- 1 Summary
- 2 Scribe Notes
- 3 Calendar
- 4 Reference
- 5 Loot
- 6 Seagate Times
- 7 Logistics
Starting night: 17/09/2014.
Starting time: 7:00 pm.
Location: 30 Sheridan Drive, New Lynn, Auckland.
Note: Chocolate free event please
- Grendel Mind/Water Mage - Mil Sci (Seige & Logistics) - played by Simon W
- Wordsmith Namer - Scribe, Mil Sci (Land) - played by Errol
- Lath Air Mage / Blast - Mil Sci (Air) - played by Jono
- Eltan aka Stupid Stupid Rat Creature Earth Mage, played by Joe
- Sir Wojer Air Mage / Warrior- played by Ian
- Kilroy Rune Mage - Party Leader - played by Dean
- Captain Zohar Haima Water Mage - Mil Sci (Water)- played by Chris C
- Duke Baltmond Alagaad the Duke of Aladar, via Capt Thomston
- The party is hired to investigate the possibility for the original inhabitants of Walontaun to return home. Well, that's what Capt Sorenson said at the Guild, at first. But they thought it more realistic that we 'rangers' confirm that Droskyne is (barely) inhabited (although outside the line of forts), recover Walontaun's important civic artefacts, and remove dangerous items/monsters in preparation for later return. As even his boss didn't get what we are capable of, we spoke with the Duke, and negotiations continue.
- 20,000sp (in total - I know), and they won't ask about any random dangerous items that we remove from the pummelled lands. The civic artefacts are for the Duke's service, obviously. And it would be rude to parade ironmongery with non-vacant family crests attached around the capital, wouldn't it?
Captain Sorenson (of Grobbantaun Guard) has been dispatched via ship to hire and brief us.
After the Drow incursion, large portions of Aladar have been severely damaged, and much of the population has been displaced. Approximately the eastern third has been covered in 6-10' of silt. It will be fertile in the medium term, but is currently a wasteland, abandoned by the Duchy's human population. A powerful Necro holds sway in the southwest, Demons and Trolls are established on the borders, the Aquilians have been less damaged by the incursions, dangerous magics and groups of bandits, monsters and undesirables roam the east. A N-S line of forts protects the west from the worst of the anarchy. Droskyne is an barely-sustainable ordered island in the near-east.
Various civic artefacts of Walontaun (e.g. town bells) are thought to remain in whatever is left of it, and are desired to be recovered. Us 'rangers' are needed to evaluate the situation in Droskyne, and recover Walontaun's essentials, with a view to the population returning as soon as it can be made stable. The party confers, decides we can offer much more stabilisation and recovery than the Captain has been authorised to pay for, and spends the next day and a half preparing and investigating matters such as the amount of seed grain available to be shipped north.
Late afternoon 2nd Thaw After reviewing the various long-range transportation options available, Grendel opens a warpgate to take Sorenson and the party to outside Grobbantaun. Unfortunately the refugee shanty town is extensive, and we get an up-close view of the difficult conditions of the internally displaced. The soup kitchens and extensive Guard appear to be managing for now, but matters are clearly precarious.
Sorenson takes us to his senior, Captain Thomston, who is able to give a more complete briefing. We are warned against flying near Grobbantaun, Droskyne and Walontaun, and reports of wild beasts and bandits roaming the east continue. Appropriate letters of authority are arranged, and we are advised to meet with Lord von Slivis, who's lands are east of the fort line, and south of Droskyne. We need to pressure Thomston to arrange an audience with the Duke (to discuss political matters beyond Thomston's authority), but he does so after we supply a cattle beast for his men.
After breakfast on 3rd Thaw, we are introduced as 'Adventurers from Seagate' to the Duke's court. His Grace is of course very interested in our declared ability to grow a sown grain crop overnight over a 25 mile radius from a place of his choosing, and have generous harvests for the following three years. Negotiations on the logistics and distributions continue with the Duke's staff.
We invite Lord von Slivis to lunch, where he provides directions to Slivin Manor, his substantial house off the main road to Droskyne. He wants information on the state (and occupany!) of the manor, and we agree to payment of 15,000sp and a favour at court if we secure it for occupation. A detailed briefing on the buildings is given by his Captain.
Making our way to the wooden fort on the main road in the afternoon, we check in with the Sargent. Droskyne appears to have calmed down, there are few reports from there now. Lots of 'strange stuff' everywhere. Also orcs to the north, and drow bands to the east. Suspects that Slivin Manor is something like a bandit base, as nothing has been heard from that area for a while. Getting some sleep in (having planned an early morning raid) is delayed by thumps on the little (can hold 20 men, and some horses) fort's wall after nightfall - normal, and strong wood soon becomes boring, it seems.
The cleared land near the fort is quiet as we leave at 2am, but the forest on the way to the manor is 'alive'. As we approach the house on the hill, the smell of a butcher's shop grows stronger. There are many animal(?) corpses scattered around - rendered orges or orcs? Much worse are the huge horse-sized 'electro-fly' maggots feeding on some. We avoid them, sneak to the gardens, and scout. Every window is broken, and there is a general feeling of neglect. A few dozen apparently sentient minds are detected inside, along with a few in a high state of alert. We cover all the inside of the manor with knockout gas and fog, and charge into the kitchen.
The couple awake in the adjacent dining room are quickly dispatched - men gone feral!? Immediately more figures approach the dinning room's many doors. Chain-cast runewalls, Forbiddings, and magic'd blades deal with the 20 of them, as they are very aggressive but badly equipped. We find 10 ko'd survivors (good MR!), including one in the remains of a lieutenant's uniform, and investigate what is making them so aggressive.
Small pouches with crystals that many carry seem the likely source (good, no random vegetation to worry about!) We seal off the manor with Runewalls and Walls of Thorns, and work out how to remove the drug from their system. The Lieutenant is portaled to the Guild, and a Cleansing Flame applied. This is a effective, but especially traumatic, way of purging the drug. We find we have Lord Slivis's son, who has a great tale to tell. His force had to make their way back from the battlefront months ago, greatly aided by the crystals, which they took from drow. However they are addictive, and once the manor was reached (by instinct), it was all they could do to retain enough sanity to hold the house.
We take all the living and dead to safety, so the Lord can figure out what to do with them. It will need a strong force to hold it in this magic-scarred land (several 8' flies were zapped during the night). We are rewarded with several items previously made in Slivian's lab, all of which were found impractical in polite society, but which the Lord is sure there is a market for in Seagate.
Mid-morning on the 4th, we go to the Fort on the road, re-buff, and do a flying scout towards Droskyne. It seems that the Droskyne River has been dammed, presumably by the silt. Large areas west of Droskyne are flooded, and that currently above water is cut with channels in the silt 10'-15' deep. There are patches of verdant scrub (presumably Blessed areas), and some worked islands. We spot a large pack of humanoids preparing to attack a group of guarded workers, and swoop down to intervene.
The pack draws off the guards before the dozens of other pack members cross a channel in the silt. Grendal lands on their flank as the rest of us insert ourselves to protect the workers. Grendal's focused, boosted TK Rage wreaks great damage, leaving only a few survivors - dealt with via webs, walls, and good old-fashioned running them down.
As we deal with the worker's fear of the guards and the interrogation of the 'Dog-warriors', we also have to gas more of those damn electro-flies.
- The Dog-warriors are from Terra Nova, and know of 3 other packs in the wider area. They are enjoying not being given orders all the time. Are quite prepared to treat us as higher-rank pack members, and Kilroy (who changed into dogs) as leader. Potentially useful in service to the Duke.
- The workers are glad to be freed of the harsh rule of 'The Colonel' in Droskyne. They were kept as prisoners on the town, poorly fed, and worked subject to the guard's beatings and monster attacks.
- The guards (those left, some ran off early) are thugs, working for The Colonel, and intimidated by us.
We take everyone back to Grobbantaun (as they can all be made use of), and magic the thugs to tell us what they know.
The 'Colonel' is called Wallarus - no-one of that rank exists according to the nobles, but the fighting men report a bullying sergeant of that name. He runs Droskyne from the Towm Hall, with a inner circle that includes 'wizards' (at least one fire-using). His men guard the inhabitants, who are kept in the prison, or the cellars of houses in barricaded streets. Various bandit groups in the area visit (and pay homage?), notably 'Hugo' to the north, and 'Sir Prentice' on the road east of the Duke's fort.
Deciding to deal with Sir Prentice first, increasing transportation options, Lath and Eltan take the road while the rest of us are Unseen escorts. When Prentice confronts us, he is given every opportunity to be civilised. His quite impressive numbers of archers are nullified by Fog and feared by Blackfire. The scrap on the road is brief, and Prentice is run through. His followers are gathered, even those that scattered return to his decent little fort in the forest. Nearly all will serve well, being ordinary men struggling to survive. Those that have lived through the last few months are competent fighters (mainly archers). After a quiet night, an Earth Elemental assists in setting up a fort on the road, and we have the new recruits guard it until they can be swapped for other troops.
Sneaking in plain sight
Late morning on 5th Thaw sees us (somewhat shabbier than normal, and modified to fit in - Kilroy as a hound) at the gates of Droskyne. We have with us Little John (Prentice's second) and a handful of other recent converts - suitably Bound. As expected the walls are battered (especially the western, which also have silt banked up against them), but serviceable. The guard is a bit more extensive than expected (for instance alert archers on the walls), but happy enough as the known Little John tells of successful scraps with Dog-warriors, and the desire to drink on the proceeds of loot. Inside the gate, there is an air of desertion, with streets away from the main road near-empty. Women and children are trying to scrap a living, offering scraps and trinkets. A small child is very grateful to get a few pennies for old potatoes, and guides us to a once-proud house two streets off the Town Square. We set up a hide in the basement, and a 'normal' dossing area on the ground floor. Little John says to expect rent collectors later.
We head to the Square to trade our loot, noting both disciplined-looking soldier-types, and squabbling thugs. The smithy is active, mainly with weapons. Our merchants watch as the loot is flogged - they get about one tenth of Seagate prices (100sp). We have few of the arrows they ask for.
Time for the tavern, to see what we can find. The horses are under guard by soldier-types, but they are not in same gear as the guards (and Grobbantaun-led forces). At least one of them is a E&E. No-one important can be seen in the public areas inside - we 'grab' a table, as we look competent enough to be given respect (but not free booze). Grendel gets Telepathy on one of several men in a private room - Ob Seen, one of the three Seen brothers, who control the road to the east. They have been called to Droskyne to negotiate with the Colonel - Sgt Hendon is bargaining for them to assist in setting up a barony outside Aladar's (and anyone else's) control. Hendon says more troops are needed, as well as information on where people are living. Ob is exaggerating the resources the brothers control, they can actually 'call up' 500-1000 fighters. The brothers leave town with matters not settled.
We evaluate the security in the Square - lots of people paying attention while 'off duty'. There are alchemical smells coming from the Town Hall. Random semi-drunks say that the Count was still ruling until 3-4 months ago, he disappeared when the Colonel moved in. The houses in the streets bordering the Square are mainly occupied, but few are elsewhere. We are followed to 'our' house when we depart to finish the moonshine bottle we bought, and pay our rent.
We spend the early evening planning. Having chosen to let the Seen brothers depart the area (despite their less-protected circumstances, as we can deal with them later), we decide to assault the Town Hall overnight. Aim is to dispose of the Colonel and his inner circle (especially mages), and have the lower ranks join (or return to) Aladaran service. Another scouting 'booze run' to the Square shows that the apparently free atmosphere there is actually well managed, with presumably the Colonel's men in mufti distracting thugs there for a bender before fights turn deadly, for instance. There are 30-40 people in the Town Hall, which has bound walls. Another centre of power is the prison (some distance away), where those that might cause trouble are kept.
Smash and Slice
At our favourite hour of 2am on the 6th, we Gaseous Form ourselves into a vacant upstairs room of the Town Hall. There are many sleeping minds, several on guard, and on odd diffuse one. Totem Spirit mapping and another magical hint suggests we will find our quarry (the Colonel and his mages) at the another end of the building. Another gassy move, and we KO a human in bed. The diffuse mind becomes alert, and coalesces somewhere through the wall. Charge! Warping holes in walls is so useful!
Another man is killed before he leaves bed. The candle in the room expands into an 'Inferno' - grunty Fire Elemental - and charges its former master's corpse. The guards break through the door, the floor is disintegrated under the bed and Inferno, applied elemental water steams the room. The party all leap/float downstairs while the surviving mundane guards decline to follow.
The courtyard contains a huge enchanted thistle centred on an earth mage. The seeds it released might have been an interesting challenge, but the well-timed enhanced tripled Fireball deal with matters swiftly. Reinforcing soldiers entering from outside are cowed by the sight of their leaders dead. Proper leadership (and Bardic Voice) get the sergeants on-side, and we take stock.
Over the next three days, we evaluate and consolidate. The town can only recover if the population keep working, so any that flee overnight are returned by air elementals. The Count is found, keep prisoner in the basement. He is understandably vengeful, we decide it is best all round if he recovers with the Guild healers while things are stabilised. With the Colonel and his cronies dead in the assault (what KO'd man?), the soldiers (most ex-Aldarian) and bully-boys are tested for redemption potential. Nearly all just went along with what seemed like the most survivable option at the time, but are very worried about being strung up for treason or banditry. Careful management will be required. Fortunately we know some people...
A major cause of the silt piling up against the damaged western wall are the confused spirits of the local's ancestors. They have more power than most, as there is residual ancestor worship. Once it is explained that pushing the mana-laced silt back is endangering their descendants, they agree to assist with managing the silt levels. They complain that the Bells of Walontaun are not responding to them - but the timeframe concerned is not clear.
We update the Duke, who is happy for us to manage things for the time being. We think that the area will recover better (and we will get more information) if it trades as a free town for say the rest of the season. We make arrangements for the merchant Murant to bring together the seed grain required for the quick planting - in Destiny in two weeks, from where we can magically transport it to where the Duke wants it. A few SAG members who are bored with training are co-opted into managing Droskyne while we continue with the mission proper.
On 9th Thaw we are ready to scout Walontaun. However, we have heard that 'Hugo' (to the southeast of Droskyne) is the toughest bandit in these parts, so decide to check him out 'on the way'. We are told that there used to be road leading SE, but it is presumably buried under the silt. Around an hour's flying along the route of easiest walking we spot an area of walled excavations, and land to investigate.
The numerous, well-armed, and magiced guards on the walls are polite to deal with, and we parley with their leader, Hugo Chaveux. He is a well-organised opportunist originally from Ormond, but has been flexible in location of late. He is 'mining' what is under the silt. Some spots (like the one he is currently digging) have been very lucrative, with many (mainly Drow) artefacts. He permits us to Divinate a battleaxe as an example, and we quote a 'Seagate' price to establish that we know what we are on about. He has been trading mainly with Bowcourt, with Droskyne having little to offer - we update him on the situation there. Other information is traded:
- they saw 30' flying snakes creatures in the hills, with human/giant torsos, using glaives and magic (including lightning)
- most towns were washed out or buried about a year ago
- they expect to move on from the current dig in about a month
- He is open to 'offers' of recognition of land ownership, or a title
As he is not a current threat, and quite well armed, we leave him to his business.
Novalar is the Holy See of the Arch-Bishop of Mordeaux. So, staging area for Michalites, Gabrialites and pacted mercenaries in the fight against the demonic spawn and rogue magics left over in the war zone of Aladar and Aquilar. Not wanting to give away what we are up to, we minimize contact with officaldom and find a quiet inn.
Lath can barely detect spirits, presumably because there has been no ancestor worship for a while. Buying drinks for trackers, we learn there are bands of dogs about, plus trolls and orcs in hills to the north (the heavies are after bigger fare).
Walontaun Scout & Snatch
The morning of the 10th we take a cloud to Walontaun, noting a a dirt fort below, occupied by the Seen brothers (Locate on a brother's saddle). We find a divided town - to the west, hundreds of orcs; to the east, somewhat fewer drow, with some mantis-creatures and humanoid 'mules', plus human slaves. Bands of orcs, and guarded humans, work the fields. The orcs have the town square, and a wall separates them from the drow, who control a tall tower - which has bells in it! Mana flows into the hall buy the tower. Crystals and other scouting reveal warning wards on the guarded walls, and fireball wards on the bell tower. We decide that grabbing one of the non-drow outside the walls won't give enough intel for the risk of increasing alert levels
For a change (not), we change form to be ignored by the outer defences early morning of the 11th, add final buffs on a suitable rooftop, and descend on the unsuspecting tower watch. Zohar warps the roof's wood into a platform above the wards as our blast magics drop the hapless troops where they stand. As Lath's Air Elementals gather up the bells and the bodies are gathered for interrogation, a huge snake-creature bursts through the top of the tower. Sir Wojer and Eltan keep its attention as it is pummelled from behind, and the conjured monster dissipates. The fire-walking all-drow response team are cut or blasted down at their landing places. Re-gathering a better average quality of fallen opponent we exit through the warp gate to the Guild. I love long-range instantaneous transport - except when you find unexpected company.
Our way to the Guild is blocked by indistinct figures, angry at our theft of the bells - the local ancestors are incensed at their removal! Lath imperfectly speaks their language, but struggles to convince them of our good intent. We prepare our defences as more and more spirits gather, but finally they are prepared to listen. We ask if Grobbantaun is within their domain, and can we try to change our destination please? Fortunately this works, probably with their assistance. We quickly establish that they would be happier in Droskyne (with less Western Church presence), so set up the bells and check progress there.
Stew and Smash
What next for Walontaun? Consult with Blitzkreig. Start raising tension in W via weather effects - will use more direct measures over the coming days.
Go to take out Seen brothers 12th (notice huge Death-gatherer en route). Kill one in assault, two others teleport to Sanctuary, leaving 30-odd thugs. Arrange meet to exchange body
Meet near S dawn-ish of 13th. Resurrect Ob Seen for 30k ransom, introduce to Duke's Chamberlain to formalise them organising the eastern badlands of the Duchy.
Find the huge Death-gatherer. Spend rest of 13th building a blind canyon to trap it. Nudge into canyon 14th struggle to seal off, but mud, walls of lightning, blackfires, red iron grenadoes etc do for it.
|Spring: Thaw (10) 814wk|
|Candlemansa||1||Guild Meeting||2||Prep, Warpgate to Grobbantaun||3||Audience w/Duke,
|4||a.m. Slivian Manor
p.m. Dog Warriors, Sir Prentice
|5||Droskyne, scout and prep||6||Snake's head removed|
|7||Interrogations & planning||8||Confirm with Duke||9||Hugo, Novalar||10||Walontaun scout||11||a.m. Walontaun Snatch
p.m. Start Stewing
|12||a.m. Seen assault
p.m. arrange meet
|13||a.m. Seen meet, intro Chamberlain|
|14||trap Death-gatherer,Increase stew cycle||15||ask Freya for change, do her job||16||monitor Wtn, attack hall||17||Peasants Start Preparing the fields and planting in the Blessed area.||18||19||20|
|21||22||23||Freyas 4 mile Gift results in Seed Crop overnight.||24||Freya's 20 mile gift coupled with Laths worker minions results in the harvest of the seed crop which is replanted resulting in the harvest of main crop overnight.||25||The Party receives the adulation of Aladar when Aladar realizes it has gone from a famine to full granaries overnight.||26||27||The Deed for the Merchants Guild of Droskyne is signed.|
|Spring: Seedtime (11)|
|5||6||7||8||Rites of Thunor||9||10||11|
|12||13||14||15||Equinox||16||17||Eostre||18||Seagate Spring Ball|
|Spring: Blossom (12)|
People and places.
- 40 cattle itemised (2? so far for GT Guard)
- Sir Wojer 'Why are we taking them alive?', not said of the enemy
- Lath 'My eyes are false', Zohar 'Anything else?'
- Zohar 'Do you have any recent maps?' Lord Slivis 'I'm sure it hasn't moved.'
Long Term (assumed always on)
We are following classic realms of skill mastery being; Ground Wordsmith, Air Lath, Sea Captain Zohar, Seige & Logistics Grendel.