Sunday, 29 January 2017

ep 39 to 4/3/4713 Fall of Jaagrath Kreeg

Journal [29-Jan]
We decided to go up to check on the dam to ensure nothing was trying to free Black Maga or flood the town. On the way, we agreed to keep an eye out for any Giant Eagles to repopulate the Fort.
As we were making our way to the dam, we bumped into four Trolls who had the high ground. Given warning by Neril, Sepheria (who was aloft on the broom) cast fireball on them while Jarrick and Claw climbed up the steep hillside to reach them. I cast Call Lightning and sent Clank after the others. Two trolls headed towards Claw and One towards Neril who had ducked around the side of the hill, out of sight. The fourth Troll was a bit slow but also joined in on ganging on up Claw. Sepheria continued with Fireball while Jarrick crested the hill and claimed first kill. He used his shield to bash another down the hill. Claw killed another Troll and Neril killed a third. The last Troll came around the side of the hill towards me but it was struck dead between Sepheria's scorching ray and Claw leaping off the side of the hill to land on it.
[1440xp each]
At the dam, we found it unguarded. Surmising that the four trolls we fought earlier were the ones previously in the dam, we fetched the treasure we hadn't previously claimed (including some pink magical gloves) and headed down to the scorpion construct room. It dropped on Claw and nearly killed him even as Jarrick and Neril fought to free him. Jarrick was able to heal Claw but Sepheria and I were unable to use our magics until Claw broke free. A wall of stone bought us a few moments of breathing room and then a combined Wall of Force and Wall of Fire destroyed it.
[1180xp each]
Sepheria and I examined the remains of the scorpion and worked out how it made poison (a combination of two chemicals that were mixed just before the tail spike). Sepheria worked out how to make a construct and how to manage the sluice gates. She planned to write up a guide for the locals on how to control it. There is an energy read out system that reads "Low" but we are able to work out that there is probably about 3 years of standard operation before the power runs out.
From the dam, we headed out into the woods to the East to look for Eagles. We find a mated pair and they agree to go to the Fort just in time to lay eggs. [Approx 2 March in game]
The Eagles tell us that they saw Ogres hunting near Storval deep, so we gather supplies and water walk out from Skull's Crossing.
We find a track which Jarrick determines is an often used Ogre hunting trail. We create a "plant-hide" in the nearby thick bushes and wait. The next day Ogres come down the trail. There are 5 Kreeg including Jaagarath, who spots Claw.
Sepheria casts banish on Jaagarath, temporarily sending him to another plane of existence while we deal with the others. She tries to intimidate the others but is only a little successful.
Neril hastes Claw and I call lightning, still hidden in the bushes, hitting two ogres. 1 Kreeg attacks Sepheria but misses. Three go after Claw. Jarrick fears the Kreeg going after Sepheria, making him unable to move closer to her. Sepheria casts fireball, catching Claw in the middle. Claw strikes at Haagrath Kreeg, with Neril striking the same. My lightning continues to target ogres. The one Kreeg throws something at Sepheria but misses and Haagrath spots Jarrick in the bushes but his attack misses. The other Kreeg continue to beat on Claw, who was looking rather bloodied. Jarrick heals Claw and Clank finally made it through the bushes to attack. Sepheria claimed first kill with her magics and my lightning claimed the second kill. The feared Kreeg threw a javelin at Sepheria but missed. Another Kreeg aimed at Jarrick but missed. Jarrick targeted him in response. with Clank assisting. Sepheria threw scotching ray on the same and it eventually went down under Claw and Neril's attacks. It was finished by my lightning. The final kreeg was struck repeatedly by the entire group and Jarrick landed the fatal blow.
Once we were prepared and in place, Sepheria allowed Jaagarath to return to this plane. We all struck out fast before he could react but when he did, he targeted Jarrick, who went down under his attack. We continued to hit him with everything until Neril struck him dead. A quick heal to get Jarrick on his feet and we investigated the body and decided to drag the bodies into the undergrowth to hide them.
[3903 xp (total 6529) with clank xp 1954]
We decided to rest and hide in the bushes some more to see if anyone would come looking for the ogres.
(I think that's what we decided in the end, anyway)

Monday, 23 January 2017

ep 38 to 15/2/4713 Winter

Journal (22-Jan)

{in game date = equivalent 19-Dec}

Appropriately dressed for the cold and with plenty of food and the materials for a Resurrection spell, we left Sepheria studying some vital scrolls and started out by Ferry, care of Skull and his mate Bones, up to Bitter Hollow.

As it was nearly dark when we arrived and snowing, a half-orc allowed us to sleep in the back room of the trading post in exchange for some gold.

As we were breakfasting, a party of gnomes from the nearby settlement came in complaining of something odd in the Shimmerglens. We spoke with them and found they were worried about the White-Willow area. We reassured them we were aware and were looking into a possible solution. We also suggested they avoid the area as best they could for now.

After breakfast, we set out along the bank of Lake Coal. Claw and Jarrick spot a pair of ogre tracks and we cautiously following it up towards the mountains. Night fell and we were fairly sure we could find them come morning; unfortunately, when we awoke the winds and snow had erased the trail. We followed Claw, who got us lost, so instead we followed Jarrick, who was able to pick up a trail. We ended up at the base of a steep cliff, but Jarrick was able to climb up and lower a rope for the rest of us.

The little hunting trail led us to a gaping cave mouth belching out black smoke and ringing out with the sound of metal-on-metal from a forge. Just inside the cave mouth were the ribs of some behemoth bracketing the entrance. We could spot at least large kreeg ogres - one patrolling the stone shelf just in front of the cave and two more huddling inside.

After intense discussion that included Neril, who caught up, it was decided that I go in as a small animal form to scout the caves. I darted in at dusk as a little bat.

The Cave mouth, leads into a 60' corridor. At the end of the corridor there is a Rune Giant statue - later determined for certain as a mummy. It appeared to be a high ranking officer of the runelord of greed's army. There is a sehedron medallion around it's neck, which draws my attention. Past that, there are stares which go up. To the right, a small cave with a deep pit used for disposal, to the left more stairs.

At the top of those stairs, a three way choice guarded by a hill giant and three kreeg, two of whom were arguing. To the left, a huge cave filled with forges and a huge number of large ogres. To the middle, a narrower stair case that leads to a larder of dead animals and cauldrons with the three hags the Dryad Mariana warned us about. To the right was a hall with a cave off to the left with a shrine to Lemashtu as indicated by a statue of the mother of monsters (3 eyed jackal head on a pregnant woman's body) and containing a very alert undead, lich-like with icy claws and an icy crown. He was quick on the draw and smart. It was a close shave to get out of there. Following the little hall further down, it lead to a room with a throne, upon which sat a Stone Giant. He was guarded by a body guard and talking to Jaagarth and Dorella. There were multiple alcoves in the room as well as a trough or canyon strip down the middle of the room, which led to a hole in the ceiling leading out to the sky - my escape was unseen.

After I reported the position and number of enemies to the others, we sat and worked on a plan. We decided to steal the medallion as point of priority as they may have been using the medallion to resurrect the mummy. I formed a little stone hut to protect us from the elements, and we rested overnight.

Before dawn, I took an earth elemental form and used earth glide under the ground. With a few periscopes to check my position, I was able to get into the cave unseen, however, I was right in line of sight of a kreeg - if hidden behind the mummy. Eventually, I grabbed the medallion but was spotted. I dragged the medallion back into the cave wall with me and retreated. We all ran (medallion in one of the bags of holding), dropping a few stone walls behind us to slow any pursuit. Neril covered our tracks and we pushed hard overnight to get to Bitter Hollow. We rested there than pushed on back Turtleback Ferry.

We dragged Sepheria from her research and passed along our information. The medallions are know to be used for scrying but also can be used for gentle repose to preserve a body. We had thought that gentle repose had a time limitation but the medallions (perhaps by channeling life force) seemed to be able to preserve a body almost indefinitely. If the medallion hadn't been potentially able to see through the wearer's eyes and speak through the wearer's mouth, the other benefits such as false life would have been tempting. Instead, we destroyed it with Claw's maul. There was some star-metal in the alloy but not enough to bother with, so Neril disposed of the remains (I will not disclose the location in writing)*

Sepheria decided more research was needed before we went against the hags and she was awaiting importance correspondence from her sister, so we left her while we investigated the presence of a werewolf.

We tracked it for 3 days and found it over the corpse of an unlucky hunter. We were able to kill it without much difficulty and upon examining the corpse of the dead woman it became, we were not able to find anything significant. We buried both bodies and returned to town. Sepheria had received a missive from her sister stating the Grey Maidens were on their way. She also reported that her dreams were becoming clearer and she was seeing the great ring city of Kaermaga, which might lead us towards the next shard.

The weather was too awful by this point to attempt any raids on the Kreeg stronghold, so we waited. It was a few weeks before anything else happened but then a ship filled with Grey Maidens under Auriana arrived. We led them to the Fort, which we had tidied up. Many of the Maidens seemed little leery of their new station but Auriana was very pleased, rousing the Maidens with a heartening speech about destiny and purpose.

Auriana bore a letter addressed to us. The letter was from the Church of Abadar from the Cleric Wen Histani. She bade us find her at Isle Cyrian south of Pendaka.

Leaving Sepheria to her studies once more, we went down to the Church and were sword to secrecy and asked to find something important for her.

As it is secret, I will not relate it here, not until we have further information. We returned back to Turtleback to see if Sepheria had discovered anything in our absence.

[* we dropped it in the lake].

{date equivalent = mid-Feb}


Personal Journal / Not currently for Pathfinders

Wen Histani, Cleric of Abadar, informed us that a powerful Enchantress by the name of Tirana had walked right into their vaults, bewitching the guards into simply moving aside, to steal a Thassilian relic known as the Sword of Lust. It was one of seven swords known as the Seven Swords of Sin. The weapon alone is not very powerful but it would be very bad if all the swords were gathered together and there have been quiet rumours that other weapons of the set had gone missing. They had been able to track Tirana to Kaermaga, which is known as an outlaw city. The city itself is some sort of artifact where the city/buildings make up the walls.

Wen Histani provided us with a rough map of the city and explained possible ways to enter, including mentioning the secret paths. She told us of the Dusklight paths which lead from the cliff tot he base of the city. Dusk Warden Rangers would be able to provide an escort. Alternatively, we could potentially approach from over land, or other ways. Wen recommended we go to Sirathu. There is a branch of the church within the city which can provide us with basic support but they are not able to provide us any real assistance as there is no official leader or any real law to speak of within the city.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

ep 37 9-19/12/4712 Winter Sets In

9/12/4712 Party retreats 5 miles then sets camp. Next day they return to Fort Rannick and launch a raid that kills the last 6 mook ogres before retreating to Turtleback Ferry; Jakardros narrowly escaping Jaagrath Kreeg's vengeance. On return to Rannick a couple days later, they find the fort abandoned; Jaagrath Dorella and the last three Kreeg ogres have apparently fallen back to the Hook Mountain clanhold.

M12 4712 Winter sets in, with freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. The party plan an expedition to Hook Mountain, while Jakardros Sorvak journeys west to Magnimar with news of events and letters for Vimandi Kaddren & Mayor Haldemeer Grobaras - send Oriana's Gray Maidens to garrison Fort Rannick, getting them out of Magnimar (where the Hell Knights are rumoured to be plotting a war crimes case against them for events in Korvosa) and onto a useful role defending the frontier.

1. Quillax Druid 10
2. Sephiria Kaddren Rogue 1/Wizard 9
3. Jarrick Rogue 1/Paladin 9
4. Neril Monk 9
5. Claw Barbarian 8

Journal (15-Jan)
Following our successful skirmish on the Fort, we retreated for a long rest and a planning session, which saw us heading back to the Fort well before dawn. It had stopped snowing but overnight, the snow had settled.
As we were travelling, we spotted tracks in the snow. After examining them, we decided that possibly 6 ogres had attempted to follow us, but they had turned back. We checked around us but found no sign of a possible ambush or scouts hiding, so we followed the tracks back and ended up at the Southern gate of the Fort.
As per our plan, Neril took me up on the broom to the upper level of the Fort where the small door that led out onto the parapet was set. There were no visible sentries. I used stone shape to make the doorway far smaller, so it would be a squeeze for a medium sized creature and impossible for a large one to fit through. There was no way to open the door, so the stone shape caused the door to explode and fly off the hinges. There was an angry bellow from inside the corridor and foot steps approaching but we did not stick around to see the approaching ogre. We hopped onto the broom and zoomed away, dodging a javelin thrown from an arrow slit from the Central keep as a warning bell sounded.
As we retreated to our meeting point, I used my shard to cast Major Image to darken the sky like Call Lightning had been summoned by the front gate, implying that was our planned attack position. We used the illusory clouds to cover our retreat.
Sepheria, upon hearing the bell, sent her Arcane Eye down the "Tunnel of Love" path. The door at the end of the tunnel was sealed so well the eye could not find a gap. As there were no enemies in the tunnel, we hurried through the waterfall and down towards the door. We ran into some of the Shocker Lizards, who thankfully remembered me, and after feeding them our rations (replaceable with GoodBerry if we were desperate), we passed safely by.
The door was somehow barred from the inside, so I stone shaped the walls around the door and it fell towards us, caught by Claw before it could make any noise. There was a large pile of barrels and crates which the Ogres had obviously used to barricade the door. Neril squeezed past into the room beyond and reported it was empty. Everyone but Sepheria and Neril worked on both sides to move the barrels and crates out of the way quickly but quietly so we could get past. Sepheria took the time to use the Arcane Eye to scout further ahead, however, she was once again met by blocked doors. Neril took a quick rest and kept watch on the other side of the door.
As soon as we were able to get into the room, we used a crowbar to push the draught extruder out of the way, but once again, the doors were well sealed.
We managed to open the door and walked up the stairs, at the top, Neril spotted an ogre and was able to surprise him. While the rest of the group moved up to attack, I secured our escape route by using stone shape to narrow the stairway so we would be able to squeeze back through but the ogres would not.
Claw and Neril were in position immediately to attack and did so. Jarrick, Jakardros, and Clank were not and so had to hurry into the hall way. Sepheria cast Mirror Image and I hurried after the others after the stairs were secured.
Claw killed the ogre, Neril tied the handles of a door together with some rope, and everyone else readied themselves for the fight we knew was coming.
Harlock Hookmore Kreeg opened a door and approached, hitting Neril with his hook, damaging the monk heavily. Neril managed to dodge the next strike, seeing another ogre in the room beyond (Dorella, the witch). Two more Kreeg were in the shrine room and they both struck at Claw, damaging him heavily and knocking him down. Jaagrath Kreeg stepped out of that room also, hitting Claw whilst he was down. Dorella moved into view (in the distant room) and threw a lightning bolt, which Sepheria dispelled. Dorella ducked back out of sight.
Four ogres burst out of the room that Neril had sealed with rope. Sepheria cast a hypnotic pattern, which unfortunately also caught Neril as well as the ogres, but not the Kreeg Harlock.
Seeing as we were vastly outnumbered at the moment, I cast Wall of Stone - strongly buttressed against the stone walls as the floors were made of wood - blocking all of the Kreegs from reaching us, so we only had the regular ogres to deal with for the moment. Claw attacked one hypnotised ogre and Jakardros shot that same one while Clank shook Neril awake and got out of the way so Jarrick could Lay Hands On Neril.
We could hear the loud thumping as the Kreegs attacked the wall in the areas where they were trapped behind it.
The one awakened ogre shook the others around him awake then tried to run, but Claw managed to pin him in place. Neril heard at least one more ogre in that room.
Sepheria threw a fireball at the ogres and killed one while I ready myself to recast the Wall of Stone in case the Kreeg burst through. Claw and Neril struck at the same ogre before Neril teleported to double check our retreat while Jakardros kept targeting ogres with his arrows.
As expected, the Kreeg were able to bring down the wall, so I cast the spell again quickly before they were able to strike anyone. Seeing as we were looking at a retreat shortly, I sent Clank down and out of the way so if we had to run, he wouldn't be in the way. We continued to attacked the ogres in the hall. Claw killed one and Jakardros another with Jarrick taking out the final one with his dagger.
We started to retreat but Jaagarath Kreeg managed to knock down Jakardros before he could fully retreat, luckily Sepheria was still within earshot and she doubled back to cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter on the Kreeg, giving Jakardros the opportunity to get through the narrowed stairs.
We returned to the town to rest and restock our supplies. When we approached the Fort again, it felt abandoned. We scouted it carefully and could find no sign of the Ogres.
We discussed what we were going to do. If we were going to follow the Kreeg and try to rescue the Commander's spirit from the witches, we would need to leave almost immediately as the weather was turning colder and high in the mountains would soon become bitterly cold and the witches could make the weather worse. Jakardros wanted to rebuild the Black Arrows and declined to travel with us further.
Rumours reached us that there was trouble brewing for our Grey Maidens - the Hellknights were looking to form a legal case against them - so we decided to request Sepheria's sister to send them out to Fort Rannick where they would be both useful and safe from politics. I spent a week casting stone-shaping spells, repairing the damage to the Fort and shrinking the secret entrances to be too small for Ogres.
[3008xp each]

Sunday, 8 January 2017

ep 36 7-9/12/4712 Raiding Fort Rannick

7/12/4712 Jakardros Sorvak reincarnated as Dragonborn
8/12/4712 Head north, wipe out ogre patrol (1 kreeg & 5 mooks), camp in magic hut south of Fort Rannick.
9/12/4712 Raid Fort Rannick, kill 3 ogre mooks then retreat.

Quillax's Journal (08-Jan game)

We were able to revive Jakardros' spirit into a new body. Had we failed, his spirit would have been lost within a very short time to three hags that were trying to rip his spirit apart. His new Copper Dragonborn body took him some time to get used to, but at least he lived once more.

The weather seemed to get worse with the rain turning to minor hail; were I less optimistic, I would take that as a bad sign.

We decided to be far smarter about our next parry against the Orcs. We headed out towards the Fort to try to ambush a couple of their patrols to thin their ranks.

Neril, Jarrick, and Moncey scouted ahead for us and spotted three normal ogres and one Kreeg across the river. Before they could advance or retreat, two more ogres burst out of the undergrowth beside them and attacked. Neril and Claw, who was not far behind the scout group, engaged immediately whilst the rest of us readied ourselves. Unfortunately, we lost any potential surprise against the group across the water.

Neril attacked the ogre beside him then teleported behind a rock to give himself cover to evaluate the situation. Claw raged and immediately attacked the other ogre. The ogres struck back against them. Neril attacked and killed the ogre attacking him. Sepheria attacked the group of ogres across the water with a fireball before I cast confusion on the same group. Moncey decided it was best to get out of the area and went to hide.

Claw continued to trade blows with his attacker and Jarrick joined the fight. Jakardros moved up to join Sepheria and I in attacking the distant group, using his bow. The Kreeg ogre, confused, attacked one of his party, killing it. Jarrick killed the ogre he was fighting and Clockwork moved up to guard the party.

The confusion continued to work in our favour, keeping the ogres from any meaningful actions. Neril darted across the water to sling some stones and retreated. Another of Sepheria's fireballs took out the last two normal ogres, leaving the Kreeg. I took an Earth Elemental form and burrowed under the river. Claw joined the others in the ranged attacks using his javelins while Jakardros continued to use his bow. Jarrick leaped across the river, while Neril waterwalked across to attack. Sepheria used misty step to cross the water and cast booming blade whilst I came up through the earth to strike the Kreeg while the rest of the group continued their distance attacks. Jarrick landed the killing blow with his dagger.

After a short rest to regroup, we went to recon the Fort. There were lights on the in upper level windows. We spent the night inside Sepheria's Leomund's hut and rested, watching for patrols.

The rain turned to snow overnight.

Sepheria cast Arcane Eye to scout the Fort and was able to find at least 7 ogres, including Kreegs. Neril cast pass without a trace and we split the party after some intense discussions on tactics.

Sepheria and I went to the ridge while the rest went to one of the underground passages. I Called Lightning on the guards and the cook house. Neril used stones and his bow, and all other used bows or javelins. Sepheria threw a fireball and scorching ray, while the rest used their ranged weapons and I guided the lighting.

The others moved forward once the lighting killed the ogres on the parapet or they had jumped and run towards the main building. We managed to kill another ogre in the same manner. One of the Kreeg got inside the building but the other was killed. Another Kreeg tried to get inside but I was able to block the door with a Stone Wall. Claw tried to lift the gate but it was slightly too heavy so he had to wait for Neril to crank it open. Neril was able to kill the ogre.

We had a quick look around and were trying to work out our next plan of attack when ogres surged up on the parapet from above, including the witch and leader, we think. We decided to retreat swiftly and hid in the woods to see what the response of the Ogres would be. We had enough resources for another raid but not to take on the Witch and Leader at the same time.

[1983 xp total, each. None for Clank]