Within are to be writ the tales of daring and adventure of those who have placed themselves on the path of glory. Share your exploits with other Castlers & Crusaders!
Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:10 am
Kayolan’s Monday night Legendary Adventure game
Cast of ne’er do wells
Hile Troy, Human Unordered (Unfettered), played by Rom
Egor, Human Forester, played by Aergraith
Antal “the Black” Varga, Human Bravo, played by Rigon
Sir Edwin Gothmyer, Human Noble, played by Treebore
Eboergar Berntson, Human Scout, played by Lurker
Elebereth, Ilf Mage, played by Aramis
Father John Baptiste, human ecclesiastical – healer ran by Treebore, but more of an NPC than adventure
Sir Edwin, and his retainers – Eboergar (the one time poacher and trapper now acting as his sergeant/man at arms and scout) Father John, and Antal (a friend of father John), travel down the old road, little more than a weed covered path through the ancient woods, toward the distant hunter’s camp. The group was traveling to quest to hunt the rumored great white stag that is said to be in the deep old woods that the hunters stalk.
As the bad traveled, with Eboergar grumbling about his friend Sir Edwin bringing enough to fill a wagon on a simple hunting trip, a friend face stepped out of the woods. Egor. A hunter know by reputation to Eboergar. A quick talk convinced the hunter to join the party – Eboergar looking for help in supplying the party wiwth food, fire wood and all the other items he woud be expected to provide for the urbane members of the group. Soon, the party traveled on but caught up with another lone figure traveling the path. Hile Troy.
A yeoman and freeman farmer but with the reputation in the area of being an odd and ecletic loner. Soon enough he too had agreeded to join the hunt. The party continued on and before reaching the hunter’s cam came upon a last lone traveler. An ilf, and by the looks of him a practicionear of the arcane art.
The party found the camp 2 smaller out buildings, sturdy enough to stay in for 3 seasons but not hardy enough to winter over in, and 1 large well-built cabin. Assitionaly, there was the various odds and ins expected of a year round hunters site. Frames to stretch ad dry hides, racks to dry meat on, stacks of various types of wood to smoke the meat over. All the things needed by hunters and trappers to survive and hopefully earn enough to live on.
Ebeorgar and Egor soon set to unpacking the knight’s cart and taking care of the party’s various horses then set out gathering firewood and other needed items. As the woodsman and scout set about doing their expected chores, the rest of the party explored the camp.
1 out building was empty, but the other was occupied by 2 huntsmen. One a hulking Norse man and from his looks an older and experienced hunter. He being quick to talk and joke was soon friendly to the party. However, the other huntsman, younger, less woods wise, and looking to be of more Slavic stock than his friend – so smaller of stature, and something seeming a bit odd about him), remained quiet and stand offish. Also, they were told that another hunter, who lived at the camp year around, was set up in the cabin, but he was out hunting right now and would be back before sunset
The party set about making itself at home – the woodsmen starting out in the empty shack, but the conditions were too lowly for the knight, Master Antal, and the magic wielding ilf. Soon enough the 3rd huntsman returns from his hunt and the party meets the local master huntsman. If anything he is even larger than the other older huntsman. A picture of Nordic strength mixed with a woodsman fleetness. He is a master huntsman which shows he is not only strong but also cleaver and quick of mind, and friendly as all rustics must be it they are to live long in the woods. In short order, he invites the party to share the cabin with him, and the fire in the pit outside is blazing. The 3 hunters share stories (well 2 of the 3, the 3rd - smallest and youngest of the 3 - had little to say) around the camp fire, joined by the party members. Stories were not the only thing told. News of the area was spread too.
Key news, there are griffons to the NW that make hunting around the stream and the pond in that area dangerous. A cave that is possibly bespelled or enchanted lies to the NE – it having a rock that looks like a lady and seems to beckon to you out of the corner of your eye. A tree of some kind is surrounded by numerous bear bones – none of the hunters have explored it closely as anything that can kill multiple bears is something that no hunter wishes to face. Finally, a pack of mountain lions have claimed the area to the SE. These being no normal mountain lion pack. They were vicious, clever, and seem to hunt and kill for fun alone. Not bothering to eat their kills like a normal pack of lions would do.
The next morning, Ebeorgar and Egor awake before even the master huntsman and begin to prepare for the day. Soon enough the huntsman is awake and talking to the 2 woodsmen of the party decides he can trust them enough to guide their hunt for at least a few days. Soon the party is away and ready for the hunt.
Spread out and traveling – not quite enough for Ebeorgar and Egor’s likening – the party makes its way through the woods. The master huntsman leading the party traveling toward the east, Egor to the north of the party and Eboergar to the south. The plan was to scout out and around to see if there was sign of the white deer, and then look into the area of the mountain lions. However …
Snap followed by a rumbling growl. Ebeorgar looks to the north and yells “bear”. A huge Bear charges out of the shadows. The party’s scout and huntsman, along with the master hunter get quick shots off, but it does not slow down the beast. Soon the bear is on top of the master hunter swiping with claws and trying to bite down with its massive mouth. The huntsman is able to fend off the words of the blows.
Sir Edwin and Egor charge in to the fight and now the bear spreads its attacks out against the 3 people in range of it paws and its vicious bite. Ebeorgar fires a few more arrows into the fight, but when the master huntsman is knocked back gasping from a fearful swipe, the scout rushes forward and pushes back the injured huntsman. Raising his shield to fend off the bear’s following attack and laughs toward his knightly friend “We have been here before. This time duck when he swipes at your head. You are already ugly enough and can’t afford another scar on that face of yours” the joke is cut short as the bear swipes again.
Antal, having fired a few ineffectual bolts towards the melee, fires again, but had not been ready for the master huntsman to stand up when he did, and the bravo’s bolt slams into the unexpecting hunter’s back. As the hunter turns the Norse swashbuckler quickly makes a sigh that it was the ilf that had fired the shot and not him.
Just then the ilf finishes his arcane chant and the bear roars in pain, magical energy wraps around the bear’s legs and tightens feeling like spiked chains digging into the beast’s flesh. The pain and the distraction of it gives the party a chance and slowly they are able to fell the beast. Soon enough it is dressed out and the skin and meat is readied to take back to cam by the battered party. However, as the huntsmen set about cleaning and dressing the carcass, Ebeorgar scouts around the area and finds the mother’s cub … Soon the ilf has decided he could raise it and try to befriend it or bespell it at least long enough that it will survive the coming fall and winter.
The next day, after the party rests and Father John heals the party’s injuries (surprisingly fairly light considering the size and ferocity of the bear) they again set out to the East – South east Searching for the cougars. Again the master huntsman leading the group. However, this time Ebeorgar taking the norther side to scout and Egor taking the southern side. After a few hours the party sees tawny shapes slinking through the fern shadows ahead and to the sides of the trial the party was following.
Ebeorgar, Egor, and the huntsman nod and draw back their bows as the rest of the party prepares for the fight. 3 arrows streak out, 2 mountain lions easily dodge the flying wound bees, but the huntsman –being the better shot – hits home. However, a lone arrow does little to the great cat. Then on cue, 5 mountain lions silently charge the party. Gracefully bounding over dead falls around tree trunks and through the large ferns.
Egeorgar, in his excitement, forgets to raise shield to block the lion’s attack and readies his sword to stab the lion. A stab that the lion easily avoids (or if it hits does little to no damage) and then the lion’s claws and fangs rip at the scout. This is repeated time and time again with the scout’s leather armor taking claw and bite and the scout doing little to no damage to the lion. Soon enough, the scout begins to back towards the party (the ilf seeing this yells for him to stop and not bring the cat the scout was fighting back to the party because they were having enough trouble of their own).
The party, nearly every person fighting a cat of their own, was bealry holding their own as the cat’s quick reflexes defeated all but the best of the party’s sword axe and spear attacks. Only Sir Edwin’s attacks – after dropping his great sword and pulling a more nimble sword and beginning to use it – was making significant effect against the lions. Then, through the shadows on the trail another mountain lion saunters down the path. Though it was a cat it had a near human look to its eyes and a malicious cleverness seemed to surround it. Ebeorgar, being the closest to the beast yells a warning out, but the cat ignores the scout and heads toward the knight, that was finally besting his opponent. However, Elebereth, the ilf spell caster, smiles in anticipation. This is what he was waiting for. His spell completed just as the cat reached the knight. As she attacked Sir Edwin, the spell wrapped biting chains of painful mystic energy around the beast’s hind legs. This and the pain from the chains slow the beast enough for the knight to kill the lion he was fighting and then battle the pride’s leaderess.
Antal was the next to fell his opponent, and he quickly, with a deft strike of his sword, helped master Hile kill the lion he had been fighting. Egor finally kills the lion he had been fighting and moves to help Sir Edwin with the lioness. Ebeorgar continues to be battered backwards by the lion he was fighting while Antal moves to help the master huntsman with the lion that had been mauling him.
Soon the lioness falls to the combined effect of Elebereth’s spell, Edwin and Egor’s swords, and the lion ravaging the huntsman was killed by him, Antal, and others from the party. The ilf mage turns to begin casting a spell at the lion Eboergar was battling, but before he could finish, the scout and one time poacher stabs out and skewers the beast. He then drops to his knees gasping from the fight and the gashes he had received.
The party takes a moment to survey the results of the battle. All are bruised battered and scratches, but none critically so. However, the master huntsman had taken quite a beating and Eboergar was in nearly as bad shape as the huntsman. All of the fighter types in the party had received significant damage to their armor (all wearing leather as they were hunting) But, all of the mountain lions were dead. The 3 woodsmen of the group set to work skinning the cats (the scout promising to offer the hide of the one he killed – on his own with no assistance – to Uller god of the hunt. Then the party scouted the area. Finding corps after corps of rotting animals killed and left to lie by the lions.
Eboergar, afraid of some type of disease spreading from the rotting animals, builds a huge pyre and moves all the carcasses – including the lions – to the pile of wood to burn them. Soon a huge pillar of fire reaches up to the heavens, and the party trudges back to the camp.
There Father John sets to praying for healing for the party and their bruises and cuts mend from the divine blessing. As the ecleastic father does this, Elebereth set to work quizzing the arcane powers he has access to. Soon finding out that the lions were cursed and controlled buy a malign spirit, and that the spirit was still in the area and angry thrusting for revenge.
As night fell and the 2 other hunters return from their trekking, surprised at the mountain lion pelts stretched to dry and begin to tan, and the stories that were tale about the lions, Eboergar notices something off about the little dark haired Slavic hunter. Soon enough the Norse scout has his best smile on his face, a flask of the knight’s good brandy in hand, and hunting stories aplenty on the tip of his tongue. A smile a swig and another joke eventually gets the hunter to open up more than he had before. Eventually a lose tongue speaks more than it wished to. A past life in a town, a jilted and abandoned wife, a need to start a new in the woods, and a wife that eventual followed into the camp but wound never bother anyone again. …
The scout, soberer than the Slavic huntsman, tells the tale to the rest of the party as the Slav wobbles his way to his bead roll. More spells will be needed. The ilf rest till midnight, and soon the party is awake under the moon as the ilf digs for more information from the mystic powers. Yes the wife is the spirit murdered and left by the Slav rogue turned huntsman. Yes she will possess more animals and cause more harm until her corps is found an laid to rest. Yes it is in the area of the cave the mountain lion used, but it is not next to close to the cave.
Sun rise finds the party awake and ready for their grim work. The Norse master huntsman knows something is happening, but the party was unable to tell him specifics before the other 2 hunters leave their shack. The party spread around the camp grim faced quickly halts the normal morning banter of the huntsmen.
Eboergar speaks out “You are arrested, under the power and authority of a knight of the realm; you are arrested for murder most foul. Halt, drop your weapons and huntsman’s tools (knowing that the slave was deadly proficient with the throwing knives he favored) and thins will go better for you” The Slavic hunter looks confused then argues back. But the ilf mage quickly cuts him off and tells all the party knows. The Slav reaches for a knife, and hands go to weapon hilts.
Eboergar steps in front of the Norse huntsman mentor and friend to the Slav “This fight is not yours. I know he is your friend and you and drawn to defend him, but he had done a deed that stains his hands and his heart with blood and evil. Stay your hand, and hold. Do not be drawn into his evil”
The Slav continues to argue and waiver between fighting or running, but soon enough Antal is ready to fight. However, the Slav finally realizing he has no hope in fighting and would not escape if he tried to run, so he drops his weapons and eventually confesses to the foul crime. The 2 other hunters are aghast that he could murder his wife and would leave her body abandoned in the woods. Worse he admits to throwing it into the pond south of the mountain lion cave.
The party, with the 3 hunters – the Slav’s hands tied and wrap around his neck so he wouldn’t run – in tow. As they approach the pond an evil presence is felt and the friend and hunting companion to the slave begins to get very uneasy. Then at the edge of the pond, a swarm of huge water beetles explode from the water and streak toward the party. This is too much for the Slav’s mentor. He drops his bow and runs toward the hunting camp. However the camp’s hunt master stays with the party as twice before they have fought side by side with him. The Slav, even if he wanted to run couldn’t with the rope around his neck, could only scream and beg for someone to untie his hands.
The swam engulfs the party, all except for Eboergar who dove into the pond as the water beetles flew towards the group. He gasping a lung full of air swims to the bottom to search for the murdered lady’s corps in hopes of stopping the curse before the bugs or worse could kill the party.
Beetle after beetle land and bite the party members. However, they are easy enough to crush with gloved hand, booted foot or shield. However, with his hand tied the Slav murder could do no such thing, and second after second, minute after minute the beetles pinched bit and ripped at him. Soon, all were rid of the beetles except for the Slav No pitty was felt when one last bettle bore it way into his nose and burst into his brain. Soon crawling out the murders now unhearing ear.
Eboergar at that moment feels a tangle of hair waiving in the water. A quick prayer to any god that would help and bless him, and he feels for the body the hair belongs to. In the much on the bottom of the pond he finds the bloated (but surprisingly not overly decomposed) body of the murdered wife. With a tug he frees her from the muck and cuts away the rocks tied to her hands and feet. Running out of air he swims to the surface dragging the corps with him.
Soon a grave is dug and rocks are piled on top of the murdered wife.
“Now what with him” someone says kicking the beetle eaten Slavic murder’s feet. Antal spits and whispers let him rot. All nod, all but Ebeorgar. “I’ve been mauled by evil possessed mountain lions and swam looking for a corps that I hoped wasn’t hate filled enough to grab me and pull me into and hold me in the muck at the bottom of that pond. I won’t risk him doing more mischief after he is dead at our hands. Justifiably or not. I won’t leave him here like this”. Soon enough all have thought on it and agree.
A fire big enough for the weasel of a Slav’s body is blazing, and when it dies down the ashes are gathered and scattered into the 4 winds.
At the camp the party finds the Norse hunter shaken, but soon enough he is calmed enough. He quickly agrees that burial is only so much of what the Slavic lady deserved. He agrees that her family deserves to know the trough but also that she is now properly buried and cared for. Also, that the monies from the Slavic murder’s pelts and meat should go to her family. Then the party settles down to a somber evening around the fire, no jokes are told and no stories are traded this evening. Not after this day.
Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:26 am
The hunters’ camp site was a quiet grim place for over 3 days as the party went about the chores required to repair their damaged armor. All avoided talking about the happenings at the pond, the gruesome death of the murdering Slav and the burial of the water bloated corps of his one-time wife.
However, grim inactivity is not a condition this group can long maintain. So, after all the repairs were completed and the needed chores around the camp site were caught up the discussions began on what to do next.
Hunt the area – that can be done while doing other more exciting things
Explore the cave of ‘the temptress rock’ – Ebeorgar was leery of such an enchanted task, so steered the party away from that.
Look into the griffins – a family of magical flying vicious beasts also worried Ebeorgar, so again look to something that they should be able to more easily handle.
Look into the oak tree surrounded by bear bones (and presumably the tree or something around it killing the bears) – still dangerous, but at least in the realm of what Ebeorgar can understand. Plus, the bow of the fellow hunters and the sword arm of Sir Edwin and Antal should be able to deal with a tree even if it can kill a bear or 2. So the decision was made. To the tree.
Knowing they were walking into a fight, the party members all put on their sturdiest armor and did not worry about quiet or stealth. The 2 hunters at the camp debated coming along. Orswen, still shaken from the huge attacking water beattels – and the death (justifiable as it was) of his friend decided to run his trap lines and do some mundane hunting. However, Torgan, despite warning of the dangers of the area and his fear of a tree that could so easily kill bears, decided to follow his friends to the tree.
Ebeorgar took the lead followed by Egor, Antal and Sir Edwin. The arcane users followed behind, and Torgan, being a master huntsman and archer, followed behind to cover all the party with his great bow. Soon enough Ebeorgar was to the edge of the clearing. He crouched down and took a good long slow view of the clearing and tree atop the hillock in the middle.
A huge ancient oak tree atop a hill surrounded by grass the clearing the tree some 150 ft or further from the edge of the woods, just over 75 ft from the trees were the sun bleached bones of bears, looking through the grass, the one-time poacher counted at least 8 sets of bones. Oddly, the bones looked undisturbed. As if the bear simply laid down and died, then nothing – not even a mouse – disturbed them. This worried the scout. Bones like that were a prime source of food for scavengers and they should be gnawed and scattered about. This worried the scout!
Soon enough he had convinced himself there had to be some spell on the area or some poison to the grass. However, a scouts job is to scout so a deep breath, a prayer to Miliki the Maid if the Forest, and a rope tied around his waist – to pull him back to safety when the spell or poison overcame him – and the scout stalked out into the grass.
25, 50, 75 ft, and coming to the end of the rope, and nothing out of the ordinary. He was to the bear bones and close enough to look at them in more detail. Again, nothing had disturbed them, not a wolf fang, or mouse tooth. This troubled the scout even more, but still nothing dangerous appeared. Sone more step and … from the trees to the north, a rumbling growl and the cracking of tree limbs, followed by the sound of creaking leather. Ebeorgar spun around peering towards the noise. Seconds later, a lizard like head cleared the tops of the pine trees, and then a giant brown re scaly body with 2 huge wings.
The scout yelled a curse and a warning, pulled down the helm he had on the back of his head – to better see as he moved through the grass, and raise his shield. With a great heave of his wings, the monster rose above the trees and again roared. Sir Ewin, recognizing the beast from drawings he had seen and stories he had heard around the feast hall in his father’s holdings, yelled Wyren and all in the party readied for the coming battle. Elebereth yelled to the scout to run for safety. But the scout, knowing he would not make the run in time and also knowing all traps needed bate shook his head no hit his shield with his sword three times to ready himself for the fang and talon of the beast, and readied a cry to Thor. A cry that was drowned by the wyren’s own roar. Then the monster was diving toward the lone figure in the grass covered clearing.
Egor, and Elebereth blinked once twice at the scene unfolding, something was wrong, the wyren wasn’t right. As the scout leaped and rolled away from the beasts killing breath, and the talon swipe that followed it, the grass didn’t move right. Didn’t the scout jump through the bones to avoid the beast’s tale, and the bones are still undisturbed … something is wrong. Then Egor looks to the tree on the hill top and sees the shape of a maid silhouetted in the sun light with arm raised and dagger pointing toward the scout. Then in his sight the wyrn becomes little more than smoke and vapors and weak echoes of far off sounds. The huntsman takes off running to his friend fighting for his life.
The scout, fearing for his life and hoping that soon arrows would streak toward the beast from the woods where his friends remained in safety, leapt from another attack from the wyrn. Then seeing his friend Egor running from the trees frowned grimly. Arrows were needed not another body for the wyrn to rend and tare. Moments later, before the wyrn could try a batter the scout with tail of wing, the huntsman leapt onto the scout knocking him to the ground, and yelled “It isn’t real! Stop!!!” The scout raised his shield and blocked the wyrn’s talon swipe. Feeling the bone jarring hit through the shield yelled “You are daft, raise your axe or we both die”
Others, after arguing back and forth, in the woods too began to yell for the scout to stop. Elebereth chanting a spell to counter the bespelling power on the hill. Finally, with a face stinging slap, the scout too sees through the illusion that had been hovering above him ready to land a killing blow. Confused and shaking his head, looking around as the wyrn and then even the bear bones disappeared. “What devil or witchery is this” looking first to the ilf mage for answers and then looking around eyes stopping on the tree toped hill.
Next to the tree, a maid, the picture of natural beauty, stood in bewildered fear. Seconds later Torgan ran from the woods yelling “I’m soooo sorry, I tried to stop them” in a dead run he leaves behind the party and is soon standing next to the maid. Giving her a loving hug, and then turning to the party. “You will do NO harm to this tree or this maid while I live. We have shared blood and danger, but that will end here and now if you advance.”
After some time, and talking between the party and to the master hunter, all weapons were lowered and all understood that no danger from the party came to the ancient oak tree and the maid/dryad that resided in/with the tree. Furthermore, questions were asked about getting a sprout from the tree or an acorn and planting it in another place in the forest to help grow and spread the ancient magic tied to the tree. Sadly, the acorns from the oak were slow to ripen and slow to sprout, so none were ready to be planted.
Eventually, Eboergar screw up his nerve to the sticking point and asked his friend, Torgane the master hunter, if he could be allowed to speak to the dryad. Torgan said it was not in his power to say yes or no. That she would talk to who she wished and without her allowing it none would be blessed with hearing/feeling/experiencing he voice. The one time poacher removed his armor, laid down his weapons and approached the fey beauty of the woods. As a follower of Meliki, the scout was in awe of the opportunity, and over awed when he heard the dryad’s sweet voice ringing in his mind. Ebeorgar told the beauty he followed the Mai of the Woods, only second to Uller – the god of the hunt, and was honored by the chance to glimpse one blessed to Meliki and hear her speak. He also swore a deep binding oath to protect her and her tree. That if she called he would come as fast as he could to offer any aid he could. Also, that if ever a chance to plant a sapling from the tree, he would be honored to be the one chosen to do so.
As the scout and the dryad talked, the master huntsman was given permission to harvest 3 limbs from the tree. 3 limbs that could be used to make preternatural bows. After the discussion was over, the scout turned to return to his friends at the foot of the hill. As he walked past a low drooping limb, he removed a neckless from around his neck and hung it on the limb. The neckless, though of little value, being of old tarnished silver with a boars tusk as the medallion, to others it was greatly prize by the scout. The silver was a gift from his mother, the boar tusk from the first large game he killed with either bow or spear. Though the neckless was valuable to the scout, the memory of meeting the dryad, and the echo of her voice in his heart and soul was more valuable still.
For over 3 days Torgan, with assistance from the 3 bow users in the party, worked the wood taken form the ancient magical oak tree into preternatural bows. Bows custom made for the 3 archers in the party. Elebereth‘s bow was finished with ilfin runes of power. Ebeorgar’s bow was carved with the symbols of Uller (God of the Hunt) and Milliki (Goddess/maid of the Forest). Then with ash darkened the bow and with charred coal blackened the carvings and waxed it to preserve the stain. Egor preferred his bow to be more plain so only had his initials in runes carved into the bow.
During the work, the party talked with the master hunter about plans before the coming of winter. Soon it was easily agreed that the party, in a few weeks, would take the dried meat from the years hunting and the skins from the animals to the village to the south (or better yet the town further to the south but with a better market).However, before plans were completed Orswan packed his dried meat and skins – along with the meat and skins from the murder Slavic hunter – and left the camp. As such, the party, along with Torgan, had to redouble their efforts in hunting and preparing the meat and skins in order to trade enough for Torgan to over winter more comfortably and safely through the winter.
However, the party being of adventures sorts could not simply set by ad hunt. A cave nearby still needed to be explored and the rumor of the temptress rock in it needed to be investigated. So, early the next morning the party went to explore the cave to the NE. Before they left, Torgan with a grim set to his shoulders said he could not go with them. That he felt unease near the cave and would not willingly go into its darkness.
Ebeorgar smiled at his friend and wished him happy and safe hunting. Then the scout and Egor lead the party into the woods. However, before they had traveled more than a mile, Eboergar spied a buck through the woods and ferns. A quick shot with his new bow and the party was dragging the deer back to the camp to dress and hang it. With the experienced hunters this took little extra time. Then, before the sun was even close to noon the party was again trekking toward the cave.
Soon, the party was standing below a limestone outcropping on the side of a large ridge line. Up above, a pitch black maw in the rock. Before the party could begin the climb, Hile looked down at the rock and rubble at the base of the cliff and exclaimed. “Look at this” the rest of the party stared blankly at him until he exclaimed the pebble in his hand was a precious stone in its raw uncut and unpolished state. Then, ropes were tied and the fleet of foot in the party climbed to rock face and helped pull the rest of the party up to the pitch dark cave angling down into the heart of the hill.
Elebereth with his ilf eyes lead the way into the darkness behind him, eboergar following behind carried a lamp so the rest of the party could see in the ever increasing inky blackness. Further down, the party walked into a widening room in the cave. Nothing out of place was seen, no ‘lady’ nor ‘temptress’ in the rock. However, at the far end of the grotto a hole was seen that led further back and further own into the oppressive darkness.
As the party traveled down the hall, into a second hollow, the arcane users in the party began to feel darkness more oppressive than the lack of light in the cavern. Soon all in the party felt the unease permeating the area. At the party looked around this new room, they found a lump of rock in the back of the cave.
As light splashed across the rock, no, it didn’t look like a supine lady, just a clump of rock. But, now … isn’t that her head. Is that her arm, look at that is it the swell of hips. Now, yes, she was there. A pile of rocks that could be shaped like the rough features of a woman. However, where the maid of the tree was natural beauty personified, this thing had a more sinister feel. But still, it is only a pile of rocks.
Eboergar looked around to his friends and shrugged, bit then, crack, clatter, rumble. The rocks began to crack and crumble, shift and fall. A second/eternity later, the rocks explode into a dusty cloud. The scout shines the light from the lantern he carried high over his head into the space where previously the rock had been. Now an empty hole in the cave floor. A warning was called out and hands griped more tightly the weapons carried. Spells leapt to the mind of those so skilled.
A soft sound of something falling/descending from the ceiling was heard in the middle of the room. The party turned and say a temptress in dusty gray stone flesh. A temptress she was and dressed accordingly with a translucent shift enhanced with stones that caught and reflected the lamp’s light. But the reflection deepened the dread in the gloom. The form of the rock maid was that of a temptress in every sense. All accept her face, which was a dark sinister arrogant sneer, and her delicate hands that were covered by black ominous gloves (which ended in inches long, nearly useable, claws/nails). Despite the shapely form of the thing, and the alluring movement of her body, the word demon came to the mind of each of the party members. Even Egor who was painfully susceptible to the alluring effects of the female from.
With a snarl, and with blinding speed, she struck out, Sir Edward stepped aside from the first swipe of the gloved hand. However, before he could rise his sword to strike back, her second gloved hand found its mark (sinking through his armor as if it did not exist). The damage caused the knight to gasp, then more disturbingly, he could feel his life force being drawn away. The knight stabbed out and the sword dug into the rock demoness.
Other weapons were brought against the fiend, but none dug into her shapely form. Seconds later, Father John finished his spell and the knight’s speed increased to super natural speed. Then Elebereth finished his spell and the temptress hissed as the spell wrapped around her. The spell tightened down and slowed her but then she smiled as the spikes of arcane energy failed to dig into shapely stone/flesh of her legs.
With his unnatural speed, the knight was able to attack her first and bring his sword around for a second strike too. She dodged the first swing of the sword, but then made the mistake of lunging toward the party member carrying the lamp so the party could see in the darkness. This opened the demoness up to the knight’s second attack, an attack that dug deep into her side. However, as his sword sliced into her, the knight felt more of his life force being sucked away.
The temptress’ gloved hand shot out and dug deep into the chest of the scout. Fortunately, he was able to keep from dropping the lamp. He then gasped a second time when he too felt more life force being sucked away. Egor, struck out and though his sword didn’t cut as deep as the knight’s it did hit home. Antal too slashed out and drew blood.
The demoness turned and hissed and readied to lunge at the bravo. However, before she could strike, knight, hunter, scout, and bravo attacked with abandon. The temptress screamed and shuttered as she fell under the rain of blows. Without hesitation Antal stepped forward and struck her head from her neck. All sided with relief, but then the knight and his sergeant (Ebeorgar) gasped as more of their life force was pulled away.
Father John & Elebereth began to cast spells to heal (which worked to replace the damage but then more health was sucked away from the 2 struck by the gloves) and then spells to try and halt the leach like effects of the attacks. Finally, in desperation the scout pulled the gloves off the demoness’ hands. That, or Elebereth’s last spell finally ended the pulling away of their health.
After the fight was ended, the party surveyed the cave more closely. Hile exclaimed at the vain of precious stones in the room’s wall. Then, Antal pulled the gem incrusted shift off the now dead female form. Eboergar shuttered at the beauty of her even after her death and purposely pulled the image of the dryad to the front of his mind to help erase the thought of the demoness’ corrupted beauty. Even then, the scout could not easily stand the oppressive darkness of the cave.
Soon, the knight, the scout and the hunter were back out in sunlight, and spent the rest of the day hunting. However, the remainder of the party remained in the cave and scratched out stone after stone. As the sun set, and the party gathered around the fire they told the master hunter the tale of their fight in the darkness. The huntsman made the sign to keep away evil and then stared up at the stars covering the night sky.
Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:09 am
I think you got everything.
Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:15 am
I just noticed I didn’t post this last week … here you go
The party, resting from their recent adventures at the hunting camp, began planning their future endeavors. Go to the North and try to capture a gryphon or at least see if they had eggs or hatchlings in their layer/nest. Eboergar argued against that idea, yet again, not liking the thought of attacking magical beasts and hopes of subduing them, or trying to skulk into their layer or climb into their nest and steel their eggs or younglings. Being one of the party’s 2 skilled stalkers, this sounded overly dangerous and likely lead to a personally painful encounter for the one time poacher.
Travel to the east to the area’s logging camp. To Eboergar that sounded like a better (safer) decision than trying to trap flying magical beast. A simple 3 or 4 day trip through the woods, sell the meat from the season’s hunts (keeping the pelts to trade in a village or town later for better profit), see if there are any interesting things in the loggers camp area, then return to the hunters’ camp in a week or 3. Limited danger with a bit of profit. That sounded like a good idea to the ranger and others in the party.
Travel to the south, back to the nearest hamlet or further south to the village/town. When there, trade the hunting camp’s pelts (and possibly even meat, depending on the market) for supplies needed for the winter. Antal liked the idea of returning to civilization (beer, wine, brandy and women to be exact) as did other party members.
Before the decision was made, Torgan‘s brother strode into camp. The familial reunion was a joyful one. An event that resulted in more beer being quafed and stories being shared. Ebeorgar telling of the party’s adventures around the camp. Soon, Torgan‘s brother stood up and told of a new danger, and a heroic quest associated with the danger, developing to the north. The area around the Shadow Jarls’ valley had been plagued, some saying cursed, with ill luck, failed crops and deaths. The local meisters and burgers village leaders had called for adventures and those of heroic spirits to come and explore the area to help lift the plague/curse. Throughout the summer, heroes and adventurous groups had head the call for aid and traveled to the area and then into the valley of the shadow Jarls. By the time Torgan‘s brother had left the area to visit him at the hunting camp, 4 groups (along with a few individuals) had disappeared into the valley never to be heard from again.
The story, and the beer shared around the campfire, emblazed the heroic spirit of all the party. Before the night was deep, all agreed that taking up the call to explore the valley and help lift the curse was the next fate the norns had weaved for them. The next day, the party prepared to leave the camp that had been their home for the last 2 – 3 months. Ebeorgar took time to visit the dryad’s tree once more and promise her aid if it was even needed, and later swore a similar oath to Torgan .
The next morning the party decamped and began the 2 to 3 week trip to area south of the valley of Shadow Jarls. Elbereth had offered to use his arcane powers to transport the group there. However, as it would have taken at least 3 days, and even then may have required the party to leave their horses at the hunters’ camp (and more than likely never see them again). With that in mind, the party decided the overland trek was better than trusting the elf’s magic transportation.
Later that day, after traveling 10 – 12 miles, Ebeorgar & Egor halted the party. Ahead the woods had been cleared. Eborgar carefully stalked to the edge of the tree line and spent a good while surveying the clearing while Egor watched to woods to make sure nothing snuck upon the group from the surrounding woods. Soon enough, Ebeorgar began to notice very interesting details. The trees had fallen, but been left to rot where they fell (so not loggers harvesting for lumber) , but also the trees had been felled by some form of tool or axe, so the clearing was not caused by weather or a natural cause. Additionally, scattered throughout the clearing, between the logs and the few trees remaining standing trees, there were small vines and even here or there he could see cordage. These would be trip wires to some form of trap. Finally, in other areas, piles of leaves & branches looked … wrong … pit fall traps. Mumbling to himself “If I wished to waylay unwary travelers, this is what I’d do” . Quietly, carefully, the one-time poacher stalked back to the party and warned them of what he saw.
Before he could finish, Elbereth used more of his ilfin magic and the shadows bent themselves around the ilf. Making him all but invisible in the shaded woods. He hurried off through the woods scouting a safe path for the party to follow. As Ebeorgar shook his head at the ilfs haste and prepared to follow him, the ilf carelessly stepped over a dead fall. Placing his foot down firmly on a dead dried twig. The snap echoed through the woods and from under the log a squirrel hoped up and chattered at the shadow hidden ilf. Childlike laughter echoed out from a corps of trees to the south followed by a hoot of excitement. Moments later 4 fey beings ran through the woods
The creatures were small ( about 3 ft tall give or take) and dressed in light brown and forest green cloths (perfect to blend into the woods) their skin was neither brown no tan, more of a dun color. They had a child like look to them, but underneath that there was a look and feel of malice and danger to them. They each had a shoulder bag (that turns out to be full of rocks) and a hatchet stuck behind their belt. One of them had a spear – sized for his diminutive size. They laughed skipped and jogged toward the noisy ilf. However, without excessive fast movement the ilf’s spell kept him shadow cloaked.
The fey creatures (turned out to be maleficent cousins to brownies called dunnies) peered into the shadows. Eventually, the one with the spear called out and pointed “There he is, he is standing right there. Don’t you see him” shaken heads and nos were his answer. However, one said, “I may not see him, but I bet he won’t like what I do to him anyway” and a snapped finger results in caltrops raining down in the woods surrounding the ilf by 20 feet. The dunnies laughed at the joke. The one with the spear whistled loudly and then turned and threw his spear at the ilf. The spear stuck into the ilf cloak but did little damage to him.
Egor, peering through the woods saw the dunnies and quickly loosed an arrow. However, as he was at a good distance his shot (even with his bow’s preternatural abilities) missed the mark. Ebeorgar rounded a stand of trees and saw the dunnies standing and pointing at the general area he believed the ilf was. He carefully drew back his new bow and let fly an arrow. One of the fey creature stumbled as the arrow struck him full in the shoulder. A grievous wound, but not a killing blow. Father John began to pray for divine speed and passed the resulting boon to Sir Edwin, who mounted his horse and prepared to charge. Antal the bravo, followed by Hile, ran through the woods, but decided to skirt into the clearing to get a better view.
A vine that Antal stepped on, as he ran through the tangle of fallen trees, seemed rather tight … A log snaps free from its restraints as the trap is sprung and crashes into the running Bravo. Knocking him down and stunning him. This halts Hile in his run, but the 3 dunnies (the ones that hadn’t seen the ilf) turn and woop at the sight of the prone swashbuckler and the hermit standing in the middle of their trapped field. The 3 dunnies turn and run towards the 2 and begin to throw stones and rocks at the prone target. These rocks rain down on Antal, smashing, gashing and bruising him nearly as much as the log trap had. The hermit Hile began to chant a spell, but the stress of the moment overcame his ability to control the mental powers he possessed. Likewise Elebereth too began to chant a spell, and the dunnie that had remained there watching him, smirked, shook his head and a finger, saying “no, no, no, magic words aren’t playing fair”. Before the ilf could finish his spell, the fey creature snapped his fingers and the ilf’s feet flew from the ground and he crashed flat of his back. The fall disrupting the spell.
A whistle and woops from the south alerted the party to more dunnies running towards them with “Oh we are going to get to play too” , “These look like they will be fun to play with”. Then 4 more dunnies come into view . Sir Edwin turns his horse and thunders towards the 4. The look of glee turns to surprise as the charger gallops through the woods and the knight is swinging his sword. The attack at the end of the charge leaves one dunnie with a sword gashed shoulder and tumbling and rolling to avoid the chargers steal shod hooves. The three left standing blink in surprise and one is quick witted enough to use his fay magics to trip the horse. The 3 begin to laugh at the sight of the falling knight who ends with his leg trapped under the horse. However the laughter ends when an arrow takes one full in the throat. Ebeorgar smiles down at the power and accuracy of his new bow and begins to notch another arrow. Father John rides into the fray (having finished another prayer for quick reflexes) and swings his weapon but it passes harmlessly above the short fey.
Hile jumps behind a log to avid the rocks tbe 3 dunnies continued to throw, and after a few more bounce off the swashbuckler he too rolls behind the log for better cover. Elebereth, knowing he would be unable to finish a spell before the dunnie facing him would again trip him, leaps for a limb in the nearby tree. However, the ilf misses the limb and crashed down into the area scattered with caltrops. Then he sprints to the south out of the area. The dunnie laughs too hard at the site to be effective at stopping the ilf. But when he sees him fleeing to the south he runs after him laughing at the new game. Egor, seeing the 3 dunnies move into the clearing to better target the 2 behind the log takes aim at them and fires. The arrow strikes home, but is not a killing blow – leaving 2 of the 3 there injured .
Sir Edwin pushes up on the mount who, like the well trained war horse he is, rolls over and out of the way and the knight pushed up to his knee and stabs the dunnie who he had earlier slashed in the charge. The sword bites home and the fey drops lifelessly to the ground. Ebeorgar looses another arrow and it strikes home but does not fell the fey. Additionally, father john’s attack too hits home but does not overly harm the dunnie. The 2 fey creatures clap their hands and a green obscuring mist covers the area and the 2 laugh and turn to run. The knight curses and leaps on his horse and charges through the mist soon followed by father John.
From behind the log, Antal kneels up and tosses a balanced throwing knife at the 3 dunnies, missing. But Egor arrow hits home and drops one of the previous injured dunnies. The 2 remaining there turn and look, snapping their fingers in mid turn and showering the area around the log with caltrops, seeing Ebeorgar drawing another arrow and preparing to fire at the dunnie chasing Elbereth. One snaps his finger and the ranger is knocked flat. However, after the fall he grabs his shield and raises it before the stones the 3 (the 2 running from the log and the one that halts his chase of the ilf) launch at the prone target. Getting the shield up in the nick of time, the rocks mostly fall harmlessly and do little damage. Hile finally finishes his arcain power and the 3 dunnies see the ilf they just watched turn and run into the woods to the south west – taking refuge by the archer – jump out of the woods and sprint in front of everyone and off to the east. Confusion crosses the dunnies face.
The knight’s charge soon clears the green mist and moments later he is on top of the dunnies fleeing to the south. Sword and horse hoof soon end ones life. Father John soon clears the fog and rides towards the one remaining in the south. It takes a little time but soon enough between the knight and the priest the dunnie is dead.
Antal & Hile jump ontop of a nearby log to clear the area scattered with caltrops, and soon enough they are free form the area. Hile maintains his concentration to keep his spell functioning. The 3 dunnies continue to look confused seeing the ilf running through the woods to the east. Then turn to chase after him. Before they can go, Antal’s knife throw is more skilled this time and one dunnie falls. Seconds later, Egor ‘s arrow and Elbereth’s spell (who is still crouched by the archer, despite what the dunnies think they see fleeing through the woods to the east) takes the life of one more. That leaving 1 dunnie. The lone fay makes a rude gesture at the 2 figures in the clearing and turns to sprint off after the fleeing ilf. Before his 3rd step, Ebeorgar’s arrow slams into his back and crumples the fey there in mid step. The dunnie is dead before he stops rolling from the momentum of his run and the impact of the arrow.
Soon, all are gathered together discussing what to do next. During the talk, Father John & Elbereth heal some of the damage to Antal, from the log and stone. By the time the discussing is finished, most of his gashes and bruises are mended, but there is still some light damage left. Quickly, it is decided that it is best for all if they simply leave the area and not try to track the fey back to their layer. It is believed that the little fay child monsters are social and communal (amongst themselves) so it is more than likely the 8 they just faced are only a small portion of the village. The thought of facing dozens or even hundreds of the beasts sent shivers down the back of the party, especially Antal’s as he was painfully close to death from their log trap and the rocks they hit him with.
Ebeorgar nods in agreement with the unanimous decision then takes out his hatchet and begins to behead the bodies. Before they go he hangs the heads in the trees as warnings of the danger to any huntsmen that may stumble into the area. Then tosses the bodies into the clearing hoping that when the others come from the village they just may trip one or 2 of their own traps when they recover their dead.
Now to hurry out of the area before nightfall finds them too close to the dunnies’ territory.
Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:34 am
Good stuff, thanks for writing this!
Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:52 am
The party traveled for some time after the encounter with the dunnies. Luckily, there were no further encounters or misadventures. Finally, they arrived at the Jarls meeting hall and the surrounding village. For 3 days the party rested, while the Jarl’s priestess cured the residual injuries, prepared a major blessing for their coming heroic task. In this time, Sir Edwin mended the party’s armor, and Ebeorgar reveled in being surrounded by fellow Norse. Ale and mead flowed freely, stories (and lies) were exchanged and all (even Egor) enjoyed their time of rest and preparation for the upcoming quest to clear the Valley of the Sleeping Jarls and the surrounding area of the evils that had descended on the area.
However, the time was not truly spent in idleness. Father John received the boon of being taught one of the rites the priestess was willing to teach a priest of powers for Slavic lands. Additionally, Ebeorgar, and his gift of storying, teased out some information and rumors regarding the ‘Valley of the sleeping Jarls’ and the evils that have befallen the surrounding area. First, the previous priest of the northern gods had a wondering eye and took many mistresses. one of which was buried with him, however, apparently in the afterworld, his lust for her has slacked and his spirit is restless and will remain so until her remains are removed from his burial mound.
As the party readied to leave at first light, most worse the ware from the feasting the previous night, the priestess chanted a great prayer of them and all felt the beneficial power of the benevolent northern powers. The power was a great blessing that would ward off many baneful spirits. However, the power would only last for 4 days, so the party would need to travel with due haste.
Hour after hour the party traveled into the stark wilderness toward the NE and they crossed paths with many fleeing freeman farmers and their kith and kin. Time after time the same stories. Evil stalking the land, crops destroyed before the harvest, livestock killed, all of which were hard news but not to be unexpected in these harsh northern lands. However, other darker evils were also whispered of. Dead children coming back and crying for their parents, dead kin accosting their previous holdings, corpses and skeletons desecrating and raiding burial mounds (and carrying off the corpses that had until then laid in peaceful sleep).
The freemen refugees were not the only thing the party saw, time and time again, a flock of strange vile looking crows shadowed them. Crows normally would have been an irritation and an evil enough omen. However, these crows were more so. Sickly looking and with vulture like heads and too long beaks. Evil and foul fowl that they were. Eventually Ebeorgar took out a precious gold coin, made a sign over it, and tossed it toward the murder of crows, “May be that will buy off some of their ill will and bad luck”. After that the crows drifted off toward the east. Toward the general direction the party traveled.
Later that day, Ebeorgar and Egor scouted out a prime campsite, out of the wind, but also defendable. The one-time poacher and the hunter prepared the camp for ease of hiding and defense, pits were dug for the fire, fires banked low, and horses hidden, sites were prepped for secure watches through the night. After these preparations the party rested through an uneventful night. The next morning dawned clear and cool, the weaker southern blooded members of the party complained of the cold, but Ebeorgar, with his northern roots knew this was a nice fall morning, and the true deep cold would come soon enough.
The party traveled hard through the shortening northern day, and Ebeorgar traveling and scouting ahead spots a lone hooded figure trudging through the wilderness. Peering through the distance, he looks for clues to who or what the figure was. But he could find nothing out at this distance. As the figure drew closer he eventually made out that it was a she, and a human. Other than that the hooded cloak only showed hints of tattered clothing beneath, and no clear view of the figures face. The huntsman halted the group and then the lone figure halted and hesitantly waive a hand at the scout.
Ebeorgar, followed by the rest of the party, approached the figure with due caution , but also prepared to offer the hospitality expected and required in these norther realms between Norse – regardless of the clan. Proper curtasy used and questions asked. However, each answer put the Norse scout on edge a little more. Time after time, the answers left out as much information as they provided, or didn’t make sense considering the recent events. Things like her traveling from the NE and saying she would go to the east to stay with her kin (the area all had fled) but she would travel with the party headed the way she had traveled from. Things like her not being accepted with the freeman fleeing to the protection of the Jarl, but that she was the daughter of a freeman farmer and married to a freeman farmer. Things like her name being (translated as) daughter of a north wife, and her husband’s name being a Dane, and her father’s mane also being a Dane … Time and time again, something felt wrong.
The Norse scout confirmed his doubts by watching the 2 local huscarls that had traveled with them from the Jarl’s steading. Both kept looking doubtful and confused by her answer half answers and vailed lies.
“Wench, you lie and have used the last of my patience and soon hospitality will no longer be an option”
The party looked surprised at Ebeorgar’s change from friendly ‘sister’ to the hostile ‘wench’ in his speech. Egor shocked the most in the change. He always open and ready to offer hospitality, especially hospitality to a lady, and even more so to one that is fairly attractive, and an admitted widow.
With the change of tone in the questioning, the lady’s stare turned cold and she then smirked as she turned and marched out pushing past the party clustered around the party. Hissing, grumbling and mumbling. “Be that, we will see, we will see. I will see you soon in the halls of Hel”
As she walked away, the wind turned just enough for some in the party to hear them. A strange language,
Hile calls out “It’s magic, strong magic, a call to the sky”
The party blinks in surprise and then chaos as all begin to act.
Some run in different directions, Sir Edwin & Father John turn their horses and spur them to rush forward. Ebeorgar contemplates drawing his bow, but wisely raises his shield and begins to move. However, as he is the one that drew her ire, the spell is centered on where he stood so he had the furthest to run to be clear of the spell.
Before the scout could move 10 ft, stone after stone began to fall. Soon the area was battered by the egg sized stones. However most had cleared the area before the rain of stones did significant damage – Ebeorgar, and the 2 local guide/bodyguards being the ones stuck in the spells effects for a moment . However, Hile’s warning allowed even them to ready and receive less damage – though the three’s shields took a significant beating.
Sir Edwin’s horse pounded forward and his sword struck true, but he was shocked when he felt the cloak she wore resist some of the damage from the sword. He was doubly surprised, when in mid swing, an ugly orange serpentine imp appeared. The evil demonic fameliar struck at the knight with his stinger barbed tail. Though the demon did little damage, the tail did strike well enough to poison the knight. Father John followed behind, but his sword swing was not as accurate as the knights. Egor, mourning the loss of a chance to impress a lady and an admitted widow, drew back his bow string and loosed the arrow. A good shot and the arrow struck deep.
As the witch (and witch she was with the spell and the imp) stumbled from the blow of the arrow, Elbereth finished chanting a spell of his own. The witch screamed as agony wrapped around her leg and bit deep. Then, as soon as the Norse scout cleared the area being pelted with hail of stone, he dropped the battered shield and quickly drew and loosed an arrow. This too bit deep and again, the witch screamed in hatred and agony. She began to again chant a baneful spell, but the pain from the ilf’s spell slowed her.
The knight cursing lowered his head to avoid another sting rom the imp and swung his sword at the witch’s familiar, a swig that was to slow to hit the filtering demon. At the same time Father John, turning his horse, saw the exposed back and neck of the witch. He grits his teeth and stabbed with his sword. This time the weapon finds its mark and bites deep into the flawless white skin of the witch. Her chanting turns into a gurgle as she slumps and crumples into a heap at the feet of the priest’s horse.
Seeing his mistress’ demise, the imp curses the knight, the priest and the rest of the party and then flitters off quickly becoming invisible (before the huntsman and the Norse scout had a chance at shooting their wound bees at the demon and paying it back for its sting of the knight). Laughing and mocking, it is gone
The party gathers around the crumpled witch, but what was pretty fair skinned farmers wife, was changed and different, somehow. … The skin that once was white as milk was now not right, nor was it smooth. As they carefully removed her possessions from out of reach of the witch (never before facing a witch, none were sure just how dead a dead witch was), they noticed a crack around the base of her neck. A closer look, it was a mask … with it removed what had been a Norse lady, became a dark skinned crone, wrinkled and ugly.
A smirk from the Norse scout … looking at Egor “So brother, are you still hoping she warms you next to the fire tonight ….”
The party, pilfering through the crones possessions, find more than they expected, tablet after tablet spell after spell, a cloak resistant to the bite of weapons, and more.
But they couldn’t rest, enjoy their victory … Night would soon be falling, and the Valley of the Sleeping Jarls and the evil it held was still more than a day away.
They pushed hard through the afternoon and as the sun descended, the scout and hunter again began to look for a good defendable camp site. However, before the sun was an hour from setting the one time poacher saw movement in the distance. He warned the party and all spread out, readied for what may be coming. A group, around a wagon, no pushing the wagon. Pushing harder than what should be expected. As they drew closer, not a group of people, they were stronger than that, pushing harder than humans . Orcs, soon enough as they closed into bow range, the orcs noticed the party, the ones in the open any way.
The orcs, 4 normal, 3 lesser, but one huge beast – a greater orc –lead them
“You, there on the hill, we see you … You there, we have much, we no need more, you want ours, we fight. You not want our stuff, we go. We no fight.” … More insults are exchanged, & Antal yells (as best as he can with his scratchy voice) to leave the brandy … but the party agrees there is no real need to fight this fight. The orcs had done nothing wrong, looting what had been abandoned. Nothing more.
“That what we thought you no want to fight. We good at fight. Today, we already fought them that did not want to run”
They fought, murdered … not looted. Ebeorgar, with a grim twist to smirk glances at the knight. The knight on hearing them admit they had killed, frowned … nodded That is what the one-time poacher and now scout and knight’s squire looked for. He glances back at the local theigns, “Ready to lock shields, stay brave, remember your father’s name” … In a soothe motion his bow is drawn …
Before the string is to his ear, an arrow is loosed. Antal shoots before either the scout or the huntsman can draw and loose … the shot was perfect! The wound bee streaks out stinging the greater orc. Without a blink the scout loses and “blind luck, this is a real shot” before the arrow strikes, Egor loses his shot. As the arrow s arch out the Bravo smirks back “Yes luck, but luck drew the first hit this time” The 2 arrows also strike home and the Great orc yells in pain and anger … the yell is cut short ….
A shadow grows from behind the archers. Where the ilf had stood, now a … thing … morphing changing growing … ilf skin turns read and scaly. Ilf frame grows, wings burst from the thins back …
A red drake roars hatred and with a mighty flap of its wings is airborne
To his shame, Eboergar later realizes, he stood there maoth agape like a farm hand the whole time …
The drake roars again and a gout of flame engulfs the orcs
Antal curses and yells (as best as he can) ‘mind the brandy, don’t destroy the brandy’
The orcs scatter and run, all except their leader, he is chard and lifeless there where he stood.
The drake descends on the orcs, no more fire, now fang, claw, tail and wing.
The Norse scout finally realizes he was standing like a milk maid in awe and is able to close his mouth and regain some composure. Looking around, luckily, all were as enthralled as he so none were the wiser on his shock at watching the ilf/drake
After it has feed its hatred, the ilf/drake circles off scouting on wing ahead spying the entrance to the valley.
Some minutes later the beast returns and as it descends regains the form of the ilf. But by the time it returns, the party had already checked the orc pilfered wagon. Antal claiming the brandy, Ebeorgar replacing his battered shield with a new one, and others claiming what they needed. The scout rolls the local guide/body guards a keg of mead … “this will help you sleep tonight. But do not drink to hard nor sleep to deep. We will need all to be ready”
Glad you all like the recaps ... thanks for making the game fun where I can have good recaps to share !
Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:02 am
For 2 more days the party hurries to the valley of the Sleeping Jarls. Egor and Eboergar ever watchful. However, despite seeing more and more signs of the evil besetting the land, the only actively baneful creatures they spy are the ever present murders of evil vile corrupted crows. Soon enough even Eboergar, with his Norse superstitions regarding the vile birds and their ill luck, accepts their ever presence and stops trying to buy off the birds and the evil luck that is tied to their dark wings.
Afternoon on the second day, the party rides to the lip of the valley. While Egor finds a suitable camp site, and place to secure their horses, Eboergar squats at the lip of the valley and peers down into its depths. Even from this height, the keen eyes of the one-time poacher pick out vital information. Soon enough his hunter friend is by his side and the 2 discuss the signs they see below, how best to enter the valley, and what order to inspect the crypts, caves, and burial mounds in the valley. Also, all agree that under no circumstances would the party remain in the valley later than an hour before sunset. Though Sir Gothmyer had thought of trying to find a defensible place in the valley, his mind was changed when he tried to pull his warhorse into the valley. The brute would not budge closer to the lip of the valley than 3 ft.
Soon enough, Eboergar was following a well worn (and recently used) path down into the valley. The rest of the group on the top of the valley prepared to defend him if he was rushed from the valley floor. This gave the scout little comfort, Only Egor and Elebereth’s magical bows would offer him any aid. However, his worry was for not. He had no problem reaching the valley floor and searching the near area. Then with a waive to those above, and readying his own petranatural bow to defend them as the descended down the valley slope, the party entered the valley 2 at a time.
After all had entered the valley, the scout and the huntsman again began to search for track spore and sign. Easy enough to see, but the scout begins to notice some unsettling facts.
There are many crossing trails and tracks all made by human(ish) feet. However, some feet look to be unshod and some of them show signs of being more bone that feet. Some of the stacks had an odd ab normal stumbling halting gate, and though there are tracks meandering about, most eventually come together like streams feeding a river and this leads to specific cave/crypts in the valley.
Enough scouting, time to act … The first door to be checked. A round stone rune marked toumb covering heavy enough to need 2 or 3 strong men to roll. Luckily Sir Edwinwas strong enough and focused enough to, with great effort he rolls stone out of the way.
A dark recess cut back into the cliff wall. A foul smell filling the dark air. Now, how to clear the room, but first, what is in the room to clear ….
The scout took 3 clearing breaths … lights a torch and strides into the darkness. Soon enough one, two three Norse Berserker battle yourlps echo from the darkness and soon enough 3 shadows enter the dark filled room. The shadows form into inky blackness, darker than the beshadowed cave, and surround the scout. Their axes and swords raised, they rush the Viking scout that dared to enter their (cursed) resting place. Eboergar raises shield and blocks some of the swings but 3 berserks are too many to defend against. Axe and sword find their mark, … but pass through the scout with little harm. Eboergar, being a scout and not a warrior nor a mage nor a holly man, retreat out of the dark and back into the light. Followed closely by the shadows. Though the shriek and retreat once they hit the clear light of day.
Panting the scout looks to his friends who inter look at him all shrug … With a sigh, the scout returns back into the darkness. This time Egor, with his petranatural bow ready stands in the light. Moments pass, but then in the dark recesses More battle yorps echo out. This time the scout drops his torch, which still lights enough of the cave to be useful, and draws his bow. As the shadows appear and circle the scout, arrows begin to streak into the darkness. Some find their mark, and stick into the blackness that is the berserker shadows. Eventually, enough damaged is caused to drive them back into the shadows. However, Father John, after some though, believes the victory is short lived and that soon they will return. Maybe an hour maybe a night, but they will return. Unfortunately, none present have the powers and abilities to properly bless the grave and return the corrupted spirits to their proper rest.
After gathering the arrow, those that were not ruined by being fired into the cave wall, Eboergar – torch in hand – scouts the entrance to the next cave/crypt. Another rune marked stone rolled into the mouth of the cave. Again, The knight heaves and grunts, eventually the stone shifts and then rolls out of the way. Again, darkness filled stench . The scout grins at his friends lifts the torch and strides into the darkness
Yelling, he retreats out into the light a heartbeat later. 5 skeletal warriors move in a rough formation axe sword shield and tattered armor. Enough to show that at one time they were brave Northman theigns serving a jarl. Now, cursed things pulled from their rest and ready to attack any living thing that disturbs their grave. As they move forward, from the dark cave into the light in the valley, the lead skeletal warrior points at the scout and shards of bone shoot from the things fingers toward the scout. Ebeorgar’s luck holds for a moment and the bone shards miss the retreating scout.
Ebeorgar yells behind him to the rest of the party, “Do we draw them out and fight them here in the cave mouth” No answer comes, but he sees Antal moving to one side of the cave mouth, Sir Edwin and Father John to the other. The Norse Scout nods and moves towards the Bravo. As he moves, Father John yells “the bows will not help. Neither will knives. Use something the with crushing power.
The 4 facing the skeletons switch weapons, but not before the skeletons, all 5, shoot more slivers of bone. Some missing, some biting deep. Cursing, the 4 fight the skeletons. Soon enough one is down, then 2 then 3 … but then Father John remembers, they rebuild and return, unless their bones are pulverized before they can gather back together. Those fighting kep focused on the 2 remaining, while the rest of the party ensures the ones felled are destroyed and scattered.
As Ebeorgar pule the last sliver from Antal’s shoulder, and Hile uses a curative power, The group jokes about the ill luck of rolling away the stones.
Elebereth, pointing to the next cave, “Well, we are in luck. The next one is not rune carved stone. Simple oak doors there”
Ebeorgar, scouts the area, and this time sees something new. A man’s step halting – like an elder – and with a walking staff. He follows the trail a bit sees it goes to the caves and crosses the valley floor. He also notices that it doesn’t go toward at least one burial mound. None of the prints go toward it. But soon enough
“Enough scouting, scout. Time to see what is behind this door”. With a sigh, the Norse one time poacher returns to the party and nods to Sir Edwing.
The door is flung open and in it … a landing and then steps up to an arch way. Through the arch way, the scout can see 2 bubbling pots. Where the other caves smelled befouled, this was worse. Putrid, vile, nad beyond evil. The scout halts before his foot crosses the threshhole. Turning he yells back to father John “What new devilry is this” … The priest shrugs. “I don’t know, but it is evil” … The scout thinks “I could have told you that, priest” but keeps his mouth sealed. As the party stares into the cave and archway, they notice the pots, kettles really, big enough to boil a pig whole – or even a man to tell the truth – are heated by an odd green fire … Evil and foul, the scout mutters under his breath.
Elbereth steps up and with a flick of his wrist, and a few magical words, lightning streaks out and strikes the caldron. Thunder erupts in the cave and vile green … slime … explodes from one of the iron pots.
“Nooooooo, who dares affront my child !!!!!! Arise my little ones, arise ….” A twitching mas unfolds from the caldron . Human, possibly it once ones, but halting and leather skinned. An arm of leather reaches out from the other kettle.
Ebeorgar, grabs the door handle and readies to pull it shut. Yelling for Egor to grab some spikes to jam the door shut with …
Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:27 am
Clearing out the tomb, 6 hard boiled zombies, 1 ghoul, 1 necromancer. Winning with hard fought combat, magic bows (1 key miss from Egor nearly killed Antal) and a ilf/dragon and lots of dragon fire!
Like I said in the other thread, the guy that walked out 2 weeks ago just got put on admin leave pending the investigation. He then cleaned out his desk without saying a word (so may have quit) and with that, I got a full case load in a shop that with me is 50% manned.
I'll keep doing place holders and try to tighten out the story when I can. but no a lot of time to do anything at work, but work ...
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