Game Night, Sessions 14-16, Zombies & A Bug, Oh My!

A little catching up is in order since there has been 3 game nights since my last post… sorry about that.  I’ve let that pesky “normal life” thing get in the way of things 😉

Lysandra, Bran, Fang and Theren team up quite well and go to work to finish off the zombies.  Then there is a pesky bug to stop, and, of course, that’s not all…

The group work their way from the tower out to the remainder of the zombies.  Theren makes good use of his sensory link to Tolthas for recon.

It takes very little time to find the remaining ogre zombies and reanimated villagers. They pull out all the stops for a final fight with the zombies.  Fang makes good use of a spell of entanglement to help slow down the lumbering ogre zombies.  With the group numbering four now, dispatching zombies takes far less time and less sacrifice of blood.

The bug creature is spotted soon after the last zombie falls.  The group decides that the bug cannot escape.  They pursue it and engage it.

The bug decides to try and dispatch the group quickly by conjuring a poison fog.  Bran takes the brunt of the poison while the rest resist it to some degree.  Once again, Fang comes through with a spell to conjure a globe of swirling winds around him.  Using it disperses a significant amount of the poison fog quickly.  Lysandra heals Bran and they head into melee with the bug.

The bug is not stupid.  It sees that the group is more capable than it thought, given how they dispatched the poison cloud so fast.  But it will not let a group of lesser meat sacks conquer it and it relishes the fight.

Bran, Theren, Fang and Lysandra realize quickly that the bug creature is strong and a capable fighter, but they don’t want it to escape.  Again, Bran’s combat prowess proves very valuable as he doles out damage despite the bug creature’s naturally heavy armor.  It’s carapace is strong and thick.

Ultimately, the group prove themselves the better combatants.  The bug creature falls to the onslaught, clearly underestimating them.

A quick search of the body reveals, among other things of value, a note…

“Find the Chosen.  Set a trap to test their abilities.  Report back. –Erebus”

Apparently the bug was not supposed to kill the group, AND it was supposed to survive…

Questions about this immediately come to their minds.  Then they notice smoke near the lake shore and realize it’s near where Fisk put them ashore and is still waiting for their return.

Lysandra spies a villager returning from one of the hiding spots in the woods to see what has happened.  She let’s him know that the villagers are now safe, tells him to find her father and runs off with the group to find out what is amiss by the lake shore.

At the lake shore they find that Captain Fisk’s boat has been burned to the waterline and there is no sign of him.  They scout the area and discover Krell footprints.  Again, more questions fill their minds as they consider the possibility that Kogan has tracked them here and possibly murdered their ally from Piketon.

Suddenly uncertain about what to do next, they return to South Haven to discuss things and answer some questions for Lysandra. She bears the sigil of Mentari’s Secret on her left hand like them, but knows nothing else.  She wants the rest of the group to fill her in.

Lysandra is relieved to find her father unharmed, and after talking with some of the villagers about what happened and that things now appeared to be safe, the group is invited to rest and recover as needed.

There is concern over how this bug creature and its zombies knew to show up in the village.  There is concern over how Kogan also managed to catch up with them.  But they still have no idea how this is happening.  The group feels compelled to get to Welandar City and find the hidden library in the castle dungeon.  Based on what they do know and Mert’s instructions, getting to that book should provide some insight as to what might be going on.

With Lysandra brought up to speed – which convinces her to join in their quest, they hire a river boat pilot to take them down the Welandar River to the kingdom capital.  Lysandra says goodbye to her father and the group, now numbering four, continue their trek toward Welandar City to find a secret book in a secret library.

Night one of the trip sees them camping on the river bank. They have to deal with the recurring shared dreams that come to haunt them in their sleep and remind them that darkness is coming.  Otherwise, it is a peaceful night of camping.

There next stop is the trading town of Fork.  The riverboat pilot lands them at the docks below the town of Fork and the group makes plans to spend the night there before continuing on to Welandar City.

The walled town of Fork is a bustling trade town located at the confluence of the Welandar River and the Border River.  There are also a couple of roads that converge here.  The town never completely sleeps due to merchants and traders arriving and leaving around the clock to move goods from Fork to other parts of the Kingdom and those with whom they trade.

So, the group do a little shopping and set themselves up to spend the night in one of the busier inns near the market area.  Lysandra has been concerned that Theren does not like her given his standoffish personality and the fact that their “trades” are very different (she is a cleric of Nira the Life Giver; he is a warlock that has made a pact with an eldritch being of power).  She purchases a nice scroll case to give him as a gift of friendship.  She hopes that he will appreciate it and use it to protect the special scroll he carries.  This does not seem to be the case when Lysandra presents the gift to Theren…

While in Fork, discussion of where they should go comes up again.  The need to find allies and information is very evident.  The concern about if and/or how they are being tracked has grown significant.  The group is not certain that going straight to Welandar City to find a way into the secret library is the best course of action anymore.  They consider going to Braiton, where this all started, to talk with Perry, the man who helped get all this started.  They also consider the possibility that being near Perry, a known ally, might help deal with the threat that Kogan has become.  They can also get word back to Piketon through Perry about Captain Fisk.

As they continue downriver toward Welandar City, they are ambushed by Krell from the river bank. Bran, Theren, Lysandra and Fang quickly realize that these Krell aren’t ordinary.  They are well trained soldiers and very capable with the weapons at their disposal.  There also gets the strange feeling he had when Slythis – and now Kogan – was nearby.  This reinforces the idea that Kogan is carrying some sort of talisman that has influence over him like the bone dagger had over Slythis.  There is also some concern about what sort of changes Kogan is undergoing… like Slythis did.

The battle between the riverboats and the bank is tough.  The Krell soldiers are well trained and do not get shaken in the face of adversity.  It is initially uncertain if the group can defeat these soldiers… until Fang calls upon his druidic powers and sets upon the Krell with a beam of radiant energy from the sky.  The damage he is able to deal levels the playing field and allows for the group to begin shifting the flow of the fight.

In the end, Lysandra’s healing power, Bran’s combat prowess, Theren’s ability with eldritch magic and Fang’s radiant energy spell overwhelm the Krell soldiers.  They fall except for one that had remained hidden during the fight, and that one is noticed running away from the river through the woods.  They know he will be reporting back to an absent Kogan.  Where was Kogan?  Theren felt a presence, but the group never saw him.  They begin to wonder about the tactics being used by Kogan.

After scouting the area of the fight, they float a little further downriver for another night of camping.  Sometime the next day they will be at the entrance to Welandar City.  Then what?

So, what now?  As of right now the group is sticking with the plan of going to Welandar City to start figuring out a way into the secret library.  They are at a loss as to how the bug and Kogan keep finding them.  The encounter with Kogan and his soldiers makes some sense; Kogan made the assumption that they would head to South Haven and then downriver to Welandar City.  The group’s route took them from Piketon to Lon-Kar and THEN to South Haven, a route that took them along the edge of The Great Lake.  Kogan only had to cross the lake from Piketon.

But how did the bug know where to go? Did it know that the group would be there or just Lysandra who has lived there all her life until now? Who is Erebus?  By what means are they being tracked?  What will Kogan become if he has a talisman like the one that transformed Slythis?  What will they find in Welandar City?  How can they convince the right people to let them into the castle and look for a secret royal library?

Stay tuned 😉

As always, if you like what you’ve read here, let me know by clicking the like button.  If you have a question or comment, by all means speak up.  I would love to hear from you.

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Game Night, Session 13; Where’s The Off Switch???

So, in the down time with Fang’s player being out of pocket, we invited another player to join us.  She’s either a glutton for punishment, or… I. DON’T. KNOW. 😉

Welcome, player of Lysandra Bellatore; human cleric of Nira the Life-Bringer!

We ended session 12 during a lull in the fight against the zombie hoard that had formed in South Haven.  Theren, Bran and Fang had taken down an Ogre zombie and several zombies that they suspected were local villagers that had been killed and animated by some nefarious means.

Lysandra’s player was brought in on Sunday night for session 13.  But as DM, I don’t like to just throw another character in the group.  Lysandra Bellatore is actually from South Haven.  Lysandra’s player finds her new character in a bit of a predicament…

Bran, Fang and Theren take a breather as the last zombie in the first wave falls at the base of the bridge.  Bran looks around and spots a stone defense tower a short run from the bridge up the river bank.  It looks like it’s meant to defend against anybody that might try to cause trouble to South Haven from the river.  Bran let’s the others know that he thinks that would be a good spot to regroup and figure out how to handle the rest of the zombies.

Before they can get moving, Bran and Theren believe they hear a woman yelling for help…

***

Lysandra Bellatore’s eyes flutter open.  She feels battered and bruised, but otherwise unhurt.  She instantly realizes that she is having a hard time catching her breath and that she is heavily pinned down.  It seems that after whatever knocked her out decided to collapse a house on her.  The memory of that insect-like creature striking her flashes through her mind.

Before Lysandra allows herself to panic, though, she listens and looks around at her situation.  She hears movement nearby and someone shouting in the distance, but she can’t see from underneath the rubble.  She then tests some movement to see if she can get out from underneath the rubble easily.  “Easy” is NOT going to happen.

Again, stifling panic, she prays to Nira for the strength to break free.  Whether the goddess hears her or not, Lysandra calms herself and gathers all the strength she has.  She begins to push against the collapsed wall.  It moves.  She pushes more until she feels her strength about to give out, but as she is about to give up, the wall moves enough for her to wriggle free.

Lysandra lies still on the ground for a moment, breathing deeply and thankful to be free of the wreckage that was once her neighbor’s home.

She then gets up and takes in her surroundings.  She’s looking for the source of the shouting she heard before.  She suddenly realizes that there are zombies – one particularly large zombie – uncomfortably close to her.  She also sees the group a short run across the village from her.  The zombies are between them and her.

With the decision made to risk drawing undue zombie attention, Lysandra sprints toward the group and calls out to them.

***

Bran, Theren and Fang begin their move to the stone defense tower when they hear a woman shouting for help.  They see her running toward them… THROUGH the zombies.

A sudden change of plans to “rescue the girl” is executed and the group joins the fray.

Quite a battle ensues with damage given and taken, but two ogre zombies along with several human zombies begins to shift the odds even against the group now counting 4.  So, they break from the battle and rush for the stone tower as planned.

Upon reaching the tower, the original trio introduce themselves to Lysandra who reciprocates.  Then they begin trying to figure out how to handle the zombies.

Bran, being a trained soldier decides to make use of the two ballistae mounted on the top of the tower for use against enemies striking from the river.  His skills prove very effective as significant amounts of damage are dealt to the ogre zombies.

In short order, the battle will be at the base of the tower…

And this is where we ended the night, right after Lysandra, whose combat effectiveness was thwarted throughout the evening by the dice rolls, took one final shot at one of the ogre zombies.  She rolled a critical hit to end the night.  Let’s hope that continues in the next session 😉

It took a short time to get Lysandra and her player “synced up” in Fantasy Grounds (character creation and learning the interface).  Then the combat took the remainder of the evening.  Tabletop players will understand.  For the layman, D&D (and other RPGs) combat mechanics can get involved, especially when the group wants to switch from theater of the mind to something a bit more interactive and tactical.  FG has the ability to work through combat encounters with exceptional capability of simulating D&D 5E combat mechanics, so why not use them 😉

Session 14 should see the conclusion of the fight with the zombies… one way or the other.  While the group is in a slightly more defensible position, nearly mindless zombies will simply begin working on the tower to bring it down until they can get to their intended targets.  Then there is the bug-like creature that appears to be the reason for the creation of the zombie hoard…

If you like what you’ve read here, let me know by hitting the like button.  If you have questions or comments, please, post them for me.  A conversation is so much more fun than a monologue.

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Game Night, Session 12; So Much for a Nice Float Down the River…

Rewarded and given a weapons upgrade – +1 weapons were an upgrade for the group at this point, Theren, Fang and Bran are leaving Lon-Kar to make the trip to Welandar City.  Their plan was to have Captain Fisk (from Piketon) sail them to the village of South Haven at the mouth of the Welandar River.  From there, they would hire a riverboat pilot to take them downriver to The City.  They had no illusions about the possible difficulties the journey might have in store.  With Kogan, the Krell war captain after them and no idea about his abilities and reach, the group was traveling with the mindset that they would be dealing with danger along the way.

But they weren’t quite ready for this…

Captain Fisk uses his expertise to provide a smooth and efficient ride toward South Haven.  Over the nearly 2-day cruise, Fang brews a couple of healing potions in preparation for the next “bump in the road”.

A few miles from South Haven, the group spots a significant amount of smoke over where the village is supposed to be located.  To get a better “look”, Theren dispatches Tolthas – his familiar pseudodragon-like creature – into the air.  Using his telepathic link, Theren looks through the eyes of his familiar as it gets a little closer to South Haven.

What is seen is not good.  It appears that parts of the village are on fire and/or in ruin.  As Tolthas makes a final pass, a large humanoid is seen moving through the northern crops.  It looks like an ogre… that has died… trying to pursue Tolthas.

A discussion aboard the fishing boat takes place as they try to decide what, if anything, they should do. A zombie ogre and possibly other zombies is not what the group had in mind.

The group agrees that something must be done, especially if there are any survivors in the village.  They don’t want to just pull up to a pier and try to storm the village.  They have no clear knowledge of the zombie situation.

It’s Captain Fisk that comes up with a sound plan.  He wants to land on the opposite side of the Welandar River from the village and allow the group to approach by stealth.  Fisk agrees to wait for one day for them.  If he does not hear from them at the end of that day, he will sail to every landing along the lake shore to warn others of the situation at South Haven.

With a plan in mind, Fisk guides the fishing boat to the shore.  Fang, Theren and Bran debark and find a foot path that leads to the bridge to South Haven.  Theren sends Tolthas ahead to scout.  Tolthas does, in fact, spot other zombies milling about in the ruined parts of the village.  Theren also perceives – through the telepathic link – an insect-looking creature skulking about.  It walks on two legs and has four limbs the equivalent of arms.

None of them have any idea what the bug-like creature could be and begin to wonder what is really happening in the village.

The group reaches the east side of the bridge and huddles there to try and get a read on what they are about to encounter.  Tolthas makes another pass at Theren’s command.  With the “lay of the land” before them, they decide to move onto the bridge and start a fight.

“Zombies, zombies everywhere” becomes the mantra as the group engages a wave of villagers turned zombies and, apparently, one of an unknown number of ogre zombies.  The give and take of the fight is substantial, but better tactics and some strategic use of eldritch magic on Theren’s part and healing from Fang puts the group on the winning side of the fight… for now.

The first wave of zombies is put down, but more are making their way to where the ruckus is on the village side of the bridge, and there’s no sign of the bug-creature…

And that’s where the session ended.  Tune in for the next session 😉

By the way, it will be a bit for the next session post.  Fang’s player is out of pocket for about another week.  So, it might be a week or two before the next session.  If you have any ideas for some post topics, let me know.

As always, if you like what you’ve read here, click that like button.  I also welcome questions and comments.  I hope to hear from you.

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Game Night, Session 11; Lon-Kar

At Bran’s request, the group traveled to Lon-Kar, a Dwergar city to return the battleaxe he recovered from the murdered Dwerg smith they encountered when they were dealing with Slythis on Piketon Road.  This session was all role-playing since they were there in hopes of collecting a reward and Bran getting the chance to honor his connection to the Dwergar (he was raised by a Dwerg… more on that later).

Fang, Bran and Theren leave the peer where Captain Fisk’s boat is docked and walk toward the walled town on the hill.  As they climb, they see small roads that head off along the hillside in both directions.  Most of the roads lead to what appear to be mine entrances.  They are well guarded.

The group is stopped at the entrance to Lon-Kar by the local guard.  They are questioned about their business.  The guards are definitely on alert.  A short conversation reveals that there has been a recent attack on Lon-Kar by Krell.  They were repelled, but the town guard is still looking for any information and anyone that might have ill intent toward Lon-Kar and its citizens.

Bran passes on what they know about Krell activity and explains the reason they are there.  The guardsman thanks him and allows the group into Lon-Kar.

Lon-Kar

Location: West of the Great Lake less than a day’s walk inside the western border of the Kingdom of Welandar.

Description: Lon-Kar is a walled town of mostly Dwergar. It sits on top of a rather defensible hill/small plateau about a day from the Border River.

There are many mines around the area with some entrances within the town.  All are well guarded.

Lon-Kar is a source of silver and iron along with other small amounts of precious metals and a few semi-precious stones.

Lon-Kar benefits from autonomy and some protection from the kingdom.  Welandar’s protection comes in the form of trade agreements and a military alliance that is meant to protect Welandar’s interest as much as Lon-Kar’s.

Population: Around 5000; mostly Dwergar with small representation from human, Nidawi, Elwyn, Hin, Gnome and Krell

While there is no overt racism:

  • Dwerg get along/tolerate most, but are slow to trust
  • They are least tolerant of Krell
  • Hin get along with everybody
  • Gnomes keep to themselves, but will accept anybody they trust and/or do business with
  • The Krell citizens are actually well-behaved, but they’re still Krell
  • The Faye are similar to the Gnomes; they will work with anybody, but will generally opt for their own kind in more social settings

The group is directed to the market area in the center of town to find a place to stay, any gear and materials they might want or need and The Office of Family Affairs.  Fang goes and secures lodging at the Midnight Star.  He then goes to The Park.  He finds a small but wonderful patch of nature to ease his tension and discomfort from being in a city of man-made stone and wood.

Bran and Theren make their way to The Office of Family Affairs where the Dwerg family leaders conduct daily business for their respective families. Bran is seeking the Ironstar family office so that he can return the battle-axe he recovered from the murdered Dwerg on Piketon Road.  He used it for a killing blow to Slythis to avenge the Dwerg’s death.  Bran’s background of being raised by a Dwerg compels him to honor the family by returning the blood-stained axe to the family to let them know of the loss and the vengeance.

Bran and Theren get an audience with the leader of the Ironstar family.  Bran tells the story of finding the murdered Dwerg and the groups pursuit of the murderer.  Matthius Ironstar accepts the axe and commends Bran and the rest of the group.  He invites them to a dinner at Gimli’s Beard to meet the entire group and discuss a reward.

After some shopping (Bran buys a set of smith’s tools and Fang buys ingredients to brew a Potion of Healing), they meet at the Midnight Star to stow their gear and get cleaned up for dinner.

In typical Dwerg fashion, dinner is informal but delicious.  Everybody eats and drinks well.  Theren gets a bit drunk (he failed a constitution save).  The conversation is pleasant and simple until Matthius Ironstar wants to know a bit more about the group’s travels and more detail about Slythis and what happened to the Dwerg smith.

Matthius dismisses everybody in the room when the group makes it obvious they have things to say that they do not wish just anybody to know.  Matthius understands this but wants to know whatever the group will tell him about their situation.

Bran, Fang and Theren relay their story including the sigils on their hands.  Matthius does not fully comprehend what it all means since he is not part of Mentari’s Secret.  That, however, does not stop him from wanting to help the group.  In addition to a nice stack of gold coins, he upgrades their favored weapons to master-crafted with a little magical boost (+1 weapons… their first magical weapons).

They part with Matthius appreciative of his reward and knowing they have a potential ally in the coming days to thwart whatever evil may be coming.  They return to their room at the Midnight Star and plan to leave the next day.  They will not be heading for Welandar City to seek out the secret library and investigate the circumstances of the king’s murder.

Session 12 looks to be a little more “busy”.  They will be making their way to Welandar City, and well… there’s no way things are going to go perfectly 😉

As always, if you like what you’ve read here, let me know by clicking the like button.  If you have questions or want to comment on something, please, do so.  I welcome conversation, criticism, whatever.

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The Kingdom of Welandar… Almost Dead Before It Was Born.

Would you like to know where the world I’m using for Game Night came from?  Heh… Yeah, me, too.  All I can say is as a gamer and/or writer, DON’T throw anything away that “speaks” to you in any way.  It might just be worth something to you later…

About 25 years ago, I had an idea to create my own Dungeons & Dragons game world…

By that point I had been gaming for about a decade.  My favorite world to run, regardless of D&D edition, was Mystara.  It was the game world that the OD&D (the original boxed sets) game used.  There was so much great information about the world that had come in the form of a series of books called, “Gazeteers”.  They were published by TSR (the company that put D&D on the map) to support the OD&D game.

I had a great time using and re-using that game world for quite a few different campaigns and gaming groups.  While I was a fan of Forgotten Realms and I had played in a couple of Dragon Lance campaigns, I always circled back to Mystara.  I would work very hard to adapt the game world to whatever edition of D&D I was playing at the time.  From what I could tell, a good time was had by all.

Then I got a bug in my brain.  I wanted to have my own game world.  I wanted to write stories and create adventures in a world created the way I wanted it.  Though I lacked any real skill at doing so, I was motivated and began scribbling out ideas about a whole new fantasy world.

My world was a shotgun blast of different thoughts and notions about a world where magic existed.  Since I’m a “traditionalist”, the basic theme was classic fantasy “swords and sorcery” type stuff.  There were supposed to be dwarves, elves, orcs… the whole gambit of fantasy races.  And that’s how it began and started to evolve.

My progress was very slow.  I would make notes in a notebook whenever an idea popped up.  But I never pushed on it.  I let it remain a back burner thing.

Then I lost my notes.  I have no idea how I lost them.  I had moved a couple of times, so maybe they got lost or thrown away during all the activities involved in moving.  Nonetheless, I had lost my notes.  I don’t know if it was a big loss considering that I never got real sad or angry about it.  In fact, I just didn’t really care.  My ideas for it were just not something to which I had gotten attached. I have no idea why.

I had not lost everything, though.

At some point during my pursuit of a custom world I bought a sketch pad.  At some point after buying that sketch pad, I decided to try my hand at making a map of my world.  I got a hold of some colored pencils and a coffee can lid to use as a stencil for my world map.  I traced around the lid twice to create the two hemispheres.  I then lightly and carefully started drawing land masses.  Then came the colored pencils to add basic biomes to the land masses and color the oceans.

As I did this, the names of the continents came to me… Welandaria, Arcandara, Lucianius and Cantalus.  The world now had some color and terrain and a couple of names.

Then that map sat. I did not get rid of it despite several “opportunities” while cleaning things out.  Without the notes, I wasn’t sure if the map was worth anything to me, but for some reason, I held on to it.

A couple of years ago, I “found” the sketch pad in the back of a shelf underneath a stack of binders and notebooks containing years of accumulated gaming notes.  As soon as I opened the pad and saw that map, my brain sparked.

Again, I have not pushed to build a lot of detail… until recently.  I just would look at that map and then start writing down ideas for stories and characters.  It really didn’t get anywhere… until recently.

Now it’s the world in which my current D&D group plays.  I finally got that home brew game world I wanted.

The color and the depth of the world is certainly growing now.  I’ve created a couple of good maps using a piece of software called Campaign Cartographer.  I have a “few” notes again.  And the best thing I have is a few friends enjoying some adventures there.  I guess it’s my world, but it’s also theirs.  That’s what tabletop RPGs are all about.

Thanks for giving this a read.  Remember.  Inspiration is not something that always comes easily. So, hang on to it when you find it.

As always, if you like what you’ve read here, click the like button.  If you have a question or something you want to say to me or about what you’ve read, please, do so.  I welcome conversation and feedback.

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Game Night, Session 10. On the Road(?) Again

Armed with the little bit of information from Mert, Fang, Bran and Theren get moving again.  They know they need to find a way into the secret library in the Welandar castle back in Welandar City, but Bran wants to complete the task he set for himself – to return the Ironstar battleaxe to the family in Lon-Kar.  It’s agreed to do this since they can reach Welandar City from either Piketon or Lon-Kar…

With the decision made to go to Lon-Kar find the Ironstar family and then to Welandar City to seek out the secret library, Fang, Theren and Bran plan to leave Mert’s cabin and head back to Piketon to pick up their repaired cart, new mule and the gear and things contained in the cart.  They are hoping to find a boat to give them passage to Lon-Kar rather than having to travel overland.

Before they leave, Theren asks if Mert will give him the materials he needs to perform a ritual for summoning his familiar.  The requirements of the spell were recently revealed to him on his scroll, but he had not found anyone with the necessary material components all in one place to buy and/or borrow for the ritual.

Mert has no problem with this and gives him what he needs.  So, Theren goes down to the lake shore alone for about an hour to summon his familiar.  Theren has an idea about the type of familiar he wants.  He had read about a creature called a pseudodragon in his studies with his mother and decides that is what he wants to summon.

A little over an hour later, Theren returns with a small dragon-like creature flying circles over his head.  It does not look quite natural, though, to be sure.  It is like a pseudodragon, but with 3 eyes on its head and many more on its wings.

Theren Familiar option 2

Perhaps Theren’s Eldritch magic had something to do with it?

After a quick exchange of farewells and Mert telling them she is always available to help if she can, the group head back along the lake shore to Piketon.

In Piketon, the group splits up to get business taken care of faster.  Theren goes to Pike’s Tooth Inn to return the scroll he had borrowed from there (it contained a symbol that matched their sigils for no apparent reason other than Bran Touchwater must have written it there).  Fang goes to the stable to retrieve the repaired cart and the mule he had purchased.  Bran goes back to the blacksmith to see if the supplies that Berault claimed to contain a set of blacksmith’s tools has come in and let him know that he is travelling to Long-Kar.

Theren returns the scroll to Bran Touchwater and apologizes for making him uncomfortable.  This seems to put things between the group and Touchwater on better terms.

Fang goes and picks up the cart and mule.  The stable owner even threw in a couple of supplies for the mule.  Fang then heads straight for the wharf to find a boat to take them to Lon-Kar.

Bran reaches the blacksmith shop and speaks with Berault Stormbringer.  He lets the Dwerg know of his plans to return the battle-axe to the Ironstar family and asks if the supply shipment containing blacksmith tools came in.  Unfortunately, the supplies had not arrived yet due to bad weather on the south side of the lake, so Bran will have to find tools elsewhere. Berault gives Bran a coin with the Ironstar family crest stamped on it with instructions to tell the family leader that Berault vouches for him.  They bid each other farewell, and Bran heads to the local garrison.

At the garrison, Bran lets the garrison commander know that there are, in fact, Krell in the area.  He tells the soldier about the fight he and his group had and that he believes there is a war chief and likely more Krell.  The garrison commander thanks him for the information and starts working to prepare for problems.

The group meet up at the wharf.  Fang’s luck finding a boat to take them to Lon-Kar has not been good.  Pretty much all the barges large enough to take them and their cart have just arrived and have no plans for departure for, at least, a day.

Whether by chance or the man’s curiosity about the newcomers, Captain Fisk overhears their conversation and steps up to offer them passage to Lon-Kar on his fishing boat.  After a little negotiation, they agree to leave within an hour.

They sail for a little over 3 days without incident (other than Theren’s seasick issues) and pull into the small dock that is used by Lon-Kar.  Up on a hill about a half day’s walk they see Lon-Kar.  It’s a walled city as best they can tell at this distance.

So, next time they get to explore Lon-Kar, a city of mostly Dwerg.  It should be interesting to see how Bran makes out with the return of the battleaxe from that blacksmith who was murdered by Slythis.  Will be rewarded somehow?  Will he have made an ally?  Catch the next Game Night post to find out 😉

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Type to you later…

Game Night, Session Nine. What’s Next?

I guess chapter 1 has reached its end.  They finally meet Mert.  Remember Mert? That’s who Perry Braiton told them to find at the beginning of all this.  After kidnapping them to get their attention, he told them to find Mert for information about the sigils on their hands and to understand about the recurring dreams.  He said that he made a promise to the king (and others) that he would set those he found with the mark on their hands on the path to discover their purpose.

So, they left their home town of Braiton and journeyed to Piketon to seek out Mert.  The journey was not easy.  In fact, it was almost deadly.

But meeting Mert did not necessarily come easy…

After policing the bodies of the Krell they managed to kill, Bran, Theren and Fang complete their journey to find Mert… hopefully.

The scene they come upon is that of a nicely built small cabin at the edge of the tree line.  It’s sits at the top of a hill that overlooks the lake.  Bran notices the broken windows and heavily damaged front door first.  He bolts toward the cabin calling for Mert.  Fang and Theren trail behind a little looking for signs of trouble nearby.

Bran reaches the porch and runs through the door that is nearly off its hinges.  He spots an older woman lying on the floor in a pool of her own blood.  A quick search lets him know that her attacker is no longer there.  He checks the woman for signs of life and is relieved to feel that she is still warm and has a pulse.

Theren and Fang arrive at this point.  Bran gets Fang set to trying to heal the woman.  Theren starts looking around the cabin.  There is an aura in the cabin that he senses, and it seems familiar to him.

Fang starts using his healing magic to try and bring the woman around.  She is badly beaten and very near death.  He casts a healing spell, and it does not work as well as he thought it should.  He then invokes his totem spirit, asking it to bring healing energies to the woman.  Again, the magic of the spirit does not take hold as it should.  Fortunately, though, the magic works well enough to stabilize her.  It even seems to reduce some of the internal injuries that Fang is sure she sustained from such a horrible beating.

Fang gets help from the others to put Mert in her bed. He hopes that a night’s rest will help bring her around since the healing magic was suppressed somehow.

The group decides to make themselves “at home” while they monitor Merts health as best they can.  Given the footprints and their own encounter, they are pretty certain Mert had a run-in with Krell as well.  They just had to wait until Mert recovered enough to wake up and tell them what happened to her.

They spend the night.  Throughout this time Bran is rather certain that they are being watched from the woods behind the cabin.  Nothing comes of it, but Theren’s explanation of what he sensed in the cabin when they first arrived has them all on edge.  Do they have another Slythis on their hands?

Mert does recover, and Fang uses his healing magic to restore her since the aura that was suppressing his magic has faded.

Introductions are made and the group explains how they found her.  She thanks them, but then asks why they are there in the first place.

After an explanation, it becomes Mert’s turn to explain what she can to them about the sigils on their hands.  She starts by saying that the history of the Kingdom of Welandar as they know it is not accurate.

The founding Welandar king, Markus, did not sail from another continent in search of a fertile land to form his kingdom.  In fact, Markus and the original people of the Kingdom are not even from Ursalon.  They are from a completely different world.  They came here to escape their dying world.

Markus made a pact with Mentari to protect his people.  Part of the pact was that the people from the other world would “forget” the truth of their origins and the Welandar bloodline would have to remain on the throne indefinitely.  The burden that the Welandar royal line would carry would be knowing the truth and the reason they had to stay on the throne.

As a means of remaining on the throne, a “tradition” was created.  The ruling Welandar had to have, at least, one child.  The first-born child would assume the throne on his or her 25th birthday with the ruling parent stepping down to live the rest of their days as an adviser.

And so, this is how the Welandar family has remained rulers of the Kingdom for nearly a millennium and Mentari’s Secret has remained intact… until now.  With the king’s untimely death and no apparent first-born to assume the throne, the pact is essentially broken.  Not even Mert, who is very long-lived, knows what breaking the pact could mean.  She guesses, though, that it is probably not a good thing.

Mert does not know much else save that the sigils translate to mean, “Mentari’s Secret”.  There are those that have served this… agency of the pact… including her since its inception.  She even shows that she carries the sigil, but it is on her shoulder.  She surmises that the group having the sigils on their left hands indicates they have been chosen to either find a way to restore the pact or stop whatever bad thing is going to happen to the Kingdom of Welandar and its people because of the broken pact.

She tries to explain the lack of knowledge as part of the “forgetfulness” created by the pact.  She believes that since the breaking of the pact, agents of Mentari’s Secret might begin, at the very least, having some idea of what they need to do to help the chosen – of which there might be more than just Theren, Fang and Bran… maybe.  She says that is why Perry Braiton acted to set the group on the path to find her.  He truly does not know much other than he knew to make a promise to the king to serve when needed, and that was likely due to the fact that he is a cleric of Mentari.  When he noticed the three having sigils on their hands, he knew he had to act to get them moving and not much else.

Finally, all of this is to work against an opposing agency that is trying to make sure that Mentari’s Secret is not restored – if that is even possible – and allow for whatever BAD has been set in motion.  Mert believes that is why a creature like Slythis came along… and maybe this Krell, Kogan, attacked her and will likely pursue the group.  They could be similar to Mentari’s Secret in that they are not sure who or what they serve, but that they must work to get rid of anyone that can prevent whatever evil is going to happen.

Mert recommends that they seek out the secret library in the castle in Welandar City.  She suspects that there are documents that explain the truth of things and what breaking the pact might mean.  When asked about how long they had, Mert could not answer.  She didn’t think that things would happen too quickly, but if they were going to take on the task, they should not take too long.

The group decides to head back to Piketon to recover their cart and things.  Bran requests that they go to Lon-Kar, the Dwerg city on the east side of the lake.  He wants to seek out the Ironstar family and return the battleaxe he recovered from the dwerg smith that was murdered by Slythis on Piketon Road.  Given that the urgency of their quest is not immediate and the possibility of finding other possible information and resources (reward???) by going to Lon-Kar, they agree to travel there on their way to Welandar City.

And this ended Session 9.  I hope you enjoy this next part of the story as much as I did “playing” it.  Session 10 is coming soon.  Will they be pursued by this Krell that already seems rather powerful?  Will they find the “resources” they are hoping to find in Lon-Kar.  We’ll see…

Oh yeah, they forgot to ask about their shared dream/nightmare  😮

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