Session 5: Convergence, May

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Session 5: Convergence, May

Post by Mifurey on Sun May 08, 2016 2:30 pm

May Session
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The session opened with Adrysse entering Tudor Towers library to speak with Wylliam. Wylliam was surrounded by scrolls and books concerning the Cesdadrin Empire. Adrysse demanded that Wylliam make the voices in her head stop, and he essentially told her to deal with it (but nicely). She explained her vision to him and he concluded that the creature (spider) she had seen must have lived beyond the Veil, in the Abyss.

The remaining members of the warband entered and began to speak to Wylliam. Thorgrim informed Wylliam of the Faceless problem; Wylliam suggested that the ear actually belonged to Vincent Bannerson (the guard involved in the assassination attempt on the Lord because his wife and daughter were being held hostage). Wylliam was not a fan of Thorgrim's suggestion that Dorn be used as 'bait' for the Faceless. The dwarf then asked for a letter of introduction for North Watch. Wylliam explained that he will inform Morsel about the Faceless, and that the warband will need a letter of introduction from Marquis (at Rochford), not from him. Thorgrim insisted on a brief letter for Marquis, which Wylliam provided. Thorgrim then handed a letter with information from Mannah Roth in it to Wylliam; upon reading, Wylliam immediately excused himself and left the room, obviously making some connection. Merrick casually nicked one of the tomes concerning the Cesdadrin Empire as the warband left.

The band headed to Blackwell Hospice, where they arrived in time to find Wylliam healing Dorn's wounds using a ritual. Dorn went charging off, eager to do something after being bed-ridden, and was followed by Wylliam.

The next stop was the university, where Merrick and Eadwine left to speak to Milburga. Milburga responded very stoically to the Faceless threat and joked that Eadwine would face worse if he stopped studying and writing to her. She refused the offer of his rapier, saying he'd be better off with a spare weapon. Eadwine left a letter for Charlotte with her. When asked if she could spread some word about Eadwine & the Warband's exploits abroad she responded by recommending Eadwine try looking for a bard near the Silver Hall (mercenary hang-out).

Eadwine and Merrick spent nearly an hour waiting for alchemy supplies...

At the bridge the party split ways; Torvus and Merrick headed for the north gates, whilst the others went to the church to enquire after Vincent. On the way Thorgrim explained (to Eadwine) that Roth had given Wylliam a clue concerning the Necromancer, an ancient being attempting to resurrect the Cesdadrin Empire. The clue mentioned a 'church in the woods', to which Wylliam and Dorn were now heading.

In the Church of Light Adrysse joined the Mother Superior for a prayer ritual and then enquired about Vincent, Sharron and Clara. Thorgrim and Eadwine were also present. The Mother explained that Vincent and Sharron had expressed a wish to go back to their home, which the Church had granted. Messengers were sent from the Church to house daily, excepting the day before. She explained that this was because of the sudden influx of soldiers who had been corrupted by exposure to raw aether during the destruction of the alchemy labs in Tudor Towers. Adrysse explained the situation with Vincent and warned the Mother that the Faceless might be involved. When Eadwine pointed out that there was a potential danger to the Church's messengers the Mother said that they would simply stop sending people if there was danger. This infuriated Eadwine, but he didn't comment. Adrysse and Thorgrim gave polite farewells and the three left, not being able to do anything more within the timeframe given.

On the steps of the Church Thorgrim asked Eadwine why he was looking angry. Eadwine went on a rant about the Church and their lack of involvement, arguing that they never took sides in politics or practical matters (e.g looking after three psychologically questionable people). This made Adrysse rather angry, to the point that she and Eadwine got into a yelling match on the way to the north gate. Adrysse was particularly annoyed when Eadwine said that she "was hardly a priestess anyway". Eventually becoming civil again, the three discussed the structure of the Church of Light. The priestess shared that there are three wings of the Church; the sages, Vindicators and the internal arm. The sages guide the masses and ensure that they are catered for. The Vindicators are the external arm of the organisation, fighting spawn of corruption and demons, etc. Finally, the little-known internal arm investigates people involved in forbidden studies, practicing necromancy or vile rituals and so on.

Meanwhile, Merrick and Torvus were sitting outside the gate, admiring Torvus' new firearm.

Once the group were re-united they set off on the cart, drawn by Jocelyn and Ringo V. Torvus kept an eye out and Thorgrim drove.

After about six hours of travel (~7 pm) Torvus and Thorgrim spotted a rotten corpse; the sight and smell set nearly the entire party to vomiting. Hearing sounds ahead, Torvus crept through the dark (near to 'new moon', with neither moon visible) and found a sawmill which had been taken over by an orc raiding party. He noted fat grey snake-like symbols on their shields and counted 24 goblins and 3 orc champions. One orc was armed with a crossbow. The entire orcish group were sitting around a large fire in the sawmill compound, cooking human bodies over the flames.

Merrick wanted to let sleeping dogs lie, but Thorgrim and Torvus were keen to take the orcs now rather than have them behind the party later on. The group formulated a strategy; Torvus would move into position outside of the fire's light and take out the crossbow-wielding champion, then the remainder of the group would attack from around the compound.

Thorgrim tied up the horses and cart near the frozen river running parallel to the road, near the dead body (to cover the group's scent).

Just as the group were about to attack Merrick drank the last of Merryn's experimental alchemy concoctions. This caused Merrick to become abnormally smart, but also made him paranoid. Believing the warband was trying to kill him, Merrick opened one of the mill's large doors, creating a loud noise which alerted the orcs to the warband's presence. Torvus let loose a shot, which hit the crossbow-wielding orc in the chest but failed to kill him.

Hearing Thorgrim's shout of "Stick to the plan!", Eadwine decided to try to run along the road to the other end of the compound and stop any goblins from escaping into the surrounding woods to find reinforcement. However, the scholar was frozen by the sight of the cooking corpses. His leg was hit by a crossbow quarrel, tearing open his thigh. Adrysse electrocuted two goblins with magic as Thorgrim charged across the compound to Eadwine. He arrived just in time to tackle Eadwine out of the way of five goblin spears, though the sixth caught the scholar in the chest and penetrated his mail shirt.

Torvus lined up another shot which took the orc in the arm, but did not put him down. Meanwhile, Merrick ran back out of the mill because one of the orc champions and a contingent of goblins had spotted him. The paranoid rogue-cum-warrior ran towards the cart, easily outdistancing the ogroids pursuing him. The goblins continued the chase, but the orc headed back towards the main body of the warband.

Thorgrim and Adrysse slayed many goblins, but a few attacks got through Thorgrim's defences and wounded him grievously. The dwarf stoically fought on, despite being unable to leave Eadwine's side. The latter was still frozen in panic, and rapidly heading for death by blood loss; so much blood was on the ground that Thorgrim could not move without slipping.

Now clear of goblins, Adrysse tried to fry an orc, but failed.

Merrick reached the cart and attempted to ride away; he did a miserable job of controlling the horses though, and ended up directing them onto the frozen river. A weak point in the surface broke through, and the cart began tipping into the icy water, pulling Ringo V with it.

Thorgrim killed one orc in hand-to-hand combat, but was knocked to the ground. In the slight lull that followed Adrysse managed to magically staunch Eadwine's bleeding, and the scholar recovered his wits enough to try to stand. He promptly fell over and began to crawl after Thorgrim.

Torvus had spotted the goblins reaching the cart and managed to shoot one. Merrick, nearly blind in the dark, managed to kill another with his sword. The effects of the potion wore off and Merrick tried to fend off the goblins whilst exhorting Jocelyn to pull them from the water. Ringo V was completely underwater by this stage, but still thrashing to break free.

Back near the mill, Adrysse dropped her medical kit near Eadwine and ran off to help the horses. Torvus eliminated the remaining goblins from range.

In the short time it took Adrysse to reach the cart Ringo had drowned, and Merrick was standing on the ice trying to prevent Jocelyn and the cart from overturning completely. Much of the group's supplies and belongings had already slipped from the cart into the icy water. Torvus arrived at the river, jumped in and cut Jocelyn free of the cart, which sank, taking Ringo V's body with it. Torvus rode the panicked Jocelyn in wide circles around the mill until she had calmed down.

Eadwine was shaking too much to treat Thorgrim's wounds, which had stopped bleeding, so the pair made their way---slowly---over to the orcish fire. They were soon joined by Adrysse, Merrick and Torvus, all of whom were wet to some degree. Thorgrim was furious with Merrick for taking the potion and endangering their lives, destroying their cart and losing their supplies. Eadwine retreated to the other end of the fire and went to sleep, fatigued and trying to avoid the furious dwarf. Thorgrim began beheading the orc and goblin corpses and gathering their heads, so that the group could claim bounty on them, and as a way of relieving his frustration. The priestess attempted to treat Merrick's relatively light wounds, but her fatigue meant that she made no progress; she eventually abandoned attempts, deciding to wait until morning.

At dawn Merrick prepared to strip down to his underwear and go diving to retrieve the group's kit from the river. Torvus stopped him, and the pair found long poles with hooks on the ends, previously used to assist floating logs down the river from the woods to the sawmill. They recoverd the warband's tents and beddings, plus around half of their provisions (most of which were still edible). Merrick tied a rope around his waist and Eadwine held the other end; the rogue tied another rope around the cart and Torvus guided Jocelyn as she pulled the vehicle out of the water, complete with Ringo V's corpse. Thorgrim and Torvus butchered the dead horse as Eadwine supervised Merrick diving to search for any other supplies. Merrick managed to retrieve Eadwine's alchemy kit but the supplies had floated away. Fortunately, the group's money was able to be retrieved.

Torvus set about looting the sawmill for any useful supplies. Three ravens were stored in the building; the group sent one to Van'Tese, bearing word that the sawmill (which bore Baird's mark) had been cleansed of orcs. Meanwhile, Thorgrim and Adrysse inspected the cart; it was bent out of shape, missing a wheel and would require weeks of crafting to repair. Instead, Torvus helped Thorgrim build a simple litter on which the group could transport Ringo V's body and the ogroid heads. Food and bedding went into makeshift saddlebags on Jocelyn. Meanwhile, Eadwine gathered up the (remaining parts of) human corpses desecrated by the orcs & goblins, and cremated them over the remains of the fire.

Eadwine and Merrick took it in turns to carry the alchemy kit (I've added this retroactively, because the kit's encumbrance value was updated to 5 after this session). Torvus and Thorgrim carried the two remaining caged ravens.

The warband, much depleted and still nursing wounds from the previous night, set out by around 7 am. After a long and wearying twelve hours of travel, adroitly guided by Adrysse, Torvus heard sounds of battle from ahead. The elf stealthily moved up towards the fight and spied a Ghenraen cavalry patrol slaying a band of raiding orcs. After being attacked---mistaken for an orc briefly---Torvus identified himself to a member of the patrol and learned that the orcs were members of the so-called Grey Worms, a group which specialise in assassination and sabotage. The rider identified a parallel route that the party could follow temporarily.

The fighting stopped shortly after Torvus rejoined the group, and the band were soon intercepted by the fifteen cavalry soldiers. The soldiers were from Rochford, and they explained that they needed to return as soon as possible, but they would send word of the warband's travels and try to organise for an escort.

The warband, having travelled for twelve hours without break, made camp near the pyres on which the defeated orcs burnt. Early in the morning, before dawn, Thorgrim and Torvus roused the group and they set off, delaying only to let Eadwine search for some hide pants near the battlefield. The cavalry soldiers had done their job too well though, and all of the equipment left by the orcs was either burnt or otherwise unusable.

An hour or so into their next leg, the warband encountered a war wagon heading towards them. The armoured vehicle was attended by four armoured and mounted guards, who hailed the group. After a brief exchange, the party moved their supplies into the wagon and tied Jocelyn to it, then were escorted in Rochford without incident. The orc heads were counted and a note made by one of the guards.

When they disembarked from the wagon in Rochford itself Torvus recognised one of the guards, Gaspard. He directed the group to the keep, where Marquis was woring. Rochford was evidently in full war-mode, with everybody somehow involved in supporting the effort to repel the orcish and undead invaders threatening the town.

Marquis was esconced in a room full of busy administrators, soldiers and messengers, hurriedly giving orders and taking new information and requests as they came in. Thorgrim queued behind a group of messengers and waited to speak to Marquis. He received 2 gold pieces and 30 silver for the ogroid bounty upon presenting the guard's notation. Marquis explained, impatiently, that the orc front is less than a day's ride away to the northwest, and that several thousand soldiers have been lost in the last few days. The orcs have overtaken the previous outer line of defence. Marquis then hurriedly sent the warband away with an official letter for North Watch.

The group headed up to the Rochford tower, where the raven rookery was. One of the ravens was sent to North Watch to let them know that Thorgrim's Warband was on the way.

After a brief discussion the group decided upon getting to North Watch by boat. This would avoid marauding undead rumoured to be heading through the area. Eadwine and Merrick were sent to the dock to find a boat to hire, and the others headed to the dwarvish hold. They agreed to meet at the Cups of Courage (retroactively added).

On the way Torvus spotted a crafting area bearing Baird's mark and introduced himself. He spoke to Baird's quartermaster, a man named Hamlin. The elf relayed the warband's story to Hamlin, and the latter said that if he could prove that it was one of their mills that they'd liberated Hamlin could provide some renumeration. Torvus went to collect the final raven from Thorgrim and let him know what the deal was. Hamlin identified Baird's mark tattooed under the raven's wing, and paid Torvus two gold for clearing out the mill. He also offered more money for liberating other mills, but Torvus explained that the warband would be heading in a different direction and couldn't spare the time.

Thorgrim, Torvus and Adrysse met Caspar, the Crystal Forge oathkeeper. Caspar explained (very slowly) that Roth was oathsworn to the now-vanished Hambar Bofig; since Hambar's disappearance Roth is no longer immortal, and is also no longer bound to his oath. Furthermore, a former Vale Vanguard, Mercer Felvar, a Diranan human, has been cursed with lycanthropy (i.e. has become a werewolf). If he bites anyone on the next apex moon (double full moon, about three months away) that person will become an apex werewolf, unable to turn back into a normal human. Caspar wants Thorgrim to either to confront Mercer and either re-bind him with an oath or else kill him. Felver is somewhere near Archenwood.

To make matters worse, another Vanguard, Josef (an Ulfen/Gelt character) has been raiding somewhere near a lake. Although Josef is a Vanguard, he is difficult to control.

The conversation then turned to rituals. Caspar listens to Torvus' description of the ritual Roth asked Torvus to perform, and recognises that the creature that will be summoned is not a demon. It is a child of a Bebileth, a large spider spirit which lives in the Abyss. Bebileths eat demons and devils... Caspar also revealed that part of the reason or the downfall of the ancient dwarf Northern Kingdom was fighing a Bebileth.

Caspar and Thorgrim explained that the dwarves are specialists in imbuing inanimate objects with aether, not binding living things with magic (apart from oaths). Thorgrim mentioned that parts of the Crystal Forge (used to create magical metalworks) are held by the dwarves, and other parts are lost or captured by the undead.

Adrysse and Caspar agreed to trade knowledge of rituals.

Finally, Thorgrim agreed to becoming an Oathbearer, although he does not have time for the full training now. He was given Hambar's runic mace.

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END SESSION
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XP; 600 per player, plus 100 for Torvus for heroism.

learning +100
RPing +100
danger +300
auto +100
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Last edited by Cowboy on Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Minor spelling and name errors)
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Mifurey
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