Wolves of Winter

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Adventure: Wolves of Winter
GM: Dean Ellis
Session: Winter 812wk
Night: Tuesday
Location Dean's House, Onehunga
Level: moderate to drunk
Party:

  • Erzsabet, a human Namer endorphin, played by Julia
  • Viola, a human Illusionist hallucinogen, played by Bridget
  • Michael, a human Solar Celestial anti-psychotic, played by William
  • MDK, a dwarven anti-depressant, played by Michael Scot
  • Eltan aka Stupid Stupid Rat Creature, a rat creature Earth amphetamine, played by Joe Parker. Scribe, by party acclaim.
  • Tari, an elven Earth non-Druid vitamin, played by Michelle Ellis
  • Bishop Velcanthus, a human Priest antibiotic, played by Jim Arona

Employers: Camdindel
Grarven, adventurer and owner of the Pub of the Golden Ingot in Seagate. Member of The Royal Brewers Guild of Brightrock
The Guild

Scribe Notes

Part 1

Graarven McBright has been sent to Seagate to retain our services. It seems that his uncle Angus has noticed that a magical prison that hes much to do with is breaking down. Uncle Angus, it appears, would like us to travel north to Brightrock in Shorkyne and investigate the matter.
At the same time, Lorto, the confidant of Camdindel, has invited us to speak with him. He gives us to understand, not in so many words, that Camdindel is very worried about some wolves that he has had some dealings with.
On the basis of proximity, we decide to visit Camdindel first, who lives in the Supersitition Mountains. However, we arrange to have ourselves bound to Newhaven so that we can return quickly.
We travel there and the Bishop raise a temporary Rune Portal outside of his valley. It turns out that Camdindel's tower is built on an island in the middle of the river Rumble. The valley, itself, appears quite pleasant and there is no sense of the place being poisoned by the twisted necromancies of someone who traffics with the blackest pits of Tartarus.
There is a small boat without sail or oar moored on the river bank, and, of course, as soon as we all get on it, it sails over to the island. It is nice to see that, at least, the traditions are being maintained, even if it is a pit of direst iniquity.
As soon as we arrive, the Bishop and Erzsabet notice that some of their passive defences against the undead have been triggered. It seem that the owner employs staff of a formerly living persuasion. It is hard to tell if they are simple animations or if they are unquiet souls, damned to walk the earth for their sin. One of them has many, many personalities inside ... them, which, I venture to guess, would make them all but immune by magic that targets entities. They have more hair than they know what to do with, as well. Well, actually, hair is not something one usually does anything with, except to make sure it looks good or isn't falling into one's soup. This guy has hair that he could pick his nose with. Which, while disturbing, is nowhere near as disturbing as the notion that he might pick your own nose with it.
Camdindel is in the midst of alchemical operations of the kind most frequently associated with siege warfarre, and when we meet him he is mostly covered in soot and fading embers.
Shorn of his denials of concern, he tells that he has, in the past, had dealings with a guild party (Big Bad Void Wolf and bound one or more Void Wolves. One of these void wolves has escaped this binding by means of dying, and, now, Camdindel (or his father) can hear a howling in the Void. The void wolves are intensely anti-magical, and since the largest part of Camdindel's security is based on his magic, it concerns him that the void wolf might resent the treatment it has received and do something about it and he would like us to do something about it.
He is a powerful Alchemist and can make poison that affects the undead for those that are interested. He has a great deal of expertise with soul magic and suggests that he might be able to teach magic from that sphere as well. He offers to teach us something of his abilities in return for helping to annul the threat that the void wolf poses.
If he doesn't seem the sort of person that one might trust the care of one's ailing grandparent to, at least he doesn't seem maddened by unnatural lusts nor did he drool or slaver in an unseemly way. On the basis that he was 1) rational and 2) polite it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. We agreed to work on his behalf with the understanding that if we found no solution that was not morally repugnant then the deal was off. We had to spell 'morally repugnant' for him.

Part 2

Having completed these arrangements, we returned to Newhaven, and thence to the guild. We considered flying to Shorkyne, but this would take somewhere between 5 and 6 days because of the decreasing day length and temperature.
Pursuant to the weather and also the fact that the void wolves seemed anti magical in nature, we made sure that we took warm clothing of a mundane nature.
Our travel issues were resolved when it was decided that we could use Mandos' tower to reach one of his houses in Simba. This is about 250 miles west of Brightrock, so we will have to fly some of the way. Also, considering that we will be traveling to the wintry north, we decide to buy goods that we can sell to our advantage:

Fresh fruit, spices, pepper, scented oils, strong alcohol, satin, velvet and soap that smells of gold to the tune of 1,000 sp each.

Passing through Mandos' house is eventless and we arrive in Simba devoid of Fatigue, we rest. We leave the next day around 8:00 am and having found a place that won't rattle the inhabitants, we take to the air. It is bitterly cold but clear and dry. By mid-afternoon we find Brightrock, largely because it is hard to miss.
It is artificially lit, although hard to distinguish even in the pale northern light. Nevertheless, the sheer size of the entrance and the large, cleared, flat area near it make it easy to pick out. We land without issue and walk inside. No one is alarmed by our arrival.
Brightrock is built into the very rock of the mountain. There are no major structures outside it except that it has aqueducts that travel, or so we believed, down the mountain to the north. It turns out, however, that they come from the north and then travel up the mountain. On entering the place, the first thing we saw was a covered market where all kinds of goods are sold. Perhaps some services as well, but beyond various kinds of smithery and hospitality, this was not particularly evident. It was quite obvious, however, that the place had thriving trade connections with many different climes. In the centre of the market, a great staircase descended in a spiral.
We make ourselves known to some official and are led down the staircase some 45 metres, where a suite of rooms is prepared for us. There we rest, cleanse and feed ourselves until we can speak with uncle Angus, who is working on something magical when we arrive. We spend the time looking around the place and sampling some of their specialties, the most startling of which are their beers and ales. They have a battle beer and one or two others which may warrant further investigation at a later time.
Over this period, we notice a kind of background magical noise. This is a kind of magical "distraction" and we discover that it reduces our magical effectiveness in a minor way, at least at first (-1 per day to Magical Base Chances). We have also discovered that shapeshifters are having difficulty with magic. Apparently, these shapeshifters use magic to change, perhaps a spell of some kind?
We also discover that:

  • enormous, pony-sized wolf prints have been found in the wilderness
  • smaller, humanoid prints are associated with them
  • there has been no mass slaughter

From this we infer:

  • the wolves, at least some of them, are mounted by humanoids
  • they are, at least partially, supplied

From other sources, we confirm that there are wolves from Terranova who are sentient. They train elves to serve them and to prevent them from becoming Adepts, they perform rituals on them which reduce their MA and bite out their tongues. These elves are, apparently, quite loyal.
The wolves, themselves, are quite resistant to magic, and they have shaman who can "howl". At least one of these howls reflects magic back at the caster, others attack magical items, perhaps even the bonds between familiars etc.
They are bound in some way to the Void, and, upon death, they "become one" with it. Whether this means that they die forever or if it is some other kind of spiritual transmigration is unknown.
The next day, uncle Angus has finished and he has made time to speak with us. He tells us that their is an extradimensional prison in Brightrock that he created. It, apparently, draws extraplanar things to it, then imprisons them. Uncle Angus thinks it quite likely that the soul of a dead void wolf might have been trapped in this prison.
It turns out that the prison is failing briefly, from time to time. We discover that three of the Greater Undead have recently escaped from the prison, a Werelord, a Wraith Lord and a Greater Ghast.
We investigate the cells, in particular the cell that we think belongs to the void wolf, and, since we have its Rune, converse with it. We ask it to accompany us on the grounds that it might be the cause of the failing prison and because it doesn't seem reasonable to keep it locked up on the grounds that it is dead and most importantly in case it can help us with other void wolves.

Our conclusions to date

We believe that one or more packs of Terranovan Void Wolves are in the wilderness of Shorkyne looking for the one trapped in Uncle Angus Interdimensional Prison (or open core nuclear reactor, if you prefer). Somehow, although we have guesses, the prison failed momentarily and three of the Even Greater Undead got out.
We have decided to investigate the Void Wolves because

if they are a threat, we may as well deal with them now
if they are not a threat we may be able to win some assistance from them with respect to the Even Greater Undead

This may require "doing something" for the wolves, of course.
Considering that things are still reasonably fluid and may change on the basis of more information or better thinking, we will try to locate and defeat the Even Greater Undead.

Part 3

The rest of the day, we examine the cells that contain,according to the guest register, cratures similar to the ones that have escaped.
The first we examined was a Greater Werewolf. It is a hybrid wolf/human form, with claws and a long snout filled with shearing fangs. It stands 8 ft tall and has the strength of a horse. We could tell that it was bound to something greater than it (perhaps a Werelord), although since it was imprisoned, perhaps this connection has been suspended. It drains D10+1 EN and we calculate its combined FT and EN ranged from 150-180 or so and it does not have another shape, it is locked into this hybrid form. It does not, we believe, have a college of magic.
The seconds one is a Ghast. It is skeletally thin and gaunt and about 5 ft tall. It drains D10+3 WP and has some kind of scream which causes despair. This has similar effects to fear, except it is worse, and seems to cause apathy. It did not have a college of magic, it's strength was that of an average man and so was it's EN and FT.
We found no Wraithlord, and assumed it was a tough wraith who could command other wraiths, but who knows.
Uncle Angus' handlers also mentioned that some other creatures had escaped from yet another extra-dimensional prison. We discover that these are a GTN: Ssu and a GTN: Hluss. These are hexapod creatures that come from the plane of Tekumel. The Ssu is naturally 'invisible' by means of traveling through a sort of a personal demi-plane that it co-terminous with it's position in the mundane world. We do not yet know if witchsight or enhanced vision will reveal it. We hope that it cannot interact with us unless it leaves this demi-plane. The Hluss is as large as an bull or so, also a hexapod, or possibly more limbs. Its carapace is encrusted with gems.
Having gathered as much information as we could from the contents of the prison, we made ready to depart. But, upon leaving, Nips at Ankles tells us that he feels he will be drawn to the Void. We toy with various ways of keeping him on the plane, but it transpires that a) attempts to restrain him here are impractical because the duration is so short, and b) he wants to go to the Void. We ask him to teach us a few howls, which he does, and then looks at the door expectantly. So, we release him.
From our investigations, we discover that there have been three attacks on villages, two in the north and one to the west and north. We decide to travel to the western manifestation site first.
Uncle Angus provides us with

2 pairs of goggles that reduce the effectiveness of fear on the wearers, but increase their intoxication.
2 pairs of vision twisting goggles which somehow shift your vision so you can can see into a different plane, but unfortunately, then you can't see anything in this one.
2 pairs of other goggles Are you sure about this? I thought there were 3 pairs of 2 different sets of goggles.

As we fly north east, Viola, sharing the hearing of her mount, says that there is a strange thrumming sound to the east. As we travel, Viola finds the noise more and more aggravating, so that it is reducing her ability to cast magic, so it's lucky she doesn't have any intention to cast any.
We travel in this direction for about 3 quarters of an hour. Below us, we see a a couple of woods, and about 10 or 12 miles to our south we can see a small village. We land in an open area on a rise above a frozen river and start building a cooking fire to make lunch. Viola, still farsensing, notes that the sound is increasing, indicating that it is coming closer, and Tari begins calling out the howls taught us by Nips at Ankles.
Soon, we hear answering howls, but of course we cannot make anything out of them, even with Speak with Animals. Eventually, wolves appear at the edge of the forest and we move up to speak to them.
We convince them that we have the best intentions and bear news of their brother, Nips at Ankles, gone now to his final destination. We explain to them that we are preparing for the Drow Invasion, and ask them if they would like to help, and they are very keen. They say that they want to be taken to 'this Western King wolf of which you speak', but we demur, since we a) do not want to leave the escapees lurking around the area and b) do not particularly fancy our chances of leading a pack of wolves, some of them armoured and 8 foot at the shoulder through an inhabited capital without creating an international incident. Or even through a remote and sparsely populated hamlet, come to that.
Nevertheless, they plan to travel in the direction of the king. They say that they can cover 200 miles a day. While they are 1,600 miles from Seagate, they are, perhaps, half that distance from Konigburg. It is my surmise that the terrain is reasonably rough. This, hopefully, will give us sufficient time to deal with the escapees and head off the wolves before a state of emergency is declared.
To help us, we take one of the scouting wolves with us. It is our hope that he can help us find the escapees or lead us to sites of their manifestation. It may only be possible for him to act as an observer, but even that may be very useful.
Before departing, we were judged by the wolves and while justifying our magic required a bit of flim-flammery, nevertheless they reluctantly accepted that magic was our method of defending ourselves against Drow and the other Forces of Darkness. This, however, didn't work too well for MDK, who is pacted to Vassago, the Prince of Prophecy. There was some mention of 'Recant, sinner, or have thy throat torn from thine neck' but I might be wrong, my Rank in Wolf is not terribly good.

Things to do next

We could
talk to the wolves a little more, although I don't know what more can be achieved, here.
or
look for the escapees
Ideas?

Part 4

It seems that I had grown confused about the offer of assistance from the wolves. Instead of seconding to us one of their tracking wolves, they had offered to send one of their half-elves with us. However, they considered the matter somewhat and they suggested that it might be a good idea to take a tracking wolf, because they would be able to commune with him, and if the need arose, the pack would be able to portal to him.
We conferred amongst ourselves and decided that we would rather take the half-elf and not the wolf. After all, they would be able to commune with him, and if the need arose, the pack would be able to portal to him.
We flew for about 3 ½ hours north east, to a site that the half-elf (who we have called Chatterbox on account of having his tongue bitten out by a wolf) signed that they had noticed death around this area. We descended to find a small, backwoods town some distance away, and following his directions, soon found the shredded remains of something that was once human. Whatever had happened here, there wasn't enough of him left to fill a beggar's purse. He had been standing amongst some trees and it didn't appear that he had been with company. Well, except for whatever tore him apart.
This must have been big, walked on two legs, had claws and legs that bent backwards. We were betting that it was also pretty shaggy and had a maw full of fangs, too.
The place seemed to hold only about 800 to 1,000 people, and we only saw humans (at first). We had a look around, and the place was the kind of town whose economy depended on the fur trade and lumber. Asking around, we found out that a lumberjack called Angus had not been seen for some time. He was not exactly expected back, but he had not been back to town for some time, longer than was his usual wont. The people we spoke to thought it was unusual, but not worrying or any cause to conclude that monsters had got hold of him. They opined, with some justification, that if he was dead, it was most likely by reason of animal attack. They had heard wolves in the area and he might have disturbed a bear which would likely have fatal results.
We asked them who had been the last person to speak to this Angus, and they directed to Big Ian, who ran the inn. So, we went to this inn, which stunk of a vile and pestilent congregation of vapours. Big Ian was a big lad who wore a fetching mid-thigh skirt in a fetching tartan, the effect ruined by the russet hair covering his muscular thews and brawny arms.
Notwithstanding his odd attire (apparently, many men dress like this, then hang around in bars. Mostly lumberjacks, apparently), Big Ian told us that he thought that he was growing very concerned about the missing Angus, but didn't know what to do about it. We lashed him with so many DAs that his aura changed colour, but he seemed normal enough.
Erzsabet noticed something about his reaction while we were talking to him that struck her as off-centre, somehow. She and Michael looked past deceptions, and found that he was, in fact, a Werelord. Fr Rowan noticed that some of the people in the inn had a debt of the soul to the Werelord Big Ian, and others had a debt of the soul to something below us in the cellar.
We decided to play along with the Werelord and played along with him to play for time. Food was brought out to us. When Fr Rowan ate of it, he realised he had been poisoned but cast off this infirmity, and declared that faithful children of Chantris could eat no meat, only vegetables, until we had found the missing lumberjack, Angus. Big Ian seemed surprised at this, and went off to the back room to fix something else for us to eat.
While he was gone, we took the time to whisper amongst ourselves and work out our plans. Unfortunately, Big Ian was a step ahead of us. As Erzsabet and Michael were telling us that his aura was shrouded and that his GTN was Werelord, and that he was a long-living sentient. I cast a Blessing on everyone, concealing it as a prayer of thanks to Chantris bounteous aliment. Sadly, the only subtlety he knows is of the 'kill all of the witnesses' variety, and either his feigned non-chalance or attempt at a concealed Blessing was penetrated. One group of locals stood up and their forms changed in front of us. Although they became definitely more bestial, they were definitely human in form. Perhaps with claws and fangs, but aside from that, normal. Another group of locals looked at us with huge staring eyes filled with hopelessness. Both groups moved towards us.
We attempted to minimise our contact with the opposition, but the hairy ones moved pretty quick. Nevertheless, Viola, having projected her image, deployed her owl to follow the hairy ones and prepared a Flash of Light. Fr Rowan prepared Hellfire. Erzsabet prepared a Paralysation while Tari moved closer so she could attack with her sword. MDK shambled halfway across the room, chasing after the rat creature. Michael had projected his image and stood behind it, waiting for the hairy guys to get nearer.
A thin, unpleasant mockery of life rose up through the floor boards from the cellar amongst the staring ones and unleashed a shriek to steal the years from a life, but our defensive magic was too strong and we casually threw it off.
In response, Fr Rowan cast Hellfire on the staring ones and the Greater Ghast. Then Viola flashed everyone in the room, and Erzsabet Paralysed the staring ones. In the mean time, the owl had triggered Peace, which stopped everyone near it from taking any non-peaceful actions and MDK moved closer to the door through which the Werelord had gone.
It seemed that we had broken the back of the attack but then the Werelord Shadow Walked into the dragon-shaped shadow of Fr. Rowan. Moments later, he vistied a very pointy reckoning on the bishop who was Stunned by its ferocity.

Part 5

After defeating the Werelord and the Ghast, we lay in wait for the Wraithlord, having encouraged his ally to betray him. When he arrived, in the early hours of the morning, we rained as much destruction upon him as we could, and he succumbed to our prowess.
We found chain mail, a circlet, an amulet, a shield of the dark sun and some other stuff which we divined but though they were fell, they were dire and we were much taken in our considerations as to how to distribute what to whom. We parlayed with the Wraithlord, and he tried to tempt us with his vile blandishments, but we were too strong and threw his offers back in his face with Hellfire as interest.
Unfortunately, the Bishop had been casting in such a way as to substantially exhaust his reserves of luck and so backfired, tripled the damage and burnt himself to a crisp. Luckily, Erzsabet was on hand to Ressurect him.
It took some time to recover, so we returned to the dwarves, where Michael prosecuted an investigation into the dwarven conspiracy that had allowed the three dark powers to collude with each other. But, 'though there was something rotten in the state of Brightrock, yet could he uncover nothing, forcing him to conclude that their duplicity knew no bounds and that only a masterwork in Spying would reveal the cunning and byzantine scheming.
The rest of the party returned refreshed, and, on consulting our notes, planned to head eastward and a little north where our investigations had told us where other sites of disturbance.
Thus, we flew but quite low (30 metres) so we could keep an eye on the ground below us. This plan paid off as we found, in a detached copse of forest a clearing without snow. This was unusual, given the time of year, and the way that snow covered the ground in every direction.
Upon investigating, we found the tracks of unusual taloned feet, and when we followed them we found that the prints disappeared for no obvious reason. It was obvious that the tracks had been there for several days, more than five but perhaps less than 10, their clarity preserved by the cold and clear weather.
Divination revealed that the reason that the tracks suddenly stopped was because they passed into another realm, so kind of personal middlemarch, which we guessed belonged to the Ssu, for it seems that its kind have special magic that lets them skate on the borders of reality. We could not find a distinct destination, but it seemed to bear eastward and somewhat south.
So, we decided to travel north to the nearest habitation and speak to the people there. On this occasion, we followed Viola's plan and appeared to the people in our most fearsome aspect, flying in to the very centre of the village, glowing as of an angelic manifestation and brandishing our most powerful magical arms.
So, the people that lived there locked themselves inside their houses and chanted so loudly that they could not hear us crying out or knocking on the door. And, we decided that if this were their reaction on our arrival, if we kicked in a door, we might kill one or two from the shock. So, we left them, apparently with renewed faith in their gods.
We traveled about 2 and a half hours or so north to a smallish town and this time we stopped a few miles short of it, so we could walk in looking normal. This worked much better, and they even told us the name of the place, MacLaughin. Michael's investigation into the dwarven conspiracy netted no direct results, yet we managed to uncover tales of cattle mutilations and the disturbing news of the recent river melt. Which was odd since the Midwinter Solstice was but a few weeks away.
Our informants apologetically informed us that they had not noticed any crop circles, either, and suggested that, had it not been for the sadly inclement weather, they would have happily provided us with a decent example or two. Inconsolable, even in the grace of our hosts, we went south to find the village from which little had been heard.
By the time we arrived, it was getting on for the middle of the afternoon. To the south, we saw a few puffs of cloud following the slope of the hill a few miles away. The town was small but pallisaded but Viola's owl and Tari's hawk could see no sign of any activity of any kind at all. We decided that there was no point in sending in the rat creature because it was either quiet because there was no one there or quiet because it was a trap.
Inside the town, we found no sign of blood being shed but on penetrating some of the buildings we found that they had been barricaded and a few arrows or quarrels had been shot into the interior walls, which we took to be evidence of Phantasm-like attack. There were, however, no bodies, and little evidence of an actual fight.
We did find a small girl, secreted in a cellar behind some storage vessels and sacking. She was asleep when we found her and rather than wake her to who knew what horror, Eltan instead deepened her sleep before drawing her out. We examined her to find that she was under the effects of a Blessing on Larva spell, which we opine, affects areas and so did not impact upon her. There was no evidence of infestation by alien parasite, although we considered it possible that it existed in some other dimension. Yet, we concluded that the parasite was more likely to have been the young of the Hluss rather than the Ssu.
In the end we portaled to Brightrock to secure the child, warning them that she might have to be quarantined, for all that we were convinced that she did not harbour anything that might erupt out of her stomach at dinner time.
On our return it was dark and we picked out a faint glow in the same area where we had noticed small clouds scudding up the slope. It seemed possible that such a place might be used to mutilate cattle and in the event that the weather turned somewhat more clement, an ideal location to manufacture crop circles.
Given that it was dark, we flew, low as we might, towards the faint glow. We landed below what was obviously a cave entrance, out of which issued a brisk river. It was not high but the water was very swift, and we find ourselves climbing on a narrow path which forced us to approach in single file.
While Tari summoned an Earth Elemental, we investigated the area and found the entrance was covered with a curtain of threads. However, inspection revealed it to be sentient and a construct. It was something called a flenser, presumably because it spent a fair bit of time flensing. We briefly considered various methods of defeating the thing and then decided that it might be healthier on the whole simply to avoid it, so we asked Tari to create a tunnel for us to enter the cave, bypassing the unclean thing.

Part 6

Tari decided that summoning an Earth Elemental was a better approach to take, rather than attempt to cast Tunneling several times, which she did. She instructed the elemental to dig a an entrance for us into the place properly, but above the waterline. This took about 20 minutes, the passage it created needing to be supported and switchbacked. When it was all but complete, we made ready to break into the complex with various plans to conceal our way out. Unfortunately, we were observed by a skinless little girl, whose aura revealed that her eyes were being seen through. We quickly decided to make our entrance a quickly as possible, now that our presence was revealed. Tari instructed her elemental to break through the final bit of wall, and we found ourselves on a shelf above a pool, a wave of warm, fetid, humid air washing against us. The place was covered in so much mist that we could barely see five feet ahead of ourselves.
Michael and Viola, however, could see clearly, and told us we were in a spherical chamber about fifty feet across and about the same high. The bottom ten feet of if was filled with water. In the centre, covered entirely by the water, skinless human forms drifted aimlessly. Directly across from our makeshift entrance, an opening led to a corridor, as did another opening on our right.
Viola's instructed her owl friend to Windstorm the area, while Fr Rowan prepared Hellfire. Erzsabet cast Wiccan and Water college counterspells on people, while Eltan moved along the right hand side of the chamber, above the waterline, MDK following shortly after. Michael took up a guard position on the left to ward against anything coming from us from the entrance on the opposite side of the pool.
Four flapping scroll like sheets of skin flapped into the room from directly opposite us, while down the corridor on the right, a young girl skipped toward us. Eltan moved to engage the little girl.
Fr. Rowan rained Hellfire on the flapping scrolls and on the little girl, while Eltan finished her off, whereupon she fell to the ground, slain. The scrolls were destroyed, being vulnerable to fire, which released Michael to move to a more attacking position, which he did. The skin of the little girl split along her length, and an enormous bear emerged, something like 12 feet at the shoulder. Eltan moved away from the bear, bringing it closer to the rest of the melee, who quickly mobbed it.
Tari, using the spectacles given us by Angus, spotted the Ssu and the Hluss in its strange, adjacent middlemarch, and, mentioning it to the rest of the party, planned to pass the glasses to Erzsabet. In the mean time, Viola put on her spectacles and made them out as well. Before long, Fr Rowan also put on some spectacles. The Hluss, moving across the room towards MDK, emerged from inside the wall, and although this did not surprise the dwarf, nevertheless, he belaboured the small fellow relentlessly.
Viola cast a Nightmare at the Ssu but it threw off the magic and ignored it. Meanwhile, Fr Rowan prepared another Hellfire but was unable to cast it upon any target other than the Ssu, everything else being outside of its peculiar little universe. Although Erzsabet had put Wiccan counterspells beneath the Ssu to prevent it casting from this college, it's increased Magic Resistance meant that only spells like Hellfire were worth bothering with.
Nevertheless, damage was getting through, and the exchange seemed to favour the adventurers.

Part 7

The Hluss, revealing a degree of unexpected speed, having turned to face the dwarf and the hobbit, suddenly pulled back and fled to position himself behind the shambling skinless which were trying to enter the room. He passed the hands of earth that Tari had laid earlier, but managed to avoid becoming captured by them.
Eltan was unable to follow him because, on the one hand he would be unsupported by the rest of the party, and on the other because his vision was so impeded by the fog that he would have to keep unrealistically close to it. However, following the direction of Michael, he was able to move after it somewhat, maintaining a careful distance from the hands.
MDK jumped over the water course in front of him (only 10 feet long but several times his body length). He landed on the other side gracelessly and slid to a stop, prone next to the wall. He spent some time gathering himself together. Michael had moved around the other side of the chamber, avoiding the water which was rapidly icing up. Although he could penetrate the mist he couldn't identify the Hluss through the crowd and the hands.
While this was happening, the Ssu cast a spell similar to Hands of Earth, but these were fleshy and unnatural looking. Not that seven foot tall hands look natural regardless of the material they're constructed of. I live for the day when someone casts Hands of Gold at me, however. As luck would have it, everyone resisted the spell but Erzsabet, Tari and Viola were left behind the hands while Father Rowan was left standing in front of them. Unfazed, Viola cast Nightmare, but unfortunately something went wrong with her spell and it failed. Michael, having traveled some distance away, decided to return to us because he had some invested blast magic and we decided that pouring more damage into the Ssu might be productive. He suggested that Erzsabet remove the Wiccan counterspell underneath it to get rid of its protection value.
By then, I had prepared Hellfire again, Viola was gathering mana for another Nightmare, and Erzsabet having removed the counterspell in that quick way that Namers can and then bent to pass the seeing glass to Michael. Unfortunately, he stumbled into the hands of flesh, which took on an eerie and wholly unpleasant semblance of life and took hold of him in a most unseemly fashion. Although captured, nevertheless, he managed to keep his arms free of its twisted groping, and received the glass from Erzsabet.
Fr Rowan rained fire down on the Ssu, which seemed to hurt it. Tari had managed to wriggle past the hands of flesh, and the elemental had moved into a position closer to the hands of earth, preparing to engage the horde of skinless at the entry way. Eltan had also moved up on the other side of the elemental, but was no longer receiving directions from Michael and could only advance with caution. In the mean time, Michael, with a calm belying his distress, explained that if we didn't get him out of the groping hand of flesh shortly, we could pronounce the banns between him and the hand.
Fr Rowan gathered energies for another Hellfire, but was thrown about by the windstorm and had to begin anew. Viola loosed her Nightmare but unfortunately, the Ssu's mind was too powerful. Fr Rowan chose not to resist it so that he could destroy it when Viola stopped concentrating on it.
Erzsabet, in response to Michael's request, attempted to dispel the groping hands of flesh, which worked. Free at last, he passed the glass back to Erzsabet so she could target the Ssu.
We could see the Ssu preparing a spell but could not tell which. We reasoned that it would be unlikely to be a Wiccan spell because it might believe that it was still in the area of effect of the counterspell for that college. We concluded that it would be Earth magic, having seen his groping hands spell, and, frankly, we were more worried by that than Hellfire.
Viola and Fr Rowan were both ready to cast but the Ssu was too quick and he managed to complete his spell in time. In fact, it was not an Earth spell but an odd variant of Mind Speech. We could feel its mind pressing up against ours, and most of us were able to resist or had their minds shielded. However, it managed to insinuate it's tendrils of alien thought into Tari's mind and sent us an image of a parley, where both groups put down their weapons and attempted to talk.
With much regret, especially with respect to the potential loot on the critters, we agreed to a truce while we worked out a means of communicating. Fr Rowan Hellfired the Nightmare so it could do no harm, and we set to working out a means of communicating with each other.
In return for Banishing them to their plane of origin, Tekumel, and other trades, we arranged for a variety of exchanges, which included chiten enhancements to Viola's armour, a layering of sinew, muscle and skin over Tari's bone armour. MDK was interested in a flenseling which would help with healing. Eltan was interested in something very similar, as well, and could not be persuaded to take one of them as an animated paraglider.

Ideas for loot
Paracelsus
a flenseling as a flying mount
Eltan
a prehensile tail that, amongst other things, could wield a dagger
graft the WillPower of a weasel into a hat
Viola
a flenseling that is a legal target for a disguise spell to create forged documents
Michael
a flenseling that is a legal target for a Resistance to Light spell which will absorb solar or searing light damage, converting the damage to a tan.
Tari
armour that is a legal target of Speak with, Control or Bind Animal spells.
General flenseling ideas

a scroll that holds one investable spell, triggerable once a day
a palimpsest scroll that holds one investable spell, triggered as a Fire Action
a flenseling, upon which a message can be written, then folded up into a small animal, which it will become. The animal will travel to an addressee known to the sender.
a defence against draining, c.f. Necrogeny
a scroll on which Resurrection can be stored (only works for the owner).

Part 8

Having spent some time with the Ssu and the Hluss, we headed for Konigburg, which we calculate to be about 1,200 miles away. This took us three days because we stayed for half a day at a small, pallisaded town. Upon entering, we made the acquaintance of several hairy and amorous acquaintances, and engaged in heavy physical exercises with cabers. I could barely tear myself away.
We traveled on for another day until we approached a pass, on the other side of which was what appeared to be a ruined city. We decided to circle around it fly on past, landing some distance from a fortified encampment.
It seems that this place is Barretskyne, a place filled with undead, and Fr Rowan would have gathered up the party and gone back to cleanse them from the face of Alusia but Tari says 'No'.
The following day, we got some directions and flew south to Konigburg, and sent letters to various of our contacts, Fr. Rowan sending a scroll containing his familiar, Paracelsus. Then, we went about our business, exploring the town, getting drunk, fed or visiting women of low reputation. Or all three. Michael and Tari went shopping and Fr. Rowan took a long bath, which was interrupted by uncouth members of the demonolatrous Sammaelite order.
Upon being drawn from his bath intemperately, he was taken before Blitzkrieg and Kern, whereupon he told them of the void wolves and their potential as allies against the drow which, it seems, were planning to attack the Western Kingdom.
By and by other members of the party returned and a plan was developed for the party to return to the void wolves and lead them to an appropriate place to meet with the representative of the Western King. We asked for invested Locate spells so that we might quickly meet up with the wolves, and took counsel on the best meeting place, upon which advice we wait attentively.

Part 9

Having spoken to the court, through the medium of Blitzkrieg and his Sammaelites, we spent a couple of days in Konigburg taking in the sights. We heard that there was orcish activity in the area, although we were not sure if it was mere brigandage or something more sinister. Some mention was made of terrorist activities by people who were apparently passing themselves off as elves to foment racial hatred. We also heard about dire wolves in the area of Freetaun, which was intriguing in view of the void wolves we had encountered. In any case, in due time, Blitzkrieg returned with some diplomats to manage the first contact, and Fr. Rowan was detailed to transport us along his rune portal network. This took a couple of days because of the large numbers of people being transported.
Nevertheless, we made it to the area of the Bright without incident, and rested overnight. In the morning, Tari howled to attract the attention of the void wolves, and our half-elven ally pointed out a signal arrow rising out of a forest not more than 2 miles from us.
We headed over there and found another half elf, who, upon recognising us, sent up another signal arrow, and shortly we were entertaining 10 wolves. These were about 5-6 ft at the shoulder, and wore armour, but more disturbing, everyone except MDK could sense their magic being quelled.
Luckily, no casting was called for, and soon, Blitzkrieg and his wolf guard were in high level talks with the emissaries from beyond the seas.
We were informed that the wolves would need to travel down to the area of the Ffenargh, which basically meant traveling back the same way we had come. This time, however, Fr Rowan would have to transport 38 at a cast. This should have made the trip take twice as long, apparently Chantris was with us and we made good time.
Once we passed Barretskyne, we flew south to the head of the Ffenargh, set up a portal and transported the rest to our rendezvous.

Synopsis

The adventure will take place in and around Brightrock in the Kingdom of Shorkyne

Grarven has word from The Bright that they seek a party to move on some troublesome wolves and fix a few issues that their presence has created
Camdindel is not at all worried by these wolves, has only the vaguest interest, but would be triflingly amused if the wolves were removed, or at least kept north and west of Carzala
The Guild Liaison Office would really like it if they do not have to add any more enemies to the list, as they are running out of paper.

Some information here and here may be of assistance

Graarven mentioned a shaper who might be convinced to make or change items we already possess.

The guy in gay bondage leather showed us to a portal which took us to Camdindel, who swore that he was not worried by these wolf things...which flies in the face of common sense because they seem to have enormous magic resistance and can even reflect spells etc back at the caster. And, it appears, he has pissed at least one of them off. One or more of them may be hunting him down, so it is clear that he is keen on some kind of resolution where they leave him alone one way or the other.

Camdindel offers special magical training, being a sorceror of some note, which we take to mean that he has magic that encompasses necromantic conjurations, dark celestial and perhaps sorcery of the mind.

Eltan
Erzsabet
MDK
Michael
Rowan
to castle with his visitation
Tari
Viola

After we chatted with Camdindel and managed to convince him that we believed he had nothing to fear from these wolves, we returned to the Guild.

SGT Snippets & Gossip

What's hot What's not
Hands of Earth Hands of Flesh
   
   

The Ultimate Weapon

Eltan
I'm an Assassin
Viola
I'm an Assassin, too
Eltan
I've got a garotte
Viola
I've got a garotte, too
Eltan (triumphantly)
I've got a garotte that is attached to a sap
Viola
I've got a hand bag, too


Meanwhile Michael draws a length of tapeworm out of his nose which hardens into something remarkably like a garrotte and wins the argument handily without saying a word.

Smartest award

Viola - Trapped in the lair (well, a pub) of monsters and surrounded on all sides by ravening nasty things. Viola ensures we win our second pulse inititive so all our spells incapacitate 90% of the foe.

Buffs

Magic Rk Effects Dur Caster Elt Erz MDK Mic Row Tar Vio
Armour of Earth 18 +38 Def, -1 Dam 9½ hrs Eltan Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Strenth of Stone 20 +20 PS or +20 EN 21 hrs Tari EN EN
Willow Healing 12 Regen 3 EN per Pulse for 14 Pulses 24 hrs Rowan Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Greater Heart Rune 8 Heals 7 EN when EN damage taken 9 days Rowan Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Blessing 10 +10 Strike Chance, +10 vs Fear 55 mins Rowan Green-tick.gif Green-tick.gif
Witchsight 15 See Walking Unseen, Rk <= 15 Invis or Blending 7½ hrs Michael Green-tick.gif Red x.png
Mirror Images Viola
Sun Wings 10 Flight at 40 MPH 5½ hrs Michael
 
 
Additionally, the Bishop will keep these buffs up on himself and Eltan
Rank 10 Soul Shield, Duration: 21 hrs, Effects: Cannot be mind read, pact may not be detected, +30 MR vs magic that Charms, Compels, Controls or Binds.
Rank 15 Circle of Protection, Duration: 8 hrs, Effects: Ignore the first 15 damage per Pulse, attackers add 3 to their die roll.
Dependant on the situation
Rank 6 Solar Protection, Duration: 70 mins, Effects: +14 MR vs light/solar effects, -1 light/solar damage, may see through Rank 20 Light.

MilSci

Skirmish Formations Overlapping Watches
Default Two Abreast Single File 4 hrs long

Eltan Tari Michael
MDK Viola Erzsabet
Rowan

Tari Michael
MDK Eltan
Viola Erzsabet
Rowan

Eltan
Michael
Tari
MDK
Viola
Erzsabet

Rowan

Erzsabet
Erzsabet, Michael
Michael, MDK
MDK, Viola
Viola, Tari
Tari, Rowan
Rowan, Eltan

The night will be 13 hrs and 56 minutes long (or thereabouts) and at this latitude, get longer by 2 minutes 37 seconds each day. On the Winter Solstice, the night will be 15 hours 56 minutes long.

Places

We understand that we will be traveling to Brightrock, which is around the 50th parallel north. South of this line, in winter, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach -26°C (-15°F), and can reach the low teens during the day.
North of the line, it is not uncommon for the temperatures to reach -31°C (-24°F) but can also reach the single digits during the day.

People and Creatures

Ssu

A hexapod creature from a plane called Tekumel. It can travel into a plane which is adjacent to Alusia and travel along in it, making it invisible and hard to interact with.

Hluss

A hexapod creature from a plane called Tekumel. It is a very effective fighter with good armour.

Treasure Distribution

Treasure

Experience Awards

Name              
0000
After racial tax:
 
Income (less expenditures):
 

Calendar

Winter: Frost 812 (7)
Moonday Duesday W'ansday Th'rsday Frysday Reapsday Sunday
Moon2.jpg Samhain 1 Guild Meeting 2 Visit Camdindel 3 Travel to Simba 4 Fly to Brightrock 5 Muck around for a day 6 Talk to Uncle Angus
Moon3.jpg 7 Investigate cells 8 Meet void wolves 9 Fight Werelord and Ghast 10 Fight Wraithlord 11 Travel back to Brightrock 12 Travel to McLaughin 13 Fight the Ssu and Hluss
Moon0.jpg 14 Converse with the Ssu 15 16 17 18 19 20
Moon1.jpg 21 Banish the Ssu and Hluss 22 Head to Konigburg 23 Entertain large and hairy women 24 Head to Konigburg 25 Arrive in Konigburg 26 Pass the time 27 Pass the time
Moon2.jpg 28 Rune portal back to wolves 29 More rune portaling 30 Arrive near the Bright 1 Blitzkrieg engages in high level discussions with wolves 2 Rune portal south with shaman void wolves 3 More rune portaling 4 More rune portaling
Winter: Snow 811 (8)
Moon3.jpg 5 Arrive in the Ffenargh 6 Arrive back at Seagate 7 8 9 10 11
Moon0.jpg 12 13 14 15 Solstice 16 17 18 Yuletide
Moon1.jpg 19 Days of Chaos 20 21 22 23 24 25
Moon2.jpg 26 27 28 29 30 Twelth Night 1 2
Winter: Ice 811 (9)
Moon3.jpg 3 4 5 6 First Plough 7 8 9
Moon0.jpg 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Moon1.jpg 17 18 19 20 21 22 23
Moon2.jpg 24 25 26 27 28 29 30