WORK IN PROGRESS…
Back at the ISS, Rahme departs and says he’ll meet in the morning. The party pays for another night, and with the route given to them by him, they prepare for four days travel through forest, plains, and marsh, back into the Rushmoors.
Thom wishes to find another shop in the area by himself, to purchase more supplies. Grum insists he accompanies, and takes Trisoll with him. Thom argues he should go alone citing that the warriors need to be ready for battle, his brother’s presence would be too suspicious, and Lyssa is too temperamental. Vetnik suggests that they sneak into the general store
“OMG that’s incredibly sensible, let’s do it!” Th
“Are we sure they’re cult members?” Mo
“Anyone who brags about the GGI to be reputable is a cult” Th
“It’s fine, we’ll just go in knock them out and be out.” Th
“We’ll only be knocking them out.” Moi to Lys.
“We don’t all have to go.” Lys
“Lyssa brings up a fair point, we don’t all have to go” Tr
“If it makes you feel better, I’ll some coin after we knock them out and raid their store” Th to Moi
Vetnik gives Trisoll the rest of his sleep powder.
“Sleep dust. You know what my father dealt in” Vet to Tri
Tri ties it up and puts it on his belt. The twins and Trisoll head out.
Thom brings coin and the men head out. He summons his unseen servant, wary of venturing out unprepared knowing that the heat is on them. Trisoll casts protection from evil on Grum, and blesses the entire party traveling to the store. Grum takes the lead and plots a course back to the general store.
They pass the mill without incident. The family is preoccupied with tasks. They go to the dam. Thom makes it but Trisoll slips and falls shoulder first. He can’t right himself before getting swept over the rocks and tumbles into the river, rocks breaking off and striking him as he splashes down into the lake below. “Gimme a minute!” Tri moans. The attention has not been brought from the mill family. Trisoll continues to swim along the edge and climbs up out of the lake.
“Just like Moira, too bad Lys wasn’t here to pick me up. Sorry, that was embarrassing. I’m not as lithe as you.” He pulls at his robes and wrings water out.
“No worries, carry on.”
The move on to the house, and Grum guides them from the shadows, past the livery manure stables. The horses aren’t disturbed as they sneak past the stable. They attempt to pass a fenced in area between the house and stables. They skirt the edge of the wider fence and Grum runs over, curls up beside the house. He looks up and is pretty sure no one’s seen them. Trisoll stumbles on his wet shoes but catches himself together. He pulls his shoes off quickly and dumps out the last of the water inside. The candles get snuffed and the house goes dark.
“Should we continue to skirt around here?” Tri
Thom takes the lead and glides across with expert ease. Meanwhile Grum peers up through the window. Inside he makes the layout and peers into the bedroom. He sees a family going to rest for the evening. He climbs down and together they start the cross the road. Suddenly, they hear “Halt!” Grum stops, hands up.
“Strangers, come here.” beckons a lone soldier. His hand rests on his blade. “What do you know of what went on at the GGI?”
“What went on at the GGI?” Grum
“Murder most foul.”
“Who was murdered?” Gr
“A number of people as a matter of fact. I don’t know your faces, so we’ll have to bring you to the constables and—“
Trisoll casts Hold Person and carts him off the road. Thom rushes behind to assist. “Look man, got nothing against you, we didn’t do anything wrong. You’ll see, you’re not going to be harmed.”
Grum kisses the man on the cheek while Thom prepares to hide him. Tri reveals the spell should hold for another 5-6 minutes.
“Guess we’ll have to kill him” Th
“He’s kidding, I swear! He has a black sense of humor” Tri
Thom sends his unseen servant to check for locked door, finds it to be locked. Grum goes ahead and cracks the door open. he sees the shop keeps 3 sons, putting away goods and working.
“Let’s try to whack some dudes” Th
“No, not whack” Tri
“Well, like whack… against the head.” Th
“I can try and cast fear on them” Tri
“Well, I could blind them with a couple light spells.” Th
Together, they burst in on 3. Tri rushes in first, attempting to cause fear in one of the boys. He runs in terror out the door, past the party, and into orlane. Grum dagger-whips the second in the back of the neck, he staggers and falls to the ground. Thom casts light across the 3rd boy’s eyes and he cries out, blinded. His cries alert the others in the house: the husband and wife in the front.
Trisoll whips his staff out but misses. Thom wacks the blinded boy with his wakashazi blade still sheathed. The wife charges in, crying out, rushing at Trisoll with a short sword. She swings weakly, missing him. Grum grabs at the old woman does his best to restrain her in a sleeper hold. The husband watches as his wife goes limp in his chokehold. He charges after Grum, and Grum feels the wind from his blade as he swings. The father swings again at Grum and misses. Trisoll cracks his staff over the father’s head but the father is barely fazed. Grum tries to grab at the weapon but fumbles his dagger out of his hand trying to reach. Thom jumps in and casts light over the man’s eyes. Thom strikes against with his sheathed blade.
“We only have about 2 minutes before that solider wakes up.”
Trisoll rushes out with a length of rope and ties him up. He awakens, struggling. “I swear, no harm. We’re just gonna put you in the store, make sure nothing happens to you.” He sets him down in the pantry and blows Vetnik’s dust in his face.
“Whoa!” Trisoll marvels at the effects of the dust. He reaches into the bag and sniffs the powder, and grum watches him go down. Grum slaps him around, and a few seconds later he comes to.
“That stuff is potent.” Tr
“Thanks for testing that, good to know that it works. wanna come help us out now?” Gr
“Man, don’t ever snort Vetnik’s dust!” Tr
“I don’t think I need to. Now, grab a bag or something!” Th
In the course of there raid, they find a stored cashbox. Thom admits to himself he can’t help himself. Grum also finds something: he finds a locked chest in a master bedroom. He proceeds with his safe opening procedure with Thom. Grum finds another poison needle trap. He attempts to remove it and fails, the trap proves too complex. Trisoll reaches under the mattress and pulls out the key. ‘It’s where I’d keep something important.”
“Put it to the test!” Th
It fits the lock, opens, and finds more gold, silver, and electrum. They pass back down through the pantry. The wife is out, the boy is still screaming, and dad and son are writhing in bound. “Should’ve never recommended the GGI!” Tri
“Don’t worry, you’ll thank us later” Th
Together, they cart everything off and the road is clear. Grum leads the charge and find themselves across the road, against the darkened farmhouse w/ stable. Grum sneaks, but hits a rock that knocks against the house. He panics but no candles light up. They move to the rear and prepare to run up the hill towards the dam. Tri jumps across successfully, cheering for Trithereon. Thom and Grum follow, sack of raided goods across their backs.
Back at the ISS, Vetnik, Moira and Lyssa wait for the others to return. They sit and wait in the common area.
“If you don’t mind, Lyssa, and if you do I take no offense. Where do you come from” Moi to Lys “We know little of you.”
“You never thought to ask”
“Our first encounters were tumultuous.”
“I pitied your plight”
“I’m not a pity cause”
“No I mean no disrespect”
“Well… how well do you know Furyondy.”
“I know it well, I’ve studied.”
“I see. What was life like there?”
“Im sorry to hear that. I hope you’ve found improvement.”
“I dunno, I’ve almost died twice over the past month.”
“If you find yourself in harm’s way, you have my word that I will do what I can to protect you.”
“Do you require a paladin’s promise?”
“The cleric promised.”
“The cleric? His mind is like a haystack, sometimes things get lost in the pile.”
Vetnik relaxes and fetches a drink.
“If you swear to me, I will return the favor.”
Seeing Lyssa’s distress, she softly says “yes of course.” Places hand on shoulder gently and shakes her hand with the other. Lyssa is lost in the moment. “You are amongst friends. I see good in you, I do. I understand you have anger, it’s just focusing it in the correct direction.” Vetnik goes outside, enjoys the night air. Moira leans in closer, “I am sensitive to your pain. What I do promise is to help you find some peace in that. Cortox loves us all.” she smiles back. Lyssa pulls away, placing her hands on the table, gets real quiet.
Outside, Vetnik sees the two brothers and Trissy coming with a new backpack, stuffed with goodies. He sees that Vetnik is still wet.
“I had a Moira” Tri “It was embarrassing.”
“You, Vet and Trisoll head in, and we’ll climb into our rooms.”
Thom scales up with his backpack and slinks into his room. Grum follows, not quite as gracefully, but is successful. Meanwhile, Ollwin is busy restocking. The twins place the bag in hiding, and head downstairs.
“I see Trisoll had a fine bath” Th
“He should’ve taken his armor off first.” Oll
Thom passes along a tale about the theft of the general store, passing it off as a fable.
Outside, Vetnik whistles as three men approach the inn. Vetnik remains sitting, whistles, and continues drinking his drink.
“Sorry to interrupt your evening’s libations”
“Where do you hail from?”
“Tret, right? Long way from Greyhawk. What brings you to Orlane?”
“Where is your destination? Surely you haven’t come to see Orlane.”
“Leaving in the morning?”
“As long as I wake up lol”
“I’m sure you’ll wake up. Fair travels to you in the morning sir.” The three soldiers walk off.
Vetnik sets his cup down, takes his armor off, and armed only with his sword, he follows the three men.
He follows and doesn’t notice Vetnik following him. He makes noise and reveals himself to the trio. They spin around and pull out their swords. Vetnik laughs, stumbles out fake drunkely. Thom and Grum, hearing the warning whistle, climb to the roof of the inn and prepare a round of sleep-potion laced arrows.
“Stranger, you tempt fate! Take him!”
“I wouldn’t do that!” They grab at him and Vetnik struggles against their grasp. Vetnik wrenches his arms out of theirs. A solider charges with a longsword but completely misses. The second solider attempts to swing but misses as well. The third swings and barely cuts at him. He swings again but misses. Vetnik retaliates and hits the attacking solider. Decked out in platemail, he’s sliced for damage and shocked at the barbarian’s ferocity. The damaged man slices back and sticks Vetnik in his chest. Vetnik staggers back and the third solider hits, and is cut again. Thom and Grum rush to the roof and see the attack. The bloodiest guard attempts to stab but misses. Vetnik slashes back and lands him on his last legs. From the roof, Thom fires an arrow laced with sleep potion and fells a first, but misses his second. Another solider slashes and barely grazes Vetnik. Grum pulls back and fires but fumbles, breaking his bowstring in the process. The last soldier slashes and cuts into him again.
A soldier lunges at slices at Vetnik. Thom fires at the other standing knight and it knicks him, but he saves against the sleep poison. Vetnik knocks at the same guy with two heavy slashes and kills him. The staggering knight takes a final swing and cuts into him. Grum attempts to throw a dagger from the roof but misses. The last standing solider tries to swing, but succumbs to fatigue and misses. Grum fires off another arrow and slays him. Two dead soldiers lay in the street, a third sleeping.
“Tret, get back in here!”
Thom climbs down and tells everyone they need to pack their things and get ready to head to the woods. Trisoll prays to Trithereon to cure Vetnik’s light wounds and seals up a couple of his wounds, but several cuts remain.
“Who were those men?” Mo
“Soliders asking too many questions.” Vet
“Grum go find the hermit, I’m going to get the elves. Everyone pack up quickly, time to move out!” Th
“Is that wise? The hermit won’t be here until morning” Mo
“Everyone except Grum will leave. Grum, you stay here for the elves and meet up with us later!” Th
The party rush to pack up their things and make their way on horseback
“I’m sorry I can’t help you with your wounds” Mo
“It was my own stupidity. Don’t worry, save it for tomorrow.” Vet
The innkeepers watch on as the party rushes out. They ride 15 minutes before hitting the edge of the forest. Having not been followed, they wait for Grum to ride.
Thom gives Grum a note to give to the elves: Their cover is blown, protect the girl and keep safe. Grum sneaks up there and spots a patrol of men. One of the men glance in his direction but turns away. At the cottage, he sees no candlelight. He quietly knocks on the door, but no one responds. He sees a significant gap underneath. He shoves the note underneath and flees back to meet up with the rest of the party.
Back in the woods, the group sets up camp. While Thom is on watch, he hears something grumble in the woods. It’s the sound of a bear. He fires an arrow off to the distance, creating as much brush noise as possible. He shatters against the tree and the bear takes the bait. He pokes trisoll and “There’s a bear.”
“Gimme 10 minutes, I got this!”
After a few more minutes, more sounds awake the party. Mugwump scares the bear away and the giant frog comes to the camp. Trisoll gives the frog a kiss. “It’ll be dawn for another hour.”
Lyssa walks away while the boys bait the bear. Lyssa wanders and hears the sounds of creatures in the night. Lyssa watches Orlane and sees torchlit patrols passing through periodically.
As Dawn approaches, Thom burns invisibility on Grum and Grum makes his way back effortlessly back to the inn to meet Rahme. He sees him walking towards the outskirts of town, avoiding the patrols. Grum approaches and whispers “This way…” Whiskers writhe around, but Rahme tames him. “Quiet.” Lyssa watches him come up the road yards away and enter the woods.
“Ah, clever. There are patrols everywhere in the city. We must free the town, now! It’s beyond the breaking point.”
Lyssa returns to the group and they pass through abandoned farm lands with no travelers met. At the end of the day of travel, the trees of the Dim Forest are visible in the distance. Vetnik sleeps on his horse, exhausted but fully healed as Trisoll has aided him throughout the day. As they march, Thom identifies the plate mail and shield as +1 each. The party pauses for the night before heading in.
On the 2nd day, they entire the permanent twilight area of the Dim Forest. (Describe mossy forest.) Lyssa lights a torch as they head through. In the distance, they see 4 Trogs. Lyssa fires off a flaming sphere and launches at the oncoming pack. The trauma of the flame fells one of the beasts. A Trog swings at Moira on horseback but misses. A second hits trisoll and he is affected by revulsion odor, wrenching over in pain. The last swings at Vetnik but misses as well. Grum, with restrung bow, looses two arrows at a Trog, piercing him through the abdomen, killing him. Vetnik slices twice at the attacking Trog and slays him. Thom reaches out and sends out a jet of burning hands at the last Trog, immolating it and reducing him to ash.
“Usually I like to aid people with my spells, but I always have a card up my sleeve.”
Lyssa guides the flaming sphere inches away from Thom’s face, but before it closes in to harm him, she extinguishes it. Thom bows. Together they sleep restfully. Grum asks Thom for more sleep potion to lace his arrows.
3rd day, reaching the muck of the Rushmoor. (Describe path to Rushmoor, slimy mud, obvious trail, etc.) The ride is uneventful, only filled with the obnoxiousness of stinging bugs. The humidity is familiar but doesn’t make it less wretched. After a day, they see the light at the end of the tunnel: a low barrier. Circularly dike holds the swamp water back from a small island of dry land. Thom tries to identify another set of items. He reveals the ring the priestess had was Ring of Protection +1, while the rest of her items were useless. The silver brooch found at the temple is a Brooch of Shielding. He does what he can to identify the daggers Lyn and Sla, and finds that each one when hits with a shocking grasp effect. He explains the devices to the group. He bestows the brooch to Lyssa with the condition that she wears it only if necessary, and agrees to share it among the group.
“Why should we trust you?” Lys
“I’ve been tracking them since they arrived, biding my time. Waiting for suitable allies.” Rah
“What else does Whiskers see” Lys
“He likes berries, and the occasional mouse.
Lyssa continues sharpening her daggers.
They continue down a muddy set of wooden stairs descending down into the earth. (Describe size of tunnels.) The timbers that hold up the ceiling are massive but rotten, mildewy. They hear the dripping of marsh water come down. They enter in from the north. Grum, Moira and Vetnik lead the party in. Grum slips down and tumbles as he leads them in, falling for about 60ft. At the base of the stairs, Grum is met by 4 human guards. They spring, two attacking Moira, a 3rd attacking Grum, and the last one attacking Vetnik. Grum is hit for -2 dmg. The 2 attacking against Moira ricochet off the armor. The 4th missing Vetnik entirely. Vetnik slays his attacker. Thom drums a bard’s song for a boost to morale. Grum strikes back at his attacker and fires off a pair of arrows, missing both shots. Moira swings and cuts into one of her attackers. He’s shaken but undeterred. Lyssa’s eyes flash and the second attacker against Moira and sends it floating to the ceiling.
Trisoll whacks at one of the soldiers with his staff but misses. Vetnik slashes twice at soldier attacking Moira and kills him. Lyssa attempts the charm the floating soldier, and fails. Failing her charm
“I have this, he’s helpless!”
“He’s still under the Naga’s charm is he not?”
“Then he is a threat!”
“But if we defeat the Naga— fine, I wipe my hands of this.” Moira releases him.
“Waitwaitwait. Just clunk him on the head and tie him up!”Thom commands. Moira abides.
“If he tries to attack, Lyssa, torch him!” Th
They continue with the prisoner south until meeting a large chamber. As they move in, the lofty room has a 15ft ceiling. A pool of mud sits in the center. Thom hands Grum a +1 spear for poking about the room. The go west to an extension 40ft, then hit a wall. It heads up northwards and the twins stop. “Secret door!” A simple sliding secret door. They continue through it and reveals a small alcove with a boat large enough for 10 ppl, on the edge of some water. They look ahead and see a room filled with a large pool. Many small fish can be seen in the stagnant smelling room. Vetnik looks around, inspecting the walls and ceiling. They exit the boat room for moment and ponder over where to go. They decide to go west, leaving the boat room for later. Extending 50 ft, they find a fork splitting north and south. 40 ft in, they smell swamp gas and see sagging timbers of a ceiling. A small muddy shelf extends over the pool. As they edge closer, Mugwump begins to croak madly. Trisoll notices and tends to the frog. Thom goes forward with the spear and pokes around. Vetnik moves forward and throws a stray rock in. Out of the mud, a pair of huge killer frogs leap out and jump onto the spot where the rock landed. In comparison to Mugwump, they stand a foot taller than Mugwump. They bare talons and sharp teeth, strange for any frog to possess. They turn away from the killer frogs and move down 60 ft, meeting a door. The door is wooden, swollen from the dampness. The murky pool is just on the other side. Vetnik tears the door off and sees the pool at a new angle. Grum sees at a closer distance a secret door in the muck, deliberately placed dirt piled to conceal it. The party debates the merits of slaying the two killer frogs and slough thru the mud or head somewhere else.
“Can you be brave for me?” Trisoll asks of Mugwump. He croaks in obedience. “Distract the frogs, we’ll be here watching.” The frogs hop out of the mud and begin to engage with Mugwump. Grum and Thom ready their arrows and let them fly and drops the first killer frog. Vetnik leaps forward and cleaves the second frog in half but is stuck in the mud. Mugwump runs over and licks the mud off of Vetnik. Trisoll claps and summons Mugwump. They spend the next 20 minutes digging through the plug of dirt to reveal a narrow tunnel leading into a small room. Thom casts Strength over himself, boosting his physical ability. The ceiling in the chamber is 8ft, with 3 large chests raised on a wooden platform 1 ft above the muddy floor. Grum checks for traps but finds nothing of note. Thom finds the chests bound with brass. Grum is unfazed and does the rounds, doing his best to pick the locks. Grum pops open the chest, unsure of whether or not there was a trap. There was none, but he finds a bounty of silver and electrum. Grum finds the third is certainly trapped and can’t find any traps. Lyssa casts knock over the first chest checked and finds a shitload of copper. The third chest unlocks as well. Thom attempts to open the chest with his spear and flips it open. Nothing happens, but treasures await. He realizes there’s no traps at all. Inside he finds a series of ornamental and semi-precious stones.
“Surprising us constantly” Thom says of Lyssa’s spell
They decide to replug the hole. First 10 minutes are uneventful but the last 10 summon a giant lizard. Moira raises her sword and cuts into the lizard. Vetnik follows up with a second chop and slays the beast. The resume filling the plug back up while Lyssa mines the corpse for possible ingredients for potions. They move along to a door that’s heavily barred. Vetnik steps up and smashes the door in. The bars bend, buckle, and fall to the dirt.
“Aye aye, Northman!” Th
“Thank you!” Vet
“No, thank you!” Th
“A song of your strength is surely on the way” Th
The room contains 4 soft chairs. A fireplace burns, with a keg of Orlanian wine. They hear several (three) doors slam and feet running. Rounding the corner are 3 opponents, one dressed in scale mail, the other in leather, and third in leather as well. Thom and Grum aim their arrows at the scale mail, and is pierced. A second soldier strikes Vetnik but his blade crashes against his armor. Moira strikes the scale mail soldier and cuts him down. Thom aims his arrow at the closest weatherman and fires kills him. Trisoll moves in and strikes the third soldier with his staff, walloping him across the face. Lyssa attempts to stab him in the gut but he staggers away. Vetnik follows up and fells him. They appear to be 2 assassins and a fighter.
“Strip them” th orders.
They find a sword sword with a lizard sculpted into the hilt. Trisoll burns detect magic and senses the magical energies. Thom splits up the daggers between he and his brother, twin blades for twin brothers. Thom leads the charge, sees a bedroom filled with 2 woolen cloaks, a bed, and other stuff. They come upon a hallway that winds southwards. They come upon a locked door, w/o traps. A soft bed and wooden chest, with a small jade reptile image on a desk. A small statue of the Naga. Grum sees the chest is guarded by a magical glyph. Vetnik says the naga’s name out loud and the glyph dissipates! Grum kneels and pops the chest open. Inside, a cleric robe of black and red, a scroll of light wounds, and mace.
“Do you recognize these vestments?” Lys
“Not at all!” Tri
They head towards the boat room and slide the secret door open. They load into the boat and push off into the water. Ramne carries the torch and lights the way into the chamber. rowing down passageways, they continue south. In the middle, they see several crocs on a landing and slip into the water and start swimming towards the boat. The boat comes to a rest at the south end and find themselves in a 20ft hallway, branching off in three directions. The turn the corner east and see a giant weasel, extremely perturbed by their presence. Rahme’s weasel freaks out as the giant rodent charges forward. The old man is surprisingly lithe. Lyssa roasts the weasel with -11 Burning Hands. Trisoll swings but misses. Vetnik jams his blade into the weasel, felling it. Lyssa raids its corpse for possible ingredients. Moira finds a torn leather pouch and fishing around near it, finds a bag with gold and silver in it. They continue down a separate passageway 100 ft before turning off. The twins perform DOP and Thom hears the hissing growls of Trogs behind the door. Thom begins banging his drum, luring the lizard men out. They hear the door thrown open. The first sees Lyssa, but the second misses Vetnik. Vetnik jams his blade into its skull. The second Trog swings at Thom but misses. Moira swings and misses. Lyssa jams her dagger into the face of the Trog. Grum shoots off an arrow and misses. Trisoll crushes the same Trog’s skull. The bodies smell so much that Lyssa is revolted. Lyssa burns 3 of the 4 alive as they rush in with burning hands. Thom slashes twice, first with his wakashazi blade and then his Shock dagger but misses. Trisoll misses too. Vetnik delivers a killing blow: carving through the chest of the Trog.
In the room: fish bones, Trog bodies, low table. Beyond to the south, a stairway.