Session 11 - End of Story Arc
Lycans and Turtles; An epic battle

This week, Gwindil Elmrock is present, along with guests playing Throkk Stonesplitter and Hayward. Due to scheduling conflicts, this is the first half of the end of this story arc. The party is split; half will engage session 11, and the other half session 12.

The three party members awake in the night in Barrier Town, to the sound of a woman’s cries, outside the Sea Wench Inn. Malkovich and Raz will not wake (their players are absent!). In the light of the full moon, they see a figure stumble off the end of the wall gangway, and rush out to investigate. She is wearing a cloak of blueberry color, has beautiful strawberry hair, and is of fair complexion. A small figure moves in the shadows behind her. She is battered and pleads the party to aid the logging encampment on the far side of the wall. The party see there are several torch lights on the far side of the lake’s channel, and immediately row across in a canoe, leaving her safely behind with the shy child.

Half way across the lake, something very large begins to beat upon the barrier, from the other side. A massive, dark form is detected beneath the water’s surface. After several rams, a wooden pylon splinters and sends a section of the gangway above crashing into the water, narrowly missing the canoe. The party hastily paddle to the encampment, ahead.

The logging camp is reached as dawn breaks, and the denizens are clearly recovering from an incident. Mrs. Buttersworth, a camp resident, recalls the frightening events of the night: a terrible, viscous beast attacked occupants of tents, in their sleep. The camp guards saw nothing enter the camp.

Just then, Karraak arrives, having run across the water barricade and using incredible dexterity to hop across the failing pylons where the gangway collapsed. Karraak brings attention to huge paw prints in the soil around the camp. Unfortunately, they are too obscured to determine their path of origin. Pressing Mrs. Butterworth further, they party learn the beast resembled a massive wolf, but was clothed, at least in part, and walked on its hind legs. She noted that it seems only select tents were attacked, instead of those adjacent to prior attack.

Hayward recalls legend of the Curse of Lycanthropy: the cursed individual transforms in part or whole into a beast. Also, those bitten or otherwise attacked by a lycanthrope and survive also fall under the curse. Looking at the 20 injured survivors, laying in the common area, the party quickly grow concerned and are determined to locate the attacker. They decide to search the area surrounding the camp.

Nearby, they encounter a huge, human lumberjack named Brawney, returning to camp from the woodland. An interrogation reveals Brawney is intimately familiar with the Curse of Lycanthropy; he himself is a bear lycanthrope (werebear). His massive size, alleged, bearlike appearance, and paw prints prove he is not the attacker. He hails from a generational line of lycans, who have apparently embraced their misfortune and have long learned to manage their periodic transformation.

Brawney reveals not all lycans are dangerous; those who resist the curse and are unwilling to surrender to its power retain some means of self control and are unlikely to spread the curse. Those who surrender themselves become truly beastly, wild, and dangerous. He has also pursued his great-grandfather’s vision of creating a disposable towel somehow made of wood pulp. This is how he and his sister, Rosie, came to the logging camp. Rosie? By the way, have you seen her? She seems to be missing. Brawney describes a woman of strawberry hair like his own, fair, and possibly wearing a blueberry cloak.

Upon returning to camp, the people beg the adventurers to provide safe passage for the injured, to return to town, to receive medical attention. The party are concerned that come nightfall, the injured will become feral and ravage the remainder of the camp. The injured must be de-cursed by Malkovich, as soon as possible. Because the crossing to Barrier Town could not possibly be accomplished before nightfall, the party prepare to put all of whom are possibly infected to death, against the pleas of Mrs. Buttersworth.

In a shocking revelation, Karraak speaks to the party, intervening in the demise of the injured and possibly the entire encampment. Karraak is apparently female and speaks with the slow wisdom of a native American accent. Throughout the conversation, she covers the jewel embedded in her headband, which the party suspect the Raven Queen observes the actions of the party. Karraak advises the party to spare the lives of the most stalwart lycans and use them to save Barrier Town and the entire region from the ravages of whatever beast assaults the barrier. With an obvious enemy present, and being constrained to a construction barge, the werewolves will focus their rage on the beast rather than the party nor flight. Survivors will be exhausted and docile for the remainder of the passage to Barrier Town, where they may be de-cursed and their lives spared.

Realizing this deep wisdom and with Brawny’s assistance, the injured are ushered and carried aboard a construction barge and begin the slow crossing to Barrier Town. Mrs. Buttersworth and the able-bodied remain in the logging camp.

The crossing is slower than expected. Those able to help pole the barge along tire quickly. As the sun sets, the moon threatens to rise too soon. As the curse of the lycan begins to well, the injured find strength before the tether of sanity slips from their grip, and surge the barge toward the barrier breach as the last fingers of golden daylight surrender the sky to the night. The moon peaks through the trees and pain, terror, and savagery tear through the lycanthropes. The party prepare to defend themselves.

Just as the first werewolf crouches to spring on the party and Brawney, now in bear form, the massive head of a Dragon Turtle slams through the barrier, drawn by the screams, yammering, and then howls aboard the barge. The battle begins! The werewolves prove to be terribly effective in packs. Brawney’s steely claws and savage strength tears through the thick hide. Karraak attacks the eyes, and the party throw their renown magic and skill against the adversary. The battle is long. Wolves are lost to the blacks depths and the deadly maw of the mountain-like beast. Though only its head and a forelimb protrude the barrier, it is able to cast fog about the fray, making battle all the more perilous.

At last, the gargantuan surrenders life to the myriad slashes, gouges, and rent wounds of the werewolf army and the blinding magic and wounds of the party. The four remaining wolves collapse to the deck, exhausted and further injured. The party reflect the beast likely only wanted to swim the channel as it has for the past hundreds of years.

The party turn their attention to a new sound: screams of terror and the roar of flames. Chaos reigns in Barrier Town…

(To be continued in Session 11b!)

Session 10
The Voyage North

Our adventure resumes with the party (including Karraak) standing on the street, in front of the armory merchant shop. They decide to abandon plans to break in to the shop, and proceed to the docks. No armor upgrades, today!

Along the way, Rolf, Gwindil’s wolf companion, detects they are being followed. Before reaching the docks, they party discover an elderly man wearing the white acolyte robes of the White Order has been tracking them for some undetermined distance. After a fierce intimidation from Throck, the acolyte retreats some distance, but appears to linger. The party reach The Rusty Shackle. Captain Dennis Longbeard informs the party they will depart the following morning. The party rest on-board.

The following morning, while loading the last supplies, the party spy the acolyte attempting to remain concealed on the dock. When confronted, the acolyte offers the assistance of the White Order. He seems wary of Karraak and the lingering ghost, and, claiming they are of ill nature, offers to rid the party of their presence, and offer to expedite their voyage and journey. They party refuse and threaten to destroy the acolyte if they see him again.

The Rusty Shackle departs and sails north. On the 7th day, the ship encounters a Hunter Shark, which the party quickly dispatch. After defeating the shark, Throkk Stonesplitter is dragged underwater by an unseen foe. After some struggle and help from friends, he escapes the creature’s grasp. The party destroy the unseen assailant, and the clothed body of a Kuo-Toa floats to the surface. Although the distant light of an undersea settlement can be seen, the party chose to sail on.

The party harvest shark teeth and thick skin, with which they plan to enhance their weapons and armor, upon reaching their destination.

Three days later, the ship enters a wide river channel to a long, inland lake. The following day, the ship approaches a narrow (about 1 mile wide) segment of the lake, across which an ancient barrier has been restored; thick, ancient, stone pylons once spanned the channel, creating an underwater barrier, to prevent water-borne monstrosities from migrating northward to populated shores and the greater Neverwinter area. The barrier has been hastily restored using large timbers, with a gangway along the top. Only, this time the barrier is preventing the creatures of the barren north from coming south.

On the NorthEastern end of the wall rests a boom town, simply named “Barrier Town”, populated by loggers and stonemasons, working to restore the barrier. A massive mountain looms behind the Western end of the wall, and downs rise to the East. The party disembark and hire the blacksmith to embed shark teeth in one side of Throkk’s great axe, which will require many days to complete. A fletcher is found, to create shark teeth arrows for Gwindil, and a shark tooth dagger i fashioned for Savine. The party spend the night in the Sea Wench Inn.

Session 9
New faces, familiar places

The party find themselves alive, well, and level 4, in the depths of the Rigel Catacombs, along with Karraak. After simply walking past the remaining vampires in slumber (a little more than 200), Karraak finds the Minotaur skull and pantomimes they should take it with them. Gwindil sees through the Unseeable Eyepiece that Miranda’s lover, released from the Minotaur’s bondage, appears to be bound to the skull. He is compelled to follow Karraak after placing the skull in her Bag of Holding. The ghost bids Miranda a bittersweet farewell. Perhaps fate will allow them to meet again.

The party exit the catacombs to a night lit by a quarter moon. They decide to find an inn on the outskirts of town, to spend the night. They come to the Hoary Boar, where they lay plans to locate and destroy the Mirror of Dannas over pints of ale. They notice a figure in the shadows and approach to investigate.

The figure reveals herself to be Savinne, a wandering tiefling. After sharing many more pints, which she politely refuses, Savinne agrees to join the adventure, lending her much needed sorcery skills to the party.

Malkovich, Raz, Throkk Stonesplitter, and Gwindil drink into the night. Gwindil awakes in his room, in the afternoon, to the sound of the innkeeper evicting the party members. Raz and a more naked than usual Throkk Stonesplitter awake together, in another room. Malkovich finds himself on the roof of the inn, with Content Not Found: karrak perched nearby.

After breaking their fast, the Adventurers Guild’s annoying errand boy discovers the party, and reminds them to check in. The party agree and after exposition to Savinne, they travel to the Rigel warehouse. Everyone at the warehouse is wary of the kenku and (invisible?) ghost in tow. The party arranges for transport northward, on The Rusty Shackle, though they are told they must find their own way, after landfall. The Guild will not venture to those Northern regions. The party receive no bounties (they found no artifacts), nor are they provided weapon or armor upgrades.

En route to The Rusty Shackle, Content Not Found: karrak_ discretely points out an armor and weapon merchant, who turns out to secretly deal in magical items. The party quickly discover these items are extraordinarily expensive, and attempt to take them by force. Mr. Whipple, the merchange, easily evicts them with the wave of a magic wand. Content Not Found: throck_, Content Not Found: malcovich, and Raz re-enter the shop, to confront the merchant; but, they are bet by a stone golem which easily turns them to retreat.

Meanwhile, Savinne and Gwindil attempt to enter from the back door and steal from the stock room. After knocking out Adam Savage, the clerk, they quickly discover the item crates can not be removed from the shop, nor can they be easily opened.

The party regroup outside the shop as the sun sets, to decide what to do next.

Adventures, Guilds, and Dragons
Session 1

NOTE: The players have heard the backstory of the Material Plane, including passage of time, history of kingdoms, resurgence of chaos between the planes, current political status, and, of course, the [Adventurers Guild].

Gwendyl, Content Not Found: malcovich, and Throck arrive at [Talismar] on SOMETHING Island, in the [Rigel Kingdom], aboard [The Rusty Shackle], as new recruits of the [Adventurers Guild]. They have been selected because of their ancestry and recent discovery of innate magical abilities that place them well above the average denizen of the world.

After docking, the party are ushered into a very full and busy warehouse near the docks, nestled against the foot of the cliff. Several crates seem suspicious: some with colored light bursting from cracks; another oozing impossible darkness that swallows the dusty light; and a large crate thudding internally, being carted away from a ramshackle office. The party are invited into the office of NAME, who manages the warehousing of magical items for the [Adventurers Guild]. The office contains several shelves cluttered with iridescent gems, Erlenmeyer flasks of effervescent fluids, and, notably, what appears to be a small, live cat-sized red Pseudodragon lounging on the desk. Besides the wooden door through which the party entered, there is also a strong, locked, metal door behind the desk, set into a stone wall that appears to be the foot of the mountain.

NAME explains how the party have been recruited to obtain magical items, to keep them safe from greedy kingdoms. The guild has been collecting them for the past age, initially for safe keeping, eventually for preservation, and now… well, who knows. There is some money to be made through bounties. How the guild funds these bounties in not explained, but an ancient, secret society such at this would clearly have very deep pockets.

Name calls for Hayward, and introduces him as a guide for the party’s first task. Suddenly, the building jars from the incredible roar of an explosion, outside. A second, close explosion rocks the building to its foundation, causing the roof of the office to collapse on NAME, narrowly missing the party members. After rescuing NAME from beneath the timbers, the party open the strong, metal door and escape, just as the clamor of battle and hostile shouts burst through the wooden door.

The party with Hayward and NAME in tow descend stairs in a tunnel hewn int the mountain. They enter a catwalk overlooking a large, dark room. They do not hesitate to run through the dark room, between tall shelves laden with strange objects. They find another heavy, metal door, which they open, narrowly escaping their pursuers. Curiously, Hayward, being a human, does not seem to need a lantern, to make his way through the blackness of the mountain’s core. The party escape down a very long tunnel, at the end of which they see a pinpoint of ruddy light. It strikes them as odd that the morning sun should seem so red.

Upon exiting the tunnel, the party find themselves outside the city on the side of the valley, near farms. Overlooking the city, they see it has been swallowed by flames of large dragons, and goblins are swarming the city. The air is thick with smoke and ash rains as the party decide what to do next. Keeping his head, and smoking a pipe, Hayward suggests they look at the parchment NAME had on hand, claiming it was their first assignment. NAME insists they leave him and go on to follow the map drawn on the parchment. An artifact is located at [Fort Wells], also located on the island.

When NAME passes out without divulging any more information, the party strike out for [Fort Wells] seeking to retrieve the unknown artifact. While cutting across farm fields and keeping a low profile to avoid dragons and goblins, they encounter what appear to be a large and a small creature. Hayward, puffing his pipe, indicates they are goblins. Having never seen a goblin (monsters of any sort have been rarely seen for an age), the party handily dispatch the seemingly benign goblin and the small one as well.

Horses H1 and H2 are “borrowed” from the nearby barn, and the party travel by road, toward [Fort Wells]. On the road, they encounter a pair of goblins on horseback clad in gray leather armor with a golden sun emblazoned on the chest piece. The party strongly feel they know the symbol, but can’t seem to remember. Again, the goblins do not seem to threaten the party, but they, too are slain and their horses taken. Thus, horses h3 and h4 join the party.

The party ride until dusk and then travel a safe distance from the road, to make camp. Another pair of gray armored goblins on horseback ride by; but, the party remain undetected and are well rested by dawn.


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