Friday, January 29, 2010

January 24 Game Notes

Gameplay begins with the party on horseback riding towards the capital city of Illrea and the pass. As they approach the Illrean capital, they see very few people, wagons, or carts on the road. Within a few hundred yards of the city, however, they are surprised to see a cart riding full speed out of town, only to have the driver of the cart felled by arrows. Virgil approaches the cart and sees the dead man, along with a cart full of swag. Guards from the city, wearing chain mail that has been painted black (in an effort, it would seem, to emulate the look of the Illrean Rangers), arrive, identify the man as a looter, and tell the party that none are allowed in the city by order of the King of Illrea. Although bearing the authority to do so, the party chooses not to enter the city.

The boys make their way to the Pass, only to find the soldiers in complete disarray (think of the Continental Army in New Brunswick during the early stages of the American Revolution). Alarmed at what they are seeing, the party makes its way to the command tent, finding Lt. Halverson, a mid-ranking officer stationed in the command tent. The intoxicated Halverson indicates that Dravick (the new leader of the Illrean Rangers and the man the party came to see to deliver the news that Vain is alive) is the ultimate authority at the pass, and that he can be found in his tent. The boys head to Dravick’s tent, where they find him unconcerned with the lack of discipline at the camp, stating that the pass has not been attacked, and he does not anticipate that it will be anytime soon. He is unrepentant towards what the party views as his poor supervision of the troops, and goes so far as to suggest that if the party does not leave him to his work as he sees fit, he will have the boys “disappeared” as is the (seldom-used) custom of the Illrean Rangers’ black ops division. This nearly incites a fight, but the party thinks the better of it as Dravick is a senior member of the War Council, and on an equal level of authority with Guy, Virgil, and General Braddock.

The party relieves Dravick of his command pending a vote from the council, and places Lt. Halverson in charge, promoting him to captain and charging him with the task of returning order and combat ready-ness to the troops stationed at the pass. Meanwhile, the boys find an Illrean Ranger scout and ask him to spread the message among the Rangers that Vain is alive and what his whereabouts are. The Ranger agrees, and rides off.

Later, Virgil surprises Dravick with a Charm Person spell which allows him to question Dravick at length about his attitudes and actions in the war effort. Dravick is more or less compliant with Virgil’s questions, though he will not reveal critical details in the presence of the other party members, which leads the others to wait outside and contact the other members of the War Council with Virgil’s communicators. While Virgil and Dravick are alone (although the party sees and hears all things Virgil does through the benefits of Abbott Teris’ spell circle), Virgil’s questioning leads him to suspect that Dravick is an agent for the other side. By intimating that he is eager to switch sides himself (he presents the attitude that the war is a lost cause for the allies), Virgil is able to obtain concrete proof that Dravick is a spy. Communicating this new information to the War Council, Dravick is removed from his command and from the War Council, and sentenced to die as a traitor.

However, seeing an opportunity, the Council suggests that Dravick die as a martyr to the war effort, compelling the troops to fight for their former fallen commander. Virgil and Floyd concoct a plan disguise themselves as goblins and kill Dravick after Virgil and Dravick walk through camp publicly as friends (this last part is important as the troops had witnessed the original falling out between Dravick and the party).

That night, however, before the party’s plan can be put into action, Dravick is visited in his tent by a group of elite Rangers (the black ops) who bring a horribly disfigured body on a stretcher, but alive. The figure greets Dravick, who reacts with terror, and the elite Rangers bring in a Sphere of Annihilation, into which they throw the unfortunate former commander. The figure identifies himself as Vain to the party, and intimates that he will be returning to Luthia to c0nvalesce, his wounds being so terrible that magical healing cannot fix them.

After observing Halverson’s efforts to whip the troops at the Pass into shape, the party, satisfied, leaves and accompanies Vain to Luthia. Upon arriving in Luthia, they are greeted by a young man who is the spitting image of Vain, who identifies himself as Appollonus, and is in actuality, the re-incarnated Gorom. As Vain wishes his return to be kept under wraps until such time as he is ready to assume command, he suggests that Apollonus take Dravick’s place on the war council, an appointment with which the party concurs.

The party pays a visit to Erronius, the primary Church liason in Luthia to the war effort. They ask Erronius for more details on the End of Days prophesy, which Erronius gives them in full, although translated and roughly paraphrased. Unfortunately, the prophesy does not point to any good news, even an “and then,” but merely speaks of the fall of the church based upon a massive invasion from the east which is led by the Warlord (Graxx). Erronius elaborates that due to this prophesy, Benedict has relocated to Dreia, as he believes that this will be where he is most needed when the prophesy comes to full fruition.

The party then visits Revan, where they speak to him about the deceased Seeker Merrill, who’s focus was Illithids, curious to know if any of Merrill’s notes on the subject had survived. Revan indicates that they had, but that the only person who would have access to them would be Garam, who is still in hiding from the Fist of Set. The party attempts to suss out where Garam would be hiding from the Fist of Set, and determine that the place he would consider them least likely to search for him would be the Temple of Set in Issa. The party calls Garam on his communicator, asking him to send a sign if he is there, which he does. The party then considers a plan to retrieve Garam by teleporting there to get him, but even with the help of other arcane spellcasters, the likelihood of a successful teleport into the temple without Virgil having ever seen it is too much. The boys then send Garam a message explaining their situation and asking for his assistance, although they do not expect him to respond, as he has been unresponsive for so long. They are therefore very surprised when he does arrive, electing to help the group find the answers to their questions.

The party considers the motivations that the goblins would have for the war, which leads Garam to reveal The Central Prophesy, or the key prophesy concerning the children born in the Year of the Ram, specifically, the year that the twelve (Floyd, Guy, Virgil, Zarin, Eric, Delphin, Brix, Graxx, Luth, Doogal, and the elf twins) were born. The Central Prophesy states that the birth of the twelve in the Year of the Ram points to a countdown in which a new god will ascend from the mortal realm, and the death of one born during the Year of the Ram (though not necessarily of the twelve, which brings several people back into play, notably Visgoth, Harves Raeth, the grandmother of the elf twins, and more). This concurs with what Garam knows about Illithids in that they believe that their chief deity, who is not fully vested with the powers of a god, is buried in a cavern somewhere below the Cracked Flagon. Furthermore, it corroborates the story of Visgoth, who seemed to be interested acquiring a full Existence Key (which he told the party were pieces of his soul) in order to enter the upper planes and challenge the gods directly – where, if victorious, he could take the place of the one he were to fell. This creates a situation in which the boys are forced to consider the many possibilities of those who might be aware of the Central Prophesy, and who might be vying for a spot at godhood (a selection of the party even considers candidacy for themselves).

Among the potential candidates would be Moloch, who is still quarantined in the capital of the Meliotic Empire along with his subjects. The scenario of Moloch ascending to godhood prompts Floyd to ask Scaramouche to go and petition his fellow good dragons in an effort to coerce them to join the fight. Scaramouche contends that the revelation of good dragons will certainly bring out the bad as well, but he will petition them nonetheless in an effort to see if the metallics will at least lend their knowledge and expertise to the party. Meanwhile, the party contacts Abbott Teris to ask him why he had not shared the Central Prophesy with them, though he explains that he did not out of fear that it would create a negative attitude in the boys - that they would either eschew their heroic responsibilities or possibly head down a path towards irrevocable evil.

In light of these many considerations, and the implications it has for the war and the future of the continent, the party contemplates its next move.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Adventures of Floyd Fiftynames: By the Numbers

Here are some numbers regarding the game to this point:

There have been, by my estimation, 93 sessions (42 of which are now represented on this blog as either game notes or puppet musical) of this game.

The first session commenced on Sunday, August 26, 2007 (2 years, 4 months, and 28 days ago).

There have been a total of 11 player characters in this game (12 if you count Hirsute MacGuffin and Chris Tennison as different characters) played by 9 players.

There have been no fewer than 350 distinct NPCs.

There are 231 pages of Floyd's puppet musical written.

Any other mind-boggling numbers out there?

Sessions XXII - XXIV: Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Five: We’re Taking This Show on the Road

Act II

Curtain opens on a road in Gortia. In the distance there is a large cave. In front of the cave is a sign that says “Shortcut for Adventurers!” written in blood. Vultures feed on bones just outside the mouth of the cave. Near the road is a sign which reads, “Welcome to Gortia.”


Oh, where are we bound for?
FLOYD: What will we do there?
CHRIS TENNISON: I don’t know!
FLOYD: Why are we going?
CHRIS TENNISON: To meet some guys!
You guys know we’re going to Illrea to meet the head of the Illrean Rangers, right?
FLOYD: Well, we do now.
BRIX: While we were in Larst, Virgil met a ranger who invited him to Illrea to meet the head of his organization.
VIRGIL: Well, presumably because we’re up and coming adventurers, whose exploits are starting to be known far and wide.
FLOYD: You’re welcome.
VIRGIL: Among other things, we fought and defeated Doogal, took on the evil cultists of Krissk, explored Scar Canyon, purged the Tower of the Broken Moon, conquered the Tower of Puzzles, released the ghost from the Dagda Bridge, and escaped from the clutches of Cardinal Nikolai and killed his servant Faust, thereby avenging the death of our father figure, Abbott Teris.
GUY: Although I can’t help but feel there’s some major exploit that we’re forgetting.
FLOYD: Don’t worry. I’m sure it will come back to bite us in the ass eventually.
CHRIS TENNISON: Hey, look! A cave!
GUY: And it says shortcut for adventurers! We should use it.
BRIX: But what of the bones of these dead adventurers that lie strewn about the mouth of the cave?
GUY: I’m sure they’re unrelated.
VIRGIL: Says the axe-man!
GUY: What are you implying?
VIRGIL: I’m saying, Brix and I, we’re the ones that get paid to think around here! Let us decide how safe this cave shortcut is!
GUY: Oh, by all means, great thinker. Make up your mind!
FLOYD: Is anyone interested in my opinion?
GUY: No!
VIRGIL: Not really.
FLOYD (to the audience) We ended up taking the cave shortcut.

Interior of the cave flies in. It is spooky and scary.

GUY: This may have been a bad idea.
VIRGIL: I told you!
GUY: Now, Virgil. Don’t become the sort of person who runs from danger.
VIRGIL: If I ever become that sort of person, Floyd has my permission to humiliate me in his puppet musical.
FLOYD: Meta!

The cave starts to grow darker.

BRIX: I have a bad feeling about this, fellas.
VIRGIL: Is your cleric-sense tingling?
BRIX: While I’m pretty sure that doesn’t exist, you’re not far off, Virgil. I’m a dwarf, and this is the first time I’ve ever felt uneasy and uncomfortable about being underground.
FLOYD: But you weren’t raise underground, you were raised at the Abbey.
BRIX: It’s in my blood, Floyd.
FLOYD: Now you’re just allowing yourself to be stereotyped.
BRIX: Oh, really? And how many names do you have, o wearer of silly hats?
FLOYD: I withdraw my objection.

A glowing circle appears at the edge of the stage. The party approacheth.

CHRIS TENNISON: Are glowing circles ever good?
VIRGIL: Sometimes.
CHRIS TENNISON: So how do we find out?
BRIX: Looks to be some writing around the edge of the circle, but it’s too dim to read.

Suddenly, a disembodied voice chimes in from the other side of the circle.

VOICE: It’s a portal.
BRIX: Oh, thanks. Wait, what?

Weapons are drawn.

VIRGIL: A portal to where?
VOICE: Come in and you’ll find out.
CHRIS TENNISON: Um, thank you, but no.
VOICE: What’s the matter, Chris Tennison? Afraid of what you’ll find here?
CHRIS TENNISON: How- how do you know my name? I’m pretty sure even my parents don’t know I was reincarnated.
VOICE: I’ve been watching you. I’ve been watching you all.
GUY: Well, creepy as that may be, I think it’s time for us to go.
VOICE: Oh, no, Guy Axefury. Do not go. Stay, and feast your eyes upon the horrors of Hell!

The portal glows with intense brightness. Much screaming and running as the party exits hurriedly.

GUY: Run, run, run!
BRIX: Which way?
FLOYD: Eeny, meany, miney, Floyd! This way!

The party turns a corner, and exits. The cave flies out, revealing a hillside on the other side of the entrance to the cave. Nearby, a village square. Several peasants are having a party, with lots of cranberries, squash, cabbage, and pumpkin, as well as a large cooked fowl. There is dancing around a big campfire. Music from a fiddle an fife.

The party crests the hill running at full speed. This catches the attention of the villagers, who watch in wonder as the party runs down the hill, through their small village, and exits the other side. The villagers look at each other quizzically. Suddenly, Floyd re-enters, followed by the others.

VIRGIL: Um, Floyd? Why did you stop running?
FLOYD: Sorry, boys. I’ve got to get some of this pregnant.

A fair maiden approaches Floyd and hands him a mug.

MAIDEN: Welcome to our village, handsome gnome!
FLOYD: Welcome to Floyd’s tally sheet, fair maiden!

FLOYD pulls out a piece of paper on which is scrawled a list.

What’s today’s date? I’ll need to know that for future paternity suits.
MAIDEN: Why, everyone knows it’s the middle of high autumn!
GUY: Are you kidding me? I thought it was winter!
MAIDEN: It would be most peculiar if we had our autumnal equinox festival in the winter, slightly less attractive gnome.
VIRGIL: The cave…
BRIX: High autumn?
GUY: (looking at Floyd’s paper) Tally sheet…
GUY, VIRGIL, and BRIX: (together) The Harvester!
VIRGIL: Holy shit!
BRIX: We have to find him!
GUY: When is the date of the equinox?
MAIDEN: Ten nights from now.
VIRGIL: Jonathan dog crap!
BRIX: This is bad, this is bad.

FLOYD and the MAIDEN exit surreptitiously.

We don’t even know where we’re going to find him.

Suddenly a man steps forward from the villagers. It is DR. ETHAN.

ETHAN: Actually, we do.
CHRIS TENNISON: Dr. Ethan! Well, knee me in the crotch!

An oafish looking villager obliges.

Oomph! (Weakly) What gives?
ETHAN: Garam and I have worked out that the Harvester will begin his rampage at the Valley of the Fallen Stars, just east of centaur run, on the other side of the Bloody Crag, which incidentally, is the only way to get to the valley.
GUY: Through the crag?
ETHAN: That’s right.
GUY: Well, we could use the fighting practice. Come on, gang.
ETHAN: Garam and I will meet you there. We just need to talk one other person into joining us.

ETHAN exits. FLOYD re-enters, adjusting his hat, followed by the MAIDEN.

MAIDEN: Floyd! Will I ever see you again?
FLOYD: Sure thing, random village maiden. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to save the world.
GUY: Ready?
FLOYD: Born ready.
BRIX: To the crag?
ALL: To the crag!

The party exits. The villagers join hands and dance around the fire as music resumes.

Hail, Equinox
Mysterious night
The moon and stars
That glow so bright
Call to the spirits
Who take flight
And we revel
Until we see the light!

The campfire and the villagers fly out, revealing the interior of the Bloody Crag, a series of cliffs, caverns, and mountainside that serves as a perfectly defensible fortress. Within, a group of GNOLLS, ORCS, and other assorted low-level baddies are engaged in a battle with the party. The good guys are winning, but they’re sweating.

VIRGIL: Why are these gnolls so adamant about defending their lives?

VIRGIL lets loose an arrow, which flies smack dab into the middle of a GNOLL WARRIOR. The arrow lets loose an electric current, and the GNOLL falls dead.

GUY: I know, right? All we did was invade their fortress and only homestead.

GUY cleaves through two ORCS.

BRIX: Some creatures simply can’t appreciate hero work.

BRIX casts a spell and a column of fire engulfs several enemies.

CHRIS TENNISON: Those who live through this carnage will surely thank us someday.

CHRIS TENNISON swings his staff at an orc, but misses wildly and falls down.

FLOYD: Don’t worry. I’ll paint a flattering picture of the entire episode.

FLOYD stabs a gnoll in the eye. He falls to the ground, convulsing with shock.

A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens to reveal a gorgeous valley, surrounded by snowy mountain peaks. Above, the stars shine with an intense brightness. Below, a valley floor made of pure obsidian, the surface of which is so reflective that the stars seem to be an infinite mirror into the abyss within the face of the rock. GARAM, GOLDSCHMIDDT, and DR. ETHAN stand near the entrance from the mouth of the crag. FLOYD, BRIX, CHRIS TENNISON, GUY, and VIRGIL emerge, bloodied, bruised, but victorious. BRIX immediately begins healing the party.

CHRIS TENNISON: Goldschmiddt? Ethan, Garam? How’d you guys get over here?
GARAM: We came through the crag, same as you.
VIRGIL: Then why were there so many gnolls and orcs in there?
ETHAN: Well, we told them that we needed to get over to this side, and they let us through.
GARAM: Yes. It’s amazing what folks’ll do for you when you ask them nicely.
VIRGIL: Hmm. Imagine that.
GUY: So, what’s the plan?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: The Harvester cannot be harmed by normal means –
GUY: What’re you calling normal, Goldschmiddt? I mean, have you seen my axe?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Your axe will be useless here. You must use the weapon I am providing to you.
GUY: Very well. Bestow upon me your mighty weapon.

GOLDSCHMIDDT reaches into his boot and pulls out a small dagger.

GOLDSCHMIDDT: There you go.
GUY: I am unenthused.
GOLDSCHMIDDT: Listen to me! This is the only weapon known that will harm the Harvester.
FLOYD: Where did you get it?
GOLDSCHMIDDT: I had to send away for it. Guy, you’re the most competent warrior in hand-to-hand combat, so you’ll be in charge of stabbing him. The rest of you will have to keep him off balance.
FLOYD: Easy enough.
VIRGIL: Oh, really? You think so?
FLOYD: Sure. Watch.

A WIND sweeps though the valley, followed by a faint rustle. Then, from out of nowhere, THE HARVESTER leaps onto stage and falls into a combat crouch.

FLOYD: You’re late. The Harvest was supposed to start three days ago.

Confused, THE HARVESTER checks his watch, which apparently keeps track of the date.


The party leaps into action. CHRIS TENNISON charges, but slips and falls. BRIX puts up a wind wall between THE HARVESTER and ETHAN, GARAM, and GOLDSCHMIDDT. VIRGIL begins to cast. FLOYD clicks his heels, and winds up behind THE HARVESTER.

GUY: That’s all I need.

GUY charges at THE HARVESTER with the dagger. THE HARVESTER proves to be tremendously agile, dodging and parrying GUY’s thrusts, though GUY and FLOYD manage to stay with THE HARVESTER every step of the way. THE HARVESTER backs around, leaping off BRIX’s wind wall and swinging with his sickle at VIRGIL, who barely gets out of the way in time. VIRGIL, for his part, knocks THE HARVESTER around with a couple of magic missiles. THE HARVESTER recovers, and spin fakes FLOYD, effectively taking away the flanking position GUY had. THE HARVESTER then takes a couple of steps backward, preparing to fully engage his combat skills onto GUY.

However, he doesn’t realize that he has backed right into CHRIS TENNISON, who was slow to get up from his initial trip. CHRIS TENNISON, thinking quickly, holds out his staff below THE HARVESTER’s knees. Caught completely off guard, THE HARVESTER trips backwards, falling flat on the ground. In an instant, GUY is there. In a flash, he stabs THE HARVESTER three times: once in the chest, once in the neck, and a third time in the abdomen. As he pulls the knife away, he rips a large amount of fabric on THE HARVESTER’s tunic, revealing nothing underneath. THE HARVESTER’s scarecrow-like body contorts, then there is a flash of light, and the clothes fall to the ground lifeless before quickly crumbling into dust.

Stunned, the party looks around at each other, and quickly begins to celebrate!

VIRGIL: We did it!
FLOYD: We saved the world!
GOLDSCHIMDDT: Don’t get too excited – you’ve defeated The Harvester, but you haven’t destroyed him.
BRIX: What are you talking about?
ETHAN: This is The Betrayer you’re talking about, boys – you don’t just get rid of him. Defeating The Harvester returns him to his original position, hanging from the Old Mill. He can’t harm anyone from there, unless someone releases him again.
FLOYD: Which you’re saying someone could do.
ETHAN: That’s what I’m saying, yes.
BRIX: Well, that sucks donkey balls! I can’t believe we worked so hard to destroy a great evil, only to put it back at a flimsy risk of being re-released into the world!
ETHAN: What can I say? Such is the nature of evil, boys. You can’t completely eradicate it. You can only hope to contain it. The struggle is eternal.
VIRGIL: Still, this feels tremendously anti-climactic. We don’t even get a reward out of this.
GARAM: Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

GARAM, ETHAN, and GOLDSCHMIDDT exit. From within:

ETHAN: Jesus Jones! Who killed all the gnolls in here?
VIRGIL: (to the rest of the group) What in the flip florn flap is Garam talking about?

Suddenly, a light shines, and a small deck of cards appears. A long pause as the party stares at the artifact before them. Finally:


Curtain Closes


January 17 Game Notes

Gameplay begins with the party awaiting their next assignment. The gang gets an intelligence report from Bart, who informs them that Braddock has been promoted from colonel to general in order to distinguish him as the commanding officer of the war. Braddock is currently seeing to a court martial trial for Colonel Dudemont, although Bart is unaware of what the charges are. Bart provides a brief profile of the three Nemian commanders involved in the war – Braddock, Dudemont, and Abrams. At the risk of oversimplification, he describes Braddock as the most cautious and tactical, Dudemont as the most troop-friendly, and Abrams as the most fearless, and the one most likely to employ non-traditional military tactics.

In addition, intelligence reveals that it has produced the first visual confirmation of The Warlord. He is noted as being a hulking monstrosity (dispelling any notions that he may closely resemble Brixmore) with multiple appendages and a frightening visage. He is flanked by an honor guard twice the size of the special task force the party has previously fought at the northern front.

Antsy for a project, many of the party members express a desire to be put to work more quickly than Braddock seems to be calling for them. The party travels to the headquarters for the northern front, where Floyd and Brixmore begin morale work with the troops and Guy and Virgil get an appraisal of the current situation. After learning that there is no current special task force work for them, Floyd opts to stay with the soldiers and provide confidence and courage, while Brix, Guy, and Virgil do some traveling.

Virgil returns to the college in Dreia to work on his spells and check on the status of current projects, such as the challenge grant and the development of the new communication devices. While there, he is approached by a group of students who wish to travel to the front to become more directly involved in the war effort.

Guy and Brix head to Doovin’s to ask him, as the only person they know of who can cast True Ressurection to see if he can bring Vain back from the dead. After preparing and undergoing the arduous task of casting the resurrection spell, Doovin emerges from his house to reveal that Vain cannot be resurrected, since he is not dead. Vain turns out to be alive, albeit trapped in the belly of one of the Cathonic beasts in the ruins of the Tutian capital.

Floyd, meanwhile, is approached by Braddock, who has a new mission for the party. The rest are summoned back, whereupon Braddock explains that he has an espionage opportunity on the supply caravan for the goblin army. Having gotten one of their carts, they will send the party into enemy territory to scout the devastation and state of the other side. Being possessed of good bluff and diplomacy skills, Guy and Floyd ride at the forefront of the cart, while Brix and Virgil guard the rear. The party places its weaponry into a box so as not to give themselves away.

The gang rides to the Tutian capital, which they find in complete ruins. In the center of the city, a truly monstrous beast sits, which the party determines to be the Cathonic beast that has swallowed Vain. The party rides along the outskirts of the city, until a soldier approaches them to ask them why they are off course. As a result of being so close to such unholy evil, the sentience of Guy’s axe kicks in, and it attempts to destroy the soldier. Guy manages to grab the axe before it gets away from him, but the damage is done. The soldier recognizes the group as the Order of the Abbey, and the party is outed. In an attempt to kill as many goblins and their brood as possible, the party draws the Apocalypse Sword – Guy holding it as Virgil, Brix, and Floyd added support to prevent it from being disarmed. The sword, as expected, rained down unbelievable destruction for two full rounds, at which point the Cathonic beast took notice and once of its tendrils reached out for the sword. Seeing this, the party quickly sheathed the sword and Brix’s Word of Recall returned them to the front command station. There, they reported to Braddock what they had seen. From the command station, the party could see the storm clouds that the sword created dissipating. The party comes to the conclusion that they are too recognizable for espionage work without significant efforts being taken to disguise them in the future. Braddock apparently agrees, because he further diminishes the party’s anonymity by assigning them a standard bearer – Axle, who formerly served as the party’s page back at the Council of Ellicor in Arimathea. Axle’s purpose will be to let the troops and commanders know where the party is in battle at all times. The party welcomes Axle into the fold, and awaits their next assignment.

End of Session.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 10 Game Notes

Gameplay begins as Guy arrives from Luthia to find Virgil, Floyd, Axe, and Brix at the drop-off point in Silar for the bridge destruction project. Three weeks have past since the initial scouting of the bridge. After regaling Guy with the story of the last session, the party heads for the bridge, to discover that it has been destroyed. The fresh remains of a monumental battle lay strewn about. The party happens upon the body of a warrior, and Brix resurrects him to discover that he is a member of the Order of the Serpent. The warrior explains that his party had been sent by Colonel Braddock after no word came back from the Abbey party. The Order of the Serpent (sans Pskenart, who had since left the group to focus on the rebuilding of Larst) prevailed, though all of the party died in the process (the destruction of the bridge itself was ultimately the result of a suicide run by Bricka, whose body could not be found and is presumed dead). The party recovers one other body, a spellcaster, but he declines the opportunity to return to the land of the living. The party and the warrior return to Luthia.

In Luthia, Colonel Braddock welcomes the boys and returns them to the business of conducting the war. Reports that the Goblin Army has pushed significantly farther down through Tutia and into Illrea is disheartening, though the party is relieved to hear that the Southern front is holding its ground until the Northern unit pushes to a certain point – presumably the mountain pass between Illrea and the former Bodian Protectorates. Colonel Braddock announces a strategy to push the Northern front back into Tutia, then into Jottenheim. He also reveals that he has ordered the druids to dig trenches in two fallback areas, with the final fallback in the Western Twilight Lands. Braddock’s demeanor strikes Floyd as gloomy and seems pre-disposed to defeat, but when confronted with such an impression, Braddock expresses a hope that the Goblins will stop their inexorable march westward when a significant show of force is displayed.

Braddock asks the party to convince the King of Illrea to order an evacuation, an action the King is reluctant to take because of his perception of Illrea’s symbolic importance to Western Aggravail. Floyd and the party make an impassioned plea to the king, persuading him that the preservation of Illrea’s people and it’s records are a preservation of Illrea itself, far more than any plot of land would be. The king agrees to an evacuation of the city on the condition that a garrison is placed therein and guarantee that an attempt will be made to hold the city. Given Ilrea’s proximity to the pass, and it’s perception as a slowing point for the Goblin Army should they get close to the pass, this matter is easily agreed to.

With the evacuation underway, Braddock asks to send the party to the Tutian/Illrean front to provide aid and support to the battle. The party agrees, but expresses a desire to visit Dreia first on a mission to recruit the wizard’s university into service for the Western Aggravail army. Needing to go quickly, the party takes a chance on Virgil’s Teleport, which goes off without a problem. In anticipation of a showdown with Mason, Virgil and Floyd head for the wizard university, while Brix, Axe, and Guy travel to Mason’s office.

In a surprise, Axe, Brix, and Guy find Mason to be somewhat agreeable to the notion that the wizard college be put to the task of supplying the war effort with magical technology. Mason expresses his desire to keep The Freelands strong and safe, and does so in such a way that for the first time in a long time, Guy and Mason understand each other. Then there may have been some kissing (unconfirmed, Floyd was not there to witness it).

Meanwhile, Floyd and Virgil arrive at the college and call an emergency meeting of the regents, who listen to Virgil’s plea, which falls on more or less deaf ears. The regents, absorbed in their own selfish desires, see no reason to aid the war effort without significant monetary gain for the college, even going so far as to suggest the party give up a good deal of their own personal equipment in exchange for creating a small number of communication devices that would aid the coordination of the war effort. Finally, a tenuous deal is reached. However, before they leave the university, Virgil heads to the university commons and declares a challenge grant – thirty thousand gold pieces in increments of five thousand for six ideas / magical developments that will advance the war effort. Impressed, Guy matches the challenge grant with thirty thousand of his own. One student comes forward with an idea that is immediately awarded – an advanced spell technique that allows mages to combine their spells for increased effect.

Using Brix’s word of recall, the party returns to Luthia, and is immediately transported to the Tutian front. They arrive to find a massive battle in progress. Amid explosions and catapulting boulders, the party makes its way to the command tent, where they find Colonel Dudemont, who sends them to confront the Goblin Army’s primary strike force, a group of nineteen ogres and a troll who punch through areas to gain the infantry access.

The party preps, heads out, and encounters the strike force. They are tremendously well-trained, and present a considerable challenge to the party. During the battle, Axe is killed, though ultimately, the party prevails. In addition, the through means of their magic (Prayer and Bless from Brix, Mass Enlarge Person from Virgil) and Floyd’s singing, the W. Aggravail army (primarily composed of trained soldiers from Nemia), find new life, and significantly push back the goblin forces. Although the victory is small, and hard-won, there is a tremendous boost in morale and confidence that comes with this win.

Following the battle, Axe is resurrected by Brix, and although glad to be returned to life, the experience is such that he requests a temporary leave from battle. Axe heads to Larst to join Pskenart in the rebuilding of Larst. The party expresses their gratitude to Axe for traveling with them so far, and count him among the most valuable of their allies.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Session XXI: Floyd's Puppet Theatre Interpretation

The Order of the Abbey, Part Five: We’re Taking This Show on the Road

Act I

Curtain opens on a ship in the middle of the ocean. SAILORS move sails and do other sailor-ish things. A CAPTAIN is at the wheel.

Longview girls, they have no combs,
Heave away, heave away,
They comb their hair with codfish bones,
We are bound for the Basilica!

Longview boys, they have no brains,
Heave away, heave away,
Their underpants have doody stains,
We are bound for the Basilica!

Heave away, my bully-bully boys,
Heave away, heave away,
Heave away and don’t you make a noise,
We are bound for the Basilica!

FLOYD enters from below deck, wearing a tri-corn hat with several large feathers.

You call that a sea chanty?

FLOYD is followed by VIRGIL, GUY, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON. They are dressed in sailor slops, and seem ready for work.

Try this one.
Heave, ho, heave ho!
Raise the sail, we’re on our way
Batten down the hatches and don’t be slow
We are bound to get to Larst someday!

The SAILORS glare at him.

It’s called panache. Get used to it.

The CAPTAIN approaches FLOYD.

CAPTAIN: Mr. Fiftynames –
FLOYD: Aye, aye, Cap’n?
CAPTAIN: You boys came aboard my ship from the Arimathean town of Longview –
FLOYD: That is where we were.
CAPTAIN: You agreed to work for your passage to Larst.
FLOYD: And that’s where we’re going.
CAPTAIN: Now, your friends over there, they are dressed for work, and they seem to be doing a yeoman’s job of keeping this ship in tip top shape.
FLOYD: Tip shop what now?
CAPTAIN: You, on the other hand, have done nothing but criticize my crew since you came aboard! When do ye expect to start earnin’ yer keep here, Mr. Fiftynames?
FLOYD: Captain, don’t worry. I see where your confusion lies. The fact is, my traveling companions are doing yeoman’s work, and with good reason. They’re yeomen.
CHRIS TENNISON: Can we throw him overboard?
GUY: No, no… let him finish, and the crew will do that for us.
FLOYD: I, on the other hand, am no laborer, as my well-manicured cuticles will attest. On the other hand, I don’t expect my friends here to pick up my slack, which is why I’ve created a very important job for myself.
CAPTAIN: And what is that, exactly?
FLOYD: I’m the ship’s entertainment officer!
CAPTAIN: We don’t NEED an entertainment officer, Mr. Fiftynames.
FLOYD: Maybe you don’t think you do – but this little ditty will convince you.
When rough waters rock your boat,
And you start to feelin’ ill,
Just remember this here tune –
And the next time that you’re
Green around the gills
You won’t feel the urge to swoon!

Smooth sailin’,
Oh, smooth sailin’
Across the great big sea,
Whether you’re travelin’
Or gone whalin’
You can travel comfortably!

We left Longview
With some cargo
Bound for another count-u-ree,
And when we get there,
Guy has promised
To buy Virgil a new steed!

And don’t forget that, either!
GUY: Relax. We knew we were headed to Larst, and we couldn’t very well take our horses on the ship with us.
CHRIS TENNISON: Plus, you kind of overreacted to the news that we couldn’t take them.
VIRGIL: How so?
BRIX: You set Longview on fire!
VIRGIL: Well, I was mad.
Smooth sailin’
Oh, smooth sailin’
Across the great big sea,
Whether you’re travelin’
Or gone whalin’
You can travel comfortably!

Button. Spoken:

CAPTAIN: Put on some slops, and swab the damn deck.
FLOYD: Fine.

Suddenly, the ship starts to shake violently. Waves splash over the side. A SAILOR falls overboard.

SAILOR: This is my only line! Ahh!
FLOYD: Damn. If it’s Lily the Mer-Gnome, tell her I’m not here!

FLOYD hides under a crate. An enormous SEA GIANT stands up in the water. As deep as the ocean is, he is only waist-deep.

BRIX: Oh, this isn’t good.
GIANT: I feel my kindred stirring.

He looks down at the party.

Beware Strom.

The SEA GIANT disappears back into the water. Everything returns to normal.

GUY: Strom? Who the hell is that?
CHRIS TENNISON: Something tells me we’re bound to find out.

BRIX approaches FLOYD’s hiding space.

BRIX: It’s safe to come out now, Floyd.
FLOYD: What was it?
BRIX: A giant, telling us to beware Strom.
FLOYD: Strom? The legendary giant lord who nearly conquered Western Aggravail once upon a time?


BRIX: Come again?
FLOYD: Yeah, it happened a long time ago. Strom was this big evil Frost Giant, and he nearly conquered the world, but he was beaten by a resistance of men, led by some guy with a weapon called Stromsbane.
CHRIS TENNISON: How do you know that?
FLOYD: You pick things up playing taverns and swapping stories. Every now and then, I tend to know something about a random topic.
GUY: Well, well. Who knew that this random…
FLOYD: Bardic knowledge?
GUY: Yeah – that it would come in handy?
FLOYD: I’m full of surprises.
CAPTAIN: I’m so fucking serious!! Get to work!

The boys pick up mops and start swabbing. From the crow’s nest:

SAILOR #2: Larst, ho!

A cheer erupts from the ship. Larst glides into the background, a multi-level city on a mountain. At the top level, a beautiful ivory and gold Basilica. The party stands in awe.

BRIX: Opulence. Peh.
VIRGIL: Ooh! I’ll bet that they have jewel encrusted horses here.

The boat docks, and the boys get off the ship. The ship flies out, replaced by the streets of the city.

GUY: Well, well. I guess the first thing we should do is –
VIRGIL: Horse. Now.
GUY: What? Oh, yeah…

GUY walks over to nearby tent, purchases a toy horse, and gives it to VIRGIL.


VIRGIL seethes.

CHRIS TENNISON: Letter of the law, my friend.

A GNOME enters.

GNOME: Hello!
FLOYD: Hello, fellow gnome! What up?
GNOME: I couldn’t help but notice you boys are new to the city. Looking for a way up to the top?
GNOME: How would you like to take a ride on my hot air balloon?

VIRGIL, FLOYD, BRIX, and CHRIS TENNISON look at each other with glee.


Then, playing it cool.

FLOYD: Sure, I guess.
GNOME: Hop in!
Come fly away with me
On a journey across the sky
When the ground is beneath your feet
The stars can only be in your eyes
But when you bid adieu
To the earth below you
And rapturously take to the air -
it’s a white knuckle rush
as your face becomes flush
and you feel… different
than you were over there.

A Hot Air Balloon flys in and lands at the boys’s feet. They get in, joined by the GNOME. The balloon takes off, and we find ourselves in the sky. Spoken:

VIRGIL: Whee! Flying is awesome!
FLOYD: Boy, it’s high up!
GUY: Not scared, are you Floyd?
FLOYD: Me? Please. I can cast feather fall. I’d be more worried if I were the iron dwarf over there.
BRIX: Eh – at least it’ll deaden the fall.
Come fly away with me
On a journey across the sky
When the ground is beneath your feet
The stars can only be in your eyes
But when you bid adieu
To the earth below you
And rapturously take to the air -
it’s a white knuckle rush
as your face becomes flush
and you feel… different
than you were over there.

The balloon lands on the top level. The Basilica looms large in the distance. Spoken:

GNOME: Here we are!
VIRGIL: Thanks!
GNOME: Don’t mention it. That’ll be one big bag of gold, please.

Stunned silence.

CHRIS TENNISON: A… a whole big bag?
GNOME: That’s right.

FLOYD reluctantly hands over a big bag of gold, taking one gold piece out in the process.

FLOYD: That’s for the bag.

HE pockets the gold piece.

GNOME: Pleasure doing business with you chumps.
BRIX: Chumps?
GNOME: That is to say – no, I was happy with it the first time.

The hot air balloon takes off. A GIRL in a gingham dress runs out.

GIRL: Oh! ! Come back! Don’t go without me! Please come back!
GNOME: I can’t come back! I don’t know how it works! Goodbye folks!

And the GNOME is gone.

GIRL: Oh! How am I ever going to get back to Kansas now?

The GIRL looks hopefully at the party. THEY stare back, blankly.

VIRGIL: Um, we should go.

The PARTY exits as the GIRL and her DOG (that’s right) look after them. A-STAGE closes. B-STAGE opens to reveal the PARTY sitting at a booth in a restaurant called “The Boar’s Head,” a fancy place. The party sits on one side of the booth, while a gentleman named MERRILL sits on the other side. A large feast is upon the table, and MERRILL eats hungrily.

MERRILL: So, you got swindled, huh?
GUY: You might say that.
MERRILL: Yeah, the mark-ups here in Larst are pretty high. You want a better deal? Go to the Bar With No Name.
VIRGIL: How are we supposed to find a bar with no name?
MERRILL: That is the name?
MERRILL: The name of the bar.
BRIX: The Bar with No Name.
MERRILL: That’s right.
FLOYD: But how can it be the name of the bar if it’s a bar with no name?
MERRILL: I… never mind, just find it –
VIRGIL: But how –
MERRILL: Shut up! I’m trying to tell you where you can get a good deal on magic items.
GUY: Well, let me tell you, Merrill, who is a member of the seekers, the same organization that Ethan and Garam belong to - we really appreciate your help.
FLOYD: (to Guy, sotto voce) Nice summation.
GUY: I feel so dirty.

The party gets up to leave.

CHRIS TENNISON: See you soon!
MERRILL: Doubt it.

B-STAGE closes. A-STAGE opens to reveal a darkened bar room with a handful of inhabitants, every one of whom look like an adventurer. The PARTY enters.

FLOYD: Well, this is the place.

An ILLREAN RANGER enters, approaches VIRGIL.

RANGER: Excuse me –
BRIX: Oh, no! No thank you, sir. We know all about the goblins.
RANGER: - Okay. Are you Virgil Deathbow?
VIRGIL: I sure am.
RANGER: I’d like to talk to you about you becoming a member of the Illrean Rangers.
VIRGIL: Nifty!

VIRGIL and the RANGER go off to a corner to talk. The rest of the party approaches an ELF at the bar with a big bag that says, “Stuff!”

CHRIS TENNISON: That’s quite a bag of stuff you got there.
ELF: You like what you see?
BRIX: You selling any of it?
ELF: Mayhaps.
CHRIS TENNISON: Well, ooh-la ti-da.
ELF: What’cha in the market for?

The PARTY begins conversing with the ELF. The door opens, and JARROD enters. He does not see the gang.

FLOYD: Hey, Guy.
GUY: What’s up, Floyd?
FLOYD: Isn’t that Jarrod?
GUY: You know, I think it is.
FLOYD: The same Jarrod who spys on us through an arcane mark he secretly placed on our arm?
GUY: That’s him. We should lay low and see what he’s up to.

But it’s too late. FLOYD calls out to JARROD.

FLOYD: Hey, Jarrod!

JARROD turns, surprised.

What’s the big idea, pal? You like to play peeping tom?
JARROD: What are you little twerps doing here?
FLOYD: You oughta know, shouldn’t you?
JARROD: Look, I don’t have time for your petty concerns and problems, boys. I’ve got actual important work to do.
GUY: We’re petty to you?
FLOYD: If that’s the case, why did you go to the trouble of programming channels onto our forearms?
JARROD: Screw off, gnomes.
GUY: That’s it!

GUY takes a swing at JARROD, who proves to be an illusion. The illusion dissipates.

FLOYD: What the fuck? Did this guy just send an illusion here to IGNORE US?
BRIX: Calm down, Floyd.
FLOYD: No! This guy doesn’t take us seriously enough to earn the right to spy on us any time he wants to. He’s cut off!
BRIX: Cut off? What are we going to do, chop off our arms?
FLOYD: You got a better idea?

VIRGIL re-enters the conversation.

VIRGIL: We could just find a wizard who will remove the arcane mark.
FLOYD:… or that.

A WIZARD stands up from the table.

WIZARD: I’m a wizard who can remove arcane marks.
FLOYD: Wu-Tang. Remove away, my good man.
WIZARD: Sure. That’ll be thirty-five hundred gold pieces per arm, though.
FLOYD: Son of a crap! Why is everything in this town so expensive?
GUY: Your only other choice is to go around without your left arm, Floyd.

LONG pause.

GUY: Here.

GUY hands the WIZARD a considerable amount of gold.

That should cover the four of us.
CHRIS TENNISON: That’s almost everything we had left from Scar Canyon!

The WIZARD concentrates, then speaks an incantation. FLOYD, GUY, VIRGIL, and BRIX look on as a little cloud of smoke erupts on their arms.

WIZARD: Pleasure doing business with you.

The WIZARD takes his money and scoots out of the bar. FLOYD takes out a piece of paper and pen and writes quickly.

VIRGIL: What are you doing?
FLOYD: I’m preparing an invoice for fourteen-thousand gold to Jarrod from us.
VIRGIL: I don’t think he’s going to pay that, Floyd.
FLOYD: Then I’m gonna take it out of his ass with a spiky scoop.
GUY: Are we done with Larst?
CHRIS TENNISON: I think we’re done with Larst.

Curtain Closes.

Floyd's Call-to-Arms Song

Seek Adventure, Young Lads

(steady march)

Seek Adventure, Young Lads, on the war front!
Seek glory, seek fame, and seek renown!
Haven’t you always wished to know
When a bard like Floyd would tell ya so
Of possibilities outside of your hometown?

Seek adventure, young lads, in the good fight!
Don’t let goblins destroy the lives you’ve built!
When you remember all you’ve made
You will never be afraid, you’ll
Come home braggin’ of all that you have kill’t!

Seek adventure, young lads, and distinction!
When you kneel before that holy throne,
You are like to feel no shame
When the Proclaimer calls your name
As the light of your heroic deeds have brightly shone!

January 3 Game Notes

In-game date: 10th of Winter Waning

Floyd, Virgil, Brix, and Axe return to Luthia to the War Council. Guy is absent to tend to a personal matter (presumably masturbation). When they arrive in Luthia, the four go to see Bart, who has made his way to Luthia with the Bogatars, who have completed their scouting mission of the goblin invasion. The Bogatars report the location of the goblin forces, and the presence of two considerable beasts – one a giant hydra, and one fitting the description of a gargantuan illithid. In addition, they report that goblin ships have begun sailing around the western coast of the continent via the north, and that the barbarians of Jottenheim have been fighting them there. This gives the party the impression that the goblins may land a Britewater, and they assume this will be their next mission. Virgil decides to consolidate all military intelligence under Bart, who channels control of the Bogatars, the Fifty-Gnomes, a team of Illrean Rangers, and Garvey’s network of contacts under his supervision.

After the war council agrees to this, a progress check is made, and many are dismayed that more has not been done as far as recruiting and conscription are concerned. It is expressed that the ranks of the Church and the Adventurer’s Guild will be insufficient to fight this war alone. Colonel Braddock, the de facto military commander of the War Council, agrees, but impresses that more time is needed before the entirety of the continent’s forces can be organized and deployed. In the meantime, Braddock hopes to employ a special strike force (the party, natch) to take care of a few important preparatory missions in order to prepare for the war. The party agrees to this notion.

Floyd suggests the formation of a think-tank, based off of the research of the Seeker known as Revan, who has been studying the beacon towers in an effort to understand how they work. This think tank would be made of young, agile minds that would come up with innovative ideas to aid the war effort. Additionally, Virgil proposes the building of airships and other weaponry / vehicular technology for the fight, and to inspire that to its natural end, war bonds will be issued to jump start the economy.

Floyd contacts Ajax and requests a team of ten Fifty-Gnomes well versed in disguise and subterfuge. Ajax informs him that the Fifty-Gnomes have begun recruiting and training above their proscribed number in an effort to more quickly replace casualties. Furthermore, Ajax reports to the party that the University in Dreia had approached Mason and requested exemption from the war effort, to which Mason agreed. It is once again resolved that Mason will need to be deposed from this seat in The Freelandian government.

Braddock feels that the ships coming west are more likely headed to Arimathea than they are to Britewater, and that more time is available to address the naval issue. More immediate is the need to destroy a bridge in Silar that is strategic to the advance of the Goblins on the eastern front. Braddock sends Virgil, Brix, Floyd, and Axe to destroy the bridge.

The party travels via convoy to Silar. Along the way, they see conscripts training for battle, and looking scared. To combat this, Floyd composes and performs a song along their stops to improve morale and increase confidence in the war effort. The song proves to be catchy and memorable, though not one of his best.

The convoy drops the party off a couple of miles away from the bridge. The party travels for two days, eschewing campfires for want of better concealment. When they finally arrive at the bridge, they manage to scope out a force of about ninety goblins, goblin mages (red vests), hobgoblins, and bugbears (with a wyvern or two for good measure) guarding the bridge. The boys formulate a plan, though it will require rest and rememorization of a few spells. As they attempt to hide and sneak away, however, they are discovered, and forced into a fight.

Virgil quickly makes the decision that the party should retreat, despite the protestations of Brix, Axe, and Floyd. Faced with Virgil’s abandonment of the fight, the other three reluctantly follow. When they are followed and spotted by one of the wyverns, Virgil attempts to teleport the group out, only to have the spell botch. The party ends up in Fey.

Finding themselves on a new plane, Floyd attempts to contact Alvin, the one fey he knows. However, his attempt to communicate through rock fails as the rock Floyd chooses ends up being a small granite-looking fey bug, whom Floyd drop kicks away. This proves to be a regrettable decisions when the fey returns with a swarm of similar creatures. Floyd, thinking quickly, fascinates the group, and suggests that his punishment should be being taken to the nearest friendly settlement. The fey bug concurs, and he leads him into the forest to a village of humanoid creatures no more than an inch tall.

Floyd finds a citizen and introduces himself, only to discover that the little man (Tevye) has heard of him. Tevye knows of a portal to the prime material plane, but demands a trade for the information; Floyd is forced to relinquish his Horn of Fog. Tevye directs Floyd to a tree stump which will transport the group.

Floyd attempts to use the portal, but he finds he can’t. Virgil reasons that something is blocking Floyd from leaving Fey, when Alvin shows up, demanding one of Floyd’s debts to him be repaid. Alvin requests that Floyd steal the Huntmaster’s Cup from the abode of the Horned King, who is abroad on a hunt. Having no choice, Floyd and the party go to the Horned King’s home, where they are forced to fight two dire bears, a dire tiger, and a dire boar. The animals themselves are not too tricky, but the Horned King’s servant, a flesh golem of some sort, proves to be a very difficult fight, although the party is ultimately victorious. They return to the portal, and give the cup to Alvin, who unlocks the portal and sends the boys back to the material plane. They find themselves a long way from Silar, however, and Virgil is forced to teleport the group again, this time without complication. They arrive in the spot where the convoy dropped them off, two days from the bridge, although as of this writing, they have no idea how much time passed while they were in Fey.

End of Session.

Game Notes December 27

In-game date: 5th of Winter Waning (akin to our February)

Gameplay begins with the arrival of Pskenart, Oak, and Pierce Thundar to the End of Days War Council, and the late arrival of Luth, who comes to inform the assembled that the Holy City in Larst has been overrun, and Benedict has sent out a distress call. An immediate strike force is assembled (the player characters), and Matthick is sent back to Gortia with the instructions to assemble a back up force to come in and aid the strike force, and the Arimathean navy, which will enter the city first. Luth also explains that the goblin forces have set up beacon towers around the city which quickly put the kibosh on inter-planar travel based spells such as dimension door and teleport.

The strike force travels to the Arimathean navy ships under a Word of Recall set up by Luth’s accompanying clerics, and the party is soon thrust into a Normandy-esque situation, storming the beach. They arrive to find the first five levels of the city fallen, and the sixth under attack, while at the top, a large earth creature is attacking the Basilica proper. Brix rushes to the top to protect the Basilica and find Benedict, while the rest of the party clears a path from the beach and begins their ascent up the levels of the city.

To climb from the first level to the second level, Floyd and Scaramouche attempt to fly a rope over the wall for the others to climb. However, they are met by a force of Goblin Mages (wearing red vests), who assault Scaramouche with 300+ points of Magic Missle damage, and Scaramouche falls dead. However, the rope is secured and the goblin mages are dealt with, and the party burns the body of Scaramouche (with Floyd taking a couple of scales for possible resurrection later).

The party continues to ascend through the city. As they reach the fourth level, they find the mid levels of Larst to be on fire, and a more direct route is made to be taken. In addition, their trek over the city walls has caught the attention of the goblin force, and the army begins to make its way up to trap the party at the top.

Entering the sixth level of the city, the party is forced to explain their purpose to the remaining citizens of Larst who are fighting for their lives. These citizens reluctantly send the party on their way, though it is resolved that the group will return to fight for the survivors. The party then proceeds to the top of the city with little resistance, where Brix has managed to extract Benedict, but has had little luck with the gargantuan earth creature. Having previously thought it to be an elemental, Brix attempted a dismissal, but his magic was muffled by the beacon towers. Further engagement of the beast, however, made it clear that it was not an earth elemental, but a construct of some sort. Virgil and Pskenart then focused explosions on a very particular part of the construct, disabling the controls and sending the behemoth tumbling down the layers of the city, where it cut a large, trench-like swath down to the beach.

The morale-boost this provided would be short-lived, however, as the goblins began advancing up the trench as a shortcut, and it became increasingly clear that the Gortian backup forces were not going to arrive. Faced with overwhelming numbers and a sizable number of survivors to evacuate, Floyd chose to sneak off and find the field commander of the Goblin forces. Floyd managed to fascinate the commander and co-erce him into issuing the order to retreat. The commander issued the order over a magically-amplified loudspeaker, and a platform was lowered from the skies by goblins riding wyverns, and the command team was picked up and lifted off. Virgil and Brix took to the skies (via Air Walk and Polymorph) and cut the ropes holding the platform, sending the command team falling to their deaths. The goblins infantry commit mass suicide upon the order, leaving Larst destroyed but untaken. Benedict seals the catacombs below Larts, and abandons the Basilica. All in all 3400 citizens of Larst survive.

The party sees the evacuation process set underway, then makes its way back to Luthia to reconvene with the War Council.

In-game date: 7th of Winter Waning

The party returns to Luthia. Brixmore asks Scaramouche if he would like to be resurrected, and Scaramouche agrees, feeling there is much at stake for the world at large, and he would like to do his part.

A primary leadership is chosen among the assembled for the council:

Colonel Braddock of Nemia
Garvey of Silar
Dravick, Head of the Illrean Rangers
Virgil, representing Luthia
Guy of The Freelands
Luth, King of Arimathea, and Lord of the West

Benedict (later Erronious as Benedict’s proxy) serves as a representative of the Univeral Church to act in tie-breaking situations.

The primary preparations for war are put into action, beginning with the establishment of a front and the creation of trenches. Oak approaches Goldschmiddt about making inroads with the druids to dig the trenches, and Goldschmiddt refers him to a druid named Botha. Although Floyd is not privy to the conversation, it is understood that Oak strikes a deal with Botha that enables the druids to do so. Erronious organizes the church forces, and Kleppos brings the adventurers guild under his singular authority.

Meanwhile, Matthick is confronted and questioned as to why Gortian support did not manifest itself at the Sack of Larst. Matthick reveals that he intentionally withheld Gortia’s troops to show Gortia’s usefulness to the war effort, and demanded a larger say in the proceedings. The party and the rest of the council become enraged at this revelation, and Luth abolishes Gortia’s right to exist as a nation, and orders the immediate execution of Matthick at the hands of Guy, who performs his duty with relish.

Elliott’s role in the goblin invasion is discussed, and it is agreed that the party will visit Elliott to find out what he knows. The gang (and Goldschmiddt) travel to the Necromancer’s Tower, where they find Elliott to be uncooperative, though more troubling is the revelation that Virgil has been seeing Elliott in secret and has consulted with him on more than one occasion the possibility of lich-hood (for Virgil). Floyd moves to attack Elliott, but Elliott proves to be a wizard of considerable power; only through Virgil’s negotiating is are PC’s dismissed from Elliott’s home and spared their lives (by and large).

Dejected from this encounter, the party returns to Larst.

End of Session