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 November, 2009 - Session One

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AuthorMessage
Febrien
Co-DM
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Posts : 35
Join date : 2009-09-21
Age : 33

Character sheet
Level: 30
XP to Next Level:
1000000/1000000  (1000000/1000000)
Hit Points:
223/223  (223/223)

PostSubject: November, 2009 - Session One   Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:59 am

Attended By: Chelsea, Dave, Levi, Robert, *Tim, and Viktor

Session One, November 22, 2009



Player Cast

Chelsea: Shadow - Human Warden
Dave: Azrael - Eladrin Assassin / Dragon Avenger
Levi: Markus - Goliath Warlord
Robert: Dragonar - Warforged Dragoon
Tim: Cecil - Human Ranger
Viktor: Nermal - Bugbear Fighter


Other Cast

Ghuda Bule: Caravan Master
Celestial Hound: A large hunting hound that appears to Cecil near Sorin Village


Current Events

Over five thousand years have passed since the end of the Great War and the turning of the Draconic Horde. Aside from a few minor civil wars, relative peace has reigned throughout Elaria since the defeat of the evil Dragon Goddess, Tiamat. Until now.

Shortly before we begin, the king of Westenra was slain without apparent reason or provocation. Westenran officials claim that an elf was the culprit, and are now holding one in custody. In response to these accusations, Loriel and Heva have sealed their borders against all who are not of elven descent, and the elven race as a whole refuses to offer any comment or insight on the matter. Convinced of the elves' treachery, the Westenrans have gathered nearly all of their considerable military forces and are marching northward, leaving only skeleton crews to defend their turbulent western and southern borders. Only two routes offer access to the elven realms, however: either sailing north through Cassandra's Sea, followed by a march across Frontia to approach Vilnis from the east, or forging Khalm Gorge, which offers access to Vilnis' southern border.

The Frontians, a people of agriculture and the arts, refuse to allow the Westenrans to invade their land and destroy their livelihood, however, leaving only the southern assault as an option. Unfortunately for the invading army, Khalm Gorge contains only one crossing, which is guarded by the Westenrans' Fort Firion to the south, and the Vilnian Fort Khalm to the north. With only this treacherous point of entry available, the Westenran military has gathered at Fort Firion and locked it down, allowing no one to exit or enter Vilnian territory. Here, they bide their time, waiting for the opportune moment to strike...



Our Story Begins
As dawn breaks on our first campaign in this glorious new world, we find most of our adventurers in Vilnis. They are bound for Westenra to a one, and most are unaware of the extent of the turmoil on Vilnis' southern border. Cecil, a Vilnis Guide, and his pet bugbear, Nermal, have been hired on as guards for a caravan delivering goods to the fort. Dragonar heads south seeking information, and is certain that Westenra is the place to find it. Markus, a warlord of modest renown, seeks the great weapon-smith residing in Fort Firion, convinced that only this man can craft him a weapon suitable of his expectations. The warforged and the warlord encounter the caravan as it is departing from Valencia, and-discovering that the caravan master, Ghuda Bule, has need of guards-they decide to make a little money while furthering their needs.

Azrael, on the other hand, hails from Frontia, and follows a much shadier agenda. It seems that the lords of the underworld in Strata are displeased with their neighbors to the south, and have hired the assassin to dispose of a few of the Westenrans' key politicians. The eladrin is only too happy to oblige, and quickly procures a barge, which is traveling down the River Kasteel to Tomlin Village. He reaches the village without incident, and decides to rest up at the Inn of the Dancing Fool before continuing south.

The caravan arrives at Tomlin Village the next night, and the adventurers make various lodging arrangements for the stopover. Markus and Nermal join Azrael in the more respectable of the two village inns, Cecil bunks with the outpost of Vilnis Guides assigned there, and the hapless warforged decides that-not having to eat or sleep-the much cheaper (and much lacking) accommodations of the Inn of the Broken Hoof are for him. Nermal’s stomach quickly gets him into trouble, and soon the whole village bears down upon him after he tries to steal food from the inn’s kitchen, scaring the hapless cook in the process. Cecil and Markus manage to sort everything out when it becomes apparent that the ranger is a member of the Guides, and soon everyone is resting peacefully for the night. Well, almost everyone.

Azrael is driven out of the inn by Cecil’s unwanted curiosity as to his business in Vilnis, and shortly thereafter, the assassin manages to sneak into the rear wagon of the caravan and hide himself. He believes that this will offer the perfect means to sneak into Westenra, and so he makes himself comfortable for the night. Oddly enough, while the eladrin sleeps peacefully under the various boxes of cargo, the warforged is plagued by bandits and finds himself unable to rest at the Inn of the Broken Hoof. He is set upon by thieves twice during the night, and manages to lose a few gold pieces and a decent amount of blood before retreating to the roof of the Inn of the Dancing Fool to finish his rest.

The caravan sets out early the next morning, Azrael still concealed inside, with the guards riding at the head, heel, and middle of the wagon train. Two days into their journey, they are set upon by bandits, who demand that the caravan master hand over the last wagon or they’ll burn the rest of the cargo. Ghuda will allow nothing of the sort, and promptly sets out to roust the bandit horde. During the ensuing bedlam, a guard and a driver are lost, Azrael manages to strip down, conceal, and assume the place of the dead driver, and Nermal intimidates the bandit leader into retreat. The giant bugbear manages to subdue the leader before he escapes, and he is taken back to the wagons and secured. Markus finds that one of the bandits is wearing a Westenran military uniform and carrying a jeweled dagger, and he relieves the corpse of the latter before rejoining the wagon train and continuing on.

As night falls, the group stops to set up camp and go about interrogating the bandit leader. They accomplish nothing, however, and soon give up, realizing that the bandit leader will never reveal his secrets. Azrael, on the other hand, manages to accomplish a great deal while the questioning takes place. While his companions’ attention is occupied, he removes the body of the dead driver from his wagon and disposes of it in the forest with none the wiser.

After two weeks of travel, the group reaches Fort Khalm and are promptly halted and searched by a guard patrol. The guards warn them that no people or caravans are allowed through at this time, and attempt to turn them away. At this point, Azrael reveals his presence and attempts to sweet talk the guards into letting him pass. He is unsuccessful, however, and Ghuda graciously allows him to continue traveling with the caravan. After parting company with the patrol, Cecil informs the caravan master that he knows of an alternate route into Westenra, but when Ghuda finds out that this path will take them into the dreaded Forest of Shadows, he balks and decides to turn back, giving the group only half their expected pay. Azrael, incensed at not receiving payment with the rest of the group, picks the caravan master’s pocket and recovers a beautiful ruby ring with a strange symbol etched into its face.

Cecil assures his comrades that the forest is perfectly safe if one does not wander too far in, and so the intrepid group parts ways with Ghuda and heads for the Forest. As they try to enter, however, they are struck by a paralyzing fear and decide to camp on its outskirts for the night. This plan offers them no respite, however, and throughout the night strange noises and rustlings can be heard circling their camp. When they awake, they find many of their belongings moved or displaced, though the guards saw nothing enter the small camp during the night. However, the fear seems less overpowering come daylight, and so they forge ahead into the foreboding trees. Cecil takes Nermal hunting later that night, but as they continue deeper into the forest, a feeling of dread grows within and they quickly recover their game and return to camp.

That night, many of the group members are plagued by terrible dreams of shapeless, red-eyed beasts and screaming spirits attacking them from the forest’s depths. Even Azrael feels uncomfortable, though less so than the rest, it seems. The next day, Cecil cannot escape the feeling that something is stalking them, and he warns his companions to abide by the Forest’s laws, saying that the presence is only watching them at the moment. They make camp once more without incident, and all are sleeping or trancing peacefully when an unexpected magical wave washes over their campsite. Even those without mage talent can feel it, and when everyone rises, they find a red dragon standing over the ruins of Azrael’s tent.

The dragon seems to be molting, as gold scales glimmer under the red, and he seems to have no memory of who or where he is. He makes no moves of aggression, and no blood or signs of a struggle can be found in the remains of Azrael’s tent, so the group stands down to gather what information they can from him. Partway through their questioning, Cecil looks into the forest and asks someone to join the group, as she has been watching them since they entered the forest.

Shadow steps forward into sight after a short deliberation, and tells everyone that she neither saw Azrael leave nor the dragon enter during the night. The dragon insists that the eladrin snuck off at some point, and so the warden and the ranger make a circuit of the perimeter to look for signs of his passing. After finding nothing, they return to camp, where they find the dragon eating Azrael’s belongings and shedding red scales left and right. Cecil and Markus follow after, collecting as many of the scales as they can, and stuffing them into their packs.

After this, all but Dragonar and the dragon go hunting and return with enough for the humans and two deer for the hungry dragon. The dragon scoffs at the paltry meal, and goes out to hunt on his own before the group sets off once more. Much later, the adventurers reach the gorge and find a long, rickety smuggler’s bridge spanning its width. All make it across without incident, and after another day of travel, they reach Sorin Village, one of the northern-most establishments in Westenra. Two hours from Sorin, however, Shadow disappears into the forest and doesn’t return. As the party approaches the village outskirts, a large hunting hound bounds up to the group and proceeds to follow Cecil as if it was his own.

Once they arrive in Sorin, the group gets directions at the Boar’s Tusk Tavern, and then spends the rest of the day trading in the indoor bazaar. Everyone sells the myriad of equipment they gathered from the bandits, and the dragon sets off to have his ruby ring appraised. A vendor informs him that the ring is a symbol signifying the rank of General in the Westenran military, and, having no use for it, the dragon sells it without a thought. Dragonar manages to find a small selection of warforged components, but he doesn’t have nearly enough gold to buy them. The merchant offers to trade the components for Dragonar’s help in recovering some lost cargo of a questionable nature, lost at the bottom of a sinkhole, but the fighter passes and quickly moves on. The dragon overhears the offer, but is not interested in the magic robes the vendor offers in trade for his services, and so he turns him down as well. Markus sells his jeweled dagger and finds an alchemist to appraise the dragon scales he gathered, while Nermal goes looking for a cloak to hide his goblinoid appearance. The only cloak big enough to cover him, however, is a garishly colored monstrosity that soon has him looking for a dye vendor and a large cauldron.

Soon enough, all but Nermal retreat into the forest to make camp for the night. The bugbear instead visits the Boar’s Tusk, where he agrees to work through the night as a bouncer in return for use of the cook’s giant cauldron. Everyone else settles in for the night, and Dragonar shifts into a giant mechanical dog to keep watch. Cecil, unfamiliar with this form of his and short one bugbear companion, promptly shoots him upon waking. Everything is straightened out in short order, however, and the warforged shifts back and conveys that Nermal has stayed behind in the village. The bugbear, having happily completed his task, drags his prize back to camp, and manages to dye the cloak a deep black without burning the forest down around him.

Cecil decides that the strange hunting hound must have been sent by the One to aid him in his trials, and kisses her on the forehead. The hound replies that she’ll help him all he wants as long as he doesn’t kiss her again, then promptly asks if he’d be so kind as to pick up some grinding paper for her from the bazaar when the group went back into town. Poor Cecil is more than a little dazed and confused, but goes along without question.

Unfortunately, he mentions his belief in the One at an inopportune moment, and the Westenrans promptly kick him out of the marketplace. Across town, the dragon’s luck is much the same. He changes into Azrael once more and sneaks up behind a well-off villager, intending to pick the man’s pocket. The man catches him, however, and sounds the alarm. Between Azrael’s elven appearance and Cecil’s worship of the Indran god, the whole village soon descends upon the group.

Smugglers, guards, and berserkers pour out of various buildings, and the battle rages through the square. Nermal manages to fell one of the guards with his giant cauldron and Azrael, returned to dragon form, flies onto the roof of the bazaar and blasts another with his fiery breath. The fighting is intense, and many come close to falling as more and more enemies appear. A berserker manages to fell the great dragon, and, as Azrael lies unconscious on the cobblestones, Dragonar jumps onto his back, knowing that the sacred bond between dragon and Dragoon is sure save him.

Sure enough, Azrael regains consciousness with a roar, and promptly attempts to kill Dragonar for having the audacity to mount him without his permission. Failing that, the dragon flies away with his pride gravely injured, deserting the group and vowing that he will not let this insult go unpunished. Nermal frees a herd of horses and leads them to the rest of the party, which allows them to barely escape with their lives. They now flee deeper into Westenra, and closer to whatever fate awaits them there.


Memorable Moments
Tomlin Village Cook (After Nermal tries to steal food from the kitchen): He was trying to eat me! His fangs were dripping with saliva!
Nermal: But my fangs are always dripping with saliva!

Sorin Village Cook (After Nermal asks to borrow a giant cauldron): Are you gonna make stew out of people?
Nermal: No! People taste awful!

* Denotes the session's DM


_________________

Thank you Akreon for the beautiful avatar!


Every time it rains I listen to the sky
And wonder what's so great about sunshine?
Everybody lives and everybody dies
And no one's gonna love you like I do
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