Dungeons and Bookworms

Entering the City of Sleep
Session Five

• The group leveled up!
• Party traveling to Reida to acquire demon stones from kingdom of the elves.
• Approaching the city of Bronseward (2nd largest city in Rivas) trade city.
• Caravans have to stop in this city before heading to capital, travelers must get visas from the trade warden in Bronzeward before they can enter Reida.
• Group stopped for camp about a day out from city. Things that happened overnight: Lady Catherine Trivino has disappeared and Lyssin will not wake up.
• Catherine is now a booK, due to a faulty spell she cast back in the castle trying to condense all her books into a more portable package.
• As the group approaches the city, they notice that there are crowds of people fleeing in a hurry. The group approaches a family and learns that there is a strange malady that has affected the citizens. The city is under quarantine- the people fleeing escaped before it took place, and aren’t sure there will be anyone left to enforce it now. The disease is a sleeping sickness that arrived with a fog (“like a cloud that descended and left an oily residue behind), and put almost everyone to sleep (many people seemed to resist it for a time) (elves are immune). Cannot be determined how contagious the malady is, sleeping people taken out of the city don’t seem to wake up.
• Another question is the sleeping plague magical in nature. Yes
• Crew looks for a sleeper, sees covered carts. Approach a covered wagon driven by a young man. He looks nervous. Armand stops the gentleman and tries to hire his cart (as a distraction while Erremiel attempts to climb in the cart and look to see what’s there). Armand, with the highly diplomatic aid of Valencia, successfully convinces the driver that he has a left hand horse when he needed a right hand horse. Trivolin also investigates cart. Erremiel discovers a chest full of gold (she takes some- 15 gp), and a sleeping woman. In his distress, merchant turns back to reveal his sleeping wife in the cart and discovers Erremiel already in the cart. Valencia examines wife, and determines that the cause of her sickness in not in this plane, and moving those effected won’t lessen the symptoms.
• Group notices a woman approaching the city while everyone is fleeing. She shows interest in the people leaving, but stays to the shadows. She has been listening to this exchange.
• Erremiel talks to woman, who once she’s assured the man on the cart was ok, leaves. Trivolin tracks the woman as she and the group approaches the city.
• Asking Catherine: Does she know of anything like what has been described in the city? Answer: geographic spell or curse of this magnitude would require a focus of some kind. Like a model.
• Group camps outside the city, goes in first thing the next morning. Meet woman again. Trivolin asks her why she’s trying to get into the city. Learns she is a dream healer; she heard about the illness and was sent in to find the source. After a bit of suspicion, she accepts that the group is willing to help and has good intentions entering the city. Her name is Kai Linnow. She has a suspicion about what is keeping people asleep. Group enters city together.
• Two guards question them as they enter the city; they let them in due to the presence of the dream healer Kai, and inform them they won’t be able to leave once they enter.
• As the group enters, they seem people who are asleep all over; seemingly where they fell. A few people are awake, and look out at them from windows, but no one moving in the streets. Strange shadows seem to fill corners of the city.
• Moving through the city, Trivolin takes to the roofs, and spots three suspicious people. Group follows, but they disappear. Group splits to accommodate the cart, driven by Greilin (prince & princess, Lyssin inside). Cart occupants all fall asleep.
• Group comes upon a trade house; set it up as base of operations while looking for source of illness and the mysterious people.
• Greilin, now asleep & dreaming is in the same city, but after witnessing the prince fly away, attempts it and realizes he too can fly. Journeys further into the city towards a giant shadow tree. Notices a citizen attempt to fly and fall to his death. Greilin experiments with dream powers. (Wisdom)
• Party of three: Halfling, orc, human. Angry Halfling overheard arguing with the first two.

View
Oh Magic Book answer me these questions three...
Session the 4th

The group breaks the rest of the way through the door and reunites with Greilin & Lady Trevino. It is now time to decide which direction to head in. The group decides to go to the Elvish country of Reida, to seek the stone(s) held by the royal family there.

The GM made a mistake in giving the party a magic book to ask questions of. A long, long, long, time was spent discussing what questions to ask this book while traveling towards Bronsward, the Rivas city where the travelers will have to acquire passports to enter Reida. The GM is sorry for this. But in light of keeping things on task, below is a list of questions for future reference.

QUESTIONS ASKED OF THE BOOK SO FAR:

• Are the royal families of Reida in possession of a demon stone of Asmodeus?
o YES
• Are both families (light and drow) in possession of any of the stones?
o YES
• Is the kingdom of Gura in possession of 2 or more of the demonic stones of Asmodeus?
o NO
• Do the dark elves have in their possession at least one stone?
o NO
• Is the royal family of Gura (who are in the possession of at least one stone) still in the country of Reida?
o NO ANSWER
• Is the royal family of Gura still in the country of Reida?
o YES
• Is the sleeping plague affecting Reida magical in nature?
o YES

View
Rat Queen
Third Session

Backstory: Erremielbard halfling, was raised by the family that took her from her home to be a bard and a spy. She was sent to write a heroic ballad about the reunion of the royal family, but in the confusion of the parade, she jumped down into the sewer to avoid being trampled by the fleeing crowds and got lost. She encountered multiple giant rats, and was victorious over all of them! She formed a necklace from their tails and resigned herself to being queen of the sewers until…

The party enters the sewers (which lead out of the city) through the secret escape entrance in the King’s Chambers. Because the group was not expecting to leave the city immediately, they need to retrieve their items from the inn. Greilin, who is accompanying Lady Trevino, volunteers to do this service while he is escorting the librarian to get her reference materials. Being the most inconspicuous of the party, they will pick up supplies and horses and meet the rest of the group outside the city.

The group advances into the dark maze that is the sewer system. There is a faint light, and a slightly stronger smell. Lyssin lights a torch to provide the group a path. They hear a soft song in the distance. They stealthily investigate. The discover Erremiel sitting on her throne of dead rats singing softly to herself. She jumps out merrily to greet them.

She is familiar with some in the group, namely Aramand, whom she spent the evening getting hammered with the night before the parade.

Suddenly, 3 giant dire rats swarm the party attempting to reach Erremiel in an effort to seek revenge against her slaying of their comrades. Everyone moves to defeat the rats, using fire and songs about burning rats. They succeed, but the rat slaying bard seems to have some trouble against these larger foes. In a last ditch effort, she attempts to use diplomacy on the final rat, and is so convincing in her song and plea that the rat falls in love with her and becomes her steed/pet. She promptly names him Nicodemus.

The group is very impressed with the bard’s rat charming powers. They (and the GM) are even more impressed by the song of her travels and travails that the bard performs extemporaneously for them. She joins the party to try and help them find their way out of the sewer. She doesn’t know where she’s going either, but the group follows her willingly.

The intrepid rat slayers/charmers head south. Val uses his nose to find a safe path, and Lyssin discovers a wire that runs down the south tunnel. She determines that it is a magic trap of some sorts. The prince informs the group that it could be part of the royal defenses, since this was a family escaped route. The princess volunteers to go down the tunnel first. Nicodemus goes with her. As they travel down the tunnel, the wire flairs gold, and a gold line continues forward, leading the party towards the hopeful exit.

Following the line, they come to a seeming dead end at a pool of water. The gold line continues to the left above the pool of water. The water is swirling, but slowly. There is a hidden drain somewhere, and the bottom of the pool can’t be seen. Val tries to sound out the bottom with his quarter staff, but still can’t hit the bottom. The group suspects a trap, but tries to convince the prince and princess to step in the pool to see if it drains. Lyssin sees a black wire next to the gold wire that travels down to the bottom of the pool. Necrotic magic seems to be emanating from both. The prince volunteers and swims through the water to where the wires are. He takes hold of the black wire and the water swirls quicker and drains away. The prince holds on to the side to avoid being flushed. As that happens, white shapes start becoming visible in the water. Steps leading down 12 feet appear, and with the final water disappearing, three skeletons are fully relieved.

Other than the skeletons, the side tunnel with the gold wire leading off into it is clear, but 8 feet above the ground.

Lyssin and Armand examine the corpses for treasure. As soon as Lyssin reaches the floor, one of the skeletons pulls its sword up and makes a surprise attack on her. The group handily defeat the undead, but then it’s a show off between Armand and Lyssin to see who gets to the loot quicker.

The challenge was then to get everyone through the tunnel 8 feet up. Luckily, sorcerer Val has a rope! Lyssin is lifted up into the tunnel with the rope; she secures it to a nearby grate, allowing everyone else to climb up. This tunnel is smaller, requiring most of the party to crawl. There is math utilized to make sure the rope can still reach people, and someone gives a rat a boost.

Another crossroads, and still following the gold thread. They finally come to a set of stairs leading upwards ending in a locked door. Lyssin (aka “The Worst Thief Ever”) actually manages to pick the lock with a goose quill, but the door remains stuck- it’s blocked by something on the other side. The stronger members of the party attempt to push the door open. It budges a bit to show that the outside of the door is covered with vines. Val freezes the vines, weakening them and allowing the others to attack them. They can now see beyond the vines to the outside, where a few buildings are located beyond the city wall.

View
Sealed & Delivered?
Second Session

After the disastrous failed parade, the party has retreated into the castle with the royal family. They immediately ensconce themselves in King Dhakus’s private tower, and easily defensible strong hold in the center of the compound. Trivolin has custody of the lone prisoner the party was able to take; a warrior monk accompanying the priests who attacked the royal family. Trivolin secures the prisoner (Binds, blinds, and gags him) in the guard’s cells on the first floor.

The rest of the party are led by a disoriented king upstairs to the audience chamber. Prince Jabarro is barely hanging on to life. Princess Zashah is trying to administer to him. After it becomes apparent that none of the party has basic first aid skills, the Princess sends Lyssin to fetch the royal sorcerer from the first floor to heal the prince. Zashah question the strangers who have come to her family’s rescue. She is suspicious, but admits she should trust them, after they have put their lives on the line to save her own. In fact, it is Sir Armand’s emphatic bleeding that convinces her.

Downstairs, Lyssin finds not the sorcerer (who appears to have been trapped outside of the castle during the hullabaloo), but the sorcerer’s apprentice, Valencia d’Shad. It is d’Shad’s first day on the job. When they reach the dying prince, Zashah seems surprised to see him, but allows him to treat her brother. Val, also not having any medical training whatsoever, heroically pulls 2lbs of sealing wax from his supply and miraculously manages to stop the prince’s bleeding. He isn’t recovering, but he is at least stable until a competent healer can arrive. Prince Jabarro is moved into the King’s chamber, with Greilin keeping an eye on him. The prince seems to be turning a strange, grey color.

The King is still disoriented from the attack, and Zashah is eager to establish control of the situation. She decides a royal proclamation is needed to assure the people of the city that the line of succession is secure. She calls for the royal librarian, who chronicles and bears witness to all the important events in the country. The loyalties of the guards outside the tower are unknown, but Lyssin again volunteers to go and fetch the needed vassal.

Lyssin uses her stealth skills (and super cool cloak) to easily evade the guards (who seem to be guarding the tower. Suspicious? Who knows? We didn’t explore this). Lyssin easily enters the royal library, where she discovers a half-elf sitting in the middle of a giant stack of books. Lyssin’s success so far is somewhat thwarted by the skepticism of the Royal Librarian Trivino, who is only convinced to follow when a royal guard appears and vouches for the Lyssin, and informs them both that he has been instructed to assist the party. Wow, that seems strange.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE TOWER: Trivolin investigates the monk’s belongings while he is incapacitated and discovers a strange, warm amulet. Trivolin takes this carefully, wrapping it in the monk’s own sash.

By the time Librarian Trivino and Lyssin arrive in the audience chamber, the king has regained his composure and control of the room. Luckily, Lady Trivino has healing experience, and can assist the prince. She heals him to consciousness. As soon as he is awake, he begins frantically searching for… something. He asks for “the stone.” He rushes into the other room looking for it. Trivino & Greilin follow him into the audience room.

Armand draws a pistol on the prince, Val notices the strange aura surrounding Jabarro which seems to drawing magic into him. He also notices another aura surrounding…Lyssin. The King tries to greet his son in relief, but Val stops him. Lyssin, surprising everyone (herself included) stabs the prince. The Prince seems not to notice the new wound.

Greilin tries to convince Lyssin to handover anything of the prince she might have taken. Lyssin makes a show of looking for something on her person, but doesn’t hand anything over. In fact, she finds herself gripping the stone she picked up during the battle more tightly, and attempting to hide it from the group.

Prince Jabarro causally removed the blade, while Lyssin tries to evade his notice. Trivolin is drawn by the noise, and attempts to restrain the prince, who shoves the ranger away with unnatural strength. Greilin questions the princess about the prince, and whether or not it is possible an imposter has taken his place. Princess Zashah hasn’t seen her brother in 15 years, but informs the party that he has been living in the mountain with an order of priests. She also tells them that both she and her brother have a very unusual birthmark, and this could be used to identify him.

Val subdues the prince with the touch of fatigue. He is examined for the birthmark, and there on his collarbone is the diamond shaped birthmark, which means he is the true prince. In typical fashion, Armand immediately asks to see the princesses’ mark.

Val tells the group that the prince seems possessed, and admits that he has abyssal blood, allowing him to know this. The Prince is possessed by a strong demon of a higher form; likely a demon prince.

Greilin and Armand tie up the prince adequately. The King orders that the prisoner monk be interrogated regarding his son’s possession. Greilin fetches the monk and throws him on the table (ala HP Deatheaters).

Before interrogating the monk, Trivolin and Val try to determine what magic the monk’s amulet possesses. It seems to have a locating spell on it that directs the wearer to a certain object, but they aren’t sure where. The amulet does seem to be warmer the closer it gets to Lyssin & the Prince.

Armand removes the monks blindfold, making sure that he can see the barrel of his gun pointed towards them. Greilin removes the gag, and the the monk immediately starts praying, “There shall be order; the chaos will be defeated.”

When questioned, the monk states that the prince is no longer the prince, the demon must be defeated, and that there shall be order. He references his other brothers and their sacred duty to thwart the prince and contain the demon.

Lyssin blames the priests for putting the demon inside the prince, but the monk says that it was brought about by the princes own choices. The party starts to realize that Lyssin is acting strangely, but she denies it and becomes defensive. Lyssin has a moment of clarity and throws the amulet she was hiding in her pocket onto the table.

The monk starts thrashing as soon as the amulet appears. The Prince also begins pulling against his bonds. Lyssin tells the group where she acquired the stone. The group seems to be enthralled with the stone, and ignores her. To save them from their thrall, Lyssin leaps on the table, grabs the stone in an attempt to give it back to the prince, since the last time she remembers him acting sane he was in possession of it. As soon as the stone is out of sight, the rest of the group regains their right mind. They re-gag the monk, and the prince gasps and looks up. He asked forgiveness from his father.

Now that the stone is back with the prince, the monk’s amulet is glowing really brightly.

Aramand asks the monk if he can help the prince, and the gagged monk nods emphatically.

The prince speaks and tells the group that the priests have been hunting him for a while. He used to be part of an order that hunted magical items and kept them from releasing demons into the world. The priest is part of a counter order that wants the demons released. The stone is one of these items that the prince recovered. the 15 years of training the prince received while training with the order he lived in gave him the power to control the objects. The prince had planned on continuing his quest after reuniting with his family. Because he’d been carrying the stone so long, it became bonded to his life force. He can no longer be parted from it.

Several of the party view this explanation with skepticism. The prince realizes this, and tries to assure them that his life force is all that is holding the demon back. Greilin and Aramand attempt to take the monk downstairs.

Everyone attempts sense motive on everyone else. The prince is lying, the king is good hearted and wants to believe his son, the princess is biding her time, and the priest seems to be telling the truth but definitely means harm toward the prince and possibly the rest of the royal family.

Greilin & Aramand finally succeed in taking the monk downstairs. The king asserts that the monk is facing a death sentence for his attempt on the lives of the royal family. The place the monk in the guards’ chambers.

There, they remove the monk’s gag in order to learn more from him. The monk pleads with them to kill the prince, otherwise he will travel through the 9 lands collecting the 9 stones and releasing the king of demons. The brotherhood on the island can help destroy the stones when they are collected. The monk tells them that his name is Brother Mercado. He doesn’t know the ultimate leadership of the brotherhood since it is a private order. He only knows the brothers who were on the quest with him.

Upstairs, the prince and king are preparing for the prince to continue his quest to find the stones and asking the party to travel with him as his protectors. There are still questions regarding the prince’s motivation, but there is truth behind the need to keep the stones out of the wrong hands. Trivolin tries to talk the king out of this plan, thinking that a more powerful party should be sent. However, the king does not trust his guards or the priest and believes a small party is the best way to avoid detection. The princess finally speaks up and demands to go along if a quest is sent.

Downstairs again: The monk tells Greilin that the only way he had of communicating with the brotherhood is the amulet he was wearing, which tells the members when they are near (it glows blue in the presence of another priest). The stones had long ago been placed in the possession of the royal families of each of the 9 kingdoms in an effort to protect the stones and unite the land in a common cause.

Full party reunites downstairs to look for the secret passage out that Val sensed earlier. Despite not wanting to take the prince with them, they are forced to in order to serve as ambassadors for the other royal families, and to protect the king and princess.

A long discussion commences about what to do with the monk. After negotiations, the king agrees to keep the monk alive until the party has secured the stones. The monk is still under a death sentence, but it’s commuted so he can serve as a hostage until the quest is completed.

The king plans for the group to leave undetected. He will let the country know that due to the attempt on the lives of the royal heirs, he has sent them into hiding again.

The king equips the party with information, items, and gold. They prepare to escape through the sewers.

View
And the Cheese Rolls on...
A gouda start to the adventure

It is the eve of King Dhakus‘s coronation anniversary, and our party is in the city of Delrivas ready to join in the revelry! Trivolin, Greilin Searle,Lyssin Freehand, and Sir Arramond of Highmarch are staying at their favorite inn, The Bloody Queen, located at the edge of Ziabe Park. delrivia.pngThe festival & games are taking place in the park, and the group (sans Arramond, who remains in the inn to enjoy the company he’s found there), venture forth to see what they can find. Antonio, the proprietor of the Bloody Queen, suggests they try some of the local games.

Lyssin is immediately captivated by the thought of the traditional cheese rolling, but the group decides to attempt the Nutter’s Dance first. They come upon a shallow stone pit surrounded by drunk revelers, cheering on performers. The crowd throws favors upon the dancers with the most entertaining moves. Lyssin and Tivolin gamely jump in, where Lyssin’s small stature and bravado claim the good will of the crowd. They aren’t sure what to make of Tivolin, but thanks to Greilin’s intimidating glare, give him the benefit of the doubt. The pair aren’t the most accomplished performers, but the crowd is happy to see strangers embracing their customs, and buy the group several drinks.

Next, the flow of the festival brings them to a large oak tree, where the strongest citizens are Turning the Devil’s Stone- a large rock of indeterminate origin that sits at the base of the tree. This marks where Queen Ziabe was originally murdered. The stone is moved at this time each year to remind the citizens of the tragedy, and show their commitment to moving forward. Trivolin steps forward and in a mighty show of strength moves the stone further than anyone else that evening.

The party approaches the pier, where folks are celebrating the countries rich & diverse trade by rolling giant wheels of cheese down narrow planks onto boats. Lyssin and Trivolin engage in a friendly bet about who can manage to get the cheese furthest. Trivolin tries first, but knocks his cheese into the water halfway down. Lyssin heroically wrestles the cheese (that is larger than she is) down the path a bit further, but is carried by it’s momentum into the water herself.

As the group dries off and contemplates their next move, Greilin notices a strange man standing to the side of the masses. He is obviously a man of military rank, and stands out for how uncomfortable he looks in the situation. Before they can investigate further, he somehow manages to disappear into the crowd, and the party moves on to the market. There they meet a questionable salesman who manages to still sell them some items of dubious (but useful) qualities.

It is time now for the highlight and culmination of the festival, where the city folk set a barge aflame and launch it out into the harbor filled with their wishes for the prosperity of Delrivas for the next year. Just as the ceremonial archer releases the flaming arrow, he is knocked by a drunken reveler, and his shot goes wide, hitting the market. The flames spread quickly & our group jumps into action. Greilin & Trivolin organize the drunk townsfolk into a bucket brigade. Lyssin rushes into the inferno to help pull out any trapped citizens. In doing so, she realizes that the fire is about to reach the barrels of stored liquor. She rolls them to safety with the help of the mysterious man they noticed earlier.

In short work, the fire is put out, the festival saved, and the incident discounted by the drunken masses. The mysterious man introduces himself to the group as Captain Simpson Kieral, the captain of the king’s guard. He offers to buy them a drink in thanks for their quick work saving the park.

All adjourn to The Bloody Queen where Antonio hurriedly seats them in a private room. Sir Arramond is still about, but having a private party of his own. Captain Kieral confides to the present party that he is concerned about the royal parade tomorrow. In addition, the King recently bucked tradition by naming his daughter heir over his son. Kieral is worried that there is unrest due to this change. It’s surprising that the Captain is so paranoid, yet willing to trust strangers. It’s almost like he needs to advance the plot and is willing to do it in any way necessary.

He details the route of the parade. This is the first time the royal children have been seen in 15 years, and the king is set on introducing them to the populace. The king is reluctant to take security measures, such as decoys. Captain Kieral hires the group to be extra eyes for the day, keeping a watch out for anything suspicious his guards won’t be able to see. The group makes their plans and retires for the night.

The Parade

The next morning, the full party (Sir Arramond included!) trek up to Astaria crossroads and the castle to meet the captain. There, they survey the arrangements, which seem to be in good condition. Nothing too suspicious is seen besides a few pick-pockets that Arramond conscripts into service for information.

The Captain greets them, and they get in position for the parade. Trivolin takes to the roofs for a good vantage point. Greilin stations himself near the priests. Lyssin and Arramond take sides next to the gate in order to walk along with the carriage and the parade route.

The carriage carrying the king, Princess Zashah and Prince Jabarro emerges from the castle. The carriage has barely advanced into the square when one of the guards pulls a weapon and attacks Captain Kieral, possibly killing him. 3 other guards ready an attack, and 4 of the priests pull weapons from their robes and advance into the frey. The city erupts in pandemonium, but our party heroically jumps into battle. BATTLE_SESSION_1.JPG

Trivolin fires shots from the sky. Lyssin attacks the guards on the other side of the carriage. Sir Arramond vaults onto the carriage to avenge the captain and take down his assailant (but most importantly to impress the princess). Greilin attempts to grapple the head priest down.

Now that the Captain is incapacitated, the remaining guards and priests focus their fire on the prince, occasionally hitting Arramond or the princess as they get in the way. The group easily dispatches the guards, and attempt to take out the head priest, who seems to be leading the attack. Arramond is successful in dealing the final blow to him, but as the priest dies, he turns to the remaining foes and says, “Brothers, continue our sacred task!”

They do so, grievously wounding the prince. The priests who delivers the final blow to the prince, calls out to his fellows to live to continue the battle another day. He then kills himself. The party manages to slay one more of the attackers, one runs off into the crowd and disappears. Arramond knocks the final one unconscious.

Greilin leaps onto the carriage to attempt to resuscitate the prince. Jabarro is barely holding onto life. As the attempts to save him continue, a small blue stone rolls from the prince’s hand and is picked up by Lyssin.

The king rallies the remaining loyal guards and asks the party to see them safely back into the castle. Arramond calls out for guards and Trevolin to make sure the unconscious priest is brought in for questioning.

All retreat into the castle.

View
The Adventure Begins
Introduction to the Campaign

Our story opens with the party in Delrivia, the capital city of Rivas for the anniversary celebration of King Dhakus’s coronation.

The King has thrown open the coffers for this celebration, since it is also the first time the Crown Princess Zashah and Prince Jabarro have returned to the capital since the death of their mother, Queen Ziabe. The anniversary celebrations are serving as an introduction of the royal siblings to the country. A grand parade is being scheduled, as well as feasts, dancing, and entertainments.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.