The Siege of Ar Eeb
- 1 Header
- 2 Players
- 3 Scribe Notes
- 4 Buffs
- 5 Treasure
- 6 Quotes
- 7 Nominations
- 8 Calendar
- GM: William
- Night: Tuesday starting 11th Dec (not playing 25th Dec or 8th Jan)
- Location: William's house in Glen Eden
- Level: Medium
- Mission: To deal with some migrating orcs in Aladar.
- Michael playing Boris (Orc Necro)
- Bridget playing Lucius the E&E
- Keith - Aurora - Female elf/fae Airmage.
- Jim - Valentine - warrior water/fire mage.
- Ian playing Pierre the Halfling (Illusionist).
1st Meadow 813
My intention was to join the Air Mage party but, before the Guild meeting, I was summoned to the Sorceress in Silver's office in the Air College. She asked me to join the party that were going to Ar Eeb in Aladar to deal with the orcs in case there is a connection between that, and the problems with the air spirits in Aquila/Aladar. Also I was to report back to her anything else I found out as she wanted the 'bigger picture'. So I ended up in a different meeting room than the other air mages.
The party I ended up with was:
Boris: A 5'4” orc in shiny plate armour. He told us he is a necromancer and a warrior and only does the non-blasty stuff. He has mottled chameleon skin, a nose ring, and a shiny battleaxe. He also warned us that spells aimed at him have a chance of also branching out and affecting anyone within ten feet of him. So, basically, don't stand within 10ft of him except when buffing up.
Pierre the Illusionist: 2'10” halfling illusionist, followed by Kitty the sabre-tooth tiger. He's also a master cook.
Valentine: 5'10” Human tank fighter/warrior, carrying lots of weapons and described himself as “the Guild's best elemental spell-caster”. He's got both the fire and the water colleges. He also glows in the presence of undead which led Boris and I to speculate on the possibility of using him as a light source in dark places.
Lucius: Lord Protector of Ladlaugh, a province in Alfheim. Has taken an oath to protect the land. He's an E&E. He also wanted to know what sort of elf I am. High Elf I said but I suspect there's some wood elf in there somewhere since I'm shorter than the average elf. Ladlaugh, he said, also had some problems between the elves and the fae so I may take up his invitation to go there and check out the situation after this. Maybe the fae need an ambassador.
I became the scribe and Pierre, much to his surprise was appointed the military scientist. Don't know who the party leader is but as long as it's not me I don't mind.
Ar Eeb is located in central Aladar between the mountains to the east and the mountains to the west. The baron there is worried about the yearly orc migration that goes from east to west, right through the middle of their barony. Basically we're being paid to smack them over and put a stop to it.
Lucius offered to give us Greaters and cost so I went to also obtain a Lesser as well as seeing if I can get some restoratives and healing potions – just in case. I also did some research in the library and I'm wondering if the notes of a previous party last session may be of some relevance.
Next morning we met up with the employer's representative and an entity she called her uncle. The closer that Valentine got to Uncle, the brighter he glowed. He was to provide the Shadow Wings that we were going to use to get there. The end of the days flight got us to an inn in Ranke where we discovered that the place also contained a troop of twenty Raphaelite amazon warriors led by Sister Truth will Smite the Unclean. They're also heading for Aladar. It might have been all that cold iron in the room that was making be uneasy so I quickly retreated to our room. Fortunately the night passed uneventfully.
To avoid any potential problems with the Raphaelites, we decided to walk out early and cast the wings at a rather discrete distance away. Today's flight took us to the edge of the Ffenargh where we found another inn.
Boris - “Bump of direction. You keep going in one direction until you bump into something”
Next day we flew around the Ffenargh – from the things I've heard, probably too dangerous to fly over it – and into Aladar. Late afternoon we arrived at a formidable looking fortress on the pass with a keep inside of it. The fort was located on a conical hill and, when we landed, I could sense mana flowing out of the hill. The hill was where their ancestors were interred – and Valentine was glowing some more.
As we were led into the fortress, there was a “sproing” sound and a crossbow bolt whizzed past Boris. Seems that the guards were drilling in crossbows and an over eager recruit thought that Boris was an invader. As a result he got a right bollocking from the drill sergeant.
Even though listening to the bollocking was amusing – this guy was really good at it – we were ushered inside and into the presence of Baron Ar Eeb. He was in a room along with a large map which I started memorising. That was where we discovered that the place was full of ancestral spirits that could help with our training. There may even be someone that could help me with my quest for more fae magic.
The orcs mostly go east to west, right down the pass that the fort is guarding, but there is some west to east traffic. Basically they want it stopped, and the more orcs we can wipe out, the better.
We spent the night, all crammed in one room with watches. During mine and Boris's watch there was a knock on the door but when Boris opened the door, there was no one there. However, I was able to perceive a rather handsome looking man who proceeded to proposition me. He introduced himself as the 6th Lord of Ar Eeb, the grandfather of the current lord. I was feeling a bit taken aback at this so was a bit flustered while trying to figure out a way to say no while being courteous and diplomatic about it. He finally left, looking a bit disappointed. That was then I realised I had missed a great opportunity to tell him that his intentions were rather transparent but I had to admire his spirit.
After purification I decided to take an early morning fly. My intention was go to the top of the tower but the Lord suggested the top of the eyrie if I wanted to have a look about. So I fluttered up to the mountain peak, during which I discovered that my new air wings were nearly as fast as Mage Wind. I also had a personal glamour up which made it look like I had butterfly wings. Once on top of the peak I could see clefts cutting into the mountains. That was then I thought I saw movement so I used a crystal ball to get a closer look and discovered that it was a group of short, ugly, humanoids moving through the pass which I soon identified as goblins. So I flew back to let the others know.
Some discussions ensured about what we should do next. During those I referred to those warrior women as Michaelines which led to the response that they can't be Michaelines as they had shields. Michaelines need both hands free for two handed swords. Oh! Anyway, since they were a few hours away it was decided to fly out to meet up with the goblins to find out what they were up to.
So, after casting Flying on those that needed it, that's what we did. I also discovered that none of us had much experience in rangering or navigation. I wasn't very good and I turned out to be the best in the party. Even so, I managed to lose Valentine, Lucius and Boris when the path forked and I went right with Pierre while the others went left. It took me a while to find them again. Sigh! I may be a good flier but I really must get better at knowing where I'm going.
“I don't need to rank that” - Valentine “Famous last words” - Aurora.
Once we regrouped and found the goblins, they started shooting at us. I got shot so I flew for cover. As Boris and Valentine charged, they scattered. Valentine and Boris ran one down each. Meanwhile I was discovering that they were using black steel arrowheads, basically cold iron. No wonder that hurt.
Our prisoners were rather talkative. They told us they were scouting for Gorgas, the orc leader, who lived somewhere in the mountains and had a troll at his command. Paradise was located on the other side of the fort and humans already lived there so the goblins and orcs want to pillage them. There's ogres, giants, and trolls, seven witches and an earth mage.
As we questioned them the rest of the goblins, who were on the other side of a small ridge, seemed to be doing some sort of complicated ritual involving numbers. Their armour was makeshift but the weapons were of a better quality. Lucius then conjured up a Wizard Eye and sent sleep spells through it to take out the leader. So the next ones down started doing 'Attacks of Opportunity' in order to advance their place in the pecking order. Their were only five goblins left in total by the time he stopped. I noticed there seemed to be more magic floating about than usual.
The goblins agreed to take us to their leader so we followed them up into the mountains. We had to be careful where we stepped as there were leylines all over the place and a misstep could cause us to be 'elsewhere'. I was wondering if they were gateways to other planes or middlemarches. However, investigation was to be left to later.
We reached the troll cave without mishap and, once there, we buffed up and went in, intending to play 'whack-a-troll'. While the others waded in with weapons, I activated my granite plume brooch (which I have to keep running for the next thirty days) and start crushing Canith Crystals in my crystal cracker to release bolts of energy at the troll. Finally we beat it down and Boris cut off it's head with a flaming axe. To our disappointment, there was no loot. Boris then animated the troll and had it follow us with it's head tucked underneath it's arm.
Finally we reached a large valley. Looked like it contained thousands of orcs most of which was in the large city in the valley. I was beginning to wonder if we had crossed into another plane. Just then we were approached by a couple of orcs who asked us if we were here for the war. Apparently Gorgas has backers and he's hiring mercenaries.
So, while Boris went to sign us up, the rest of us waited in the pub. I was using illusions and glameurs to make me look more drowish as well as a “don't mess with me, I'm dangerous” aura, in the hope of giving the impression I was a drow assassin. The assassin stealth armour certainly helped and I was keeping the hood up to add that air of mystery. Valentine was approached by the orcish barmaid who slipped him a map of the inn with an X on one of the rooms. That led to us telling him that it was a treasure map and that he'd be exploring in strange places. I was thinking of other lines involving dark caverns but decided to refrain from using them. For some reason the rest of the party decided to have a go at me as well, bringing up a rather old incident.
“It doesn't count unless you're conscious” - Aurora.
Boris returned a bit later and told us that we had rooms and that we had to report to an orc called 'Scar' after we had settled in. Payday is every eight days from the start of the campaign .. in a few months. So we headed off. On the way I noticed some more erect orcs that looked familiar (Homo orc erectus). They were either Salla'm'karr orcs that Human had told me about … or were they some of those orcs that had encountered the 'Green Lady' that we had met on that quest for the ladle.
Boris then met up with an orc who wanted to trade Boris's chameleon skin for a wand that causes spleens to explode. Turns out there's a lot of beings, goblins especially who want to mate with those with unusual abilities in order to get those abilities into their bloodline.
From what we were able to determine by talking, this valley we were in was actually a Middlemarch that surrounded by mists containing green tentacled monsters. The plan was to magically swap this valley with the valley that Ar Erb is in then they'd all swarm out and invade the area. They were being led by the entity in the fortress who was going to lead the ritual. Presumably it is a similar ritual that Clarissa and her party used to bring an island forward in time. While we were doing that, a goblin arrived bearing a message for Valentine such as “Where are you big boy”. So Valentine slunk off to his fate. Later on Boris also 'disappeared for a while'.
Next day, we made plans. It was decided that we would attempt to kill or at least capture one of the mages in order to find out more about this ritual and perhaps disrupt it. We also needed an emergency escape route, just in case so we managed to find a scrubby looking grove of trees that I could make a faerie circle in. I just hoped I could lead them through to safety if we had to use it, otherwise it might be out of the frying pan into the fae.
We then went over to the fortress to see what we could find out. While we were watching, three shifty looking drow exited and I was told to tail them to see where they went. So I followed them to an inn but when I went to return, I was rendered unconscious from a tap on the back of the head. The next thing I remembered was waking up in a room, clad only in my underwear with some clothes nearby. An elf then entered the room, introduced himself as Galvor, apologised for kidnapping me as he thought I was a drow, and told me he worked for the Queen of Alfheim in Her Majesty's Secret Service. So, after dressing, we chatted over a cup of elven tea. That was when the rest of the party turned up.
They had got worried when I hadn't returned and couldn't find me by a Locate. However, they were able to locate my armour, which they found, along with the rest of my gear in a room in the inn that I had followed the drow to. Inquiries told them that the owner of the room was a mad Masadian but they hadn't seen either him or me. So they searched the room again and, this time, they found a secret door which wasn't trapped. They did however find invisible writing which read, in elvish, “Property of the High Queen of Alfheim”. So they went through it.
We were in an “O-room” a pocket room that was not in the same plane as the room it was connected to, sort of like a very small demi-plane. Galvor told us that the person leading these forces was a survivor from the Masada War, Slago, who was one of Rashak's lieutenants. There were twenty mages with him and he was the one who knew the ritual. He's not pacted but is known to be a Greater Summoner, able to summon demon Dukes and Princes. He had taken over the main hall of the fortress and had 10 to 15 orcs as guards. I wanted to contact the Sorceress of Silver but realised that Seagate was well out of range of my current skill in the Whispering Wind spell.
It was decided that we would fly up to the top of the fortress and attempt to take Slago out. So, the next morning we purified and buffed up with the following:
- Rune shield (+17DEF, +3AP for the next 13 hours, takes the first spec then dissipates)
- Enchant Mortal (sees illusions and glameurs and able to use the faerie circle if needed)
- Fire Armour (ablates 28 points of fire damage)
- Resist Cold
- Water Breathing (just in case)
- Quickness (+18 init, +6 TMR)
- Walking Unseen
- Damage Ablation (+42 points)
- Weapon of Flames (+11SC +3D)
- Feather Falling
It didn't take us long to take out the orc guards on the top of the fortress and we found a set of keys. Lucius used a wizard eye and sleep spells to take out any other guards and we made our way, unopposed, to the door of the throne room. Inside was 25 orcs including the orc leader, probably Gorgas. No sign of Slago though as it was possible that he had his own O-room behind the throne. We prepared to attack.
Lucius poked a wizard's eye through the door and discovered that most of the orcs on the other side were sleeping although there were a few off in one corner engaged in carnal acts, two playing cards and one on guard. The orc in charge was sleeping on the throne and three goblins, two armed with mops, and the other with a broom, were in the process of cleaning the floor. The wizards eye then continued on through the far wall, finding an area it couldn't get into. Lucius managed to squeeze the eye through a small gap but the look on his face, and the fact his real eyes were watering was telling me that it was a rather difficult task – and possibly painful.
However, it was worth it as beyond was some sort of room, with a drow, presumably Slago, a hideously ugly orc, some sort of angelic being which was most likely a demon, and another devil in the corner. We were still disguised as orcs (well I was a drow – it was easier) and, after Lucius succeeded in sleeping the ones that were awake, we just casually swaggered in, as if we owned the place. Once at the door on the far side, we opened it, and the others charged in while Lucius and I kept an eye on the sleeping orcs.
Valentine strode in confidently as the elf and dark angel told him to 'get out'. His response was to wallop the angel with his weapon. Boris walloped the lady orc, who turned out to be a succubus in disguise (we could see the tiny batwings) and she disappeared in a puff of sulphurous smoke but not before blowing Boris a kiss. I take a shot at the demon then Lucius and I moved into the room, closing the door behind us.
It didn't take long for Valentine to dissipate the devil (he was doing multi-target swings) while Pierre had got under the drow and sliced him open from anus to crotch resulting in the drow's insides spilling out and all over Pierre – as well as other stuff. Yuck! Meanwhile the angel had taken multiple strikes so he stepped sideways to reality and disappeared.
A quick loot search revealed the following:
- Four rank 14 crystals of vision
- Bowl on tripod – scrying bowl?
- Enchanted dagger
- Six vials of rather nasty looking stuff
- Raiment of a greater summoner
- Copper and tin shields for summoning dukes and princes respectively.
- Three books of esoteric gibberish.
Pierre seemed to have some aphasia so Lucius did a curse removal to fix it. Also the fallen angel seemed to know Valentine's Individual True Name, so that could be a future problem.
After a while we exited the room, and discovered that the occupants were still asleep. A goblin called Scank was woken up and questioned. Didn't get much useful out of him but he did know where the treasury was where the wages for the army was. So we headed down to the basement. There was a solidly locked door there and, while Pierre was working on that, he was grabbed by a tentacle and started to be dragged off. I put two well aimed arrows into it and it collapsed. Boris then animated it.
Inside the room we found two chests containing bags of gold coins that were minted in Terranova. We also found a baby version of that creature that immediately went over to Pierre, crawled up him, and began eating the stuff that was still on him. At one point it looked like he was wearing it as a hat. Someone identified it as a otyugh but we found that too hard to say as we referred to it as a 'poo monster' as they usually live down oublettes and such and eat raw sewage. Certainly it seemed to like Pierre at the moment. So we took it with us.
We weren't sure what more we could do here at the moment so, with Scank as a guide, we made our way out of this Middlemarch and went back to Alusia proper. When we got back to Ar Eeb, we discovered we had been gone for two weeks and they were about to contact the Guild to report us lost.
We gave our report and us, the Lord and the gathered ancestral spirits discussed what to do next. One thought was to move the stellai that anchored the Middlemarch so it wouldn't be a problem. Definitely couldn't put it in the Ffenargh as there were too many other extra dimensional spaces there already, and Confederation Bay was out as all the water could disappear into the Middlemarch which would not be a good thing. I suggested Terranova, which seemed to meet with approval and Swenway, or points further north, was also mooted as a possibility.
The only other thing we could think of doing was to figure out how to fortify this castle. I then went to have a bath, which I suspect was being watched by some of the ancestral spirits as well as Boris through a Crystal of Vision.
Bed was next. I was hoping for a peaceful night but we didn't get it. Instead, around two in the morning we were woken up by the sound of constant drumming coming from up the pass. The orc army had arrived and were trying to unnerve us. I was tempted to send them the usual Caledonian response but realised that I had left the bagpipes at Highpoint. All I had was the chanter. Anyway we checked with the guards and one of us was assuring us everything was going to be fine when his head was pierced by a crossbow bolt. Erk!
So, while evading sniper fire, Valentine rang the alarm bell while I was rendered invisible then flew over the sniper's position and dropped an air vortex on them which expanded to a Whirlwind Vortex. Messy.
That quietened things down a bit and we held out in one of the guard towers for some of us to sleep while a couple of us kept watch. I was on watch when it was noticed that there was a group approaching with the intent of climbing up the east wall. (The fort faces east with walls on the north and south and backs on to a very steep cliff to the west.) Pierre waited a bit until the leader was halfway up the rope before dislodging the grappling hook. I tossed another air vortex down there then put a fly on Valentine. He then went down to deal to the ones down there. I was trying to provide covering fire for him with my longbow when I noticed one of them had what looked like a wand, probably a spellcaster. I was about to take a shot when I was hit in the shoulder by a cold iron crossbow which really hurt. It felt like my shoulder was on fire. While I took a healing potion, Boris got the bolt out. Meanwhile Lucius had a Wizards Eye up and starting to cast sleep on them. That was when it was noticed that another group was trying to get up the north wall.
Boris and Pierre went to deal with that lot while the rest of us continued dealing to the first group. Two had already got up there by the time I moved over to support Pierre and Boris with the intention to shoot the rest as their heads popped up over the wall. Unfortunately, that was the time one orc managed to kick Pierre off the wall.
I fluttered after him expecting to see a splattered mess on the courtyard below but, as I had an item that could bring him back if used immediately, I was intending to use it. However, he looked relatively intact and there wasn't much blood so it looked like he had somehow survived the fall. However there was a small, demonic creature on top of him that looked like it was about to take a bite out of him. It must have thought I looked more delectable as it flew off Pierre and latched on to me, initiating a mid air battle.
I was getting bitten, scratched, and stung as I tried to get it off. I could feel the poison going through me making me weaker. So I decided to try and scrape it off by a controlled crash landing on the courtyard. Last time I had tried something like that I had hurt myself rather badly but, this time, the creature, an imp, took the brunt of the impact as we skidded across the cobbles. I then managed to stab it with my maingauche before it's next attack rendered me unconscious.
I regained consciousness to discover the imp gone, Lucius bent over me with an empty healing potion and Pierre starting to stir. Goodness knows how he survived that fall but I was glad he had. Boris then came over, rather gingerly, to heal us properly. I later found out that Lucius had blessed that area of the courtyard in the name of Raphael with the aid of that special sword (Fedei) he has.
The orcs had been killed or driven off and a rather battered Valentine had returned. However the drums were still going. We reported to the Lords – the current one and the ancestors and told them what had happened. One of them had the imp and was treating it as a pet. I told him that if I saw that thing loose, I was going to deal to it then Valentine decided to 'cleanse' it of it's injuries. It didn't like the Clensing Flames (at least that's what I think it was) and poofed back to where it had came.
Dawn arrived and we could see the mass of orcs, goblins and even some trolls confronting us. They even had siege engines. Valentine had me create a downdraft to deflect any incoming missiles and, as I looked out at the massive horde I couldn't help thinking 'what would Lath do?'. So I started summoning a storm while planning to drop more air vortexes on them from a great height – over a thousand feet.
Turned out it was more of a waiting game. There were about 5000 of them I was told but I lost count at around two thousand and something – worse than counting sheep. They had stopped at the other end of the valley (the castle faces west by the way), nearly two thousand elven yards away and it looked like some of them were assembling some sort of device. Valentine explained it was a siege engine but it was unsure at the moment what it was. It was decided to wait until they had nearly finished it .. then wreck it. Also, for some strange reason, the talk turned towards elf-skin and it's uses for armour and weaponry. I edged well away from Boris as I preferred my skin where it is at the moment – thank you very much. I was also worried about Valentine – he was taking notes.
About lunchtime a small group of them came out towards us, one of which was carrying a black flag with a red hand on it. Didn't look like a parley flag. Boris reasoned it was their tribal banner.
Basically when they turned up, they yelled at us, through a cone of parchment, that they wanted us to vacate the fort. Basically they wanted their pay back and knew where it was. Boris told them it was ours through Right of Conquest – or some such thing. He then told them that there were better pickings further north … and they'd be committing suicide trying to take us on. South apparently was full of drow … and already picked over. Whatever he said must have been effective as, nearly a thousand of them drifted off during the rest of the day.
The rest of the day was rather uneventful and we were able to soon determine that the orcs were building a covered ram. I was watching via a Crystal of Vision while the others planned various forms of defense, most of which involved burning fat or tar.
It wasn't until dusk when the first wave charged the walls. We buffed up as quick as we could and prepared to repel boarders. As they charged an illusionary Wall of Fire appeared between them and the gate. Boris had covered us all in his ablative scale armour spell which was overlayed by Valentine's Fire Armour. There was a spell caster at the back which I was attempting to shoot at and, in response, he fired a fireball at us that took the Fire Armour out and most of the scales to drop off. It was like I was covered in black dust which I had to brush off. Then I got shot at and the rest dropped off.
Pierre blasted the area with a Flash of Light and, despite the Counterspell he had previously put on us all I still got blinded, just when I was thinking of throwing an air vortex into the horde below. Another arrow then lodged itself in me … and it had a cold iron tip which really hurt. I passed out from the pain.
Next thing I remember was Boris bending over me having removed the arrow and fed me my healing potion I keep in a belt loop. My armour had taken some damage and I was showing a bit more skin than I would like. Unfortunately I would not, in all likelihood, be able to have it fixed before returning to the Guild.
By the time I got up there were goblins and orcs coming up ladders. Valentine had already knocked a few down but more were coming up. I had to resort to going into melee hoping that I could knock them down before they knocked me down. Fortunately for me, Valentine became my hero by charging in and helping. Boris was also carving up orcs while Lucian was trying to put them to sleep before resorting to energy bolts. Wasn't quite sure where Pierre was, I think I lost track of him but I presume he has also doing helpful things. The orc next to me literally exploded as Valentine carved into it.
We waded our way through them. Apparently some goblins turned up near the end and decided to leave down another ladder, discretely. The caster and a couple of other orcs also fire-arced to where we were and joined in the fight, only to be met by Boris and his multi-target axe.
Finally we were getting down to a few, including the leader. My target suddenly decided to jump off the wall rather than meet my blade .. which rather surprised me – I didn't think I was that scary but then I was covered in blood, most of it not mine, and orc bits as well as looking like a drow assassin so maybe I was. We then all surrounded the orc leader and basically cut him into pieces. The last surviving ogre (Lucien had slept the other two) was chasing down the deserting goblins.
Boris then unnerved the surviving orcs by animating the corpses and getting them to bury themselves in a mass grave. Somehow I don't think it was just them that were unnerved as some of us were looking a bit green too. Half of the invading army decided to depart for parts unknown.
Boris then managed to fix up my armour, while I was wearing it. It was a rather good job actually but I'll get it checked when I get back to Seagate.
Once that was done, I pulled out an air vortex and used it to add more power to a Storm Calling spell to make life more miserable for the orcs. Fairly soon we heard the howling of the wind and the sound of a torrential downpour. During that Valentine mentioned something interesting which was that Lath was always shrouded with illusions. Wonder what she looks like under all of that?
The following night went by with the storm still raging.
Next morning, the storm had blown itself out and there were no sign of the orcs – just a rather flattened orc camp. Three trails led off: north, south, and back to the hidden valley. The biggest trail was south but we flew off north.
Twenty minutes of air flight later, we spotted 300 orcs still fleeing through the mountains. We landed on a cliff above and ahead of them, and basically rained down rocks and other stuff on them. Valentine even cast Weapon of Flames on some of the rocks. Basically it was horrible carnage against defenseless creatures and only fifty of them got away.
We took a break for lunch then cleaned up the mess we had made. We then flew south. An hour later, we cleared the mountains and headed into lowlands. At the height we were at, we could see all the way to the coast. Modern looking ships were off the coast, and the invading drow army (we could see their banners) had cut a wide swath inland, locations on it were still burning. They had already taken out three castles on the way and were gathering in front of a fourth. Getting closer we could see a banner in the drow army that was recognised as Veric – the one that is said to eat and terrorise elven children who failed to eat their vegetables. If that is the original Veric, that would mean he was a very elderly and powerful undead – probably a vampire or a lich.
The castle they had surrounded was still flying the Aquilan flag and they had mounted a large trebucher on one of the battlements. It was decided to go and land to offer our services – for renumeration of course.
After landing, we were finally able to see Baron Balderick. They had managed to put up this fortress with the help of Earth elementals. He also told us about his cousin Terraine who had controlled the second castle but had switched sides. The third castle and village had fallen, presumably because they couldn't get their anti-magic stones up. It was a stone that was the size of a menhir and I was getting the horrible feeling from what was being said that it had been broken and the material recycled into something else. There should be three of of them and having all three could be useful. So we offered our aid in getting them but decided that we should fly back to Arb Eeb and convince the Baron there to help with his forces.
So we flew back to Ar Eeb and managed to convince the Baron – after we showed him via Crystals of Vision what was actually going on. We then stayed the night.
The next day we flew back, making a wide circle around the army then headed into the town.
Some of the landings were hilarious – at least I thought it was funny when Lucius misjudged the landing on the grassy field and plowed through a corpse. This field had been a battleground. It wasn't just me either, as the two blue lizard sentries at the nearby gate were also laughing.
I was basically playing the part of the tough-ass female drow assassin with a work party so we easily got our way inside. Looting was going on in various places but we drew little or no attention. A cart was procured and we found our way to the building that held the menhirs. To my relief, four of them were in there as well as hoists and pulleys for loading them. The anti-magic was basically making me a bit ill so I waited outside while the others got away. Some surly human wandered over to see what we were up to but I managed to intimidate him into going away.
It wasn't so easy when two drow and nine humans showed up. Intimidating wasn't working so well so I tried prattling on about wanting the stones for garden features. They seemed to actually believe that as I led them into the warehouse at least until the time I stabbed one of the drow and the others were in range to join in. Pandemonium broke out until the last two humans left alive surrendered. The humans told us that they were from Catarra in Terra Nova. We then got them to help us load the cart with one of the menhirs (one was all we needed) then told them to take off and forget they saw us.
It was around lunch time by the time we left the city by the main gate. The guards wanted to know where we were going but I told them it was drow business and not to question me again on pain of death. That shut them up and we left without incident – except for the pack of rat like humanoids that decided to follow us, most of which looked like the guild member known as 'Stupid Stupid Rat Creature'. Maybe he was of the same species. Maybe he should be the next subject for a Seagate Times interview.
They caught up with us an hour or so later so it was decided to take them out. Boris had already loaded up the cart with zombies, made from the humans we had killed, and these were dumped out behind us with the instructions to play dead until the rat creatures were right next to them. Meanwhile I took off with the intention of dropping a Whirlwind vortex grenado on them, which I believed would take out the lot – well I was sure that was what one of Lath's Whirlwind Vortexes would do.
In retrospect this proved to be the worst thing I had ever done and which would most likely lead to a nomination for Stupidest Adventurer (I'd probably nominate myself if no one else did) and possibly Best Death. Not only had I taken off without any magical protections on, but I miscalculated the range of their bows rather badly which meant I was actually in bow range.
The rat creatures had split into two groups, one of which were hanging back with short bows. As a swung around to drop the Air Vortex, I was shot at. However I was able to avoid all the shots and dropped the vortex – which only took out one of them. I should have retreated away at this point but decided to attempt to do the same thing to the back row as well as gaining some height. That was when the back rank fired and I basically lost consciousness in mid-air.
I was told later that the crash was rather spectacular. I was still gaining altitude at the time I took all those hits so I went in a parabolic arc before diving for the ground just like a shot from a ballistae. I bounced across the road at least twice then plowed into the neighbouring field nearly burying myself right next to a rock that looked suspiciously like a tombstone. My formfitting black assassin armour was looking rather shredded.
It might have not been so bad after that as I still had the amulet that was giving me a continually running trollskin. However, while the front row rat creatures were being beaten up the back row decided to rush forward and loot me. They paused for a bit, in case I got up (apparently some adventurers can do that) but then rushed in to see what they could get. One of them went for the glowing gem that was powering the trollskin amulet, pulled it out and swallowed it.
The resulting explosion took out that rat creature completely, three of it's companions at least, injured several others, damaged me some more and shut down the trollskin. All the rest of the party could do, after they had taken out the rest of them was to carefully scrape me out of the ground, trying not to leave too much behind (not much they could do about the large pool of blood though and scattered bits of flesh) and put what was left on the cart. It was quite clear my arms and legs were not meant to bend that way as nearly every bone in my body was broken.
Fortunately, back at the castle, the war mage was also a master healer but, even though, it took him three goes before the resurrection worked. I woke up feeling stiff, really sore, every joint aching, and with a headache that not even a Soothe Pain could make go away. I also was quite sure that once the Sorceress of Silver heard about this blonde moment I was going to get a right bollocking. And not just from her. Cousin Starflower would also most likely yell at me … quite a lot. The Sorceress, on the other hand doesn't need to yell – she just gives you disapproving looks in her calm voice while she lectures you on what you did wrong and what you should have done. I think I'd rather have Starflower's yelling than the Sorceress's looks of disappointment. And yes .. I knew what I should have done … I should have done it but hindsight is always clear vision.
Next day, there were reports of of orcs holed up in a farmhouse nearby so it was decided we would go out and deal to them. When we got there, Boris came up with the idea that we should lure them out by having an injured looking naked elf go by and the rest of the party would nail them from behind. As he unfolded this plan I was getting a very good idea who the naked elf was going to be.
The plan was slightly revised so that I was wearing the tatted assassin armour and, this time I buffed myself up with a diamond skin, feather fall, backup flight, Boris's ablative scales and a wraithcloak. I even added in a glamour to make me more tempting as bait as well as taking Valentine's suggestion to have a limp (he did actually say drag a wing but I didn't want to play that card too soon). As everyone got into position, I started having a 'What the hell am I doing' moment as well as a 'Why did I agree to this'. I suspect Boris is getting his jollies from this.
Anyway the 'elf maiden in distress' trick lured out around seven of the twenty, that we thought were in there, and they decided to chase. As soon as the others hit them from behind, I took off into the air, rather shakely at first to keep their attention, then started to turn around to join in the fight. By the time I got there though, it was all over.
The remaining ten were also quickly taken down and, among the loot (which included some odd 'boom sticks') we discovered what they were doing. It appears that the orcs had made shepherds pie – with a real shepherd. Boris was talking about animating the stew. I suddenly felt a sudden urge to go outside.
Some of the orcs had actually survived and told us that they were securing the farmhouse for the drow – orders from Lord Styros.
Next morning, Boris was playing with the 'boom sticks'. They used some sort of alchemical powder to propel an inch diameter metal ball out one end to make a mess of the enemy. For some reason though, making the powder here doesn't work. Maybe the local ingredients are the wrong type. I was comparing them to different types of cheese which caused great hilarity from the rest of the party.
Two days later we were asked to check out something in the local woods. Turned out to be Lord Carridos from Alfheim with an advanced guard of elves. So, him and the 220 elves were taken back to the castle.
We stayed to help them repel the drow but Veric got away. I suspect he'll be back but, as far as I'm concerned, he's a problem for a more powerful party.
Once it was all over, including the looting, we headed back to the Guild where I was checked over by the Guild Healers, paid to get my armour repaired, then got the expected lectures from Starflower and the Sorceress. I ended up being grounded for a week then was being personally tutored by the Sorceress in defensive flying.
It was then on to Lalange with Lucius to appraise the situation there. I think I'll take a rest from adventuring for a while.
|Summer 813wk: Meadow|
|1||Guild Meeting||2||Meet employer and fly to Ranke. Meet Raphaelite battle nuns||3||Leave Ranke discreetly and fly to the Fenargh||4||Circle the Fenargh, and arrive at Ar Eeb in Aladar||5||6|
|Summer 813wk: Heat|
|12||13||14||Midsummer Eve (Faerie Day)||15||Solstice||16||17||18|
|Summer 813wk: Breeze|
|3||Day of Death||4||5||6||7||8||9|