Almost a split in the group.
Xou decides to return to talk to the Druids Guild, and Grandmaster if possible. However the party walks into the base camp of a goblin raiding party (see part of last adventure)
Xou makes the area grow with a charge from one of the Rods, while that occurs Akarai gets a few goblins. The Priest traveling with them begins to summon a storm to take care of the Goblins. The battle rages, goblins die… and Orcs and a Troll are felled, and a Kobold becomes a friend – enter new PC.
The Kobold tells of an attack against Nova Prosperity, that the Horde was planning. A quick about face shows that no attack has come, and the town continues to harvest and celebrate their good fortunes.
The party again leaves for Deception. Outside the gates of Deception Cass becomes fidgity and splits off from the group. The Dwarf and Gnome were not distracted by the return to Nova and have already been received as emissaries from the South – and of their respective guilds and clans.
Deception is a wonder to behold, during the darkness the fear of shadows turned the town into a glittering wonder, with bricks and paver stones set to shimmer in and shift colors.. the fashionable still wear their glowing necklaces and iridescent/incandescent finery.
Xou gets escorted through to the outskirts of the Elven district and to the Druids Guild/Garden hall, where when presented with the opportunity to serve in menial work for a few weeks… he decides to quit the guild.
Perhaps influenced by the Dwarf and Gnome, or perhaps just greedy. He keeps a promise to return with livestock in exchange for carts of grains/roots and vegatables. Several Trips later and the town of Nova Prosperity has its own trade route established, with a running stream of young animals to feed. From an outpost to a village in shortly under a month – rumors have it that a mage has been summoned to work in the town as well.
Cass appears on and off, a quick apperance from an alley to check in to see what the party is doing. Apparently the town has its own detractions that still are looking for Cass :)
Several trips to and from Nova – Xou and Guru have amassed their own sizable fortunes. However growing apprehension regarding Akarai, stabling costs, and Cass’s own increasing anxiety soon have our heroes visiting the Jobs board:
Should our heroes: Try their luck against a Wizards defenses … he’s happily asking for someone to steal from him ?!? Find the Heir apparent that seems to have been taken. Contact (subtle wording for possibly destroy?) a band of creatures who are attacking all humans in the western mountains. Fend off some Bandit raids Fend off some Bandit raids Fend off goblin attacks Join a carvan heading to Hawke Join the caravan heading South
And of course…. Druid wanted Druid wanted Druid wanted Druid wanted Druid wanted Druid wanted (if only the Guild weren’t suck sticklers about getting their share)
Find the Kender’s Family and notify them of his death?
Either way the Dwarf has become NPC and split from the Group. The Old man seems to be entraced with Deception and has stopped pestering for passage to Hawke
Well off to the two outposts a wee east north east of deception.
It seems that two men started up outposts a stone’s throw from each other on the same stream… Omsfard – the would be leader of one town believes that Lekto is behind the attacks, or made some arrangement as the goblins are making the effort to continue to attack his outpost.
Lekto apparently built his “town” up stream and that’s when the disagreement’s started. Diverting the stream to irragate and then the trash in the water has led to bad feelings and mischief between the town men and their settlements.
The trail to the Goblins’ camp is obvious, even to the untrained eye. Up until last month once a week the Goblins would attack about once a week.. however three men were tending sheep and cattle when the last raid came, and their bravado got two of them hurt, and one of them killed.
A short ride later, the party (Akarai & his chocobo, Xou & his Chocobo, Alonis & HIS chocobo, and their new Kobold friend arrive at a small valley.
The valley appeared to have a defensive wall that was destroyed some time during the darkness – not far into the valley a slightly less than habitable Wizard’s tower appears to be built into the rockly cliff face, and after some scouting a cave entrance is found.
Akarai’s tracking comes into play, and although he is not able to find the mechanism, he’s sure he knows where a secret door is located.
Leaving their chocobos undefended in the amble cave, the heroes climb up the staircase the kobold found to the base of the tower… where the goblins are gambling, drinking and “keeping watch” – no sooner than through the door the Kobold screeches into battle, dual meat cleavers in hand.
Snicker-Snack and a goblin loses its head!
Xou’s sword bursts into flame, and his rage fuels a celestial Wolf to appear to deal with his hated foe. Akarai begins shoot arrows, and the Goblins – recovering from being stunned launch a fusillade of pewter ware at the obviously Gnomish spell caster – who gets off a color spray knocking half the goblins unconscious, while nearly getting knocked out himself by an errant pewter mug!
Goblin’s bravado, in the face of the party, who unlike them, are armed. Ebs into a mass retreat, while a golden sparkling trailing wolf leaps and tears the throats out of the fleeing, and the unconcious… along with..
What is wrong with that badger??? Wow.. that a really anemic and palsy ridden badger… who messed up their casting attempt? Xou
Weazing in asmathic fury, the three legged, nearly blind badger that was summoned toils its way to the first goblin and although neither pretty nor quick, the goblin is left bleeding to death.
Meanwhile trouble comes from upstairs… its the boss “Gunna!” – whose metal greaves are quickly heated to red hot, while Xou attempts to hack with his flaming great sword, sadly the strike he makes is cauterized by the sword and the greave’s blistering touch. Gunna back pedals and tried throwing a short sword… and misses.
HOWEVER, Akarai… attempting to make his move, puts an arrow INTO XOU’s back!!
He changes tactics and tosses Alonis from the staircase, his weapon… a mug of grog in hand.
Two goblins atop the stairs, and a maimed Gunna, the orc remained at the end of the session.
Starting off again. Xou attempts to finish off the Orc… misses.
The kobold hacks off the Orc’s foot and then Akarai puts two arrows into the Orc. Frustrated Xou goes off to search the bodies, the Gnome follows suit.
Soon everyone is scouring the area for what these bandits might have.
Xou whips out a Body of the Sun and begins to light afire the barricade the two remaining goblins have built while the search progressed below. Soon the whole mess is on fire and comes crashing down the stairs, to be turned into an icy mass with another rapid spell by Xou.
Sending his Wolf upstairs (the badger being dispatched by an unwieldy dagger’s flight into the poor badger’s
- known as Francis - belly)
Soon the whole matter becomes academic, the Kobold has dispatched the last two goblins… or rather their legs. Himself wounded, and unable to descend due to the burning pile of rubble atop the stairs, he waited.
Akarai finds a “Wee Free Man”... a 4” little blue humanoid that is on an enchanted stone that prevents his “stepping” into another dimension.
Xou goes outside to rest…. just 30 minutes if he can… but about every 20 minutes the party disturbs and harrangs him.
So he goes a wee bit away, to be attacked by a big spider… yummy chow for the chocobo.
and again, 20 minutes later… Akarai, Alonis, and the wee blue man come running up to ask how they can … hum… free the wee blue man… who is running next to them.
Giving up Xou returns to the tower ascends two levels and upends a stone table over the mage’s levitation hole. Blocking the party below from gaining access.
For the next 8 hours Xou recoups spell points, while the party below finds little of value and destroys what little there was before that. Night falls during this time, and an inky blackness settles over the land.
Below voices are heard. The Pictsie pulls up the rope… with a Derro in tow!
A rapid fight, and an unsettling darkness and the party soon hears the disturbing sounds of something massive below… the tower shakes.
The Derro party below has summoned an earth elemental to bring the tower and the people within down.
Xou deftly moves from level to level and then takes flight out of the tower. meanwhile the Akarai attempts the same, but has the sneak past the earth elemental.
The Pictsie, alone in the dark seem to find the wee holie… but freed of its prison it ken take a wee twist of the ankle, ya’ ken?
Finding itself infront of a Massive Stone.. or is that BONE! citadel knee deep (2” of ash that suck the energy from him.. the wee one finds itself outside the home of a powerful creature on the elemental plane of ash… a border plane of the negative.
Back on the Prime.. and on Hawke.
The remaining party finds itself outside, and find themselves being addressed by a deep voice, giving them the choice to return to the cave entrance or be destroyed… little did they know that they were bluffing to buy them time to get a spell caster in place to summon muscle to fight if need be.
The underdark is a different world these days. When the drow armies were routed and forced underground, many houses found their armies thin shadows of their former selves. Bitterness over whom was to blame and how many members of their houses lay rotting under the merciless sun above lead rise to civil disputes over trifles. The other races Svirfneblin and Derro had the benefit of being able to avoid major traffic throughfares for their supply lines to the surface… and grow their domains and take over resources where possible with the Drow so focused elsewhere.
The drow returning quickly changed things below. The Derro are searched for the spoils of war when they came across an old supply line that lead to a large cavern that some goblins were stock piling crops and livestock….what else could they acquire with a little more investigation?
INTO THE MIND OF EVIL
William stumbled from the town, still reeling. His dagger in hand, an old friend from his days with the thieves guild… back when he had worked with Ysol, Fania’s lifepartner. He had known he loved her back then, but… he was just a up and comming thief, while Ysol was already a padfoot, and Fania his new apprentice. A shift in careers was needed. To get the bitter taste of failure from William’s mouth, and too open new doors. The town guard paid, and with his working for the guild he became a better value. After all, he could delay the watch’s rounds when needed minutes were required for a job off the main streets, and William was good with a sword – it came naturally to him.
He wasn’t paying attention – and something of the fighter in him brought his mind back into present events. What was it? The first arrow came as a surprise, Fania has specialized with the bow, his ragged throat was evidence of that… however the fletching… and the fact that it missed meant it was something else. Likely the goblins that cursed group had come across. Yes… there they were, in a gully laying wait for travellers.
His throat still hurt, and his dagger’s hunger was driving him on, he didn’t care about his life anymore anyway.
Two shots found their marks in his flesh in the time it took to cross to the gully, it wasn’t until he was almost on the goblins that he figured out why the rock they sheltered behind seemed so… odd.
As the mudd and slime covered gray troll stretched out, he tried to remember what he knew about trolls.
He laughed, he had probably faced a dozen drow, demons from Manes, to Vrock. Enough Goblins to build a new layer on top Deception’s highest wall… but he didn’t remember fighting a troll before…
The troll’s hand hammered through the air where he had been standing an instance before he dropped into a slide on his knees in the slick mud.
turning on his side and bringing his legs into his check he cocked and pistoned his feet out has passed beyond the troll and into one of the Goblin archers.
The dry snap as his feet found the goblin’s chest let him know that at best that goblin would not be taking a counter attack. He was down in the gully now, and apparently … in a campsite of Orcs and Goblins on their way to attack willstown.
Grabbing a notched short sword from the Goblin standing gapping mouthed next to him, Will’s released a battle yell, which through his torn voice box sounded more like a rough breeze through dry branches.
In another instance the troll was upon him from behind. Goblins cackled and danced in glee from the spectacle. Troll flesh, Will found was both rubbery and oddly easy to cut, as his dagger etched lines through the troll’s skin. He knew he couldn’t kill the troll permanently without acid or fire, but with each cut he felt better. Even though the troll was giving what it got the two danced. The trolls ragged nails leaving deep red furrows in Wills face, arms and chest. While his pilfered short sword and dagger continued to slice slug like chunks of troll bits that littered the ground and gave him the appearance of a man succuming to an angry horde of leeches.
Will didn’t notice that the something odd was happening, that time and time again as his dagger magically healed his wounds, bits of the trolls ichor and flesh knitted into the wounds, just like leeches they seem to wriggle into the cuts and tears, where previously red scars would adorn Will’s skin, grey green splotches and stripes began to occur, and increasingly… Will felt …. better.
He was only slightly concerned when he traded sawing through the trolls left arm while its needle teeth bit into and tore a chunk his cheek off and spat it back into his face.
With the sudden release of pressure from the trolls left arm, William was able to plant the dagger in to the hilt in the troll’s neck, severing both the airway and the spinal column.
While the Goblins and Orcs watched in amazed horror, William began the process of first returning the favor to the Troll’s face and then using his stomach acid to destroy it.
Hours later, Will glanced behind him, his face a mottled gray, half of his lower teeth were normal human like, but between them
- liked weeds in a picket fence - were clusters of needle like teeth. From them hung bits of troll brains and flesh.
He was distantly aware that he was changed. Not just physically, but inside – the word mentally only flitered across his mind’s edges. He was Wrath, more than human – feared leader of these Goblins, stronger and more savage than even the Orcs. The two other trolls in the group quickly left for other hunting when they saw his snack of choice, it was taking a lot of time to eat that thing… but he was patient.
And, was what these ragged groups needed, a Military Leader… with a plan!
Kill and eat Xou and Cass.