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5/20/2022 7:39 pm  #81

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 25 Part One!

In the frosty aftermath of the last excursion, the PC’s huddled in the warmth that Helios offered, such as it was. During this time, the cleric divined an omen asking Apollo to send a sign when the red moon is right to confer information to the paladin about a future event. A vision manifested showing a dreary castle and woe-begotten courtyard fallen to disuse. The vision carried on as if by a raven’s eye lifted upward to one of the towers that glowed with a crimson light revealing a tall, gaunt and well-dressed figure looking out into the courtyard with a red orb on an ornate stand behind him that glowed as if a furious storm brewed inside the sphere. The two discerned this was a location far northeast of their current locale. As they pondered what the vision could mean, a thunderous noise erupted as an avalanche happened sending living beings scurrying for shelter and out of the way of the oncoming wave of snow and ice. Next, a pallid green glow began spreading around the town from quite a distance encasing it like some sort of dome closing it off from the outside environs. From beyond the glow which appeared to kill animals that had the misfortune of being in its path, the clamor of hoofbeats, battle cries and harsh chaotic music filled the air. It looked like a poisonous noxious dome that threatened to close off and kill those trapped within. Wasting no time, the PC’s hurriedly rushed to try to get to the source of the green gaseous haze.

The avalanche had blasted and scoured the snow and ice shelfs and left behind cold stone which had ominous pillars like smaller obelisks as well as roughly carved statues of people standing around depicting various stages of grief. A bridge was spotted that spanned over a previously covered ravine and it went into the greenish substance. At the foot of the bridge was what appeared to be missing stone slabs that were forcibly removed from their resting place. The ranger and barbarian saw three distinct types of tracks that led away from that scene into three differing directions. Some appeared to be humanoid, others animalistic and one clearly monstrous. Inspecting the statues more closely disturbed some of them which animated with violent intent! Scowling gargoyles soon went on the assault against the PC’s! The bard and his fiery ally lashed at the cold living stone with fiery blades as the paladin and ice lord struck another. The cleric, ranger and barbarian went after the remaining two. As cold stone tore into their flesh, the PC’s were able to demolish the gargoyles completely with the cleric aiding in healing. The PC’s then pondered the riddle of the stone slab area and its missing contents and then resolved to follow the northward trail as that seemed as if some loping or shorter flight creature had left marks and indentations in the snow pack indicating a heavier weight was burdening the creature.

Following a strange random route as the “tracks” left discomfiting signs soon appeared. Bloodstains dotted the snow as well as signs of violence. Soon a fleshy bit would turn up and screeches filled their ears as in the darkness ahead illumined by the ghastly greenish glowing cloud showed the silhouettes of flying long beaked things tearing apart a large humanoid as they gorged on it leaving grisly remains and belongings strewn about. Rushing closer, the PC’s soon saw them as large pterandons who looked bitter from the cold as well as hunger. The eyes of the flying creatures soon saw the PC’s and flew towards them as it was clear their hunger was not sated! Quickly the ranger unleashed arrows to fell one from the sky where it crashed nearby him in an enraged heap. The barbarian, paladin and ice lord unleashed attacks of their own and the cleric slowed one down. The bard utilized his magical ability to speak withanimals to see if he could discern what they wanted and if possible stop the melee before more blood was spilt. He succeeded in getting two of the creatures to stand down under the promise that more food would be provided for them. In the time that took, the PC’s sustained gashes in their flesh as well as bites and slaying two of the pterandons that assailed them. After leaving generous portions of foodstuffs, the wary flying creatures took their spoils and flew off into the blackness of the long night. Getting closer to the torn remains of what the pterandons originally were ripping apart revealed fleshy chunks of what was some kind of hairy human as far as they could tell from remains. To the side of the gory scene discarded in the snow was a large stone tile of sorts with a weather worn letter X on it. The type of stone matched what they saw at the bridge. The PC’s then took the object back to the bridge area to see where it might fit. It became clear they might need the other pieces to reassemble the damaged area. After a revival of their health and spirits, the PC’s followed another set of tracks that were westward from the bridge.

The cluster of tracks the PC’s followed now were clearly human in their imprints, or so it appeared. More unsettling was the fact that others from seemingly aimless directions when crossing this path joined with the initial leaving party swelling their ranks. No sign of fire or other signal penetrated the darkness as the PC’s trekked on doggedly pursuing their prey. At last in the drifts of snow in the rolling rise and fall of drifts they spotted a cluster of humans moving slowly and strangely. A lead figure in black that stood out starkly against the snow was gesticulating around the others yet no sound was heard apart from the crunching of foot on the snowpack. It was clear two of this group were carrying another stone tile and that was what slowed progress. Getting closer the PC’s marveled that this group had so much exposed skin to the frigid air except the black dressed creature who also had a hat on that resembled no clothing style native to this region. A significant portion of these travelers had enlarged bellies, like pregnant women do. The paladin sensed evil emanating from that entourage. At that notice, the light of the greenish pallor of the glow revealed that these were no living creatures, they were undead!

Last edited by MrManowar (5/20/2022 7:40 pm)

Other bands play, Manowar kill!

7/08/2022 9:08 pm  #82

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 25 Part Two!
The cleric began creeping closer under the protection of the others as he began to prepare to turn or destroy these fiendish creatures of unlife.  Bursting out under cover of disguise and Apollo’s symbol uplifted for all to see the cleric uttered his defiant orders for the creatures to be summarily dismissed.  At once some of the horde was vanquished and others bedraggled and quailed under the new light and cleric’s prowess.  The black garbed leader was not amused and sent those with the enlarged bellies at the PC’s.  The barbarian and paladin entered the fray swinging viciously as ranger readied his arrows.  The ice lord, bard and the bard’s strange fiery companion attacked next.  The first blows slowed the charging horde.  Then a disgusting hideous spectacle occurred as the zombie-like things halted their movements and the wriggling mass that was their bellies burst forth sending gory intestines snaking about towards the necks of the PC’s!  The ranger and barbarian were ensnared and their air supply began to be choked off.  The pallid grim faced black garbed creature hurled some sort of explosive combustible liquid that burst into eerie purple flame-like snakes that lashed about the PC’s dealing stinging burns to all flesh they touched.  Then the cleric was able to slow some of the creatures which allowed the other PC’s to start attacking the intestinal blasting abominations and cut free their companions or new intestines that encircled their own bodies.  The paladin was undeterred and grimly hacked his way through the undead determined to get to the black garbed one.  A blast from the ice lord’s wand knocked the black garbed creature to the side as the bard’s flame-licked blade felled another of the undead.  His companion immolated another.  Newly freed, the ranger and barbarian raged back with renewed vigor striking down more of the creatures as the cleric moved into assist or heal as the situation developed.  The black garbed creature spread its hands in wild arcs unleashed an unfamiliar poisonous dust at the PC’s which caused some to cough and spasm violently.  The paladin began a righteous charge and with Apollo’s name on his lips smashed directly into the black garbed foe smiting down it in utter ruin!  The remaining PC’s felled the last of the intestine spewing undead as the cleric cured those affected by the putrid poison.  When the battlefield was quiet, the PC’s then recovered a second tile.  This one with a worn letter I engraved upon its surface.

After the PC’s brought back their recovered prize to the bridge, they quaffed some healing draughts and began the third of tracking the paths away from the stony place.  This time heading southwestward and made by some sort of burrowing creature.  Strangely, in places it seemed like the snowpack had melted as if intense heat had touched it and began to refreeze with a slick surface.  The ranger and barbarian had not encountered anything that would leave a trail in the snow and icy conditions like this.  Following along the wake of these marks upon the otherwise undisturbed snowy ground the PC’s marched.  Soon, the burrowing seemed to go underground.  To the surprise of the PC’s not far from the last of the holes into the ground lay a discarded tile similar to the others.  The PC’s gathered around this and it had a worn letter V upon it.  The PC’s began to bring this one back to the bridge when suddenly a spray of ice chunks and powdery snow exploded outward from a coiling creature of frost with bulbous eyes, antennae and horns and a pulsating underbelly that seemed to melt the snow instantly! Judging by its size the ranger discerned it was younger and not as full grown as it could possibly be but that was no comfort as its opening jaws revealed teeth upon teeth!  Then began an eerie trilling song that began to beguile some of the PC’s!

Open-eyed and slack-jawed about half of the party stood motionless as the large being who the ranger now discerned was a younger remorhaz with great speed gulped the upper torso of the ice lord and began violently chewing and tilting its head back in an attempt to swallow the hapless victim!  Wasting no time the paladin surged forward and cut a sizeable gash into the side of the creature. A shot to the underbelly revealed how terribly hot it was as the arrow began to melt and burn.  Being averse to a frontal assault then the PC’s assailed it from other positions.  Enraged the remorhaz spat out the ice lord and whirled its bite again and again at the other PC’s.  The cleric was able to slow it as the bard and his flaming companion scored it with fiery smites.  The barbarian used his short teleportation ring to appear on the head of the creature where he promptly thrust his sword again and again into the creature’s head!  He failed a difficult feat of dexterous maneuvering and was thrown off crashing into the snow.  After sustaining more bites, the PC’s were able to bring down the creature with the repeated skillful strikes.  After surveying the kill, the PC’s decided to mark the location to harvest parts of the slain creature that may be useful in alchemy or magic.  After binding wounds and having a hurried meal they got moving again with the last tile before the cold could seep in and slow them up.  They at last arrived at the bridge with the final tile in hand.  (As luck would have it) the PC’s placed the tiles in the order they found them.  The slabs read XIV.  The greenish glow around the middle of the bridge dissipated as a breach was made and the PC’s could cross.  Sensing evil, the paladin warned them that something was not right on the other side of the span.  The cleric and bard also had a foreboding sense about the bridge.  After consultation they informed the rest of the group that as they crossed the bridge they should take exactly fourteen steps in long stride.  This was attempted as the crossing went one by one and no adverse effects came upon the PC’s.  On the other side however laid an ominous sight!

Standing proud and tall, imposing and hateful stood a being with the upper body of a muscled frost giant and the lower body of a massive eight legged horse!  The son of Ymir from legend gazed down on them and blew a long solemn note on a massive horn and slowly summoned humanoid fighters of an aeon of past materialized with malicious intent leveled at the PC’s! After spitting out insults and mocking them the hooves began to pound the snowpack as son of Ymir charged with his summoned warriors close behind.  The barbarian summoned a meteor with his magical weapon and unlike most times in the past it struck the galloping monstrosity bearing down on them.  Thrown off course, the son regrouped as his warriors smashed into the line of the PC’s dealing deadly strikes with their ancient blades.  The paladin, ranger, bard and the fiery ally fought back as the ice lord and cleric began to cast spells.  Not wanting the ensorcelled summoned warriors here they both dispelled the magic that brought them here.  Howling in impotence, the summoned warriors were banished back to whatever far flung realm and time they were originally called from.  There was no time to react though as the son of Ymir was upon them and with massive thrusts of his spear wounded the ranger and paladin and then he trampled the barbarian underfoot as the eight legged creature continued its onslaught.  The ice lord sent ice darts flying as he waited out the next move and the cleric struck the son with a glancing shot as the son strode by.  The bard sent a color spray but the massive son of Ymir laughed it off in battle rage.  Then it whirled around striking the cleric, ice lord and trampled the bard.  The ranger nailed the son of Ymir with magical arrows that had a vicious effect.  The paladin laid hands on the unconscious barbarian to heal him and the revived companion quickly gulped down the contents of a healing potion.  Angered that her bardic friend was injured the flying fiery companion of his scorched the flank of the son of Ymir.  The ice lord managed to slow the creature as the repeated icy darts punctured the flesh of the son.  The paladin, rejuvenated barbarian and ranger entered the fray after the cleric was hit and knocked unconscious by the son’s last attacks.  The combined final assault of the PC’s in a wearying last stand smote down the son with the bipedal companion of fire burning portions of the son.  At long last, the air was still apart from their heavy breathing.  The cleric was administered healing to be brought back from the brink of death much as the barbarian was earlier.  Then the greenish fog-like dome of death and entrapment began to dissipate and break apart and what was a normal night in this darkened time of winter showed itself to this area of Hyperborea again.  The PC’s collected much metals and trophies in their exultation taking the same fourteen steps back across the bridge.  As they made their way back to Helios looking behind them they saw frost giants beginning to gather and winter wolves crossing the terrain.  The battle would not be long for Helios depending on when the giants chose to attack.  Testing their hearty constitution with all that befell them, the PC’s made it back to the warmth and relative safety of the town.  Would its defenses hold?  That question will be answered in the future!
End Session 25!

Last edited by MrManowar (7/08/2022 9:09 pm)

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8/18/2022 9:57 pm  #83

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 26 Part One!
The final preparations for the defense and militaristic movements regarding Helios were speedily underway.  Brother Antonius and other leaders decided to put the weak, infirm and helpless to safety and away from the assaults that would soon befall Helios.  The runegraver offered to assist those in need of safe passage to the cave recently discovered so he and a small contingent of men-at-arms escorted groups to shelter.  The ranger, barbarian and ice lord assisted with final defenses and traps to waylay the foolish rushing headlong.  The cleric and paladin blessed the townsfolk taking up weaponry and armor to defend the walls and homes as the bard regaled them all with tales of bravery and instilling courage while Ember, his flaming companion flitted about like some fiery star in the cold winds above them.  The long frigid sunless night was still weighing on all those cold souls as fires dotted sections of the town providing flickering light and small islands of warmth to those hurrying about.  The howling of wolves could be heard in the wind and baleful blasts of a horn from the mountains signaled the arrival of the enemy forces although they were some ways off yet.

Suddenly a piercing keening whine was heard as a streak of something like a dying comet rapidly sped to diminish and crash in the frozen tundra.  This shocked and stilled all advances and calls of war as eyes tried to adjust to the sudden lighting change.  The silence was eerie and the watchmen could no longer discern any movement of the enemy forces.  The PC’s quickly decided to take this seeming respite to investigate the flying object’s final resting place to see if there was any relation to an earlier crash they encountered.  Breaking off into a run, the PC’s used the adrenaline fueled determination to get there, examine and retreat back to the town before anything else could disturb what remains could be found.  As time passed and they approached the scorched earth and shattered snowy tundra, it astonishingly was warm and even more bewildering, strange biological growths exuded from the ruins and odd plantlike things were in an area around it that looked like a mix of foliage and fungus.  Strange odors filled the air, almost hallucinogenic.  Next to the crash was a strange totem like pillar that had blinking lights on it.  Before the PC’s could investigate it, plants whirled toward them, including one very large one and its vine-like spike laden appendages lashed out in all directions ensnaring most of the PC’s and drawing them to a large maw shaped orifice that dripped of a briny secretion and stank like rotting offal.  The paladin and barbarian hewed through the vines which sunk into their flesh depositing poison upon piercing them.  Other plants exuding various toxicity attacked the PC’s in this alien verdant patch of landscape.  The ice lord managed to overcome the noxious cloud one emitted and slashed at it as the ranger fell sway to a sleeping mist another emitted.  The bard’s companion Ember quickly hugged one plant setting it alight in flames and it fell writhing and burning to the ground.  The cleric managed to remove poisons and get PC’s upright if they fell victim to the plants’ multifaceted attacks.  The bard drew his flaming scimitar and scored hits felling another as the awakened ranger started pelting plants with flaming arrows.  The paladin and barbarian continued the dance of death with the humungous plant being as its spiky appendages kept scoring hits.  The barbarian summoned a meteor from his magical weapon and it struck with devastating accuracy this time around.  By now, all the PC’s witnessed the powerful effect of fire upon these forms of otherworldly biology and put it great use.  By the time the battle was over, the PC’s were light headed, woozy and suffering from the effects of all the gases of drug-like qualities as well as the stinging cuts made from the spiky appendages.  Soon the area reeked of smoke and burning foliage as well as fading stench the destroyed plant beings exuded.

Taking stock of their surroundings, as well as healings, the PC’s approached the tilted column with blinking lights.  As they approached it, a monotonous voice intoned “Sage advice, once per person.”  It began to give out “advice” to the PC’s in the form of terrible riddles, horrible puns and inane observations on life.  The bard was so disgusted he walked away rather than let the pillar espouse more nonsense.  As he did, he noticed odd loping humanoid bipeds emerging from the shattered “comet” thing behaving in a confused manner.  Also, a large heavily muscled being wielding a terrible scythe like object emerged from the ruins.  Its skin scorched and what looked like a metallic raven headed helm covering its whole head swiveled its gaze onto the bard and raised its weapon.  A guttural noise sounded forth and the alien bipeds (now seen with no discernible faces or sexes and taut purple/smoky hued smooth skin) began an almost coordinated hostile movement towards the PC’s!

With a quick cry to alert the others, the ice lord magically slowed the raven helmed beast-man and its movements became sluggish.  The ranger and barbarian quickly attacked the nearest bipedal alien being and found that it could be wounded.  The bard and Ember kept up the fiery combination holding at bay another as the barbarian and paladin again coordinated their attacks on the large beast-man.  The cleric was about to attack one, but then noticed strange cylindrical tubes on the ground by the detritus of the comet where these forms emerged.  He discerned these were magical and understanding dawned that the alien type creatures were possibly forced against their will to fight for the raven helmed beast-man due to magical control.  As that was going on, for every hit the raven helmed foe scored, the paladin and barbarian and now ice lord landed more bloody gouges on its massive body.  The ranger succeeded in felling one of the alien creatures as the cleric moved to dispel the magic ensorcelling the aliens.  As his spell went off, the aliens at once stopped their hostility and moved about shaken and confused.  The raven helmed beast man roared in rage but in his slowed state could not face the combined might of the PC’s and soon was slain.  In their right minds, the alien beings could speak telepathically with the PC’s and apologies and peace soon soothed over the tensions.  The PC’s quickly explained to the alien beings about the other fallen ship and strange devices they had as well as explaining about the imminent frost giant assault on Helios.  An alliance was reached and they all went back to Helios… only to see that the frost giant assault was already underway.

End part one.

Last edited by MrManowar (8/18/2022 9:57 pm)

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8/31/2022 8:17 pm  #84

Re: A Crow's Nest Upon Bleak Shores

Session 26 Part Two!

Aghast at the sight of icy boulders smashing into the defenses and gouts of flames spurting up from walled stations and hearing the cries of the wounded, the PC’s hurriedly went towards Helios from another front vantage point hoping to draw off some of the frost giants.  From a high windswept ridge, a large frost giant’s silhouetted form alongside a mammoth could be discerned surveying the battlefield chaos below.  The aliens maneuvered with the PC’s as they cut down a smaller frost giant en route to a gap in the city’s walls.  Shouting to alert the remaining sentries of who they were, the PC’s were then informed of what had transpired in the raiding assault and where Helios stood.  As stratagems were devised, one of the PC’s recalled the cylindrical tubes as well as some of the strange metals from a different crash site the PC’s unearthed a while ago.  Struck with inspiration, the PC’s then showed the alien’s the tubes as well as brought some of the foreign metallic substances.  The aliens then grew frantically delirious with excitement and the telepathic communication bursting across synapses revealed talks about symbiotic relations and melding of organic and metallic substances to create a seemingly homogenous mixture of the two in the form of the alien creatures.  The PC’s allowed the creatures to interact with the metallic tubes and what they brought back from the other crash site.  The aliens began a swift transmogrification into one being, something that looked like a living metallic colossus as all the metals, aliens and substances were merged into one functioning being that was the same height as the tallest of the frost giants the PC’s ever faced!  Now, the communication was strong and forceful as the colossus turned to the breaches in the walls where some frost giants were clambering in from and took off at a loping run towards the invaders.

The PC’s took courage at their new ally’s actions and they too went out down the streets towards where the giants were moving in and engaging the defenders and entered the fray!  The barbarian teleported himself up with deadly effect lashing in quickly as the ranger went alongside the houses to get a side vantage point to launch arrows at the giants coming in without a fear of striking a friend with an errant shot.  The ice lord slowed one giant magically as the paladin rushed in to assail the invader.  The bard, Ember and cleric unleashed more magics such as a wonderful display of color that effectively blinded one giant as the cleric slowed another.  The colossal amalgamation of alien flesh and metal singlehandedly struck down a frost giant with its massive blade like appendage that formed alongside energy blasts that fired out from it.  The ranger then dipped one of his magical arrows into a glass bottle that he had stored the liquids from the remorhaz gland and unleashed the arrow and the cries of agony from a frost giant who in death throes managed to smash the side of a building and send what few persons who hadn’t either taken up arms or fled to safety into immediate action.  The bard and his flaming scimitar alongside Ember’s blazing attacks allowed them to corner one as the cleric was able to heal the PC’s who’d taken hits from the various blows of the giants.  The paladin and barbarian and ice lord brought low another with their weaponry and magic.  The colossus was proving to be quite the ally as it smashed the skull of another giant.  The tide inside the town was turning but with it still being darkness outside the town and flames and ash filling the air it was hard to behold where things were at in the defense of Helios. 

A group of men at arms were able to ignite some barrels of oil that were subsequently tipped to create lines and gouts or columns of flame that would slow the oncoming invaders from destroying more of the walls or taking more lives from those who sought to defend their homes.  The PC’s were able to bring down another frost giant as the gains forced a few frost giants back only then the hoary giants discerned they were trapped on the inside by the PC’s and their weaponry and sorcery on one front and the fiery obstacles from what was lit by the men at arms.  Guttural roars from the giants were answered with a long horn blast from the ridge above.  Now wolves white as the unspoiled snow slavered and howled as they began a run for Helios.  An apparent second wave of frost giants with the massive specimen of their kind mounted the large mammoth and inexorably moved to Helios with a massive spear outstretched as if signaling a doom to all who saw it.  The PC’s redoubled their efforts and hacked and unleashed spells on the remnant of frost giants were able to gain access into the town and soon the streets of stone, snow and ice were slick with the steaming blood of felled frost giant.  Part of the standing army of the town led by brother Antonius cautiously made their way to converse with the PC’s as they knew not what to make of the towering alien colossus that seemingly was their ally.  The runegraver then was able to return to his comrades with healing potions to distribute as he exclaimed that all those who couldn’t aid in the defense of Helios were sent to safety.  More oil was poured and the lines of flames soon became walls of conflagration whose heat could be felt from a distance as snow melted fast around.  The final stratagems of defense were gone over with the PC’s and other leaders of Helios taking up various positions so communication could be easily spread.  Ember flew up in the air to watch the frost giants and wolves as they approached.  The paladin began a prayer to Apollo beseeching his aid in this upcoming, surely final battle with these hated enemies.  The cleric also joined in as the other watched, made weapons ready, heightened alert for the next wave of violence to arrive at the threshold of Helios!

End Session 26.

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