Dark Faerun

Session 39: The Home of Asade
"Narbaby, why are you always so aggressive?"

The group journeyed to the Grove of Howling Shadows, Asade’s home grove. It was great. I’ll fill in the details later, they’re memorable.

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Session 38: Home Base and Tiny Blue Men

You guys met Poe ‘The Unimpressively Timid’ Rawf, a smoke mephit bound to your new home. He cooks, he cleans, and he hulks out when people threaten the homestead.

Found a quickling. Killed a quickling. Took his adamantine weapon. Burned the plants surrounding his house, which was a weird jumble of magical pipes. Made it to the edge of Asade’s grove.

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Session 36: Viva La Revolution!

Y’all invaded the keep, poisoned the mages, and then systematically slaughtered them. ’Grats.

Highlights: Asade’s “YOU SHALL NOT PASS” moment.
Tyranasaurasade fucking up Mr. Wizard, hard.
Vahn bathing in glorious revenge-fire.
Faelar telling the princes wassup in the most Mafia moment yet.
Xarrai setting various wizards on fire and then EXPLODING amid all of them, successfully.
Ke’shin was also there, and magicked, and counter-magicked.

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Session 37: The Heroic Promenade
"I'm in charge now."

There was a parade! The heroes were thanked.
The Jarren’s daughter took control of the town.
Barbarians appeared to the sound of a giant horn!
Everybody made friends and partied!
Asade meets a cool druid child with a dog! His name is Bo.
Vahn & Ke’shin inspect a giant demon horn; turns out it’s partly made or organic ferrous material.
Xarrai performs a FANTASTIC magical show of legerdemain, and children follow him for the entire party afterwards.
Faelar tells the story of the party to a rapt audience and begins a bardic circle.
Y’all found a new house that you own, with loot, cool rooms, and a magic circle.

THE END.

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Distraction versus Destruction
The saviors argue the morality of their methods.

Up the heroes went via the magical device of Gond, arriving in the supply room of the brewery. Passing obviously disgruntled kitchen staff, they snuck out of the brewery, finding dozens and dozens of soldiers drinking and partying. Making their way through and ‘blending in’ they left in search of either the Jarren’s daughter or Mad Samar, both of whom
Lazarus said were missing.

The town itself was relatively quiet, the streets bare, smoke rising from several portions of the Outpost. They passed some homes that had been broken into, others that were barricaded. They saw a child playing outside swept up by a mother who cried out fearfully about the town curfew.Deciding to head to the bar where the ‘Thunder Lizard’ was a big damn hero, they ran into a trio of guards who nearly chose to attack them, being out past curfew, but were spared combat by a familiar buff barmaid running out and claiming them as patrons she’d sent to find more water.

Once inside, they questioned her, and found her to be friendly, but guarded. As Vahn and Asade tried to pump her for infoabout the town, Ke’shin sent a magical message to the Jarren’s daughter, telling them they were downstairs. A door on the second floor opened and a figure in white stepped out, causing EVERY patron of the bar to thrust back their chairs and draw steel, pointing their weapons at the party.

“Who was that!?” the figure asked. Ke’shin sheepishly raised a hand, the rest of his party completely in the dark. After a few tense moments, the situation resolved as everyone realized they were friends. The party made use of Jessie’s powers as a seer to locate where Lazarus was being held, and the group sat down to plan his rescue.

A prolonged argument over the merits and morality of distraction versus destruction occurred, showing that the differing schools of thought may have been creating a rift between party members. After much arguing over method,the adventurers each retired. Xarrai was visited in his room by Samar, who petitioned for his help in recovering a poisonous mushroom. Ke’shin discovered the last form of the Gond device to be an alchemy set, and he showed them before they left. Faelar spent the night discussing the finer points of ‘ruling well’ with Jeslyn, while Vahn was visited by Doma, the buff barmaid, who told him Samar was fetching the poison, and that she expected him to avenge her city.

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More Dead Modrons
"I can FLY again!"

Decaton.JPG

Before making the final push into the last layer of the Modron hive, Ke’shin decided he wanted to inspect the “magic-draining shelves” in the storeroom. While everyone else cautiously walked into another room, Ke’shin attempted to sever one of the cable with Asade’s sickle. Having some trouble at first, he eventually succeeded, drawing the attention of the Distintegrator within. Cables shot out from the wall to pierce him in various places, and began to drag him toward the shelves. The group had a few tense moments as a bear-form Asade firmly cuddled Ke’shin, preventing further movement, and the group cut the cables holding him. Rogue Squadrone ran in, screaming, flustered and angry that they were attacking another poor creature just doing its job.

Disintegrator arm attained, the group moved forward. Greeted at the bottom of the stairs by a pair of pentadrones, Vahn suggested they simply let them pass. One pentadrone retreated to receive orders, and returned, motioning the group forward, inviting them to follow, staring hungrily at Vahn’s hammer. After following them for a bit and talking to them, Vahn said with resignation “You’re going to take my hammer, aren’t you?” and combat initiated. Inside the chamber, awaited the Decaton.

After a long fight of killing Modrons, taunting the Decaton while it tried to stomp Vahn, heal its minions and steal the hammer imbued with Gond’s magic, the group finally defeated the giant mechanical monster with a polymorph spell. The state of the defenseless modron actually initiated an argument between Vahn and Asade as the group argued the morals of the killing they were about to commit. Finally they readied themselves, and attacked the creature, managing to overcome its last bit of strength…at which point Rogue Squadrone began to glow. Burning with golden light, he transformed into a Decaton…but retained his own sense of self. He explained that the Decaton must ALSO have gone rogue, explaining the violent behavior and his own transformation. He asked the group if they knew anyone who needed a good welder, and, thinking of Lug River, the group collectively grinned, and carried him back to the entrance as a polymorphed turtle.

Continuing down the hall, they group trekked for miles underground before coming to another large, round metal globe supported on a stone pillar, an imprint of a tiny gear the only visible mark on its surface.

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Session 33: Tri-, Quad- and Pentadrones, oh my!
Wait, if modrons get promoted when we kill them...

The adventurers blasted through two tiers of the modron base, discovering an important fact: if you kill a modron, a modron of lesser rank is promoted, and another is promoted to replace that one, and so on, all the way down the line.

“So kill them in a very specific order!” shouted an unusually aggressive Faelar.

Rogue 5quadrone explained to the group that this facility was a forward base for setting up and maintaining a portal to the plane of Mechanus, the home of the modrons and their god. Every 17 cycles of 17 years (so, once every 289 years) the modrons march across the place, gathering information. While not necessarily aggressive in nature…they tend to follow their intended path no matter whats in the way…often causing substantial chaos. Gond sealed the facility to prevent the march from occurring near his followers, presumably the ones in Lug River, or their forebears.

After destroying a number of monodrones and duodrones on the first floor, Vahn prizes loose an enormous gear from the wall, causing the mechanism to jam and fling gears and sprockets of all sizes into the abyss. Throwing it down the only visible stairs to the rooms below, just behind a fireball cast by Xarrai, the group appears to have caught many of the upper-tier modron with their pants down…creating a pocket of room for them to plan while they descended and the modrons were promoted and took time to reassess the situation.

On the next level they continued to wade through modrons of a variety of ranks, including the three-speared tridrones, flying and archery-inclined quadrones, and paralyzingly pugilistic pentadrones.

After clearing the entire level, Rogue 5quadrone led them to a supply room where magical items were drained for power, where he searched in vain for materialized modron wings to fix his own, and where Ke’shin did manage to find a working Immovable Rod.

The party decided on a short rest before pushing forward to the final area, the Portal Chamber, the lair of the Decaton.

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Session 32: Modrons and More!
Tales of Rogue 5quadrone

After a night of partying and effort, the adventurers planned their journey to Jarren’s Outpost over breakfast. Confident in their plan to walk into the city first and attempt to free Lazarus peaceably, Ke’shin used a Sending spell to contact him. He discovered that Lazarus Is in considerably more trouble than they thought. A group of mages has apparently taken over the Outpost, and killed the Jarren. After the crown Xarrai helped forge was presented and Faelar expertly conducted an official coronation, the group set the newly-founded Kingdom of Many Arrows on the path to defending their borders, and headed
south to the secret grotto.

Finding a metal door with a single keyhole, they inserted the talisman of Gond and, after twisting it back a forth a dozen times, revealed an ever expanding ring of interlocking gears that appeared. Once the door was completely covered, a winch popped out of the ground nearby. Vahn put a strong arm toward turning it, and the entire door and the wall it was set into turned as though on a platform, carrying the group inside. Looking about, they found a long tunnel of plated metal and fanciful brasswork supports. Going deeper, they identified a locked vault door and a wall covered with gears, encrusted with stone over time, and a pedestal holding a metal globe, blazing with magic. Beyond, they sensed hundreds of magical traps. Pressing the talisman into the globe set inlaid brass lines and gears awhir, spinning faster and faster until the globe itself blew apart leaving a small brass gear behind. The gears covering the wall spun and interlocked and slowly folded into the vault door, disappearing, and their arcane sense of magical traps faded.

Inside they found a long drop into an endless pit of moving gears, chains spanning the open distance and a lever-activated bridge carried them across. Hearing the flap of wings they continued forward and were greeted by a group of strange creatures that the wizard identified as “modrons.” They appeared to be a mix of flesh and steel, with wings, appendages, eyes, and weapons.

“Are you followers of Gond?” asked the boxy modron in the lead.
Excited, Ke’shin replied, “Yes, of course!”
“Excellent!” the Modron replied, turning to it’s companions. “KILL THEM ALL!”

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Session 21: Confronting Prulekai
The Triumph of Animus

Travelling north of Lug River, the party soon came upon what appeared to be more of an estate than a farm. A building, similar in construction to those in town but far larger, appeared before an open expanse of ground with what appeared to be orchards behind it. Rocking chairs sat on an open porch and a trellis surrounded the entrance. A number of workers loafed about nearby, taking their time driving poles into holes in the ground, conceivably for the eventual hanging of more scarecrows.

The group took a moment to interview the workers about who was at the the house, and learned that the lead merchant, Beddrick, was inside with the lady of the house. Coming to the house and ringing an aging brass bell produced the frustrated face of Beddrick Moorstar, who thought he was being interrupted by his workmen. Realizing his mistake, he shut the door, calling for “Risi,” and a moment later the door was opened by an elegant, if tipsy, mature beauty who introduced herself as Risi Voreni, the widow of late Korrene Voreni, and madame of the house.

The interior of the structure was far nicer than the outside, stocked with a small library, expensive furnishing and rugs, and the heads of all kinds of animals mounted on the walls. Inviting them inside, the widow offered them drinks. While Faelar captivated her with song, Vahn and Ke’shin cornered a visibly troubled Beddrick and began to quiz him about the scarecrows. It was revealed that Beddrick was being forced into service by another man, Prulekai, and that his family was being held magically hostage. Forced to murder a servant, Prulekai enacted a spell which caused her hand to animate and separate from her body, wandering around as an undead thing. When it returned to her, she had no memory of the experience, but it was all the leverage Prulekai needed to turn Beddrick into a slave to his will. When Xarrai returned from a short excursion upstairs and reported sounds of chanting, the group suggested that Beddrick and the Lady leave the house, for they had business to take care of.

Vahn asked his horse, Animus, who’d been tasked with patrolling, if anything was amiss outside. After an initial all clear, the horse said that he spotted someone exiting the back of the house via window, then screamed in pain. Vahn charged upstairs, followed by Asade, Ke’shin and Xarrai, while Faelar turned himself invisible and went out the front to ward of possible danger from the opposite angle of approach.

Bursting through the washroom, Vahn leaped through a window and landed on Animus’ back, hammer in hand, shouting his warcry. As he chased down the necromancer, Xarrai lobbed fireballs at approaching undead in the distance. Summoning all his minions, the necromancer fought at close range with Vahn while undead wolves, bears, scarecrows and the giant armored construct from the Hinkelmann farm appeared. A combined effort from the group destroyed the lesser minions, while Faelar dispelled the large construct magically. As the necromancer neared the end, the final blow was struck by Animus, and death was delivered by the sharp hooves of vengeance. The horse and his two-legged minions triumphed.

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Session 20: Entering Lug River
"I need one of those axes."

Come morning, the party discussed this strange appearance of undead and, cautiously, made their way toward Lug River. As the landscape became more swamp-like around them, they crested a hill and were granted a view of their objective; large shanty town on stilts. Lug River was surrounded by open space on all sides, the forest clear-cut around it. Burn marks and brown patches littered the earth, and the town itself was surrounded by lengths of strange, metal bramble-like walls. Fields of wheat and other produce abutted the southern edge of the town, and the adventurers noticed the lack of a clear road leading into the community.

Making their way down the hill, Vahn took the lead, inspecting the strange burn marks. As he approached one and strode through it, he noticed a soft “click” and stopped moving. Looking down he felt around and noticed what looked like… metallic…bones. Not trusting the strange contraption he misty-stepped away, his sudden absence producing a shrill shrieking cry and an enormous fireball. Convinced that their presence was no longer unnoticed, the group decided to wait and appear disarming.

After a short time a the nearby wheat fields began to rustle and a group of resident appeared. Dressed in leathers and work rags, some with goggles or with heavy aprons, they all appeared covered in soot and grease, and all of them carried vastly oversized axes with apparent ease. The lead member introduced himself as Balg, and while he was initially very hostile, he eased up when he saw Lazarus’ pendant and heard the group’s story. After the brief, tense conversation, Balg agreed to lead them to Thorrfin, their leader.

As the group followed him through the minefield of what Balg named ‘Shriekers,’ he explained that they were forged using captured demon souls and binding them to the devices. Fed and recharged with a little bit of blood, they produced the noise and fire when stepped on before burrowing back into the ground. Constant attacks from barbarian savages, wolves, bears and giant spiders had caused the town to beef up their defenses in recent years. During this talk, Asade noticed a number of eerily familiar scarecrows and left to investigate. Finding an identical construct to the ones they fought at the Hinkelmann family farm, Asade began to rip it apart to inspect it. This, unfortunately, alerted Balg who tried to stop her and, when he could not, ran to the town. Asade, Ke’shin and Faelar attempted to hold him magically, and eventually, he succumbed.

Quietly apologizing and explaining their violent experiences with similar constructs elsewhere, the group requested that he continue to lead them on. No longer as friendly or talkative, Balg did so, as more guards with axes appeared to escort them. Thus surrounded by a small army of men with huge axes, they came to a three-building structure, steadily pumping out smoke from several chimney’s and the sound of metal ringing on an anvil.

The sound stopped and a large man sporting a huge, but well-trimmed beard exited. He introduced himself as Thorrfin and waved away Balg’s concerns, noting that the older man was cranky any time new people showed up. Speaking with the group he expressed shock that his brother, Lazarus, was still alive, and after hearing their tale called a town gathering to disseminate the information by chucking one of the enormous axes at a rope fastening a large log on a pendulum, which then crashed into a brash bell, creating a resounding noise.

Impressed by the unusual display of strength and unnecessary theatrics Vahn cried “I’ll get it!” and ran off to retrieve the axe. To his surprise it was light as a feather compared to his usual weaponry. Bringing it back, Thorrfin laughed and explained that this ‘magic’ was alloys; his people worked in the science of metals. Vahn inquired as to a suit of armor made of the wondrous material, and was quoted an extravagant price. Waving them inside he offered the group a hot, brown liquid produced from a nearby machine full of dials and steam valves, that invigorated all of them. Hearing their story of Lazarus and the scarecrows, Thorrfin seemed skeptical. Yes, he was aware that they were undead, but they’d kept the town safe from local beasts and never harmed anyone. A merchant had been delivering them for some time, he said.

Intrigued, Vahn asked more questions about these merchants, and about where they could be found. Uncomfortable with this line of questioning, Thorrfin interjected that both the merchants AND the adventurers were his guests, and protected in town by guest-right. No bloodshed was to be tolerated. Vahn readily accepted that, and asked where the merchants were. When he discovered they were presently at a farm up north, he inquired as to whether the farm was considered a part of the town. Giving him serious side-eye, Thorrfin was forced to admit that it was not.

Leaving the leader of this strange, mechanical backwater, the group was granted boarding room in a nearby stilt-shanty, and discussed their options. Asade, recalling Ke’shin’s earlier words about how the magic was designed to disallow violence to sentient beings, went to inspect another scarecrow, beast-shaping into a wolf, which caused its eyes to glow and begin to climb down off it’s pole…but then…stopped, looking conflicted. When she returned to her orcish form, it returned to its inert status.

Inside, the group talked briefly, and decided it might be best to pay this merchant a visit at the northern farm before the necromancer had a chance to return to town. They were unsure if espionage or violence would ensue, and decided to play it as they saw fit upon arrival.

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