Poortown

Blight Ho!
In which our heroes head into the wilderness

When we last saw our brave heroes, they were finishing up a day of shopping in the city of Artemis. In order to secure a 10% share of Flint & Steel, they formed a company of their own, called The League, Fellowship & Brotherhood Sworn to Discover all that is Unknown, Unconquered and Hidden. They went to a local magistrate’s office to have the Charter of their new corporation drawn up and notarized. After a much longer than normal wait, a clerk appeared, demanding that they follow her deep into the underbelly of the scary municipal offices. In a small office, deep underground, the party learned that an edict had just been passed down:

“All adventurers who wish to form a Chartered Exploration Corporation must pay Despicably Corpulent amounts of cash to the local government, to pay for damages to public and otherwise insured property that may or may not have been set on fire and urinated upon. So there.”

Their charter signed, and them much poorer than they thought they had been, our heroes made their way back into the streets of Artemis. On the way out, Olin’s sharp ears heard a soft voice saying “Ok, we can repeal that edict now, we got enough to pay for Poortown.” And another voice responding, “But didn’t we just spend as much as they gave us to push the edict through the Senate in the space of 2 hours?” To which the first voice replied, “Shut up,” then more quietly, “I hate you.”

The party spent their last night in Artemis back at the Cocoon Hotel. Ramahut fell into a deep sleep, finding himself once again in the pearl-palace dreamscape. But instead of following the silver carpet into the throne room, Ramahut elected to sit for 8 hours in the ante-chamber, wondering what the Platinum Dragon might want from him this time – after all, it didn’t go well the last time he dreamed of this place.

In the morning, the party enjoyed a traditional Balanian breakfast of fried otter tails, pond scum and broiled goat’s udder. The crazy cat lady did not make a repeat performance. Despite her absence, however, when our heroes went to the stable to collect Smokey and their new horses, they once again noticed fresh humanoid tracks in the bear’s stall.

The hardy company saddled up, and proceeded to ride through the streets of Artemis, across the river and into the lower merchant quarter, where the offices of Flint & Steel are located. As soon as they entered the borderline slum district, Halflings dressed in vibrantly colored clown costumes began to march out of alleyways and doors, all to the beat of a loud bass drum. When 50 Halfling clowns had gathered around the party, they began to sing:

Oompa Loompa, Ramabut Whelp! Never around when his partners need help.
Oompa Loompa, Ramabut Whelp! Answering peril with a sonorous yelp!
__
His only thought is collecting tongues,
And dancing in the blood of the unarmed ones.
__
He may not be brave, but he’s very kind,
Leading friends to their death from the very behind!
__
Ramahut barely kept his rage in check. Zog was singing along and clapping his hands, and even Smokey could tell that fun was being had – he marched along with a big bear grin to the sound of the drum beat. When the performance ended, the Halflings lined up beside the road, and Zog handed each one a few coppers for their performance.

At Flint & Steel, Fundo Draconia met the party, thrilled that they were ready to begin. “The sooner you get into that mine and sort out the problem, the sooner we can all go back to making money!” Fundo led the party out the city gates along a cart track to a small train station. The train arrived, circled a loop of track, and stopped. Billibub, a dwarf, and the train’s engineer, helped the party secure their horses in the rear car, and made sure they were all comfortable in the passenger car.

The train set off, and Fundo rode back to Artemis, bidding the party a happy farewell.

Zubair and Ramahut, neglecting to notice the sign forbidding passengers from entering the engine, went forward to speak to Billibub. Zubair asked some questions about the workings of the steam locomotive, finding that it was not, in fact magical, but worked by burning coal to heat water, creating steam, etc. etc. You all know how a bloody steam engine works, and if you don’t, I’m sure there’s a Wikipedia article about it.

Ramahut pulled a lever, and the train ground to a halt. Billibub, clearly not impressed, ordered Ramahut back into the passenger car. While Billibub worked diligently to get the train moving again, Zubair asked about what was happening at the mine. He learned that the last few crews who went down into the mine have not returned, and a few survivors of previous crews refuse to talk about what they saw. Zubair retired to the passenger car, none the wiser about what the party should expect down in the mine.

After a short while, the train came to a halt once again. Out the window the party could see they were in a channel that had been blasted out of bedrock, 10 feet high on either side to create a level train track. Billibub came back into the passenger car, announcing that there seems to have been a small rockslide that is now blocking the track. He asked the party if they would mind helping him clear the rocks so they could get underway.

Everyone pitched in, even Ramahut. But no sooner than he had bent to the task of lifting a small boulder, a crossbow bolt whistled by his ear. He whipped around, only to take another bolt full in the chest! Quickly shaking off his injury, Ramahut climbed the rock wall, to find two Halfling thieves firing crossbow bolts down on the party. “I’ll kill you you clowns!” But the Halflings jumped down into the channel to fight.

Two more bolts were fired from the other side of the track, and two more Halflings leapt into battle. The heroes quickly dispatched their would be robbers, and cleared the rubble, making way for the train.

An hour later, the train pulled into the miner’s camp. Benn asked to see the foreman. Billibub lead the party to a large tent, where the camp foreman, a burly dwarf named Gruff McBuff, was working out. Gruff shirtlessly re-iterated what Zubair had already learned from Billibub, along with brief directions through the mine to the other side. And the party set off for the mine, with Gruff’s well wishes – “I hope you don’t DIE” – fresh in their hearts.

In the mines, a sunrod was attached to Smokey. The party walked east down a short tunnel, which opened into a large chamber with a pillar in its center. There were 3 additional tunnels branching from this room, one to the south, one to the east, and one to the north, and of course, back to the west, the way they had just come. The northern tunnel was blocked by a recent cave-in, and two sounds could be heard: calls for help from behind the fallen rocks, and the sound of eating from the southern tunnel.

Feeling hungry, I guess, the party decided to follow the sounds of eating before they tried to rescue the trapped workers. Heartless bastards, every last one of them. For all they knew men could have been bleeding out behind those rocks!

Heading south, the sunrod’s light revealed a smaller room, with an enormous pile of dwarven corpses being fed on by 6 scary zombies. 2 corruption corpses, 2 rotwing zombies, and 2 zombie hulks. Like, zoinks, Scoob!

Zubair cast web on the room, immobilizing the zombies, and allowing Smokey and others to block the exit. Midway through the battle, a crippling blow was delivered to Smokey, and the bear went down. Much to everyone’s shock, there on the stone floor, where Smokey the bear had just been standing, lay a human boy!

Soon after that, the fight was over, Olin discovered a secret door. Benn went in to find a locked iron chest.

But wait – the 2 zombie hulks were getting up again! The horror! By this time, Smokey the … boy? had been stabilized and healed, and had run back to Zog who was minding the horses. While Zubair, Olin, and Ramahut fought the still apparently undead hulks, Benn’s greed got the better of him and he stayed in the secret room, trying desperately to unlock the chest, and presumably slink away with whatever was inside, never to be heard from again. At the last moment, however, Benn’s conscience kicked into gear, and he opened the chest, collected 500 gp, and a 500 gp diamond, and joined the fight. He even told the rest of the party about what he found. What a great guy!

Taking a short rest – “help, help! We’re still stuck in here!” – the party learn that Smokey doesn’t speak common, and seems somewhat attached to Zog, though he looks sort of uncomfortable in his human form. He also looks completely naked, and though they gave him a crossbow, they didn’t give him any clothes. We can only assume that every last one of them is a skeevy pedophile.

FINALLY, the party returned to help the trapped miners. Zog and Smokey, who worked clumsily in his human form, began to dig out the cave-in. Meanwhile, from the eastern tunnel, a corruption corpse and a rotwing zombie appeared! They were killed quickly, but then another pair appeared at the end of the hallway.

Completely going against everything he believed in, Ramahut rushed down the hall toward the zombies, and barely missed falling through a false floor pit trap with a 20 foot drop and poisoned spikes at the bottom. Oh well, the DM can’t win them all.

Most of the party successfully jump over the pit trap, leaving the 2 bear people to dig out the cave-in. No sooner were these two zombies killed, than another 2 appeared. Zubair cast light so they could find the spawn point and go home, for the little men inside their heads were tired after 6 hours of gaming. But alas! What they saw was another room, with a strange stone doorway that seemed to suck light into it. Over it was carved a symbol that kinda looked like this: C:= (if you rotate that clockwise).

On either side of the doorframe, were two pale humanoids with strange, black tribal markings, and black armor. They look kinda mean.

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Aftermath

As you guys will remember, you ran into the Ritual of the Avatar ceremony just as it was beginning but were able to rescue most of the captives before any major harm befell them and you slayed both Thoth-Amon and the mysterious cloaked figure (Gorigaaz) who seemed to be leading the ritual from above.

While your big battle was raging, Lincoln, Zubair and Klodok were occupied elsewhere. At first they were repelled the sparse reinforcements that came to repel your interruption of the ceremony. At some point Klodok (the Minotaur Ranger that Sandy’s nephew was playing) sensed the captive Minotaur villagers that he was intent on rescuing. So he then led the trio off to release those captives.

Since a Gnoll was sacrificed during the ritual of the Avatar, the tribe of Gnolls that had been storming the encampment became enthralled to Thoth-Amon. At that point they stopped battling the goblinoids guarding the perimeter of the camp and a large mass of the thralls started tearing back to the ritual site. But luckily for you Thoth-Amon was slain before they arrived. Once they regained their own will, most of these monsters were quite disoriented, with some of the goblinoids having lost days or weeks of their memories. The Gnolls however were mostly just enraged at having their wills subverted and they tended to start slaughtering the now disorganized goblinoids.

With the guards abandoning their posts, Lincoln and Zubair were able to sneak into the largest tent and managed to grab some gold statues, a few magic items and some interesting looking scrolls before the hyena cackles of the Gnoll tribe over-running the camp warned them away. While Zubair elected to regroup with the main party Lincoln split off to join Klodok to help him defend the Minotaur villagers from any raving Gnolls or Goblins.
The magic items and loot that Zubair brought back to the party was already accounted for in my earlier post about the rewards from the last session.

So, I would say that we aren’t exactly at an extended rest point in the story, what with all of the PO’d gnolls running around. So, keep your character sheets from the end of the last session. Maybe the gnoll war tribe will encounter up the one gnoll that was present when Thoth-Amon was slain and wouldn’t see us as targets for revenge.

I would envision that the six of us would have regrouped at the base of the cliff side and we would need to determine if we want try to reason or fight our way through a bunch of gnolls, or try to hide and wait it out, or find another exit from the area.

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Toth-Amon Defeated

You had the tools, you had the talent, you neutronized Thoth-Amon. You know what that means? A complete particle reversal.

Here is a summary of your XP rewards and loot from Thoth-Amon’s camp.

Total XP value of all hostile monsters that were slain or surrendered: 4000 XP

Thwarted the Ritual of the Avatar and plans of the Baphomet cultists: Major Quest reward: 1200 XP

Rescued most of the druids: Minor Quest reward: 200 XP

Rescued most of monster race captives, without killing any of them: Minor Quest reward: 200 XP

Total XP: 5400, 900 XP per each PC, raising each of your total XP to 7150.

Loot:
Level 4 Heavy Battleforged Shield (Arm/Offhand)
Level 5 Bloodthread Cloak (Cloth Armour)
Level 5 Girdle of the Oxen (Waist)
Level 6 Dynamic “Short Sword” (Dynamic weapon’s power is that they can transform into any weapon)
Level 6 Goblin Stompers (Boots)
Level 7 Amulet of Resolution (Neck)
Level 8 Brooch of No Regrets (Neck)

2 x Potion of Healing
1 x Elixer of Dragonbreath – Fire

Precious Gems and Golden Idols to Baphomet worth 1800 GP.


I could make up some information that you are able to glean while ransacking the camp, but I should consult our new DM Robert first.

Cheers all. It’s been really fun DM’ing for you. I’m really looking forward to being able to focus in on playing one character with you again.

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Yenol

The party continued making their way across the Linvale. As the twilight approached the party noticed rising smoke and a the dim glow of camp fires to the north. Sending their stealthiest members, Lincoln & Klodok, to investigate, they learned that a large war party of Gnolls were camped there. After consulting the religious knowledge of Ramahut, the party reasoned that as followers of Yeenoghu, the gnolls were likely to be coming to oppose the cultists of Baphomet that had taken up residence in Yenol.

Not wanting to risk a dangerous encounter with vicious and typically un-reasonable sorts, the gnolls were avoided. The party took a rest, but departed in the early hours of the night, hoping to reach Yenol just before daybreak. Finding a route that skirted the edge of the swamplands the surround Yenol, the party was making good progress until they started to get bogged down by some thicker undergrowth. Before too long, the party was somewhat separated, and they came under attack by a cohort of Vine Horrors and Shambling Mounds. Luckily these monsters were dispatched before anyone was consumed by a Mound. After hacking it to bits, they discovered the remains of a Hobgoblin that had been wearing a +2 Meliorating Plate Armour, which was claimed by and re-adjusted to fit Greebal.

Despite this delay, thanks to the mountaineering skills of Eglath, the party was able to make their way up into hills and find a safe vantage point to oversee Yenol just as dawn was breaking. While this was a safe vantage point, there was not a great amount of detail to the observations that could be made from here, expect to see that their was a large encampment of tents scattered amongst the ruins of Yenol, some penned off areas for domesticated wolves and boars and off to the north the smoke from the Gnoll war band could be seen.

Needing more information for the party, Olin risked the trek to another hill that was closer to danger. He was able to avoid detection coming and going and he was able to notice many interesting happenings. He saw a large tent decorated with red sashes in the centre of the encampment, from which a large minotaur emerged. This minotaur was gesturing and giving commands to hobgoblins and a couple other minotaurs. The hobgoblin commanders were rushing off to marshall a defense of Yenol from the approaching Gnolls; with most of the encampment’s forces mobilizing towards the Gnolls. The two subordinate minotaurs each led a gang of goblins to bring forth from a couple different tents the druids and other kidnappees from an assortment of races. All of the prisoners appeared to be moving as if shackled to one another. The prisoners were being led off from the encampment towards the nearby steep cliffs that site beside where the river sweeps down a waterfall.

Deciding that prompt action was required Olin returned. Then the party left to find a parthway through the mountains to the area Olin saw the druids being taken. Along the way they were attacked by some goblins who were overheard saying “We must hurry, the ritual is starting early.” These goblins were easily dispatched and a quick search of their bodies revealed a Venomous Whetstone and a bag of rubies worth 300 GP.

By following the telltale signs of large bonfires being set, the party was able to make their way to where the ritual is to take place. Klodok, Lincoln and Zubair attacked from afar, and pulled off the sentries guarding the ritual and the remaining party members were able to approach the site….

XP rewards (per PC) for this session are: 225 for the first combat, 175 for the for second and 100 XP for miscellaneous problem solving, for a total of 500 XP, bringing the total to 6250.

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On to Toth-Amon

A few sessions are undocumented, one DM’ed by Rob of the West involved getting out of Poortown, and a second one a last minute session run by Sandy that took us to the Feywild. We know have Matt DM’ing

Upon returning from their excursion into the feywild pocket universe, Benn, Ramahut, Olin, Eglath and Zubair are encountered by Zog, Lincoln, and Klodok who inform them that many days passed during their absence, even though their perception was that less than a day had passed.

Zog and Lincoln had been searching the area where they disappeared for signs that they had been killed or captured. During this searching they have encountered Klodok, a young minotaur ranger, whose village was recently ransacked by Baphomet cultists and prisoners were kidnapped. After some introductions and relating their recent experiences, Zog informs them that the ritual sacrifice of the druids to Baphomet is expected to happen in the evening of the day after the next.

So the party of Zog, Lincoln, Zubair, Klodok, Ramahut, Eglath, Olin and Benn set off back to Luusi’s cabin to retrieve Greebal and make final preparations before making their way to Yenol. En route to Luusi’s cabin the party is beset by a large contingent of Hobgoblin’s led by a glaive-wielding boar-riding Fleshcarver. After failing to convince that they were also followers of Baphomet, a battle ensued. The scope of the battle was so large that Zog, Benn, Ramahut and Klodok are fighting one group of the ’gobs, including the leader, while the other heroes face off against other opponents off screen.

After a fiece, closely fought battle, that saw Ramahut nearly get washed away, the party vanquishes the gobs, claims the Fleshcarver’s magic glaive and amulet, finds some gold and magic ritual components strapped to the boar and reaches Level 5!

After feasting on roast boar the party reached Luusi’s cabin where they took an extended rest and set out for Yenol in the morning. After consulting a map of the Numerian Valley, the party opts to take a fairly route that skirts to the north edge of the swamplands that are west of Yenol.

After travelling for several hours the party spotted some wolf-mounted riders patrolling the valley. Spoiling for a fight, they raised their standard up high and Zog attempted some Belanian music. The wolves keen hearing easily recognized this music to be a threat and the riders charged in to attack the party with maximum prejudice. Again, Zog, Benn, Ramahut and Klodok dealt with one contingent, while the others dispatched the rest. This was relatively simple encounter for the party, which earned them 200 XP.

Perhaps more importantly, they were able to intimidate a Hobgoblin into surrender, at which point they tortured him for information on Yenol and the ritual. From this interrogation, and Benn’s own limited grasp of the region’s History, they were able to glean that Yenol was a mill-town, built to take advantage of the river flowing down from the peaks above. But some kindof dispute arose and the residents tore apart the town and each-other. And for the ritual, they learned that it will be a great blood-letting and the blood will be drawn from the sacrifices by Baphomet himself! At which point he expired.

And for that last little social/intelligence gathering encounter would be worth 50 XP. So, in total the party should be at 5750 XP.

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Marvelo's Playhouse Cancelled

Sunday, 16th of Plantin, Twilight

Ramahut, Olin, Lincoln, Zog, Eglath, Greebal

Coming out the other end, they find themselves on a smoky balcony with two flaming barrels of oil, and overlooking Baphomet’s temple. Below is an injured Marvelo, someone they take to be Thaphomet, some human priests a few hobgoblins. Zog immediately leaps over the balcony, with the rest quickly following. As Thaphomet rises and turns towards them, Ramahut is shocked to realize it is his brother Thane. Thaphomet is scorneful of Bane, stating that he is a weak God and Baphomet has shown him the true path to power. He is no longer Thane of Bane – he is now Thaphomet of Baphomet. He mocks Ramahut for still shilling for Bahamut and says that “Mother is very disappointed with you.”

Battle is joined! Our heroes find themselves facing Marvelo, Thaphomet, two Human Mages, four Hobgoblins and a Magma Beast in the fire pit.

Marvelo pulls out a small bag and slings it at Ramahut – he doges, but is just not quite fast enough and the bag explodes in a stick goo that pins him to the spot. Everyone else scatters to attack their chosen targets – scattering to the four winds.

Eglath quickly finds himself surrounded by the hobgoblins, but shows his might as a Warden and dispatches even more effectively than Pharphan would have.

Olin and Zog charge ahead and are quickly engaged by Thaphomet as Marvelo smears poison on his blade and looks for an opening.

Lincoln moves to get a clear line of sight and begins a long slog of taking down the Magma Beast.

From the far entrance through the smoke, Greebal appears – with Inritus’ handkerchief tied around his arm – and four hobgoblins in hot pursuit.

After taking a few heavy blows, the already injured Marvelo bolts behind a curtain and disappears.

Things are looking dicey until the last of the hobgoblins are taken down. While Lincoln and the Magma Beast continue to fire ranged attacks at each other, Zog, Ramahut and Greebal start working on Thaphomet and the mages. While they put up a good fight, they are ultimately doomed. Ramahut shows no remorse and he kills his brother.

Olin and Eglath take off in pursuit of Marvelo and find a room behind the curtain and a secret door with stairs that lead under Neverand Lanch – they take off in pursuit.

After finishing off the last resistance, Zog goes looking for loot and finds a chest packed full of gold and gems in Marvelo’s room. He immediately picks it up and begins carrying it around.

Heading down the stairs, they meet up with Eglath and Olin who are resting at room with two other exits. After a short rest to catch their breath, they find a trail of blood heading down the left passage. Following the trail they find it ends at a pair of brass doors. While debating how to open the door, Zog begins smashing it unsuccessfully, until Eglaths suggests just trying to see if its locked – which it’s not.

Upon opening the doors, they a met with a strange sight. There is a brightly lit room with Marvelo sitting at one end on a throne, and his playroom around him; complete with a miniature castle, mushroom garden, ‘pillow lounging’ area, and a pony.

… Oh and also a torture rack, several people manacled to the wall and an iron maiden. Along with four Dire Wolves and a big looking Hobgoblin.

Marvelo throws one of his sticky balls again – and once again Ramahut just missed dodging out of the way. Our heroes struggle against the wolves but once they finally get one down, everything else falls pretty quickly and Marvelo is finally finished.

They find a ton of loot in a sandbox in the middle of the mini castle and strip Marvelo of his boots and tongue.

Among the freed prisoners is Luusi, the Poortown wise-woman, Dracks, a friend of Greebal’s from their village, and in the iron maiden is non other then Benn. Obviously the slave revolt didn’t go too well…

End Time: Sunday, 16th of Plantin, twilight

Treasure:
?

XP Awards:
Thaphomet – 1525 XP
Marvelo’s Playpen –1550 XP
Quest: Ending the Slaver Threat – 900 XP
Quest: Free the Poortown wise-woman Luusi – 300 XP

Total: 4275 XP
Per Player (6): 713 XP

Player Total: 3237 + 713 XP = 3950 XP

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Neverland Burns!
In which Zog demonstrates his love of fire

Sunday, 16th of Plantin, early evening

Ramahut, Olin, Lincoln, Zog, Eglath

Having dispatched the gladiator jailers and Marvelo’s guard, the adventurers return to the jail cells to find one of the freed prisoners rummaging through the gear pile, looking for his confiscated items. He is Eglath, an imposing Goliath who found himself imprisoned by Marvelo’s forces. After a short introduction, he is more than willing to throw his lot in with the other’s quest to kill Marvelo.

Greebal expresses concern for Inritus and Vithys and insists that he go back into the arena to see if he can find what’s happened to them.

The others decide it is best to strike while the iron is hot, so they proceed deeper into Marvelo’s stronghold going up the stairs that Marvelo’s guard had come down.

They come onto a landing overlooking a ground-floor garden with raised walkways above a golden statue of Marvelo. They go looking for trouble and find it immediately around the corner in the form of a Hobgoblin patrol. A quick melee ensues and they learn that Hobgoblin Warcasters should be dealt with quickly as his force pulse pushes Lincoln off the walkway – luckily Lincoln is quick on his feet and takes very little damage. Eglath hits the warcaster with a ton of bricks (literally) to keep him out of the fight. Ramahut gets grabbed by a Bugbear Strangler and is thankful that he’s wearing plate when he finds himself a human shield against Lincoln’s double-arrow rapid-fire attack. No one can hold Ramahut for long however as he smashes his shield into the bugbear’s face and breaks the grab with a shift. The enemies go down quickly and Lincoln cripples the last enemies to keep one alive for questioning.

The Hobgoblin Commander hesitates to cooperate for a moment, and Zog promptly cuts off his right hand. This produces immediate results – Marvelo can be found in Baphomet’s temple with Thaphomet.

Ramahut takes his trophy tongue.

Lincoln suggests they take the time to see what’s behind some of the doors they see nearby, to which Zog agrees. The first door proves to stubbornly resist the strongest warriors’ attempts to bash it down. With a single well placed kick, Lincoln them how it’s done.
They find themselves in Kaval’s quarters – a cursory search reveals a set of research papers detailing the Ritual for Nature’s Avatar that Kaval is performing in Yenol. There are also two symbols on the wall – the bloody maze of the Beast, and a stylized Man’s head – the same symbol they found on slavers in the Ironscale Mine. They find a Scroll of Hand of Fate and some sanctified incense. This doesn’t seem to be enough for Zog, who takes his axe to the furniture and reduces it to kindling. He promptly spreads lamp oil around the room and sets it alight.

Moving onto another door, this one they notice is barred from the outside. Expecting trouble they open the door and are stuck by the stench of rotting flesh. Olin strikes a sunrod and reveals three Carnage Demons sitting in a pool of muck enjoying a hobgoblin corpse and Lincoln spots a Harpy clinging to the rafters. The enemies don’t really stand a chance as they quickly take down the Harpy before she can sing her song and then pummel the demons until they drop.

Rooting around in the muck, they uncover a red Power Jewel.

Ramahut takes his trophy tongue from the Harpy.

Coming back into the stair landing, thick black smoke now is filling the floor. They decide to cross the garden by using the overhead walkway. On the way across, Eglath spots a rare Red Hyacinth and insists they stop to recover it before it is consumed in the fire. Lincoln repeats his jumping feat and recovers the delicate flower with its roots and earth intact. Zog takes to opportunity to chop off the statue’s arm and is disappointed to find it is only gold leaf. He takes the head anyway – to deliver to Marvelo.

On the walkway, they look across a courtyard to the entrance to the keep and see the guards looking away at some commotion. They can hear distant sounds of fighting and columns of smoke rising from Poortown.

Now across the garden, they examine the two closes rooms. One is a store room with food and supplies, the other a guards barracks. Zog promptly begins smashing footlockers open and seems disappointed to find only 200 sp. Finding barrels of oil in the store room, he punches a whole in them an rolls them down the now very smoky corridor. There is a ‘whoosh’ then a line of flames rushes back along the oil trail.

They seem to have cut off any possibility of advancing toward Marvelo… until they realize that the wood walls in the rooms are weak enough that they can make their own doors. Eglath proceeds to smash through a succession of rooms while Ramahut creates urine rags (much of everyone else’s disgust) to prevent smoke for coming under the doors.

Coming out the other end, they find themselves on a smoky balcony with two flaming barrels of oil, and overlooking Baphomet’s temple. Below is an injured Marvelo, someone they take to be Thaphomet, some human priests a few hobgoblins. Zog immediately leaps over the balcony, with the rest quickly following. As Thaphomet rises and turns towards them, Ramahut is shocked to realize it is his brother Thane. Thaphomet is scorneful of Bane, stating that he is a weak God and Baphomet has shown him the true path to power. He is no longer Thane of Bane – he is now Thaphomet of Baphomet. He mocks Ramahut for still shilling for Bahamut and says that “Mother is very disappointed with you.”

… to be continued …

End Time: Sunday, 16th of Plantin, twilight

Treasure:
Ritual Scroll – Hand of Fate (175 gp)
Sanctified Incense (70 gp)
150 gp
200 sp
Power Jewel (Level 5)

XP Awards:
Hobgoblin Squad – 1052 XP
Demon Pen –1000 XP
Role-play bonus for fire and escape, garden plan – 500 XP

Total: 2552 XP
Per Player (5): 510 XP

Player Total: 2727 + 510 XP = 3237 XP

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Storming Neverland Ranch

Sunday, 16th of Plantin

Ramahut, Greebal, (Inritus), (Vithys | Olin), Lincoln, Zog

The adventurers return to the gladiator holding-pen to rest and recover from their wounds. They notice that the number of gladiator teams has thinned noticeably. After a number of teams head out for their round in the arena, team Ektorday’s Bane are called upon to prove themselves once again.
As they come out into their positions in the arena and the portcullis gate closes behind them, they see several bedraggled prisoners pushed out of the door opposite, among them a strange purple-skinned being (Olin).
Ramahut strides into the arena and raises his arms as the crowd begins to chant his name ‘Ra-ma-but! Ra-ma-but!’ Not to be out done, Inritus gives the signature ‘Tiefling Salute’ and then proceeds to remove this bandana to gross out the crowd… a hush falls over the goblin section of the stands… then a thin goblin voice yells out ‘He has the Mark! He has the Mark of Amnon the Betrayer!’ Angry mutters and yells move through the crowd, growing to a roar as a two huge mobs of goblins and bugbears leap down from the stands and make a bee-line for Inritus, screaming for his blood.
The first swarms over Inritus pummeling him – he can be barely seen struggling against the crowd. Vithys dives in to save his friend, stabbing goblins left and right while Lincoln circles the swarm peppering them with arrows.
Zog, as always focused on the task at hand, ignores this commotion and heads for the gladiator opponents. He and Olin clash while the rest of the prisoners make a beeline for the door they were pushed out of.
Seeing their beloved Ramahut in danger, the human spectators come pouring from the stands and plow into the globin mobs.
Inritus falls prone and the last his compatriots see of him as a huge bugbear stomps on his head and slips on the resulting mess. Vithys lets out a cry and lashes out, before disappearing under the mob as well.
As the rioting spreads, our remaining adventurers realize that the situation is becoming dangerous and head for the prisoners’ entrance. While the rest attempt to break down the door, Zog leaps onto a stone column trap and vaults himself up to the second floor balcony – much to Marvelo’s surprise. Zog voices his fealty, but Marvelo will have none of it and orders the ‘whelp’ off of his balcony. Zog takes a mighty swing at Marvelo and manages to bloody him in a single blow. Marvelo is not without support however, and his personal bodyguards (including a fellow Balania) move to stop Zog as Marvelo tumbles away and escapes.
As Zog fights his foes alone, Ramahut attempts to repeat his feat – not the best idea in platemail. The stone column vaults Ramahut into the air, but all he achieves is a few bruises. Zog, sensing he may be getting himself a little over his head, leaps down to the arena floor
Caving in the prisoners’ door, the adventurers find themselves in a holding area with many caged prisoners and their goblin guards. A quick fight ensues and the prisoners are released. Olin recovers his confiscated equipment and also finds a magic cloak.
In the battle, Zog enters a rage and decides to go running into the corridor – just in time to catch Marvelo’s guard coming down to intercept them. With a little work, they dispatch this second group, though Olin has to chase one of the running guards down.

End Time: Sunday, 16th of Plantin, early evening

Treasure:
Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1 (Level 4)

XP Awards:
Goblin Mob – 400 XP
Mavelo’s Guards –775 XP
Prison Guards – 750 XP

Total: 1925 XP
Per Player (5): 385 XP

Player Total: 2342 + 385 XP = 2727 XP

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Pharphan's Demise
In which Ramahut displays most un-paladin like behavior

Sunday, 16th of Plantin

Ramahut, Greebal, Inritus, Vithys, Lincoln, (Pharphan | Zog)

Pharphan’s Adventure (Earthday the 13th of Plantin)
As his companions leave, Pharphan heads off on a borrowed steed with Loremaster Torin for the Grey Tower, home of the Grey Brethren. He peppers Torin with questions regarding the places he’s been. He has heard of the flower Pharphan seeks, but is not sure if it can be found in the mundane world – he suggests trying the feywild.

The Grey Tower is a keep built into the side of a steep cliff where the Grey Brethren (primarily an order of Rangers) has kept guard over Zenog The Grey’s great library since the Breaking of Nerath (the last Human Empire). They let Torin and Pharphan into the library, but the librarian controls all book and scroll access. Torin must request something specific, wait for it to arrive, and be watched closely while he reads. Pharphan requests a to study a ritual, to his delight they let him study one.

On your return trip, Torin learns that Pharphan’s friends planned to head to Poortown. He advises that they are headed into extreme danger and gifts Pharphan the horse to speed him to their aid. Pharphan leaves the next morning at first light – this will have him arrive at Poortown the following morning.

… Torin does not suspect that he is sending Pharphan to his doom…

Back to our story…
Morning in Poortown finds the adventurers eating thin gruel prepared by the mistress of the Richtown Tavern. While discussing their next steps in getting into Marvelo’s palace, a disheveled and dirty Pharphan comes in to the tavern. Apparently the Poortown guards decided they wanted his loaned horse.

While enrolling in the Marvelo’s tournament seemed like a possibility, caution dictated that they do a little more digging to determine the nature of the tournament and the level of risk. Inritus and Vithys did some investigation and allayed Greebal’s concern that they may have to kill prisoners – a concern not shared by Ramahut.

After acquiring a few more items to make sure they were prepared for what could be a long day, the adventurers headed out and joined the crowds heading to the arena.
They signed up with a grizzled battle-scarred human and gave their party name as ‘Ektorday’s Bane’ and were assigned the color mauve for their arm-bands.

Upon entering the arena they found the crowd segregated between sections with Goblins and Humans. Marvelo gave a rousing speech declaring:

“Brothers! I have good news – brother Kavel reports that he and the Avatar have reached their goal and are beginning the final ritual that will bind the final savage races to our control and then we will have revenge on the murderers in Artemis!”

As he finishes, Thaphomet sacrifices a bull to Baphomet and the tournament is open!

Their first battle was with a group of Gnoll prisoners –which Greebal didn’t seem to mind killing. There also appear to be magical stone column traps that cause a 20 foot columns of stone to shoot out of the arena floor. Things get very dicey as both paladins are dropped and while they recover Pharphan is mauled by a gnoll and has his throat ripped open.

After dispatching the remaining gnolls, Ramahut, Inritus and Greebal all take their trophies from Pharphan’s corpse – “in honour of Pharphan.” To the crowd’s delight, Ramahut beheads Pharphan and throws his head to the crowd. Lincoln begins to worry about just what sort of people he’s got himself involved with…

Returning to the gladiator pen, they meet Zog, a mercenary dwarf from Tenora and a very injured Gennel (Elf). As Ramahut greets Zog, Gennel expires. Vithys take this opportunity to rifle his body and finds a 100g (jade) gem in a hidden pouch. Zog agrees to continue his trounament run by joining with Ektorday’s Bane.

After a short rest, the party re-enters the arena to find a single enemy – “Lurg the Brawler” waiting for them. The party proves to be too much for Lurg and while the crowd is initially on his side, by the time Lurg falls, they are all chanting “Ra-ma-but! Ra-ma-but!” Even Marvelo claps when Lurg is defeated.

Zog tries to on-up Ramahut and decapitates Lurg and holds is head high…

End Time: Sunday, 16th of Plantin, midday

XP Awards:
Gnolls Prisoners – 1600 XP
Lurg –1400 XP

Milestone reached add 1 action point.

Total: 3000 XP
Per Player (6):500 XP

Player Total: 1842 + 500 XP = 2342 XP

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Journey to Poortown

Earthday, 13th of Plantin

Ramahut, Greebal, Inritus, Vithys, Lincoln

The grateful farmers of Butternut Farms prepare a suckling pig for the adventurers and they make their acquaintance of Lincoln. He tells them that he was tracking a trail of someone who attacked a sacred stone circle deep in the Riddell Forest and kidnapped the 12 attendant elven druids. The trail let across the Avenbeg River, into the Pelissor Forest but he lost the trail upon reaching the Ironscale hills. He was on his way to Giffin’s Watch Keep to see if his old acquaintance Loremaster Torin would know why someone would kidnap twelve druids.
The adventurers recommend to the farmers that they leave their farm and head to safer lands in the south.
After spending the evening, the adventurers set out on the road north toward Linvale. As they get close to the keep, they see that a palisade has been erected across the road north. A guard in the livery of the Warden of the Keep – Lord Gardain Roheada (the Baron’s heir) hails them and tells them that the road north has been closed by order of the Lord Warden. They may continue north if they wish, but it is no longer safe.
They introduce themselves at the keep and find it packed with refugees sleeping everywhere. A stable boy guides them to Loremaster Torin’s apartment. The Loremaster is happy to see Lincoln and invites them into his packed apartment, filled with books and alchemical beakers.
They learn the following:
• The 12 elven druids may have been kidnapped for an ancient ritual known as the ‘Avatar of the Horde’ that binds humanoid tribes to the avatar’s command.
• The ritual requires the 12 to be sacrificed at the next whole moon (two weeks from now) at an altar in the lost city of Yenol.
• Yenol is about two days east from Poortown at the foot of the mountains.
• The ritual was last used hundreds of years ago to raise a horde.
• Inritus asks about his affliction. Torin tells him that it is “The Curse of Amnon”. Amnon was the tiefling who long ago brought the tieflings out of slavery.

When asked, Torin gives out the following:
• Potion of Healing
• Potion of Resistance (Necrotic)
Vithys steals a small book.

Pharphan is drooling over all the great books and knowledge. Seeing his interest, Torin says that he is about to go visit the Grey Brethren to ask for access to the library – would Pharphan like to accompany him? Of course Pharphan agrees.

The adventurers head out northward into Linvale toward Poortown. They see many signs of devistation – destroyed fields and farms. In the evening, Lincoln goes hunting and brings back a board. More roast pork!
Not having set a watch, the first sign of trouble is when Ramahut wakes from one of his “night terrors” to a fist pummeling from an undead Tordek. Tordek focuses on Ramahut, demanding his tongue. They dispatch Tordek and Ramahut takes his trophies back. Inritus chooses to take Tordek’s eyeteeth.
As they get closer to Poortown, they see encampments of Goblinoids, Ogres and the occasional Humans, along the side of the road. No one seems to pay attention to them.
Poortown has a roughly constructed palisade built around it, and a mismash of buildings packed into the town. Vithys uses his streetsmarts to try and find an original inhabitant of poortown. They find one drunken man in a bar.
• He tells them the Wise-woman of Poortown (Luusi) was made a prisoner by Marvelo in his castle
• Marvelo’s castle (Neverrand) is stone building of crazily assembled towers attached to an arena
• Marvelo loves holding arena tournaments
Inritus and Vithys try to con their way into Neverland using their M armbands. As one of the guards goes to check on their request, the other plays a gambling dice game with them. Ramahut hangs back.
A large man in black armour wearing red feathered pants going by the name Thaphomet comes and is not fooled and tells them to get lost.
They find out that there is a trounament call for tomorrow and find a tavern (Richtown) to settle down for the night. It is the original Poortown tarven – the one Tobidoc worked in. There is only a common room with one bedraggled traveler sleeping there.

End Time: Starday, 15th of Plantin, evening.

XP Awards:
Tordek Mummy Lord (Level 4 Solo) – 875 XP
Getting into Poortown (RP award) – 875 XP

Total: 1750 XP
Per Player (5): 350 XP

Player Total: 1492 + 350 = 1842 XP

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