Thunderstruck

Episode 4: Pony Time
Sounds like... ORCS!

As told by Dabby

After I stopped bleeding from several places, the group, Inlé Efrafa, Royzig, Varis and Amber took a minute to take stock of what had just happened. We took a rifle through the mess. No flying snakes, but we did discover that these were Zhentarim agents, and the main guy, Xolkin had some sort of Zhentarim signet ring. That might come in very useful if we run across any other Zentarim. I also took a good last look at both Kella Darkhope and Xolkin, and can assume either visage easily— at the rate at which our group is making friends around here, this might come in handy.

All told we found some gold— Always Useful!— and then spent the next long while trying to round up their horses. I’m not sure why, but everyone thought that the horses were a big priority, and they managed to wrangle three of them (out of like seven).

With the horses, and on the way to the town’s little paddock, passed by the graveyard— actually there seems to be two little yards. The main Nandar crypt in the yard next to the temple was still sealed— we left it that way— they’ll have to open it soon enough though, so the late Lady can join her late husband.

It was late into the evening, so we decided to rest for the night. Royzig and Varis camped outside, everyone else inside. In the morning we learned that Inlé Efrafa had disappeared in the night. Other than a horse, we seemed to be missing nothing. No one seemed upset or surprised to find him absent— probably for the better, I don’t think anyone really trusted him anyway.

We resumed our casual search-about-town, not wanting to miss anything important, but also keeping in mind the townspeople and our quest to free them from that cave. In the smaller more remote graveyard we found a strange weathered granite obelisk, with the name marker rubbed off. Royzig brilliantly used a mending spell and we discovered that the marker belonged to the grave of E. Nandar. Why are E’s remains over here and not in that fancy family crypt— black sheep of the family maybe? Royzig contemplated that maybe E’s pages were the pages torn from the Nandar family book he read back at the castle.

Making a counterclockwise arc along the inside of the walls we checked guard tower #5, in which we found a dead goblin with a silver locket containing a picture of a rosy cheeked halfling. We put the locket into Amber’s bag with the rest of our findings. While we contemplated the mystery of this relationship, a far off sound. War Drums. Orcs.

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We all took off running. Why are we running toward them? Going to the guard tower— well high ground and cover is good. Varis got to the city walls first, peeked around and saw Orcs. Lots of them, twenty or more. Orcs from the Ear Seeker tribe. Turns out Varis knows lots about orcs.

Meanwhile, Amber was off to climb the belltower, up there, a missing louvre, wasn’t like that before, but helpful for her to see out of now.

Varis insisted we draw the bridge. Maybe he forgot that cloud giants smashed up the city walls, and that the drawbridge isn’t going to keep the orcs out. Maybe they are just passing by, maybe we should have run the other way, away from the orcs, instead of toward them. Well, too late now, up the drawbridge went— Varis on the crank we seemed stuck.

I remember thinking, “maybe they’ll just run by, ruined town, nothing to see here, orc business elsewhere I’m sure”, as they stopped right in front of the bridge. Vairs (from the other tower) took the Orc commander, gesturing a couple of orcs over to the edge of the river/moat, as his cue to shoot. The big one. The commander. Turns out Varis knows lots about orcs, and really likes to kill them.

They must have been really surprised, because after trading a couple of salvos— the orcs threw javelins, we launched magic fire, and arrows— both the Orc commander and the Orc mage were dead. The remaining orcs were either bobbing downstream, or following close behind on the bank. It seemed like they were headed for the break in the wall. Varis grabbed the horses, and dropped the bridge, and we 4 made off on 2 horses.

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Episode III: The Late Lady Nandar

Well, ouch. That fucking hurts.

I guess, judging from the pile of dead bodies out here, it could have been worse. Not much worse though.

I should black up. Nandar is dead. The only living residents of the keep are four guards, Torem Brerk (who wept the entire time we were there), Sydri Havenlar, Alara, and Kaelen (who has a head wound, and was less than friendly). They weren’t much help, either to us or the city while it was being attacked. In addition to having no plan whatsoever ever, they didn’t seem too eager to get back to work. After hearing their story, we left them in the keep to start cleaning up.

Apparently, Nightstone isn’t just the city, it was an actual stone the town built itself around. It was/is a five foot tall, black, rough cut stone. When people founded the city, the nightstone just there, mysterious but maybe elven in origin. The townsfolk tried to dig it up, but were unable to do so, so they built the town up around it.

Well, its gone now. Just a hole in the middle of the town square. The giants, who were white or pale, tall and lanky, took it with them after they attacked.

They’ve got Nandar in the dining room.. She’s covered in blood. She was killed by debris during the attack. I’m not sure what they are waiting for, maybe they were too scared to go outside and bury her.

I came clean with the group. Everyone knows I’m not really a rogue. I didn’t go into details about where my gifts come from, but no one seemed to care.

We poked around the keep a bit. In the master bedroom we found a sword mounted on the wall. Well, someone decided they needed to touch it, at which point it came to life and attacked us. We were able to trap it in the closet before it could do too much damage.

We also found a chest that contained 180 silver in a velvet sack, 4 purdy gemstones, and three gold necklaces in a jewelry box. Group Gold and Loot Tracker

We decided to go after the rest of the townsfolk sooner rather than later. I fell into the moat, and hope those useless guards fix up a better crossing system soon.

While we were approaching the town, we heard riders, and decided to hide. That was a good idea. The riders turned out to be 2 women and 4 men, led by a 1/2 elf. They approached, and the leader called out for Kella Darkhope. I decided that this would be a good time to test one of my new found abilities: disguise self. This turned out to be a bad idea.

So I pop out disguised as Kella, just as the real Kella emerges from wherever she was hiding. Turns out the leader, Zolkin … something… whatever he’s dead now, knows Kella. What seemed to me like a sure path toward some hilarious shenanigans, quickly turned deadly. I was able to kill two of the riders before they totally wrecked me. Not long after, I found myself lying on the ground (again), bleeding from several serious wounds (again), wondering if maybe a different course of action might have been wiser.

If not for my new friends, and their heroic intervention, I’m sure I’d be dead now (again). I’ll do better next time.

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Episode II: For Whom the Bell Has Stopped Tolling
We would have talked!!!

As told by Dabby

Well. We’ve managed to survive for a bit longer. We’ve also managed to get ourselves out of the city. Also, we’re going to stop referring to ourselves in the plural. Only I and me from here on out. Thinking that way isn’t helping anything, and even though we’re both all here, we’re not two, we, or our. We are all parts of our one mind. One mind, singular, I, me. Old habits get you in trouble.

Also, I’ve got to tell the rest of the party. I think they suspect that I’m not quite what I’ve claimed to be (you’d have to be pretty slow not to suspect), and that’s not been too helpful. I mean, look at Inlé. He’s definitely not some well washed noble elf waltzing around the countryside, and the rest of the group is starting to treat him differently, and that’s probably not going to be helpful for him forever. So, I’m going to tell them. We’ll be way more effective as a group, and I’ll actually be able to use all of my skill set to help us survive.

Maybe not the one mind business, or anything about The Purple Star, but at least the fact that I’m not a rogue and that I didn’t want to deceive them. The only real reason I’m dressed up like a rogue is because I got the armor free, and because I was way more likely to get hired on the way out of the city. Well, I actually am very sneaky, that helps too. And if I can’t trust them at this point, then I’m likely not to make it very long anyway.

Should I tell them I’m a mage? I think I could pass as a mage. Or, a priest! I’ve still got Hallen’s old robes and hammer. Does that defeat the whole idea? I bet Royzig would know in an instant. What a strange little fellow. I can’t get a read on him, but he definitely managed to prevent me from bleeding out all over the ground, and manages to be quirky and cheerful most of the time.

Hopefully no one is too opposed to being around a … that was taken apart and put back with pieces from a totally different person all together. How do all of our parts fit inside my mind?

I’ll tell them.

Oh. I’m also supposed to log our progress so far:

We looted the temple. And after a little rest, took a look at the inn. Varis managed to sneak up on a goblin rummaging through supplies. Varis burst through the door, the goblin screamed, so Varis killed him. Then, we found a girl upstairs with a weird flying snake. She said her name was Kella Darkhope and was a novice to the priest at the temple. She also said that cloud giants attacked the village, a week ago, and that she’d been hiding there since. Then the goblins came later. We didn’t find much in the inn, but we did find a locked box in the inn keeper’s (kind dwarf named Morak) room. Varis could open it, so we took all his stuff. Amber looks good in his armor. We’re gong to tell him we found goblins with it if we ever run into him.

We left Kella there, and headed to the Lionshield Coster, hoping to find a map. Instead, we surprised a goblin rummaging through the well stocked store. Goblins in these parts must be extra stupid, or less cowardly than their reputation would suggest, because even though we outnumbered him, had the jump on him, and were looking to have a conversation, all we got was, “fuck you humans”, so we killed him. We did find a map, and everything else we could carry. Nothing was worth much more than 10 gp, but everyone seemed really really interested in the two dozen arrows in the place. I snagged some fancy rope.

We pressed South, toward the keep, and finding the bridge out, decided to split up. Royzig, and Varis, went back to the store to grab the two 10 foot ladders, me, Inlé Efrafa, and Amber decided to check out the windmill. If we find more goblins, our plan: kill the goblin on the left, let me talk to the one on the right. Well, it must have been an ambush, because we didn’t find any goblins. Not until they shot both me and Amber. I nearly passed out, but managed to keep it together. I reached out to the goblin on the right, and touched its mind. “Surrender or be utterly annihilated,” I said into its tiny excited little mind. “Fuck you,” it replied. Then it shot me again and I passed out.

The last thing I remember seeing was Amber’s nice little face right on top of me, as she pulled me out of the windmill. That’s when I occurred to me that I’d need to tell them that I’m not really a rogue. Speaking of rogues, Inle managed to scale the windmill wall and kill the goblins up there, apparently he’s not afraid to get dirty when its really fun. Royzig revived me. More goblins showed up, then died. We didn’t get to talk to any of them.

We slept in the windmill and crossed the bridge to the keep the next morning. Only Varis fell into the moat. Almost an improvement in the smell department. The big door was unlocked, we went in, and found ourselves faced with two guards of some sort. I told them we were adventurers, new to the town, or something like that. They recognized us as the emissaries. Where is Lady Velrosa Nandar we’re here to see her. Oh, she’d dead.

Things we know: (please add anything I’ve missed)

  • Nightstone was attacked by cloud giants a week ago.
  • Goblins showed up later to loot the town.
  • The villagers are being held captive— maybe by goblins— in a cave to the north. We have a map to this cave.
  • Kella Darkhope is in the Inn
  • People occupy the keep. They have crossbows and know that we were hired to act as “emissaries”
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Episode I: The Journey to Nightstone
Of Worgs, Bells and Boulders

As told by Dabby

We’ve joined a party of adventurers. Trudging through the countryside with a bunch of strangers has never really been our style, but at this point, anything that gets us out of the city is a step in the right direction. I’m going by the name of Valdar Fenhood and it looks like we make a pretty passable rogue—a man named Rothfort contracted us (10g up front!) on behalf of a Lady Velrosa Nandar. The rest of the party seems pretty agreeable, new, and eager. Our band consists of a strange cleric, who is obsessed with gears, a quick-footed elf (who we think suspects our background, because he asked us some specific questions about our roguish history), an elf with a bow, and a  tough looking little dwarf.

 

Rothfort didn’t provide much in the way of information, but we do know: that Lady Nandar is a widow in charge of a fortified outpost resort town called Nightstone (a few miles south of the Ardeep Forest on the road between Waterdeep and Daggerford), that wealthy nobles like to use Nightstone as a staging point for hunts in the Ardeep Forest , that Nightstone has had some problems with the wood elves (we think we might be able to pass as a wood elf with the right disguise—it could come in handy) in the past, and that a year ago those wood elves attacked the city and killed Old Lord Drezlin Nandar. Our quest then is to go to Nightstone, meet with the Lady and then act as arbiters between the town and the elves. It seems a little suspect that a random group of “adventurers” would be at all suited for this task. If anyone else in the party is bothered by this unlikely situation, they sure haven’t let anyone else know. For now, we’re just going to keep quiet and attentive.

 

 

Things didn’t get weird till we got to the village. There was a pretty big chunk taken out of the south wall, the stone keep looked a little collapsed, and bells were ringing from the town temple. Everything else looked pretty deserted. The drawbridge was open so we snuck across, where aside from the lack of villagers in the village the only strange thing was a huge boulder lying in the road. Then we climbed the watchtower and took a look from the top. No villagers, and no sign of what knocked down the wall.

 

We continued our survey through the town square, where we were attacked by a couple of wargs. Well, if anyone was unsure of the authenticity of our identity before, they probably are no longer wondering. During the fight, a warg took what looked like a pretty serious chunk out of the ranger. Our crossbow had proved ineffective, so against our better judgment, we let the purple lightning fly. When the wargs were dead, no one mentioned it.

 

The bell continued to ring, so we decided to check it out. What we found was a mostly abandoned temple and two giddy goblins ringing the bell. Then we had a great idea: telepathically convince the goblins that their god was sending them messengers. The priest, as it turns out, not only knew how to speak goblin, but also knew the name of their god, Maglubiyet. Well, it didn’t go exactly as planned, but we were able to convince the goblins long enough for our priest to get some information out of them. There are caves to the north. Goblins are holding the townspeople captive there. After that, one of the goblins got pretty angry, and we were unable to keep up the ruse. With our telepathy voice of Maglubiyet trick we were almost able to convince one the goblins to surrender, but it didn’t work. Both goblins attacked, the priest was injured and fled the room, and the rest of the party stepped in and we killed the goblins in the end. 


Session: 12/27/16, 7-11pm, Matt Starritt's House


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