for Lady Genevieve’s castle.

The adventurers tie Clegg up and round up the rest of the pirates, placing them in the jail in the basement of the castle. Romel and Hernandez embrace each other, glad to know they are ok. Cleric runs towards the stairwell, where Tawney laid, and was extremely surprised that she had stabilized on her own. With what remained of his cure spells, he revived her. Hernandez and Romel tend to her, while the rest of the people helped clean up the carnage and look after the wounded.

At the front of the castle, where the town counsel normally held their meetings, was a large pile of Epona, the drug used to create the Marii Tea. As the pirates were rounded up and put into jail, the sound of several horses could be heard outside. It was the town counsel, and after congratulating the adventurers for a job well done, they began to debate what they would be doing with all the jailed pirates and their leader Clegg. They sit him down and interrogate him. He tries to make a deal with them and offers them information in exchange for his life. He agrees he will answer some of their questions, but will hold back some other answers as leverage.

They ask him about the mirror they are carrying, and he tells them about the Paramour, a powerful Mermaid who came to this area not too long ago.

“The paramour came to this area about a year ago. She made her home base in the caves in one of the islands near Stormfrost.”

Clegg continued. “Now, everyone has heard about the destruction of Atlantia, right? Well, what most people know is Atlantia itself was destroyed, but the fish people weren’t completely wiped out. They are fish – they could just swim away an’ all. A lot of them scattered across the rest of the world, and one of them ended up on one of those islands.”

Conways asks, “The fish people, you mean the Merma?”

“Yeah.” Clegg says flatly. “The Merma, or whatever. They are good fighters, and they have some messed up powers.”

Preston presses the half orc for more information. “Who do you work for? Why are you here?”

Clegg continues with his explanation. "Francini was the admiral of our fleet, and he said that the Paramour guided him to her, whatever that means. As you know, Rakkum the Regent of Stormfrost, is my former captain. I am the commander and second in command of the Francini Pirates.

“So this Paramour told us that she would give us riches beyond our wildest dreams if we would just help her rebuild her empire. She said she could control people, and make them do what she wanted. She also told us how to make Marii Tea and get people addicted to it. Francini knew this was an opportunity to advance our own plans, so he took the deal. The only guy who was smart enough to say no was Billy the Red. I admire the guy for sticking to what he knows best – the sea.”

Gregory then asks “So where is Billy the Red now?”

Clegg, his green skin sweating great beads of sweat, carries on with his story. “He’s gone off on his own. He knows that if we get too powerful, we’ll probably turn on him, so he’s laying low for now. The only one who would know for sure is his cousin, who’s also named Billy. He works in the lumberyards in Hope. Billy looks exactly like Billy the Red.”

The adventurers groan, as they realize Rogue insulted Billy and as a result, Billy returned to the town of Hope. Cleric critisizes Rogue for being fast and loose with his tongue. The town counsel continues pressing Clegg for more information. Especially important, Cleric asks the half-orc about the mirror the Paramour wanted so badly.

“The Paramour also wanted this mirror. She could appear in it, even though she was on the island. But with crystal balls, you can only see so much, and the image is distorted. With this mirror, you can see the other side right clear like she was there in front of you. She said that when you get wasted on this Marii, she could gaze into the souls of the person. And after that, you were hers! She could take over your mind, see what you are seeing, hear what you hear, and control you wherever you are! Her hold on people naturally wears off after a month, but that’s not a problem for her, because she could just control the person and get them high again, and then look into their souls for another month of control.”

A moment of silence, as Clegg stopped to catch his breath. “That’s why we are trying to harvest as much Marii Tea as possible. There is a tea house in Stormfrost, and people are always going there to trip. I dunno how many other mirrors she has, but she wants the mirror you guys are carrying real bad. Because she can control a whole city with just that thing. She threw everything she had, and didn’t care how many of us died to get at it. I wasn’t about to invade Chantelle with only 20 guys. That would be suicide. So I held this position even though I was ordered by her to invade anyways. That’s why I’m as good as dead. I disobeyed a direct order from the Paramour. And that’s why I need to go see Billy the Red. Rakkum told me some of the other pirates are not happy with this alliance. She wasn’t suppose to use her mind control on any of our people, but just a few moons ago, his daughter’s favorite retainer was found lying dead in a pool of her own puke in the Stormfrost Tea House. We don’t know how far up in Black Dragon she has reached, and she is beginning to scare some of us with her powers.”

The adventurers then ask Clegg about the missing girl Jewel, and he tells them they would get that information if they agree to release him and let him see Billy the Red. They continue to press for more information, but Clegg stubbornly refuses to answer any other questions.

Back on the main floor of the castle, an argument had broken out over what they planned to do with the Epona. The crop was most likely going to fail because of the time it took to reclaim the town, and they would not have enough food for the winter. Smokey was in favor of selling it back to the pirates, but the rest of the counsel refused. The adventurers told the counsel they should not sell it, because of the Paramour using it to put mind control on people. But what choice did the town have, explained one of the counselors. It was either that, or half the town would starve and may not make it through the harsh winter.

A decision was made to send Sara the gardener into the fields that night, along with two guards, to check on the crop and see if it were still salvagable. Sara said she would probably return late, and she will give her report in the morning.

The adventurers decide to rest for the night.

They were soon interrupted, when in the middle of the night, a frantic knock on the door of their room. It was Jimmi, one of the people assigned to guard their wagon. He told them that there was a commotion down at the castle, and the counsel needed them immediately. Getting dressed, the adventurers headed down. When they reached the castle, there was Chief Charleyhorse, along with a few of his friends, insisting on buying the Epona from the town. The adventurers explained to him that no, the Epona was not for sale, and they had better leave. Some tense moments passed as Chief Charleyhorse sized up the situation, then decided to leave.

Since all was calm again, they went back to the Inn and tried to salvage the remaining night.

In the morning, the town of Lyons looked busy, as people started to pour back into town. Many people thanked the adventurers, and soon, the title The Heroes of Hope began spreading among the citizens. A caravan with several of the King’s guards came into town, picking up Gregory and the rest of the soldiers who had joined the invasion. The town counselors gathered in the center of the town square to decide how to best deal with the situation. They had a dwindling food supply, a large group of prisoners they did not know how to deal with, a dangerous and charasmatic pirate leutenant being held captive by them, a bridge that was about to be completed by the pirates, and a potential gold mine’s worth of drugs that could buy their way out of winter starvation. The counsel continued to argue, and at that point, the adventurers had had enough. They decided they would let this town deal with their own problems, and made the decision to leave for the town of Hope, where they would attempt to go back and explore what was in the cave where they found the mirror, and find Billy, to ask him to contact his cousin Billy the Red.

But first, they decided they were going to confront the Paramour. They took their caravan out on the way to Hope, and in the middle of the wilderness, they stopped, and asked everyone else to step away from the area. Taking the mirror, Fighter, Cleric, and Rogue hopped into the covered wagon, and rubbed the mirror. A few seconds later, and a beautiful woman appeared in it, the same woman they had seen earlier, in the mines.

Her charm seemed to intoxicate the area, but the the adventurers were having none of it. They told her they knew what she was up to, and to stop what she was doing. She replied and told them that humans had destroyed her home and that she would build a new empire from its ashes, using humanity as her tools. Atlantia would be rebuilt, using the crushed bones of mankind.

Rogue said that he would hunt her down and kill her. The Paramour replied that she had his father, the pirate leader Francini, and if he got close to her, his father was as good as dead. The other adventurers were stunned! They had been travelling with none other than the son of the leader of the Black Dragon Pirates. She also threatened Fighter’s mother and father, and knew that Cleric had a child coming. Could they keep them all safe? She told them to return what was rightfully hers to her, and she would make sure none of them came to harm.

Rogue told her to watch this. He took the mirror out of the caravan, lifted it above his head, and brought it down violently against the nearest large rock. But it failed to shatter, and in fact, did not seem to even make a dent in it. The Paramour laughed at him, and Rogue, defeated, returned the mirror to the wagon. Cleric said that guarding the mirror and wagons would take a higher priority from now on, and they were going to make a bigger effort to be careful with the priceless artifact.

They continue on to the town of Hope, with more questions now than answers. But with time, and a little luck, they had hoped to solve them.

Behold, The Wood!

On the way to Ft. Kaylea, they encountered two nasty huge centipedes, that took a pretty big chunk out of their spells and HP. But they ended up with two strands of centipede silk, which they found out from their procurer NPC (He’s like a merchant that knows the value of many items, and helps them pick out what to get from the corpses of the monsters they’s slain.) is pretty valuable to seamstresses.

They rest for the night in the wilderness, and head out in the morning. As I planned already, they ran into a group of merchants, who were arguing about what they should do. The adventurers ask them, and they ask the adventurers to look over the little hill. They then see the Wood Beholder.

They are nice adventurers, so they actually don’t ask for any money, but instead decide to get rid of it for free. The merchants join them on top of the hill in anticipation.

The party setup was Dwarf Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, Human Swashbuckler, and Human Sorceress.

They ask if anyone there knows anything about the Wood Beholder. Since they decided to bring along Sara the gardener, I rewarded them by telling them all the attacks of this plant. Since Sara was a gardener, she would most likely be pretty familiar with this type of plant. The Procurer also told them how valuable the flowers are, and mentioned the very rich like to have them on their party gowns.

The Wood Beholder lumbered along the road, and the sorcerer casts invisible on the fighter. Sara then says she has heard these can see through invisibility. She was a commoner, and she would interpret it this way, when in reality, what the Wood Beholder really had was Tremorsense.

The fighter moves towards the tree, and the Cleric loads his crossbow and shoots it, hitting the plant in the arm. The adventurers draw first blood. The Wood Beholder screams a low-pitched scream that sounds like it echoes straight from the caverns of Hades, and lumbers a little bit more swiftly towards the party. Swashbuckler moves between the trees of the forest, trying to get close to the thing to avoid any ranged attacks, if it has any.

Fighter then gives out a Dwarven war cry, and charges the Wood Beholder. But as he nears, the giant tree spews fourth its sleeping gas! (Readied action) The brave Dwarven fighter, still invisible, keels over and enters dreamland, hitting the forest floor with a clang.

Note: There was some discussion on the interpretation of the rules for Sleep. They said they think the person is still standing when they get hit with sleep spells, but it made no sense to us, since we don’t know anyone who sleeps standing up. So we houseruled in the falling down while asleep.

The battle went on, with the Wood Beholder doing all it could to hold off the adventurers. It hit the well armored fighter with it’s +10 atk arms several times, doing severe damage often. The poison needles, however, did not manage to pierce the armor of many of the adventurers, but still managed to poison the Sorceress twice. She also managed to avoid the silencing gas, just staying out of range and summoning fourth an army of badgers that helped the adventurers fight the Wood Ticks the Wood Beholder constantly spit out.

The Swashbuckler found himself entangled in the vines a few times, surrounded by Wood Ticks, but managed to break out at one point and head towards the Cleric, standing at a distance. The Cleric was able to restore his HP, which was down to less than 1/4 at one point.

The Cleric also cast this one spell on the Fighter that allowed him to share damage with the Fighter, so when the Wood Beholder’s massive arms beat the Fighter like a red-headed stepchild, the Cleric was able to soften the blows.

At one point in the fight, I thought maybe the players were getting a bit tired of the fight, so I made the Wood Beholder retreat off the road and into the forest when its HP was down to 40%. They could’ve let it go at this point, as it was off the road and out of the caravan’s hair. But nope, then continued to follow it into the forest, doing all they could to hack this thing down. The Dwarven Fighter, with his waraxe, did a lot of damage, as his axe gave him a +1 bonus to damage against plants.

The Wood Beholder was looking the worse for wear, and the crowd started cheering them on. (I gave them a +1 bonus to atk rolls for morale. )

They finally managed to kill it, and with a great thud, the monster fell to the ground. The crowd of merchants and the NPCs travelling with them erupted in cheers and whoops!

As they tried to finish off the Wood Ticks, the crowd started moving towards the downed Wood Beholder, and they heard people arguing in the crowd. Their NPC friends moved ahead of them and blocked them. They said “Some of them said they wanted to grab the flowers!” Which the crowd argued about and started claiming innocence and pointing fingers. Some said they had just never seen one of these monsters up close before and wanted to get a peak. Others wanted to admire the beautiful flowers found on the Wood Beholder. They started asking if they could buy the flowers, in which the adventurers said they are not selling them.

The merchants were also pretty thankful that they got rid of the Wood Beholder, and gave them 30 crossbow bolts, 20 arrows (which they asked for) and 200 gold pieces.

After the commotion was over, the merchants packed up and said they’ll probably see them in Fort Kaylea. The Cleric said, since everyone is travelling in the same direction, why not travel together?

The merchants agreed, and they reached the rest stop called Ravenstead, where they checked into the tavern.

Fairy's Tale

The first, say, hour of this session, it seemed was spent sorting inventory. It was most Cleric who was in charge of it, but they arrived in the rest stop of Ravenstead after a hard fought fight with the Wood Beholder. It looked like the other players were getting pretty bored, but they managed to swing some deals with the merchants travelling with them, and get some money for their items.

The cook (Jerica) asks if she can keep one of the swords, and Swashbuckler decides to train her to use it. He also suggests Brudder upgrade his trusty pocket knife to a sword as well. He reluctantly agrees, and Jimmi points out he had one that Paris gave him.

The Heroes of Hope were wheeling and dealing in the bar, and overheard the conversations between the NPCs.

Hernandez asks his brother to come over here and tell him what’s on the menu.
Nina asks: “Why, can’t you do it yourself? Why do you need your brother?”
Romel: “Well, it’s because my brother can’t read.”
Tawney: Hahahha!! spits out drink “You can’t read? What are you, a simpleton?” More laughter from the other pirates
Hernandez: “Hey man, that’s not cool. I sent money back so you could go to school to learn to read. You should appreciate that”
Romel: “Yeah I do, but Mama-sita taught me how and she told me when she tried to teach you, you just didn’t listen!”

Brudder: I bet you I can drink more than you!
Keith: Maybe, but you can’t drink faster!
Brudder and Keith have a drinking contest, and of course, Trickster joins in, hammering pint after pint of Buddy Ale, and Frisky Whiskey.

Jerica (the cook): I can’t read either.
Reynolds: What? Hahah. Yeah. Nina gives Reynolds a dirty look and smiles
Tawney: Oh come on. You can’t even read a little bit?
Jerica: Well, I can’t read common. I can read Elvan just fine, but I didn’t think I’d be interacting with people outside the woods so much, so I never really took the time to learn.
Romel: So how do you cook stuff if you can’t read a cookbook?
Jerica: Everytime I needed someone to read, I’d just ask my sister Synergy. Besides that, I just get by on a really good photographic memory.
Hernandez: Um…photo-what?
Jerica: I don’t know. It’s something my fortune teller says, and it caught on.
Francine: Well, at least you can read Elvan, not like Hernandez, who can’t read anything! Haha!!

Paris (to Sara): Yeah, my dad owns a bunch of Inns, and he can probably get you some deals in Ft. Kaylea cause he knows a lot of people there. Like his friend Kunitz is a Blacksmith and he can sell me Iron Ingots for 20 gold instead of the 25 you get at most places. It helps that people want to be friends with you. flips hair.

Francine: Hey Mogenhiden, are we allowed to get wasted? I don’t really remember the rules,and I don’t want to become an ex-cleric. Are we also allowed to take part in carnal urges?

Hernandez: Why Francine, who do you have the urges for? Haha!!

After a bit too much to drink, Keith sees Saru sitting on a table, because there do not seem to be any chairs in the bar.

Keith (the NPC with the sobrero) asked her to take off her coat, to which she replied she didn’t have a coat. He then said “Why don’t you take off your shirt?”

Saru then decides to charm him, and tells him the group would really appreciate it if he slept on the ground, outside. Keith agrees with her, and finds a nice patch of dirt outside the bar to lie down.

While this is going on, there is a commotion outside. Stuff is being thrown out of the wagons! A merchant runs into the bar as the rest of the party goes out the check out what is happening.

They are shocked to find a bunch of forest fairies, dressed in white and light blue robes, are trashing their stuff.

The Cleric is able to understand the language, and Emerson runs out and attempts to translate.

In slyvian, the apparent leader of the fairies asks (ha mee nung tie see hew hung) Emerson: who is responsible for forest guardian’s death

Some of the merchants point to Heroes of Hope.

Jerica, Emerson, Harriette can speak the language.

Asks (un hewa, lea haaw hew hung see suu kei) Emerson: why did you kill forest guardian?

Jerica interrupts and says she can speak the language. She says the way they are saying “Forest Guardian” is a term of endearment that refers to a name. In this case, Foster.

more fairies show up, and the players begin to get very nervous.

(hew cun see pina colata kai pen you!) Jerica: Foster was Pina Colada’s pet.
(nung nung see teuw twa jea keu lew!) Jerica: Ummm…we are very pissed off.

Jerica: (leu nung oui heaw kung um maw wea?)

Head Fairy: Yes, we can speak the tongue of the common human.

Another fairy, Pina Colada, grabs Jimmi and says “You are coming with me!!!” Jimmi resists, The leader stops her. “Pina Colata, stop that!” Pina Colada

Saru says that Foster attacked first. The fairies said people say it was them that fired the first shots. The rest of the party seems to be aware of this fact. Saru says their pet was on the road, and disrupting commerce, and was threatening everyone. The lead Fairy, said she didn’t believe him, and that Foster would never harm anyone that left him alone, and would have eventually gone off the road.

One of the fairies is talking to Emerson inside one of the wagons. Emerson looks sad…

The Cleric goes by, and listens in.

“…and she wanted you to have this. To hope you can forgive her, and remember her. She says she regrets the decision her whole life.” She puts a glowing white necklace with a butterfly piece in Emerson’s hand.

The head fairy continues:

“This is unacceptable. We demand compensation! We demand back the flowers of Foster, so that we may give him a proper sending off, as well as 8 ^3 gold pieces.”

The players wonder why they demand money in this particular way, but do not ask.

Saru tells them they can shove it, and she is not giving back the flowers, nor compensating them with any money. The rest of the group groans because of her lack of diplomatic skills.

The head Fairy then says ""We will be waiting for you when you come back around this way! And we will bring two more Octotrees, these ones bigger and nastier than the one you killed!"

The fairies then leave, en masse.

Emerson looks distraught over what he just heard.

Cleric asks him what’s wrong.
“It’s nothing. Just found out about someone who I used to care a great deal about has passed on.”
“She gave me this as her dying request.”
It is a pendant. It looks to be in the shape of a butterfly.
“You can have it….I don’t have any need for it, and it’s a part of my life I’d rather forget.”
“No idea what it does.”

The adventurers go back into the tavern, and Saru buys a round of drinks for everyone at her table. Hernandez says thanks, and he jokes that she is good wife material. Saru protests, and says “I pillage, I rob, and I fight! Do you think that is good wife material?” Hernandez says “Yes, it’s great wife material, if you’re a pirate.” Saru says “I’ll drink to that!” They ram mugs, and down more buddy ale.

Some of the merchant NPCs talk about her behind her back, and how she has made it harder on them to travel through the forest, because they fear harassment from the fairies. She tells them to shut up, because it is them the fairies will be after and not other merchants.

The pirates, and Francine the jewelcrafter sit at one table, and Hernandez mentions that he doesn’t think Perron (the swashbuckler) is a real pirate, in which Romel agreed. They say there is just something off about him, and he doesn’t really talk in the same accent as they do. The Ransakk pirates don’t say anything.

Aaronis, the Paladin who the pirates got addicted to the Marii Tea, asks if he can leave the group, in which the Cleric agrees, and said he is cured. The Cleric, however, warns him of going back to his addiction, and he will charge to cure him next time.

The group pays for their stay at the Inn, and rest through the night and Emerson takes watch over their carts.

The adventurers wake up, and get ready to leave. Most of the merchants have left already, heading off to parts unknown.

They say goodbye to the innkeeper, and start to head off to Ft. Kaylea. The day seems typical, and they make their way through the Nikhei Forest briskly.

Sara the gardener spots some mud flats, and there are some Glooper snails in them.

Sara says: “Poison Princesses sometimes grow in mud flats in this forest. I have 6 of them in my personal collection, but I was wondering if we could maybe pick a few more. If I get 12 of them, I can sell them for a profit.”

The adventurers agree, and move towards the snails. Swashbuckler is the first to charge into the mud, in which Hernandez says he doesn’t think he’s a really smart fighter, because the mud could’ve been really deep. Swashbuckler made a comment on his lack of reading ability. Dwarf fighter charges in, and between them, they dispatch the Gloopers with ease. Sara is pretty confident they have won this fight, so she walks towards the mud flat even before they finish off the last Glooper. She manages to find 6 Poison Princesses, and asks if she can keep them to try and sell.

They go further into the Nikhei Forest, and run into a bunch of what appears to be large, maroon colored roadrunners, with blue glowing tail feathers. Francine says these birds are Trailspringers, and they are long distance relatives of the Phoenix. Their tails glow because they have magical properties, and are highly valued for the magic items that can be created with them.

Swashbuckler says to let’s go ahead and kill them. The Dwarf Fighter and Swashbuckler again, charge in first, but something is wrong. The first bird attacks Dwarf Fighter, but the rest of them instantly attack Swashbuckler. With a combination of pecks, fire, and electricity attacks, Swashbuckler goes down! The Cleric and Sorceress are too far away to help, and the Sorceress decided to turn invisible so she has time to figure out what is going on. The Cleric and Fighter do what they can to try and kill these deadly birds, and eventually succeed, when the oversized roadrunners seem to run out of magic and resort to pecking.

Luckily, no one died, and they continue on their journey. Keith, Brudder, and Rogue (Melnor) stay in the back of the cart, recovering from their hangovers.

The trees of the Nikhei Forest eventually turn into sand dunes, and as they stand on the edge of the forest, Keith speaks…

This is a great desert that stretches beyond the eye can see to the east. The people of Caitonia and the Sacchrin Imperium all come from the east, the heart of civilization. It is where our ancestors came when we got tired of continuous war with the giants. Unfortunately, some of the giants followed us, and we had to kill them off. People call this the Nephilim War.

The winds keep blowing west. They say in about 200 years, the sands will reach the town of Hope and turn most of the Nikhei Forest into a desert. They say nothing can stop it, except maybe the Boa River.

Well, at least maybe it will wipe out all those stupid centipedes. Oh gods, I hate bugs!

We got to be careful crossing this patch. There are a lot of dust storms, giant Sandstriders, and Guardians.

A bunch of Fastcows approach the caravan, taunting them. They are small cows the size of a large hog. Emerson says not to worry, they are seldom hostile, and just enjoy seeing what mischief they can cause. Suddenly a cat that resembles the fastcows, lunges out and grabs one, killing it almost instantly.

Good gods! What was that???

That, my friend, is a Meownix, more commonly referred to as the Acridian Copycat. Look at how similar it looks to a Fastcow. And it takes advantage of this to score it’s next meal.

Francine: Aww, poor cow.

Tawney: haha, serves them right for taunting us.

On the way, they see these humanoid looking things that look like skeletons, walking in groups of 4.

Hey, don’t horses usually go crazy when they see the undead?

Yes. But those aren’t undead creatures, but rather automations from a war fought long ago. They are made of almost pure Tritanium. The armor I could make if I got my hands on Tritanium. But those things are very dangerous, and best avoided.

The adventurers move further along into the heart of the Acridian Expanse, and there is a sandstorm that blows between them and their way to Ft. Kaylea.

They notice a little house to the side of the road, and decide to approach it and ask for shelter. The house seems run down, and has a bunch of Fastcow skins hanging outside as well as a bunch of Fastcows in the pen. Beside the house, there is a run down cart with a missing wheel. The sign out front says “Fur, Meat, and Bones”.

As they approach the door, people seem to be arguing inside…
Mandy: Daddy, you promised! It’s never going to get not-busy enough for you to take me!

Dundee: Mandy, I have work to do, and this order is going to give the family a lot of money. I’m not going to just up and leave here so you can go jaunting on some vacation.

Mandy: I’ve already been stuck here for more than a year! I can’t take this anymore! There is nothing to do and I am not normal!

Dundee: I said I’d take you after this next batch gets completed. You have to be patient dear.

Daria: Mandy, please listen to your father. We need this next batch so we can fix a few things around here.

Mandy: I’ve had enough and I think I’ll go crazy if I spend another minute here.
she bursts out of the front door.

Dundee (following): Mandy, listen to me. If I finish this next batch, we’ll have more money to spend in Fort Kaylea.

Cleric interrupts their conversation and says hello.

They ask for shelter, and the father agrees, sending their horses and carts to the barn, along with most of their travel companions, including Rogue. Dundee says he can accommodated some of them in the house, but the rest will have to stay in the barn. Cleric, Fighter, Swashbuckler, and Sorceress enter the house.

Dundee asks his wife Daria to get them some tea. A few moments later, the room is filled with the smell of the red Royal Tea so well known to people of this region.

The adventurers drink it without checking for any poisons because they trust the fellow.

Dundee introduces himself, and says him and his wife have been out here a long time, and they breed, sell, and raise Fastcows. They make leather out of them, and make a pretty good profit. However, Mandy, their daughter is bored and wants to see the world.

Saru asks for water to give to their friends in the barn, and horses, and the mother helps her. Romel then comments on Hernandez is right, she IS good wife material!

Inside, Dundee says he sees that there are two clerics in this party, and decides he wants them to take her to see the rest of South Caitonia. He will give them 500 gold right now to take her to Ft. Kaylea, and 500 to take her to see Chantelle, and another 500 when they eventually decide to go to Stormfrost.

The party mulls over it, and Swashbuckler fights hard to not take her. He is extremely pissed off that he almost died because of the Centipedes, got tangled up due to the Wood Beholder, and almost died again fighting off those oversized turkeys in the Nikhei Forest, so he decides he is going to be a git because he is in a bad mood.

Eventually, the party decides to take her, much to the chagrin of Swashbuckler.

Hernandez and Tawney come into the house, and say the sandstorm appears to be over and they can probably head to the fort now. Plus, it stinks in the barn. The rest of the party head out of the house, and after checking to see where the sandstorm is headed, decide to embark, once again, to Ft. Kaylea. The father thanks them, and says she is an excellent seamstress,and can pay her own way. Mandy replies and says it’s because she had nothing else to do. He gives the party 4 fastcow leathers, and gives Mandy the same, in case she needs the money for some reason.

The adventurers head off once again, and as they approach Ft. Kaylea, Richard gives them a bit of a history lesson.

Do you guys know why Ft. Kaylea was built? Because it is the King’s last stand in case Caitonia City gets overrun. It is out in the middle of the desert, with no water for miles and miles. The only water available come from underground springs inside the city gates.
Water has some value here. It’s not rare or anything, but don’t be wasting it, or people get agitated.

Keith: It’s also home to the Ft. Kaylea Archives. The King’s spy network keeps records of everybody it can. Everybody here probably has a file on them somewhere in the great library.

Ft. Kaylea can be a dangerous place, and the guards really don’t care about anybody. Most of them are here as either punishment for something they did, or are just so disagreeable or incompetent that there is no other place for them in the kingdom. Ft. Kaylea is a dead end job……..It’s also where I grew up. the group laughs at this Don’t go into the back alleys. Stay on the main Merchant Road .

Jerica and Sara protest.
“Aww!” “Um…but there are some really good shops back in the alleys.”

Emerson: “Then don’t explore the back alleys alone, and try and bring weapons with you if you want to visit the shops back there. And definitely avoid it after sundown.”

“Good advice. You should listen to this man.”

Emerson then raises his voice a little.
“Ok, fellows. I’m not about to leave our carts unattended, so before you all go off galavanting to parts unknown, I’ve set up a schedule where some of us will watch the carts while the rest can go on their merry way and explore the city. Hernandez, Romel, Tawney, and Brudder are on the first watch”

Hernandez: "Hey man, I’d like to kick it with Reynolds and Nina. Can you put them with us?

Emerson: Ok, if you want to pull guard duty with them, then I can arrange that.

Romel: sigh Why do we get first watch?

Emerson: Well, do you guys like to shop or party in the taverns? If you want to be stuck on watch during the night while everyone else is having a good time, that can be arranged…

Romel, Nina: “No! No! We’ll take first watch”

Francine: I’ll take watch with the first group please.

Emerson: Ok, second watch will be Keith, Brudder, Jerica, and Sara

Sara: Ok, that’s fine. We don’t really like to party too much anyways.
Jerica: We can probably get our shopping done earlier too.

Emerson: Last watch will be me, Richard, and Jimmi.

Emerson then turns to Fighter, Rogue, Swashbuckler, Sorceress, and Cleric.

That will let you guys go explore the city without having to worry about having our stuff stolen. Good luck with your meeting with Hawkthorn.

They enter the gates of Ft. Kaylea, and many people seem to know Emerson as they approach and say hello. A man in a red apron approaches the caravan, and greets Emerson.

Hey guys, this is Kunitz. He and I go way back, and we’re brothers in blacksmithing.

Pleased to meet you!

Paris: Hi Kunitz!

Kunitz: Hi dear. You look as ravishing as ever! How is dad?

Paris “He’s good, but busy.” “Guys, if you ever need more Iron Ingots, Kunitz can get you a deal on them.”

Emerson takes off with to his friend Kunitz.

When they round the corner, they also notice a sign. It says, in bold letters:

“We Reserve The Right To Punish Magic Casters Severely.”

Fort Kaylea v Heroes of Hope
Session: January 7 2011

The session started out fairly positive! Things were looking great. In the previous session we had delivered a Nightmare to a Lich hunter, and he wanted to take the party treasure hunting. We needed to take a rest before we left, though. We were winding down our day at the tavern and heard chatter about the killing of Beedle.

The session before, the party was approached by Deputy Sheriff Cyrus. He told us about Beedle, a robber baron and leader of the Scarab Gang. He told us that Beedle was a man with connections, and virtually impossible to jail. He had to be taken out. We took on the quest and took him out, beheading him. We swore an innocent bartender who witnessed this to secrecy.

His definition of secrecy was not the same as ours.

In the morning, we were summoned to Cyrus’s house, where he yelled at us for letting the bartender live and threw a vase at our cleric. A few throwing daggers, some self-administered poison and a self-defenestration later and Cyrus was dead. This also meant there was no one who could vouch for why we took on the elimination of Beedle. City guards carried away his body, giving us a merciful opportunity to escape the house unseen. On our way back to the tavern, we saw guards pasting up wanted posters with our pictures on them.

After some debate, we went to the guard house to ask what the charges were against us and attempt to explain ourselves – that we thought we were doing something within the law, as requested by the law. We were arrested for the trouble.

So we will be starting out the next session in jail. I don’t think we’ll be able to make it to treasure hunting with the Lich guy.

DOINK DOINK: Justice Undone, and Injustice Double-Crossed, and Seru Wears a Dress.
The thrilling conclusion to the court trial!

Today our story became fractured and wheeled off in many directions. So first, to gain your footing, the locations of our various heroes.

Maldox, Mog and Perrin are in prison after turning themselves in for the assassination of Beedle, leader of the Scarab Bandits. They are to go to trial.

Melnor is at the tavern, as he is not a wanted criminal.

Seru is running from the jail to the tavern to hide, as she is a wanted criminal.

The tale opens on the jailed men. Being led into their cells, they were surprised to see Keith the Mountie and Broder, Bearer of the God-Given Dagger. Keith made lewd gestures at a horse, and Broder insulted a half-orc’s fangs, and they were just winding down after a night in the drunk tank. It was nice seeing them, but they were quickly released, leaving us to stew in our juices.

Emerson the Blacksmith who knows everybody is here! He has found the finest Rules Lawyer in town. The man doesn’t sound exactly confident about defending us, but he’ll take the case. We opt for trial by jury.

At the tavern, Seru is cowering in a back room trying not to be recognized. She gathers Melnor, Pink, and a few other people and they form somewhat of a plan involving killing the Scarab Bandit bartender who got us in jail. Seru also tells Pink to find her a dress, so that she will be less recognizable if she goes out in public. As Melnor is leaving the tavern, he gets some juicy details about a joint meeting of the Black Dragon pirates and Scarab Bandits. They need a banner, and so Mandy the unloved Seamstress and Richard the Loot Manager are recruited to sew a banner so that they can enter this bad guy pep rally.

Then, Melnor shows up at the jail. We pretend not to know him, but he insists that he knows us. One of the guards recognizes him and accuses him of killing a Scarab Bandit during the hit on Beedle. Melnor accuses the guard of taking money from Cyrus to stand guard and not talk about this event. The captain of the guard puts them both in a jail cell. They manage to talk their way out of the cell and Melnor let us know he will try to stack the jury in our favour, as justice in this town appears a little bit broken.

Maldox and Perrin passed the time by playing floor hockey. Mog passed the time by crying in the corner.

Melnor leaves the prison and seeks out Hyde. After performing a favour for Hyde, he agrees to stack the jury. Melnor also takes advantage of knowledge gained in this puzzle to bet on a rigged horse race. Then it’s back to the tavern!

Seru also does some deft trading, solving a puzzle that gets the group what they need to get the banner made in time for the meeting.

By now Seru’s level of paranoia has reached utterly crazed, but everyone eventually returns with what is needed to get into the general meeting of the baddies. The bartender will be there, and that guy needs to get what’s coming to him.


Maldox, Mog and Perrin are led to the courtroom. The trial begins. Cryus’s wife was having an affair with Beedle?! Well no wonder he hired us to kill the guy. Because of the affair, we can’t be implicated in the death of Cyrus!

Our Rules Lawyer makes a rousing speech that inspires even the heroes themselves to believe their innocence. The heroes testify in their favour. Suddenly, a guard bursts into the courtroom and passes out a note announcing that the nobleman Hawkthorne (the entire reason we were in Fort Kaylea) has been assassinated. This doesn’t have much effect on the trial overall. The prosecuting rules lawyer, Derek, basically calls us terrible, law-skirting bloodthirsty killers who should never have trusted the authorities in Fort Kaylea.

And then possibly the shiniest person ever walks in! It’s Sargeant Lucy, and she approaches the justice and asks what is the difference between the heroes and a soldier such as herself? She makes a fabulous speech but it has no effect. Lucy is our new player, Bill!

The Jury makes virtually no deliberations and then declares us guilty. The justice sentences us. Maldox: Life in the Pit. Perrin: 3 years in the Pit. Mog: 1 year in the Pit.

The heroes are shackled and dragged off. Perrin begins to shout, “These men could not protect the good noble Hawkthorne! What makes you think they can protect you?” but he was not diplomatic enough (yes, crit 1) to influence the crowd. And so they were taken to the maximum security prison, to be taken to the Pit on the next morning. Lucy follows them to the prison and attempts to conscript the heroes. The Captain of the guard is hearing nothing of this. Lucy asks to travel with us to the pit and conscript the heroes there and the captain agrees.

Meeting with the Black Dragon

Melnor, Seru, Pink, Hernandez and a few of the other former black dragons go to the meeting. Melnor and Seru are disguised so they will not be recognized. They mill about and get some information. Then the proper festivities begin!
The Scarab Bandits and Black Dragon will be working together. They will loot and pillage like the dickens! And now they have BLINK DOGS! They plan to use the blink dogs to better assault the merchant caravans, after they successfully breed some more blink dogs. Some bandit/pirates are selected to escort the blink dogs to the northern stronghold blink dog love hotel.

The Scarab Bandits and Black Dragons will also work together to ambush the wagon headed for the pit containing the Heroes of Hope! They hate those guys! With their hopeful heroics! Some recruiting goes on, and Seru and Melnor plus entourage all join the party headed to intercept and kill those rascally Heroes of Hope.

Seru, Melnor etc finally get their chance to kill the bartender, to everyone’s great satisfaction. So thank god that’s over. Then, Melnor learns of our guilty verdict and seeks out Hyde. He tries to negotiate some kind of favour that will get the jailed heroes out of the Pit, but Hyde doesn’t know if he can do it. Melnor threatens Hyde, Hyde calls the guard, Melnor is in jail for the second time in one day! But Lucy offers to conscript Melnor and manages to convince the captain that Melnor is some drunk guy and to just let him go in the morning. Somehow, this works.

Road Trip! Destination: THE PIT

Lucy (the gold mini) arrives in the morning and the group is shackled to everything and each other and everything else again, and the wagon. Then the group sets off. There’s someone else on our wagon, Homeboy. Homeboy has a bad feeling about the trip. No shit, Homeboy. We’re going to the pit. He makes us promise to protect him, so we say we will do our best to keep him safe.

The wagon suddenly stops. Half of the guards walk away, and a bag is dropped at our feet. It contains our weapons and armour. Our shackles are unlocked, except for Homeboy’s. Perrin uses a dropped key to unlock Homeboy. The black dragon/scarab bandit group appears.

“We’ll take the prisoners from here”

And that’s where it ends for the day.


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