Session 30: Terrible Lizards

The party was able to complete their sea voyage back to the coastal settlement of Edgetown. 

They arrived to a scene of utter carnage as soldiers fought back waves of terrible lizards (aka dinosaurs).

It was clear that the invasion of the dinosaurs from the lower sub-world had commenced.

Thankfully, the savage beasts were mostly destroyed by the time the party landed. However, the losses to Edgetown’s population were devastating. Half eaten bodies were strewn across the street paths while only a small handful of battered soldiers remained.

The party tried to find a hut where they could get some sleep when they noticed some nearby puddles began to shake.  Dyme said “maybe it’s the power trying to come back on”.

A crushing roar rang out from the nearby forest and a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex burst forth laying waste to everything in it’s path.  

It sniffed around the the hut where the party was hiding, it’s enormous eye looking into the hut window while it’s black pupil dilated.  

Dyme used the opportunity to strike!  He grabbed his poison stinger and shoved it straight into the thunder lizard’s eye causing him to roar and thrash.

The thrashing of his tail caused most of the building to fall over and both Venn and Dyme were knocked unconscious but survived permanent death checks.

Praetor used his new orb to resummon some dead velociraptors to help in the fight.  He also conjured some illusionary ones as well which really helped to confuse the giant T-Rex.  

After a long battle, and with the help of the remaining soldiers, the party was able to slay the majestic lizard. Patches of the dinosaurs skin and teeth were taken as trophies by the party.

They then tried to find Mikael, the Edgetown resident they had previously put in charge of babysitting their dragon whelp. However, he was no longer present in town!  One of the surviving residents claimed to have seen him sneak out a few days prior to the attack.  

He was carrying a large bag and heading West…

Session 29 Part 2: The Castle by the Sea

The party recovered some their faculties on the boat and then went back and woke the sleeping charter captain.

Fizban used his charm ring to make the captain conveniently forget how he fell asleep. The captain was quite chatty and very interested in their tale of Old Solomon. They got the sense that Old Solomon was quite a legendary terror with an infamous reputation for ruining the travels of seafarers in the North Sea.

The captain then asked if they would go see what happened to his three passengers as he had expected their return by this time.

Although they were quite uncomfortable from the bitter cold, the party agreed to go and investigate.

The castle appeared to be abandoned. There was no barrier to entry and the lower floor of  was largely empty with no visible indicators of the lost explorers. The temperature was so frigid that the group was taking serious cold damage just by walking around…

Eventually they entered a room with many decaying frozen heads and bodies impaled on large pikes and a glowing orb on a pedestal in the center of the room.

Greedy Praetor immediately rushed and grabbed the orb. This action caused the frozen corpses to animate and a battle to ensue! When a few of the corpse monsters fell, Praetor was able to reanimate them again using the orb only this time they fought for the group!  This magical orb was an incredibly powerful tool.

The party took more damage but were able to win the battle with the help of the orb.

In the same room, Slade found a hidden door which revealed some stairs that lead up to a second level.  

Sadly, they forgot to search for traps and triggered a massive rockslide that damaged the whole group. The ruckus alerted the barbarians that were occupying the top floor and a group of them immediately ran down to engage the group in more combat.

Our party was still recuperating from their orca damage, the animated corpses, and the bitter cold so this fight was rather ill timed.  Venn, Dyme and Slade were all dropped but were fortunate enough to survive permanent death checks.

The barbarians (noticeably all female) were finally dispatched.. And the party felt some warmth coming from the top of the stairs where they triggered the rockslide. Should they flee or head up the stairs and try and find some warmth?

Afraid of further cold damage, they chose warmth and headed upstairs where they found a small empty room to hide, revive their fallen teammates, and get some sleep.

The upper floor was still occupied with barbarian females though and they had to do plenty more fighting to clear the floor. Eventually they fought the leader, a fierce female warrior with a disturbing hatred for anyone of the male gender. She was tough, but they killed her.

They found the female explorer tied up in a room, her male companions lay slaughtered beside her.  

Slade untied her and she felt an immediate romantic connection to him.

Together the party fled the castle and returned to the docked boat. There wasn’t enough room for everyone especially with Praetor’s increased mass.

Praetor used his last polymorph scroll to transform into a pterodactlyl that could fly alongside the boat. 

The captain was left at the dock, shaking his fist at the party as they headed back in the direction of Edgetown.

Session 29 Part 1: Disaster at Sea

The party returned to the waiting charter boat with their new insect-monster in tow (Praetor ascended to this form in the last session).

The charter captain took some convincing to allow the grotesque beast onto his boat, but was eventually convinced with the promise of gold.

The group was enjoying a pleasant cruise back to Edgetown when suddenly the boat was smashed to bits by a legendary sperm whale known as Old Solomon!

The party was flung in all directions. They frantically tried to climb onto floating debris and get out of the icy water.  

Thankfully, the massive whale seemed to leave after his initial (and devastating) assault but the nightmare would not end there… A pod of ravenous orcas came in to feed on the wreckage!

The captain was swallowed and killed. Dyme was rendered unconscious from blood loss and the situation was quickly becoming dire.

A quick thinking Praetor used a polymorph spell to become a great white shark and the fight was on..

He inflicted a lot of damage but also absorbed more than he could handle and was soon unconscious as well. He was barely  dragged out of the ocean before sinking to his permanent death.

Venn launched himself onto the back of one of the hungry predators delivering some blows but slipped off into the water and soon became hypothermic.

With great difficulty and heavy damages, the attack was finally repelled. However, the party had now begun drifting apart from each other.   

Slade made a prayer to Wynsil, God of Wind to help bring the team back together and it worked. They used rope to create a raft system and prevent future drifting.

The current took them towards land.  Another unidentified island.. This one with a visible castle off in the distance.  

As they drew near, they noticed a dock with another boat and person waiting.   

He helped pull them into shore and explained that he was also a charter captain and was waiting for his three passengers that had gone off to explore the abandoned castle.

The party was desperate, so Fizban put him to sleep and they took his boat out to a safe area where they could sleep and recover before they would embark on anymore adventures.  

Session 28: Visits from the Gods

The party headed north to Renaulton where Fizban used his ESP spell to summon the balloon ferry from the Gnomatta tribe.  However, when it arrived, the raft was dangling askew and there were no gnomes aboard.

They repaired the raft and decided they would fly past the gnomish village and continue to Edgetown, the northernmost point of the continent (on the coast of the Northern Sea).   They previously had a dreamweed induced vision of a treasure cave in one of the islands to the north so they decided to make that their active quest.

During their flight, the clouds began to swirl and they were visited by Wynsil, God of Wind.  The god was angry that this group of landwalkers presumed the right to enter her air space without permission (the Gnomatta pilots having presumably already suffered for their affront).

The heroes showed their respect to the god and were able to prevent being dropped to their deaths. Wynsil then tested the group by having them remember a sequence of mystical symbols. Slade, the elvish thief, demonstrated the most aptitude for the test and was rewarded with the offer to pledge his allegiance to the God of Wind which he accepted.

The party arrived in Edgetown and took care of some business.  Venn ceded temporary guardianship of his dragon whelp to Mikael, the current steward of Edgetown, as it was becoming too difficult to keep the precious creature safe.

They thought about taking the balloon raft to the island, but with some of the volatile weather in the region, they decided to hire an experienced boat captain instead.  The trip included all-you-can-eat salted pork and one alcoholic beverage per passenger.

The ship was attacked by giant sea crabs and a sea dragon but our heroes were able to take care of them without too much difficulty.  Only Nedraw fell in to the icy waters when the ship was bumped and suffered some mild hypothermic effects.

When they arrived at the island, they had to navigate some tricky, cracking ice to reach the beach but they did so deftly with no further accidents while their captain waited with the boat for their return.

They approached the cave to find two homosexual ice trolls engaged in a sexual act.  The party caught them with their pants down (literally) and were able to get in a surprise attack, dispatching the lovemaking trolls in dramatic fashion.

After collecting the treasures,  Fizban and Praetor, both followers of the insect god Entomon, were summoned to a private location, where they were met by Entomon himself and given the offer to “ascend” to their final form.   Praetor accepted, becoming an almost drider-like insect monster while retaining his human head and spellcasting abilities.

The party gasped!

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Session 27: Breaking Bad

The party woke up in Edgetown and noticed an air-raft approaching.  The raft was being lifted by a large balloon and carrying some gnomish passengers.   

The gnomes landed, and the apparent leader (or at least the one that could speak common) introduced himself as Rallematta Bo.

The gnomes were bringing in a product called “dream weed” that they normally sell to Morjan’s barbarians.   Fizban, Praetor and Slade sampled the product and immediately became high and experience a great sense of lucidity.  

The dream weed provided them with a few visions.   1) an arrow hitting someone in the chest  2) drakes disrupting the Stonecrafter dwarves building of the wall in Ashton 3) A cave on an island north of Edgetown filled with treasures. 4) pteradactyls entering the world through the hole the party made in Session 18: The Lost World.

Rallematta explained that without the barbarians, the gnomes would need help selling the rest of their product.  He requested they come visit with the gnome King Gno’Matta about creating a wholesale partnership.

The party boarded the air-raft and went to visit King Gno’Matta.  They were attacked by some pteradactyls along the way but made it to the underground gnome village without too many scrapes or bruises.

The gnome village was an interesting place.  They were a warrior tribe but also were working on some very unique and technologically advanced inventions.   

Rallematta told them a few ground rules before they would meet King Gno’Matta.   They were not to mention anything red, or anything that made the sound of the letter S.    

The party entered King Gno’Matta’s great room and found that he was a massive giant.  Although he had similarities in appearance with the other gnomes he clearly had some type of genetic gigantism.  

The party talked business with the King (or rather he made guttural groans that were then translated by Rallematta).  Praetor, Slade, Nedraw and Dyme were kicked out of the room for making S noises, but Fizban and Venn were able to purchase some dream weed at a deep discount.

The party spent some time with the gnomes and purchased a few high tech items.   1) Slade bought some traps 2) Nedraw bought a mace with a retracting chain that could be used for ranged attacks 3) Praetor bought some mechanical wings and everyone else pretty much bought some gliding wings.   

Nedraw wanted to get an 8 man all-terrain, tread wheeled vehicle but couldn’t convince the rest of the party to pony up for it.   

They did however negotiate travel by air raft back to Renaulton.   

In Renaulton, they visited the seedier areas and were able to quickly flip their dream weed for a modest profit.  

They also noticed signs for an archery contest taking place at the royal grounds with a reward purse of 400gp.

Slade, Dyme and Nedraw all entered the contest and Praetor took it upon himself to turn invisible and interfere with one of the other competitors.

Everyone took their shot, but when it came to the last competitor, instead of shooting at the target, he turned and aimed at King Warden!  Luckily, Praetor was behind him and hit his arm which caused the shot to miss!

The would-be assassin threw down a smoke bomb and bolted.   Dyme hit him with an arrow but it wasn’t enough to slow him down.   Praetor used his wings to fly up in the air and although he couldn’t catch up, he did notice the assassin had discarded his disguise and was actually a dark elf!

After the dust settled from this dramatic event, the party headed south to Ashton so that Dyme could deal with the dwarven work stoppage on his wall due to the drake situation.   (Dyme is Lord of Ashton).  

Dyme gave a bar patron a chest of 500GP and a horse and tasked him with bringing the money to the Stonecrafter dwarves so that they could continue their work.   

The party then headed into the eastern woods where they found the drake nesting grounds and killed a family of drakes thereby finally ending the drake problem in Ashton.   Slade was hurt and knocked unconscious but suffered no permanent injuries.  

Session 26: The Trials of Belluum

The party burst into the room at the top of the spire where they encountered Morjan face-to-face for the first time.

Morjan was a Drakaina (human/dragon hybrid) with large reptilian wings and a dangerous lashing tail.

The party’s two barbarians rushed in first while Praetor created 4 more illusionary barbarians via his Phantasmal Force spell.

Nedraw got behind Morjan and braced himself in the window to prevent her escape.

The party lost a barbarian (a real one) in the battle but were able to eventually defeat Morjan and gain her coveted spellbook.

There was a brief standoff between new party member Slade and original member Fizban for who would get possession of the book but eventually the party negotiated that Slade would get the book AFTER the party had a chance to learn the spells from it that they needed.

After searching the room they also found a text describing a medical process whereby an individual could pledge themselves to the dragon god Drakkar by injecting a combination of dragon blood and magical powder directly into their jugular vein via an enlarged bee stinger.

Venn Woodenbleeder knew the procedure would be risky but decided to go ahead with it. Although he didn’t immediately get new powers, the procedure was a success.

Nedraw also found a book on “How to Train Your Dragon” that gave him some valuable tips on how to care for his whelp.  He began by feeding it some of Morjan.

After leaving the keep (and killing some giant leeches along the way) the party returned to Edgetown.

In Edgetown, Morjan’s barbarians had become completely disoriented. The human slaves sensed their weakness and were attacking and killing their former oppressors.

The team negotiated a plan whereby one of human slaves named Mikael would become Edgetown’s acting leader until they could communicate with King Warden back in Renaulton and have reinforcements sent to strengthen the royal claim on this area.

The party decided to sleep and recuperate.

While sleeping, they were brought together in a united dream sequence.  Bellum, God of Combat explained that they had gained his attention for their work in destroying rival god minions.

He simulated a combat arena and urged them to fight each other to the death for a chance to win his favour. There were only a few ground rules… no invisibility, no hiding and no Djinni helpers.

Slade was first to die from Praetor’s fireball. Praetor then took the form of a giant bee but was promptly killed by Fizban’s fireball. Nedraw killed the barbarian. Venn made a brief alliance with Dyme before being killed by Fizban’s magic missiles. Nedraw was crushed between two walls as the arena began to close-in.

We were left with just Dyme and Fizban to fight it out to the death.

The two were locked in close quarter combat. Fizban’s summoned insects pecked away at Dyme’s exposed skin but he was able to slay Fizban and take the title of supreme combatant.

Belluum blessed Dyme with a permanent strength blessing and a ring of knowledge to accelerate his experience gains. Dyme also pledged himself to Belluum in order to receive further benefits of the combat god’s favour.

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Session 25: Seeking The Dragon Witch

After defeating the wave of hostile barbarians at the end of the last session, our party recomposed themselves on the outskirts of Edgetown with their ally Erik the barbarian and his small band of followers.

Edgetown, a barbarian settlement in the north lands, had been conquered by the evil witch Marjan. Her brutal law was being enforced by a host of barbarians who she exerted control over.

Praetor recognized that the barbarians all shared jet-black hair and black leather cloaks.  He made the connection in appearance with the mysterious individual who bought a baby dragon from the Vermallian auction in Session 24.

The party accepted a skilled elvish thief into the party named Slade. Slade had been hoping to find a way to steal Marjan’s spell book for resale purposes. With both Slade and the party’s goals being so closely aligned, accepting this new elf into the ranks made good sense.

Slade immediately made an impact by going on a recon mission into the heart of Edgetown. Donning one of the barbarian’s black leather cloaks, he snuck around the city finding some safe travel paths.

In the town center, he witnessed some barbarians forcing some humans to drink the water that their dead family members had been drowned in. Apparently this was a punishment for breaking Morjan’s “laws”.  Slade discreetly made contact with a human resident who begged him to save them from Morjan’s rule.

At this point, a drunken barbarian came wandering around and noticed Slade.  Slade tricked the brute to turn around and then distributed a perfectly targeted crossbow bolt into the center of his skull.

Slade dragged the body into the home of the panicked human. Again the human implored for Slade to defeat Morjan for his life would surely pay the forfeit for this act.

Slade returned to the party and shared his intel.

With Slade’s information the whole group was able to find a safe path through the town until they arrived at Morjan’s base.

Morjan’s base was massive structure, hundreds of meters in diameter.  It’s appearance can only be described as the explosion of a meteor hitting the earth with the resulting splash of earth being frozen and hardened into form.  The structure was made of a black shiny obsidian-like material which was near impossible to climb.  There was no visible entrance.

Dyme began checking the perimiter by dragging his sword around the wall until he found a place where his sword went through. The wall at that location was illusionary and the party was able to pass.

Inside they saw a long bridge crossing over a moat of deep black water. On the other side of the bridge they could see a central structure with a spire rising from the middle.

After a battle with some black water elementals (and losing a few barbarian friends in the process), the party continued along the bridge until they saw a door open from the central structure.

Out came the imposing individual from the auction (Narsic), riding his war horse with a group of black haired barbarian fighters in tow.  Narsic yelled at them to leave but the party was not dissuaded.

Praetor launched a fireball at them but the entire party was shocked when the group charged out of the flame seemingly unharmed.

Narsic attacked by blowing fire on the group and killing some more barbarians. Fizban was able to subdue the other barbarians with a well placed sleep spell but even against a full party of skilled heroes, Narsic would not be an easy fight.

At one point in the melee, Narsic landed a crushing blow which killed Erik sending his lifeless body into the inky depths of the black water moat.

The party eventually killed Narsic, and despite the language barrier, Nedraw was able to rally the remaining two barbarians to finish the quest.

The main entrance to the central structure was magically locked and the party struggled to find a way inside until they realized that the black obsidian shard that Nedraw had in his inventory would fit perfectly into the keyhole.

Once inside, they realized they had entered a nest. The nest of a white dragon!

A quick thinking Fizban remembered his scroll of Hold Monster.  He quickly cast the scroll and it worked!  What could have been a very dangerous fight with heavy casualties was ended before it began!  The party slaughtered the paralyzed beast.

Nedraw found the baby dragon that had been purchased by Narsic for 10,000GP. He placed the dragon under his furs and the whole group began the ascent up the winding stair case that would presumably lead to Morjan.

There was a mad, close-quarters fight with more of Morjan’s barbarian fighters inside the treacherous stairwell.  Many of the attackers fell to their death and one tried to grab Slade and bring him down with him. While Slade began to fall, Dyme quickly tossed a rope which Slade caught. Slade crashed into the stairs, receiving some bruises that were far preferable to the potential broken limbs of a fall all the way to the bottom.

Now they would need to enter Marjan’s room at the top of the spire and complete their quest…

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