The World of Orsus

Left Adrift - Session 25
And here our journey ends - for now.

With Thorsun now safely (for the most part) home, the party must continue their journey back to the Temple of Whispers.

Leaving once again with Captain Farlak Brassheart, the party sets sail away from Bodan. After a few days of uneventful lake travel, they reach the Bronzeforger capital of Tyndrum. It looks like a smoking barren clifside, with all of its buildings and even its docks underground. The ship pulls into a huge underground cavern with lanterns marking its edges. A small waterfall from the River Bowdin spills down off to one side.

That evening, the party stays in a highly-recommended inn called The Splashing Otter. It has part of the river Bowdin running through it (eventually leading to the waterfall) with about a half dozen tame otters splashing around. Most of the time they prefer to play in the gated-off water, but occasionally they’ll get frisky and try to steal food from patron’s tables. After a few drinks Faenya can’t contain herself and shifts into an otter to join them. The inn serves nice freshwater oysters, clams, and catfish stew.

While there, some of the party ends up meeting members of the Golden Braid company. The Golden Braid is a highly reputable mercenary band and is usually at odds with the Tyrantsbane. They’re curious to meet a group of non-dwarves, and seem to have heard of some of your adventures in the Runicstone lands. Mahkdoh pitched them a job to join them and escort them home, but they were sadly already on assignment. They seemed friendly enough, but cautious.

The next day, Captain Farlak brings the party down the Legering River. He makes a stop at Fort Legering, stating that this is where he’ll have to leave you. Strangely, of all the dwarven ships at the dock, one of them appears to be Grecian in origin.

Nuada put an inquiry in with the harbormaster about the ship, and they stated they’d send a runner to your inn with more information. The only note he seems to have about the ship is “Nobody.”

Later that night, a drunken Nuada is approached by a beautiful and stern looking human woman. Mahkdoh was a bit busy smooshing with sexy dwarven ladies, but he noticed that Nuada may not be sober enough for a proper conversation and joins them. She introduces herself as Captain Chiore (Ki-ore-aye) Mitros. A privateer in the Greek navy currently running a few errands in the Dwarven lands. She agrees to take the party to Peleo, or even as far as the capital.

The ship is a Grecian Tririme named “Nobody.” Its figurehead tormented looking nude male tied to the fore with rope, in homage to a scene from the Odyssey where Odysseus orders his crew to chain him to the mast so he can hear the song of the sirens – a song that drives him temporarily mad.

The crew is about 20, most of them taking a turn to row downriver. There is a pair of twin elves, Kal’ora and Kal’aya, a group of halflings, Quin, Zepher, Norace, Finry, and Tallus, while the rest are all human, some Grecian and others from the rest of Tolgaria – Kasrich, Corwyn, Faldon, Bernard, Ganymede, Cyrus, Nicoria, Zita, Polydamna, Helara, Agatha, Nico, Mercedes, and Stephan. Quin is the first mate, while Zita is the quartermaster. Nico, Norace, and Bernard take turns cooking, which is a little unusual, but provides an interesting change in the type of food served.

During the voyage downriver, Nuada sadly discovers that Captian Chiore hates pirates, and decides to keep a low profile. ts definitely one of the more lively ships you’ve been on since you sailed with Captain De’larche almost a year ago. With a mix of human, halfling, and a twin pair of half-elves, its certainly the most eclectic ship.

A few stops are made at different dwarven settlements down the river, mostly for fresh water and to trade crates of textiles. Nothing of note happens the first few weeks.

One day, the ships alarm bell is rung. Slowly, the shift drifts y the smoldering ruin of a fishing hamlet. The ship is docked and a rowboat is sent out to investigate with most of the party. It looks like bandits where scavaging for food. They slaughtered the village, emptied the larders and tore up what few crops remained in the ground. The didn’t bother to permanently salt the earth or do further damage, so it doesn’t seem to be a vindictive attack. Just wretched bandits. Those ashore take some time to gather the bodies and pile a cairn of rocks over their remains. Mahkdoh finds a small journal someone kept – most likely a clergyman or learned figure of some kind. Most entries are of fishing or agricultural nature. The last entry is hastily written – the bandits have come!

At long last the ship makes it out to sea. The air has changed dramatically, and its freeing to feel the salt breeze again. Nuada seems particularly uplifted, and jumps dramatically into the water. Luckily he tied a rope to himself first, but he definitely caused the crew a little stress before he pulled himself back up.

Eventually the ship docks in Newspring.
Things have definitely changed around the city. The harbor is more crowded than ever, with several Elvin warships docked to one side. The sounds of construction echo day and night as repairs are made to a large gap in the wall and structures to the western side.

Nuada attempts to reach out to one of the elvish warships, but the grey elves aboard all scoff at him and shoo him away.

All over the harborside wall were once posters of a dizzying variety – from music shows and merchants advertising their wares. Now its dominated by the poster of a handsome looking gnome with a bald head and tufts of hair above his ears. It looks like a political poster. Under the sketch reads the following slogan:

Unity through adversity
Progress through unity
Strength through progress

It sounds like the Republic Mechanus elected a High Spanner from one of their own during the time of war– Kasxif Donfizzle. He has called for a strengthening of gnomish culture, a more approachable route to non-gnomish visitors, and a turn of gnomish inventions toward weapons of war. He’s created something called the Board of Progress. A specialized group of politicians with a profound knowledge of specific studies, such as science, history, culture, and more.

This could be a positive shift for any visitors to Newspring.

After departing Newspring for Tolgarian shores, the weather holds fair. Its late autumn, and most of the storm season has passed. Winter is mostly dry in Grecian lands, and while it can be cold, theres very little risk of snow.

But a heavy cloud still remained before Winter was ready to begin.

A storm picks up quickly one evening after dinner, crashing and churning the water. The ship roils dangerously, listing to one side and then the next. The oarsmen have all shuttered their oarholes and are helping best they can on deck to furl the sails. There is a mass of water hurling you forward toward a line of shallow shoals, and the helmsman is desperately trying to steer away.

Beyond all the noise of the waves and wind, you hear a creaking sound then a snap followed by whipping as part of a mastyard swings down like a spider stuck in its own web. A portion of the sail starts flapping in the wind, threatening to tear the rest of the ropes loose.

With a shattering jolt, the ship runs aground amidst the shoals. Most people are thrown from there feet, with only a few keeping their balance. A large cracking and splintering sound can be heard as the reef tears into the hull and keel. Its apparent the ship will now be taking on water.

The crew starts to scatter and pull fresh water aboard the lifeboats. The ship is taking on water, with a chance of losing 5 feet of space each round. Frantic, Faenya runs up to Mahkdoh and begs him for the bone token, shouting above the sounds of rain and the yelling crew. Reluctantly, he hands it to her. She backs up, and with a hesitant glance at the party around her, she turns and jumps into the sea.

Time passes slowly and yet quickly at the same time. The ship is torn loose from the shaols and starts to take on water faster. The crew is scrambling to finish prepping the lifeboats.

Quickly, the party brings the ponies on deck. Mahkdoh runs up to the pregnant one, and casts a fly spell on it to give it a chance. It runs around deck frantically before arching up into the air, disappearing in the haze of rainfall and dark clouds. The other pony must be tragically left aboard the ship as it sinks faster into the water.

Scrambling aboard a lifeboat with some of the crew, the party cuts themselves free and starts rowing away from the ship as best they can. Above the rain and wind, some of the party starts to hear a strange music – like the sound of a tinkling music box. Above the music, a voice is carried on the wind. Beautiful and haunting, it sings of the sea, and promises you all your wishes fullfulled should you join it below the water. The party manages to fight away the impulse, but one by one each crew member succumbs until only the party is left in the boat. Over the cres of the wave, the other lifeboat drifts with the captain. Shes seen trying to cling to the crewmen as they fight her and wrestle to jump into the water. The waves keep pulling your boats apart, until a final, brief glimpse of the other lifeboat informs you that its now empty.

The weather starts to calm from a storm to a heavy rain. You’re left sitting adrift in the small boat, praying to the Dead God that you’ll somehow make it home.

View
Bodan Drama - Session 24
Family ties and Artifact struggles

The journey from Loch Bhaile ends up being fairly rough. The morning you leave its already pouring rain, and problems with the wind and tide end up delaying your departure by several hours. Its mid autumn now, and this time of year more storms pick up over the lake.

You find that Captain Farlak Brassheart is an unpleasant character when in a good mood, and impossible to be around when things turn foul. He affords the party all respect for your actions in Mordinsamman, and especially for having royalty on board, so he doesn’t ever say anything out of turn. But when the weather gets rough he’s prone to lashing out at his crew and snapping at anyone who addresses him. By the end of your fourth day on the water, hes seething with fury.

The first storm lasted for three days, causing your ship to veer off course and adding an extra two days to your travel time. Finally, you’re given a day of sunshine, but its chilly with the swift wind still blowing. All too soon the clouds roll back in with a storm slightly worse than the last one, so much so that the captain called to batten the hatches and hunker down for a day.

During that time, Mahkdoh does his best to write a further summation of the party’s journey so far. His journal is keeping a fair record of each event up to the present.

The one blessing you have is the ships cook: Adrik Battlehammer. He’s incredible, and despite limited rations you’re left with very few repeating meals. Salted boar with soft brown bread. Stewed mushrooms with carrots and hard cheese. Baked catfish in cream with a side of roasted nuts and honeycomb. Deep-fried bass on wheat toast. Every meal is accompanied by a generous mug of dark beer, and after dinner, Adrik pours a small round of mead for the crew as a nightcap.

The songs of a dwarish crew are also much different than your previous journeys. During the day as they work, their baritone voices call out proudly above the howling of the wind. They seem to live for the rhythm of ship work, with every footstep, rope pull and brush scrub beating out in perfect time. Even the boom and whipping of the canvas in the wind feels like its adding to the beat. What they lack in the grace and dexterity of a human or elvish crew, they make up for with perfect coordination.

Eventually the weather settles into a light mist, rather than a full downpoor. Just in time for you to be a day away from shore. Unfortunately, what should have been a 4 or 5-day journey has now been over a week.

Approaching the city from the water, you feel as if you’ve reached the edge of the world. Only, instead of a massive dropoff – gigantic angry red and brown layered walls rise up out of the water. Your ship seems to be aimed straight towards them.

As you get closer, you notice a crack in the wall where the Creadhdearg Gorge cuts through the rock. A flat basin moves between, the river set fairly evenly within it. The earth near the water is a deep red lined with orange and yellow ochre. The cliff walls on either side of the river have the most impressive display of relief art you’ve ever seen. Both sides have been carved out to form a pair of dragons, made to look as if they are breathing fire at the mouth of the river – the very place you’re aiming to go.

Caught up by the splendor of the clifts, you just now notice a small fleet of dwarvish warships lined up along the water, anchors raised. Their flags feature the red and yellow sigil of the Dragonaxe clan. They make no move to intercept you, and you see the mast yards and rigging are filled with dwarves, all trying to get a glimpse of your ship.

The city’s port is at the bottom of the cliff. Roughly a dozen oddly spaced piers point out like teeth from the rocky edge. A stone boardwalk is built into the side of the wall, carved like an anthill trapped in glass for outsiders to see. Beyond that and into the river, the land flattens out somewhat at the bottom of the gorge. Dwarves are seen milling about in clusters, working pits of clay. There also appear to be gouges in the inner cliffs, evidence of clay mines and tunnels deeper in the mountain.

A large crowd seems to be waiting at the docks toward one of the larger piers. A ring of guards – all royal dwarven defenders bearing the dragonaxe sigil – make a small barrier to keep the crowd from getting too close. As the ship pulls into the docks and drops anchor, you can just make out the royal family standing at the foot of the pier. The crowd is loud behind them, cheering, whistling, and breaking into occasional cries like “Huzzah for the prince! Cheers for the heroes!” It seems like every member of the crowd has a brightly colored handkerchief that they are waving above their heads. You’re made to feel like a conquering hero returning from the wars.

Most of the party returns the waves of the crowd, smiling at finally being welcomed somewhere new in such a segregated world.

The royal Dragonax family is there to meet you. Well, most of them at least.
Queen Helga is there with Thorsun’s older sister Heather and younger sister Hilde. Alongside them are Dorson and his twin brother Torson. Finally, his eyes meet his aunt Alexa Redheart, who is smiling the warmest of them all. His father the King, crown prince Orson, and sister Helena are all absent.

From Thorson’s perspective:
Your mother embraces you warmly. Her chestnut hair has a bit more grey than you remember. Of all of them, though, Torson looks the most different. He has shaved his headd, and now wears the robes of a junior cleric of Moradin. Its good to see him finding a discipline, but your recent experience with the clergy has you feeling warry. His smile is warm when he sees you.

Rest of the party:
After a brief greeting Helga remarks that you should all come to the pavilion and clean up. Theres much to talk about, but first it’ll be good to relax.
She briefly turns to address the crowd, and raises her hands. The crowd takes a moment to die down, but eventually falls silent.
“Thank you all for being here today to witness Prince Thorson’s return home, along with his traveling companions. It is my great pleasure to present to you: The Heroes of the Mithril Heart!”

The crowd erupts again, louder than before. You’re quickly lead through the throng, lined by tower-shielded dwarves. You’re brought inside a wide tunnel, lined with carved red stone. The creaking of ropes and gears can be heard echoing through the chamber, as you walk up to a series of large elevators. The tunnels are also crowded, lined with people and parked wagons, all cheering and waving, leaning forward to get a glimpse of the party. The elevators are wide reinforced steel platforms hanging from oiled ropes tied securely to each corner. The ropes reach several hundred feet high into the cliff. With a sudden jolt and creek that sets your nerves on edge, a cranking sound echoes as you slowly rise upward. The noise makes conversation almost impossible.

Finally, you reach the top, dimly lit with lanterns along the side. Still underground, this platform levels off to a wider cavern supported by beautifully carved columns. Wagons and stored goods are piled in varying places, all mostly hidden by the crowd of people still filling the area. A small caravan of wagons are waiting for you, led by spotted brown and white ponies. They’re a little small for some of you, but you manage to squeeze into one of them. Your own wagon is still being removed from the ship.

Thosun is expected to ride in the wagon with his family. You’re in your own, and the third has a contingent of attendants and guards. More guards are standing by to walk alongside the wagon as they move through the tunnel. After a long bumpy ride up the sloping, spiraling tunnel lined with cheering and waving dwarves, you finally reach the surface again.

Most of the party has a pleasant ride while Thorsun gets an earful from his mother about reckless behavior and poor Redspear relations.

The city has a stern look to it, with very little grass or growth to be seen. Buildings are made out of rectangular carved red sandstone or clay-daubled rough stone. The streets are brown earth, occasionally lined with stone. Everything smells earthy and dry.

The cavern reaches a central park-like area with the only grass you’ve seen so far. Three large royal pavilions have been set up to accommodate the royal visitors, colored in red, gold, and black. After leaving the caravan, the queen and family give a final wave to the crowd before ushering everyone into the center pavilion.

A large waiting area is covered with carpets and pillows. Hilde immediately plops down onto a large cushion and starts removing her shoes. Heather takes a bit more time as the servants rush over to take her coat and belongings. The Queen suggests you all take some time and bathe in the next room over. Fresh clothes will be provided for you until your stuff arrives.

You all are given a private section of the pavilion with a dwarven servant pouring fresh hot water into a tub. A bowl of raw nuts and mushrooms sits on a nearby table for you to snack on as you’re washed.

After everyone is refreshed, they join the royal family in the main section of the pavilian to trade information.

Helena is off on an expedition to Brochtunheimr – the Giant lands, for some adventure or another. Orsun the King and Orry (Orsun the III) are busy overseeing the new tunnels to Ratagan.

After a time, Thorsun mentions the story of the Lava Axe they found. The queen summons the family wizard, Dagthen Axeoath, to come and have a look. He casts an identity spell, but all it seems to tell him is that the axe has a “personality” and he’ll require further study.

Later that evening, the party is awoken from their resting area in a smaller pavilion to the shouts of “Fire! Fire!” Rushing outside, the main pavilion is half engulfed in flames – where the royal family is resting. Most of the party joins the picket line to throw water on the flames, while a few rush in to save anyone trapped. Thorsun finds his little sister and pulls her from the flames, while Pe-Ling grabs one of the attendants who appears unconscious.

Its quickly determined that the flames began where Dagthen was, and he appears to be missing. After making sure the rest of his family is okay, Throsun rushes off with the rest of the party to find him. Faenya shapeshifts and flies above the city to get a better look, while Mahkdoh casts a “locate object” spell to track the wizard down.

He’s found huddled in an abandoned building, laughing to himself in the corner. The party approaches him cautiously, but he doesn’t appear to be responding to their voices. They attempt to knock the ax from his hands, and combat begins.

Reminder: Everyone is in white nighties provided to them after their bath.

Luckily, Dagthen is an old wizard without much combat experience. He clutches the ax desperately, swinging at the party when he can. At one point he tries casting a spell, but it fizzes due to his lack of coordination and inability to drop the ax. After a hefty amount of subdual damage, mostly from Pe-Ling, he falls unconscious and the ax clatters to the ground.

Where Thorsun promptly picks it up, then attacks the party.

A new round of combat begins, this time with a hefty dwarven warrior proficient in war axes. However, there is something stunted to Thorsuns movements. He shakes and struggles with the ax occasionally, as if fighting against it. Subdual damage proves difficult and limiting, so Nuada decides not to hold back. After several successful backstabs, Nuada puts Thorsun at a whopping -9 damage. Thorsun falls to the ground, and Mahkdoh kicks the ax out of the way.

But this triggers Pe-Ling’s rage. He immediately goes after Nuada.
Mahkdoh acts quickly to heal Thorsun before he meets a true death. Meanwhile, the rest of the party is stepping back. Nuada focuses on a full defense while they all yell at Pe-Ling to regain his senses. Thorsun collects himself for a moment, realizes whats going on, then jumps in front of Pe-Ling to try to ease him off. After several rounds of this and Nuada getting pretty hurt while everyone else contemplates fleeing, Pe-Ling starts to calm. Finally, his rage subsides and he settles cross-legged on the ground to meditate without another word. Nuada carefully tiptoes around him, gingerly picks up one of his thrown daggers, and tiptoes out of the building. Thorsun helps Dagthen up, and they lean against each other for support as they walk out. Mahkdoh strips naked, using his nighty to wrap the ax and carry it through the city back to the pavilions.

Faenya joins them halfway back, wondering what the hell happened.

The flames have been contained, but the pavilion was beyond repair, so the remaining kindles have been allowed to burn out. The royal family has been relocated into other parts of the side pavilion while overflowing guards and servants get moved into smaller tents quickly provided by the city. The inns are mostly overflowing due to the amount of visitors who wanted to see the royal visit. One of the servants perished from smoke inhalation, and Hilde has a few burn marks along her arm.

Still naked, Makdoh presents a Queensguard with the ax, then gracefully requests a new nighty.

Almost morning, everyone heads back inside to get some rest.

After recovering, Thorsun decides he must head back home with his family. He still has a lot to learn about the ax, politics, and what it takes to rule. With a heavy heart, he says farewell to the group, then joins his family to continue north.

View
Wrap up and Loch Bahile - Session 23
After the Plague

Several days later, the party is ready to leave.

Their wagon has been upgraded to hold more items, and is stocked with food and supplies for the road. Other citizens of the city have sent along personal gifts, from books and nice leather to food and a pile of “Thank-you” notes. An escort will be provided to the city of Loch Bhaile where a ship can be chartered to the Dragonaxe Lands.

To everyone’s surprise, Nuada’s friend Barr Spirithammer – the Head Clerestory – sits in the front wagon waiting for them. He says he’ll be along with their escort, since you’re heading to his hometown anyway.

It takes a few weeks of travel, mostly underground. At long last the wagon creeps toward the surface, and eveyrone enjoys the reprieve of true daylight and an open sky. Another caravan is met on the road, and information is exchanged. There are still a lot of people who want to hear the details of the plague in Morndinsamman. Theres also strange news from Newspring. The war appears to have ended with the Orcs, but conflicting reports on how that happened. Some say that Gnomes came through portals from Mechanus to help fend them off. Others say a contingent of Elves appeared on mighty warships to join in the battle. In any case, the orcs and kobolds have both been fended off, and the city is starting to rebuild. Whispers of a change in leadership are circulating.

The party heads back underground once again for the final stretch to Loch Bhaile. Its an island town with no ferry access and the only true route is through well-guarded dwarvish tunnels.

Loch Bhaile is the ancient birthplace of Dwarven ships.
Centuries before the Great Divide, Runicstone Dwarves created the first large sailing ships on this very island. A once-bustling port city, it has now fallen into disuse and high poverty. Most of the city’s trade and shipwright buildings have been abandoned, with its inhabitants turning to fishing for what little income there is to be found.

Barr Spirithammer is accommodating. The best inn is a modest one, called the “dead fish,” but their rooms and meals are paid for, and baths are provided as well. Barr informs them that he was able to find them a ship to leave as early as the next morning; A schooner captained by Farlak Brassheart. He’ll be making his way up to Bodan, then turning back to stop at the Bronzeforger capital city of Tyndrum before making his way to the mouth of the Legering River. Where he goes after that depends on the weather and items up for trade.

The session ends with folks rolling initiative to see who gets the top hammocks in the cabin on the ship. Mahkdoh rolled a 20 so he got the best one, with Nuada coming in second :)

View
Moradins Hand - Moradins Hammer - Session 22

The party was arrested on Day 9

Day 11

Two days pass while the party is locked away.

Food is being served by one of the choir boys today. Hes awful chatty, and says he volunteered for this, being excited to meet an Elf. "I mostly keep to the choir, but its good to get out from time to time, even with the whole mess going on. I go’ it once already. Nasty stuff. Priest cured me righ’ up. Nice to be workin’ the church.”

Nuada spots a note under his food plate after the boy walks away. It says “hang tight, we’re getting you out soon”

The rest of the day passes uneventfully.

From inside the embassy, you’re awoken that evening by the thunderous marching of feet from the plaza. It sounds like an army is assembling in the courtyard near the temple of justice. Shouts are heard, and the occasional horrified scream. Combat can be heard occasioinally, but it sounds somewhat one-sided.

In the prison, its a similar situation. The rumbling of marching feet can be heard from above. You hear shouting and the tearing of flesh. Prisoners are shouting and banging their buckets aginst their cell walls. Smoke starts to feel the hallway outside your cell.

Two Hands of Moradin appear with two more guards to bring Thorsun from his cell. They have an urgent, haunted look in their eye and keep darting their gaze around frantically. They’re moving him to a more secure location. Your friend in the cell next door calls out “What about me? Don’t just leave me here!” The smoke seems to build up heavier in the hallway.

He’s brought to the Cathedral. Before going in, everyone is heavily inspected. One of the guards is caught with lesions. He screams and protests as hes dragged away by two of the Hands, and then stabbed in the heart. His body is left there as they return and bring you further into the citadel. You’re locked in one of the servant’s chambers on the first floor. Presumably, its previous residents no longer need it.

For Severath, time passes with the occasionall running of footsteps, then silence save for the rumbling shudder of the earth above you. Eventually he hears the creek of a key turning. Its Rega, followed by two younger children. They’re all holding rings of keys and small daggers. Rega has an angry look on her face, and one of the younger children’s daggers appears to be stained with blood.

She says your friends are getting busted out of the embessy. They found a way out of the city through one of the fountains, but your dwarf friend was taken to the Cathedral.

Severath steps over a dying guard in the hallway after making a pretense of trying to stem his bloodflow. He then heads to the embassy.

Meanwhile, back at the embassy.
Leha can be heard banging on her door, demanding to know whats happening. Suddenly you hear a large explosion from outside, then men and women screaming. You hear the footfalls of the guards as they run outside. Then a loud “hey” followed by a thunk and clatter.

Suddenly your door is unlocked and flies open. Its Leha holding a ring of keys, with Raspina standing powerfully behind her. She motions for you to start unlocking everyone elses doors. One of the guards looks to be knocked out on the ground.

The choir urchin from earlier runs in, saying “Hey, I was gonna do that”

He tells everyone: The ’ole city ‘as gon mad! They brought yur friend to the cathedral. Theyre gonna execute ‘im! Dey thing he donnit. All this. You didn’t, did you? The Heirophants gone mad! Devils are roaming the streets and he jus wants to kill that dragon dwarf. Says Moradin’ll cure us all once we destroy the devil’s agent. You gotta get out o’ here!"

It looks like Leha has been gathering everyone’s weapons and armor up over the last few days, getting ready to break out. Everyone puts their gear on as Severath with his urchins runs into the building. It seems like all the guards are elsewhere.

Raspina and Leha insist on staying with their guards at the embassy. Raspina sends Gilar Stonefoot (guard captain) to rally her soldiers and fight back against the devils.

As the party gets ready to leave the Embessy, they’re confronted by bloated-looking fleshy monsters, all oozing fluids from their mouths and lumpy patches of skin.

Battle!
The party attacks the fleshy creatures. They’re kinda easy to hit, but hard to deal damange to. They seem to have a natural resistance against most damage, but the party prevails in the end.

As everyone runs toward the Cathedral, all chaos has broken out in the streets. It looks like another riot is happening, but its hard to tell where. Multipl buildings are showing damage, and civilians are running around, trying to take shelter. Some buildings seem to have caught fire, and smoke is pillaring from various parts of the city.

The party encounters another group of the fleshy monsters, this time lead by some sort of bearded creature with claws. The bearded one was a bit more difficult to defeat in combat, and a few members of the party were fairly unjured. Unlike the fleshy monsters, this bearded one seems intelligent, and disappears once its health runs low. The rest continue to mindlessly attack, but are soundly defeated.

Finally, the party bursts into the unguarded Cathedral.

Its packed. Memebers of the court are mixed with higher end commoners all here fleeing the chaos. The pews and walkways are full of families huddled together. Guards can be seen standing solemnly down the main row – all Hands of Moradin. Everyone is facing the Heirophant, standing on the dias near the altar. Thorsun is kneeling on the south end of the altar, made to face it while wrapped in chains. Two of the cities three arches are flanking the altar, each holding a length of chain tied to their prsioner. The Heirophant is gesturing wildly with his right arm extended, holding that beautiful, magical hammer.

With a dramatic flourish, the Hierophant turns to the statute of Moradin behind him and shouts: “You burn the dross from me, but the iron remains!”
The congregation repeats it back with a panicked, religious vigor.

Only Mahkdoh sees this:
Suddenly you feel that buzzing in your ear. That almost subliminal tone, causing everything else to go quiet, and your head to turn in that direction. A dwarven woman stands somewhat on her own near the back of the church. Shes a little plump, but shes young with a soft disposition and a long chestnut braid down her back. Her mid-toned grey dress looks almost mossy green in the flickering light. Shes the only one smiling, as if genuinely filled with joy – although its hard to say whether its because of the current situation, or in spite of it.

Thorsun has been made to bend forward with his head on the altar. The Heirophant raises the hammer high shouting “purge the wicked and cleanse the holy!”, and brings it down upon his head.

With a loud crack, the hammer shatters.

The party springs into action. Nuada fires a few bowshots toward the arches holding Thorsun’s chains. Most others charge forward toward the altar. Most of the hallway guards are too stunned to react.

The Heirophant stumbles backward, aghast at the turn of events.
The hallow spell once upon the Cathedral, suddenly collapses.

Suddenly the two flanking Arches start to scream and claw at their faces. With a revolting tearing sound, their skin rips apart. Outward from the layers of flesh and gore step much taller humanoid figures, completely wrapped in chains and smoking with an infernal fire.

The Heirophant is frozen in fear.
The crowd screams in panic and starts to rush for the door or huddle against the walls, with evil being all around there is nowhere to run. Even most of the guards flee.

The party does battle with two Chain Devils, but one of them is already very injured from a critical strike dealt by Kuma in the previous round.

Thorsun is still tied up in chains, and it appears that these devils have the power to control those chains. Every round they attempt to do damage to Thorsun, but he was able to roll well and fend them off.

Meanwhile, Mahkdoh casts fly and charges down at the Hieropant. The Hierophant gets stunned into action, and instead of seeing Mahkdoh as a threat, attempts to instead banish one of the devils. When his spell fails, he’s locked in a crisis of faith.

Pe-ling and Kuma do some series damage and finish off one of the devils quickly. Nuada does a lot of sneak attack damage, and Severath hits the remaining devil with a Feeblemind spell, bringing its intelligence down to 2. It takes a while to kill the second chain devil, and by then most people are out of spells. On top of damage reduction, these devils appear to regenerate a bit, and it took longer than expected to cut them down.

In the end, both devils were defeated.

Afterward, you see the Heirophant holding Thorsun’s axe, screaming out “NOO! We must smite the wicked!” Without warning the statue behind him reaches out with a metallic screech and grabs his arm. He screams as his hand opens and the axe tumbles to the floor. The statue lets go of him and he stumbles backwards. Reaching out his arms imploringly to it. “Moradin?” he asks in wonder. The statue points toward him, and with a crackling sound Linjal Runicstone II slowly shifts from flesh and becomes stone.

The remaining crowd gasps and wails in despair and fear.

The statue speaks to the crowd “Peace be unto you, children and cousins alike."
The crowd stills.

It looks to Trinjal’s father, Trinjal the 5th.
“Approach and neal before me. (he does so) – "The time of religious hierarchy is over, and you must now return to blood. Trinjal Runicstone the Fifth, son of Linjal runicstone the first. You are not your brother. I declare you head of the clan of Runicstone. It is now up to you, in how the clergy shall influence the crown. Rule well – in my name as well as your own.”

He looks to Thorson
“Child of the forge, you are headed down a path of chaos. Soon you will have to make a choice, for balance is not an option for you.”

He looks to the room
“Go forth and do good in the world. Focus on love, compassion, and help bring out the best in others. Be the order you wish for the world. For if you do not, then chaos will return.”

The statute steps back into its pose, then grows still. The crowd begins to murmur, and a gasp rises up. as the stones crack and vines grow up from the floor at an alarming rate. They curl and writhe and sprout leaves, then blossoms. The flowers are strikingly silvery bell-shaped flowers with little protrusions of white pollen that start to fill the air. The vines continue, invading the pews, crawling the length of the floor, grasping against the stained glass windows, and digging into the morter of the ceiling.

The flowers exude a sweet and calming scent, that immediately feels amazing. People start taking deep breaths and clearing their throats with some relief.

Everyone gains 2 con except for Mahkdoh, who gains 2 wisdom.


After the battle, it seems that all the devils who once terrorized the city have disappeared. Those silvery flowers started growing everywhere throughout the city where other plantlife had already settled. Much of the city is still riddled with disease, but the flower seems to bring some comfort. Faenya works with the city alchemists again, and a proper cure is distilled from the flower in a matter of hours.

The silvery flower has been named Mithril Ansuz – After the rune of health, humility, blessings, and insight.

The parties items have been moved from the embassy to the royal apartments, both at the request of King Trinjal and Raspina. The rest of the day is taken to sort out events through the city, and bring back what order they can.

Trinjal 5th summons everyone to the Hall of Compassion (no longer a temple) and thanks the party for their heroism. You are instructed to dress nicely. His wife and son are standing proudly behind him. Trinjal 6th winks at Thorsun. The new King seems to have done away with some of the previous fineries.

King Trinjal the 5th:
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome the group of you to this great hall, not as a Hierophant, but as a King. You have done an unmeasurable service to this city, and to this nation as a whole. It has been an honor and a blessing to have you here as our people adjust to a new system of life, and recover from an unspeakable tragedy. We have very little to offer in compensation as we rebuild, but my son has requested a series of gifts in the time we’ve had available.”

A group of servants step out of flanking doorways behind the throne. Most of them are carrying differently sized velvet-lined boxes. Two of them are wheeling in a cloth-covered humanoid-shaped object.

Trinjal 6th (your Trinjal) steps forward to call the first name and takes an item from the box.

gloves.PNG

“Severath of the Beacon City. I present to you a shielding clasp of faith. Wear it well.”
Its Shield of Faith cloak clasp. Both sides are in the shape of a three-pronged shield with a mithril braided rope edge. Once stamped with the Runicstone symbol, but was redesigned with an owl face imprinted on one side, and a rolled up scroll on the other.
Specifics: Clasp of Faith. Grants a +3 deflection bonus, as per the spell Shield of Faith. (worth 18k)

Faenya of the Creston Jungle – A ring of Animal Freindship, once a gift from the Redspear clan many years ago.
Specifics: Ring of Animal Friendship (worth 11K)

Nuada of the Creston Seas – A pair of Gloves once belonging to Harafal Runicstone I, also called Harafal Duel Axe, Second son of Barafal V.
Specifics: Two gloves of storing. (worth 20k together, to say nothing of their historical value)

Mahkdoh of the Valley of the Fallen – I present to you a full set of mithril plate mail, modified to better fit your frame. He shakes your hand and whispers that you may need some further adjustments before being fully battle ready.
Specifics: Full Plate. Masterwork to allow more flexibility. Speed is 25 feet, spell failure 25%, max dex +3, and check penalty of -3. Considered medium armor, and weighs 25 pounds. (Worth 18,000 gold and enchantable) Will have penalties until better fitted.

Kuma of the Tolgarian Tribe of the Bear – A stone Horse of the Courser – with the command word of Raidho (after the dwavish rune of travel), this horse will become a full grown heavy horse. (worth 10k)
Specifics: Stone horse of the Courser (note – not warhorse!)
(apologies for poor clipping)
horse.PNG

beads.PNG

Pe-Ling of Appleblossom Monastery – A set of prayer beads (can be worn anywhere really, around your neck or wraped around your belt, etc). All of the beads are a nice soft grey hematite, with two of them being larger red carnelians. The carnelians each have a dwarven rune, one for Law: the inverted Hagalaz, and one for Holiness: Isaz. Both are beads of smiting, one with holy smite and the other with order’s wrath. (both do 3d8) worth 20K
Specifics: Strand of Prayer Beads (modified) Two beads of Smiting – one with the spell “holy smite (P241 of the PHB)” and the other with “order’s wrath (P258 of the PHB).” Cast at level 7. Will DC 17 to resist

Holy smite: P241 of the PHB
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: 20-ft.-radius burst
You draw down holy power to smite your enemies. Only evil and neutral creatures are harmed by the spell; good creatures are unaffected. The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d8) to each evil creature in the area (or 1d6 points of damage per caster level, maximum 10d6, to an evil outsider) and causes it to become blinded for 1 round. A successful Will saving throw reduces damage to half and negates the blinded effect. The spell deals only half damage to creatures who are neither good nor evil, and they are not blinded. Such a creature can reduce that damage by half (down to one-quarter of the roll) with a successful Will save.

Order’s Wrath: P258 of the PHB
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Area: Nonlawful creatures within a burst
that fills a 30-ft. cube
You channel lawful power to smite enemies. The power takes the form of a threedimensional grid of energy. Only chaotic and neutral (not lawful) creatures are harmed by the spell. The spell deals 1d8 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 5d8) to chaotic creatures (or 1d6 points of damage per caster level, maximum 10d6, to chaotic outsiders) and causes them to be dazed for 1 round. A successful Will save reduces the damage to half and negates the daze effect. The spell deals only half damage to creatures who are neither chaotic nor lawful, and they are not dazed. They can reduce the damage in half again (down to one-quarter of the roll) with a successful Will save.

“Thorson, Honored prince of the Dragonaxe clan!”
A hush falls over the crowd as Trinjal slowly steps toward you solemnly, then smiles and laughs as he clasps you in a big hug.
It is my great honor to present you with Soulguard (a large +1 fine steel shield with mithril etched runes on its three corners and gold frame. Its etched in three places with Algiz – Protection, but when inverted as the top two are, it means death. In its center is a painting of your house crest. This shield is a protection from the dead (ghost touch). Once belonged to Barafal Runicstone III, also named Barafal Deathsbane for his heroics against a surge of evil undead to rise against us. (worth 16k without history)
Specifics: Large steel +1 Ghost Touch shield.

King Trinjal the 5th stands and walks forward, taking his son’s place.

“And finally, a little something to remind the seven of you, that you did this together. You are stronger as a whole, and although you are from different backgrounds, you must continue to care for each other as a family.”

Each of the servants takes something from the last box, something that glows softly blue – small pins in little velvet jewelry boxes. Each pin is unique, and made of delicately molded mithril. Each one is embedded with a perfectly cut sapphire. (they all come with a little box)

Severath – A lighthouse with the sapphire as its beacon
Faenya – a tree with the sapphire in its trunk
Thorsun – the dragonaxe symbol with a sapphire in its tail curve and eye
Nuada – a three-sailed ship with the sapphire on its mainsail
Mahkdoh – a skull with the sapphire in one eye
Kuma – a bear on its hind legs with the sapphire where its heart would be
Pe-Ling – a snail with the sapphire in the center of its shell

They’re flickering and glowing with a bright blue flame (continual flame spell but with sapphire instead of ruby) Each servant pins one to your shirt. You’re asked to turn and face the crowd.

To the room: Trinjal I sates, "As you all know Morndinsamman is more than a city. Its name reminds us not only of Moradin, but of the saints who have helped further his cause. Those who have stood beside him in times of great need, and have devoted themselves to him above all other causes. This city represents the Heart of Moradin, much as other regions represent his head, shield, and so forth. But it is this city that was named for the Saints, and the mithril once mined here long ago helped to build its foundation both figuratively and literally. While it is true that most of you do not follow the faith of Moradin, you have still helped to further his cause. If this city is Moradin’s heart, then you are truly its savior.

I proclaim you, Heroes of the Mithril Heart!

We should all take this as a lesson, that compassion, strength, and faith, can come from the most unexpected places.


That evening a feast is held in celebration. Not only for the saviors of the city, but in honor of its new King, and the cure of the disease. Conversations are still somber, as many seats are sitting empty at court. Once the city has rebuilt a bit further, King Trinjal will declare a period of mourning to acknlowledge the ones who were lost. In the meantime, the people must focus on restoring their home.

The Princess Raspina is notibly absent.

The next day

The Right Hand Clerestory, named Torgus Whitehand, requests a meeting with Pe-Ling. – He is the Master of Agriculture and Finance. He just wants to get to know Pe-Ling as a hero of the city. He praises Pe-Ling for his humility, stating “It is well that you do not seek praise or reward for doing good works. They should come of their own accord, should they not?”

The Head Clerestory, Barr Spirithammer reaches out to Nuada again as well. The two of them spend some time catching up on what is to become of the city, as well as the clan, now that things are changing.

The party gains 2000 experience each. And there is still a bit more left to do!

View
Arrested Development - Session 21
Breaking out a prisoner, then becoming one.

First, the party did a little time travel to cover an event in Day 5

Severath received his requested “clerical aid” items:
Scrolls – Cure blindness/deafness x2, Remove paralysis x1, Remove Curse x1,
Potions: Restoration x1, Lesser Restoration x3,

Severath and the group worked to break out Rega (one of Mavrick’s urchins) from the bathhouse. She had been an informant in the workhouse and would help to free some of the other children. She had been caught and put to work in the baths.

Some of the party heads to the baths where she works. Called the Northern Baths, they’re run by a chubby dwarf woman named Charlotta. They’re down in the 2nd tier of the poorest area of the city. Its only 1cp to use the public baths, or 8cp for a party of 10. The water is somewhat warm, but pretty skummy with layers of mud and body oils floating on top. This seems to be where a lot of the poorer miners go to get clean after several days of work.

Private baths are available for 5 cp each, plus 5cp more if you want “company.” Prostitution is formally illegal here, and on the surface level, room company is never more than someone to help you into and out of the bath, fold your clothes, and provide a massage. Still, its pretty obvious that more is expected.

Severath poses as a patron to pick out a girl for his company. He makes sure to find Rega, then uses some extra coin and diplomacy to finagle her out. Lady Charlotta was reluctant but relented in the end.

Afterward, they took her to the Workhouse to buy her contract. They chatted with the headmaster of the Workhouse, Brenden Forager. A man of the clergy, he assists the Nuns of Saint Berronar Truesilver who tend to the workhouse children. Its his job to manage the workhouse finances and facilitate with finding them jobs. He immediately denies any formal contracts existing between the workhouse and the baths. In these hard times with the city is overflowing with refugees, he finds work for the children where he can. He sets them up with the job initially, but after that its no longer his responsibility to make sure they stay there or where they go after. Once Thorsun slid him a few coins, Brenden changed his mind pretty quickly, and said that he’d be happy to find a replacement for the bathhouse.

Rega is overcome with gratitude. Severath sets her to the task of finding Runicstone bastards, whom they could bring back to the keep of bones in order to take the magical hammer.

It sounds like a choir boy named Azvek might be a candidate, as well as an unnamed woman who works the candle shop in the upper tier. Rumors are that she is the daughter of Linjal the First, who died about 70 years ago.

For Day 6 and the rest of Day 5, see: Sinners Rot – Session 20


The days of the plague continue.

Day 7
Raspina now keeps a paladin on her at all times.

Moradin’s Hand waste no time getting to work. A quarantined section is set up in the first two tiers of the city, where all the sick are placed without ceremony. Its determined that the disease is spread through touch, and those helping to relocate the sick or dead come fully clothed in white garments and gloves. People are herded into wagons and carted down to the first tier. The Hands are seen dragging people through the streets in sheets, to avoid contact.

Prisoners are taken to the market square in droves for a public hanging. Most crimes are looting, theft, and assaulting guards.

Carts are being dragged around the city by tired and beaten mules. Six guards at a time will pull up a cart to a residence, and barge in door to door, escorting the sick into the carts to be taken to the lower tiers.

Other carts are pulling the dead.

Severath spent more time reading. He learns that this cavern was once lined with mithril. That boost of wealth helped push the dwarves far in those first few centuries. Once it ran dry, the mines extended further to gather precious stones such as sapphires, as well as iron and tin. But without access to raw mithril, their economy suffered a lull, and life had to become slightly simpler than the people had been previously used to.

The party continues to debate how to start a riot, leave the city, and bring back the correct hammer of Moradin.

Day 8

Lets Start A Riot!

Maverick was arrested by the Hands of Moradin for trespassing and possessing anti-religious propaganda. One of the Hands of Moradin calls him out for being a dissenter and bringer of sin. Hes sent in a line of other children and young adults to the nooses for execution, same as yesterday.

Nuada rushes up to the Temple of Compassion to interrupt the Head Clerestory, Barr Spirithammer. Nuada tells him whats happening. Angry at the news, Barr joins Nuada in rushing down to the public market.

The tone of the crowd is much different at seeing so many young faces. Half of the crowd is jeering, and the other half is calling for mercy. “They’re just children!” They shout.

Barr walks onto the platform and begins chastising the guards, who tell him their orders came from the Hierophant, and there is nothing he can do.

The party levereages the crowds discomfort, and echos thier calls. Both Severath and Thorsun use their diplomacy to sway the crowd further. Once the children are lined up on the block, the crowd starts to surge. The guard who was yelling at Barr draws his weapon, and approaches the lever for the trap door. Pe Ling jumps onto the platform, and a riot begins.

Fighting off the guards, the party helps cut down the nooses and break the children free. The crowd sets to the task of freeing some of the others in line, and taking turns attacking the guards.

Barr moves to the center of the platform and calls the party to come to him. He casts the spell “Wind Walk” and turns everyone into a misty cloud, telling them to go back to the embassy. Not everyone does so… right away.

A few folks head to the temple instead.
Severath perches on the roof of the temple and attempts to drop some roofie poison on the guards 60 feet below. He doesn’t succeed.

Thorson and Nuada fly into the temple and try to get close to the hammer. Sadly, its surrounded by some sort of barrier similar to the previous hammer.

Severath alerts the guards, and one of the priests notices the strange misty clouds around the barrier. The party manages to flee without being captured, and it appears that they were not identified directly.

When everyone gets back to the embessy, the Clerestory is standing there solemnly, holding one of the children. He praises your acitons at the city square, but chastizes you for dicking around with his spell. He took a turn to chastize Nuada in particular.

Riots continue throughout the day, with temples, justice buildings, the workhouse, and even parts of the the forges all being damaged or destroyed. Some of the disgruntled Hammers have taken residence in Hammers Calling and refuse to come out.

That evening, Thorsun is woken from his sleep.

A Hammer, accompanied by four of the royal guards, shows up at his door. He’s read a proclamation as follows:
“Thorsun Dragonaxe, also known as Orcan Blackbeard, you are hereby arrested on charges of Committing Falsehoods to the Clergy, Treason, Conspiracy, Heresy, and Consorting with Devils. Please come quietly, and a trial will be held in 5 days to determine your guilt or innocence before the sight of god and man.”
Hes then placed in irons and escorted through the building.

Pe-ling was woken by the commotion, and alerts the rest of the party that Thorsun is being arrested. Most folks go back to sleep, saying they’ll deal with it in the morning. Severath blurrs his way through the wall and runs after him. He orders the guards to halt, and tells them he’ll attack if they don’t. They continue, but two of them stop and wait for Severath to approach. They call for backup, and more guards start heading that direction. Severath continues to approach, so they attck him until he surrendors. Pe-Ling makes it out there now, and Severath tells him to stand down.

Severath is arrested, and taken into the same prison as Thorsun, albiet a different wing.

Day 9

The next morning over breakfast, Raspina storms out of her room to yell at the party for deciving her. Mahkdoh makes a few snippy remarks in response, and she threatens to have him arrested as well. She declares that the party has forfeit their pay, and shall be removed from the Redspear wing as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, that last part wouldn’t happen. Less than an hour later, the party and Raspina with her guards are summoned back to the temple of compassion.

Linjal Runicstone declares the party traitors and liars. he declares that the clan of Redspear conspired with the Dragonaxe clan to spy upon the city and bring about Moradin’s wrath. "The Runicstone clan hereby recognizes the alliance of Redspear and Dragonaxe, and sees this contagion as a declaration of war upon our people.”

He goes onto state that the Runicstone clan is a humble and godly clan, and will not delcare war in return. Instead, he states: “we must put the interests of our own people first, and see to this disease before concerning ourselves with the misdeeds of outsiders. Once this city has recovered, as I expect it to soon now that Moradin’s Hand is in charge, we can broach the subject again. In the meantime, you will be returned to your quarters in the embassy, and therein remain until summoned again.”

The party is escorted to their rooms in the embassy, where all weapons, armor, and spellcasting paraphernalia have been removed. Locks have been fixed to the outside of their doors, and guards set to patrol the hallway at all times.

View
Sinners Rot - Session 20
Disease starts to spread throughout the city

This log is set up in a day-to-day format for easier tracking

Day 1
Shortly after the party members were cured of disease, the party set up a meeting with Trinjal in the royal apartments.

On the way there, they notice the courtiers outside of the main Throne room, backed up against the door. Most of them appear to be waiting outside, or clamouring for a spot to look in the windows.

They asks Trinjal his thoughts about the hammer found in the old dwarven keep (where the Prince of Bones had been defeated,) and whether or not the current one in the Cathedral is genuine. He sounded curious but was resigned to staying in Runicstone for a while with his family. Any expeditions by him would be seen as a distraction from his obligations and another attempt to “escape.” He says he’ll think about it more and get back to you.

On the way out, the crowd seems to have disbursed.

Nuada is summoned to the Temple of Compassion, where he visits with the Head Clerestory Barr Spirithammer, and together they scry upon his mother to see how she’s doing. They visit off and on over the next few days, slowly building a kindly rapport despite their religious differences.

That evening, Nuada, Kuma, Mahkdoh and “Orcan” went off to visit a few local bars. The first one they stopped at was several stories high, and stationed just outside the forges. Called the Adamantine Gate, its the go-to place for most commoners who work the mines and forges.

Its really loud and boisterous from the outside, with music playing, loud conversation, and frequent laughter. The moment everyone walks in, voices become quiet and most heads turn in their direction. Even the music stops. Orcan walks up to the bar, slaps down a platinum coin and yells “A round for the house!”
Mostly quiet, save for some coughing in the distance, the bartender picks it up, inspect it and repeats his call “A round for the house!”
This time a great cheer goes up and everyone rushes to the bar.
Since most drinks are 2cp, and one platinum equals 1000 cp, he pretty much just bought 500 drinks.

A staircase angles downward into a lower bar area, where more tables and a second drinking center can be scene. The crowd down below also appears to have heard the call, and rushes to their bar as well.
Nuada walks over to a group of smokers, who smile and wave him over eagerly. He shares a round of “Coal Dust” weed, which harshly lines his lungs and sends him into a coughing fit. Orcan tries some as well, much to the same effect.

Some time passes and a local drunk takes issue with Orcan. They end up brawling and both being kicked out. The offending dwarf gets taken away by the guards, but Orcan is left to wander the city. It looks like his generosity at the bar might have saved him some time away from the drunk tank.

While out and about, and especially at the Adamantine Gate, its easier to see a few more people coughing that normal.

Day 2
Some of the party walks around the market a bit, and the crowd is a bit thinner. There are definitely a few more see sick people. The Hammers of Mordain can be seen walking the streets in shining plate mail, an overtunic resting on it displaying the embroidered symbol of their order. Priests are seen walking with them, stopping frequently to share a word with a struggling peasant, or entering someones home to tend to the sick. You see more closed doors and shuttered windows, with the occasional sign saying “no loitering” or “no vagrants”

Kuma visits another bar.

Day 3
A missive is now being sent around daily to all parties of importance. Cryers can be heard shouting out news in the streets to the commoners.

That morning, the party receives notice that the Hierophant has acknowledged the disease and has ordered a curfew into effect, signaled by a flash of the twinkling stalactites. All those in the city have one hour then make their way home. A second flash will signal after the hour has passed – the final call for anyone left out.
Those without homes must keep to their designated camp or street, and not be seen wandering far beyond that.

The disease is being called “Sinner’s Rot.”

It starts inside the body, affecting the subjects breathing. After a few days, multiple skin lesions can be seen, starting on the subject’s limbs and moving to the hands and feet. It appears to be contagious by touch. It’s been noted that if you touch a lesion then touch your face, it’ll likely move there as well. Unless properly treated, the lesions can become infected. It’s a form of Leprosy that seems to favor dwarves although, it appears that others are not immune to it.

Priests are starting to be seen coughing now as well, and the disease is being taken much more seriously.

The party feels the pressure of concern, a desire to leave, and frustration at what to do next concerning the hammer. It’s looks like its time to stock up against anything drastic. Most items are twice their usual cost, others being more.

  • Nuada buys some sunrods and arrows
  • Orcan buys two alchemists flasks
  • Kuma also bought 40 arrows

Word gets out around the embassy that Mahkdoh can cure disease. One of the desperate guards comes up to him, begging for a spell. Mahdoh now starts distributing black-market cure disease spells.

After curfew, priests, guards, and hammers are seen frequently from your window. They’re patrolling the streets with increased severity and concern.

Day 4

Kuma, Nuada, and Mahkdoh all woke up sick today.
Mahkdoh heals Kuma and himself… sorry Nuada
Madkdoh is now casting purify food and drink on each meal.

Today’s missive informs the party of a few protocol changes.

Inspections are now in place for any who enter the upper tier, and anyone assigned to guard/patrol. All those coming in must show their bare arms and legs to enter, much to the outrage of much of the upper class.

The Hierophant refuses to close off the city to trade – it would mean starvation on top of sickness. The city cannot survive without the current influx of trade.

All temples’ regular responsibilities are being put on hold in order to accommodate the sick. Work has doubled on the spiral tunnels.

Even the temple of justice and underground prison have been opened up to house the sick. The Cathedral, however, remains functional in order to tend to the spiritual needs of a desperate people.

Tensions are getting high in the party as well. Being stuck inside for 12 hours a day with nothing to do but wait, everyone is on each other’s nerves.
Kuma gets drunk and starts saying racists comments against the dwarves, Thorson calls her a stinky dungpasser. They brawl it out, waking up the next day with bruised faces and bruised egos.

Day 5
Mahkdoh heals Nuada today.
Today’s missive states that the disease has now become deadly.

The city is eerily quiet save for the echo of coughing. Every so often, a piercing wail or booming howl can be heard permeating the city – the signal of another loved one succumbing.

Peasants are getting angry at the guards. Lines are blurred between the hammers, priests, and “normal” guards,

A “Heroes Feast” spell is being cast each evening for those in the palace who need its services

A portion of the abandoned mines is now being dug deeper for quick body disposal. Bodies cannot be burned without proper ventilation, so they’re being stacked aside “temporarily”
Few people are seen walking about the city, even before curfew. Most shops are closed, with signs becoming more hostile, saying things like “No Sinners, no leppers, and fuck off” the occasional sign also reads “Please help, sick inside”

The party decides to wait it out in the embassy after hearing word of whats happening in the city.

That night, there is a scratching at Mahkdoh’s window. When he opens the shutters, two rats are seen perched on the edge. They climb in and sit on his bed. One of them turns into Faenya, who had been missing for a few days.

She looks awful. Her face is covered in lesions, and she immediately bends over with a coughing fit. She says they wouldn’t let her back into the top tier, so she had to come through as a rat. Mahkdoh heals her right away and tells her to take a bath in the morning. She stumbles shakingly back to her room.

Day 6

There is no missive this morning. Instead, the group is requested in the temple of compassion.

The Hierophant announces that the city is to be quarantined.

Furthermore, the Hammers of Moradin have been summarily disbanded due to their failure to contain the disease. No further education shall continue within Hammers Calling (the training center for the Hammers) until a new curriculum has been established. Any Hammers still residing within the compound have 5 days to seek a new residence. All Hammers currently standing within the throne room are immidiately dismissed and told to leave their banners behind.

The Hammers are shocked. Some keep their dignity and leave without complaint. Others remove their banners and toss them on the ground. Some spit on the way out. Some have to be dragged slightly by the palace guard as they shout in protest.

The court jeers and applauds as they leave. It sounds like the people have been unhappy with them for some time.

Instead, the church now formally recognizes Moradin’s Hand.
New priests step forward in well-polished banded plate. Their sigil is a dark blue open palm on a white background. Dagvo is summoned and kneels before the Hierophant. He states:
“Dagvo Soulfouger is hereby recognized as the leader of Moradin’s Hand. I grant them all rights, permissions, and powers previously bestowed upon the group known as the Hammers of Moradin, but without any limitation previously known thereto, save that of the common law. They are tasked with upholding law and order in the city, assisting those in need, and fighting back against the Sinners Rot. May Moradin grant them strength."

The court applauds.

Raspina protests, stating that this was the very group who attacked her on the bridge. Trinjal counters, saying it was the Tyrantsbane company – obviously this individual was a brigand and is not representative of the organization.

Food rationing is now in effect. Stations are being set up at each temple to distribute shale checker-like tokens representing a days worth of food.

Later, a still-sickly Faenya goes for a bath.

That evening, Trinjal visits the party to discuss future actions, both about the city and the hammer down in the Orc lands.

Kuma suggests turning the people against each other and starting a riot or distraction, then running through the Cathedral to take the hammer.

Mahkdoh asks Faenya to check the front gate and see how to open it, also how to make the cavern lights dim or glow brighter

Party Goals

  • Find a way out
  • Start a riot
  • Take hammer during riot
  • Leave via escape route

Game finishes up at the end of Day 6

“We should celebrate. Tide pods all around!” – Christian

View
A Royal Pain - Session 19
After Trinjal's return the party tours the Cathedral

Returning Trinjal

Everyone is summoned to the Temple of Compassion – the audience chamber of the Palace.

The courtyard in front of this section of the palace is comprised of smooth polished black granite. Stairs of the same stone lead up to the main building, rows of well-armored guards flanking the sides. A pair of solid oak double doors open up to a wide antechamber. There is little comfort to be found in this room. There is no carpet, and only a handful of uncomfortable stone benches resting against the walls between multiple side doors. Only two tapestries depicting scenes of worship line the northern wall, flanking another set of fine steel-reinforced oak doors. You hear someone calling out in the adjoining room, announcing the Princess Raspina and company. The doors are opened to reveal the throne room.

The polished black granite floor has one small pale blue carpet running toward the throne itself. Three stepped tiers lead up to a tall-backed militant-looking gray throne with a single white cushion for comfort. Everything feels stark and functional. Ten rectangular pillars flank the walkway up to the throne, five on either side, each of them with a tapestry depicting one of the saints. Behind the throne itself is large stained glass image of Moradin raising his war-hammer high – made to look as if beams of light are shooting from it. The tapestries and glass windows are the only real symbols of opulence to be found here.

In a small gallery on the left side of the throne sits a grouping of nine chairs, almost looking like a jurors box. Each chair has a symbol representing one of the Clerestories.

Linjal himself sits on the throne looking stern and solid. His wife Becka stands solemnly behind him to the right, hands folded at the front of her plain light grey dress.

Linjal is thin for a dwarf, and his face is lined deep with the concerns of his station. His once-black hair is now dull and spotted with gray. Still, his eyes keep their vigor, and project a sense of compassion – yet, a compassion that must be earned. His white robes rest upon him loosely, but his tall hat of station sits perfectly fitted to his head, bearing the symbol of the Runicstone Clan. He holds in his right hand a silvery-looking scepter of office, shaped similar to a warhammer and adorned with jewels and runes.

As you walk up the carpet, a wall of guards in between the pillars separate you from the rest of the court. Everyone’s eyes following you feels eerie. The murmur of the crowd echos slightly throughout the room, and the occasional cough breaks into the murmur. Two well-dressed dwarves, one male one female, stand to the right just before the throne. The woman’s eyes angrily scan the group, but instantly light up when she spots Trinjal. The man’s face is stern and unreadable. You later find out that these two are Trinja’s parents – brother and sister-in-law to the Hierophant.

After much pomp and ceremonial speeches, the Hierophant lovingly welcomes his nephew back home. He offers the proposed reward of 30,000 gold to the full party, and Raspina politely declines her share.

You see Dagvo within the Clerestory seats. For the first time since you’ve met him, you see him smile. Its not the most pleasant smile, but he seems genuinely glad at the turn of events. He whispers to the Hierophant, who then declares that the party be given full access to the city, and an additional request of whatever you wish, so long as its in his power.

Most people ask to visit the citadel
“Orcan” wants to submit his request later
Nuada asks for a magical method of reaching out to his family
Severath wants a powerful priest spell to take with the party as an emergency “just in case”
Pe-Ling wants to see the priestly baths
Faenya asks to study the underground plantlife with the alchemists

The court is dismissed, and everyone returns to the embassy. When everyone reaches their rooms, they find a few items sitting on their bed. The most notable item is a solid leather purse with a hatched pattern with blue and white thread embroidering its edges. It has a thief guard – a false snap on the front to make it appear as if the opening is there, when the opening is really hidden by a flat piece of folded cloth on the back. Each one of these purses contains 425 platinum. (Purse increases the DC any slight of hand checks by 10)

A simple tin scroll tube contains a formal deceleration with your name underlined at the top. It reads in both Dwarvish and Common:
“It is declared by his Holiness, the Lord Hierophant Linjal the 2nd, that [name] is granted full passage throughout the city of Morndinsamman, and the entirety of the region of Runicstone (barring Trirune Holy sites and other faith-only locations). They shall not be detained, fined, charged, or imprisoned so long as they meet all other requirements as otherwise dictated by law.”
The Runicstone symbol and signature of the Hierophant are stamped at the bottom.

A third item is a small nondescript pouch containing an additional 35 gold.

Before long, an urchin girl knocks at Severath’s window to get his attention. She taps him yelling “Tag! You’re it!” Provking him to chase after. A group of kids are playing freeze tag at the side of the open square. Guards are watching with some amusement, but don’t do anything to intervene. Severath gets frozen conveniently close to Maverick, who updates him on what he’s found so far. It sounds like there are several relics in the temple, and any reference to bones include the “skeleton” of the temple’s structure. The foundation and solid structure are referred to multiple times as the “Bones of Moradin.” They’re still looking into more beyond that, but so far it all feels like metaphor.

Tour of the Cathedral

The party is given a tour of the high Cathedral in the city. This is the equivalent of seeing a private tour of the restricted sections of the Vatican by someone approximately 4th status under the pope – Priest Gilar, who has Deacon status in the building.

Outside

The cathedral is an impressive structure from the outside. The first floor is windowless, and looks like its mostly used for service rooms or storage due to the small side doors that open from the north, south, and west sides. The second floor has multiple steps and staircases leading up to larger entrances, where more people can file in. This is where tall, stained glass windows can be seen embedded in its sides, reaching up 10 feet high.

The majority of the structure appears to be about 40 feet high, with a vaulted ceiling that rises as high as 50 feet. Its an amazing work of craftsmanship, and unlike anything else in the city save for the palace proper or embassy.

Floor 2 – Main Chapel

The foyer is lovely, and warmed by a light blue carpet. An oxidized bronze statue of Moradin stands in the center, his hands open warmly in welcome. Two stained glass windows are embedded at either side of the foyer – the north one depicting A large set of double doors Two stairs flank the double doors, both leading upwards.

The Nave of the Cathedral is a full 20 feet high at its walls, and 30 feet high at the top. One of the few pointed buildings in the city, its flying buttresses and soaring pillars arch beautifully toward the cavern ceiling.

The building is lighted by flickering light spells made up to mimic like candles dotting about the pews. Two large forges glow softly red in the distance.

A short marble pedestal sits a few feet from the entrance. On top of it is a silver brazier-like concave bowl about 3 feet in diameter. Its piled high with a mound of ash that is marred by streaked fingerprints. As dwarves enter one by one, each sticks a finger in the ash, then dots some on their brow.

The twelve stained glass windows in the nave all depict scenes of Moradin’s Glory. From the first ember of the forge (beginning of the universe), the forging of the first dwarf, Moradin’s avatar earning the Iron tablets, Moradin’s marriage to Berronar Truesilver, a battle with Grummsh, a battle with a hoard of dragons, Moradin’s journey to the plane of fire, and more.

Rows and rows of pews lead up to the dais and altar. Its a triangular-shaped raised platform that fits in line with the hammer-like shape of the end of the hall. On either side of its angles, long pews are lined up. These appear to be reserved for royalty or other priests.

The dais itself is beyond beautiful. Black marble steps lined with cream white carpets lead up to another platform. On it is the altar, and behind that is a podium and lecturn. The altar is a long white marble slab with deep grey runes etched into its edges. A delicately embroidered blue cloth drapes to either side, but its the item sitting on the cloth that takes your breath away.

Sitting on the altar is the most beautiful and pristine warhammer you’ve ever seen. Its handle is the same deep grey as the etchings on the altar, and its head is shimmering mithril. It glows faintly in the ruddy darkness and is covered in runes.

Vestment room – This is the room with the most information.
According to Priest Gilar, it holds vestments of all past Hierophants, beginning with Hierophant Alaxal Runicstone II. Nicknamed Alaxal the Savior, its dated from over a thousand years ago in 250 BDW. It was he who first broke from the past dwarven kings, seeing clearly the heresy and corruption within them. During the Dragon Wars, the Runicstone clan almost gave in to weakness and temptation. Hierophant Melaxal the Dragonslayer was killed in battle, and left no heir. His brother Lonax Runicstone fell in with devils, using evil magic to sway the people and accept corruption. He became known as Lonax the Fallen. He wanted to return to the old ways of Kingship and unite the clans to drive back the dragon hoard. While noble in thought, his actions were manipulated by Asmodeus himself. Lonax the Fallen only ruled for twenty years before his son was blessed by Moradin. Rising up, he overthrew his father and returned the Runicstone people back to the honorable path. Changing his name to Lonaxal Runicstone I, he later became known as Lonaxal the Martyr. Lonaxal the Martyr was a strong and pious leader, weighed down by grief and duty. After securing his son as the next in line, Lonaxal the 1st fell deep into his suffering from the betrayal of his father. While he did the right thing, betrayal of the family must not go unpunished. He stripped himself of all titles to wander the world as a vagabond until his death. He disappeared around 52 ADW.

Priest Gilar brings out Founder Farrim (a higher level priest) to answer more of your direct questions. He’s a bit more stern with his answers.

The party asks many questions about the vestments, underground tombs, and especially the Hammer of Moradin. Today, all members of Runicstone practice the tradition of cremation as an act of “returning to the forge from whence they came.” Before the Divide, Jarls of Runicstone past still entombed their dead. Therefore, there is a small catacomb under the temple holding leaders of the past.

The origins of the Hammer are a little more obscure. In some descriptions, its said to have been given to their first Hierphant, Alaxal Runicstone II, by Moradin himself. In other tellings it was forged by Alaxal II.

After the Tour

Mahkdoh prays for guidance from the Dead God. His prayers are answered in the form of a Commune spell, normally only available to higher level priests

His questions are as thus:

  1. Is the quest to acquire the bone token more important than respect to another diety. -
    YES
  2. Do you approve of sneaking into a rivals temple to take one of your relics. – NO
  3. Is knowing where the relics are good enough, if we’re not able to acquire them through other means. – NO
  4. We’ve been lead to the temple of Moradin, is the relic in the tomb? – NO
  5. Is violence okay in order to take it back? – YES

Maverick visits Severath this time, climbing in boldly through his window. He tells Severath that one of his urchins, Rega, who was previously on the inside of the Workhouse (the orphanage) has been sold to the baths. She’s only 12. The implications aren’t great. Severath promises to see what he can do. Maverick then tells him he found out that the Hammer of Moradin is also supposed to have some of Moradin himself in it.

Meanwhile, a few members of the group have come down with a bit of a cough. After a few days, lesions began to appear on their legs. Mahkdoh was able to cure them just fine, but it was definitely a cause for concern.

View
Within Runicstone - Session 18
Traveling to Morndinsamman

The party makes their way north, toward Morndinsamman. Many other groups are travelling in the same direction – most of them small families fleeing war or famine. It sounds like some areas near the Bronzeforger clan and Moradath are riddled with conflict. The Hierophant has promised food and a home to any who wish to make their way to the city.

After several days they reach another village where the entrance underground is barred by a heavy stone door. After only a brief negotiation, the party and everyone with them are ushered inside. Now, underground, it really feels like the group is within the heart of dwarvish territory.

Several days pass uneventfully.

One afternoon, the wagon was travelling along when several of the guards up front stopped without warning. The wagons were halted, and when inspected, it was discovered that the dwarves had been turned to stone! Three hissing basilisks slithered their way up to meet the group, and attacked. One more guard was turned to stone, and several more were injured. Luckily, Dagvo Soulforger was still travelling with the party, and managed to keep several of them alive.

After some intense combat, the party ultimately defeated the three of them. Those who were turned to stone were placed gently within the wagon. A few short hours later, a few more guards were found turned to stone, with a clear burrow indicating where the basilisks had broken into the tunnels. A few more guards were already inspecting the area, and the situation was explained.

Over the next few days Dagvo restored the petrified guards, and the party reached the city without further incident.

A pair of huge stone doors fills the end of the hall, with a strongly mortared brick wall sealing it to the edges of the tunnel. The guards take a moment to inspect your wagons once again, and everyone is allowed into the city. The party is immediately thrust into a bustling market. This is the visitors market, for anyone trading or visiting. Fountains dot a large smooth-bricked plaza full of wagons, stalls, and lined with shops and inns. Children run about playing games, and the occasional hawker bravely steps toward the wagon to offer their ware, only to be pushed back by one of the guards. Venders selling different regional foods, livestalk, booze, and textiles can be seen dominating the market. Few luxury goods are around, save for the odd book vendor or fine flatware.

The wagons reach the end of the market, which is sealed off with another solid brick wall filling the cavern. A much more strongly reinforced door is flanked by guard towers, and lined with several guards who stare at the wagons intently. The doors are opened and the party is let into the main city.

The bulk of the city is built inside a giant cavern. Crystalline stalactites hang from the ceiling, most of them en-spelled with white and light blue glowing light spells that twinkle softly, providing a gentle ambient light throughout the city. They are set to brighten for 12 hours of the day and dim for 12 hours, allowing for a day and night cycle.

Immediately the party can see that the streets are FILLED with refugees. Families with their children are camped out on the street, leaning against the houses of those already established. Makeshift bedrolls are laid out near the edges of the street, and some sections are tented off with blankets or spare cloth. Washing is hung on clothes lines that arch over your heads from the taller homes and balconies. The smell is fetid, and faintly like sour milk.

The roads themselves are packed in tight with people lounging or walking about idly. The majority of the folks here appear to be women and children. People look sick and hungry. A few reach out in your direction, asking for coin or food.

The guards tell you that most of them are waiting for homes. Their husbands are out in the mine, forges, or expanded residential regions. Fresh construction is happening in deeper residential areas, but not fast enough to keep up with the demand. And there definitely isn’t enough food for everyone.

Further into the city, the crowd starts to thin out. Buildings look a little nicer, and much better kept. The party passes through three more defensive gates before reaching the upper deck – the nobles region. Here, there isn’t a glimpse of the poverty seen less than an hours walk away. Fine;y dressed men and women walk about in small groups, chatting pleasantly. Most stop to look at you curiously – although some of them frown with concern. Fine shops have their doors open, and most homes or business are decorated with mossy lichen or other underground shrubs and mushrooms. Most of the stone homes are built out of smooth speckled grey and white granite, with dark slate roofs and accents. Iron bars frame balconies and windows. The sounds of a mizmar horn can be heard playing from somewhere.

The group heads to the embassy. Its a gothic-looking structure, build with flying buttresses and tall towers. Instead of pulling to a point, as most gothic towers would, each tower is flattened square at the top. The building is shaped like a pointed star with 8 wings, one of them being the entrance hallway, and one wing for each of the dwarven clans. There don’t appear to be any accommodations for non-dwarves, but the party sets up their rooms in the Redspear clan wing. Unfortunately, some of the beds are a bit small for most of them, but attendants bring them larger blankets and fresh mattresses to place either on top or on the floor.

The party is told they can go anywhere within the upper deck unsupervised. If they wish to travel in the rest of the city, they will require a pair of guards with them for their protection. When it comes to passing the times, they’re told of the many baths to visit, the rock gardens, or the fine shops to peruse. Most of the party heads straight to the baths.

The wall separating the upper deck from the rest of the city is mostly made of stalactites and stalagmites meeting, with stone reinforcements in between the few gaps. Nuada and Severath spend time exploring the wall, inspecting its architecture. Mahkdoh uses the bone token again, and it appears to be pointing at the Upper Deck Citadel – the highest temple to Moradin in the most religious city in the dwarven kingdoms. A place where non-dwarves are not allowed. The two elves spend some time walking about the Citadel as well, inspecting it for other entrances (or weaknesses).

Meanwhile the rest of the party heads to the baths! Nudity is no big deal, and they’re invited to store their clothing in square cubbies in favor of a towel. There are four large group pools in which to soak – hot, cold, mineral, and salt. Pe-Ling and Faenya loudly squeal as they jump from the cold to the hot baths, back and forth for several minutes. The others experiment with floating in the salt baths, or smoothing out their skin and tight muscles in the mineral baths. Most other patrons look at them with open awe or curiosity, but no one disturbs them. A few get annoyed at Pe-ling and Faenya’s antics, but they calm it down before things get too out of hand.

Eventually the rest of the elves join them and joke about gay-ing it up. Deciding that would probably mean violence in a city this paradoxically conservative, they decide against it.

Severath makes a quick trip to the visitors market, looking for more information about the Citadel or the city’s history. He picks up a book called “Moradin’s Foundation” about the dogmatic history of this city, and how everything surrounding it has been prophesied and designed by Moradin. In his questioning, a street urchin named Maverick comes up to him with his pals to see what hes about. Initially, the kid tries to peddle him lewd material (which is strictly forbidden in the city) then asks him what he’s really looking for. Severath tells him to find out more about the Citadel for him, and tosses him a coin. The rest of the kids scatter, and Malcom tells Severath that he’ll find him later with the results.

Heading back to the embassy, the party still must decide how to announce Trinjal to the Hierophant, and see what else Raspina can do for diplomatic relations.

Not to mention, how to retrieve the next bone.

View
Crossing the Silver Bridge - Session 17
Smuggling illicit goods and people into Runicstone

Thorsun sends a letter to his childhood nurse, Alexa, updating her on the everything thats happened so far.

Everyone starts putting their plan into action.

Nuada introduces Mahkdoh to the thieves guild and pays to have both him and Trinjal escorted safely through the tunnels under the river. It’ll take two days to get them through and costs 350 gold. Mahkdoh has Thorsuns’ axe, signant ring, royal outfit, and diary. Important note – Mahkdoh keeps the ring in his ass.

Nuada, Severath and Mahkdoh get to work on springing Trinjal from prison.
Nuada did some information gathering and decided that the easiest guard to bribe is a blond dwarf named Alex.

Raspina set it up so that he’s now being held in lighter security. Mahkdoh scouts out the prison ahead of time to “pray” for the prisoners. He makes contact with Trinjal and lets him know that there are folks looking out for him. He takes measure of the guards and slips Alex a coin, asking him where a good place to get a drink would be. Alex tells him the Hairless Dwarft after midday.

Alex later meets Mahkdoh at the bar, and sure enough, the guy is a jerk. He ends up milking Mahkdoh for more money than originally planned. He agrees to turn a blind eye as the party springs out Trinjal (who Alex thinks is just some lowlife wannabe bandit).

That night, Thorsun is spending a late evening with Raspina. Her assistant Liha doesn’t seem to trust him, but for some reason Raspina does. She confesses her frustrations with the current situation, and the two end up spending the night together.

The next mornning, its announced that the bridge will be lowering at noon.

The crowd is deeply packed and very restless. Whole families are there with what little they own, all hoping to cross the bridge and walk into a better life. Fights are quick to break out, and anyone who looks like they might cause trouble is turned away. Among those turned away include anyone lame, sick, non-dwarvish, and most of all – those unable to pay.

Pe-ling, Kuma, Throsun are all travelling with Raspina across the bridge. As befits royalty, their delegation is first in line when the gates are opened and the drawbridge is in place. Also with them is Dagvo Soulforger, one of the Clerestories of Hierophant Linjal. The party crosses without issue. Dagvo and his party are briefly searched, then allowed to pass. Everyone else gets searched much more thoroughly, including Raspina’s wagon and crew.

Meanwhile, the plan to break out Trinjal goes off without a hitch. He’s brought into an interrogation room with Nuada and Severath, but his shackles were left unlocked. Mahkdoh guards their exit in the hallway outside. As he’s standing there, a whistling guard comes up to him munching on pistachio nuts. He smiles at him briefly and asks “how is it going?” Mahkdoh says everything is fine. The pistachio-eating dwarf (now nicknamed “nutjob” by the party) looks at the door briefly, back to Mahkdoh, then says “Good!” and goes back to whistling as he turns around and walks back the other way.

The only one at the exit to the prison is Alex, who waves the group a dismissive farewell. The four of them hurry through the tunnels to the thieves guild jewellery shop, where “nutjob” is waiting, their packs ready. With a final farewell to Nuada and Severath, they descend into the tunnels, making the two-day journey into Runicstone lands.

Now Nuada and Severath have the arduous task of making it through the city, the crowd, and across the bridge. Two elves entering a xenophobic land will certainly have trouble. And they do.
During the commotion, folks almost forgot about Faenya. Luckily, shes in the form of an owl, and lands on Nuada’s shoulder as they’re standing in the crowd.

Finally the two make it to the gate, and are promptly denied entry. Bribes and threats fall on deaf ears, and for a moment they’re not sure what to do. Finally, after reassuring the guard that they are indeed employed by Raspina Redspear, the guard (named Tom Steeltoe) calls the captain over to check their papers. After a few disbelieving glances, he has no choice but to let the two through. Severath takes note of his name in his grudge book.

Raspina’s wagon moves slowly, and its not long after dark before the two elves catch up to them. A few days later, the delegation stops at a surface-based farming village. After a few days underground, Mahkdoh and Trinjal surface at an abandoned barn. Their escort points them in the right direction for the main road, and they head out. Mahkdoh uses a few spells to boost their speed, and they meet up with the wagon in the village by nightfall.

Trinjal is introduced to Raspina, and she lays into him about his irresponsibility. Ultimately, she thanks him for making the right choice.

Back together, and now with Trinjal, the party is ready to travel to Morndinsamman. The bone token is pulling them steadily, and its great to be back on the road again.

“If Raspina’s interested in it I’ll take a fuck”
- Paul

View
Silver Bridge Part 3 - Session 16
Politics on the bridge

Several days pass as everyone waits for the bridge to drop. During that time, the party meets up with the followers of the Dead God who live in Silver Bridge. Later they discuss how involved they want to be (and remain) in local politics.

Mahkdoh visits the doomsayer on the bridge again. This time his actions seem to have a pattern. He repeats numbers 4, 8, and 12. He cries out for gold, platinum, and copper. Mahkdoh give him a gold, but he just sits down on the stone floor and empties his pockets.

He starts to fiddle with a single platinum coin and seven gold. He also has a collection of random debris in his pockets – among them is a shard of fractured mirror, an off-white piece of bandage wrapping, a tindertwig, chunk of charcoal, a blue button, and a green knotted piece of yarn.

This time he says “Copperwire. Copperwire! 4, 8, 12…”
Mahkdoh asks around about what that could mean, and it seems that there is a bar called the Copperwire. He heads there to see what more he can find.

The bar has a very steampunk look to it – it’s run by a Gnome who calls himself Spigot, along with his daughter Piper. Its on the second floor next to the western side of the 2nd pillar. Beatin green patinaed copper runs along its roof and sides, making a beautiful pattern with the bright orange-stained wooden walls. Inside the bar is lovely, framed with shiny, well-cleaned copper panelling and strange pipes that form crazy patterns on the ceiling and behind the bar. It almost looks like a pipe organ would be running behind the bar, but all you see are faucets craning upward from the pipes behind.

After talking to Spigot, Mahkdoh finds out that a strange group of misfits comes by every so often to have a drink. They tend to arrive on specific days of the bridge being up or down, in mulitples of 4. Mahkdoh plans on coming back when the bridge has been up for 8 days to see if they show.

On the 8th day, the whole party decides to come by the bar and meet these folks.

There is definitely an odd group of people sitting with their heads close together. Four strange looking dwarfs and a gnome. Spigot the bartender eyes everyone at the table warily. His daughter Piper sits on a tall seat astride the bar, playing with two straw dolls.

Kalja Haythrower – Dwarf female. Chestnut wavy hair woven down the sides of her face and into her short beard. Self-described as “The normal one” and general spokesperson for the group. Dresses in bright clothing and is usually happy. Shes from a farming village in Moradath

Durmar Braidshaper – Dwarf male with a pale blonde beard and hair. Shaper Psion – Metacreativity (3). Has a hunched back and twisted body that lurches as he walks. Keeps a cane on him for balance, and embedded in the cane is his psicrystal – a pale blue rectangular gem. His mother tried ending her unwanted pregnancy by throwing herself against the rocks of the broken ocean. He was born anyway. She left him at an orphanage run by the Braidmother. He still wears her green-painted braid symbol proudly on a wooden carving around his neck. Created his own surname

Thoda – Dwarf female. Wears a full cloak with hood drawn to hide her face. She has a wicked burn scar over most of her face, but her hair remains unblemished. Coppery curls spill down her face, hanging heavy on the side most damaged by fire.

Albert – Half dwarf/human male (cleric 2) (mother was a dwarf, father was a barbarian human). Pretty quiet. Brown hair and elongated features. Wears the symbol of the dead god.

Minxi the Minstrel (Min-zee)- Gnome (bard 4)- Somewhat androgynous looking with a beautiful face and glossy black hair, yet full gnome goatee and masculine dress. Describes theirself as “mostly female.” During the conversation, Minxi mentions that they trained at a smaller bard school in Newspring for a while as a woman, but confesses to getting lazy one day with shaving their beard and someone eventually noticed. They didn’t last much longer after that before being kicked out as a deviant.

Crazy dwarf – they call him “Undergang Hoytaller” (doom speaker in dwarvish) lingers near the market at the entrance to the bridge and shouts warnings to anyone who will listen. He shows up shortly after the party arrives, and sits down at the end of the table, staring straight ahead.
They say he shows up for every meeting, even when they held it at different locations in the past. Sits there and grumbles to himself unintelligibly. Once the meeting is over, he wanders off back to the market.

Mostly they get together every so often to have a drink and share what whispers they’ve heard. Lately its all been axes and hammers. Thoda had an experience out in the market earlier that week – the whispers grew loud, saying “Bones” over and over. She swears someone passed by her and heard them too. They stopped and cocked their head like they were trying to listen. Almost as if they had heard it through me.

Nuada gives Minxi the fine Gnomish violin they found as a gift.
Mahkdoh shocks everyone by giving them his holy symbol.

Overall, the meeting was pleasant, although the party didn’t learn anything new about their quest.

The tone of the city has changed since the attack. Rumors have started that drow are now returning – mostly due to Severath’s web spell and Nuada’s necklace. There haven’t been elves in this region for years, and the presence of so many is cause for rumor and confusion.

Thorsun cozies up closer to the Princess. She trusts him with some information about the attack, and confesses that it was an unusual move. It doesn’t make any sense to attack in broad daylight in the middle of the market. The hand brands found on the attackers were fresh, so they must have been recent members of the Hand of Moradin – if they were at all.

During a lounging evening with the whole party, Thorusn tells Raspina that he knows Trinjal is safe, and that he’s here in the city. She immidiately gets up and walks out of the room. The party starts berating Thorsun for betraying Trinja’s confidence, but Thorsun believes he’s doing the right thing.

Later Raspina calls Thorsun in and says she wasn’t able to reach out to him. It turns out he’s been arrested for attempting to attack and steal from a barge that had come down the river. There is only so much influence she has in Silvercoin lands, but she’ll see what she can do. Strangely, he’s being held in a higher security area. She can at least have him moved to a lower security section for interrogation.

Thorsun later meets up with the rest of the party and delivers the news. After a lot of debate, the party comes to an agreement.

They’ll break Trinjal out of prison on the day the bridge is being lowered.
Faenya promptly turns into an alligator.

“I’m gonna wait until you’re asleep and sneak some owl pellets into your pipeweed”
-Severath

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.