Monday, August 1, 2011

Tales of the Bard 013

Don't slip

Our adventurers decide to carry on, moving into the next cavern. Large, precarious, holes, comes to mind as they edge their way across a network of spider and darkling holes. Not far into their journey Varaxis, the only light source slips on some pebbles, and tumbles deep into one of the holes the party is trying to skirt around. Varaxis hits the ground hard, hurt penetrates into his body as he raises himself up to see he is stuck down a 50ft drop hole. With their light source gone, the party sends Jaspyr to climb down after Varaxis to bring him out of the spider hole. Jaspyr edges his way into the dark eventually finding Varaxis at the bottom, fending off some darklings attacking him from half sized passage ways leading away from the hole. Successfully fending off the darklings, Jaspyr carries our head dress wearing demon back to the top to rejoin the rest of the group.

Still traversing the room, Sieg succumbs to his weight and lack of dexterity and falls down the hole, Dex misses catching him, but Aranel dives fast, grabbing Sieg on the way down. Unfortunately, our frail blood drinking elf suddenly encumbered with an extra 300 pounds of undead weight is pulled into the hole too. Bumps, scrapes, pain, and stopping, the pair are wedge halfway down the hole. Jaspyr starts in after them, as the two holemates manoeuvre and slip and fall the rest of the way down. Aranel blessed with temporary darkvision sees the darklings coming as he tries to get Sieg boosted up and out of the hole. Sieg nearly makes it to Jaspyr when he slips and falls down on top of Aranel. The darklings take advantage and Sieg drops unconscious. Jaspyr playing the roll of elevator scoops him up and takes him up top. Varaxis meanwhile realizes that he has some rope decides to throw it down, too late to Aranel. Dex tries to go down and help Aranel, but can find no sign of him when he reaches the bottom of the hole. With no darkvision, and no light source, Dex decides to regroup with the party, lest he be taken too.

Is he awake?

Aranel wakes to find himself being dragged off, encased in web by one of the worker spiders. He manages to loose his dagger, and cut himself loose and sneaks off. Attempting to climb out of the darkling lair, Aranel slips, falls and looses touch with consciousness once again.

The companions finally make it to the other side of cavern after a few more falls, and climbs. Where is Aranel? how will we find him? and should we just leave him here?

Awake again, Aranel finds himself in a sticky situation. Naked, upside down and stuck in web and covered in a viscous liquid. He pulls together some strength deep within himself to wriggle himself loose, slamming hard on the wet cold stone floor. He sees other animals, ensnared and dead hanging in the web, no gear, no clothes, what to do? Shit, someone is coming. A small darkling comes into the cavern where Aranel was hanging to find a naked, and very much animated Elf standing there. After screaming, the darking is pounced upon. Aranels, tusk like fangs, newly grown back sink deep into the meaty tissue of the creatures throat. The elf rises, blood fresh and makes for an escape. Turning one corridor, two corridors he is assailed by darklings hot on his trail and is overwhelmed again.

Noise, and battle sounds, unmistakable that has to be Aranel causing a stir down there Varaxis thinks. He and Jaspyr set out to retrieve Aranel while Dex and Sieg sit in the dark, waiting, and trying not to go mad with darkness all around. Hot on the trail Jaspyr and Varaxis find their charge, and do away with the darklings hauling Aranel away. As Jaspyr drags the elf away, Varaxis is shot with an arrow that miraculously turns to web sticking him in place. Fire, the fire burns foes, as well as webbing, as well as tiefling. Eventually Varaxis and Jaspyr route the darklings and escape with Aranel, and a special new bow. Uptop, the clothe Aranel in a spare cloak and head on, with the pressure of loosing time to this darkling pit.

Try it this way, no no no, the other way

The next chamber is filled with stone tablets, strewn about with a circular patterned ring in the floor. At the center of the rings is a imprint where the Argos Librarium upon Varaxis arm can be set in. Varaxis tries it, nothing happens as the others realize they have to put the pieces back together to activate it. After figuring out the puzzle, the party puts all the pieces in the right order, activate the dias and stand back. A door opens, as a bright light fills the chamber.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bards Tale 012

What lies beneath

There are deep places in this world, many long forgotten and undisturbed for an age. Entire cultures, races and worlds live unto themselves in the depths. Strange things hint at the past buried beneath centuries of neglect and disinterest. Facts well known to our companions.

The party finds themselves at the top of a stairway leading to unknown depths. Sieg and Dex are revived with the skill of Aranel and the brave lot heads deeper. Spurred on by the unknown fate of those brothers of Karnak on the surface, the party delves down 5 stories deep into the earth and rock. Finding a chamber at the bottom, with a large ornate door, blocked by toppled debris and statues. However with every path closed, at least another presents itself. Following air currents in the room, Aranel spies a hole leading down into a natural looking chamber. Hoping for an alternate entrance into the ancient Magnatherian library the party explores. Finding a dead end path, the party finds themselves assaulted by large poisonous spiders within their den. Small fighting quarters makes the fight difficult but the party prevails. Smashing carapace, limb, and eyes, the blighted care not about poisons. Varaxis however still of a living persuasion indeed succumbs to the biting poisons of the dog sized spiders. Arrows fall, axes cleave, and swords ring true as Jaspyr obliterates the last of the spiders and the party explores further.

Not all is as it seems, Aranel spots a crude trap through one of the natural chambers exits. Is there deft hands at work down in these depths, setting nets and the like, or are these the remnants of a long forgotten people, they wonder. The question is soon answered as Aranel sets off the trap intentionally, and walks through the opening sensing no danger. Spiders descend upon the party, this time with little fierce halfling sized men riding upon their backs, armed with spear and net. The bottle neck in the cavern allows limited access to the 3 darklings and their mounts. The party even in their hurt and tired state easily dispatch these 3 and send them to a darkness new to even those that live without light.

“Carry on, there are people dying up top we need to find a way to help them” Dex commands as the party continues on. Coming into a large chamber split into two by a large chasm they cannot see the bottom of. Halfway into the chamber they hear a few words of the clicking language of the darklings and all is dark. Varaxis carrying the only light source notes he cannot even see much more than his Magnatherian gift and the others have never known such darkness. With no blightcreep, no lights and no senses the party stumbles, trying to find their way out of the darkness. Spears jab at Jaspyr and Sieg as Dex and Aranel find their way out to the cavern wall. Darkness still greets them until Varaxis emerges forth, showing a globe of black still encompassing most of the chamber and 2 of their cursed friends. Sieg being attacked from many sides stumbles and brutally falls deep into the chasm, hitting a ledge far below his already bruised and battered body leaves his consciousness behind. Jaspyr wanders in the dark as a spider net grabs hold of Dex and Varaxis. Aranel climbs a ledge to gain a good advantage on the situation and tries to lower a rope into the chasm, hoping beyond hope that Sieg is still conscious, and able to find this life line, he is wrong on both counts. A bolt of dark energy emerges from the dark sphere slamming Aranel hard with enough force to make him drop his rope into the deep. Dex and Varaxis struggle out of the spider web and try to gain their footing. Jaspyr eventually takes so many spears and jabs in the dark he succumbs to unconsciousness.

The darkness lifts and our 3 remaining hero's spy many Darklings scurrying about and hauling Jaspyr off into the chasm. Dropping many with his arrows, Aranel spots a Darkling wearing a head dress made of one of the large spiders as dark bolts fly from his fingers hitting him again and again. Dex and Varaxis hurry to help as the 3 take out the remainder as the Darkling shaman runs up the wall unhindered by gravity or the need of a spider mount. Varaxis and Aranel quickly drop him as Dex hurries to secure the fate of his chasm bound comrades. Dropping down 50 ft of rope and heading without tarry, Dex leads into the chasm. “We need to find them, and get the hell out of here” as he drops down to a ledge in the chasm 15 feet below the end of his rope without a second glance. As a man possessed Dex drops the Darklings, and spiders hauling off Jaspyr and newly bound Sieg. They revive Sieg and Jaspyr as they scramble up to the rope with difficulty finding themselves atop the chasm once again.

At the top, upon closer inspection of the Darkling shaman Jaspyr finds a strange ring upon his small hands. As he holds it, the ring re sises to fit upon his finger perfectly...Magic! With new found stability balance and grip, Jaspyr finds he too can now scramble up vertical walls as though he were a spider. Varaxis takes the head dress and finds it makes him look even more fearsome and decides to make it a permanent fixture to his travelling know to scare the kids. As if a demon man with glowing rune tattoos, bracer and green fiery energy wasn't scary enough

Monday, June 6, 2011

thoughts of a paladin

As our band of blighted heroes face what appears to be miniature blight bringers they are quickly overwhelmed and Sieg is struck down, shortly followed by Dex. In the throes of this bizarre form of death, Sieg feels a great darkness crawling over him; over his soul. His faith wanes and his mind races..

The faithful have been a dying breed in the years of late. As we clambered on in our own lives the xenophobic cultures grew less and less accepting, leading to suffering, hatred and death. It was these factors that brought me to my faith, or should I say it brought my beliefs to me. I discovered Avandra's guiding hand on the roads of travel. Traveling as an axe for hire, defense for some of the more hapless caravans, I felt a light within compelling me to help. Having heard many rumors of the god of luck, change and travel over the years, I began to feel her presence. Her light brought new life into me, gave me purpose and guidance. I pledged my axe to this light and the people it watches over and began life anew. Twiceborn as a paladin of the free people.

However, times have changed. In what's seemed like a matter of days the world has fallen into darkness and the light of my faith grows dim. Avandra's presence is faint and with the monstrosity I've become my ability to believe has waned. I've felt as though we've been abandoned and left to rot amongst the blight ridden of the world. We're burned by the light of the gods and reviled by the people. How can I prove myself and do good for the people like this.

My four compatriots and I fight for different reasons, but I sense that we are all fighting for our humanity. And as I lay here, burning in the sunlight of the Pelor and overwhelmed by the creations of blight, I wonder; do we deserve our humanity? In the countless years we were not of our mind we have most definitely committed atrocities I care not to fathom. In my personal attempts to maintain composure and sensibility I have gone mad and attempted murder of innocent beings. Maybe this change in our bodies was a sign that we are lost and we have been forsaken. And maybe this is the end.

Not all luck is as bad as it seems. Change is sometimes a necessary evil for a greater good.

A-Avandra.. I can feel your light within me once more. Your divinity flowing through my veins, albeit faintly. Perhaps this has happened for a reason. Maybe I was fated to meet these individuals and to be drawn through such trials. Perhaps we can indeed bring about a change in this world yet. We are close to an almost ancient discovery and I feel I must protect my compatriots. Avandra knows I can't do this alone and I feel a bond with them stronger than I've felt with others in a long time.
My faith was dying, but Avandra is watching over us, of that I know. Renewed in belief and love for this world I know we must push on and we must survive. We must bring about change.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tales of the Bard 011

We come in peace

As the figures approach, Aranel decides to split off from the party to get a better look and ambushing position. The others stand ready for an assault and hope for an easier solution to present itself. These brave, who toil to find out the mysteries of what has consumed this world, still have hope. It happens quickly, the figures are seen to wave and move their arms in a fluid like motion, bringing together both hands and pulling them apart. As their hands pull apart a path is made through the fog squarely on the hero's of Ostwick. 'We are found' they think as they are presented with a familiar question. “Who are you?”. Dex, Sieg, Jaspyr, and Varaxis come forward to confront these men and women of Pelor. Dex explains that “We come seeking refuge from this war, in hopes that mighty Pelor can help us with our plight”. Looking the blight weary over the monks and sisters of Karnak decide to bring Elder Reubin to decide the fate of these strangers.


Elder Reubin is an old cane laden man in his twilight years. But with all that age, there is a quickness in his eyes and he almost sees through this lot set before him. “I see you have multiplied, there is 5 of you here where the brothers told me there was only 4?” Elder Reubin queries as Aranel steps forward. After asking many questions of the party, and gleaning truths and half truths from them, the elder decides to grant the travellers sanctuary under heavy guard. Sensing Jaspyr's unease, Reubin tells him “I am but an old man now my friend, I'm afraid i would not taste very good to you indeed”. Noticing the Argos Librarium grafted to the arm of Varaxis The leader of this Temple sees some familiar looking runes upon it. Leading them into Karnak the party takes great pain as they enter the light and walk to some makeshift quarters set up for them to stay through the night. The guards bring them live chickens as horrible sounds ring through the courtyard.


The next morning Reubin comes and collects the party wanting to show them around the grounds, to see if they came to the right place as they warranted. Showing the party around the grounds, the elder points out some familiar runes located on walk stones around the base of the main temple. As Varaxis holds up his hand and survey's the surroundings, the Argo Librarium plinks little flashes of light on the runic sequence he is meant to unlock a secret door. As Varaxis activates the runes they light up and a secret door opens up to stairs leading downward below the temple. Moments after opening up the secret stair, the unnatural glow of the site discontinues as there are shouts of “incoming” and the hustle and bustle of everyone in the temple mobilizing to defend. Black balls of writhing tentacles fly overhead and slam into buildings, the ground and people. 2 of the monks wisk away the old man as the party takes the fight to one of the newly arriving blight bringers. Aranel, Varaxis and Sieg strike with great ferver. The swirling mess of tentacles lashes out slamming into Sieg. Jaspyr steps in and unleashes a rending blow to the mess almost cutting the beast in twain with smoke roiling off of his argent blade. Dex orders Jaspyr to strike again and he does. The monster reels but pulls itself back together as threads on a loom intertwine making cloth. The blight bringer rains down tentacles on Sieg and Dex as it grabs hold of the argent wielding Jaspyr. More blows pummel Sieg into unconsciousness, then the same for Dex. Jaspyr frees himself as Varaxis and Aranel bring the pain to the tentacled mass as it wails unto unconsciousness. Grabbing up Dex, and Seig the party withdraws into the hidden stair as the sounds weapons, spells and fists ring through the temple.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Dex before and after blight pics

From the journal of Aranel Aelynsar...

It has been a week since we awoke upon that strange battlefield. Now, here I sit with my companions, with the Burning Plains to our backs, and a city bathed in holy light before us. In such a short time, we have traveled far, slain old monsters and made new enemies. I pray that we begin to find the answers we seek, and perhaps even save our world from this blight.

I should detest the monsters we have become. For an elf, the dead feeding upon the living is wholly unnatural, but I find myself...indifferent. While the others generally choose to avoid it where possible, it has come more easily to me. My years in the elvish army taught me to survive at all costs. I do tend to fall back on habits, but I wonder if it is something more. The hunger is present in all of us, but I am beginning to crave it. We become primal and violent when the hunger takes over and we lose control, and I fear those who abstain for as long as they are able may eventually lead to our downfall.

But these fellows are the closest thing to friends I have found since leaving Tellion so many years ago. Sieg, ever so pious, is by far the most stubborn. It has been good to see his spirits recently lifted. Dex, the half-breed, is an honorable man and a natural leader. I am grateful to him for helping me unlock some of the blight's mysteries. Veraxis, our living map, is a curious one. I fear for his safety around the likes of us, however. Even though our party of misfits may have only known each other briefly, we fight as if we have been battling alongside one another for a lifetime. I suppose in one respect, we have been.

Prior to being blight-touched, I was nearing the brink of my own mortality. I fought in battles before most of my companions were born, and suffered too many injuries in my long career. I do not know what fate we will meet in that holy temple, but if we do find the answers we seek, I know not if I will return to my former self. Since tasting the guard's blood in Fendis Ren, I have, ironically, felt more alive than I have in years. But for now, I must go.

Someone is coming...

The collected journals of the elven ranger would later be retold by the bard, in THE BALLAD OF BLIGHT AND BLOOD.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tales of the Bard 010


Taking stalk of events the party notes they are all standing and 3 blighted women lay at their feet. As Sieg and Dex attempt to pull daggers from inside thier necrotic flesh, Jaspyr makes a discovery of a different sort. Two of the featureless porcelain masks of the blight witches lay in shards, likely pierced by the arrows of Aranel. However the third, yes the third is still intact. Jaspyr looks closely at the woman laying without consciousness and sees that her blight tendrils have woven themselves into the mask, making it as much a part of her face as her eyes or nose. Pulling out his argent blade Jaspyr begins to cut the tendrils from the mask. They sizzle and pop, snap and recoil from the silvered weapon as the mask slowly peels away. The woman beneath is beautiful, such a shame such beauty perverted to such horrible means. They gather the rest of their things, the mask and a few of the blighted witches cloaks of crimson and orange and make way to investigate the chain gang.

We are here to help

Even with the best intentions some things can still go horribly horribly wrong. Approaching the chained humans, orcs and dwarf the party makes their intentions well known. Met with equal parts horror, intrigue and obedience the party makes contact. These prisoners are bound together by chain, all single file and pillaged from different nomadic tribes from the burning plains. The humans explain that their bonds are only accessible by the sisters' ability to phase through the locks to unlock its sealed mechanisms. The orcs grunt and spit their language at the would be saviours while their leader is bound with a type of mussel as well as his hands bound. The humans explain that he is likely a war priest with an arcane manipulating tongue.

Sieg continues to calm the crowd as some of the humans tell him the knowledge that there is a dragon born tribe that roams the northern most parts of the burning plains.

Desperation coupled with fleeting time motivate Dex to experiment with the Sisters' mask. He believes it will grant him their ability to phase through objects and remove the bonds that imprison the captives. As he brings the mask closer to his face his blight tendrils reach and stretch to pull the mask snug to his face. A whole new world is laid before Dex as his perceptions are completely changed. He has no sight, however in the darkness the roiling energies of the living illuminate them beautifully and gracefully. Also their is a sense with the blight creep, a sense that he perceives for the first time perhaps because his is blinded. He can detect slightly, as if they are shadows, his comrades. And the hunger, the hunger my god it is enhanced and hard to control with this evil thing attached to his face. However, Dex remains strong, if not aware of his fleeting time. Searching from within, Dex manages to activate the inate ability to phase, clumsily however and phases up to his chest in the ground. The others manage to pull him free and Dex tries again, this time with more control. He phases through a shield as a test. Next he tries to free one of the humans. Phasing through the lock Dex can almost feel the mechanism and with some trying manages to keep his fingertips phased to manipulate the inner mechanism while his arm passes through its outer barrier. Dex deftly releases the poor captive amongst a short lived shower of praise.

Looking upon the now freed human, his essence changing colour with the new prospect of being freed, Dex looses himself to the increasing hunger. He can't take it any more and lunges for the human. Sieg and Aranel try to stop him but as Sieg tries to reposition himself Dex breaks free of his grasp. He grabs the Human and bites his arm in twain. Screaming and fear boil over as Sieg and Jaspyr manage to subdue Dex. Dex looses consciousness and Jaspyr cuts the mask from his face.

Sieg manages to calm the chain gang and stabilize the wounds of the human cauterizing his stump of an arm. A terrible price to pay in such troubling times. Varaxis decides their must be an easier way, perhaps the warpriest can help. Varaxis removes the mussel from Rekvar'thra and explains to him in broken Orcish the situation. Rekvar'thra begins to chant and spell that is almost as a song dripping off of his Orcish tongue. With some effort Rekvar'thra loosens the bonds and the fall unbound to the ground from the chained captives. After a further exchange Varaxis is told of the nearby temple of Pelor known as Karnak which the party is seemingly headed towards. “A very dangerous place for blighted” they warn as the party takes heed. After further talk Varaxis limited understanding of Orcish grammar and context leads to insult. The party will get no quarter should they run into Orc kind again.

What pretty cloaks

The party continues through the night towards the maps navigation. After a few hours they see a large blight bringer on the horizon, the party decides to give it a wide birth and skirts around the large mass of tendrils. Again off in the distance more blight beings and the party worries they may be spied and again tries to arc away from the encampment. Just then ahead of them the party is approached by more 'Sisters'. The party is quick to tell the sisters not to attack Varaxis, as tasty as he may seem for they are on a “mission” of some importance. The Sisters explain that they should follow them to speak with “the mother” if Varaxis is so important. However Dex dismisses this notion and convinces them of a higher purpose. One sister asks if they have seen their new recruits and another group of sisters bringing them. The party lies horribly to the sisters as 2 of them are wearing their very same cloaks. After more intimidation and wheeling and dealing Dex manages to convince the sisters to allow them to pass anyhow. And forward they go.

Light, such brilliant light

As they progress the party sees a beaming and otherworldly light emanating on the horizon. Karnak! “Lets go around” Dex says, their is no place for blighted in a temple for the god of the sun. Varaxis speaks up, The map is pointing directly at Karnak. Whatever it is they seek, it lies somewhere within that Temple. Aranel finds the party a decent spot to camp for the day as Karnac is blight creepless and bathed in daylight, even before sunrise somehow. During the day Dex discovers that he can tune into the blight creep to perceive his surroundings. With effort Dex believes the party can use it to communicate eventually and he attempts to instruct the others how to use it. During 3rd watch 6 figures approach wearing the same colours and cloaks as the sisters. However these beings are indeed alive still and not blighted.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tales of the Bard 009


Walk a mile in another mans shoes

Sometimes in times of great peril and chaos the lines of morality are blurred in the name of the greater good. And yet sometimes you have to deal with a man like Dex. Dex having every ounce of his being consumed by the hunger that haunts his new un-life, still manages to make a case to leave the unconscious elf alive and able to follow his own path. This is a man that hates Dex and his kind, would kill him 20 times over if given the opportunity, he could be used as food, he could be a thorn in the parties side in the future, and yet Dex makes his case. Sometimes its the swing of an axe, sometimes sacrifice in battle, but today its words and leadership that mark a hero. Though they may be bereft of their old lives, these few and strong still have light in their souls.

And then Varaxis takes his boots....

Gathering up supplies of elvish rope and a few weapons, arrows and trinkets, the party makes way towards their map waypoint to find a suitable place to rest for the day.

Crises of faith

Madness, rage, hunger, cruelty, hunger, evil, hunger, hunger, hunger, hunger, how do I stave off the hunger? How can i still be myself? Has Avandra forsaken me? TALK TO ME! We are all tested by the gods, some more obvious than others, and poor Seig is at a crossroads in his belief. Seig takes time, trying to connect with Avandra, but will his god listen? A glimmer, the faintest feeling that he is being watched. Seig holds onto this feeling, bundling it up, shielding it from his hunger. Will this glimmer be enough....

Did you see that?

With a few roaming mindless blight after Varaxis very little happens in the encampment. The party gathers their things and begins their march anew. The road has a funny way of allowing strangers to bond, and these strangers are no different. Dex and Aranel talk at length of their former selves as the landscape changes from dead blight forest to rolling blight plains. Aranel describes how these lands used to be vast and colourful with the prominence of red and orange flowers giving the burning plains its namesake.

After hours of travelling the party spies a line of torches off in the distances of their vision. Aranel is sent closer to investigate. A strange scene lies ahead of him, weary and worn men and women of many races walk, bound by chains in single file. Who are these people, or more importantly who are their captors?

Meanwhile Varaxis is concentrating on some infernal tome of his as the party waits for Aranel to report back. Just then, out of nowhere a beautiful voice says to him “I should like to meet you” as a cold hand caresses his chest, pulling tendrils of life essence from the Tieflings very core. Pain! The party is alight in action as they try to make sense of what is happening. A woman cloaked in crimson and a pale featureless mask is set upon Varaxis, seemingly floating with toes barely touching blight, she is engorging herself with his essence. 2 More appear as the shift around calling each other 'sister' and pull more and more life from Varaxis. Jaspyr, Dex and Seig attack with varied results as the 3 sisters seem almost intangible at times. One of the women moves right through Dex, saying “what are you doing brother” to him as she phases in and out of existence. Varaxis pulls upon his infernal knowledge and begins playing a tug of war with his life essence, pulling it back from his attackers as they deftly take it back again. One sister through a series of a kind of beautiful and elegant movements phases in and out leaving a dagger inside of Dex.

Aranel rushing back to the party after hearing the commotion, takes aim and lets loose 2 quick and deadly arrows. Noticing their pattern of incorporeal shifting, Aranel places the 2 arrows perfectly into the brain pans of 2 sisters as they slump to the ground. Varaxis pulls life from the third as Aranel lets loose another arrow to separate the witch from her consciousness.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tales of the Bard 008

Something to show

Its funny how war changes people. Old enemies become trusted allies, right and wrong are no longer definitive tools of measurement, and hope becomes a powerful motivation, almost blindingly so.

The party decides to confide in Casey to garner favour with this leader of rabble. They show him the map of Collosia newly procured and blood soaked. A vision of which tantalizes Aranel's fangs at the smell of blood on parchment. Dex decides to tell Casey of the giant task at hand, that a hint of a hint of a cure is leading them towards an unknown destination deep within the Burning Plains. This peaks Casey's interest, he and his spies saw the party fighting other blight, just hours ago. Could it be true, a cure? After 51 years of war, nay survival how could you blame a man for grasping tenaciously at any hint of a solution. Whether from a devil, or the mouth of a half elven saviour, it doesn't matter to the beast known as desperation. “Come with me” he says, “i have something i want you to see”. And so they head for New Haven, the daylight giving Casey and his band some assurance that these cursed even if they go back on their word of “no harm” they wouldn't be much of a problem.

Arriving in town the party notices goblins, many goblins walking, talking, selling and generally living among the humans. Casey explains how war makes strange bedfellows, and that the goblins earn their keep with resourcefulness and instinct. The homes of New haven, if you could call them that are are make shift tents raised into the trees by rigging that looks like it belongs on a ship, not on a camping trip. Collars of silver line the trunks of trees and everyone gets the sense that this town could disassemble and relocate in a matter of minutes if push came to shove.

Casey leads the party to his tree grouping and lowers a crate down with a quick knot slide and pulley tug. Opening the crate, he announces, “this is what i brought you hear to see”. Inside is a mass, of blight creep, contently writhing within, slowed and nonthreatening. Casey explains, “this was my son” as his head hangs in self expressed failure. “after months of being confined to this crate without food he lapsed into this cocoon for a sort of hibernation we believe” he continues. “So as you can imagine, i have a vested interest in a cure for this curse, and if there is anything I can do to help you speed you on your way to finding it, then name it now”. “I only ask that you share the answers should you find them”. To this the party can hardly say no, a man who is obviously torn by his responsibility to the people of this makeshift refugee town, and his want to come with them and find the answers first hand.

The party is given what provisions they request. A shield for Dex, some goblin made goggles for Varaxis that allows him to see as the blighted do in blight fog. Also they are gifted a small messenger Drakin named Iro, to help them contact New haven again should they move on. Finally Casey offers food, bringing about a goat to help the blight cursed party feed. Seig is unable to contain himself again ripping out the heart of the poor beast as the rest take their piece of the pie.

Casey warns the party that they should stay out of site of the Elves should they fly overhead with their large Drakin powered air skiffs, on a patrol. As they bid farewell and gods speed Casey has his men see the party to a cave for respite from the noon day's sun.

Back through the tunnel

After a short rest they decide to head back out of Old Tellion through the tunnel they came in. Cautiously the party heads back through the tunnel and Aranel notices that the creep from the other side has spread into the tunnel and is inching its way towards New Haven. Heading back through the entrance of the tunnel the party spies blight thralls wandering aimlessly around the area. A small blight bringer is spreading creep and it is recognized that the blight thralls were those that the party smote just hours earlier. Up and fully regenerated and roaming. Varaxis' presence is not noticed and the party is allowed to simply walk through and away from the mingling thralls.

Don't trust those whose feet are not bound to the soil

After some time travelling towards the maps directions the party sees something heading in their direction in the sky. Hiding(and not well in some cases) the party peaks out to see an elvish air skiff flying over head and spotting their curious bodies hardly hidden, turn their skiff sharply and begin their decent. This skiff's rune covered hull pulses and glows as it decends rapidly on the parties position. All at once 3 elves nimbly leap forward unhinging the 2 Drakin that propell the skiff from their harness' and a forth uses arcane word weavings to set the craft down. The Drakin fly straight for Seig and Jaspyr as Dex and Aranel try to reason with these Elvish zealots. They would rather burn for eternity with no sons or daughters than speak with these blighted pigs as they curse and spit in their guttural elvish tongue known far too well to Aranel.

Seig and Jaspyr are grappled by the too Drakin and flown into the air. Jaspyr defly stabs the Drakin wounding it horribly as it lets him loose to fall. Jaspyr uses his blight enhanced leaping ability to land gracefully and deftly. Seig is not so lucky as he squirms free of his captors grasp and plummets fast slamming into the ground. Seig lifts himself up as the days “work” has just begun. As the Elves volley arrows into our heroes Dex and Aranel rush for the Elves. Varaxis lets out an infernal blast, engulfing 2 of the Elves in green fire. But Varaxis is not the only one on the battlefield with magic “tricks”. The Elven Mage utters some words in the arcane tongue, drawing his hands together and touching his finger tips to one another. As he arcs them back around, the crackle of lighting dances from finger to finger ultimately being directed out towards Aranel. Aranel dodges the lightning blast but it changes directions and catches Dex off guard. Jaspyr and Seig go toe to toe with these flying lizards getting blow after blow and receiving bit and claw. A defening boom of thunder erupts from the Elven Mage, and Dex and Aranel are knocked and dazed from the intense sound. Varaxis roasts one of the Elven Hunters and Aranel and Dex drop another. Jaspyr drops his sword and draws his Glaive thrusting it deep into the mortally wounded Drakin. Blood and guts spill out as he summons the strength to lift the beast over his head as it slides down the pointy end of his weapon. Dex stabs the remaining Elven Hunter as Aranel leaps in ripping the Elves throat out with the ferocity and jagged horror of one and a half fang-tusks.

The Elven Mage runs, but where does he think he can go from here with his Drakin's dead, his protectors bleeding and burning on the ground, and the Halfelf pig running straight for him. Its not long before Dex catches, grapples and questions him. He reveals nothing and spits in Dex's face, gaining a sense of satisfaction in the face of his judges. Aranel is fed up with the questioning going no-where and goes in for a feeding as Dex forcefully stops him. One more dead end response and Dex beats this man to uncontiousness.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Tales of the Bard 007

52/1st/786ce(51-blight era)

Our weary adventurers not wanting another engagement with the Collosians this night decide to gather what they can and move on before the man that ran off into the north returns with reinforcements presumably. Finding an old map of Collosia with hand markings on it of towns and places crossed off and a large line splitting the land in two. Moving east along the river bank looking for a way into Tellion, Aranel hears the noise of beasts of burden and the faint scraping of an underground endeavour. Deciding to scout it out as he is rising over an embankment into the wood, Aranel is met by scores of men rushing at him. He runs back to his companions as he lets loose arrows bundled with falsehoods of “we do you no harm!”. Over the embankment many blight thralls rush at our party with the reckless disregard of controlled insanity.

Fresh from feeding the would be heroes receive the incoming wave of thralls like a steadfast stone breakwater. Seig and Dex quickly dispatch two of the thralls as more rush in with jumper blight thralls. Rushing down is an 8 foot tall Goliath blight champion screaming rageful comments at Aranel. Aranel and Varaxis and Jaspyr drop a few more of the unknowing thralls. Dex is then surprised by one of the blight thralls pouncing on top of him knocking him prone. Aranel backs up through the front line as the Goliath charges through. Narrowly missing Dex lying prone with a stomp of his heavy foot the Goliath strikes out in anger towards Aranel. Aranel pulls back dodging with his amazing manoeuvring abilities inciting further rage from the hapless blight champion. Varaxis pulls away un-life from the Goliath with his infernal ways, stunning him. Jaspyr and Dex seize the opportunity to cut into the blight champion with finesse and vigour. A blight thrall approaches Varaxis and is met with doom as Varaxis reaches out grabbing the once-mans face in the palm of his map hand. Searing glyphs illuminate and send beams of light through the blight thralls head as if it were not even there. The blight thrall drops having been bestrode true death by Varaxis' Magnatherian artifact. As the rest of the thralls are being cleaned up, Jaspyr unleashes a strike of his sword powerful enough to split the land in twain if it weren't for the Goliaths body getting in the way. The Argent blade cuts deep as armour buckles and breaks, bone spliters and the blight champions essence escapes him dropping him dead.

A tunnel

Investigating to see what these blight had been working on the party finds they had been fast at work digging a tunnel under the river into Tellion. Blighted giant boars had been used to haul the dirt out and makeshift tunnel supports in. The tunnel was almost finished when Aranel stumbled upon their operation. Digging the rest of the way through our party progresses cautiously through the tunnel into the lands that were once Elven. Dawn is coming and the party walks on searching for a suitable location to rest for the day as they no longer are in blighted territory. They find a little hollow out of direct sunlight to hunker down as the party discuss' an unsettling realization. “What do we do about Seig?” Dex queries the others. With is lack of hunger control, made worse by refusing to eat can he be trusted to remain in the presence of Varaxis? No is the conclusion, and tying Seig up with ropes is the short term solution the party realizes. Discussing the decision with Seig they bind him up for the day and set watch.

An old familiar face

A few hours into Varaxis' watch the encampment is suddenly surrounded by a dozen cloaked bow trained men. Keeping their distance they ask the party what they are doing here, and who they are. As the rest of the party is roused, and Seig's bindings broken and man from the back steps forth. “I remember your faces, i swore I would never forget them” An old, but well conditioned looking man, with scars to account for all the years says. “You are the ones that saved my life, all those years ago in Ostwick, i was a boy then, but you saved me, and you saved Eastbourne with the signal fires.” His name is Casey Brightholm and he is probably the only living being in all of the world that would not attack this ragged lot. The world is a funny and small place, the fates are hard at work here, that much is obvious.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tales of the Bard 006

The Map

Seifous leads the party into his home and opens up a secret door leading down into a hidden underground stairwell. Under his estate the blight pokes through the hewn stone walls as Seifous leads them past large rooms full of gear, supplies and his personal quarters. Seifous draws close to a closed door and knocks upon it, announcing that “the guests we have been waiting for have arrived”. Opening the door the weary travellers see a strange being before them. Seig and Aranel recognize the mans species from stories and folklore tales, though none have met such a being. He stands over 6 feet with long horns and a tail sticking out from the back of his chair as he sits studying ancient runic tomes that the courteous Seifous has provided. A Teifling? “This is your map gentlemen” Seifous exclaims to reactions of distrust and confusion. Never before has a more motley band of random beings been so unaccepting of a stranger into their midst. Here they were, Human, Elf, Halfelf, and Dragonborn all metamorphasized by the blight, and they were hung up on ancient folk tales and stereotypes of the untrustworthy tieflings. Seig made an effort to accept a man as rare as he, but Aranel carries old hatrids and instantly questions the Teiflings motives.

“This is Varaxis, he has been my guest for some time, he is your map” chimed Seifous. What, who where, when, why, came out of the party in varying degree's of diplomacy and candour. Varaxis lifts up his arm to reveal a queer looking bracer. It sinks into his skin as though it were a part of him, and moving tattoos emanate from its epicentre. There are ancient runes marking it with a faint glow and a plate of shifting pieces across its surface. It doesn't seem quite metal, and not quite stone either. Very curious. As Varaxis holds his hand up and pans around the room the tattoo shifts and changes, lines scroll and pinpoint fixing on a single point as Varaxis steadies his hand facing northeasterly. “And we believe that is the location of the Magnatherian library or archive” Seifous explains. He continues to tell them about how another blight lord had Varaxis captive and was taking him to the library when they were assaulted by Orcish war priests. Seifous himself carried off poor Varaxis saving him from a horrible end and Varaxis has been his “guest” ever since.

Dress for success

Seifous offers our band gear and supplies so that they may make haste in their task. A human woman is brought in to fix some chainmail big enough for Seig to wear. As she brushes past him taking measurements he finds her scent intoxicating. Seig cannot control his urges, his eyes darken, his gizzard makes a guttural purr as he lunges for the unanticipating woman. Seifous, Dex, Aranel and Jaspyr manage to intercept Seig before he can taste that poor woman. Seig bucks and sends Aranel flying accross the room slamming hard into the hewn stone walls. Seifous wonders aloud if Seig's lack of control is contingent to his race, or is he just a weak willed individual, more animal than sentient being? The party gathers there things and parts ways with Seifous that evening, promissing to return with information.

Collosian Patrolmen

As the party travels eastward they come across the river Duindarin river as the Tellion Elves call it. Aranel recognizes this river as it borders his homeland of Tellion. Deciding to travel further down river, the party looks for a place where they could cross into the now dead treed borderlands of Tellion. Aranel spots some figures in the distance with torches and investigates, getting close he sees they are indeed Collosians, numbering 6 strong they do not seem to notice their elvish spy.

Returning to the party and reporting his findings Aranel sees a feral Seig lunging past and darting for the Collosians. Unable to control himself again. The rest of the party follows quick pursuit so as to take advantage of the frothing Dragonborn's attack. Seig bowls headlong into his prey loosing his axe to a surprised patrol of humans. With their military training the Collosians don't miss a beat forming up and flanking Seig from all sides they wail on the Dragonborn with maces and longswords as their leader positions himself for a deadly attack. Dex runs in to Seigs aid a few steps behind him, as Aranel loosens an arrow and charges in. Jaspyr, unaffected by the hunger strategically leaps into a nearby tree readying himself. As the battle progresses just before the Collosian leader can sink his silvered longsword into Seig, Jaspyr pounces from the tree sinking his claws into the chest of the unsuspecting leader binding him to the ground.

Aranel drops his bow and lunges for his first victim. Latching onto his throat as a great cat would a grazing herd beast. Aranel is intoxicated by the feeding frenzy as the life drains out of the hapless human. The battle rages on and Jaspyr maintains his prison on the Collosian leader as Varaxis has spell after spell fizzle before they can take form. Aranel flips off of his first, straight onto his second as though he has a lifetime of blood sucking training behind him, instincts take over and all he can sense is vessles of blood as he drinks.

Bearing the weight of many calculated attacks Seig falls, as does his hunger lust. Just then Varaxis makes a connection to the infernal plane and summons forth a fiery bolt that strikes the bound leader, killing another lesser man and severly burning his ally in the process. Jaspyr doesn't give into the pain as his body smolders with fire tongues kissing his blighted body as he brings down a flurry of claws that mince the newly cooked Collosian leader. Dex letting his hunger get the best of him sinks his jaws into a longswordsmans femur snapping it in twain as Dex pulls the pieces apart scattering the dying mans body on the battlefield. Aranel lunges for a third man is met by a swift swing of a mace. One of Aranels tusks is caught in the blow and shatters upon impact leaving him broken and in pain. The remaining Collosian runs into the dark as the party regroups and feeds.

Seig awakens and refuses to bear the fruit of his hasty attack and will not feed. Jaspyr strains and chooses not to feed unitl Varaxis convinces him otherwise. Varaxis doesn't wish to be fed upon next and would like his new “allies” with full bellies so long as the food is all ready there.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tales of the Bard 005

Trustworthy Allies

Seifous returns with saddles full of fresh blood as the party decides to take him up on his offer of a safe haven for the day. As they travel towards his estate just a couple hours south of town. Seifous decides these poor souls could use some guidance and tells them of how he was once Pretor of Fendis Ren and how he had saved that town from the blight by making their “deal” and signing himself over to the blight. In return Seifous' will and mind remained intact and he was given a small fiefdom south of Fendis Ren to control.


As the party travels and are about to learn the year they are ambushed by 2 lesser carrion crawlers. Ploughing out of the ground the entire group is completely taken aback as 4 blight thralls are swallowed whole by the emerging worms. Jaspyr the only party member with a blade, looses grip out of terror and inexperience with an argent weapon, sends it flying past one of the crawlers. Dex motivates Jaspyr to move past the worm and pick up his weapon and try anew as Seifous releases a quick flick of the wrist and a bolt of fire scores one of the great beasts. Dismounting with great grace and skill Seifous charges headlong into the Crawlers unleashing a flurry of rapier strikes mincing the carapace of the monster. As Seig attempts flanking with claw attacks, and Dex attempts using his new robust jaws, Aranels arrows let loose and fail to hit anything but trees and rocks. Luckily Seifous' entourage surround the beasts and let loose claw after claw dealing several slicing blows to the recoiling worms. Jaspyr learns the weight of his new blade just in time as Seig gets his claw stuck in between chitinous plates of the carrion crawler. As he flaps around wildly with the bucking beast Seifous delivers a rapier pinning the monster to the ground by one of his legs. One worm flees as Seifous mounts the pinned one driving his other rapier through the brain of the devourer of dead flesh.

The other white meat

As the party gathers themselves Seig is unable to contain his hunger, wildly devouring the newly felled worm that sits before him. Jaspyr and Dex to decide to partake in this unexpected bounty so they may stave off cravings for another day. The party gathers their things as well as the blight thralls that were swallowed whole by the worm and makes for the Seifous estate.

51/1st/786ce(51-blight era)

The party finally gets an answer out of Seifous that it has been 51 years since Ostwick fell, and they had been blight thralls all that time committing unspeakable acts. They arrive at his estate just before dawn and are greeted by fields of wheat untouched by the blight, and pastures of livestock. Seifous explains to them that he lives off of the livestock here and has human servants to farm them for him. Seig and Jaspyr are particularly untrusting of this information. The hero's of Ostwick, ever cautious decide to camp outside of The lavish if slightly rundown home of Seifous. Seifous needing rest also decides to retire to his chambers for the day. A morning and afternoon later Seifous meets with our party again to determine their next course of action. He reveals to them that King Romos of Proteria is the Blight King and controls much of the blight forces. However he wishes a more neutral standing in the war Seifous tends to be of too little influence and importance to warrant the Kings direct involvement in bringing him back into the fold. Seifous has attained a map to an ancient Magnatherian “library” that could hold answers as to how to control/cure the blight. He cannot trust the blight lords with this information, nor their living enemies. Perhaps these newly released Blight touched of strong will and virtue could prove useful in tracking down this information.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tales of the Bard 004

50/1st/??? evening

To catch a thief

Is it wrong to steal to feed your family? Is it wrong to steal as a means of survival in a harsh world? As our heros explored Fendis ren, they realized that they are without money, nor decent clothing or weapons by which their very survival is linked. As Jaspyr, Dex, and Seig head through town to scare children and discover the southern gate in Fendis Ren, Aranel is tasked with no easy feat for a woodsmen by trade. You see Aranel doesn't feel comfortable among people, let alone sneaking amongst their buildings and shops and guardsmen in order to steal from them. However dire times require dire actions. Would you or I act any different in those troubling times?

As he pilfers a few clotheslines and lifts some gold from the more fortunate in town, Aranel notices a lack of silver in the local economy. Using his new found wealth Aranel attempts to purchase some new weapons from a local smithy. The smithy soon realizes he is talking to “blight touched” and reluctantly sells him his wares out of two parts fear, and one part pity.

The taste

Scurrying back to the alleys our elfin blood touched goes. Searching for more gear he stumbles upon a weary guard who is alerted to this ranger turned rogue. As he is screaming for help Aranel has no choice but to take out the guard. Using perhaps too much force on one of these gaunt fendis rendians Aranel slays the guard, spilling blood all over the ally. As the beautiful crimson elixir rolls over the slumping body of the poor guardsman, Aranel feels unbridaled urges. He hears help coming, but he cannot contain himself, his thirst must be quenched at all costs. His willpower leaving him, Aranel drinks, he drinks as though a new babe sups mothers milk for the first time. He can feel the power and essence of the consumed man coursing throughout his body. It feels good, too good. How can a simple elf come back from this divine taste? Taking as much as he can, Aranel receeds into shadow once more to wait out the heat from the local authorities.

Tobias Aerilious

Meanwhile after Seig has had his fill of scaring the local youth, Dex is approached by Tobias Aerilious. Tobias is completely enthralled with our crew asking them questions about the war, and informs our weary travellers that they can stay at the inn for free and dine on the word of the towns Pretor(mayor). Tobias is wisked away suddenly by news that some blight touched has fed on one of the local guards this night.

Open the gates....please

Once our party regroups with Aranel Dex makes his way to secure the southern gatesman to open up. This does not go over well, and it takes some quick thinking and wit from our dragonborn and Jaspyr to convince the guardsmen to let them out. As they leave Fendis Ren behind, there is a shipment of Blood barrels set outside the gate. Our heros leave the barrels behind and make way down the southern road, trying to get their bearings still. Not far from town, and man on a horse with a large entourage approaches from the south. Not wanting to stir up extra trouble the party stays the course and are met by a man who introduces himself as Seifous. Seifous brings with him his blight steed and 10 blight touched. His smooth charm and interest in the party soon reveals to him what new babes to the woods our heros truly are. He tantelizes the group with hints of information and an invitation back to his estate where they will be “safe” to spend the daylight hours. As he heads to Fendis Ren, the party agrees this would be a good course of action, if for anything but to find out what year it is.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tales of the Bard 003



Have you ever woken up to a nightmare? The hero's of Ostwick certainly have. Its hard to imagine your life torn away from you, everything and everyone you knew lay within the realm of the unknown. Your very being has been altered, its hard to put on those shoes and keep walking. It takes a special breed to face that kind of insanity and survive. Many didn't that day, however the gods smiled upon 4 of our hero's.

Dex roused first to the hazy sight and sounds of a battle as a newborn might. A hulking giant of a man stand before him, arm missing and dozens of trinkets adorning a network of steely chains bound about his ornately crafted black plate armour. His other arm is making up for the missing one however as he holds a soon dead man aloft in his contrasting silver armour glinting in a ray of light somehow. Silver thrusts a dagger deep into Black's chest knocking loose a trinket that Dex feels compelled to snatch up. Aranel reels as he takes in the gruesome scene. Black and green tendrils slither ever slightly all along the ground, and Aranel, as the others do, eerily feels comfort in ghastly roots known as Blight Creep. Dozens of terrible men and women and children lay nearby convoulting in the fits of realization. Some of these poor are screaming, some chewing through their own limbs, some are simply beating themselves to death. Beams of light pierce the shroud of green fog mist which our hero's can see through perfectly somehow now. The sounds of terrible thunder cracks and the clashing of hundreds if not thousands of weapons rings throughout this day. Jaspyr feels burning in his chest as he awakens. Looking down there is a longsword that has drunk his blood, does he even have blood anymore? The argent blade is pulled from his heart and he feels relief. Seig and Dex clamour up a crest of a hill to spy what sort of madness they have befallen. As they look down into a valley of life, death and undeath they stare into war. Thousands strong on both sides, men in silver charging on horseback against a monstrous foe whom the hero's feel a strange kinship with now. Massive beings, 2 storeys high sway their mighty tentacles back and forth drawing a wave of the blight creep behind them. Men with propped up metal casks lit with fire, and exploding with the sound of thunder dropping the charging masses before them. And fire, there is fire everywhere, divine and holy in nature, imbued with the light of the sun itself.

A Calculated Withdrawl

Aranel has had enough, this scene is too much and he wants answers. Approaching Black, Aranel demands to know what is going on. Black screams a terrible sound and smites Aranel with Silver's dying husk. The others quickly gather up Aranel, Seig deciding to carry his burden, they make haste for the dying wood that lay to the south of the battle. They run for hours as the sounds of battle wage on and grow fainter until finally they are gone.

The Hunger

As the party travels, they are having strange cravings. It starts as a twinge in the back of their minds, but soon enough it begins to dominate their thoughts. Blood, Bone, Flesh and Organ is what they crave, each with their own brand of horrible taste. Each of them are not without new “gifts” though. Aranel is reborn with retractable tusk like fangs perfectly suited to quench his vampiric thirst. Dex's very skin is bulked up with scales of bone and an overdeveloped jaw with immense biting strength. Seig's claws are fashioned into efficient piercing knives as his steely gaze now can see more of a man than he ever could before. And Jaspyr's legs are teaming with new found strength and spring as well as flaying claws adorning his fingertips. They all have the blackgreen tendrils writhing over their skin jutting out concentrically from their core.

Fendis Ren

As the party heads further south the blight creep is letting up. Seig decides to bask in sunlight and get out of this green fog. He is immediately dropped to his knees by the shock of it how can the sun itself bring about pain?

Along the road south they come acrossed to weary blight touched wandering aimlessly. They seem to have no interest in our hero's though. Seig decides he wants to put these poor beings out of their torment and proceeds to dismember and decapitate one of them. The other is dropped to the ground by Aranel and Jaspyr as Dex watches with indifference. After grabbing some of their salvageable clothes one of the blight touched gets back up completely regenerated and walks away, the others head lays their biting at the air.

The road completely clears of blight creep and the moon is out as the party approaches Fendis Ren. They are met at the gate by an old man, who has been cast out today on his birthday. He spins them a tale of how the town has made arrangements with the cursed to put out the old and sick in exchange for keeping their town safe from this awful war. He gladly pays this price so that his grandchildren or their children, or their children can see an end to this madness. Covering up their blight veins, the party seeks shelter within the town. The guardsman, half drunk, half asleep at his post likely doesn't check them over fully and allows them passage. After all, most bligt touched don't ask politely for entrance into their town.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tales of the Bard 002

A businessman and an earless goblin

Abe welcomed our weary travellers back to Ostwick and offered them good work. “I need a good crew to head on down to Proteria and make sure the roads are clear of highwaymen” Little did Abe know of the coming tide. The party decides to make preperations for the road, as well as find someone to decipher their little goblin text they found. Well let me tell you, a sorry soul is a pedler who depends on a dancing earless goblin named smitty to earn his supper. Old Joe Treark was all too eager to get his goblin meal ticket to translate the note Seig had found at the highwaymen encampment. By Joe's translation the note read: “We need ~~ move ~~~~~ position, they ~~~~ been pushing ~~~ further and further, ~~~~ supplies ~~~~~~~~~ brothers and sisters ~~~ join ~~~~~~~.”. Smitty also did a nice little dance for the party seeing as they paid for him and Joe to eat like kings for the next few weeks.

Decidedly the party thought it prudent to warn the local guardsmen and do a perimeter walkabout to see if there was any goblin activity in the works. Well let me tell you, Dex and Jaspyr tried to talk some sense into Jeb Thornsvein(current head guardsmen due to the local militia's best and brightest being up north with lord Brightholm). Jeb wasn't too worried about it, goblins he said “aren't smart enough” to give Ostwick much trouble. Meanwhile Aranel, Seig and Heimdel found some goblin tracks but they were weeks old and not in great numbers.

Pull up a stool

Our intreped adventurers decide to spend the night telling stories drinking and oogling poor barmaid Molly at the Lambs Head inn. Had Molly known what was to happen that night maybe she would have taken the brazen and drunk dwarf Heimdel, up on his various, and numerous winks, leers, and offers. As Jaspyrs eyes get squintier, his slurry more apparent and his cup empty, Seig tells a tale of slavery, gladiators and rebith into religion. Aranel keeps to him self, preferring the company of his bow to that of the dozens of strangers and his new travelling companions that mill about at the Lambs Head inn. And local douchebag Lance Hoodfelt sends multiple stink eye's towards Dex, free of charge of course. All in all, a good evening for our Hero's, were the world to end tomorrow their souls would be content and full of life.


Hero's of Ostwick

As the night turned into predawn morning Seig is awakened by the sounds of guardsmen shouting. Springing to the window Seig notes a thick fog has set in to obscure any view his window should normally portray. As the others wake some hear goblin noises among the clashes of swords shields and shouts from the guardsmen. Aranel and Heimdel rush down to the street to get a better view of events, sure enough goblins are running through the streets. The strange thing though that Aranel points out is that the fog is not of the natural world. Greenish gray in hue and a heavy musk to its scent, the very presence of this fog makes everyone uneasy. As Heimdel causes a panic with the less seasoned travellers staying at the inn, Seig makes them wet their breeches, ordering them to remain “calm” and in their rooms. The party heads out into the unknowable fog. Many goblins dart past, almost shadows on the fog, and they refuse to engage our fellowship, who wouldn't mind expanding their ear collection. Then it dawns on Heimdel first, these goblins aren't invading....they are running from something.

Thrum Thrum Thrum

Aranel hears an army sized force opproaching the blind and ill prepared sleepy town of Ostwick. As Dex is “advising” Jeb to begin an evacuation and light the 6 story hilltop signal tower, the eerie thrum thrum thrum is shatterd by the piercing screams of a young boy running towards the party. Some 20 feet away, the boy is suddenly pounced upon by what appears to be a Proterian armoured man. As the Party rushes in to help the boy they can note the gruesomely twisted features of the assaulting man. Bloodsoaked clothing, sickly skin and black tendril like veins jutting over his bare skin. Over developed jaw and claws this didn't seem so much like a man anymore. Seig was first to the abomination but Dex managed to wrest the Proterian from the boy. That boy would live another day thanks to our hero's. After 2 more Blighted Proterians join the fray the first one pounces upon Dex looking to replace his lost meal. After escaping the sickly grasp, the party fights on. Our pouncing Proterian tries one last time and as he leaps towards Dex Heimdel rings true with his trusty sap covered warhammer. The hammer swiftly knocks the jumper out of the air and crushing its spine back into the ground which it so briefly left.

As battles erupt throughout Ostwick the party sees a guardsman plummeting out of the top of the signal tower to his death. The decision to go up the tower and light it themselves weighs a heavy burden on our hero's. I suppose that is why they are the “Heros of Ostwick” in this tale, and not just “they guys that ran away” or some such.

Quickly they make their way up the tower, encountering waves blighted men, hounds and soldiers. Seig turned to use his peoples gift on the shambling masses following them up the tower. Freezing and shattering their life and limbs to tumble down the cold hard stone steps. Heimdel and Jaspyr face ravenous dogs with the same blight veins. Now no one today knows what got into the dwarf that day, if he was in the moment, stepping up to his responsibility or just the crusted sap and leaves caked onto his warhammer, but that hammer rang true, over and over again. Heimdel surely this moment was meant for you.

At the top of the signal tower a large beast of a man crouched in waiting, supping at another poor guardsmen while jumpers skittered about him for 'scraps'. Our party fought on and through to avenge that guardsmen and the dozens others that were slaughtered that day. Aranel made quick work to light the signal fire and send warning all the way to Eastbourne of their demise.

Successfull in their task, this did not come without cost. Wave after wave of blighted climbed up the tower after our Hero's. In the end however they could not fight off an entire army. Piles of the slain tumbled down the tower, and still it was not enough. In their last conscious moments the party could see the thousands of men swarming through Ostwick along with giant masses of the unknown towering over the fog. And as a last breath of hope, they could see the twinkling light off in the distance of the next signal tower being lit in response to their warning. Take some solice in that, take some pride.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tales of the Bard, Riannen Allenainium

A chance meeting

Their stories are often told, but do you know their humble beginnings? They weren't always the subject of great debate, their deeds of grandeur could only be perceived by those mystics that can see through time itself. It is a funny thing how something so amazing and fantastical can grow out of a seed of pure random chance. Ostwick, ha, who would have thought it would have all started in that little crossroads town.


The trees are gaining colour and the harvest is in full swing. Lord Brightholm hero of the goblin advance, has marched north to settle a dispute with the Tellion elves. Highwaymen plague the southern road to is business as usual.

It was a beautiful day when Dex Brightweather decided to take a walk to explore this village that thinks its a town. What are the chances of Dex running into old Abe Freemouth? 1:1 if you believe in destiny I suppose. If Dex hadn't decided to walk down that road, nay, if he hadn't of turned his head at just that time, who knows what sort of world we would live in today? If it had been some Lance, or Corey, or Biff, this would be a different tale indeed.

You see, Abe had recognized that “pointy eared bastard” of a half elf from years ago, when Abe knew Dex's dear old dad. As the two chatted about the olden days of Abe and Dex's father, disaster presented itself. One of Abe's caravans was assaulted by goblin highwaymen. This was the third such incidence in only a week and the grubby little horse eaters were getting bolder. They captured one guardsmen and failed to subdue another as the latter of the two misfortunates ran back to town to get Abe to deal with the matter. Dex being an honourable man decides he will help in any way he can. Dex must make friends in haste to ensure the job is done swiftly, and by job, i mean take out those goblin vermin. At the Lambs Head Inn Dex gets the pledge of Sieg Twiceborn, a devote dragonborn with no moral grey. A very serious and stoic Dwarf named Heimdel Wargaurd. And Jaspyr Mckillion, a man that is trying to drown out his own sorted past with drink and fighting. Abe brings about the skilled Elf Aranel that has seen too much for his limited years to aid the group in tracking down these goblin wretches.

It didn't take long for the subjects of our story to find goblin tracks. It doesn't hurt when the ignorant little whelps are so brazen as to march a waggon load of goods off road through the woods to the scummy lair. Aranel had no trouble sneaking around the camp and reporting back to the less stealthy heavily armoured crew. A plan is formed, Dex being ever so quick devises a textbook distract and flank manoeuvre for the party to execute. The goblins had far superior numbers 3:1 and the plan went off swimmingly. I wont get into details here, but a lot of swear words were uttered both in common and in goblin, and many goblin were slain this day. From Dex's strategic command to Jaspyrs unrivalled skill in goblin decapitation, to Seig and Heimdel not only providing distraction and taking hit after hit after hit, but also finding time to put the “hurt” into the local flora. And the silent and deadly Aranel who can kill multiple goblins with a single volley. Can you imagine killing a goblin with another goblins newly severed head?

The party found the poor caravan guard, urine socked gag and all, and headed on back to Ostwick with the goods.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a brief history and setting of Ortelia

Commonly accepted history

Many millennia ago(Magnatherian Age) a race of beings known as the Magnatherians ruled the world of Ortelia. They were the first to master arcanum and mechanum. Building vast cities, and learning the secrets of immortality. The Magnatherians disappeared leaving behind only ruins and relics for the other races to discover many ages later.

The Current Era(CE)

It is the year 752 CE. The twin countries of Collosia and Proteria have been at war for 23 years. These realms are ruled by twin brothers Remulos(of collosia) and Romos(of proteria). The brothers have ruled these lands for as some believe, hundreds of years. It is rumoured that the twins have discovered the Magnatherian secrets of immortality.

The free states of men are a loosely affiliated group of towns, and villages of humans. They are ruled by the city state of Eastbourn. Geography has aloud the free states to persist with potential threats on all borders.

Tellion is the last foothold of elfdom in Ortelia, or so it is said. The elves came here over a thousand years ago to escape a great civil war in their northren homelands(not pictured on map).

The burning plains is home to hundreds of barbarian tribes. Orc, and goblin kin are the dominant peoples in these lands, however there are pockets of humanity and other races as well.

Welcome to Ortelia

Ortelia is a world of adventure, war, politics, magical, mechanical, opportunity, fantastic beasts, intriguing peoples, and many shades of gray.

Welcome to the DnD 4th edition campaign. The story of our intrepid adventurers will be posted within these digital pages, as well as maps, bios and drawings inspired by campaign events.