The Traitorous Journal

June 19th, 2010

Picking up from where we left off, the team had only just defeated another party of adventurers and were currently standing over their “camp site” within the ruins of an ancient Ziggurat.

Having only accounted for three of the four bedrolls, the team sent their scouts ahead to explore the ruins. The bowl of the valley would hide an ancient volcano, upon which this temple was built. The Ziggurat itself was constructed around a rather large steam vent. Following a flight of stairs down, the scouts would find a partially open door that opened into a large smithy surrounding a pool of magma. Inspection of the door would reveal that the lock was recently picked.

Within the smithy, and across the lava pool, the team spotted what appeared to be a sleeping fire giant. Oddly this fire giant seemed to wear rags and loosely held a leg of dinosaur in one arm as it dangled over the armrest of a massive throne. The corpse of a freshly killed T-Rex was found near the pool of magma, slowly cooking due to the heat.

Search checks failed to spot anyone else in the room. Cin’s compass to the arm band would leave the party to believe that it rested within the belly of the giant, the only course seemed to be to kill the giant. Gathering the party up, including one heavily armored warforged, was worrisome, but then the giant was snoring loudly enough that he apparently couldn’t hear anything else. Using gasious form, the party crept yet closer to the giant hoping to avoid any unnecessary violence.

Before they could act however, three tunderstones hit the floor around the party. Everyone made their saving throws to avoid being stunned, but that wasn’t the point. Looking back at the fire giant they knew he was awake. [[Combat would ensue.]]

With the Fire Giant dead, Brun set off in search of the hidden assailant that threw the thunderstones. Despite his care he found no trace that anyone else was in the room or elsewhere. The others quickly removed the arm band from the giants gut, to the great relief of Cin who had spent a month with an itch in her brain telling here were it was. Once she set hands upon the handle, that itch finally went away.

With a hostile and hidden enemy still within the ruins, and two others who had fled, the party decides that setting out into the wilderness might be the safer course of action.

Encounters are unavoidable.

Upon reaching Stormreach, the party would check in at the air docks to see if the Golden Dragon has yet returned and/or left. Others would turn to the local constabulary to report the actions of one Halas Martain, only to find that he is currently locked up on a variety of charges from a variety of sources. The party learned that the Golden Dragon was expected to return by tomorrow, and would set out a day later, but that if they wanted to include charges of their own against Halas his trial was not for 3 days time.

With some diplomacy the A-Team convinced the captain of the Golden Dragon to remain one day longer so that they could present evidence and testimony against Halas that would also publicly and legally clear up any misunderstandings between Karrnath and Aundair. (in reference to the events within the published adventure we ran as a part of their travels to Xen’Drik).

This would conclude our adventures for the day, the party has agreed to finish up the published adventure as a part of their return trip to Sharn from Stormreach.

June 5, 2010
Back on track

Having finished two of the published adventures found in The Voyage of the Golden Dragon the third adventure had the team hired to accompany an older adventurer into the continent of Xen’Drik. Soanso approached the party to make his offer, explaining that since they were new here he could share with them some of his expertize and help them to get a lay of the land. The party agreed still having only a compass direction to the object via Cin. This leads into the 3rd of the published adventures, but it gave me a chance to allow Cin a recognition of where the handle is actually located given a certain amount of triangulation. Being this much closer to the handle, as Cin’s location changes so does her sense of direction to the handle.

Now, in running the published adventure, I didn’t have to change much, just enough so that The A-Team gets left behind out in the middle of nowhere and is forced to travel from there in the direction that Cin points. Having recently picked up the druid Gen to add to the parties wilderness survival as provided by the ranger.

The party would not reach the handle unmolested.

However, as they approach the location indicated by Cin they find the site of an abandoned temple, this one located within a mountainous bowl and hidden by the overgrowth of forest. As they approach the site they are attacked by a shifter scout who ambushes from hiding in the foliage. Gen and the ranger give chase only to be led directly to the ruins of the abandoned temple. This temple being a true Ziggurat let it not be confused with the Polyovalith the team originally excavated.

Another encounter would be had

April 24, 2010
Aboard the Golden Dragon

This last weekend we continued the published adventure, The Voyage of the Golden Dragon. As before I won’t say much about this published adventure. However, as an aside I asked the group if they would like to do something different, keeping with my thoughts of trying to give the travel a feel for time. Brun admitted to having a deck of Three Dragon Ante and I offered to teach the others craps. The players were receptive to the idea, so Brun pulled out his deck and we all learned to play Three Dragon Ante.

We played a full round to clear the pot for everyone to get used to the game, then starting the next game I allowed the players to use their characters gold and actually bet on the game if they so choose. We had variant requests for how high the stakes should be, and in an effort to keep it all together and everyone happy I suggested that for each person they keep the markers to their own stakes. For instance Aegon didn’t want to play high stakes, so the markers were in divisions of 1’s. Brun on the other hand wanted high stakes so the markers for him were in divisions of 100’s. Despite playing at the same table, the markers were bet against each other by marker. The players would win or lose money based upon the divisions they agreed to on their markers. So if Brun lost two markers to Aegon, Aegon would gain two gold while Brun was out two hundred. This way they could play at separate tables in game, and we could all play together.

We played a couple of rounds like this, the first was just the game agian. In the second Brun started rolling skills against my own rolls on behalf of the proprietor so that he could cheat. Luckily for him, and a few action points spent, he succeeded and walked away with a substantial amount of gold.

April 10, 2010
The Voyage of the Golden Dragon

Over the last many sessions my PC’s have traveled from Sharn to Thrash’ak, to the Demon Wastes and back, to Karrnath, to Sharn, to Thrash’ak, to Greenheart, and finally back to Sharn. Its been a lot of travel, to the great expense of Lord Avlamin, and all of it within a very short amount of play time. Granted within game months have passed due to the amount of travel involved and the expedition in the Demon Wastes, but I’ve still felt like I’ve done the players and their characters a disservice for having simplified it all and brushed aside the travel with a few rolls and the reveal of what The Journal has to say.

So, given that my characters are now traveling from Khorvaire to Xen’Drik the least I could do was try and slow down the travel thats taking place. I asked if the players would be willing to run a published adventure that I had lying around called The Voyage of the Golden Dragon. Its a four part campaign that takes part on a journey to Xen’Drik and back and I felt we could easily use that to pass time, to give the world depth, and to make the voyage seem long while at the same time not boring my players.

This last session was the first of the four parts, the launching celebration of the Golden Dragon. Being a published adventure, I won’t say much about it, however the first part covered the launch party in Sharn and my players haven’t left yet.

March 27, 2010
The Ritual

Cin completed translating the first ritual that would allow the party to know where the first part of the prison could be found.

The party spent time acquiring rare and valuable components for Cin’s Ritual.

Cin casts the Ritual and learns about the first prison piece.

The party finally made their way to Sharn where they would prepare for a trip to Xen’Drik.

March 6, 2010

The last session left off with our Heros having recently rescued Aegons wife and child. Outside town they were accosted, unsuccessfully, and were able to leave Lakeside without further incident.

The Hero’s picked up this session entering Irontown where they would board the Lightning Rail. Thanks to Brun keeping a sharp eye, they were not surprised by a second attempt on their well being.

Aegon and Cin used the travel time to continue to translate the Journal.

The Team traveled West and South to Vulyar and from there took an Airship to Sharn where they hoped to accomplish two things. Firstly The Professor guarded by Stump met with Lord Avlamin to appraise him of the situation. Secondly Cin met with her step father in hopes that he could be trusted to take in Aegon’s wife and child until further notice.

The team would not be allowed to rest, they made their way back to Zarash’ak hoping to investigate claims of undead activity. Since this is no longer in the realm of academic discovery, Prof. Littleknight returned to the Library of Korranberg where she might browse its many volumes for any hint of confirmation of what the Journal says. The travel time gave Aegon and Cin more time to translate the Journal.

Knowledge gleaned from the journal has left the party interested in what the Druids might know, after their investigations at Zarash’ak, the team made their way to Greenheart in The Eldeen Reaches.

Feb 20 2010

Having survived the attacks from the previous session, the Team took stock on what they were left. Whistlyr had been discovered by the barbarian “guards” and like Prof Littleknight was in bad shape, in fact he was in worse shape and needed care that they could not provide at the time. The porter that he was caring for was nowhere to be seen. The Barbarians took as much in the way of supplies as they could manage in addition to the book they had found in the Temple that Aegon had been attempting to copy.

There was a great deal of desire to head out after the barbarians and try to retrieve the book that was taken. However between the injured and dying, the lack of supplies, and low moral on the part of the porters, it was not deemed the best idea. The clincher came the next day when a sand storm (ash storm?) blew over and effectively erased the barbarians tracks.

Another problem was presented however, the Karrnathi attack was revealed to be specifically a failed attack on the Professor. Aegon admitted that he had been blackmailed by members of the Emerald Claw, and that he had been reporting on the whereabouts of Irieaga since before the team left Sharn. In exchange for the information he provided, the Emerald Claw had promised not to harm his wife and child.

The group decided with no other better route to take, it would be prudent to travel to Karrnath and try to rescue Aegon’s wife and child. Travel took time, during which the scholars of the group worked furiously to attempt to translate the book, now revealed to be the journal of an eons dead Druid. Translation will take time, the hopes being that if the journal were so important to steal, translating the copy might reveal why it was taken, where it might lead, and hopefully a way to get the original back.

The trip itself was not uneventful however. Carriage returned with a tail of how some barbarians had attacked him as he was heading toward Blood Crescent to resupply. Initially he had thought he’d outrun the attackers. However as the group inspected the many cubbyholes to be found in his carriage, they discovered not all was as it should be. The skeleton that had been found in the topmost chamber of the temple had been placed within an Urn and was later hidden within the carriage. This Urn was not to be found, and the hidden door of the cubby was open.

As they retraced the path toward Blood Crescent, reluctantly leaving behind the site, the barbarians, and the journal. Carriage pointed out the place where he had been attacked. Scouts fanned out at that point and returned with word of a small campsite not too far away, they mentioned that it might be prudent to investigate. The party found that the camp had been waylaid.

Zarash’ak had provided the most convenient passage to The Demon Wastes, and would provide the most convenient travel hub back out. While there the party checked their accounts and found payment for the last months work and the artifacts they had recovered. Time was given to spend their paychecks while they waited for the airship to take them away.

Given much to think about the party traveled to Karrnath, where they made their way to Lakeside. They approached under the auspice of armed escort for a local merchant delivering goods for the mine. After delivering their load they made their way to a local tavern. Aegon informed them where his house was and where his wife should be found assuming she had not been taken. Brun was sent out as the spymaster to locate the wife and establish if she was under watch and how much resistance they might find.

All this Brun did find, he relieved one watcher of their duty and didn’t find any others. Once the wife’s safety was confirmed, the party ran a snatch and grab successfully removing Aegon’s wife and child from town. It did not go unnoticed however, the party was stopped outside of town by a group of what appeared to be Karrnathi soldiers. A scuffle ensued, during which it was confirmed that the soldiers were actually Emerald Claw.

Dec 5 09

Things have not been as peaceful as they might at first seem. Whistlyr has been keeping things low profile, but he did learn of a plot to attack The Professor. In an attempt to keep the camp safe, it was Whistlyr’s intention to attempt to hire protection from the local barbarians. Sure enough the Blood Crescent scouts reported Barbarians in the area. Stump, in his local scouting, had found an oasis and suggested that nomadic peoples might stop there if they knew about it. It was to this watering hole that Whistlyr, Stump, and Brun went in hopes of finding and hiring Barbarians.

Through careful negotiations Whistlyr managed to acquire the services of 10 of the tribesmen, including the shaman he had primarily spoken with. Payment would be in the form of weapons and supplies. During these talks the barbarians reported a group of unnatural humans approaching from the north.

One of the porters fell ill and Whistlyr had him removed from camp so as to prevent any spread. The Halfling took over ministrations for the camp and directed the hired barbarians to guard the west and south portions of the camp. With the camps location it was unlikely the attacking force would circle to the east, this would focus them in the north where The Acquisition Team could meet them. The plan was that during the attack, the Barbarians would come around from the west and flank the attackers.

Sure enough the approaching force turned out to be Karrnathi. They attacked from the north as expected. Things never seem to go as planned however, the Team proved alone to be more than enough to hold off the attack, and the Barbarians might not be needed. When the time approached for the Barbarians to arrive, the team started listening for the war cries that would precede them. Sure enough shouts were heard, but not from the west as expected, instead they were coming from the Camp.

Finishing off the attacking force as quickly as they could the team then booked it to the camp only to find that the Barbarians had free reign and used it efficiently. The camp was sacked in every sense of the word. Most of the Porters survived, but not all are accounted for. The team found the Professor in her trailer, she was in bad shape but she would survive. The trailer itself had been sacked, papers flung everywhere. A good deal of supplies were missing, but also the Book they found within the Temple.

Whistlyr's Journal; Dravago, Wir 18, 998Y

I’m so sick of this fucking camel. If I wasn’t sure that it would taste worse then it smells, even after trying to cook it, I’d wait until we got to wherever it is in this Syberis Blessed desert. Quick trip across the water to Blood Crescent, and then two weeks now on this fucking camel. My ass hurts in places that I didn’t know were on it, I’m breathing in so much ash that I’m pretty sure that what I cough up would make a good substitute for mortar, and the only reasonable conversationalist in the who expedition is going on about what a GREAT adventure this is. Sure, Dad. “Just get out of the city for a little bit. You know, until this blows over. I’m sure that Barron will be understanding, after all, you stood up for the family name. I just need to talk to him. And for Dragonssake, boy…keep the Gnome alive.”

Right, Dad. Not a problem, Dad. Of course, unlike you, I haven’t been trained as a bodyguard for my WHOLE LIFE or anything. Right, so just a little bit of making it up as I go, and…bleh.

Crap, that’s another windstorm kicking up this fucking ash, isn’t it? gotta go.

(Later on…) Well. Now I’m stuck in a tent with Aegon, that shifter bouncer we picked up from the ship, and the ASS OF THIS FUCKING CAMEL. Who, apparently, has gas. Lovely.

Anyhow, might as well get these thoughts down, we can’t move anywhere. So part of the stop in Blood Crescent was to hire on some unskilled labor. And, thankfully, despite the fact that Irieaga didn’t ask, I managed to talk my way onto the interview ‘committee’. (read: Me and Carriage). I say thankfully, because Carriage didn’t even notice the moles. I’m not sure who they’re reporting to, but at least now I can keep an eye on them. I’m working on a deal with Carriage to make sure that I get to read their incoming and outgoing letters before they do. Maybe I’ll make that a camp wide policy, it’ll depend on how much sleep I’m able to start getting. Speaking of which, I should try and do that now, if I can with this FUCKING CAMEL farting into this enclosed space.

Whistlyr's Journal Mol 17, 998Y

So, dear Journal, no shit, there I was, about to die. There’s this guy, Captain Gaponenko. He’s in charge of this group of the armija ne dykhanie. He’s a good sort, but his Louie looks like he’s right out of the vats, his sergeants are no fun at all, but Gappy’s a good sort. Even if he puts away that vile potato mash they drink up there in Karrnath. Dragon Above, there’s a reason that I make my home in Sharn, not the House seat. Up there, you can’t get good wine to save your life, it’s frozen for half the winter, and Siberys forbid anyone crack a smile. But, I digress. Anyhow, so Cannith and I are playing for silvers down in the bar, mostly just to keep from death by boredom. The sergeants are down, pouring down that rotgut, when I notice the halfling go drifting towards them. Crap, this isn’t going to go down well. So, First Shirt there happens to turn around at exactly the right time, smacks the boy in the face, realizes what happens.

Well, shit. So, he flips out, and goes crashing into the table that Cin and Stumpy are at. Stumpy manages to flip the table over onto the guy, pinning him down. Snap decision, Gaponenko won’t really mind much if I do this in order to keep his men from getting tossed overboard. So, slipped off the stage, drapped the cloak over me to cover the fact that I’m obviously not wearing a Karnnathi Army uniform, then Change into the Captain.

“Atten-HUT!” I bark out in my best parade ground imitation, betting on inebriation to deal with the cognative dissonance that he wasn’t there a second ago, and NCO’s are the ones who are supposed to be able to appear at will when their men are fucking up.

Well, the two snap to attention, just in time to…pass out? Man, they must have been drunker then I’d thought! Oh, no wait. There’s Aegon, reading something and sipping at that pansy ass tincture of ground up burnt beans he’s always got. Kaufy? Something like that.

So, the bouncer piles them up at my feet, and I mutter something about going to get the other officer to help me, sprint over to Gappy’s cabin, and explain everything (except for the whole Changing thing. And the halfling’s role in the whole thing. Leave that out, too. Alright, so I just tell him that his men got hammered and started a barfight that we cleaned up for him. It’s not really a lie.)

So, landing in Zarash’ak we disembark, and the Karnnathi go off on their mission, whatever the hell it was. (Man, Lev is a tightlipped sonnabitch. I found it easier to get info out of the Sharn Chapterhead of Emerald Claw. ‘course, that was pillow talk, but…meh. Anyhow, that’s in another country, and besides, the wench never existed in the first place)


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