Monday, August 31, 2009

August Session Notes

What follows are the notes from our August 2009 sessions. It's out of sequence with what I've been normally posting, but in an effort to get game notes going again, it will have to suffice.

Game Notes August 2009

Session Dates:

August 16
August 23
August 30

August 16 Session:

The party marched south from the old church & cemetery and stopped for the night to rest at the little inn in the Twilight Lands. Pierce Thundar went off to do his own thing, leaving the party in need of some more offense. As luck would have it, a half-Orc barbarian by the name of Axe was passing through, and Floyd’s promises of gold and glory convinced him to come work with the Order of the Abbey.

The group returns to Dreia, where they re-prioritize and decide to get to the business of putting Gruth out of his misery. Before they leave, however, they are dismayed to discover that Brix’s monastery has been ravaged by a wheat-borne disease that taken the lives of all but a few clerics who remain at the Abbey. Floyd, Brix, and Virgil contribute some money to help get the monastery going again.

The group heads south towards Arimathea, stopping briefly at the Warrior’s Rest. They discover that Goldschmiddt is recovering from a nasty fight. Then the party heads south, finding mercenaries have laid siege to Dwarfgate, and that the Morningstar Abbey has been burned to the ground. The boys pledge to help Abbott Art rebuild, and he tells them that the fire opened up catacombs beneath the wine cellar that bear investigation.

The party heads farther southward into Verl’s Crook, the town where they had their first adventure. There, they discover that Gruth has constructed a massive fortress. Gruth sends Ogres and Trolls at the party. Virgil, Floyd, and Axe fight the ground battle while Brix and Guy enter the fortress from one of the top floors. After dispatchin a small force, Guy makes his way to the highest level of the fortress, where he finds Gruth on the back of a black dragon. The fight downstairs ends and Virgil chases down Gruth as he tries to escape after he is badly bloodies by Guy. The party catches up with Gruth and kills him.

August 23 Session:

The party loots the fortress and Gruth’s body of all valuables. Brix casts a Speak with Dead spell on Gruth, but his answers are inconclusive. The group agrees to keep his body for a while until they can cast the spell again. Upstairs, they find a room with a dead scribe and a bunch of burned correspondence, leaving Gruth’s machinations and motives a continued mystery.

The party heads back to the Morningstar Abbey, where they rest for a bit, then go down into the catacombs to clear the place out. After fighting through some gelatinous cubes and golems, they find the Illithid Lich hiding down there and dispatch him, but the need to find his phylactery leads them to have to clean out the entire catacomb and deal with more gelatinous cubes. Brix loses his armor to the acid of one of the cubes. The party finally finds the phylactery when they burn the body of the lich (it was in the lich’s stomach). Floyd suggests the catacombs be hallowed and used as a starting point for building the new monastery, a suggestion Art is lukewarm about, though it may be used as a safe room.

The party also finds another piece of Visgoth’s soul in the catacomb, boosting the total number of pieces in their possession to three.

August 30 Session:

The party decides to leave Guy at the Abbey to help Art get started on the rebuilding process, while the intention is for the party at large to head to Dreia and start taking care of business there. However, they find themselves hindered by a carnival that has come to town outside of Dwarfgate (the mercenaries laying siege to Dwarfgate cleared out when news of Gruth’s death reached them). While trying to buy horses in Dwarfgate, one of the dwarfs who owned a stable indicated that he distrusted the carnival folk because of rumors of murder that followed the carnival. The party decides to investigate further.

Arriving at the carnival, they discover that one of the exhibits is a caravan of captured ghouls, which disturbs Brix greatly. They also discover a “fortune teller,” and decide to pay this individual a visit. Once inside, they discover the fortune teller is actually Harves Raeth. Raeth claims to be using the carnival as a means of escape, as he was recently defeated by the Fist of Set, who stole his piece of Visgoth’s soul (raising their total to three). Raeth decides to lay low for a while, so he travels with the carnival, planning to head south to Arimathea and catch a boat to Issa.

The party offers Harves Raeth sanctuary in the Freelands, and even a job in the government, if he will stay behind, and provide them some horses. Raeth agrees, and summons a devil to provide horses. This starts a fight, with Brix dismissing the devil. The party rescinds their offer and leaves Harves Raeth to his own devices.

Deciding something along the lines of “fuck this carnival,” Floyd sneaks into the stables and procures four horses, leaving 300 gp behind as payment. While he’s there, a rhino with a sawed-off horn asks him if he can go with the group, and Floyd agrees. The party, with their newly acquired steeds and the rhino, head for the Warrior’s Rest. They stop there for the night. The next morning, Brix asks Rumplemintz if he knows anything about his (Brix’s) family line, and discovers that there is a tomb in Barovia that may hold some answers. The party adds it to their checklist for when they head east.

Outside the tavern, the rhino reveals that he is not really a rhino, but is magically bound by an invisible rope around his neck. He turns out to be a juvenile copper dragon, and he makes a bargain with Floyd that if Floyd will untie the invisible rope, he’ll provide help to the party for the remainder of their lives (within reason). With their new buddy Scaramouche (the copper dragon), the pary heads back towards Haven, but they are stopped along the way when they discover what appears to be the scene of a murder. The evidence – white makeup, a purple balloon, and a blond child’s scalp – lead them to the conclusion that a clown in the carnival is committing these murders. With some reluctance, the party heads back towards the carnival.

Arriving at the carnival, they discover the Ringmaster is rather distraught. They discover that his daughter is dying (Harves Raeth had poisoned her and was providing a temporary cure on a daily basis, but – of course – he bounced). Brix heals her temporarily and tells the Ringmaster he will heal her permanently tomorrow as soon as he re-learns his spells. In exchange, the party is allowed to interrogate the clowns, but their interrogation tactics exhaust the patience of the Ringmaster, who argues with Floyd over the legitimacy of their authority (despite Floyd’s being able to provide AMPLE paperwork).

Finally, they get to the bottom of the investigation, and ferret out the culprit, who more or less turns himself in after realizing what the party is investigating. As it turns out, he’s a demon in disguise, and he consumes the flesh of the innocent. Big fight, and the party emerges victorious when Axe lands the killing blow. Brix agrees to uphold his end of the bargain by healing the Ringmaster’s daughter, and the party moves on.