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7/16/2019 9:17 pm  #41

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

lige wrote:

Nice write up! Session 9 has definite Barrier Peaks crossed with Event Horizon vibes. What was the “Origin Story”?

Thanks!  The "Origin" story that Regulus told them was that they were all related to some university of higher learning called "Miskatonic" or something similar.  Some in teaching roles, some staff, some students.  All had embarked on a ship crossing a mysterious body of water called the "Atlantic" and were driven off course in a bad storm, a hurricane maybe and being driven quite south they entered a unique triangle called "Bermuda" and through an opening of worlds due to the storm and a rift of reality, they were shipwrecked and awoke on Hyperboria.

By the way, "Regulus" is not his real name, nor is Maximus the real name of the other demon, the PC's will have to dig deeper to get that information!

That "may" be true, if demons (especially a Type VI one) is telling the truth.  However since this is an active Type VI demon who may be a long term villain for the PC's it's up to them to discern truth from lie.  I specifically told them NOT to give me a back story as we started session 1, but that I'd welcome one anytime after that session.   Since no one gave me one, this may or may not be true.  They'll have to see if the PC's get their "memories" back, great question again!  Hope your campaign is going well!

Now, onto session 10!

Last edited by MrManowar (7/16/2019 9:46 pm)

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7/16/2019 9:43 pm  #42

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 10 part one!  The feeling of pursuit and uneasiness dogged the crew as they evaded and clambered through the Kimmerian Steppe and abruptly turned direction northward after they had traversed a river south of a great lake leaving the memory of terrain containing Mount Forp behind.  With incredible perseverance they managed to keep going northward on the other side of the body of water, stopping only to partake of the dwindling food and drink and lay quick traps for the large creatures still on their trail.  After more days of travel and more days of the necromancer hearing one sided conversation in his head from Regulus, they found a larger plateau that had the beginning of construction of a war camp.  However this camp was clearly suited for larger humanoids whilst mimicking a facade of human like propriety and homeliness.  Cutting and tooling implements were present along with tents made of multiple cloaks of fallen wanderers and sounds of domesticated farm animals were heard.  The bard and barbarian went forth to investigate.  (The ranger, my only missing player, stayed with Rianorix and his family.  The latter insisting they were close to his kin.)  As the PC's took their time encircling the camp, noting the start of walls and the grisly remains of bodies and a large pit they dared not look into at this time, the more alert of the group motioned for them all to hide, and fast!

After taking cover and hunkering down, within minutes, the hulking form of mountainous apes, horrific ogres began to filter into the camp expressing confusion after tracking their prey here only to lose them amidst the surroundings.  The bard stealthily slipped off to the last tent to see the glittering of coinage and gems within.  As he took cover there, he noticed coins sliding about and shifting as he watched by the curtain to see what the ogres were doing.  All at once, as the cryomancer launched a spell and the necromancer sent his flesh golem out, the bard saw the chitinous form of a giant scorpion free himself from the coin pile with a blackish dripping stinger that forebode death to the recipients of it!  The runegraver and paladin were at the ready as the barbarian launched a full assault to one of the ogres!  The few remaining zombies under the necromancer's sway were easily crushed to death as the largest ogre of all wielding a terrible spiked mace leapt from the pit and bashed the hapless forms to the ground grunting at his companions to slay the others.  As this happened the farm animals (presumably food for the ogres were cut loose and spread like maddened beasts concerned for their own survival!)  The bard summoned a convincing illusion of a terrible elemental of earth that sent one ogre running while a more courageous one fought back.  The paladin, barbarian, runegraver, necromancer and cryomancer dealt death to the other ogres.  (In this entire campaign, I as a Referee have never rolled this poorly; SEVEN natural one rolls went to the ogres as what I thought would be a tough fight turned easy.  Apart from surprise rolls and a few others,  I roll in the open.  The screen hides my notes and minis.  I also had a bunch of 2 thru 5 rolls also.  Ogres and a giant scorpion that couldn't hit the ground if they tried.)

After the largely one sided melee was done and the ogres bested, a thorough investigation was formed and much coinage was discovered.  After securing the goods but finding no edible food that would be delectable to human taste it was decided to soldier on to the town.  Along the way they saw one older but strong looking human, clearly armored but also bearing the sigil of Apollo, they hailed him to see what he had to say...
End Session 10 part one, part two to follow!

Last edited by MrManowar (7/16/2019 9:54 pm)

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7/22/2019 10:11 pm  #43

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 10 part two!  The older man stood tall and imposing and identified himself as Brother Antonius the Lawful, priest of Apollo.  He told them of a town he was integral in growing that was under siege from wicked hyena men.  The town was Helios, on the other side of the lake far from Mount Forp.  (As an aside, I saw the town/village icon on the map didn't have a name so I decided to flesh this one out).  He told them of the Abbey of the Sun and the Grove of the Wood, twin areas of worship to Apollo and Artemis both under the sway of disuse and capture by the fiendish hyena folk snarling and befouling all they took over.  He asked for their assistance.  Wary of how Regulus and Maximus took them by surprise, the PC's took no chances and interrogated him thoroughly and upon satisfaction of all queries, they proceeded forth especially after Rianorix told them all that's where his kinsmen resided.

Proceeding onward in the company of the elder cleric, they surveyed the town.  They decided to pursue the underground sewers and pathways to emerge above ground so the sentries and other guards wouldn't notice their arrival.  Emerging in the town on the streets they cautiously went their way spreading out in different avenues whilst still keeping each other in sight.  Soon the hulking form of the necromancer's flesh golem couldn't keep cover and the hyena men drew in to fight!

A sorceress was among them and as magic hit the air, some PC's were hit with dark energies as the bard fired back a colour spray that neutralized three of their foes!  The ranger and runegraver delivered powerful blows dismembering opponents as they were only hit with minor wounds.  The paladin and his newfound comrade Antonius shrugged off their wounds as they struck down more hyena men.  The necromancer casually took in the scene ordering his flesh golem to assist as he heard more dark whispers from Regulus in his mind.  The cryomancer had some tricks up his sleeve as ice as well as other attacks assailed the foes in other streets.  (Due to once again my accursed luck rolling dice this session thus far, the hyena men despite their large numbers fell like cattle, more natural ones and such...)  Most of the PC's had sustained some wounds, but they were routing the hyena men from Helios.  Soon the hidden and wary townsfolk came to assist as they observed that real heroes were on the horizon and fighting back!  Once the cryomancer decapitated the sorceress, the other PC's descended on the remaining hyena men that didn't have the sense to flee like a sickle to overripe harvest.  Once the bloodshed was quenched, the sounds of victorious instrumentation was heard as laurels of congratulations were handed out!  It was then that the PC's observed that when Antonius healed anyone, he seemed to get a little older, a little sicker, a little closer to the grave himself...

Most of the rest of the night and ensuing days were spent clearing out the town, but their mission wasn't over.  There was one last area requiring their attention, the ghastly ominous graveyard on the hills overlooking the town from the north where the mountains were.   Eerie lights were spotted as well as lightning that didn't hit the normal colour spectrum flashed about.  In dread, the townsfolk implored the PC's to investigate and assist... and they refused!  Actually that's a lie... they did investigate indeed and those perils will be discussed in part three!  Coming soon!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!  Back the new Kickstarter for AS&SOH!  IF you don't, Regulus, the Crow-Man Priest and Lady of Chains may be coming for you!.... Or so they tell me!

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9/12/2019 11:02 pm  #44

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

At long last, sorry for the delay... Session 10 part three.

Howling winds and pouring rain torrents washed over and pushed back as an ominous bulwark warding off intruders as the PC's made their way to the graveyard wherein the earliest founders of Helios were interred.  Upon their arrival at said gloomy locale they could see a skeletal speaker giving orders to vicious ghouls whose slavering tongues and frantic gestures indicated a charismatic speaker riling up a monstrous audience driven by emotion and instinct.  The paladin through his enchanted communication with his sword knew these ghouls were from the far flung plateau of Leng.  How did they get here?  Earth and grass was shoved and mislaid as new warriors rose up to answer the rhythmic chanting.  Even the crows fled this hideous gathering of unlife and hope itself retreated to more hospitable environs.  The necromancer had his flesh golem and the ever present commentary of Regulus pattering away.  No words needed to be spoken at this abomination despite the frenzied pronouncements of the undead speaker directing this horde when malevolent eyes turned on the PC's.

Action sprang from all sides as the barbarian and runegraver and necromancer fanned out whilst the paladin was first in the fray as the bard surveyed the battlefield.  The flesh golem bashed it's way through as the speaker summoned more foes from a realm most dreadful.  Nightmarish creatures began to fill the gated confines as the PC's struck down some foes and absorbed blows delivered from the necrotic realms of the grave!  Soon, the speaker sensed another overwhelming presence as Regulus whispered in the ear of the necromancer that he would get the necromancer a new grimoire of spells.  As rain lashed down the PC's were weakened by the slashes although most avoided the paralyzing effects of the ghouls.  The necromancer was not so lucky as in his paralyzed stance he directed his golem to smite.  All the remaining PC's struck down foe as they came near to the end of their lives however the golem bore the brunt of the attacks as it was the biggest target.  The speaker cried foul searching the skies and landscape in vain for the mysterious benefactor who aided the PC's unaware that it was a being more evil than it was.  As the last blows fell, so did the golem.  The speaker then retreated to another dimension vowing to revisit harm on the PC's as the last vestige of evil intent was driven from the town of Helios.  As the other PC's made their way back to Helios to tell of victory, the necromancer remained behind trying to assemble and reanimate the golem.  "Having some trouble son?" Regulus asked.  "I procured a grimoire for you."  The demon exclaimed pointing to the speaker's book.  "Yeah, you didn't really help at all!" The necromancer responded then gestured towards the fallen golem; his powerful asset.  "You want that back?  It'll cost you, a finger or a toe.  Your choice." Regulus stated.  The necromancer extended the hand that he didn't use for his somatic gestures and the demon smote a finger from it and then the golem arose, seemingly as good and sturdy as it ever was.  The cackling laughter was all that broke through the rain. 

Meanwhile, once the PC's arrived at town they saw that the rallied townsfolk had driven out the hyena men and celebratory functions were beginning.  Then, a stalwart guard rushed a figure covered in leathers that appeared to be flayed human skins now in bonds to the PC's.  He identified himself as the new voice for the Lady of Chains and that she wished to broker a deal with the PC's.  Flabbergasted at this new turn of events but wary of what it forebode, the PC's ordered the constabulary to take him into custody.  Tonight was a night of reward, the town was free.  As the festivities began the necromancer and flesh golem slunk back into the town as lurkers avoiding defeat.  End Session 10, Session 11 soon...

As in I need to get that up quickly as Session 12 is coming up in a couple of weeks!

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9/12/2019 11:42 pm  #45

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 11, part one.  Three weeks have passed as the strengthening and rebuilding (not to mention the gathering of goods) since the melee at the cemetery.  The PC's have made new allies including a tinkerer who was rather forceful in romantic inclinations with the cryomancer, a wainright who believes in the paladin's cause of Apollo, a minstrel whose biting prose and song favour the necromancer instead of the bard, the lone sage who has been quite the source of education for the bard and a stabler who has taken quite the liking to the ranger and has allowed the PC's use of horses.  Rest and recuperation along with hard work has been the theme as the town prepares for the winter as we move to that portion of the Hyperborian 13 year cycle.  Far better reactions are here versus when they were in Calencia.  All skills were shared to some degree as the necromancer and golem are still shunned and whispered against.  All this time, the envoy of the Lady of Chains lay in prison.

Finally it was decided to approach the reprehensible individual.  With the paladin and bard being the lead spokespeople, the others gestured for the guard to close the cell as interrogation began.  Once the door clanged shut, a feminine voice was heard as the male prisoner went slack.  The guard morphed before their eyes as the Lady herself appeared.  She laid out their problems: the Crow Man and his "death to all, the crows eat" scenario, offered the necromancer release from Regulus and an offer to aid to fight said demon as long as they all agreed to terms, a contract signed in blood or skin.  She also gave them a quest dealing with one "Lond Von Kilyanovar" and his "brood" in exchange for information regarding the Repository of Illysaes that the bard and sage had uncovered information about.  This was a focal point of history and lore predating the Green Death that would aid countless.  The paladin felt overwhelmed as he literally had to pick between evils.  In the end a contract was signed by all parties with the Lady agreeing to aid the PC's on their quest(s) as long as they didn't impede her impending plans of carving a kingdom out for herself.  Most pertinent was the curses portion of the contract.  Each side was to name a curse; bloodbound and enforced by higher or lower power or perhaps time and chance.  The PC's stated that the Lady's curse was as follows: You are forbidden to attack Helios, forbidden to attack ours, forbidden to assail us upon forfeiture of your powers and you devote the remainder of your days serving Apollo.  The PC's on the other hand agreed to this: You are forbidden to attack my kingdom, forbidden to interfere with my plans within my kingdom upon pain of leprous sores, bereft of all allies and no succor for the remainder of your lives, undeath without dying.  After quibbling about some details, the PC's reluctantly (the paladin most vociferous against this) agreed to her terms.  She smiled and then her illusion was back to a guard and time went on as normal.  "I'll help, beginning with this... beware of the performers." she stated with no inflection.

A major autumnal festival in Helios was due to begin.  End part one.  Part two to follow as this sets the stage.

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