Employment wanted

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Summary

Adventure: ?
GM: Ian Anderson
Session: Autumn 814
Night: Thursdays
Location 20 Pahi Place, West Harbour (down stairs)
Level: Lowish
Rules: ?

Aaron the Enchanter is unemployed after this seasons Guild meeting.
In order to delay having to go home to mother for the season he is organizing a Party.

His current plan is to gather as many other lowly unemployed Guild members as possible and throw a loud drunken gathering at the pub, to Paint the town Red, and keep partying until;

  1. / He runs out of money.
  2. / He gets Arrested.
  3. / The Guild finds us a job.


The Party

Scribe Notes (Aaron)

Wasn't that Party!

Well I started partying at the Guild Pub; Me with good beer and the BFG Grizelda, who started the night drinking mead. Aurora the pretty elf, air mage let me buy her a wine or two. There was also a fine fellow female adventurer called Poppy and maybe one or two others.
I only recall the ladies.

It seems we visited The Hogs End, as I have a paid bill for damages from there as well as from a place called The Dead Dog Tavern. (Probably the BFG got a bit clumsy what with those meads earlier.)

We have to have been to the Golden Ingot at some point because I know they are the only place in Seagate you can get that particular brand of whiskey.
Sadly the bottles were discovered open and empty at the bottom of a beer barrel with about 5 inches of mixed liquid in it. (Boiler makers by the barrel !, ???)
And where and when Aurora acquired the Guardsman’s Helmet we may never know.

Aurora has recollections of singing songs in duet with a fountain, and Grizelda thinks this fountain may have been in the Guild water college.
But none of us can remember how we came to be aboard a ship, well out into confederation bay.

Grizelda is not a belligerent drunk, it seems to be her natural state, and a hangover only slightly curbs her bossiness.
Upon return to consciousness she quickly ascertained from the ships elvish cook that Guild Security had carted us and our gear aboard so that the vessel could sail before dawn, and that they, Guild Security, had left us a note.

The ’Note’ consisted of a copy of an adventuring contract signed by all four of us. All the signatures seem genuine, that any of us could sign that neatly blind drunk really impressed me.
There was also a request from Harold the Unfathomable for the Seagate Adventurers Guild to send a party to deal to a problem with travel between Junction and Gloomy vale, seems there are bandits and those flying the route have gone missing. This request is written on Kraken Skin and seems to have some sort of invitation magic in it.
And lastly, a list starting with our names and going on to things like personal equipment, Armour and weapons for said persons, Lessers, Greaters, healing potions two each, and so on right down to hang over cure one each. Obviously the Guilds check list to make sure we were properly equipped and didn’t miss the boat.

Once I learned that we were aboard a ship called the August, captained by a very ugly man name Jack, Cap’n Jack to the likes of me. I relaxed a little about our abrupt departure from Seagate. It wasn’t any one of us that needed to be out of Seagate by dawn, it was the August herself. The captain couldn’t let any of those crews from the vessels in port get a look at her in daylight.

The August sailed into the hidden port of Sandspit on W’ansday the 9th of Fruit having made good time coming south due to the magics of both the Dwarven Water mage Gimlet and our air mage Aurora.
During the voyage Aurora pestered the very closed mouthed crew with questions about where we were going.
Grizelda hung out in the galley and swapped recipes with the elvish cook.
Aaron began buffing the party with Greaters, weapon and armour rituals.
And Poppy is seems from suffers sea sickness, or maybe it’s that she’s not as used to hard drinking as the rest of us who decided to forgo the hangover cure. Aurora being the one who didn’t even try to tough it out.

On the evening of the 9th, from the barman at the Donkeys Hayvinn in the port village of Sandspit we learn that the boatmen of whom Harold the Unfathomable is most senior or head, are not due to arrive until Reapsday.
Also that evening Aaron purchased leather, bronze/brass fittings and other necessities to make Aurora a suit of rank 4 (5pt) hard leather armour, Grizelda having decided that Aurora required something more protective that she could cast in.

Scribe Notes (Aurora)

Help! I'm on a boat - We're all going to die

I'm writing these words while sitting inside of a hold of a ship which is heading to a place called Sandspit, located somewhere past Adjebar. Why am I in a ship when it is fairly well known that this elven air mage doesn't trust ships not to sink? Well maybe I'd better start at the beginning.

At the last Guild meeting, I was eyeing up one adventure that involved Guild members heading over to Terranova as drow slaves. As a joke, I asked 'would it work if I was disguised as a drow and the rest of the party were my slaves'. That led to me being pulled out of the meeting by Guild Security and sternly reminded it is not a good idea to use fellow Guild members as slaves. (*sigh*) Obviously some members of Guild Security don't have a sense of humour.

I didn't get on that adventure anyway, in fact, I didn't get on any at all – which left me at a loose end - again – and I was getting tired of helping with the administrative duties at Ladlaugh, although having a dragon as a financial adviser is proving to be very useful.

Having nothing better to do, I decided to join in on - erm, crash - a party that Aaron was having that night. He didn't get an adventure either so he was planning to party until (a) he ran out of money (b) he got arrested or (c) the Guild came up with a late job. Apparently it was either that or spending another season at home with his mum in Old Seagate. It turned out to be a small gathering which included the giantess Grizelda and someone called Poppy whom I hadn't met before.

For some reason I don't remember much of that night and I'm usually careful of how much I drink. I know I started off with ciders and honey meads, but I think I must have decided to try whatever it was that Aaron was drinking. We must have ended up in the Golden Ingot at some point and apparently I was singing a duet with a fountain outside the Water College.

The next thing I remember was waking up on a ship, and after a panic attack, where I was convinced that we were all going to drown, I then came to the conclusion that we had all been shanghaied and were heading off for a life on the open sea. Well, they're not keeping this air mage. That was then I noticed that there was a crate with my name on it, as well as one each marked with Poppy, Aaron and Grizelda. Sure enough my companions were also waking up – and we all had shocking hangovers. Poppy appeared to be suffering the worst.

I was still trying to figure out where the Watchman's helmet on my head had come from when a dwarf came down to check on us. He told us that the Guild was indeed sending us on a mission and the crates contained all our gear as well as a few healing potions and a hangover cure. I decided to take it and discovered it was actually a potion of Cleansing Flame. It did get rid of the hangover but, it really hurt while it was doing it. Sadistic fire mages. The others thought it was rather funny and decided they'd rather tough out the hangover – even poor Poppy who was now combining a hangover with seasickness – at least that was what we thought it was at the time. I have to admit that was a bit odd when we discovered she does a lot of travelling on ships, being a merchant. Maybe she just came down with something or had a slight allergy to the ship's food.

We had also signed the Guild Contract which I had absolutely no recollection of doing but our signatures were surprisingly neat. The dwarf, who we later discovered was called Gimlet, explained that we were heading down to Sandspit to check out some reports of banditry against merchants and fliers going missing in the canyons. The note to the Guild was written on kraken skin – rather impressive we thought. Basically we had to talk to the had of the Boatman's Guild, a guy called Harold the Unfathomable, located in Lake Town, who would give us the details. The trouble was between the towns of Junction and Gloomyvale.

  “All the best people sneak around in the dark and wear black” (can't remember if that was a reference to my stealth armour or Guild Security)

It would take us a couple of weeks to get down to Sandspit so we settled down to some sort of routine. Grizelda went to swap recipes with the ship's chef while I went exploring and discovered that the ship we were on was called the 'August', the captain was Jack the Orc and the chef was just known as 'Cookie'. Gimlet was also a water mage so, with the Captain's permission, I added my winds to his current so we made good time.

We also discovered that one of the barrels was mostly empty apart from a small amount of ale and several empty whiskey bottles. Had we been drinking something that Aaron called 'boiler makers'?

Another barrel labelled 'grog' contained something that, when I tasted it reminded me of some sort of sweet faerie wine. It also must have been rather strong as I lost the use of my legs. Grizelda had to lift me up into my hammock.

Aaron also made sure we were properly buffed up with Greaters etc. I also discovered that he seemed to appreciate me wearing my sleepwear.

On the fourth day of the voyage, there was some discussion about taking something out but it was decided against it as there could be too many casualties.

On another occasion we were talking about languages which included the following:

  Aurora – “I don't know much dwarvish but I heard they have thirty words for beer”
  Aaron – “And the rest”
  Grizelda - “Well she did say she only had a little dwarven”

On the eighth day we manoeuvred through the shoals that kept most shipping out of the area.

Back on Terra Firma - the More Firmer the less Terror

9th Fruit

Arrived at Sandspit and went to the Donkey's Haven inn. I was hoping we were going to be discrete but Grizelda decided to announce our arrival. She was also objecting to my choice of armours and insisted I gave something a bit tougher. Aaron, being an armoursmith, promptly offered to make it. We had to wait a bit as the next boat to Lake Town wasn't due to arrive until next Reapsday.

Sandspit is a small fishing village of 200-300 people and has lots of warehouses.

11th Fruit

On the day before Reapsday my brand new Rank 4 Weaponsmith armour (AP5), courtesy of Aaron was ready – and I bet he had a lot of fun with the measuring and fitting.

Poppy went shopping for fabric and found a bolt of dark blue silk. Looked really nice but was rather expensive – such as 1000sp for the bolt. We finally decided against it.

It's HOW Big?

12th Fruit

Next day, we could see crossbowmen on the wall. Purified then went to see what was going on. Turned out that they were expecting company. About lunchtime, company turned out to be a ship that sailed out of one of the gaps in the cliff. Turned out to be expected and was a trading ship from further inland, carrying cows and pigs. It turned out that this ship was our ride to Lake Town.

The captain was Captain Alberto and, we had to undergo the ritual of drinking magical beer so we could be 'one with the crew'. Turned out we were meant to be part of the crew and had gained the ability to help row the ship. We went into the cliffs and had to negotiate a maze of watery passages. At one point we heard Destinian voices who seemed to have got themselves lost.

13th Fruit

By midnight, we were out of the maze and into the lake. It was going to take us a day to cross the lake but, fortunately, we could do that on sail power. My offer of a Mage Wind was rejected though … seems some local air spirit might object. I was also getting regaled by stories of the giant creature that lived in the lake. Going for a swim would not be a good idea, especially when I saw the fate of the dead pig that was thrown aboard. An enormous tentacle emerged, grabbed the pig and pulled it under. Someone said that was the ritual sacrifice to allow safe passage over the lake. And I had thought the crew were exaggerating. Apparently not – so I was starting to get more and more scared – especially when I saw, in the water, a giant eye that was bigger than than the boat – like about 30ft across.

It didn't help when I was told we needed to be 'introduced' to the creature. While having visions of being dragged underwater and being stared at by a giant eye, we were told to stand by the side of the boat. I swear my knees were knocking as the giant tentacle came up, reached out towards me, and patted me gently on the head. I nearly passed out. The tentacle then did the same to the others before disappearing.

I don't remember much more of the trip apart from staring at the cloud topped mountains in the distance and wondering how high they were, and how long it would take to fly to the top. I think I spend most of it watching just in case the giant kraken came back. So I was very relieved when we finally arrived at Lake Town, just after dark. It was the type of town you could smell before you saw it.

The whole town was built on stilts over the lake and the buildings were connected by wooden walkways. Once docked, we disembarked the boat and taken to see Harold the Unfathomable.

I thought it would be him we were going to be talking to, but, when we were conducted into the office, all the boatmen, including Harold, left. Instead it was the Mayor of Laketown, Edward, that gave us the details. ("Edward is assistant to the Mayor of Lake Town, Aurora" Aaron) There was a waystation halfway in the gorge between Junction and Gloomyvale and the cloud ceiling was around 200 to 300ft on average. It didn't seem to matter how far apart the fliers flew, they still all disappeared. Also the increase of bandit attacks started occurring at about the same time as the disappearances. We made the plan to pose as a merchant with bodyguards.

After the meeting, we retired to the Pointed Stick tavern.

I swear it was a pig - or was it a duck?

14th Fruit

I swear I was woken up sometime in the wee hours of the morning by a pig squealing in terror – maybe the dream I had about a live pig being dragged towards a creature with many tentacles and at least thirty eyeballs had something to do with it. I ended up waking all the others in sheer fear as I heard noises on the roof and a flash of light from outside. Poppy's dog was also 'pointing' at a spot near the ceiling but none of us could see anything unusual. Finally Grizelda opened the window and, with the help of a mirror on a stick, we could see a large, black, fluffy tail on the roof. Twas just a cat. Feeling rather embarrassed, I crawled back into bed and hid under the blankets.

Next morning, I was having porridge, while the others were having fish. It was actually rather nice, reminded me of the Caledonian porridge I have had. Grizelda was curious about the kitchen but the landlord wouldn't let her in claiming 'she wasn't scary enough'. Visions of ugly unseelie fae went through my mind until the landlord explained that his wife considered the kitchen 'her territory' and doesn't tolerate intruders, being rather accurate with thrown kitchen utensels.

There was also a cat in the room, an orange one, that was more interested in Grizelda's fish than the bit of porridge I was offering. The landlord did confirm that there was a large black Queen cat that wandered around the area.

A Merchanting We Go

After breakfast we went to get the horses that had been arranged for us, being four riding horses, one spare and a pack horse. In retrospect I guess it wasn't a good idea to flutter on top of my horse then use my animal speech spell to talk to him – as Poppy pointed out. We also got some horse feed as well.

The road we took would lead us through Dunners, Chesterton, Blossom then Junction. On our lunch break we stopped by an orchard and, I had to admit, it was rather tempting to fly over and do some 'scrumping' as they looked delicious. Just as we were leaving, a boy popped his head out through the hedge, curious about who we were. So, after a bit of haggling, we left with a bag of apples.

Mid afternoon, the mist started coming down. I thought this was rather suspicious so I prepared my shortbow. That was when the mist got really thick – so thick that I couldn't see my horse's ears. The others told me to put my bow away and, as I did, the mist thinned out. Strange.

Late afternoon we reached Dunners.

Oooh Look! - I'm an Animal Fairy

15th Fruit

Porridge again for breakfast, at least for me, the others were having bacon. Being able to talk to animals had basically put me off meat – and even harming some animals, which is basically why I'm a vegetarian. If I ever discover how to speak to plants, I think I'd be in real trouble.

The others were having bacon, which I had to admit, smelt delicious. Sandwiches called 'Bacon Butties' were made for our lunch break on the trail and I finally agreed to try one at lunch. Besides, some of the others were making fun of my culinary choices and Grizelda was also saying it was 'unhealthy'. So I accepted the challenge.

As it turned out … I didn't really get to eat it. It was a nice day out and when we stopped for lunch, a large brown bear shuffled in, attracted by Grizelda's honey hive. So, instead of fighting it, since it was autumn and hungry, I decided to charm it, then use my talk to animals spell again. Well … colour me fawn and call me an animal fairy – they both worked. I basically told the bear to leave us alone and go away – punctuating that by throwing my bacon butty away in the other direction so it would have to chase after it while we made a careful retreat, hoping it wouldn't chase after us. I have to admit – the bacon butty was okay but it left a greasy aftertaste in my mouth I didn't really like – and some people rave on about bacon.

Didn't see that bear again for the rest of the day and reached Chesterton. We reported the bear encounter then, when asked, the guard recommended the Flying Turkey so that was where we went. Turned out the landlord there was the guard's Twin brother but it was still a nice place. After being told off by Poppy for telling too many tall tales last night - probably under the influence, I decided to take an early night.

A quiet journey to Junction

16th of Fruit

Next day, we headed we were able to get half a dozen vials of holy water from the Priests of Old Misty. While we were there, he mentioned that there were silver birches, really good for arrows, but the trees were guarded by witches.

It was an easy road to Blossom although there weren't many other travellers. All of them seemed to to be local farmer's carts. There were lots of orchids nearby. When Poppy asked about trading possibilities she was told that all their excess was going to a place called Upvale. Apparently there had been some calamity there recently and they were in the process of rebuilding.

When we arrived at Blossom we stayed at the Duck's Guts Inn and Grizelda spent most of her time in the kitchen. The only thing of significance we learnt was that there were goblins in the forest and they kept disappearing into it.

17th Fruit

The following day was uneventful apart from discovering an abandoned ambush point on the road. Finally arriving at Junction, we stayed at the Frosty Pig where the repertoire was mostly pig. Grizelda made me an omelette and I stole a little bit of crackling to go with it – being a vice I had enjoyed when I was a child – and before I turned to vegetarianism. But, it just didn't seem to taste the same as I remembered., not as delicious.

Breaking, Entering, and a Speedy Exit

Midnight came and our sleep was rudely interrupted when someone came through our door, backwards, without opening it, scrambled to his feet and leapt out the window. Close on his heels were two halflings, first a female wielding twin swords, then followed by a male wielding a cast iron skillet. Aaron just pointed at the window, said 'He went that way', and they too, leapt out the window.

While Grizelda went after them the rest of us went downstairs, It looked like there had been a fight downstairs. Poppy and Aaron knew these two halflings were vampire hunters and that the person they were chasing was a vampire. Unfortunately he got away.

A bit later on, they returned and Grizelda offered to cook them a meal. We discussed what was going on and we found out about old necromantic towers in the hills and the possibility of undead roaming about. Could that be the cause of some of these mysterious disappearances?
("Grizelda may have offered to cook but the halfling cook ended up being the one doing the cooking, magically. Afterwards I ritually enchanted Katherine's Stake with a weapons spell before they went of after the vampire" - Aaron)

Why do Astrology Readings Never make Sense?

18th Fruit

The following day, Aaron spent most of the day in his lean to Ritually enchanting our weapons and armour. Enchanting armour meant we had to be wearing it so I spent that hour purifying. Afterwards Poppy and I, while Grizelda baked special biscuits, went in search of a local weaponsmith we had been told about. Once there, I was able to purchase 20 silvered arrow tips, for 500 silvers, then went off in search of shafts and coloured feathers for fletchings.

After lunch, where I made sure Aaron got some sweet pastries to go with that pile of bacon sandwiches he had – besides, it gave me an excuse to get some – the rest of us went to see the local priest of Misty. Wasn't able to get more Holy Water but, after suggesting that I fly through the valley and we pointed out that it wasn't advisable, he did give us some sort of message, translated from the original goblin text, which read:

  “The Veil will be shut and the birdman will not fly and splattelly splattely splat.”
  “It was taller and now it's not. It is shaped like a pot. It is round and it's black and it's swirly like fat”

I presume, like most astrology readings, it'll make sense only after the fact.

He also mentioned that there were strange towers in Gloomy Vale, beyond the town, that sounded really interesting to investigate but, we did have a job to do.

When we got back Aaron out Greaters on us that should last for the next three days.
(Casting the weapon and armour Buff spells ritually in my prepared place of power makes them last days rather than minutes, but it means taking a couple of hours buffing each party member not a couple of minutes -Aaron)

Orcs, Goblins and Bees - Oh My!

19th Fruit

Now, if I haven't pointed this out by now, I should mention that Gloomy Vale is basically a dead end valley with only one road going into it. With all these going-ons, that basically meant that the town and environs were completely cut off so it was rather important that the problem is resolved.

So, at the morning we set off. I had cheese and fruit conserve sandwiches but they were still raving on about their 'bacon butties' so I tried another little bit – still didn't taste right and still didn't really like it. Maybe it's an elf thing. Strange though – I used to like them.

After lunch we headed off. I was entertaining myself by whistling bird calls to the birds. I also had my Speak to Avians spell running so I could listen in. That was when I discovered that some of the bird calls weren't birds at all – they just sounded like birds. We came to the conclusion that there were goblin spies out there that were communicating, probably about us. So I tried confusing them by sending out random whistles.

The fake whistles stopped after a while and a few moments later, four orcs jumped out of the forest and attacked, some with crossbows, followed by a bunch of rock throwing goblins. Thanks to my enhancements, the rocks weren't hurting but they were quite annoying as my aim was being put off. I was firing back from horseback with the new silvered arrows and my short bow, while the others got off their horses and drew weapons. One of the goblins tried casting magic so I used him as a principle target until he fell down.

Grizelda was hassling one of the orcs with bees while she was basically pounding it into the ground. Poppy and Aaron were also cutting their targets up so it wasn't too long before the orcs were down and the remaining goblins ran away. Grizelda wanted to go after them and follow them to their camp but we thought that wasn't a very good idea because the forest was very dense and it looked so easy to get lost.

I was a bit annoyed because I was only able to retrieve three of my silver tips, out of the six I had fired, and two of them would need to be reforged. Two of the orcs were still alive so, while the others prepared them for questioning, I looted the dead. Their armour burnt my fingers so I knew that was Cold Iron chainmail they were wearing. Some potions also turned up, and they were wearing helmets with horns on. Those too, had traces of Cold Iron. I did consider wearing one in an effort to look intimidating, but I had to agree it looked rather stupid. Besides, I probably would have ended up with a headache.

Our captured orcs told us that there were lots of orcs, goblins, fire mages, celestials, zombies and philosophers. They have been looting the merchants and having barbeques with the captives – as the food – Ew! The loot had been stored in their camp in the hills, then taken to the boss orc who they described as having big boss magic with powers of the dark. Necromancer? Aaron then put locates on the two orcs and we left them tied up as we ride off. Should take them an hour or so to get free.

Waystation Ahoy!

An hour and a half later, we reached the waystation and we could see guards on the wall who advised us that it wasn't safe and we should get inside quick.

  “You'd better not be in duress” - Aurora
  “I'm wearing **** armour, not a **** dress” - Guard

Met the man in charge, Rob. He told us that there were usually a dozen guards here and that a few stragglers from merchant caravans had made it here from both directions. No one had arrived who had flown which had me rather concerned.

  “The One Horned God is NOT the unicorn god” - Aaron. (not sure what brought that subject up)

The treasure we had gained was looked over. The bone dagger was a dagger of draining which healed the weilder as it hurt the victim. It also had the effect of making the wielder a greater undead. Does that make it a vampiric dagger?

There was also a rank 4 restorative and 'happy goblin' potions. They were equivalent to Guild 20pt healing potions but had the side effect of turning the imbiber goblin green for a day.

Squirrel!

20th Fruit

Next day, the plan was to leave for Gloomyvale after I had put a Fairy Circle in the orchid. As it took me all morning to finally get it working we didn't leave until just after lunch. Poppy was wearing the orc cold iron chain armour.

On the way we found a really good ambush site and we were sure there was something there but a dose of knockout gas only caught a squirrel. Nothing jumped us on the way out but, when it looked like we were not going to get to Gloomyvale until way after dark, we headed back – but we knew they were out there. Meanwhile the locates were telling us that the orcs were on the move, heading southish. Back at the waystation, we helped maintain the watches during the night.

Onward to Gloomyvale

21st Fruit

Next morning we checked out Gloomyvale with Crystals of Vision. The place looked normal so Aaron decided to go orc hunting with my multi-hop crystal. He found his 'located' orcs along with bits of dressed stone, a fire, trees, several more orcs, one of which was wearing 'orc bling', and some goblin servants. Changing the view enabled us to discover that they were camped in the ruins of an old tower with what looked like skinny archers on the top guarding. Elves? Or maybe undead. Hard to tell as it was misty. Looked like there were more than a dozen up there, located roughly ten miles to the south from a point one and a half miles east from the waystation towards Gloomyvale. A stream ran down from the tower to the river at that point.

We then had another go at heading east to Gloomyvale. This time I got bopped on the head by a well aimed rock. Once I recovered from that, I took a shot at the goblin in the tree while Grizelda charged in and thumped it – rather hard. The captured goblin told us that, the day after tomorrow, some fifty odd orcs and goblin mages gathering between here and Gloomyvale.

Carrying on, we collected two more goblins (both dead) before lunch, and another two (also dead) after lunch. Our captive also identified the spot where the meeting was going to take place. Aaron also discovered that the goblin's name was Fart.

The valley finally flattened out into cropland which surrounded a stonewalled town. We dropped the bodies at the 'Scented Rose' then headed for the recommended place to stay known simply as 'Toms'. Fart was smuggled inside in a sack. During dinner we got a message that Roberto would see us in the morning. Bathed then went to bed.

Ewww. So that's what they meant by 'Splat'

22nd Fruit

After breakfast, we got a message that Sammuel, the local priest of Misty, wanted a few words with us, but, since Roberto asked first, we headed up to the castle. Fart went with us and he ended up 'helping the local constabulary with their enquiries' while we went to see Sammuel. A couple of prophecies were obtained. Also, with Sammuel's help, I set up a fairy circle so that Roberto's troops could be sent through it and on to the fairy circle at the waystation. The plan was that these troops would attack the orcs from the waystation on one side, while other troops harrased them from the other side. During this, we were to investigate the ruined tower. So I had 100 men which I guided through the fae paths in ten lots of ten, after which the circle was dissipated.

We then did more scrying of the ruins where we discovered fifty or so orcs, including the blinged orc, which we assumed was the boss orc, and discovered that the skinny armoured archers were skeletons. Symbols of the FFF god can be seen. Probing into the basement revealed a really large cauldron which was being stared into by a rather gaunt humanoid. Somehow, we were sure that wasn't his dinner. Instead the cauldron contained some sort of swirlyness and a bright light in the thick souplike liquid. Two nearby assistants could also be seen as well as some people further back marking runes on the wall which Grizelda was able to interpret as some sort of map thing which could the the gorge between Gloomyvale and Junction.

The other crystal to look down into the cauldron and, from what we could determine was that there was some sort of detection magic in play and the markings on the liquid seemed to suggest some sort of map of the area around the ruined tower.

Jut then we saw something shoot through the surface of the liquid like a wiggly comet – and the gaunt man smacked on it with a wooden spoon, stopping it in it's tracks. "So much for the Whispering Wind we just sent" Sammuel announced gravely. I was feeling rather ill at that, as I realised what had happened to the fliers. They had indeed been magically splatted into the ground.

We're going to do WHAT?

We then met Mister Jonathan, who appeared to be a halfling. I could detect there was an illusion around him but I couldn't see through it. I'm getting the suspicion though that I should add 'goblin' to my list of languages. Anyway, he knows someone who does illusions which was rather useful since our plan is to sneak in to the ruined tower using illusions.

   “The plan is so cunning you can pin a tail on it and call it a weasel” - Aurora
   “Ferret” - Aaron
   “Alright … it's so cunning it's a ferret” - Aurora

The plan was to be illusioned as orcs, then illusioned as ourselves on top of that, since we had to get the illusions here. The top one would be timed to wear off after we left Gloomyvale. So I made another fairy circle. we then met an alchemist who provided us with some ceramic hollow tipped arrowheads – currently filled with holy water. Must get a few of those afterwards. We ended up with ten each, including Grizelda who got ten crossbow bolts. We also learnt a bit of orcish language as well such as “We come back”, “We have loot”, “Let us in” as well as a swear word. I think I'll be learning orc as well after this.

   “Orcish puts the gutter in gutteral” - Grizelda

Fart was returned, looking a bit worse for wear. Meanwhile the alchemist got us to drink this really horrible brew which is supposed to keep us awake. It tasted like a mixture of printing ink, tar, and the lubricant for the printing press – or something even worse. I had to follow it up with a few flowers and a spoonful of Grizelda's honey just to take the taste away.

Once prepared, we went though the circle, made our way to the other end at the waystation then, with Fart as our guide, worked our way through the bush towards the old tower. A short distance on, we spotted a couple of orcs impaled on a tree by arrows. Obviously the attacking forces were already in action. Fart found us a little path, barely discernable, going west. So we went west a bit, crossed the road, into the bush, then reached a spot on the river with lots of rocks which we used Use them as stepping stones. As I very carefully made my way across, I peered into the water and detected a trace of magic in it.

During the night we continued onwards and mostly upwards although there were bits we went down and even points where we had to cross natural bridges over ravines, some of which were rather deep.

23rd Fruit

Just past midnight, we spotted another goblin aiming at at something further on. Fart had a look and held up eight fingers, indicating seven more further on, making some sort of ambush. So we attempted to stealth past – and Aaron walked into a tree. Fart made noises like a wild pig and making noises like a wild pig which must have fooled the other goblins enough that we were able to carry on without incident. I also discovered that trying to explain puns to a goblin, such as pigs and hambushes, through Aaron's translations, was a futile exercise Carry on. Again it was up hills, down valleys and even a deep gap with a log bridge that Grizelda ended up jumping over.

Dawn appeared, and we hid somewhere to wait for the upper illusion to pop off. The time was passed with purification and breakfast. Three orcs attempted to sneak up on us while we waited, but our ever alert goblin sentry saw them first and took one out before we even knew they were there. When we did, it didn't take long before Fart took another out and Grizelda got the last one to lie down.

  “That's a dork – a dead orc” - Grizelda

I'm a smelly orc called Shitty

We recovered cold iron chain mail, cold iron glaives, cold iron daggers, and three orc healing potions with stylised happy orc faces. I turned a rather odd shade of green while Fart played with entrails then, upon realising we had to smell like orcs, started smearing myself over with smelly stuff to smell more like an filthy orc than a nature loving elf. It was then spell buffs all around including Vapour Breathings and Resist Colds before we set off again, this time looking like orcs. On the way, we decided on orc names and ended up with Shitty (me), Rockhead (Grizelda), Dopehead (Poppy) and Bossy (Aaron). Apparently the goblin for 'Dawn' translates as 'The shittiest part of the day'.

Suddenly the walls came into view from behind the trees. They had the archer skeletons on it and we could see that the trees have intermingled with the stonework. Orcs had gathered under the trees and the illusions must be fooling them as they basically ignored us as we headed in, with an attitude as if we owned the place. At a rough count I saw 50 orcs, 100 goblins, as well as 30 or 40 archers.

For some reason, Grizelda seemed to see the walls at they once were. Then we saw the blinged boss orc with two big bodyguards, both wielding shiny glaives and short swords, going through a door. We followed them, after a discrete interval, into a square room with doors in the rear corners, containing stacked up equipment and an elderly orc at a table in the middle who seemed to be doing paperwork. Grizelda barred the door behind us and we took out the elderly orc and hid the body in the loot pile. We felt a slight vibration as the orc died.

Aaron gave us Ablative Armour and we checked out the doors. The right hand door went to the stub of the tower while the left door, when opened, showed a staircase going down. We could feel warmth and could see a slight red glow, probably a fire, down the bottom. So we went down the stairs and through another door into a large vaulted chamber roughly100ft long 60ft wide and 20ft high. There were three foot high platforms down either side, a vaulted gallery to the left and a campfire over the large cauldron we had seen before. The gaunt man was talking to the boss orc, and there were the two body guards plus four gaunt things in the gallery. One of them tossed a fireball at us and, basically, that was when the fight started.

Grizelda, and Aaron charged in to take on the boss orc and the gaunt entity while Poppy threw holy water in the direction of the cauldron while I was shooting at the gaunt things on the platforms – starting with the pyromancer that had shot at us. Two of them leapt down from the platforms to join in the melee while the final one showed itself to be a cryomancer when I had to dodge a volley of ice bolts. Poppy's first missile actually ended up in the cauldron while my first holy water tipped arrow missed the pyromancer and impacted in the back wall – which sizzled and cracked. The cauldron also made a cracking sound like ice splintering. Meanwhile there was a lot of thumping and clanging of weapons going on. I got momentarily stunned but was soon back into the fray, scoring a really good hit on the cryomancer. Another of Poppy's missiles impacted the fire under the cauldron causing a giant jet of flame to spurt out. That gave her the idea of deliberately causing a jet in the right direction to get the enemy. Meanwhile we could hear the grating sound of stone against stone which was getting louder. Was that undead getting out of their crypts?

Fortunately the fight ended before they arrived. All the opposition had been dropped, apart from the pyromancer that had somehow got a fire arc going, then pushed past me and ran for the door behind us. Somehow he managed to get stuck and was killed. Since it looked like the cauldron was about to do something rather explosive, we grabbed the bodies of the gaunt man, the boss orc, and both the cryomancer and pyromancer, then legged it up the stairs as well. While going past the desk, Fart scooped up the coins that were on it without missing a beat, then we exited out the other corner door, up the stairs and along the wall, taking out any skeletal archers that were in our way, before dropping back down to the ground and running into the forest, avoiding any grave lumps on the way just in case any ankle grabbing hands were about to rise out of them.

RUN! It's about to blow!

While we did that, the ground, over the basement room that we had been in, had peeled away and a column of dark smoke was pouring out of the cauldron into the sky. The orcs were running around in a mad panic as the tower seemed to be reforming itself and the skeletal archers were raining arrows into them. We just headed for the trees and watched the action from just inside the treeline until it dawned on us that we may be still a tad too close, especially when the tower started lunching daggers at us, so retreated even further back into the trees to wait for what we figured would be the ultimate and inevitable explosion.

We could see the large trees visibly dying in the courtyard so we retreated even further away into a dip in the forest. Hopefully that would protect us from flying debris. We could see a bit of wall, probably the outer wall but it wasn't doing anything – at least not yet. I got the distinct impression we had retreated into the ancient defense ditch outside the wall. A black doughnut of stuff was forming above the tower which looked like it was boiling and rotating like a vortex that could be the birth of a hurricane. To make it worse, it was raining.

It came from the mist

Just then, Poppy announced that there was something forming out the mana nearby, something forming around us, something large and scaly. Frantically, we started grabbing all the useful stuff and prepared to bug out until we realised that it was Misty. Once we had ascertained that he was protecting us from the fall out we settled down to wait it out and told him what had occurred.

  “We stopped the splattedly splattedly splat that stopped people from flying” - Poppy
  “You mean we stopped the splattedly splattedly splat that stopped people from going flappedy flappedy flap” - Aurora.

The gaunt beings turned out to be elves, very old elves, thousands of years old. I just hoped that I didn't get that old and cranky at that age. Misty then rearranged the daggers that had been tossed at us so that their inscriptions read “Thank you for the freedom – now begone”. Probably not a good idea to argue with a sentient necromantic tower. Misty believed it was safe for us mere mortals to fly so I activated my Air Wings and and hovered a bit. The daggers were identified as Spirit Daggers and behaved like they were spectral weapons. There was even a teeny weeny bit of the tower inside them.

Misty also warned us not to fly anywhere near that tower, especially around that black vortex. It would eventually dissipate, but could take days, months, even years, maybe even hundreds of years. The vortex may be a portal to somewhere else but it was extremely hot to be near.

I wish I may ... I wish I might

As a reward, Misty started offering wishes. That gave the rest of the party an opportunity to have a go at me about my lack of offensive magic but it was finally agreed that I should ask for more potential willpower. Grizelda went for a DA talent. Poppy asked for enhanced hearing. Aaron wanted to see in the dark and Fart got tougher. For some reason, I was also pondering fur outfits and boots on Aaron's prompting. Aaron also claimed that he fought a stone golem – by himself.

Kill the orcs, take their stuff

So we spent the next three days doing just that until the illusions wore off. Once that happened we headed towards civilisation arriving back at Gloomyvale at the morning of the fourth day.

Everything Goes Back To Normal

27th Fruit

The troops had also arrived back after doing over the orc forces and many of them were rather beaten up. So Poppy offered her services as a healer.

  “They've had doses of milk of the poppy” - Samuel
  “Well we can give them doses of our poppy” - Aaron

I wanted to go for a fly but the others insisted I stay grounded – just in case. I then offered to send a Whispering Wind but was informed that one had already been sent and a reply received from Junction. So, there wasn't really much for me to do at all, apart from going for a walk.

Time To Go Home

30th Fruit

Finally made a return journey to Junction. Again I wasn't allowed to fly, just in case there were still wandering orcs out there wanting to take pot-shots at any fliers. Since I didn't want to get shot down again, I agreed but I was sulking a bit on the way. Samuel gave us a sealed box to deliver to the Mayor of Laketown. I got the feeling that Aaron was tempted to open it, despite a wax seal on it so I took charge of it, and even wrapped a blue ribbon around it with my own Lady Dawn seal on it. Poppy also organised trade goods from Gloomyvale, mostly halfling pipeweed.

1st Harvest

Stayed the night at the Waystation. I took the opportunity to remove the Faerie Circle I had left there. Probably not a good idea to leave one open as I suspect the Waystation would not appreciate an unexpected fae invasion.

2nd Harvest

Arrived at Junction. The trip all the way down to Laketown was uneventful. We traded all the way down, passed on the news that the trade routes were open again, and by the time we got back to Laketown on the 5th, Poppy announced that we had actually made a profit. That, plus our pay, gave us quite a bit each. Delivered the package - unopened - to the Mayor and spent the night.

10th Harvest

Had to wait a few days for the next boat back over the lake. I kept a rather apprehensive eye open for the Deep One in the lake but didn't see him. Then it was through the caverns. No sign of any lost Destinians so hopefully they found their way out. Spent the night there then spent nearly a week heading back to Seagate by cloud. I stuck to the coast all the way up until spotting a landmark I recognized. Would still be nice to have a high ranked long range locate though … could locate the Guild from several hundred miles away.

18th Harvest

Finally landed at the Guild, got checked over, debriefed etc from Guild Security. I was so exhausted from flying the cloud, with minimum sleep to stay on course, that I don't even remember staggering into a bed that evening. Tomorrow, I plan to indulge myself in a long flight.

Persons of Interest

Captain Jack, Captain of the ship The August. Also known as Jack Orc.
Gimlet a Dwarf aboard The August, water mage.
Cookie, an Elf cook & crewman aboard The August, he's a Namer.
Captain Alberto, of the boatmen
THE DEEP ONE, the kraken that lives in the lake.
Harold the Unfathomable, Senor Boatman
Thomas the Mayor of Lake Town.
Edward assistant to the Mayor of Lake Town.
OLD MISTY, the dragon in the mist.
Katherine, a female halfling, slays vampires. Is a destined one. Lives in the shire on the far side of Gloomy vale, but travels hunting vampires etc.
Katherine's cook, a male halfling, who assists Katherine hunting vampires. His primary weapon is a frying pan.

Loot

Orcs

  • 4 x Chainmail (one damaged)
  • 4? x horned orc helm
  • 2 x great axe
  • 2 x Scimitar
  • 2 x xbows plus bolts
  • 4 x Dagger

Goblins

  • 2 x Goblin armour (scrap value)

Goblin mage

Buffs and Mil Sci

Magic Rk Effects Dur 1 2 3 4 5 6
Enchant Armour 11 +24 def, +1 DP 6 hrs ? ? ? ? ? ?
Enchant Weapon 9 +10 Sc +3 Dam 14 mins ? ? ? ? ? ?
Scales 7 34 ablative before Armour. 17 mins ? ? ? ? ? ?
Greater enchantment 9 +10 two Areas 3 days Y Y Y Y Y Y
Spell 0 effects ? hrs Y Y Y Y Y Y

Watch Order

  • Aurora
  • Grizelda
  • Poppy
  • Aaron

Marching Order

  • Poppy, as her Horse is leader
  • Grizelda, as her Horse is biggest
  • Aurora,as she can shoot from her horse.
  • Aaron, he's the horse boy leading the extras

Stuff for the Seagate Times

Quotable Quotes

What's Hot/Not

Not - Bacon Butties (Aurora)
Hot - Bacon Butties (the rest of the party)

Not - Being Grounded
Hot - Not going Splattedly Splat Splat!

Tips for Adventuring Success

  1. Don't annoy the giant - She's bigger than you
  2. Don't get between a giant and their dinner

Calendar

Autumn 814wk: Fruit (4)
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon1.jpg Lugnasad 1 Guild Meeting 2 Hangover day 3 Morning Greater & Enchant rituals 4 5 6 Morning Greater
Moon2.jpg 7 8 9 Morning Greater & Enchant rituals 10 11 Enchant rituals (P & Au) 12 Morning Greater & Enchant rituals (Aa & G) 13
Moon3.jpg 14 15 Morning Greater 16 17 Enchant rituals (Aaron) 18 Enchant rituals (Au,P & G) Evening Greater 19 Who ambushed whom? 20 Fairy Rings.
Moon0.jpg 21 Aaron gets a minion. 22 Gloomy Vale. Renew Greater 23 The plan worked! Mostly. 24 Renew Enchants. 25 26 Renew Greater. 27 Human again.
Moon1.jpg 28 29 Total Rebuff. 30 Test the road 1 2 Junkton to... 3 4
Autumn 814wk: Harvest (5)
Moon2.jpg 5 And back to lake town. 6 7 8 9 10 Crossing the lake again. 11 Sandspit
Moon3.jpg 12 13 14 15 Equinox 16 17 18 Back at the guild.
Moon0.jpg 19 Harvest Moon 20 21 22 23 24 25
Moon1.jpg 26 27 28 29 30 1 2
Autumn 814wk: Vintage (6)
Moon2.jpg 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Moon3.jpg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Moon0.jpg 17 Blood Moon 18 19 20 21 22 23
Moon1.jpg 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 Beerfest