Game on January 28th, 2012

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Game on January 28th, 2012

Post  GM on Mon Jan 30, 2012 5:47 pm

Game begins in the waning afternoon hours of Highharvest tide, 1402

The Queen of Palatinus has summoned to her Darmorel and Magnus (Destin) to discuss Darmorel's imminent departure. In the meeting the two friends have brief moments of remembrance about the struggle for the literal and metaphorical heart and soul of Palatinus and their other friends.

Upon entering the throne room, the two make appropriate displays of deference to the Queen who nods to them both with a warm smile on her face. After some brief conversation, she has one of her servant escort in a group of five people, one of whom is Lex. The remaining four, it is explained, shall escort Darmorel back to her home land as a gesture of good will and thanks from the Queen to Darmorel for the work she has performed for the city-state. Seeing little choice, the four are given an oath by the Queen that they shall perform this duty until Darmorel has reached her home land, or she discharges them from her service.

This group is a motley bunch: a remarkably plain looking Gnome who seems to be making mental notes about everything. A human paladin of Tyr, one who has been seen frequently within the city limits and always accompanied by Lex. His greatest distinguishing feature is a long scar on the side of his face and his missing ring and pinky fingers from one of his hands. The next is an imposing half-orc whose physical presence would be inadequately described as intimidating. His heavily scarred body and styled gladiator armor and gladius-blade speak to his time fighting in the not-quite legal arena pits that adjoin Palatinus' mines. His physical features belie the impressive intellect and magical powers at his disposal that have made him almost unbeatable in the pits. The fourth companion appears to be a human, but one whose features see, just a bit too perfect to be just human. His lean frame, measured stance (relaxed but ready), and his simple garb speak to his monastic training and abilities.

After a good-byes are exchanged between Lex and his old companions, and the Queen, Darmorel and the others are escorted out of the palace. She gives them the time to make ready and enjoy what they can of the pre-festivity activities. She tells the group she plans to be gone before the sun sets, and the true reveling begins. The group finishes up any last minute preparations that might have before heading north to the Gallant manor and estate where Magnus' reconstituted noble house serves as their last taste of civilization before heading out on the road. Being on the cusp of autumn, the group picks up a few previously forgotten cold-weather items and then departs. Magnus leaves his estate under the care of his chief steward.

The group of six moves west then north along the Trade Way, making good time under clear skies and dry conditions. The group reaches Daggerford mid day on the tenth day of their journey. Darmorel leads the group into the walled trader's town to a familiar trade house. Once there, the group ties up their mounts and enters. The young man behind the desk ahead of them was about to lock up for the night. He looks up after trying to dismiss them, thinking they were simply more locals looking to carry on business. Looking up, the young man sees who leads the group and welcomes Darmorel back. He then rushes up stairs to fetch Lady Kisk.

The young man and Kisk soon join the group, with Kisk warmly greeting Darmorel. That is, until she (in her Half-orc guise) spots the 6'10'' hunking loaf of hot, muscled, gladiator towering over the rest of the group. She approaches Xavkul and an odd bit of toothy-flirtation begins. Before things become too violent, a small, black-skinned figure walks down the stairs. After getting his mother to cease her advances (for the moment) Garrok welcomes Darmorel, Magnus and the rest of the group to his home. Darmorel explains why they have come and that she wishes to see Priam. With a slightly forlorn expression, Garrok invites the group up to his father's study. Once everyone is within its warded confines, and Kisk has dispensed refreshments to the group, Garrok explains that Priam had gone in search of the missing crystal key to the portal in the Lizard Marsh along the coast. After Priam had been missing for several days, Garrok and Kisk learned from the Tyrran guarding the portal that Prima had indeed found the key and slipped past them and through the portal. He had not returned yet. The Tyrrans now have possession of Priam's emerald rectangular key and were refusing to allow anyone else through until more could be learned about the portal. In the month or so of Priam's absence, Garrok had managed to climb out of the various bottles he had been in and began running his father's trade house, to the best of his abilities.

With this sad news revealed, Garrok and Kisk discuss further what help they can be to Darmorel and her companions. At Darmorel's request, the group is put up for the night, and provisioned as needed. Sullivan Rowe, the aasimar monk of the group, took it upon himself to provide a relative feast for the resident servants of the trade house, opting to sleep in the servants quarters as opposed to the guest rooms on the second floor. This was probably for the best as most of the second floor occupants experienced a highly uncomfortable hour or so of smashing, crashing, and various grunts, groans, and moans coming from a room into which Kisk and Xavkul had disappeared into. After the two half-orcs left the room in shambles, Kisk emerged to speak with Darmorel. The two soon departed on the wing for Kisk's grove. This left a rather confused and frustrated paladin of Tyr behind, concerned that the person he had been charged with protecting had vanished into the night...

Magnus and Jynx spent their evening going through Garrok's library, albeit for entirely different purposes. Magnus also had a message magically relayed to Cardin, who is now residing in Silverymoon to, informing him of his present journey and looking for any further information Cardin might had obtained since Cardin first informed Magnus of the sighting of the Orog monk in Silverymoon accompanied by a human who matched Yumil's description.

Once the two druids reach the grove, Darmorel begins to speak with her old friend, Salazar. In his tree-form, the former rogue discussed with Darmorel how they each had been during the past year. During this slow conversation, Kisk slipped out of his clothes, and half-orc form, and into her pool. As Salazar paused to try and recall the name of his “home land”, Darmorel noticed the ripples left in the wake of Kisk's entry into her pool seemed to have stopped moving. Salazar seem more asleep than he usually did with his eyes closed. The only things that seemed to be moving were Darmorel and the shadowy figure now leaning up against Salazar. Darmorel almost immediately recognized him as the figure from her dream...

The two engaged in a short and largely cryptic conversation where the shadowy cloaked figure thanked Darmorel for keeping her word in visiting Salazar when she could. He then proceeded to ask her about her journey and what she hoped to find when she returned home. Slightly unnerved by the implications of this line of questioning, Darmorel spoke that she hoped to find her family healthy and whole. The figure added “and nature in balance?”

Darmorel responded in the affirmative.

“Be careful what you wish for,” he replied with a voice like silk “what is balanced for one, is out of balance to another...” in a flash the man disappeared.

Hearing a slight movement above her, Darmorel looked up to see the man laying upon one of Salazar's branches. There, looking much like some predator cat waiting to pounce, he continued.

“Beware of heat and flame coming from 'ere they should not. Beware of shadow and flame where none are, but have 'ere been. Winter is coming to the place where is never has, green shall be supplanted by white in line with nature's course, but against the tale of history.”

Another rustle from another point above draws Darmorel's attention away from the cloaked figure. As much in her mind as in her ears she hears “Will you side with nature or with history? Time will tell...”

Darmorel looks back to find the cloaked figure, only to find he has vanished. Darmorel takes a moment to contemplate the stranger's words before hearing, “Palatinus” a slowly, deep voice says. Salazar comes out of his mental search and continues the conversation with Darmorel. Eventually, Salazar falls back into his usual state of somnolence. Darmorel then approaches Kisk's pool and relays what transpired between her and the mysterious stranger. Kisk is alarmed, to say the least, that another being could not only penetrate her grove, but also seem to freeze time for all except him and Darmorel. Kisk believes the stranger's words refer to the Neverwinter region, but beyond that she cannot begin to guess as to what he might be referring to. With nothing else for it, the two women settle in to sleep in the grove before returning to Daggerford the next morning.

Upon their return through the second floor balcony, Darmorel is sternly confronted by her paladin bodyguard and admonished for her unannounced depature. The Darmorel replies with her own heated words... the two eventually agree on a compromise that Darmorel should inform the group any time she sees fit to leave them, but that she may do so without the need of a constant escort...

With that much resolved, the group soon departs Daggerford to resume their journey north. As had been Darmorel's and Magnus' previous experiences, the stretch between Daggerford and Waterdeep is wild and dangerous. The group was setup on by three separate raiding parties of goblins, the last of which seemed remarkably well armed and armored for their kind. The party captured, interrogated, and released the last goblin with instructions to warn his tribe to stop raiding the caravans as the party would be informing Waterdeep of their activities. The party travels the last day and a half to Waterdeep unmolested...

Once in Waterdeep, the group locates an inn for the night for those who have need of it. Sullivan locates and negotiates a day of training, meditation, and service with the Monks of the Sun Soukl monastary in exchange for conversation and a place to sleep for the night. Deris Halfhand reports into the Hall of Justice and his Tyrran superiors about his travels since he last came before them, particularly about the cleric of Maglubiyet he slew on the road. He reviews his journal of judgments with a senior cleric and the two discuss how he could have done things better. Deris also received non-magical, clerical absolution for his missteps and minor mistakes in his travels. Deris is reassured that while all of us unintentionally stray from time to time, Deris has strove to learn from these mistakes to better know Tyr's will and better live Tyr's way. Darmorel finds a quite park within the city and tries to find a bit of peace and a connection with nature in the midst of the metropolis. Jynx finds his research attempts stymied by the bureaucracy of the city's more elite and specialized libraries. On the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum, Xavkul and Magnus bond over platters of food, flagons of ale, and tales of battle in the Goldne Harp Inn, in Waterdeep's North ward (Waterdeep, 92).

The following the day, the party regroups and continues on their journey north. Two days out from Waterdeep, the party is ambushed by a strange creature with eight legs and a nasty bite. The Aurumvorax bursts forth from the ground and nearly disembowels Deris' horse. The party makes relatively quick work of the strange monster, and continues on in good order. The following night, as most of the group slept, the camp came under attack from an unseen assailant. The entire camp was covered in web, those on watch were blasted with scorching rays, and the party's unprotected tents and provisions were incinerated by a fireball from the darkness. Unable to locate their assailant, Magnus manages, through sleep-shrouded thoughts, to activate his circlet and spies the group's attacker. Laking his life in his own hands, he rushes out into the illuminated grassland (as the sunlight effect from Sullivan lights up the area) to get as close as he can to the mage. As he draws closer he can see that this person is something... less than human. Jynx summons forth a cloud of blinding magical motes that coat and blind anything they touch, including Magnus. The short battle is capped off as Deris calls upon his god's holy power and loses three arrows into the body of this undead horror. The third arrow pierces the heart of the woman vampire, dropping her to the ground.

The group has only a little time to ensure that the vampire is good and dead (again), and take stock of the destruction the wrought upon their campsite before a trio of strangers seemingly materialized out of the night. Magnus has only just discovered that his non-magical backpack has miraculously survived the battle when the three make their presence known. The lead figure lifts his cloak in salute, and to openly display his sheathed weapons, identifies himself as Quinley Basdel. He informs the group that they had just finished off their target and requested permission to destroy the body. The party agrees and the three quickly move to decapitate the vampire and stake its head upon the arrow that had pierced its heart. The two subordinates bring the body back towards the ruined campsite to allow the party to inspect their work. Darmorel, at Deris' suggestion, motions for all to back up. With a short prayer to Silvaus, that charges the air with divine power and a slight scent of the 'forest in fall', she calls down a column of holy fire that reduces the vampire to ashes.

A few in the group notice their visitors slightly wince at, and recoil from the spells effect...

After this is done, the three thank the party again, and also relay to them their master's thanks for slaying the vampire. The three, with unnatural speed, take off across the fields and into the inky blackness of the night.

Note:

Tim does not recall if information about the nature of the three was relayed to the general party by those who did identify what they were. If so, they were Vampiels/Dhampirs, or Half-vampires, the living children of vampire males who mate with living females. They share many of their sire's undead traits, both strengths and weaknesses, yet are not undead themselves.

The party spends the rest of the night in relative dis-comfort trying to stave off the biting northern winds. The party gets back on the road as soon as they can the next day and arrives in Red Larch late in the day on Marponeth 23, 1402...



The forum discussions will pick up from the departure of the trio of vampire hunters, and will soon carry forward to your arrival in Red Larch.

_________________
"It is always those who are closest that shall wound you deepest..."

Vendan Ka'Xain, to Elaina of Night as she led her insurrection against him.

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XP:
500000/1000000  (500000/1000000)

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