Chris (Tiberium), Dean (Thic Duc), Jeff (Amathar), Mariel (Leah), Matt (Barron), and Brian (Pyrcival) are returning cast members.
As we left the party, they had just defeated a trap set by a gang of slavers inhabiting a seemly abandoned fortress. It was actually a perverse sort of morality test, designed to provoke those who had moral objections to the practice of slavery and slay them by ambush. Perhaps fortunately for them, the party has never possessed the quality of subtlety.
Journal of Pyrzival the Tutor
After vanquishing the slaver half orcs, I assigned my assistant and the new guy Cyrus to guard the cart and horses, and we then proceeded into the dimly favored castle, and came across a sewage filled creek which barred our way. Our trusty monk crossed the creek and tied a rope to the door on the other side (sixty feet away), we pulled, and while the door popped open, Tib lost his balance and fell into the flow, and started getting dragged downstream. Amathar held out a staff, and Tib managed to grab it, so I grabbed the staff and held him firm until I felt the hands of my companions anchor me. Presuming I was so anchored, I pulled hard, but alas! Tib shifted again and the hands anchoring me slipped and I plunged into the disgusting flow myself. Tib and I started moving downstream rapidly, and he let go of the staff we were both holding. Thinking he had let go to grab a better handhold, I judged the time was right and managed to grab another staff held down for me by Thic Duk. I held firm for a few minutes, and managed to get a breath of sweet air, but did not wish to let go of the mage's magic staff. Thankfully he went by and relieved me of it, which allowed me to pull myself up to safety. Once there, I caught my breath, and Tib finally surfaced -- apparently in all this confusion the mage had shrunken him to the size of a brownie! While I cleaned my face off and discarded my disgustingly compromised rations, the rest of the party successfully traversed the sewer. Tib was returned to normal size and we regrouped and moved down the corridor to the door which opened into the main courtyard. I pulled open the door and we faced more than half a dozen full orcs. The orcs promptly hid behind tables whilst Tib and I charged their positions. Several were slain while some were put to sleep by one of the magic users -- I did not see which. Near the end of the fight the fire wagon they had been manning exploded, knocking the half-elf Barron unconscious (I am forced to admit he really is a half elf and not a hobgoblin -- he's far too intelligent and pragmatic to be an actual hobgoblin). The cleric brought him around, and we all took stock. I found a small keg of light beer, and took off my armor and bathed and rinsed my gear with it -- preferring to smell of cheap crappy beer than of actual crap. The kid rinsed as well, but trusted to Paylor's goodness to clean under his armor, apparently. Once there, we investigated the crack, but it seemed like it would be difficult for the humans to navigate, so we opted to force the main double doors. It smelled of a trap, so we pushed a cart with an orc corpse in it down the hall, and sure enough a lot of stone fell on top of the cart, crushing it down and littering the area. I moved into the room to get a better look, and suddenly felt a dagger scrape across the back of my breastplate, a near miss by an unseen assassin! I yelled a warning only to find that I'd been magically silenced! Tib came into the room as I shrugged off another stronger magic attack, and he was followed closely by the monk. He easily slew the assassin with a mighty blow, and they took up defensive positions. Alas, we were struck by another magic attack, and both the monk and kid froze, unable to move. I moved into the cart to attack the orcs, just as they grabbed for both of my frozen allies. I killed the one grabbing the kid, and the other tripped and fell into the rubble, dropping the monk on top of himself. The two remaining orcs tilted the cart up, so I was forced to jump back as one grabbed the monk and started dragging him to the back of the room, where an altar and provocatively dressed orc priestess waited. After Thic Duc was dragged off, I slew the priestess, and victory was assured.
Journal of Tiberium III
Of the Fourth Sunday of the Harvester Again, Pelor, you honor me. Today, by reminding me of my humility. Upon arriving at the keep, and moments after my last entry, the "idiot", as Pyrcival calls our newest companion, yelled into the early morning air, "Hey orcs! Come and get us!" (or something to the effect). Unsurprisingly, the orcs Barron had scouted in a nearby chamber rushed to meet us. They didn't appear to have properly prepared themselves, however, and we quickly eliminated the threat. Hearing the sound a whip cracking (and perhaps a few of us remembering the sharp pain of the lash a bit too well), Pyr and I rushed into the chamber. We found an orc with a whip, and roughly two dozen slaves chained to the wall. Seconds after we moved to engage with the slaver, however, the "slaves" slipped free of their manacles, and pulled longswords from hidden sheaths. The ambush was on, but we were able to make quick work of these mongrels, as well. I left the room quickly, looking for additional threats, and soon picked up the sent of .. burning flesh? Down the hall, we did discover a collapsed floor, with a fairly rapid steam of filth flowing. At the end of the former hall, another door. The scent of sewage was extreme, and I expect this is what I'd caught scent of, earlier. After discussing for a moment, TD (through a trick he must teach me!) walked across the stream, without breaking the surface of the water(!). He reached the door, and secured a rope to the knob. Having the other end, Pyrz and I tugged at the door (after TD had turned the knob), and wrenched the door from it's frame. For a moment, the door hung on it's hinges, and all seemed well. Until I fell. Into the piss and the waste of Pelor knows how many orcs, over how many years. The seconds rushed together, and I was drawn into a drain, until stopped by a grate. Still underwater, I struggled and prayed. Whether Pelor heard my prayers, or directed one of our magic users, something was able to wrap a rope around my waist, and I was able to slowly pull myself back to the surface, and up to the door. I'm going to smell awful for a week; there's not enough soap on Oerth to cleanse me. The lot of us finally across the corridor, we followed the path briefly, before it turned back into the courtyard we'd observed upon arrival. Noting that we'd seen movement prior to dealing with the orcs, we set about to surprise those beyond the door by opening it, and streaming in. Not super effective, Pyrcival. Immediately, two orcs flipped their oak table to use as cover, while four others spun a large cart to face us. Large steel sheets blocked an advance, and we attempted to get around the table. While my former tutor dealt with the orcs at the table, Barron or Amathar were able to put the orcs behind the cart to sleep. Dealt with for now, I moved to the second table of orcs, who'd also created cover. The battle didn't last terrible long, although the cart was somehow destroyed (along with TDs spear). Most of the cart, at any rate. As the battle died, our attention turned to the large double-doors. We quickly found them to be secured, and broke out Pyrz's crowbar. The door may have been quite old, and was easily torn asunder. I removed the bar, and the doors were pushed open. Knowing that a trap lay down the hall, we decided to push a cart we'd found in the courtyard (not the exploded wagon). Giving it a final shove into the long hall, it rolled to about half way, before the stone statues seemed to briefly animate, flinging themselves at the cart, smashing it thoroughly. Pyrz walked into the hall to investigate, and at the cart, seemed to be silent. Far in the distance, however, I began to make out the shape of humanoids on the other end of the hall. Leah and I began to move to potentially help Pyrz, with TD quickly joining me. Leah stayed behind, though I didn't realize why until later. After dropping an orc that'd tried to backstab my tutor, as well as another in plate, I found myself completely unable to move, or even speak. TD seemed equally held in place. Only the gnome was able to fend them off for a time, until Thic Ducc was picked up and carried off. Only after Pyrz had ended the woman in ill-tended robes, and disappeared down the corridor after TD was I able to move. With the threats eliminated, Pyrz and I went back to find the others. TD had been taken, and we know of a portal or doorway beneath the alter. While recovering, I overheard Barron mutter a spell -- and then disappeared, with Thic Ducc in his place. The half-elf truly surprises me at times; first, he may have helped me in the sewer, and now he's somehow magicked himself to take TD's place. Truly, he is capable of heroic sacrifice. I'm beginning to understand why Pelor has seen him kept safe for so long. Now, we must find him, and end this slaver-ring.
Journal of Barron the Mad
Dear diary, Today started good, as we got to lay the smack down on some punk ass slavers. The do gooders didn't want to kill them, but seemed content with allowing me to light them on fire as punishment. We find our selves then deciding to explore the slavers area of the castle and discover a burned down room, with exactly 0 loot. Next we found a sewer. It's nice not to be the source of stink for once. The party decided this was clearly the best way to get where we are headed. Let's be real, it's not the first time and it won't be the last time we chose the off the maps sewer. Apparently Thic Duc can walk on water now... consider my mind blown. He gracefully strolled up to the door at the end of the corridor on top of sewer water mind you and tied off a rope. Captain do right decided that was a good moment to play tug of war and lost. He fell into the drink, and the little feisty one tried to save him. He also fell in. With Amathar's staff too. I took a moment to laugh honestly, the picture of good covered in crap was a great mental image. It was then I realized they would both drown in crap. Funny as that thought was, they do serve a purpose in this party. Also Purity is such a nice sword, I'd hate to see her widowed. Being as no one was watching me I concocted an excellent plan to save them. As quietly as I could, I cast unseen servant and whispered for him to tie off Tib and make sure the knot does not come free. He invisibly left and completed the task, as only an amazing construct of mine could. I shall never tell anyone I saved the do gooders life(got an image to keep up after all). Best to let him think it was divine intervention or some silly nonsense. Tony Falcone seemed pleased with this and was content cooing. Weird bird. At this point we decided to ambush some ambusher, and promptly ran out in the field... unplanned. This went as well as expected and there was some orcs waiting. They had a freaking DRAGON BREATH CART. Maybe I'm not making my self clear here -- A CART THAT THROWS FIRE. SHINY, NEW, BLACK, THROWS FIRE. Update bucket list: must get flame cart for reasons. Amathar sensing that his protégé was in dire need of this, he put all of its occupants to sleep. Not wanting to disturb the sleeping babies, I very quietly silenced them one at a time. Behold all your cart are belong to me!!!!! As the rest of the party deals justice to the various orcs in the courtyard, I begin inspecting my new toy. Suddenly there's a noise like a door stop, so I look around the side and see a spear imbedded deep into the wall of the cart... still shaking it self even. That's not good. Then there was a flash and a loud noise. Next thing I know the priest is standing over me putting me out. Tragedy has befallen us, as the cart was now a big pile of burned wood and fire. Amathar took this moment to do his usual invisible studying. At this point we decide to move forward and try to open the be doors that might as well have been painted in red "The trap is nice, come on in". Taking a more stealthful approach we broke open a sizable chunk of the door, and pushed the heavy lock bar aside. Remembering there was indeed a trap ahead, we decided we were not being quiet enough, and found a big ol cart to roll up the hallway. For the trap of course. As it rolled by, I coulda sworn I saw some pink frilly luggage marked "her royal highness's matched luggage". Whoops, well if she was in the cart atleast we stopped the wedding right? Every big scary statue in that hallway leapt to life and dove onto the cart. Doorbell rung and we aren't selling cookies. The party advanced forward, and I had a thought of insight. I should totally stay back and be the rear guard. Not at all because I am still hurting, just being vigilant. While "keeping guard" I placed on my invisible ring. Suddenly I get stabbed... guess that was my other ring not the invisible one after all. On the bright side, I found the guys sneaking up on us. I then cast sleep on these fools... but I think they counter cast coffee because all they did was laugh. Warin stepped up to smash some heads in the name of healing. At this moment I noticed something was seriously wrong with Leah. She was frozen in place, Pyro whimpering and licking her hand. So I called Pyro over to help fight the orcs (good thing I bribe him with foods so much). He ran over to eat some orc meat. Remembering I left Leah with a special arrow, I made the effort to get her bow and loose said arrow. A beautiful magic hawk sprang forth, and promptly dive bombed the wall. Out come the dagger of doom. Tony Falcone leaps off my shoulder and ran into the hallway squawking something fierce (reminder to self: get a refund on that weird ass bird). I started loosing daggers left and right, the magic bird starts swooping, Warin is whacking something. Blood is flying, then some daggers came back my way... oh shit that one hurt. I blink and Warrin is touching me again as I lay on the ground. He pleads for me to finish these mofos. I stood up, locked my thumbs together, and loosed my newest spell "burning hands". Glory to the gods of Chaos as beautiful fire leaped from my finger tips. The orcs screamed, Pyro screamed, Warin screamed, the cart exploded again. I was about to scream, but fire got to me first and we all went down. I came to and the orcs where defeated and Leah was back. I did it, I saved the day again. I then offered to bring an unseen servant into being to get the loot safely out to the cart. Upon casting it, there was a weird wooshing noise, and I saw Thic Duc's face zoom past mine, both of us looking confused. Now I find myself in a dark place with some very confused looking orcs as well. I have a bad feeling about th--
To be continued…
For reference: 200 cp = 20 sp = 2 ep = 1 gp = 1/5 pp A magical mace (unidentified) A potion (unidentified) Treasure: gp (gp each) Current Party Funds: 8582gp
Base xp for showing up (total): 600xp Journal entries (Pyrcival, Tiberium, Barron): 500xp 6th level orc priestess: 455xp 4 1st level orc cart-handlers: 84xp 6 1st level orc crossbowmen: 108xp 3 3rd level orc fighters: 330xp 1 4th level orc assassin: 173xp 2 5th level orc assassins (left over from the morality test): 510xp Treasure XP: xp Group Total: 2260xp (377xp each)
Roleplaying moments and quotables
(After most of the party takes a swim in the sewer) "Now you all smell like Barron..." -- Leah (After Barron gets knocked unconscious three times in a row) "Why won't you stay up? Damnit!" -- Warin
Dangling Threads of Fate
Thic Duc was paralyzed during the battle and abducted. At the last moment, Barron's last spell misfired, and he swapped places with Thic Duc The princess has been kidnapped! Warin owes the church a lot of money for his restoration spell How to invest your ill-gotten gains...