The Laughing Hills

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GM: William
Session: Summer 808
Night: Variable - see below
Level: Medium
Location: Avondale


Party

  1. Anooke Ice mage fighter played by Michael Haycock
  2. Human the Illusionist playing Michael Scott
  3. Tari, earthmage fighter played by Michelle Ellis
  4. WordSmith, a Dwarven Namer played by Errol (Mil Sci)
  5. Lizette Namer healer played by Dylan
  6. Lucius E&E played by Bridget
  7. Albion the Mad Mind Mage played by Nick

Mission

The Lady Celeblothel
Summer Palace 2.jpg


It so happens that a party of brave and gallant adventurers were hired on the 1st of Meadow 807 to aid a noble lady elf in distress. It seems that many orcs have descended from the Dragonspine Mountains and over run their Winter Palace located in the Lalhaudh province.

At this time the Lady Celeblothel is out of favour with the court as sometimes happens with high elves and thus the army will not come to her aid. Putting the summer palace where the lady and her court reside in some considerable peril as the two courts are accessible through some form of high elf portal.

Compounding the problem is the local militia who refuse to go into the area because it is apparently haunted and full of undead. After some little investigation we find that the elves have built their winter palace on the resting place of a sleeping god, called The Laughing God.

The Laughing God

The god we find out has been asleep since the War between the gods which concluded with a covenant being forced upon them, most of the elven gods chosing to sleep to avoid signing. This involed the withdrawal of the gods from walking upon the earth and directing the affairs of the elves and thier lands. The orcs we hear are digging around the winter palace. It is unknown whether they are deliberately trying to wake the god or just doing what orcs do. We feel that the waking of this god would have dire and unexpected consequences.

The party has been asked to bring the orc leader’s head to the Lady Celebolothel. We feel the matter should be attended to at our earliest convenience.

The elves have supplied the party with 40 heal endurance potions to help in this quest and have promised a historic and valuable (to humans) painting as payment.
by Lucius

Schedule

  • 1st Meadow - Prepare, buy Wings pre-dawn, and portal to Elfenburg
  • 2nd - fly to Lalhaudh, talk to employers and useful elves.
  • 3rd - talk with brownies and dryad.
  • 4th (3rd?) - portal to southern border fort at dusk, deal with orcs
  • 5th - back at Summer Palace for lunch
  • 6th - Use Crystals to locate Winter Palace
  • 7th - Detailed examination (via crystal) of Winter Palace area starts

Narrative

Setting the Scene

Lalhaudh overview

First Contact

We decide to confirm our ability to use the portals by visiting the southern border point. We get a pass to show the 10 guards there, and do a limited power-up at a high-mana patch 5 minutes from the Summer Palace. At dusk we activate the portal, and appear in a circular stone room. We sense something is wrong when we DA the fly-covered week-old remains plastered to the walls as Elf. We manage to keep quiet until WordSmith triggers a Shell of Silence, letting us do ESP and Wizard's Eye. There are 10 crossbow-armed orcs on the roof, and around 30 orcs (and two tied-down wyverns) camped below. The portal room is the second story of a watchtower, with a single door to the spiral stair, which is inside the external wall.

We wait until the Silence is nearly finished (hoping that some of the orcs go off hunting), hiding as some human slaves take food upstairs. Then we block the stair below us with ice and Forbiddings, apply buffs, and go upstairs to remove the guard, hopefully without the camp noticing. WordSmith's third (and final available) trigger will prevent the alarm bell being heard, and he fells the first orc from behind while Unseen. We absorb or dodge the few crossbow bolts fired, and get in among them. Unfortunately Human forgets himself, and shield-charges one off the edge. They don't but up much of a fight against our magic-ed weapons, good armour, and pure skill and flair.

Lizette does attract attention when she checks out the camp (they are all wondering what caused the scream and splat!) - orcs find her attractive, apparently. Human makes up for his earlier indiscretion by making himslf look like one of the guard orcs and pretending to give Lizette a seeing-to bent over the parapet. This draws some good-natured bolts form jealous orcs (only one hits him), but no-one comes upstairs to investigate.

We make the roof look normal, and hatch a plan to handle the camp (there are enough that many could get away if we just charge them). We illusion one of the unconscious orcs to look like Lizette, and tell Human to throw 'her' outside so the orcs will start fighting. The greedy sod instead sells 'her' to an orc, and the others form a line. This is far too orderly, so Anooke sneaks out Unseen to free the wyverns, while Albion Controls some of those waiting to start fighting. Anooke gets them loose (using severed orc bits as distraction) while they seem to mainly resist Albion, but start fighting anyway. Once the riot is underway, we charge out and finish things off. We chase survivors through the forest, and get all but a few.

Investigation of the commander's tent yields his diary, a pay chest (20,000sp, enough for a couple of seasons) and his orders (Secure fort, investigate portal, build a ringfort, construct a foundry, build iron tracks back to the Winter Palace). The mercenary commander had been hired by 'Snake', and there is a overall plan to conquer Alfheim. Well, I suppose that gives them something to aim for. Going through their Namer's things, there is reference to a 'traitor elf' leading them to the fort.

We make the camp look like it has suffered a revolt (leaving armour and other heavy items, taking money and magical items). We also forge a note from the mage to higher leaders, warning that the commander is stealing the men's pay, and leave it where we hope it will be found. We take the portal back to the Summer Palace at midday. The Ranger is given an update before we bath and rest.
by Word Smith

More Looking

Plan of the Winter Palace

We spend the next day using Lucius' three Crystals to work out where the Winter Palace is. The first crystal of the following day gives us a good look of the area around the WP. As reported, there are around 200 orcs, as well as 8 wyverns quartered here. Many trees have been cleared, mines dug, and a metal road leads towards the Dragonspine Mountains. While we haven't seen the metal road in use, the WP appears to be a tranship point, with troops and/or supplies coming here before moving quickly on.
By Wordsmith

Possible Awards

  • Albion, smartest, throwing 'Lizette' to the orcs to distract them

The Adventure Continues

After assessing our position and options our Gallant Party fear that that they don’t quite have enough information to hand and seize upon the next guard outpost as a target.

We decide that we need more information as to the location and habits of the leader that we are hired to extinguish. We disguise ourselves as Orcs and attempt to make our way into the tower as best we can. We use the elvan portal at mid day into the guard tower only to find ourselves trapped inside a strange device. As we try to draw mana it syphons out our fatigue and indeed the Lady Lizette Summers suffers most greatly after having all of her fatigue removed. Wordsmith our mechanician guides our hands as we smash our way out of the portal room by dint of main force. Human is a most convincing Orc and can handily speak Orcish. He comes to our aid by complaining loudly at our treatment and convinces the Orcs we are one of their brutish horde. He tells the Orcs that we have found a way to make the portal work and must be taken to their leader at once. Alas for us their leader is away. Showing the nerve and grit of true adventurers we wonder about in their camp, containing our vigorous plotting to mind speech. The Orcs take us for long over due re-enforcements and send us out into the forest to hunt dryads. On our way out of the camp Albian the Mad shares his skills with some hobbits and cunningly hypnotises a hobbit to be our friend. The hobbit is working on constructing a golem. The hobbit seems, amazingly, to be here of its own free will. Apparently they breed ‘em tough in the Dragonspine Mountains as its thoughts, when revealed to us, are remarkably vicious. Our Friend the hobbit tells us that Captain Shrug is in charge of the outpost here and Hector, a human, is in charge of the whole operation. We wander into the forest and summon elementals, which the illusionist disguises as Ents. We send them in to attack and follow at a leisurely pace. A fight ensues during which the enemy finally discovers our True Colours. After some little time we are victorious upon the field and are able to investigate at our leisure.


The God Slaying Weapon

At which time we discover the strange puzzle of this place. The device which we found ourselves in, in the portal room, proves to be a siphon. Which by Horrible and Arcane means shrives abilities out of people. Also of great moment, is a god slaying hat stand which by some means unknown to us deals a mortal blow to a god. Furthermore we discover that the Laughing God received such a blow not two days ago!
The tower has the god slaying hat stand on top of it, wires readching from it to the ground going into mysterious pots. The pots, we find when they are opened, contain the blood of the god. They increase your fatigue at a very satisfying rate but must be used with great caution as they continue to increase your fatigue until you explode. We conclude that the Orcs are mining the blood of the god and are planning to use it for some fiendish purpose!

Upon receiving such grave tidings we temporarily abandon the adventure and hasten to warn the elves that the end of days may be upon us all, as the waking of the older gods may break the compact between the gods and reignite the war of the gods.

Placing no faith in the kyrt sniffing elvan nobles of Lady Celeblothal’s court, who have no sense of reality and are parasites upon the land and its peoples, we head straight to Eidolon to warn the Queen over all the elves. Thanks to Tari’s connections we are able to gain an audience with the Queen. The elves seem more concerned with the problems of daffodils growing in the wrong places and a plague of hobbits eating the elves out of house and home. The Queen the decides to send the 23rd legion. We were initially impressed by this commitment until we found out that the 23rd legion was a single individual. Finding that we can expect no help or concern from the elvan court we abandon our attempts to communicate with nobles. We do meet some wild elves who agree to come to our aid. Who knows when they will turn up!
By Lucius

An unexpected visitor

At this point Lisette is recalled to the guild post haste! Matt Tumbledown needs healing. We travel to the main city of the province of Lalhaudh, also called Lalhaudh in search of quick transportation to the guild. We meet a mage called Beriadan, who is curious about the strange barbaric lands filled monsters outside Alfheim, and travel to the guild on his storm cloud. Lisette finds Matt hale and hearty due to the valiant efforts of the guild healers. We leave Lisette to her duties and travel back to Lalhaudh.

There and back again

Upon our arriving back we advise the elves to evacuate the Summer Palace as it is not defensible and could be attacked at any time. The elves were unresponsive to our advice until a band of Orcs were seen storming through the forest on their evil iron road. The elves hastened through their portal to safely whilst our brave band of comrades guarded their exit.

Having mopped up the ocrish advance party we made hasty plans to reach the Winter Palace before the enemy stragglers could warn their fellows. Tari came to our aid with fiendish (only to those with 7 agility) skipping magic which allowed us to travel at Undignified Speed. (Its embarrassing when an elf can’t skip through the forest)Human disguises us as Orcs and we proceed fearlessly into the encampment of Brutish Orcs.
Whilst scouting the camp with Wizards eye, I attempt to look upon the laughing god. Elves (and possibly mortals) may not look upon the face of the god. For my sins I am cursed with cannabalism and pyromania. We stroll into the Palace at a Leisurely Pace and and head up to the binder, called Hector's, room. I slept the binder and felt an Irresistable Urge to play with the fire. I spread the teasing flames gleefully all over the binder's room. Alas we stuck difficulty in the form of a guard golem. The game was up when he sounded the alarm. Battle and mayhem ensued. We hit things, and in my case, ate things (you can't clean your teeth too many times after eating orc brains), then jumped out the window to escape and skipped away. Anooke cunningly made a slide out of ice for us to slide down from the burning window of the Binder's room. We took Hector the Binder with us, still sleeping peacefully but not for long!

Tips For Torture

In which Human discovers how difficult it is for even a skilled assassin to extract information from an unwilling victum.
We go hastily back to the summer palace and attempt by diverse and terrible means to get Hector to spill the beans. Unfortunately Hector doesn't survive our over enthusiastic attentions. To our great dismay we discover, the hard way, that Hector is pacted to Foras. We are extremely polite to Foras, having been caught literally red handed. It seems that Hector is working with the Orcs on some scheme at Foras' command. Unfortunately now Hector knows who we are and what we are doing. Foras takes his Unfortunate Servant away. To our dismary he also abducts Human the Fool. Human apparently talks his way out of trouble and appears back with us a while later.

Where as a little prudence gets you a long way.
Now that the enemy knew all our plans and exactly where we were, I felt it prudent to remove ourselves promptly from the location as an attack was nigh. The legion and I made haste to the forest to find a suitable defensable position. The party for mysterious reasons of their own didn't follow us and wandered over to the village. Upon hearing a great furore we went quickly to investigate. In the crystal I saw a great ritual involving many Orcs being carried out at the Winter Palace. At the Summer Palace I was showen many Orcs formed up and ready to march. We came upon the party at the village and joined up to fight the Orcs. We won a great battle against the Orcs, who were lead by a devil, and got Loot! including a wyvern. We then quickly asked the dryads for help in transporting us to the Winter Palace whilst the enemy was exhaused from their spell casting and unaware of their Great Defeat. The Dryad lent us an Ent to tranport us.

The Returing of the God's Blood - A Cunning Plan

In which we decide to give the Orcs a taste of their own medicine.

  • Recipe for Boom!

We take an Orc captured in the previous battle, add a dash of hypnotism and several pots of god's blood.
The sinister mind mage Albion warps the orc's mind and convinces the Orc that we are his friends. Our fiend the Orc tells us that they are lead by a half demon campion necromancer who is affiliated to Foras. And that they are making a weapon to kill Bragon. We tell him that we Orcs (we are still in disguise) have won the battle and got this loot. We give him the manna pot and tell him that it will make him all powerful, he just has to tip it over him, then he should challenge for leadership as we think he would make a great leader.
He flies back to the camp and apparently tips the blood all over himself in the middle of the camp. When we get there the camp is levelled. There is a nasty undead wraithlike ooze stuff which will destroy and suck in anything it touches. Wordsmith thinks we need a priest of the laughing god to deal with it.

An Orcish City

In which we feel that if a Job's worth doing, its worth doing well.
The elves required the leaders head. We feel that we have not satisfied the intent behind this bargin, and need to get the head of the Campion in charge of the venture and the head of the lead Orc. We find out the a party of Orcs bugged out from the Winter Palace before we attacked. We follow their trail along their foul iron road into the dragonspine mountains. The road leads into the hills. We interrogate the terrified goblins on guard duty and find out there is a large Orc city underground. Again with stunning audacity we disguise ourselves and stroll in. There leader is watching a gladitorial entertainment, in which, the leader of the Orc band that we have recently thwarted is featured as an unhappy participated. We create a diversion, start a brawl and under cover of this kill the leader, free a random captive dwarf, and vola, walk out with the leader's head. Without further ado we collect our reward and head for hom.

Reference

Lalhaudh Portals

Various places within Lalhaudh are connected by portals. The Summer Palace is also connected to the rest of Alfheim, but this link is currently closed for political reasons (from the Alfheim end).

  • Portals are typically within a room with a single exit
  • They are able to be activated at dawn, midday, dusk, and midnight
  • up to a dozen entities may use a given portal link at a time
  • Using a portal is tiring (although most could immediately make a second jump if the portal allowed it). The required energy can be spread in any manner across the jumping party.
  • The orcs know about them, and are actively investigating
  • The Summer Palace nexus is poorly guarded.

People

Lady Celeblothel

Ruler of Lalhaudh. Seems to spend much of her time under the influence of Kir and other narcotics. Is confident, arrogant, and vague.

Halain

Has scouted the orc incursion. Is happy to talk with us. Doesn't enjoy his commanders.

Beriadan

A Handy Air Mage with super fast flying. he lives in Lalhaudh.

Alatáriël aka The 23rd Legion

The sole remaining member of the ancient 23rd legion which was formed during the war of tears. Trooper Alatáriël has not stood down for reasons known only to him. A High Elven soldier (barbarians are warriors) he is loyal and a cunning adversary.

It is rumoured that he cannot die but whether this is some power or merely the legend surrounding a 30 Kyo Soldier.

Items and Loot

Follow link in title above to see detail

Playing Schedule

  • Week One - Wednesday
  • Week Two - Friday 21st Dec (Sorry I can't make it, Xmas party organised... Michelle)
  • Week Three - no Roleplaying
  • Week Four -Wednesday 2nd Jan
  • Week Five- Is Monday 7th OK for people, it is the only day William can do?? (Michelle, Errol, Nick, Bridget & Michael can)
  • Week Six - Friday 18th at Michelle's
  • Week Seven - Wednesday the 23rd at 34 Heretaunga Avenue Onehunga
  • week Eight - No game
  • Week Nine - 6th || SO WEDNESDAY AT MY PLACE? Michelle Sorry trying to be clear amongst the multiple comments.

PLAYING AT MICHELLE'S HOUSE FOR REST OF SESSION!!!

  • Week Ten - Wednesday 13th
  • Week Eleven - Wednesday 20th
  • Week Twelve - Monday 25th - Cameron has Chicken Pox. Won't be playing as Clare is exhausted and I don't want to infect Michelle's bubs.
  • Week Thirteen - Wednesday 5th