Thursday, December 31, 2009

Erronious' Report (DM Post)

The Universal Church
Erronius’ Report

As dictated by his Holiness and ratified by the Papal Congress, I have been assigned to act as advisor to the Alliance and Director of the Church resources and participation in the war effort. The Church has invoked Crisis of the Faith, declared the war effort a Holy Crusade, and turned control over to the Council with the stipulation that I be allowed to advise. Below is a description of Church resources.

The Order of Radiant Knights

The Radiant Knights are tasked with rooting out corruption in the church, and answer only to his Holiness directly. That task has been set aside and the Radiant Knights are to aide the war effort in whatever capacity I see fit, as directed by the Council. It should be noted that they will not hesitate to slay any member of the Church found to be corrupt or treasonous, even myself. While there are only three of them, the Church respects them and feels that they will be of value.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Leader, Radiant Knights
Status: Committed. In Luthia awaiting orders.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Radiant Knight
Status: In Luthia.

Human Paladin/Holy Inquisitor
Radiant Knight
Status: In Luthia

Church Crusaders

The following are the troops that have flocked to the Holy Crusade from the faithful, organized into a single Brigade broken into 6 Battalions, and 2 companies of Paladin Cavalry.

Paladins 400 (leveled paladins acting as heavy cavalry)
Crusaders 6000 (unleveled warriors)


This group is made up of those among the priesthood and the faithful who are willing to serve as medics and healers for the Alliance.

Clerics 200 (leveled clerics)
Healers 800 (unleveled non-magical healers with some training)
Volunteers 1300 (un-trained)

Church Property

As a throw back to the fall of the empires many abbeys and monasteries are actually fairly defensible buildings. The Cardinals and heads of the Orders are issuing commands that these buildings are to be put to the Alliance’s disposal. All churches, cathedrals, and enclosed shrines and being converted to serve as hospitals should the need arise.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Klepos' Report (DM Post)

The Adventurer’s Guild
Klepos’ Report

The Seekers
Order of Occult Scholars

Merrill (Halfling Seeker based in Larst focus was Golems) died during the recent Sack of Larst. There are now four surviving Seekers. Doctor Ethan seemed to be the driving force behind the group, and with his death and significant attrition the group is now pretty much defunct. The four survivors are:

Gnome Wizard
Based in Dreia
Focus Fey
Status: MIA. Reports from the Order of the Abbey state that he is currently in hiding.

Human Druid
Based in Nemia
Focus Krakens
Status: Nuetral. He refuses to get involved in the war effort instead focusing on his research. Is not expected to evacuate along with the rest of the Nemian population.

Halfling Cleric/Bard
Based in Nemia
Focus Thoth
Status: Committed. Now under the direction of the Guild; is currently in Nemia assisting with the evacuation.

Elven Sorcerer
Based in Illrea
Focus Morrigan
Status: Committed. Currently in Illrea observing the Illrean front. Making a study of the enemy Beacon Towers.

Fellowship of the Golden Eagle
Adventurers advocating individual rights
and the dissolution of governmental power

The Fellowship is now defunct. Oren (Dwarven Leader and owner of the Shield Splitter Inn) and Petio (Half-Orc Fellow) were in Tutia when the goblins invaded and died trying to recover Gorm’s body. Oren left Soren the Shield Splitter Inn in his will and Soren has retired to run the inn. Guy Axefury and Tempest are the sole active members.

Elven Ranger/Sorcerer
Status: Committed. Last report put her in Luthia. She is now under the direction of the Guild.

The Knights of Dawn
Adventurer’s club made up of Eastern Argravailian nobility

The Knights of Dawn went underground after the expansion of the Meliotic Empire, operating mostly from Barovia. When the Goblins came through Darkenhold the Knights pretty much scattered. Some fell, some are missing. The remaining members have consolidated into a platoon led by Count Vlassberg which has accepted Guild authority.

Count Vlassberg
Human Fighter
Leader of the Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. Currently posted in Silar awaiting orders.

Baronet Hornsby
Human Sorcerer
2nd in Command of the Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. In Silar with the Knights.

Viscount Ular
Human Wizard
Member of the Knights of Dawn (Advisor to Vlassberg)
Status: Committed. In Silar with the Knights.

Knights of Dawn
Status: Committed. Stationed in Silar.
Command 3 (Vlassberg, Hornsby, and Ular)
Scouts 2 (Leveled Rangers)
Bards 1
Warriors 24 (Leveled Fighters)

Defenders of Knights Peace
Organization focused on the destruction of undead

The Adventurer’s Guild has had no contact with any of the Defenders since the goblins came out of Darkenhold. At this point I can only assume that the organization is dead.

The Runners
Messenger’s Guild unaffiliated with the Adventurer’s Guild

I have contacted the Runners’ Guildmaster, Elroy, and the Runners have committed to serving as military dispatch for the war effort in exchange for their members being exempt from conscription.

The Shining Order of Gnomish Protectors
Organization focused on the defense of
Gnomes and their communities

McGrath informed me (in his capacity of High Protector of the Shining Order) that, while 50 of the Shining Order are staying to defend Gnomehome, he has recalled all wandering Gnomish Protectors for the war effort. Additionally the 50 staying in Gnomehome are Burrow Wardens, and the Gnomish Protectors leadership will be taking the field on behalf of the Alliance. In an effort to preserve chain of command the Gnomish Protectors and McGrath will be under the authority of the Adventurer’s Guild, except when McGrath is acting as an Executive Council Member of the Freelands. McGrath will serve as my second and advisor for the Adventurer’s Guild.

Gnome Barbarian
High Protector of the Shining Order
Status: Committed. In Luthia serving as Guild command staff.

Gnomish Protectors
Status: Committed. Mustering in Gnomehome and awaiting orders.
Command 1 (McGrath as High Protector)
Knights of the Hearth 10 (leadership and leveled warriors)
Knights of Loam 40 (Veteran leveled warriors)
Burrow Wardens 50 (leveled warriors)
Conscripts 120 (gnomes from Gnomehome, base militia)

The Warriors of the Rose
Mercenary band operating out of Nemia and Barovia

Captain Xavier contacted me to commit to the Alliance (free of charge). He has asked to be placed under Guild authority for the war effort to avoid being seen as having any political affiliation. The Warriors are extremely tested veterans that have historically been used to spearhead assaults and I feel they will prove to be valuable allies.

Captain Xavier
Human Fighter
Leader of the Warriors of the Rose
Status: Committed. Stationed at the southern Illrean border awaiting orders.

Warriors of the Rose
Status: Committed.
Organization: Company split into 5 platoons
Command 6 (Xavier and 5 lieutenants, 1 per platoon)
Crossbowmen 40 (Alpha platoon)
Infantry 120 (Beta, Theta, and Gamma platoons, leveled warriors)
Scouts 10 (leveled rogues, Omega platoon)
Marksmen 10 (leveled archers, Omega platoon)
Commandos 20 (leveled rangers, Omega platoon)

Non-affiliated Adventurers Answering Guild Call
The following Guild members, none whom belong to the groups mentioned above, answered the Guild call.
Fighters 60
Barbarians 20
Monks 10
Bards 30
Rogues 20
Rangers 40
Wizards 20
Sorcerers 10

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NPC Profile: Samarid

Samarid is a former brother at the Morningstar Abbey, and currently a trainer and advisor to the military of The Freelands. He is a large, muscular human with bright red hair and a thick, bushy beard. He dresses in animal skins, and is an adept fighter with an axe or in bare-handed combat.

At the start of the campaign, Samarid served the abbey as a smith and a farmer. His apprentice was Guy Furyaxe (formerly Fiftynames), and in addition to his trade, Samarid would work with Guy on combat techniques. He was reserved and guarded in what techniques he was willing to teach Guy, but sufficient prodding and pleading would often get him to show Guy a new move or style.

Samarid wore a mysterious choker around his neck, which the party discovered was in place to magically suppress his barbarian rage, and to artificially raise his wisdom and intelligence so as to make him a functioning member of civilized society. Guy discovered Samarid’s impressive axe and a helmet made from the skull of Wyvern one day, which effectively put an end to Samarid’s training of Guy.

The night of Teris’ death, Guy removed Samarid’s choker and sent him after Faust, hoping that Samarid could protect Art from harm. Although Samarid and Art were defeated, they were not killed, and Samarid was held prisoner at the abbey. When the boys had completed their adventurer apprenticeships, they returned to the abbey and freed Samarid, giving him his chokere back and restoring his reason. Samarid accompanied the party to the Warrior’s Rest, where he agreed to serve as a bodygaurd to Eric while he conducted research into the party’s heritages.

Samarid would occasionally see the party from time to time when they would meet with Eric, and Guy and Samarid would normally spar and share combat knowledge with each other. When Eric became Bjorn and retired from his research into the Year of the Ram, Samarid joined the party’s newly-formed government of The Freelands as a trainer and advisor to the Freelandian military, where he remains to this day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 6 Game Notes

Gameplay begins in Ellicor, where Brix and Guy have caught up to the party, and take the opportunity to talk with Garvey, Gorom, and Vain about why they have chosen to sign peace treaties with the Meliotic Empire. Most importainly, Vain theorizes that the Meliotic Empire may be seeking protection from one of four entities: the High Elves, the Darklands, Issa, or the rest of Western Aggravail. After coming to the conclusion that there would be no harm in having The Freelands do so as well, the party requests a meeting with the ambassador from the Meliotic Empire, who helps them hammer out certain details – trade and inspection of goods, the establishment of embassies in each nation, and a mutually inclusive option to protect against extradition. However, the treaty hits a snag when the ambassador suggests (due to Guy’s braggadocio) that the Order of the Abbey (i.e., the party) be considered a branch of The Freelands’ military, a provision that would hold the nation sanctionable for the actions of the party. This is immediately met with resistance by everyone, and a heated debate ensues about whether or not to sign the treaty. Garvey and Vain are brought in for their opinions, and it is finally decided that the connection between the party and The Freelands is inevitable, and that the country could find itself subject to sanctioning with or without a clause in a treaty (which is only the word of one nation to another), and as a result, the treaty is signed on The Freelands’ behalf.

The party returns to Dreia and drops off the paperwork from the summit, before returning to Barovia to pick up a sword that Brixmore had left with the Apprentice, which itself is a precursor to heading into the Darklands to do some exploring. However, when they arrive, they find the Apprentice dead. Through a Speak with Dead, the Apprentice reveals that he is amenable to resurrection. Revived, he reveals that the sword Brix has given him has been cursed, and is now useless, and that he was killed by the Fist of Set, now reformed. The party decides they need to find out what the Fist of Set is up to, so Floyd takes to the skies on Scaramouche in search of them. Meanwhile, Guy inquires as to why the Apprentice would want the Bellmaker released, and the Apprentice reveals that it was to prevent the Bellmaker from becoming the final pieces in the Apocalypse chime.

Virgil performs a scrying on the Fist of Set, discovering that they have caught up with and killed Delphin (Bjorn’s twin, who fought with Kleppos and the party in the Fist of Set showdown), and seem to be on their way to kill the party as well. Knowing that their destination is likely to be Haven, the party reluctantly returns to Dreia via Brix’s Word of Recall, and prepares to face them.

A month goes by with no sign of the Fist of Set, when a page arrives to inform Haven that the Goblins have invaded Western Aggravail in force – 120,000 strong have overrun Tutia led by the Cathonic Beasts of Legend, and King Gorom is dead, news that elicits grief from the party. In addition, Vain is missing in action. Upon hearing this news, Guy sends for an Illrean Ranger black ops member. Finally, they learn that the Duke of Darkenhold has died and found himself overrun. In his last moments, he declared Virgil his successor, making Virgil the new Duke of Darkenhold, and commander of twelve surviving Bogotars.

The party rushes to get status updates on the rest of the continent. They discover that Molloch has magically shielded the capital of the Meliotic Empire from harm by ringing a bell created by the Bellmaker, which effectively seals off the city. The rest of the Meliotic Empire lies in ruins, and a larger force than the one invading Tutia has come over through Darkenhold. Garvey is unaware of the invasion until informed by the party. Upon learning about it, he immediately suggests an all-points war council be held in Larst, but this is later moved to Luthia. The Illrean Ranger black ops member informs the party that Vain has indeed died as well, and a ranger named Pallick is now in charge of their organization. Floyd travels to castle Visgoth to inform them of the news; he is met by Harves Raeth and told that Visgoth is uninterested until the goblins cross the Luthian Forest; at which point, he will personally take the field – this news creates tepid relief among the party for their corner of the world. On the way back, Floyd checks in with Goldschmiddt, who agrees to come to the war council, and Doovin, who is saddened to hear the news, but is powerless to help. Virgil and Eric discuss the possibility of conscription to fight the goblins, but The Freelands army, at 20,000 strong, is only predicted to increase to 45,000 through such measures.

The party goes to Mason to give him the news. Mason agrees that this is serious, but does not see the need for The Freelands to be involved. Beside himself, Guy vows to end the Goblin threat, and then come back and personally kill Mason. The remainder of the Executive Council of The Freelands, however (Ajax, McGrath, Eric, and Terick; the other two died of the plague) sees the benefit in the war council and abandons Mason to govern the domestic state.

The party leaves for Luthia. Upon arriving, they summon Abbott Teris’ spirit to talk to them – Teris explains that a prophecy exists on the subject in the High Seat of the Church in Larst – a prophecy (unrelated to the Year of the Ram) called the End of Days prophecy, whose outcome is unwritten.

before long, the rest of the war council shows up. What follows is a list of those summoned. Characters in italics are attending, and their major affiliations, for those not attending, a brief explanation is attached.

The End of Days War Council

­Guy Axefury – The Freelands; Order of the Abbey, Fellowship of the Golden Eagle

Axe Bludgeonfist – Order of the Abbey

Brixmore – The Freelands, Order of the Abbey, The Universal Church

Floyd Fiftynames – The Freelands, The Fifty Gnomes, Order of the Abbey

Virgil Deathbow – The Freelands, Darkenhold, Order of the Abbey

Ajax – The Freelands, The Fifty Gnomes

McGrath – The Freelands, Gnome-Home

Eric – The Freelands (Military)

Terick – The Freelands

Garvey – Silar

Meldor, Lord of Arrows – Luthia (The Hunters)

Queen of Luthia – Luthia

Graham – Independent (AWOL from the Barbarians in the North)

King Luth – Arimathea

Matthick – Gortia

Pope Benedict – The Universal Church

Havern – Weaponsmiths, the Twilight Lands

King of Nemia – Nemia

Kleppos – The Adventurer’s Guild

Goldschmiddt – Followers of the Dagda

Rumplemintz – Followers of the Dagda

Not Attending:

Zarin / Linus – Uninterested in matters of state, fighting goblins from the north shore

Elliott – Turned a deaf ear to Virgil and Guy’s request; Elliott has information that could be of use to us, and his refusal to attend is particularly disheartening

A rep. from the Meliotic Empire – Unreachable; capital is sealed off

Goldemar – All of Goldemar is engaged in holding the goblins back at present

The Order of the Serpent – Engaged in battle at present

At once assembled, these twenty-one individuals will go about the business of planning a defense against an invasion of a quarter of a million goblins and their legendary Cathonic commanders.

End of Session

November 29 Game Notes

Note: Brix and Guy are absent from this session.

Gameplay begins with Virgil, Axe, and Floyd debating the merits / detriments of killing Mason, finally coming to the conclusion that they did not have to kill him to force him to change. Virgil, Floyd, and Axe would attend the summit in Ellicor (the capital of Arimathea), as they had been invited by Mason to go an put in a token appearance for The Freelands, where they would convince various world leaders to cease trade relations with The Freelands until the nation backed off its isolationist policies. This move would seriously threaten the Freelandian economy, which would almost certainly affect public opinion of Mason.

The trio depart Dreia by air, stopping by the Morningstar Abbey and checking in with Abbott Art. Everything at the Abbey seems to be positive, so the party heads on south to Ellicor, which is located near the south coast of Arimathea. Along the way, they meet some other travelers, who react with distrust at a Half-Orc in the party, so the gang decides to keep its distance. Soon, they find themselves in Ellicor, where they check in at the palace, which has a workman-like design from the outside, but an opulent inside. They are greeted by Chancellor Braddock, who is disappointed that The Freelands did not send representatives with any real power. However, the group is given a suite anyway, and a page – a dwarf named Axle. Floyd has Axle set up a dinner meeting with King Gorom of Tutia and Garvey of Silar. That evening, they discuss their plan with the two heads of state, and both Gorom and Garvey agree to take part, indicating that things were headed that way in any case. Gorom also asks the boys to take care of a problem he is having with bandits who are raiding a nearby diamond mine he has financial interest in. Having nothing to do but wait for the summit to begin in three days, Virgil, Floyd, and Axe accept the job.

The “bandits” in question turn out to be a pair of Fire Giant brothers who hire Etins as their goons, and employ a gang of Ogre Mages as well. Down two of their heavy hitters, the trio makes an impressive run of it before they are ambushed. Virgil takes significant damage and is forced to retreat, taking Axe with him. Floyd sticks around long enough to trick the bandits out of the treasure room, where he loots as much as he can carry before escaping himself.

When the group finds themselves pursued by invisible Ogre Mages, Virgil is forced to teleport the boys back to Ellicor. However, his spell does not completely work properly, and the trio find themselves teleported over the castle moat. Although the manage to avoid making a splash, they do attract some attention and are chastised “for dabbling in magic they do not understand.” Floyd reports the result of their foray to Gorom, who brushes it off as no big deal. Meanwhile, in an exciting bit of news, Gorom and Garvey’s letters have worked wonders, and Mason grants Virgil and Floyd full diplomatic powers at the upcoming summit – effectively making them Secretaries of State for the time being.

The roster for the summit is as follows:

Tutia – King Gorom the Fat
Silar - Garvey
The Freelands – Axe Bludgeonfist, Floyd Fiftynames, Virgil Deathbow
Illrea – Vain
Larst – Allric (a foppish figure)
The Universal Church – Archbishop Joyous
Nemia – Col. Dudemont
Arimathea – King Luth
Luthia – Head of the Luthian Hunters
Gortia – Matthick

Luth calls the meeting to order, explaining that the purpose of the summit is two-fold – first, that Gortia has organized their government, and wishes to be recognized as a country. Matthick, the representative from Gortia, turns out to be a spitting image of Mason (only with hair). Matthick re-affirms the organization of Gortia, and claims designs on re-integrating all of Gortia’s former territory, which includes the land that is now Virgil’s Hold. Virgil, to nobody’s surprise, takes exception to this, and lays out the fact that at The Freelands’ summit, their borders were recognized. Tutia, Silar, Nemia, Illrea, and Arimathea back up Virgil’s claim, and Matthick seemingly backs off. Allric will not weigh in, presumably because of Larst and Gortia’s proximity and the desire to stay out of a conflict.

The second purpose of the meeting is for Luth to report on his activity with the High Elf Empire. According to Luth, he sent eight ships to the Elven Empire in the hopes of establishing trade talks. Two of the ships returned, and those that did reported that the High Elves seemed to be expecting them, and thought that the Arimathean ships were from the Meliotic Empire. This causes some alarm at the summit, for the nations to consider the ramifications of the Meliotic Empire trading with the High Elves. In particular, Virgil is consternated as he considers The Freelands to still be at war with the High Elves, a position that the others affirm but decide that The Freelands is alone in (excepting the instance of a High Elf invasion, as happened before).

At that point, the summit is interrupted by the arrival of an ambassador from the Meliotic Empire, who comes to the summit wishing to establish peace treaties with the nations of Western Aggravail. He assures the summit that the Meliotic Empire and the High Elves are not undergoing trade talks, as the High Elves currently only wish to deal in slaves, which is of no interest to Molloch or the Meliots. However, this talk of peace treaties stirs a great deal of distrust from Virgil and Floyd, who give the Meliotic ambassador every reason why a peace treaty would not be possible. Floyd even goes so far to explain that he does not see a peace treaty possible without having the chance to meet Emporer Molloch face-to-face. The ambassador agrees to this, but says it may take upwards of a year’s time. The Freelands declines a peace treaty, but finds out later that every other nation signed one.

End of Session.

November 22 Game Notes

Sorry for the unexpected delay in postings. Today, I will publish the last three weeks' game notes. After that, there will be a two-week off period (i.e., no sessions December 13 or 20) which I will try to fill with a new puppet musical installment, and a couple of NPC Profiles.


Gameplay begins in the mountains of eastern Barovia, where the party is marching to confront and kill the Orc King. Via Scaramouche, the Pegasus, and Virgil’s polymorph ability, the party attempts to cover the distance faster via flight. However, after a couple of days of travel in this manner, they find themselves visited by an orc emissary, who tells the party that the orcs know of their imminent arrival due to some divination work by their shaman. The shaman sends the emissary with the message that the party’s lives will be spared if they have the sense to turn back now. The party does its best to convince the emissary that their intentions are not murderous, but they are unsuccessful. The next day, the party finds the elements of the air have turned against them, with windstorms and lightning bolts threatening them in the skies. Because of this, the gang decides to continue on foot through the mountains and forest.

After about a week’s time, the party finds a valley that seems to be the orc’s sanctuary. Virgil and Brix launch a volley of magical explosions and fire into the valley, only to discover that the whole thing is an illusion masking an inexplicably located elf village. As the party rushes in to minimalize the damage and save face, they discover a wall of orcs at the top of the valley opposite who begin a downward charge. Brix manages to stop an all-out onslaught by putting up a Blade Barrier. Meanwhile, Axe, Floyd, Guy, and Virgil Dimension Door to the back of the fray to confront the Orc King and the Shaman. A fairly serious battle ensues, but the party is victorious.

The boys return to Eagle’s Peak with the head of the Orc King, and the people of Eagle’s Peak agree to resume trade with DeFeo. Afterwards, the party contemplates their next move. They decide to check in with the remains of Four (of the Fist of Set), only to discover that Garam is once again in grave danger, and that the Fist of Set has likely resurrected Thumb and recruited a new Two and Four. They decide to return to Dreia to warn Garam, and get there quickly thanks to Brix’s Word of Recall. There, they are dismayed to find the government of The Freelands in turmoil, as several Executive Council members are suffering from an illness not unlike the plague that afflicted Gortia, leaving Mason, Eric, and Ajax as the only real decision makers. Mason has taken this opportunity to bring more power to the Executive Council (and it’s de facto reigning chief executive) under his umbrella, and many of the Governors and Judges currently elected by the people are under Mason’s political tutelage. Mason, meanwhile, has adopted an isolationist stance for The Freelands, pulling promised troops out of Nemia and angering Garvey of Silar. In addition, he has no intention to attend a summit called by Luth, King of Arimathea (and Lord of the West).

After warning Garam and sending him into hiding, Guy attempts to reason with Mason, but to no avail. The party seeks out Ajax for his insight, whereupon they discover Garvey is insistent that something be done about Mason due to an uncovered correspondence between Mason and the Meliotic Empire. However, Ajax informs the group that this document was created by the Fifty-Gnomes as a means of getting Mason out of the picture. Realizing that the bulk of intelligent local opinion seems to be anti-Mason, the party and Ajax debate what must be done with him.

End of Session