Friday, 21 October 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 49 - Unholy trinity part 2 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Heroes' families
Khan and Chacri
Straw God's emanation

As it turned out, homecoming was the hardest part of all adventures. Ren and Connal had fought with dragons and demons, braved ancient past and explored flying islands, they ventured deep into Underdark and far to the North, but were nervous coming home. What will parents say? Is Aplleshade the same village they left?

Luckily there was no signs of destruction, not counting strange burned structure on nearby hill. Old neighbors recognized and rejoiced at their return. Parents welcomed them with an open arms. Everybody was keen to hear what had happened to them and where they had spent all those years. It was Jarod and Steven who first noticed little details that escaped sons of Aplleshade's attention.

There were a lot of crows and birds everywhere. The seemed to watch and follow people. Something strange was carried on in countryside, what Jarod discovered. Something alike to  pilgrimage or wandering camp was formed and under guidance of some elders all the children were moving to Stepple Falls. When Connal and Ren asked certain questions, the were hushed. Local patrons left tavern before sunset. When darkness fell some tongues were loosed.

It wasn't that all good and beauty in Appleshade. Abundant wheat were bought at cost of sacrifices to Straw God. Although good folk bowed before him, the were ashamed of practice and did what the could to avoid his harsh and demanding commandments. At early spring the smuggled children put and gave to the god an animal. At autumn they burned criminal in Wicker Man. Heroes learned that birds spied on behalf of Straw God and that animals avoided an old house near village's perimeter.

Entering Khan's house was difficult but eventually Jarod defeated locks and traps. An old man wasn't an old anymore. He and Chackri greeted them heroes in their true, human and tiger-like forms. Khan excused and explained he could not reveal his true colors, as he was in little and petty conflict with others like him. He chose Apllesahde as a place to wait out but one of his enemies, was after him. But heroes dealt wit that problem log ago. while he was indifferent about happenings on island, as a small fraction of paying a debt he revealed how and where to find Straw God. Both parties split in good relations.

Armed with a knowledge, heroes moved against a Straw God. The traveled through fertile fields, deep into something was collective consciousness of agriculture. Straw God was nothing more and less than wide gap, filled with garbage. In it's maw dead animals, rotting wheat, leaves and roots were boiling. This mass erupted and took form of a roughly humanoid monster that without thought attacked, smashing fists and slamming blows. Whole party engaged it with Ren taking leading role and Connal casting spells. With Jarod and Steven's abilities, heroes deposed demi deity as many other demonic or angelic monsters before...

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 48 - Unholy trinity part 1 of 3

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

Bartender - and former knight of Helm
Druj - an ogre millman and resistance champion
Hieronymus - a druid

Heroes chose Cloister of Healing dove ruins as a place of return. The hid cylinder in a one of a traps and set out to investigate state of things. Bartender the had spoken years before revealed that Averwest had fallen on hard times. Soon after party's venture into catacombs,  plaque eaten crops and famine began. Chauntea's priest were unable to stop it and soon people turned to older cults, that provided healthy wheat. Winters became harsh and harsher, trade faded and internal struggles began. Some villages like Lakhell had been lucky and disappeared from peoples minds, other fell victim of raids. Soon civil war raged on, warred between princedoms, cities even neighbors. Forests became dark and brooding, populated with vicious animals and beasts.

After years of turmoil, thee powers emerged: straw God situated in the center of island. Consisting verdant lands, including Appleshade, it paid homage to lord of fields, scarecrow, pagan deity of vicious agriculture. South and west was under rule of Bane'church. It's priests came with amnish traders, soon eradicated them and installed iron fist tyranny. North fell under influence of Dominator, mysterious figure hailing from over the mountains and forsaken land there. He claimed right to rule Averwest in name of it's salvation.

Heroes decided it is time to act. Knowing that spellcasting is forbidden and somehow detectable, they took their chances and next day teleported to Konarch and hid cylinder next to portal, leading to Icewind Dale. After inspecting state of affairs there, the were downtrodden. An old and crazy druid was presumably dead, his circle devastated. Legats, the emissaries of Dominator, ruled village with fear and terror, everybody was suspicious of each other. Knowing that cylinder of Nether was as beacon of light in darkness, heroes decided to strike home and re write laws of Averwest's magic. Whole process took a week during which Steven studied arcane texts and altered them with Connal's help, while Jarod and Ren stood vigilantly on guard. Finally day had come and inscriptions were ready, cylinder of Nether was spun one more time and Wave around island shook violently. It's laws of magic was altered and disconnected from Mystra's essence. Heroes sank Cylinder deep in stone and caved-in passage. Then they teleported to Tristor, to finally go home.

Outside of town the paid visit to Druj, an ogre they saved fifteen years ago. He revealed that hard times had befallen on those, who live under Bane's rule but he was able to play both sides. At glance he was millman that co-operated with rules, but secretly he kept stash of food to help villagers survive cold of winter. He gave heroes shelter and food, and before sunrise party moved on, crossing borders of Straw God's dominion.

Land was indeed verdant, each field guarded by scarecrows and huge mulches. There were dark and brooding atmosphere around them, like abundant crops were paid with terrible price. Guardians' eyes seemed to follow heroes, so at first opportunity the stepped into shelter of Hyreonymus' Groove. Soon the made a camp and when fire was lit, a figure appeared. It was a stag, big and bold, that for some reason seemed like one, the had freed from trap years ago...

It was an old druid himself. He allowed heroes to camp in his woods in times of need, revealing it was one of the rare places free from blight of monsters of darkness. He proved true bartender's and Drujs' story but wasn't able to tell what has happened outside of his groove. So heroes slept under canopy of leaves and prepared themselves to homecoming.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Chapter Seven: Homecoming - Session 47 - Godess of Magic

Connal Ragnirsson - Jarecki
Jarod - Jacek
Ren Howl - Adrian
Steven - Leon

The Friend
Helena the Witch
Rumbur, shy giant
Madame Eva, gypsy seer

Session began with heroes gathering information. they contacted with Reiner but he was nowhere to be found. Connal reached his brother who surprisingly told him to "not to listen to gossips". Suspicious and unsure, heroes climbed down to Cedarspoke.

City has been rebuilt, it's black tower replaced by magnificent fortress. While there was an discreet monument dedicated to restoration of dogas, almost no one remembered heroes who defeated fallen angel fifteen years ago. Heroes began to search temple of Mystra in hope priests will direct them to the Magister. cleric welcomed them warmly and listened to their story. He pointed at enchantress who lived in city. She seemed to be favored by goddess of magic but was rarely seen. Her apartment was at "Stars and stones Inn", famous for an luxury rooms  and discrecy.

Heroes checked in and began to search. Enchantress room was locked and secured with spells. Jarod contacted with The Friend, who now was called The Baroness but she was not able to help in breaking in or providing any new information. All in all heroes decided it's time to do something now.

At night party disabled traps and magical alarms and entered Enchantress room. It wasn't used in years, dusty and silent. Inside wardrobe however there was a portal, leading to glade with lamppost in the middle of it. Heroes took survey of surroundings and moved in direction of mountains. Soon they arrived at crossroads, where little goblin was sitting. He was murmuring to himself and very agitated. He explained he is watchman of goblin's Market. To see one heroes had to turn right five times but no merchant showed up. When asked for the Enchantress pointed mountains.

At the base of range heroes had found door, but it was magically closed. Golden stag explained the need magical ring to open it. Ring was in possession of large sheat-fish, that lived in lake. Party moved there and began to looking for it. Soon sheat-fish appeared and admitted he has ring and will gladly give it back to characters but for a price... There was a giant living nearby who was fishing on him. If giant was persuaded to stop, ring will be heroes'. So party moved to look for giant. He was called Rumbur, was nice and little shy bloke. He also had nice home in an old mine, greeted party warmly, offered his bread, butter and cheese. He complained on witch that took his magical pot of fish. If he got one back, he'd stop hunting sheat-fish. So heroes went on to find witch. She was living in swamps with her two young children. She admitted pot was in her possession, as her kids were growing and always hungry. Heroes arranged Rumbur to baby-sit them, so witch had some time to herself. All went back to Goblin Market, where Ren met once again gypsies. This time it was time to draw a card from a Madame Eva's Deck. It was a Chariot.

So, all company went back home, and finally heroes were granted an entrance to the enchatress' hideout. there they found her chambers, treasury and guardian, a colossal gold dragon. Great wyrm encircled her slowing time but gave pass to heroes. The stated their cause but the Enchantress or Mystra herself was indifferent. she said that what has to happen, will happen but gave some instructions to how to rescue Averwest.

Heroes hastily returned to Cedarspoke and teleported to Averwest in order to save their home!