The Great Game, Harvester 21-24, 596 CY
The group had been nearly wiped out due to a magical device in a tower of the Baron Zaro. After the loss of one more member, Morton took action to return the survivors home and bring the others back to the land of the living. Once back in the Flanaess, the five remaining comrades took a trip to the Free City of Dyvers in an attempt to resurrect the others, but failing to do that, returned home. Unknown to them, the Baron of their land and the leader of their Fond of Justice organization had come back to headquarters prior.
The Baron of the territory of Kron Kite, land under the protection of the Free City of Dyvers and known to the Fond of Justice as Headquarters and home, returned from his visit of aid to the nation of Celene on the 21st of Harvester. Sir Solstrum Ironwood, the Baron, had been asked to assist the Queen of Celene, Yolande, in investigation of recent attacks by unknown assailants. After more than a month in the nation of olvenfolk, Sir Solstrum received messages from his secretary that forced his march back home.
Upon his arrival, he met with Private Tyggax, a member of the Black Flag, a mercenary group in the paid service of Sir Solstrum. The Private has been waiting for the Baron for some time, waiting to follow his orders to the letter. Pvt. Tyggax and the rest of the Black Flag are presently in the city of Hardby, where they are protecting Sir Solstrum’s young daughter as well as Hardby’s steward. The Private informs Sir Solstrum that the Black Flag stopped two different attempts on both the child and the steward, in which one would-be assassin was killed and one captured. The captured one was hung on the 20th of Goodmonth, after Tyggax’s arrival in the Barony. Notes from the Captains of the Black Flag tell Solstrum of commendations given to six soldiers in the Black Flag, and two potential leads behind the attempts. Solstrum orders Tyggax to remain at the Barony while he contemplates the situation.
Sir Solstrum also meets with an emissary from the nation of Furyondy, who have sent a gift to the Baron. The gift, a heavy warhorse with tack and barding, was offered in the hopes of future alliances between the King of Furyondy, Elvis II, and Sir Solstrum. An invitation to join the King during the upcoming Brewfest holiday was turned down.
Solstrum also checked in with his employed sage, Banacek. The always difficult sage had some information regarding magical items the Baron desires, such as Shoes of the Zephyr. Regardless, Banacek needed a few more weeks to complete the task.
The following day, Riko, Giraud, Morton and Yip found their way home. Discovering that the Baron is on site, Riko and Giraud meet with him to explain their current situation. As Morton is wholly unwilling to return to the lands beyond the mists and the vampires without some potent assistance, Solstrum offers up his sword arm. Asking around FoJ HQ, Riko and Giraud began to gather a strike team to rescue their fallen friends.
“You stand around with your mouth open until someone tells you what to do.” ~ Solstrum to Riko, Harvester 22, 596 CY.
On the 23rd, Giraud took a trip to Dyvers in search of a helpful, powerful cleric. At the temple of Pelor, he located Diana, an elven priestess willing to help. She contacts a traveling adventurer by the name of Gromann, and both she and Gromann return to FoJ HQ with Giraud. That evening, Riko and Giraud attempted to explain the upcoming search to all gathered. They are:
- Solstrum, Grey Elf Cavalier, 10th level
- Diana , High Elf Cleric of Pelor, 7th level (NPC)
- Gromann, Half-elven Cleric of Ehlonna, 5th level (and 4th level fighter and magic-user) NPC
- Bale, Half-elven Ranger, 2nd level
- Antori, High Elf Fighter, 4th level
- Ceelo, High Elf Magic-User, 8th level
- Yip, Halfling Thief, 9th level
- Morton, Human Illusionist, 15th level
- Riko, Half-orc Fighter, 9th level
- Giraud, Half-orc Fighter, 9th level
A hopeful plan was created, and the newly created party left on the early hours of the 24th of Harvester. Morton Shadow Walked all to the misty region of the Lorridges, where this whole adventure began. There, using the Gem of True Seeing, the group followed Morton through the mist and onto the road leading to Pottsylvania. Moving through the arched gate on the road, Morton then cast Phantom Steed for all there, as well as Invisibility on those wishing to be invisible. Only Solstrum and Diana remained visible. The party noted that the entire area looked much darker then when they were here just a few days prior, then spurred their magical mounts onward.
Phantom Steeds move at a much speedier pace than living beasts, and the group moved quickly through the town of Pottsylvania and up the mountain road to Baron Zaro’s castle. They did note some changes amongst the town itself and did not see the bodies of either Gerrit or Graham on the way. They did not visit or see the Carna camp.
Once at the outer gatehouse of Baron Zaro’s castle, the group stopped to examine things by sight. The castle itself and the gatehouse looked older and in disrepair, the stones covered in lichen. The drawbridge over the chasm to the castle was holed in places and the chains rusted. It was assumed that a glamour had been removed from the area. Riding their Phantom Steeds across the bridge and dismounting in the courtyard, Solstrum noted that the main doors to the castle were gone. The others were a little surprised but allowed Solstrum to approach the entrance first. He immediately felt heat emanating from the interior and brought out a light to illuminate the area. Sir Solstrum and the others were surprised to see the large snout of a red scaled dragon snoozing in the entranceway of the castle!
“Are you f@%#&%g kidding me?” ~ A player to the DM, January 18th 2016
The group, mostly invisible, attempted to sneak by the dragon, which filled up most of the entry room. On the way through, red scales were seen littering the floor, enticing many, particularly Bale. Reaching down to pick one of the scales up, it scraped the floor, sending a metal-on-stone sound echoing through the room. The dragon snorted awake and the party jumped to protect themselves. Giraud, wearing Fezgil’s Gloves of Lightening, blasted the poor beast mightily. Others moved in to strike and fared poorly. Ceelo, last into the building, blasted a Web spell into the room, snaring the head of the dragon and many of his own group, too. The dragon belched fire through the web and amongst most of the party, scorching most of them. Following another blast from the Gloves and a pair of strikes from both Riko and Solstrum, the dragon was killed, but not before making much noise.
Ceelo spotted two more red dragons approaching from around the far side of the castle, so the party ran quickly into the interior, towards the steps to the tower. Quickly opening the tower doors, the bodies of all those ‘dead’ from the gemoid were placed on the floor. Giraud appropriated Yip’s magical amulet that should protect him from the gemoid’s effects and ran up the steps into the dark. The others left the tower interior to avoid the gemoid, learning that the dragons may have entered the castle. Giraud used a light source to find his way to the top of the steps, activating the gemoid. Feeling the effects repelled by the amulet, he continued up, firing a blast from the Gloves of Lightening… to no result.
At the base of the tower, a dragon was squeezing its way down a corridor nearby, allowing Solstrum, Riko and Gromann to attack. The dragon got off one blast of fire before expiring to a concentrated assault, the body choking a good portion of the exit.
Giraud ran back down the tower, feeling Yip’s amulet’s magic continue to protect him from the gemoid. Grabbing Golbagai’s enchanted maul, he asked Ceelo to cast a Fly spell on him so he could reach the construct. Quickly flying to the gem, he swung two great strikes at the faceted face, shattering it with the second.
“Deadish.” ~ The DM, January 18th, 2016