13A:Play/2 Steinar does the Charlie Work
Starring: 📜Elistheren, 🐾 Kaelon, 🌲 Qistis, Steinar, 📚 Annalana
Guest Starring: Elviro, Alexr (Elistheren convert?), Mysterious Drow
Challenge: Below; Negoiating over the Hellmouth with Gold Wyrm, Crusaders, and Archmage reps
Location: Eldolan (Demon Coast, near horizon)
Date Played: 2016 November 08
- "Something smells fishy in the cemetery"
- "Steinar does the Charlie Work"
- "Arriving at Eldolan"
Closing the Portal
- I think the largest problem with evil cultists is that they don't keep good notes. How am I supposed to learn about this ritual? And the whole thing where the party "helps" by throwing blood into the ritual altar may or may not have actually made things worse. We don't know! Still, the portal is closed, but let this be a lesson to aspiring ritualists: DOCUMENT YOUR PROCESS.
- 🐾 Kaelon
- 🌲 Qistis
- Elistheren and myself manage to put our heads together in order to stop this gods forsaken ritual from continuing as it seems killing the imp and the cultist didn't quite do the trick. Umbra fetches us a fresh raccoon (miraculously, I have no idea how she manage to drag the thing back here, let alone kill it). While not alive I perform the ritual nonetheless and with the totally unnecessary assistance from Annalanna in the form of some of her blood, we stop the ritual. Now to finally make our way back to town. I can hear the sounds of a storm in the distance. I believe this will be the first time the region will have seen something like this in a long time.
- '... [T]he hungry mosquito god then lept to the next villager.
- "Ah more food, more blood," it cooed.
- "No, take my blood," yelled Mowanda, opening her arms wide.
- The mosquito god then lept to Mowanda on it's spindly legs and plunged his face deep into her gut and drank deep. The blood of the willing was so sweet, the mosquito gorged itself until it burst.'
- Proverb from the Book of Attalatta ~ A parable on sacrifices and blood rituals
- 📚 Annalana
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:4] "...and then Qistis' servant rodent brought back a sacrifice that was already without life, so I took my knife and added my own lifeblood to the bowl to aid the ritual. Willing blood helps just about all magic, I figure. Qistis is upset at this but the ritual works and the portal dissolves."
Something Fishy in the Graveyard
- As a side effect of the wards being down, due to the hellmouth, Sahuagin necromancers visited the cemetery. We tarry long enough to dispatch them. I'm less interested in their rituals, but perhaps I should learn to turn undead?
- 🐾 Kaelon
- 🌲 Qistis
- As we make our way through the rain we pass by the graveyard that we circumvented before. Annalanna and Elistheren in particular in taking us through this damned thing after Kaelon picks up some strange sahaguin tracks. Strange mostly because they aren't ever really seen in this region anymore. I mean, I could have told him that as well, but he seemed to figure it out on his own. We follow the tracks and manage to find the damned creatures. It appears there is a necromancer among them that is summoning some ghouls. We dispatch them, though it proves more difficult than our last encounter due to their sheer numbers. But the problem is dealt with and so we head back to Slavslav. Hopefully with no more issues on the way so that we can get a decent nights rest.
- 'Scratch and claw from murky depths
- Sahaugans seek those with no more breathes
- Creeping in on hallowed eves
- With magic no sane magician weaves
- Breaking bones
- Cracking skin
- Let the undead rise begin
- Slashing claws
- Gnashing teeth
- Drag victims below the reef'
- Hymn of the Sahaugan from The Trials of Sahalin the Sailor
- 📚 Annalana
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:5] "As we travel back to the hellmouth see lightning strike the ground and we are agog at how such a thing could happen. The wards of the Dragon Empire prevent such things. We hasten to return to the Hellmouth."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:6] "Qistis fears the sounds coming from the graveyard. I know that there will be a battle and it is better to face it early before it has a proper chance to gather itself. A battle ensues..."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:7] "Ahead of us we spy a Sahuagin necromancer and his pets. I draw out a glowing acorn from a pouch marked 'entangle foes, must be close' and use it, fighting from the front and getting the battle started with an edge for my men."
- [Book of the Siege of the Deep, the Surface Skirmishes, 100:20] "...my men lay dead on the field and while I cannot feel my leg it still works and so I rise again, with my dead friend Gadrin's sword in my hand, and I step forward to take on the nymph of the enemy."
- [Book of the Siege of the Deep, the Surface Skirmishes, 100:24] "...the nymph fell and her body faded away, leaving an acorn in her place. I placed it in my bag, robbing the Elf Queen of a valuable ally and gaining a weapon to defeat
scratched out scribble"
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:8] "The battle was fierce. Our initial gain yielded to the foes' greater numbers. Several of a hound's teeth disengaged from its mouth to burrow into my flesh. Out of habit, I kept myself up, calling out to my men—'Kaelon remember the wind as you let your arrow fly'; 'Steinar, you didn't find life just to give it up did you? SHAKE IT OFF BOOK'.
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:9] "The killing blow to the last enemy, a skeletal hound, belongs to Elistheren."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:10] "Once the battle is done a sapling, an oak sapling, has started to grow where I tossed the acorn. We are all bewildered and I make a note to look up why that might be in the evening when I compile my daily notes."
- Of course, dealing with the hellmouth has to devolve into some sort of petty political squabble. It'd be worth leaving it open to attempt to learn from it, but no one wants to hear that suggestion, so I'm left to watch people bicker and argue.
- 🐾 Kaelon
- 🌲 Qistis
- We return to Slavslav to see a new group of Archmages there and are arguing with the groups that follow the Crusader and the Great Gold Wyrm. This does not surprise me one bit. The Archmages people want control to put up a new tower, the Crusaders want it to close the hellmouth and the Gold Wyrm people....well I'm not quite sure why they want to stick around. Probably to 'protect the people' or something righteous like that. I talk to the mages while Annalanna handles the Crusader's soldiers. We manage to broker some kind of temporary peace and head off for a little rest in the city of Eldolan on the coast at Elviro's suggestion.
- 'Keldon, the great paladin of The Great Gold Wurm sat in the bloody field of battle. Zannis, general of the the The Crusader and Ramia, high wizard of The Archmage, both also sat upon the ground, soaked deep with the blood of demons. The three, bitter enemies, were drawn by the call to do the greater good. Though they knew they could never be brother's in arms, they chose to break bread that day. They made the promise to face each other with the fury their patrons called for if they met again, but, on this day, the bonds of battle made them truly a battalion of three.'
- Rites of the 8th Age
- 📚 Annalana
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:11] "Returning to the hellmouth we encounter representatives of the Gold Wyrm, the Crusader, and the Archmage. The robed figures of the Archmage are claiming the mouth and declaring that they can deal with it. While they make me uneasy, I believe they could keep things under control but the other two factions are causing a ruckus."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 20:12] "I feel a kinship with the Crusaders as we are all seasoned soldiers, and we share war stories. As we bond I start to remind them that there are roles on and off of the battlefield. Sometimes it is best to call in cavalry while other times you let the war mages bomb the hell out of it. They agree to let the Archmages solve this problem."
Getting to Know the City of Eldolan
- A city gives us space to find converts, and I may- MAY have found a convert to Epthis. I must teach him her ways, guide him in the arts of bookbinding and writing in mirrors, so that he can pay homage to Epthis.
- Also, there are rats. Rats are awful, as they often eat books, especially those bound with hide glue, which would be pretty much all of them. They are very dangerous, so we must deal with them.
- 🐾 Kaelon
- 🌲 Qistis
- The group pays for entry into the city, something Elviro did not feel the need to mention to us of course, so we pay our way in. For the most part when we enter we go our separate ways, agreeing to meet at some in called the 'Ugly Harpy'. Whoever names these places I'll never know but the establishment seems serviceable enough at least.
- Annalanna and I make our way to some shops so that she can procure another journal for her 'memories'. (That still baffles me how she can keep track of anything.) Afterwards we make our way to the Student Grounds district to find some suitable libraries; perhaps pick up a book or two on demon summon rituals, try to figure out what exactly was coming out of the hellmouth and what summoned it.
- I convince the guards to the district to allow myself and Annalanna in under the pretense that Annalanna has the intentions of enrolling in one of the schools and she needs a tour. We spend some hours in the library and I find a nice tome on Spider Demons, however it seems I need to purchase it before I can finish it as the library closes for none students in the evening. While there we avoid the attention of a dark elf among the shelves. He gives off some kind of sinister aura so we do our best to skirt around him.
- 'Dennis raised his rat-stick on high, swatting rats from the path, driving them to the corners, and eventually snuffed their tiny lives. He did this, killing generations that made this burrow their home. His stick was wet with the ichor of the sticky rat blood; clumps of hair stuck to the splinters the year of wear put on the fabled rat-stick. His bloodlust eventually faded, and he looked at the carnage around him. He gave a heavy sign, and wondered aloud, "I wonder if our lives are really more valuable than theirs."'
- Cynicism of the Sun
- 📚 Annalana
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 25:4] "This city has great defenses that they put to use generating tax revenue. It is irksome but I pay the tolls as we move around the city. Kaelon talks of burning it all down and I advise him that it would take a concerted effort, as you would have to assign arsons to each area of the city."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 25:13] "Qistis and I learned more about the spellcasters after I was mistaken for one while buying journals. The Eldritch masters focus on big rituals and explosive magic and wear blue. The Mythrils focus on magic that can be touched and felt and wear dark gray. The last group is the Arcanists of the Hidden Vale who focus on stealth and illusion and wear only black.
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 25:14] "This last group piques the interest of both Qistis and myself, which shocks Qistis. She questions the veracity of my claims at a childhood as a vagrant but I assure her that my journals are correct."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 28:24] "Qistis has started the enrollment process for me in the city as a way to gain access to the libraries at those institutions. I consider my current quest to be a better, more honest person and decide that the deception is harmless. An application doesn't force attendance and I have always been interested in magic (as it applies to battles)."
- [Book of a Noble Attempt, 28:56] "While in the library we spy a dark-skinned elf and both have the same feelings of uneasiness. I've recently used an item of power from the Elf Queen and would rather not see if she knows and so I keep us unseen while Qistis does her research."
- 6 help High Druid for Kaelon -> player control
- 5 hurt Elf Queen for Annalana -> player control
- Rolled for next time
- 6 positive Mage Elistheren
- 6 negative Wyrm Elistheren
- 5 conflicted Mage Annalana
- 5 conflicted Mage Qistis
- 5 negative Lich Steinar
- 6 positive Druid Kaelon
Graveyard was 5.5/5 points
- Sahuagin Necromancer, 2nd level caster (modified core Goblin Shaman) = 1.5 points
- Sahuagin Ghoul, 1st level mook (bestiary) = 5* .2 each = 1 point
- Skeletal Hounds, 1st level blocker (core) = 3x 1 each = 3 pionts