That DnD Podcast Dungeon World Campaign

Episode 13 (Underworld 6)
Lay Down and Drink your Sausage!

Present: Zharko, Sam, Oric

Zharko awakens to Jock shaking him. “Mister, are you alright? You look like shit. I’m pretty sure you’re not alright.” The wizard looks at his hand and Jock tells him that his hand looked pretty bad, so he tried to patch it up. “I put some ointment on it. It may smell funny and turn a weird color, but it’ll be ok, i promise.” Zharko asks him who he is and Jock tells him it isn’t important right now, as he is in danger of dying due to cold and blood loss. He helps Zharko stand. As he is trying to steady himself, Zharko feels an invisible hand on his shoulder steadying him.

As they walk, he asks Jock if he found a goat with him. Jock says yes and that he was bringing it back to the stables when an angry farmer came looking for it and he handed it over. He advises that they should get to the inn without Zharko being seen, or else things may go poorly for him.

They make it back to the inn without further issue and Zea, seeing how badly Zharko is doing, escorts him directly to his room. She sends for food to be brought to him and some time later the loinclothed elf from the tavern comes by with some sort of sausage soup. He drinks it and goes to sleep as instructed.

As Oric and Sam are looking for some jobs they can do, a farmer comes to the center of town and is shouting and angry. “That absolute bastard cursed my house, took my goat, and killed it!” The farmer begins to draw a crowd and the crowd too begins to get angry. Sam, figuring that Zharko is the cause of the commotion, tells Oric that they should probably work on smoothing the situation out. Sam walks over to him and asks him to come speak with the two of them in private so that they can resolve the issue without getting everyone riled up.

They follow him to his house where he places the goat down on the porch and sits on the ground and moans loudly into his hands. “I understand that this has not been the best day for you,” Sam says as she leans on the railing of the porch. “What can we do to make this day better?” The man says that they can kill the person who did this to his ‘prized milker’, but Sam offers to replace the goat instead. He says they own all the goats in town, but…. 60 coin would about cover it. She offers him 20 coin and the necklace they got back from Vella. He tells Sam to keep that evil wizard away and he will just tell everyone this was all a bad joke. If he sees Zharko again, there will be problems.

Sam loses 20 coin
Oric loses gift necklace

Sam and Oric head back towards the market district and are on their way when Jock gets their attention and tells them that he found Zharko and tried to clear things up as best he could and that the wizard is back at the inn. Oric asks about the status of the supplies he wanted from the alchemist. Jock tells him he got equivalent components that were cheaper to save them some coin. Oric hands him the 10 coin needed to buy the necessary materials and another 3 to buy a backpack and some supplies.

Oric loses 13 coin

Oric informs Elder Wells that they will be ready to go in the morning and the elder says that he’ll have the teams ready at the north entrance of town tomorrow morning. They head to the inn and Zea informs Sam and Oric that some deliveries have arrived for them and hands them a crate. Inside are 16 days worth of rations and 6 bottles of drunken hawk special reserve wine.

Oric gains 5 days’ rations
Oric gains 2 bottles of Drunken Hawk Special Reserve
Sam gains 5 days’ rations
Sam gains 2 bottles of Drunken Hawk Special Reserve
Zharko gains 5 days’ rations
Zharko gains 2 bottles of Drunken Hawk Special Reserve

Zharko, in a brief moment of consciousness, analyzes the situation in the snow and believes that the invisible servant contract is in effect again and that he should be able to call on those beings once more. After he goes back to sleep, Oric sneaks in and snags Zharko’s coinpurse. He takes enough to recoup the cost of the food Zharko walked out on paying for and the goat he killed. As he reaches around in the bag, he finds a rolled piece of paper tied with a string. He grabs that as well. After giving Sam her coin, he heads to his room to read the note. It’s actually addressed to him. “Oric, You promised to tell me everything” it says.

Zharko loses 23 coin
Sam gains 20 coin
Oric gains 3 coin

The next morning as the party heads down to the lobby, they are met by Jock (who is ready to set out on this adventure!) and Zea (who wants her damn keys back!). Jock also lets the group know that there are 9 people that the mayor sent waiting for them across the street in the tavern. Sam heads to pick up Max, and Oric and Zharko head to the tavern to meet with the party and get some breakfast respectively. Oric meets with the leaders of the groups and gives them a general sitrep on the cave itself and the dangers within. The leader of the guard group is uneasy when the otyugh is mentioned, but Oric reveals a plan to draw it out using the black powder charges he had Jock scrounge up. He spends some time making the powder he needs out of the gathered ingredients and the group all head to the undertrails

Oric gains 3 flash bombs (2d4 damage)

The town guard group tells the surveyors to stay in the back and get out of there if things get bad. Oric forms a plan with everyone to flush the otyugh into the crystal room where the melee fighters will be waiting down below and the ranged fighters will be on the ledge above. The surveyors are measuring the cavern size in different areas and are left to their work while the guards and the party set up in the crystal room.

Oric stalks off to the hallway and throws his first bomb. It doesn’t do much damage at all, but the main hope was to get this monster scared and moving. His second one lands closer and explodes with more force. This fully drives the monster out of its pool and it begins to chase after Oric. He makes it into the ambush room slightly before the beast as Sam uses her new special arrow on the otyugh and hits it in its open mouth. It grabs one of the guardsmen and flings him into a wall. His armor protects him from the impact but he is winded. Zharko follows up the shot by Sam with a magic missle burst on the monster. The volley severs some of the stalks and tentacles.

Oric loses 2 flash bombs

Using some of its remaining energy, the otyugh slings a tentacle around and sprays a foul liquid around the room. Sam loses her footing trying to avoid the liquid. The guardsman up with the ranged folks rolls safely away but slips in the blood from the otyugh and falls onto his back and Zharko deftly avoids touching anything gross. Oric tries to get the creature’s attention again by hucking a dagger at it.

The otyugh lunges at one of the downed guardsmen and sinks its long needle-like teeth into his leg and breaks the teeth off. The guardsman frees himself after much bleeding and shouting. Sam takes careful aim and shoots the monster in the brain, killing it instantly. It lets out a death gurgle and seems to almost deflate as fat maggots and large flies come out of it.

Oric comes up to the guard with the teeth in his leg and feeds him some of his oil of tagit to knock him out. He asks Jock to take a look at the wounds. Jock borrows Oric’s lockpicks and uses them to pinch the teeth back out of the man’s leg. Zharko asks for him to put the teeth in a pouch he has. Jock shrugs and does so.

Oric loses 1 Oil of Tagit
Zharko gains 20 otyugh teeth in pouch (needle-like)

Sam digs around in the Otyugh mouth to get her arrow back out. As she’s doing that, she hears something metallic under the tongue. She pulls the metallic object out and finds arm armor with something in the enclosed fist inside of a leathery pouch. Inside the pouch she finds 31 coin.

Sam gains 31 coin

Sam sends Max to get the surveyors and they all regroup. The two conscious guardsmen begin to rig up a carrying system for their wounded friend. They ask if there are any more dangers that they need to be present for, or if they can bring their friend back to town. She tells them they can leave and the rest of the group(s) continue onward.

When they arrive at the stagnant funk water room, the surveyors ask what the party thinks should be done: bridge? drain the water? something else? Zharko casts his detect magic spell to see if the water is magical in any way that would inhibit progress. He attempts to attune his sight to magic, but the spell has a hiccup or two and it ends up being his sense of taste that is attuned. He shrugs and just tells them to build a bridge. Oric also recommends draining the water. Sam agrees with the plan to divert the water.

They make it to the rubble pathway and talk about reopening it and Oric warns them to be careful because it’s already been rigged to fall once and may do so again. The group sets up camp and rests for a bit. Before long, everyone makes it to the exit of the undertrails. The team that was taking notes begins to head back to the town of Bendfirst, and the remaining three carry onwards with the adventurers.

The weather remains almost painfully cold, but the snow has cleared so travel isn’t overly difficult. It is nighttime, so the group heads back to their own lodgings. Oric brings Jock to stay at his place for the time being. Oric asks Zharko to come with him so that they can talk.

He tells Zharko that a gang called the Crimson Hand is responsible for the death of his parents and that they are working to gain a foothold in this town. He says that they’re ruthless and that if they get a foothold in the town it will be bad news for everyone. Zharko fusses him a bit for reading the book, but tells him that he is proud of him for staying sane after reading them. Zharko says that of course he is willing to help, and he thinks that anyone else in the group would be willing to help him too.

The next morning, everyone is walking towards the Fisherman’s Inn when they see Vultus, Rook, and Bill. The slow realization hits everyone that it’s become much darker than it is supposed to be at this time of day. An almost perfectly smooth gray cloud is covering the entire sky. The cloud is hanging strangely low. It begins to swirl and pull down into a funnel that reaches down to almost 100 feet above the town. twelve figures on glowing discs emerge and spread out to float over the walls of the town. A beam of light comes out of each disc and where they meet in the middle, an enormous hooded face can be seen.

EoS:

Evolve Bond: Zharko → Oric: Oric has confided in me and I will aid him in his quest against the Crimson Hand

Create Bond: Sam → Oric: Oric has proven himself to be quite capable and I will aid him wherever I am able

Evolve Bond: Oric → Sam: Sam has shown herself to be a wise companion. I will go to her for guidance more often.

Zharko: 4xp (1 bond, 1 alignment, 1 notable monster, 1 fail)
Sam: 1xp (1 notable monster)
Oric: 3 xp (1 bond, 1 alignment, 1 notable monster)

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Episode 12 (Underworld 5)
Wizards who Punch at Goats

Present: Oric, Sam, Zharko

Oric level to 3: Chooses BREWER move and raises Dexterity to 17

The group meets back up in the lobby of the inn in the morning. Zea is mad at them because she didn’t give them a key and wants to know how they got access to their rooms. Oric says the mayor OK’ed it and Zharko tries to explain it away saying that it was very late and they had just arrived from the caves to the north. She says nobody ever comes from there since there are monsters that way. Zharko says they befriended one and brought it to town and she sighs, says that she will leave that problem up to her husband to figure out, and brings up the matter of the six coin that is owed to her for the rooms they used. He gets close and uses his charm person spell to win her over and then gets directions to the mayor’s office and they head out.

The snow is almost waist height as the group leaves the building. Fur-clothed figures can be seen carrying large torches and walking between buildings, most likely in an effort to melt the snow between them. The path to the mayor’s house appears to be traversible. On their way the group spies an individual wearing shabby looking clothes. He’s a halfling and his age is hard to determine. He has a sign that says he is looking for work. Oric asks what work he’s looking for and the man replies “anything that pays, mister.”

Oric says he doesn’t have any work for him, but could use some information about the town. The man says for a coin he could be a guide for the day, or he is useful on journeys. Oric gives him a coin to be a guide and the man agrees until he hears that they’re going to visit the mayor. He hands the coin back and tells Oric to get back in touch with him after he talks to the mayor. Oric hands him two coins and tells him to wait for them in the tavern.

In front of the mayor’s house is Garrus, the town guard that Zharko caught on fire last night. He is not pleased to see them, surprisingly! They enter the house and are finally officially introduced to the mayor. He tell them his name is Elder Wells. Oric introduces himself and the others kind of sit around awkwardly and stare. Oric tells him again who they are and where they are from. Says they’re trying to work on setting up trade routes. Wells says that since they made it through the caves, it should probably be an easy task to simply widen the passages some to allow for carts and horses to make it through and the trade should be easy enough to start after that. Oric tells him about the dangers they faced on the way out.

He says that a trip through The Undertrails is hazardous and while making another trip would be possible, the party would expect to be compensated for their efforts. Elder Wells says that it would be his people putting for the effort to map the tunnels and expand them, so they are already putting their fair share in. He offers the group the excavated stone, if it would help them any.

The party debates other routes to take for a while, but Wells says that the mountains extend a ways to the south from where they exited The Undertrails and finally end in a very hostile land, so either option will have its challenges. They decide on The Undertrails route, and Wells offers to send a small contingent of town guards to assist, as well as two survey teams. One would scout the cave system and the other team would come to scout the rest of the journey, so that the city would know how much of a trek is involved and what the environs are.

The three adventurers head to the inn to have breakfast and discuss their plan. They walk into The Stout Smith’s Stouts & Sausages. They see the man from earlier sipping from a mug of steamy liquid. Oric sits down next to him and introduces himself. The man does the same and gives his name: Jock. Oric asks him about himself and he tells them that he was a traveler but he was beaten when out on the road and robbed and he’s too poor to afford to leave the town now, and it is too cold for him to head out on his own anyway. They ask him about his trade(s). He says he’s an adequate minstrel, a decent healer, and is loyal so long as he is getting paid. Oric offers to let him accompany them out of town when they leave. He asks simply for food and a coin a day. Oric agrees and says he has need of an alchemist, asking Jock if he knows of a dependable one. Jock asks what he needs specifically and Oric says he’s looking to make a device to help rid them of the great beast that remains in The Undertrails and needs black powder. He says he’ll do the best he can.

Zharko leaves during the conversation and there is a woman outside staring at him as he walks back to the inn. She has two men standing with her. Zharko mostly ignores her and goes on his way.

In the tavern, Oric pays the tab that Zharko walked out on and looks to buy a big haunch of meat to give to Felix. As Sam and Oric head out of the tavern they too see the old woman with her two companions. “Are you looking for me?” asks the woman. They get her name and find that yes, they were looking for her. This is Vella, but she must be in her 70s now, at least. “We’ve come here about your father,” Oric says. The woman tenses up and tells him “I’ve told the last several people who came by. I’m not responsible for his debts and I don’t know where he went.” He hands her the journal that they found in the cave and asks her to read it. She seems on the verge of tears as she tells him that she just assumed he had run off and started another family. He then hands her the doll and the necklace. She hands the doll to the skinnier man, named Logain and then hands Oric the necklace.

Oric tells her that they brought the creature that protected her father to town and offered to let her meet it. She said she would like that, and brings her two companions (who she explains are her sons) with them. They stop around the back of the tavern to get the meat haunch and make their slow trek to the barn through the snow-covered streets. The interior of the barn smells of blood and poop. Oric puts the haunch down and lights a torch.

Felix walks out to get the food and Oric introduces Vella to the beast. He then tells Felix who Vella is, and asks if he would like to stay with her. Felix nods and Oric passes his protection onto Vella. Before they leave, Felix pulls one of his scales off and hands it to Oric.

Vella thanks Oric and offers the group some of the wine from her vineyard to bring back to First Conquest. She is sending some of her best vintage. She wants the name of The Drunken Hawk to be thought of fondly all around the world! She asks how long of a trip it is to get back to their town. They tell her it is about 7 or 8 days’ walk to get back to FC. She offers to prepare trail rations to send them to The Bronze Balcony for them by nightfall.

Meanwhile, zharko is in the inn meditating. He focuses on his unseen servant and tries to figure out what is wrong with the spell. The room and walls and then the inn and the town itself begin to fade away. He then notices different creatures walking around. Some are blurry, some are smoky, and some are well defined when he looks at them but impossible to recall when he looks away. He is confident that these are the unseen servants he calls upon. The creatures take notice of him and begin to converge on him.

Some time later, one steps forward and holds out stumpy arms to him. Two others come up and put their hands on the shoulders of the first and say “this one’s usefulness has been taken. This one’s blood has been spilled. Will you make it right?” He asks what needs to be done to make it right. They tell them that there will be blood. there will be pain. He finally says OK ALRIGHT and goes to the front desk to ask where he can get a goat. He notices also that he has a strange dagger in his hand that he can’t really seem ot get rid of. He follows the directions Zea gives him and soon ends up at the door of the farmer’s house.

Zharko knocks on the door and a young girl answers. She sees the knife in his hand and then slams the door shut. The owner of the farm tells him to get lost and Zharko tells him that he needs one of the farmer’s goats. The farmer says he will pay a LOT extra if he wants to buy a goat to use for one of his strange magician rituals. Zharko tires of the exchange and casts Cause Fear on the door, making the farmer terrified of it. He shouts at Zharko to take the goat and leave his family alone and undo whatever it is that he did to the house. Zharko dispels the magic and walks off.

MEANWHILE, Oric heads to the market area looking for a better rapier. He takes the time to look over the weapons available to find the best option. After settling on a good upgrade and trading in his own sword, he is ready to head out.

Oric loses regular rapier.
Oric gains dueling rapier (1 piercing)
Oris loses 40c

Sam wanders off while Oric is shopping and comes across a strange merchant wearing a long trench coat. He offers her a deal on some special arrows. Somehow these arrows have perfect accuracy? It costs 5 coin per arrow, though. They’re mystic arrows carved in a dark cave by a blind fletcher. Sam is suspicious of the offer, and the merchant offers her a token to show to other similar merchants. She finally relents and buys one arrow out of curiosity. She then heads to look around for a side job she can do to earn some coin.

Sam loses 5c
Sam gains special arrow pouch
Sam gains Arrow of Acheron (ammo 1)
Sam gains Strange Merchant Coin (clay, shiny hooded face on it)

Zharko heads into the barn. He grabs one of the goats by the lead and walks it out of the building. He leads it out to some cliffs near the barn and then binds it legs so it can’t run off. He flips it onto its back and attempts to drive the dagger into it, but finds that the dagger is in his other hand now. He tries one more time with the same result. He sighs, breaks the goats neck, and then cuts his hand open. Blood pours out of the wound into the air and then seems to flow into blood vessels and begins to take the shape of a person. Zharko passes out in the snow.

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Episode 11 (Overworld 3)
Wait, you can put walls around a town!?

Present: Bill, Vultus, Rook

Rolland asks if the party will come with them to raze the town of Scrabhearst. Vultus says they will first give them the chance to repent and recant their evil ways. They walk for half an hour or so and get to where they can see some lit torches and the outskirts of the town. Vultus takes time to assess the situation.

He feels that if the group were to make themselves known, they would most likely have the full attention of the townsfolk who were still awake. The party strides forward and they get the attention of two guards who are standing watch at the edge of the town/forest border. They stand up and try to hurriedly ready their weapons. Vultus tells them to hold steady and not draw weapons. They tell him to stay where he is.

One guard asks the gathered party what they want and why they are here, saying that most of the people who remain in the town are young, the elderly, or a small contingent of town guards. He says they are trying to live peaceful lives, to which Vultus begins laughing. Rook tells them that the Bonehive and Coldoaks citizens were trying to live peacefully until the mob from Scrabhearst attacked. He then says that he heard the town didn’t worship the gods and that it was such an unbelievable idea that he had to see for himself. The guard talks about the calamities that came from the people long ago believing in gods and saying that nobody these days believes in them or wants a repeat of those unfortunate times.

Vultus and Rook tell the guard of a town called* First Conquest*. They tell him it is a city of believers and that it is flourishing. Rook tells the guard that he sounds lost and in search of answers. He tells the guard that he has the answers he seeks. He tries his best to sound convincing, but doesn’t do nearly as good of a job as he thinks. “You say this god will make life better. Can I pray skeletons away? Can I pray food on the table? Look, we don’t want anything to do with whatever it is you’re trying to peddle. So if you could just turn around and leave, that’d be great. And everybody can just live in peace.” The other guard says “*Gordo*, shut up!” to which the first guard assures his friend that “I’ve got this.”

Vultus goes to the other guard and tells him to “go and rouse the town. I would speak with them. On my authority as messenger of she who balances the scales, go now.” The man takes heed, turns around, and runs off to get the rest of the townsfolk. A horn sounds a few seconds later and the townspeople begin to grumpily assemble outside.

The group can make out a person in the crowd that looks quite similar to the leader of the mob that they killed. He walks into the crowd and begins to whine, “Until my father returns, I’m the acting mayor. So who is it that’s SO important they decided to wake me up?” Vultus responds and says “I am sent by she who is. You will respect my authority where you have none.” The man says that inside the perimeter of the town, he has all the power, so he needs to afford vultus no respect. Vultus spits on the ground. He asks the group if they have any mementos of the fallen mayor and one of the skeletons throws the mayor’s severed head to the ground near the son.

He looks down and says “I’m glad he’s dead. I wanted this power, and now i’ve got it. What do you want, some coin? a free room for the night?” Rook steps forward, calls him a surly dog, and asks if he is keen on sharing his fate. “Why don’t you lot get your… toothless apparitions and get out of here?” the mayor’s son says. Rook tells him to shut his mouth. The son is infuriated at the attempt of this outsider to silence HIM in HIS OWN TOWN. Vultus tries to command him to be silent and fails miserably. “Surely you speak to your companions, because no one would be foolish enough to speak to the mayor in their own town, surrounded by their own citizens, in such a way. You may think you have big shoes and you walk with impunity, but beware your next words and your next actions.”

Rook enchants his warhammer and prepares for battle. The weapon glows and seems to reform to look more like an executioner’s axe. Seeing the sudden transformation, the new mayor begins to back away slowly. He tries to keep a brave face, though, until Rook calls him out on it. “Is your woman here?” ‘What woman?’ asks the petrified man. “Is the woman you’re trying to impress nearby, or are you really this stupid?.” The mayor gives the group one last chance to apologize and leave.

Rook tells Bill that the mayor is threatening him. Bill shouts and stands in front of Rook in defense. The mayor snaps his fingers to have the guards move in as he heads back to blend into the crowd. The guards ask the group to leave and ask what it will take for them to go away. Rook says he wants the two of them to bring the mayor back to the party. They say to wait there and they’ll see about deposing the mayor or something because he ran off and hid. They begin to debate and put the matter of the mayor to a vote.

While the townsfolk discuss, rook sneaks off to murder the mayor. He finds the building the mayor is hiding in and knocks on the front door. “Are they gone?” asks the mayor. Rook does his best scared guardsman impression and tries to convince him that the party left. “Wait. Dammit, Gordo! You abandoned your post! I told you that the next time-” and opens the door. “The next time you f*ed up, your sister would-” and Rook says “well that’s just rude," grabs him by the collar and drags him inside.

By the narrowest of margins, the ‘mayor’ is voted out. The townsfolk turn to walk towards the mayor’s house to get him and see Rook emerging from his house. He’s got blood on his hands and is putting the mayor’s son’s heart into his pack in a stone vessel.

Rook gains 1 heart in stone vessel

The townsfolk didn’t like the guy, but are a bit angry at the fact that Rook went around their way of doing things and just killed him. Vultus tells them to reject their heretical ways and join the church of lash. “What if we don’t?” asks a representative of the town. Rook tells them “Then we sit down and have a discussion and come to an amicable solution that benefits all parties.” They’re not really buying it, though. “As amicable as what happened to our mayor?” the representative asks again. “If need be,” says Vultus.

A debate ensues on the worth of religion and gods and the purpose of them in the current world. The people ask that if they sit with the party and listen to them and maybe agree to follow their beliefs if they will keep the skeletons away. They say yes, but encourage the citizens to learn to work with them in the future.

A man named Arkas steps up and volunteers to act as the voice of the town in discussing things with the party. They nod in agreement and he is made temporary mayor. Rook laughs at the town name and Bill calls the residents stupid, so Arkas asks to speak with Vultus alone. Vultus comes to the man’s house and tells him that he wishes for the people of the town to choose piety. He tells him that faith would help to bind the town together. To join them under a shared belief. He also tells him that they would be welcome in First Conquest.

Arkas asks if the way to the town is safe, and Vultus says that it is, so long as the travelers do not venture into the Mirthless Marshes. The new mayor says it sounds promising, but can’t make any promises until he talks to the rest of the townsfolk. He asks if there is time to decide, or if some gesture needs to be done today to align themselves with the town. Vultus hands him a coin bearing the symbol of Lash, and says that he hopes it comforts him in a time of need as it has done for him. Arkas looks around and hands vultus a twig. Instead of the wood being brownish, it is dark purple. He says it is a symbol of Scrabhearst. It is a branch from a tree that grows here. It makes decent medicine. It is called the scrabthorn.

Vultus gains 1 branch of Scrabthorn

Vultus thanks him, says that the group is heading back to their home, and then they head off into the night.

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Episode 10 (Underworld 4)
Wendigo? WenDIDN'Tgo?

PRESENT: Zharko, Sam, Oric

Oric asks zharko if he knows anything about weird deer things like the one down below, mentioning that he’s pretty sure he saw one in one of Zharko’s books. Zharko raises an eyebrow at that, as he didn’t know Oric had been reading his books. Zharko thinks back to things he’s read or heard about similar creatures to this. He remembers that it’s said that in times of dire circumstances, if someone resorts to eating their own kind, nature itself will punish them and change them to show them as the monsters they really are. Zharko takes a guess and identifies the creature. This is a Wendigo.

The thing below moves a bit and the group can see that the legs have been either ripped or cut off at some point and it has to drag itself along. While Zharko gives a little bit of info on the Wendigo, Sam assesses the general situation in the room. She looks to see what could be valuable to her. She sees a pile of clothing or equipment or scraps to the eastern end of the room (opposite side of the wendigo from where they are) as well as an exit to the south of the room.

Oric volunteers to go down and investigate things since the other two members of the group are more capable distance fighters. He uses his rope and ties off one end to a stalagmite and then lowers himself down into the pit.

As Oric descends, the sound of its claws digging into the stone so that it can pull itself towards him are audible in the previously silent cavern. The word “feeeeeeeeed” escapes from its mouth again, a mixture of whisper, shout, and hiss. Zharko fires off his magic missile spell and gets two precise hits right into the wendigo’s shoulder and it explodes with magic energy and the dead arm falls away. The arm sizzles and then breaks down into a strange powder.

The monster still stares at the group but its hissing has ceased. It continues to look at them and then hisses out “END IT.” Sam fires an arrow at it to stun it and Oric moves in for the kill. He drives his sword into the skull and the wendigo convulses for a bit and then stops moving.

The wendigo’s remaining hand points towards the exit to the room right about the same time the gray render comes in. As it walks in, Oric notices the word ‘Felix’ carved around the entranceway hundreds of times. Zharko looks at the new arrival and consults his accumulated knowledge.

These creatures are better known than wendigo, for sure. It’s called a grey render. On it’s own it is a force of utter destruction. Huge and leathery with a maw of unbreakable teeth and has claws to match. Likes to tear things apart. Stone, flesh, steel, whatever. Usually found bonded to other creatures. They will follow their master wherever they go, bringing them offerings of meat or protecting them while they sleep.

It charges Oric, its arm outstretched as if to slash at him. He attempts to dodge out of the way of the claw, but is hit with the brunt of a shoulder charge. He is sent to the ground from the impact but is otherwise unharmed. He gets back up, pours one of his vials of Oil of Tagit onto it, and hurls it at the render.

His aim is good, but there isn’t sufficient force on the throw to penetrate the render’s hide. The beast notices the other two party members on the ledge above and rips out a chunk of stone to hurl at them.

Zharko shouts for it to stop and tells it that he can allow it to speak to its master so that the master can tell it that they were helping. The render throws the rock behind its back, blocking the exit doorway to the room. Zharko climbs down and heads over to the body, or what’s left of it. At this point it is nothing more than a skull and an arm. He casts his speak with dead spell. The skull waits for his question.

“This creature here served you, right?”
‘Yes. He protected me and fed me.’
“And you wanted us to do this to you, right?”
‘This life was no life at all. It was torment.’
“You want it to help us out of here, right?”
‘Felix. Help these people. Help these travelers to safety.’

The render gets up, turns around, bashes through the stone covering the exit, and runs off down the hallway. Zharko pockets some of the wendigo powder on the way out. Oric takes a moment to search through the pile of gear. There are torn clothes and packs, broken weapons, and one neatly folded and stacked pile of clothes. Atop those are a cloth doll and necklace with a beautifully cut gemstone. Oric takes them both in the event that he can deliver or pawn them. He also finds a blue crystal at around head height and pockets that as well as they all head out of the room.

Zharko gain 1 pouch wendigo dust
Oric gains 1 necklace, 1 cloth doll and 1 blue glowing crystal

The path seems to meet up with the wider one that they avoided earlier and both paths head to the southeast, which is where it sounds like felix is. After some travel down the winding pathways the group can see natural sunlight for the first time in a while. Shortly thereafter, the party hears the sounds of fighting up ahead.

Blue creatures in loincloths and wielding metal weapons are in a heated battle with Felix.

2 are dead, 5 alive

Oric sneaks up and stabs one of the distracted creatures directly in the back near the heart, killing it instantly. The others charge Felix, unaware of the other threats. They plant their blades into him over and over again and bring him to his knees. He’s not done for, though. Not quite yet. He slashes at them and kills two. He hits another with debris and blinds it momentarily. Zharko suggests running, but the other two adventurers scold him and keep fighting.

Sam shoots a troglodyte in the spine and it falls over completely unable to use its limbs. It chokes on its own blood and dies. The final remaining monster jumps into the air with both blades drawn hoping to kill felix. Zharko is ready for the opening and casts magic missile at it. His casting clouds his mind momentarily and when he unleashes the spell he finds that he has forgotten it. The shots incapacitate an arm and Felix grabs the creature out of the air and squeezes it until his hands meet. He then begins to eat the fallen creature.

Before leaving, the group discusses the possibility of trying to get Felix to come along with them. Oric puts his vial of Goldenroot that he got from the satyrs and puts it into the corpse of one of the troglodytes and offers it to Felix ’to help him feel better. ’

-1 Goldenroot from oric

it eats the body and Oric asks if it wants to come with them. It grabs two more ‘snacks’ for the trip and waits for him to lead the way. They make their way into the light of a cold and snowy day. Zharko casts prestidigitation on himself to stay warm but attracts unwanted attention in the process. Felix, being part lizard, is feeling the cold. He tries his best to stay snuggled up to the warm wizard as much as possible.

They get their bearings before venturing onwards. To the east they can see a river heading towards the ocean. Along the riverbank and maybe a few hours’ walk away, a collection of buildings can be seen. They head that way and decide to wait until they’re an hour or so away from the location before sending Zharko in while the others stay behind with Felix.

Zharko comes up to a checkpoint of sorts leading into town. there’s a small guard shack with a fire going. A guard emerges and asks zharko what he needs. He explains that they just came out of the cave and tells the guard he’d like to procure some supplies. The guard tells Zharko to prove he’s a wizard. He touches the guard’s armor with the intention of using prestidigitation to warm him up. His armor gets warm, and then hot, and then painfully hot. He strips his armor off and runs back into the shack and shouts for Bernard, the other guard, to go talk to him.

Bernard asks why he came to Bendfirst. Zharko explains the situation again.
“You came from The Undertrails?”
‘Yes’
“Nobody come_s from The Undertrails.”_
Bernard tells him to go spend the night in the inn and in the morning he’ll get the town elder and they can all figure out what sort of nonsense Zharko is talking about. Zharko says he wants to go and get the rest of his party first, and is then asked why he didn’t bring them along in the first place. He spins a tale about valuable and dangerous treasure that they didn’t want anyone to get into and get hurt. Bernard tells Zharko to bury the treasure in the snow and get it when they leave. Zharko says the treasure probably wouldn’t like being buried. Bernard asks if the treasure can talk and Zharko says yes. Bernard feels like this is something he needs to see.

Zharko rejoins the group as darkness settles in around them. From the wind and cold, it seems that a blizzard may be imminent. They head back to town and Oric spends the walking time to look through the journal and see if he can find any info on the wife and daughter of the author (Marnie and Vella). The snow covering the ground is deeper now, so the travel is slower due to the necessity for awkward high steps to keep from getting stuck.

When they arrive, Bernard is telling the town elder about Zharko’s previous interactions with them. “He’s The Great Diablo, or something. He caught *Garrus*’ armor on fire.” They notice Felix and are a bit dumbfounded to say the least. There is some disagreement from both sides of the conversation about whether or not the guards told them to bring Felix.

The elder asks why they came, and Oric shows the necklace they were given and says that they’re looking to make contact since the town has been in seclusion for so long. They’re trying to meet and make friends with their neighbors. He discusses the things that they have at First Conquest to trade, and that they’d love to expand their trade network to Bendfirst.

The elder sends Garrus to prepare a space in the barn for Felix and warns the party that if felix eats any livestock or harms any citizens, the party will be held accountable. The party says they will keep him on his best behavior and that the mayor should discourage citizens from trying to start anything with felix also. He agrees and Garrus comes to escort Felix to his ‘luxurious’ accommodations for the night. Before they leave, Oric asks the elder if there are any citizens there named Marnie or Vella. The elder says that they have someone named Vella living there, but she has no living parents.

Sam sets Max up next to Felix in the barn. After dropping off the animals, the guard leads the party to the inn. He tells them not to tell Zea that he gave them these keys, as she would be mad. She’s the elder’s wife and she owns the inn. He slips them keys and leads them to their rooms.

End of Session Bookkeeping:
Zharko – 7XP (4 failure, 1 alignment, 1 new thing abt. world, 1 notable enemy)
Sam – 4XP (2 failure, 1 new thing abt. world, 1 notable enemy)
Oric – 5XP (2 failure, 1 alignment, 1 new thing abt. world, 1 notable enemy)

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Episode 9 (Underworld 3)
On Strange Tides do we Ride

PRESENT: Zharko, Sam, Oric

Oric changed bond with Zharko. Now Reads “I’ve seen the power Zharko controls and will use him to exact my revenge.”

Zharko attempts to use his prestidigitation magic to clean the mud and dirt off of himself. The gargoyle dung that went unnoticed until now is sticky and prevents the deft hand movements necessary to accurately cast the spell. He tries to call out to Max to come over in the hopes that he will be able to wipe his hands clean on the wolf’s fur, but Max is wise to the plan and stays put. Zharko settles instead with scraping his hands clean on a nearby pillar.

The group heads back to the intersection they previously visited and decide to try out the path to the west. They travel for half an hour or so before coming to a cave-in ahead of them and a corpse on the ground 15 or so feet away from the rubble. The remains of the individual are mostly skeletal. Based on the clothing, this person was an adventurer; Time has not been kind to their equipment, though, and the armor is mostly rotted away or threadbare. There is a cloak that seems to be in pristine condition. Upon removing it, it is obvious that the person died from a badly broken neck.

Oric studies their surroundings and looks for traps as he moves slowly closer to the rubble. He spots a rope wound around a large stalactite with pouches of something affixed to it. He also sees a broken copper wire sticking out of the rubble and ending near the skeleton.

Zharko uses his speak with dead spell to converse with the skeleton.
“Who were you in life?” he asks.
‘I was an adventurer trying to make my name and earn glory by helping people and solving problems,’ the skeleton answers.
“DId you travel alone, or with a group?”
‘I had friends. We went to a cave together. I hope they fared better than I.’
“What’s on the other side of this rubble?”
’That’s what we were trying to find out. There’s no map. There was a tunnel of some sort. We were looking for a way out,’ it answers shortly before becoming inert once more.

With this information, Oric attempts to discern the realities of the situation to get a better read on their surroundings. He knows he should be aware of the unexploded packets of black powder attached to the stalactite. Something about the man’s gear seems of. It is not what it appears to be. He also sees a dagger in the dead adventurer’s belt and knows those are valuable to him. He grabs the cloak and dagger and stows them away for now.

Deciding to capitalize on the situation at hand, Oric asks Sam for a boost so that he can try and pull down the rope. Sam underestimates her strength and flings Oric much higher than expected. He’s able to gingerly remove the rope on the way back down without setting anything off. Looking at it now that he’s on the ground, the pouches of powder seem woven into the rope somehow. He’ll have to take the whole thing with him.

Oric gains 2 charges of powder w/ 20 feet of rope

The group heads back towards the intersection and sets up camp for the ‘night’ about 10 minutes away from it. Sam takes first watch. She passes the hours by recounting the tales and history of her tribe to herself and to Max. At one point Max’s ears perk up and he seems anxious and paces around, but settles down again after a bit. After her shift is done, Sam wakes Oric.

Oric passes his time fiddling with some alchemical components that he keeps in a small pouch. He tries to see if he can make any useful poisons or concoctions. He has the general idea of what steps to take to make a usable potions, but ends up adding too much stuff and instead of being dangerous, it is just amazingly foul smelling.

Oric gains one jar of STINK ESSENCE

He then finishes his watch with nothing else eventful happening. Oric awakens Zharko for the last hour or so of watch that is needed. Zharko prepares himself for the journey ahead and focuses on memorizing spells he may need.

Zharko prepares magic missile, detect magic, and speak with dead

As the three adventurers pack up and get ready to move out, they hear a deep and rumbling roar come from the vicinity of the intersection ahead. It echoes off the walls of the cave and seems to reverberate for a rather long time. Zharko thinks back. He remembers that sound. A corpse he spoke with long ago made a very similar sound when asked to imitate the cry of the creature that had killed it. This thing is an Otyugh. It is fiercely territorial, spends a lot of time submerged in water, and will eat pretty much anything. It’s got spiked tentacles and eye stalks and is generally filthy and extremely unpleasant.

The group arrives at the intersection and while they don’t see any monster, they can hear the sounds of water sloshing from the southern passageway (the one they haven’t explored yet). They make a plan to stay out of any gross water they may find, and head through the southern tunnel. After ten minutes of walking they come to a cavernous room nearly 100 feet around. Everything aside from a narrow 6 inch path on the rim is covered in water. In the water at the edge of the light from their torches, the party can make out green stalks waving slowly in the air as if sensing for something.

Oric plans to throw some rocks in the opposite direction from where they are heading and Zharko offers to cast prestidigitation to make them smell/taste like rotten meat. Before the spell is cast, Zharko tells Oric that he knows he’s been hiding something from him, and has him promise to tell him what it is when they’re somewhere safe. Zharko casts the prestidigitation spell without issue and Oric expertly hucks the debris to the eastern side of the pond. The party moves their way to the west. They sneak on the narrow ledge towards the exit, they hope. In the process, Oric scrapes up against a bone wedged in the rock. He opens a nice gash in his leg from the shin to the calf. He’s got the smell of blood on him now. Sam slips into the water and gets a few mouthfuls before making it back out.

A few more minutes of travel lead to another fork: one path west (wider, marks in the stone as if something scarred it.) The path to the east is much narrower and seems less traveled. Oric stops to bind his leg as best he can. Zharko tries to detect nearby magic. He attunes his hearing to magic, but the spell backfires and he has tinnitus for a while. While Zharko tries to work his jaw and make MAWP noises to fix the ringing in his ears, Sam and Oric hear heavy stomping coming from the western passage and head into the smaller tunnel as quickly as they can.

Sam goes first along with Max. Zharko is next. As Oric is waiting his turn, he hears something sniffing. It grumbles and stomps in their direction. Right after Oric is safely inside the thing reaches in and tries to grab him. He uses his stink essence on the beast’s hand. It sniffs the substance, roars in anger, and stomps away.

Oric loses STINK ESSENCE

The path inside this narrow passageway slopes slightly downwards for a few hundred meters before leveling back out. The ground is now cracked and seems to be made of loose stone. The roof does not stop lowering, though, and eventually the party has to hunch over to make any more forward progress. Everything around them rumbles for a bit, and then the ground drops out from under them entirely.

The group attempts to defy danger to stay up and brace on the wall. TRIPLE FAIL. They brace themselves for a short while, but the vibrations from the wall make their muscles give out and they all plummet into the darkness. The ground below them (when they land) slopes and they are buffeted by rocks and sharp pieces of crystal as they slide down and down.

They see a pale blue light in the distance that is rapidly approaching. As the light gets closer, the party realizes they are sliding quickly towards a ledge that is a sheer drop into this room. Quick thinking and deft movements allow all three to halt their sliding before they go over the edge.

As they dust themselves off, the group notices a figure down on the floor far below them. The unearthly light makes this whole room strange, but that creature looks decidedly …wrong. It looks like a combination of a human and a deer. It has no back legs and its bones are visible through the taught skin. The skull seems to have been replaced by the skull of a deer w/ antlers. It looks in their direction and says ‘feeeeeed’

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Episode 8 (Overworld 2)
The Time for Talking has Passed

PRESENT: Bill, Rook, Vultus

The party is defending the villagers from Coldoaks, along with The Bonehive from The Everlight Lagoon. The two surviving members of the three who came to speak with the adventurers run back to meet the group of dwarves from Scrabhearst who are beginning to charge.

20 Dwarves charging with clubs, torches, and the like. 10 hanging back and armed with crossbows, 1 dwarf leader pushing his way past the archers to get away.

Rook fires his magic missile into the spell but something about the casting distances him from his god. He has a -1 forward until he communes again. He kills one with the missile, though. Vultus charges into the crowd and cleaves two people’s heads off as he makes his way to the fleeing leader. He is beaten with torches and clubs as he pushes into the fray.

Bill runs to the middle of the crowd and whirlwinds with his outstretched hammer. His reckless attack and enormous hammer turn 5 of them into their component parts as the rest of them pile onto him and try to crush him down. Vultus attempts to jump off of the pile to reach the fleeing leader, but stumbles as he leaps. He catches some arrows to the back before he is able to reach the leader. He swears his oath, “On my word, as an agent of The Drakeslayer, I will see you dead before me," as he leaps. He will not be deterred, regardless of the dangers, and takes the damage in stride as he slays the group leader.

Rook seeks to aid Bill by cutting the pile of people off of him. His swing is overzealous and he ends up hurting Bill just as much as he hurts the person on top of him. A few of the villagers remain piled atop Bill, but the rest try and charge by the group to get to the huddle of skeletons and Coldoaks folks. Vultus attempts to use his divine power to command them to attack him instead and has some problems getting his message across. They are afraid of him and now even those piled on top of Bill begin to run as fast as they can towards the as of yet unharmed groups. Bill grabs one dwarf and headbutts it so hard that its head explodes. Rook tries to stand firm and hold back the charging villagers. He is able to hold back a few, but is soon pushed down and stomped on.

Vultus, angry at being ignored, leaves the archers alone for now and cuts down three of the charging villagers. The rest meet the wall of skeletons; 3 villagers die and 4 skeletons are disassembled in the process. Rook pulls himself up using one of the nearby villagers and then breaks the shins on one and cracks another in the head. He is promptly kneed in the face and his weapon flies away from him from the force of the attack. Bill tries to intercept it in midair and catches it BUT he plows into some skeletons when he lands and destroys several of them.

A few of the skeletons break off from the group and charge forward to meet the few remaining Scrabhearst mob. Some skeletons are lost, but when all is said and done there is no more resistance from the remaining angry villagers.

Losses- Scrabhearst: Dead leader, 10 archer hostages, 2 unconscious villagers, 18 dead villagers
Losses- Bonehive: 11 skeletons

Vultus ‘puts down’ the dwarf with the broken shins and offers the remaining living a choice:
repent your heretical ways OR they will be killed and brought back as a skeleton. Rook likes the idea because it will help figure out if they can forcibly make a skeleton army in the future.

Vultus attempts to parley with the assembled hostages while Bill comes over to Rook and hands him back his weapon. They say they will submit to his request if he lets one of them go. He allows the youngest of the group to flee back to his town and the rest line up for whatever is to come.

Vultus asks them if they know where First Conquest is, thinking to ship them all off to there, and the town leader from Coldoaks comes up and asks the party exactly what it is they are here for. Vultus says they want to establish trade and spread the gospel of their gods. Rook says he wants their army.

Rolland comes up to the party, missing an arm. He says, “We are thankful that you arrived in this time of need. It is obvious that we are not able to live in peace as we had once hoped. the world has changed and so we must change as well.”

Vultus and Bill apologize that some skeletons died and Rolland says “it is better that some of ours would die than some of our fleshy kin. We thank you for protecting them as we have tried to do. If there is a way for us to repay your kindness, let us know”

The group asks for some of the power that animates the skeletons as they are, and Rolland tells them that there is a stone at the bottom of the lagoon that gives them their life. They ask if they can have a chunk of the stone and if it would cause issues. Rolland suspects that breaking the stone would also break the enchantment. He offers to get the stone if they wish to observe it, and they accept the offer.

Three skeletons + Rolland go into the water. The light changes colors from green to yellow then back to green. A creature emerges that is about 12 feet tall. It has armor-like bone plates covering its limbs and torso. It still has two legs, but now has 3 sets of arms, and the head has elongated and the mouth has become filled with sharp teeth.

Rook asks if they’ve ever thought about large scale warfare. “We’ve felt no need to attack. we simply sought to defend those that we cared about and ourselves," says the new creature in many overlapping voices. "But as we have said, it is obvious that the world has changed and so too must we.”

Bill requests to be made into a skeleton warrior thing like rolland when he dies. Rook meditates on the situation and tries to seek guidance from the goddess of bloody conquest. He analyzes the situation and now that the stone is out of the water, whispers can be heard in the air traveling to the skeletons. He is unsure if the stone is commanding the skeletons, or if it is helping to give them a voice, or what is up. When trying to figure out who is in control of the situation, he gets the feeling that the stone is the one in control, somehow. He also attempts to figure out the workings of the stone, but this seems to be something that nobody has heard about in a really long time, if at all.

Rook inquires more about the boat to try and trace it back to its source. Rolland tells them that the stone (called The Stitcher Stone by the skeletons) has been there for centuries, at least. It appears to have fallen out of a box that was on the boat, but there are no remains or bodies that were ever found that would give better information. Once the stone came out, it began to leak its energies into the surrounding area. This seems to be the advent of The Bonehive.

There was also a set of robes in the box, the party is told. The robes remain there at the bottom of the lake, still intact. Rook asks for the robes. A few minutes later a skeleton emerges with the box and after Bill looks through it, they find a brilliant blue robe that is dry and intact somehow, and a ruined leather journal. The cover is there, but the pages are mush.

Rook consults his memory. Touching the cloth, he has a flashback of studying in a library and he remembers reading of a magician, for lack of a better descriptor. Her name was Hansa the Blue. She was looking for a way to conquer death.

There’s not much to the story and you’re not even sure it’s true. It was a story of someone who lost a loved one that they had spent years with. On that person’s deathbed, she vowed to conquer death and bring them back to spend the rest of her life with them.

Rolland comes up to them. “We see now what needs to be done. the people of Scrabhearst cannot be trusted to live in peace. will you help us end them? will you help us take this town?”

Vultus has the surrendered archers loaded onto the cart and tells a Coldoaks person how to get to first conquest and to bring them there. The townsperson heads back to First Conquest with the captured ‘converts’ and the rest of the villagers head home.

Rolland goes back into the water with the remaining skeletons. 8 bigger skeletons emerge with him soon after. They have more limbs and look sturdier, but are not quite as large as *Rolland *is. The dwarven bodies are thrown in the lake. They twitch and writhe as they sink below the surface. The flesh remains on the bodies when they emerge. The features are sunken and there is no life or light in their eyes. They move as if they are puppets.

Vultus, Bill, and Rook agree that it is time to march on Scrabhearst. They head into the woods and head the same way the mob arrived from.

End of Session Bookkeeping:
Vultus – 4 XP (2 failure, 1 alignment, 1 notable loot)
Rook – 4 XP (2 failire, 1 alignment, 1 notable loot)
Bill – 3 XP (2 failure, 1 alignment, 1 notable loot)

vultus bond w/ bill (create) – bill has proven himself to be a master of combat and i will dedicate myself to learning from him.

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Episode 7 (Underworld 2)
A Chronicle of Unfortunate Events

PRESENT: Zharko, Sam, Oric

A half hour of navigation leads to another intersection. This is a 4-way split. Oric analyzes the fork and is able to discern that there is something valuable twinkling down the western path. He goes far enough to grab the three gold coins and then comes back to the rest of the group. Zharko attunes his nose to magical detection and finds that there is nothing noteworthy to the western path, but the southern one has a faint smell and the eastern one has a strange smell he hasn’t smelled before. It piques his interest. After some convincing, the rest of the group agrees to go with him to investigate it.

After a bit of walking they come to a large stone room about 50 feet across in every direction. The walls are made of neatly carved stone made to look like brickwork. Near each of the four corners of the room stand a column with a lit brazier facing the center of the room. Oric scans for traps in the room and finds none, so the party heads in. Zharko tries to analyze the room better and fails to do so, instead letting his mind wander as he stares into the shadows.

After a few minutes, Zharko says “I think we’re ok.” IMMEDIATELY after that, the sound of stone coming loose from the far wall grabs their attention. While they are looking there, a quick movement behind them blows out the fire in the brazier on the northwest corner of the room. Sam sends Max (with light-spelled collar) to go near the area in an attempt to see what the culprit was. At the very edge of the light and near the ceiling, the party sees some…things that appear to be made of stone. The creatures are roughly human sized, but have gray skin, batlike wings, and long claws. Zharko tries his best to remember what he’s heard about these creatures, but draws a complete blank.

As the party stares at the two creatures illuminated by the magical light, quick movements behind them put two more of the braziers out. Now the only remaining lit brazier is in the northeast corner of the room. Oric quickly produces a torch and flint from his pack and lights it. The party carefully retreats to the southern exit of the room and into the hallway.

The hallway ends roughly 75 feet later in a small room. Oric does a cursory check for traps, but can’t seem to focus. He does find a pressure plate, a lever, and a chest with a wire connected to the lid that runs down into the stone platform it is set on. He sends the rest of the group back into the hallway and decides to try his luck.

A quick hop on a pressure plate with no response and a pull of a lever with no response later, he shrugs and tries to open the chest. He is able to get it open wide enough to peek inside. He sees an open drawstring bag of coin and what appears to be a small wooden stick. Probably a wand? He attempts to dexterously defy danger by removing the items without breaking the wire holding the lid down, but realizes that the only way he is getting that wand is by opening the lid wider. He does so and runs into the hallway and, with the rest of the party, runs into the dimly lit room from before.

Zharko tries to cast his unseen servant spell again and hand a torch to the servant, forgetting what happened with the last one. The last one died. Usually, unbeknownst to him, a random servant is pulled from another plane to serve him. This time he got the same one. It’s alive somehow. It’s angry, too. Fury emanates from the servant as it obediently holds the torch in its mouth. It has no hands to hold things with. Those are gone.

As the torch is handed off, screeching sounds fill the room. Oh, right. Those creatures are here. Oric deftly takes one out with a well-placed throwing knife, but doesn’t see the other one coming up to bowl him over and rifle through his pack. His newly acquired gold is gone! Zharko takes that one out with magic missile, but doesn’t see the other one swooping down to carry him off into the darkness. Sam fires an arrow at the one carrying Zharko. She has to spend some time and a few shots to do it, but she manages to hit it. At the same time Zharko attempts to headbutt the thing and fails miserably. It laughs at him and hurls him into the ground. He is dazed and will have a harder time casting spells for a while. Oric tries his luck with another thrown dagger bit misses. By this time, the flame beetles released by setting off the chest wire trap have made it to the party and one unleashes a red hot gout of a sticky substance that burns Oric right through his armor. Sam takes a shot at the unharmed gargoyle that Max had been keeping at bay. In the process of backing up to aim, she falls over a dead one and her shot goes wide. Another one of the bugs comes and bites her face. Oric tries to pick up one of the bugs using his dextrous hands and gets bitten in the process. He hurls the bug over to the gargoyle that is nearer to sam and while his aim is good, the gargoyle is able to catch the bug. Zharko then tries to fire a magic missile at the gargoyle and has.. some issues. He targets the bug only to realize that it’s in midair between Sam and the gargoyle. they both take damage from the magically enhanced flame goo. It kills the bug and gargoyle, thankfully. Sam takes aim at the remaining gargoyle and murders it to dust. Oric knicks the last bug and cuts one of its legs off and sam follows it up with a stab to the body and kills it

Oric retrieves his daggers and his gold and hands zharko the wand Zharko inspects it and finds that it has been imbued with 5 castings of a spell called cloudkill. Cloudkill makes a deathly fog roll over the area. Anything in the area taking damage takes an additional 1d6 damage (ignore armor). Persists until dismissed or until the caster can no longer see the affected area.

Zharko tastes some weird spicy transformation magic coming off of the last gargoyle to die.
There is a journal on the dead gargoyle. That’s where the magic taste is coming from.

?:Cave-in. Legs trapped under rocks. No food left. Scared. Lost. Never alone, but lonely. Talk to Felix but he can’t talk back. He tried to help me out but shredded one of my legs pretty bad.
?:I miss you, Marnie. Daddy loves you, Vella.
?: Heard screaming in the distance. People? Don’t know. Felix brings me food now. Meat. Tastes strange. Felix is so big.
?: Smeothnig worgn. Teth falng out. Finners feel longur. Hairs cmonig out. Cann se betr but hardr to ritte. Hurngy. Alwes Hurngy.
?: FREE. FREE. EAT. FEED. (Written in brownish-red. Maybe blood?)
?: Claw marks in page. Bite mark at top right corner

End of Session Bookkeeping:
Zharko: 7 XP (5 failure, 1 notable treasure, 1 bond with Oric)
Sam: 3 XP (2 failure, 1 notable treasure)
Oric: 6 XP (3 failure, 1 alignment, 1 bond with Zharko, 1 notable treasure)

Oric – evolve bond with zharko – the book i stole from zharko has made me wary of him. i must keep a closer eye on his actions.

Zharko – evolve bond with oric – he is keeping an important secret from me and i need to confront him about it

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Episode 6 (Underworld 1)
Into the underworld

PRESENT: Zharko, Sam, Oric
First session of split
The party has decided to break up into smaller teams.

Sam, Oric, and Zharko head further south to The Undertrails, a labyrinthine series of caves and tunnels. There is rumor that along with the possibility of great riches inside, much danger can also be found if unprepared.

The group heads in and searches in the first cavernous room. Lit by sunlight, there is little of use in this area. Before venturing onwards Zharko casts his light spell on Max’s collar. He is able to do so with little difficulty; he’s cast this spell countless times over his long life. Unfortunately, the bright emissions get the attention of something up ahead, which can be heard scrabbling across the uneven stone floor.

In an effort to get a better read on the situation Sam slowly moves forward to see if she can get a visual on the creatures. In the process she knocks clear some stones covering a hole in the ground. Shortly after this there is the sound of squeaking and scratching as cave rats come pouring out of the hole in the floor. The party takes a few steps back and regroups to prepare to mount a defense. The rats form up into a wall of fur and teeth and slowly advance on the adventurers.

Zharko quickly channels his abilities to detect magical emissions and smells some magic tying the rats to… something down below. Oric and sam swing futilely at the horde and do minimal damage to it. Something large and gargly can be heard making its way up through the hole in the floor. Zharko blasts the thing with magic missile to slow its advance. Oric flies overhead with a deft flip and begins hurling stones into the hole. A loud CRAK can be heard and a large body falls to the bottom of that hole and lands with a wet thud. The rats flee back down the hole or out of the cave mouth.

The group moves forward again after plugging the hole up once more. They come to a fork in the path. To the west the sound of dripping water. They decide to cautiously explore further in that direction. In the next room they see the source of the dripping sounds. A bucket set almost entirely out of sight is filling and then dumping into a bucket full of holes. when the first bucket fills and until the second bucket empties, a slab set in the far wall from where they came in rises up slightly and slowly. Oric spots a strange stone in the middle of the room and advises everyone to step around it.

In an effort to plug the holes Zharko has his unseen servant stuff its fingers into the holes. The second bucket fills and metal plates hidden on the other side of the wall opening clamp into place. A spectral scream is heard as the unseen servant (now without hands) disappears from this plane of existence. Zharko cannot use unseen servant again until he makes amends in some way with the people he pulls into this plane

The slab locks into place revealing a small room behind it. Inside are several skeletons and a wooden crate. Zharko speaks with the skeletons and finds that they used to be merchants who were traveling to sell wares when they died. Oric pops the box open and pulls out three wrapped medical kits and 4 vials of a red and yellow swirling liquid.

The group heads out of this room with their new supplies and into the other end of the fork. They find a mostly shredded backpack and Sam looks around inside. She finds 2 rations inside and a leather-bound book that’s been ripped in half. The book is a journal (who it belongs to is unknown)

Entries are as follows: (Earth month in parenthesis for easy reference)
15 Everburn (July): Setting out today on my travels to head back home. I’m going to find the most beautiful thing in the land to surprise the most beautiful wife with. Marnie will be sure to forgive me for being away for so long! I miss her so.

9 Redmoot (Sept): I thought we’d never arrive in this damnable town! The caravan was nearly washed away in a flood. It took us 2 days to dig it out of the muck. A mule died of exhaustion and the other fell ill. Oh, I found a strange egg half buried in the mire. I’m taking it with me. Could be valuable!

24 Icemoot (Dec): I found it! A gorgeous necklace with a flawless stone set inside of it. Marnie will be so pleased. I also got the shopkeep to throw in a small cloth doll. I think Vella would like it. She’ll be… my stars, she’s 9 today. Do 9 year olds like dolls? I’ve been away so long. The egg hatched today. Weird hairless creature. Leathery. Looks like a small dog. With no hair, of course. It seems to like me. Weird beast. Ugly as sin and cute at the same time. Needs a name.

29 Icemoot (Dec): Waylaid by bandits on the road. Dog… thing… ripped one’s throat out before I even had time to cry out for help. The others ran off. One wet himself afore he left. I ran away too. Dog followed me, hissing and yipping happily the whole way. Need to find a place to stay and figure all this out. Caves nearby. Will try there I suppose. Dog still needs a name. Felix, maybe. Means ‘luck.’ Not sure if it’s good or bad that I found him.

?: Been here for days. Wandering. Lost. Food and water running low. Felix is bigger now. I never see him eat. Sometimes he disappears into the darkness for a few hours. Hunting?

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Episode 5 (Overworld 1)
Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one god told me to take.

PRESENT: Vultus, Rook, Bill
First session of split.

The party has decided to break up into smaller teams.

Vultus, Rook, and Bill leave the other half of the group and travel to the west. They’ve got the donkey and cart with them. A day of travel and a night of vigilant watch follow without issue. A few hours more walking and a worn path through the foliage becomes noticeable. it gets deeper and more well-tread and splits into two separate paths; one further west, and one more to the south.

After a few moments of quiet contemplation and prayer, Vultus asks his deity for guidance and gets a faint indication to the southern pathway. The group arrives a short time later at a small village. A shabbily dressed man with a shortsword at his hip walks up to the three and asks how he can help them. He allows them into the town without issue and after being asked by Rook, points them to the town elder and tells them she is currently assisting in preparations for a ritual so she may not be available.

Vultus breaks off from the group to explore the shop stalls and see what he can gather about the town. He broaches the subject of trading these various foods to First Conquest in return for some benefit to their small town. The stall operator says that all of their food is free, and that it would be crude of them to sell that which has been given to them freely by their benefactors.

Rook and Bill go to meet Corrine Taylor, the town elder. She’s an older half-elf/half-goblin and is overseeing a group of people as they put sweet smelling oils and wreaths of flowers on a dead body in a cart. Bill’s hammer begins to glow in the presence of the woman and he pulls it out to show Rook. The townspeople back away and the elder asks Bill to put the hammer away, as brandishing weapons in town when not in an emergency is not allowed. Bill apologizes and Rook asks about the ritual that is being prepared. Corinne tells them that when someone dies in this village, they are brought to a special place to begin their lives anew. She asks if they would like to be present and see for themselves, to which they agree with much curiosity. She informs them that the procession will be leaving within the hour and that they should make any necessary preparations.

Rook and Bill go and find Vultus right as he is being asked to put his weapon away at a food stand. Vultus finds out that the name of the ‘benefactors’ is The Bonehive. This leads to a raised eyebrow or two. A bit of a philosophical argument happens between the stall operator and the adventurers. Eventually they decide to end the discussion for now and head out to wherever this ritual is happening.

The precession journeys northwards for an hour or so and then everyone arrives at a large pond / small lake. The water is glowing a faint shimmery green and you can make out the outline of a ship or boat somewhere in the water. Corinne referred to this place as Everlight Lagoon. As everyone gets to the shore, the three adventurers can see The Bonehive. 20-30 sun-bleached white skeletons are nearby tending to some crops and feeding livestock. When they see the cart and people they stop work and then gather around. Corinne asks the party if they want to participate or simply observe. They all back away a bit and say they’re content to watch.

Four skeletons come up and take up the stretcher with the body on it from the cart. They walk into the softly glowing waters and remain there for a minute or two and then emerge shortly thereafter with an empty stretcher. They put the stretcher on the cart and then creakily sit on the ground, cross their arms over their chests, and bow their heads. Five or ten minutes later a new skeleton emerges from the waters. The skeletons welcome the new addition and the mourners soon stream over to greet it as well.

Rook looks for the skeleton in charge and talks to it. After some questioning, he says he used to be known as Rolland. Rook asks how people join The Bonehive. Rolland says that people must make their desire to join known when alive. Also after coming back, people are allowed to leave at any time. Rook then asks if anyone has ever left before. A few have. Some choose to be buried and then will themselves back to death and some are allowed to wander from the waters that sustain them with their energies. The skeleton also tells him that they limit their population. Once they reach a certain number, one must leave if another is to be added.

Rook takes some of the water from the lake into a ritual cup and spills some of his blood over it as an offering to his god. He asks if these skeletons could be useful in enacting bloody conquest on the world. He gets an answer in the affirmative, saying that an army without fear or pain could be very useful. Vultus kneels in the shallows and asks for guidance and if anything here is evil. His attention is jerked to the northern shore where torchlights are visible in the treeline now that the sun has almost fully set. A group of around 20 dwarves with torches and pitchforks is marching their way towards everyone. The living folk gather into a protective circle around the town elder and the skeletons gather their weapons and form a ring around the people.

Rook, Vultus, and Bill walk forward to put themselves between the advancing group and the people that they traveled here with. Three dwarves come forward to meet the three adventurers. A quick exchange of words shows these dwarves to be from Scrabhearst, the village to the north of here. They are here to wipe out ‘those wicked dead things, and the damnable fools who work with them.’ Vultus steps up and tells them that their errand here is a bad one and they should not pursue the action they currently intend. He is an emissary of the divine and his mission here is of great importance. There is still time to turn around and leave in peace. The three dwarves laugh to each other. One says “If you are here representing some fool god, then-” and is promptly decapitated by a swift strike from Vultus’ sword. After a moment’s pause, the dwarves begin their charge.

XP This session (Failure)
Vultus: 1
Rook: 1
Bill: 0

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Episodes 3&4
Rising stakes, lowering pants

Missing:
Present: Bill, Rook, Oric, Sam, Zharko, and Vultus
Begin: 29th day of Fallsmarch

Cold fall weather is settling down on the land like a thick blanket. But the blanket is cold. And made of snow. Anyway it’s snowing outside now. The party meets near one of the gates leading out of town. Vultus has had time to recover from his malady and has taken up a new quest: To slay every changeling since they are blights on the land. He has sworn an oath of truth and an oath of hospitality in return for immunity to mind-altering enchantments and senses that pierce lies.

Also, vultus leveled up to level 2. Gained move ‘Exterminatus’ and CHA increased to 14

After the party gathers, a woman in a fur-lined coat and hood approaches and asks if they’d be willing to meet with her somewhere warmer and tells them she is an emissary of the Saint Sister, blessed is she who walks among us. They then go to The Fisherman’s Inn, the more upstanding of the two bars in town. Once settled in the woman introduces herself as Constance, the Saint Sister’s ‘handler’, for lack of a better term.

She tells the gathered group that First Conquest is short on supplies. They have food and some small measure of potable water, but they lack much of what they would need to keep the city maintained and well stocked. They need stone. They need metal. They need an flow of visitors and merchants and adventurers. Since the party has proven themselves useful in saving their fellow townspeople, she asks them to come to the city’s aid once more and help keep it alive. Of those gathered, everyone but Sam agrees to the job. Sam doesn’t feel the job would make use of her skills, but the rest of the group convinces her to agree to it as well.

Rook asks for a ledger or something that will enable them to better negotiate for any trade agreements as currently the group doesn’t know precisely what First Conquest has and doesn’t have. She says she will have that for them in the morning, along with a small starting stipend. For now, she hands the party amulets with the symbol of the town on them.
first_conquest_symbol.png

When the time comes to pay for the drinks, Vultus volunteers as per his vow of hospitality. The tab is paid and Oric is nowhere to be found. He’s snuck out to go and…. ‘visit’ his aunt’s house. With some deft lockpicking he quietly enters the small house through the backdoor and sneaks into her bedroom. He takes his father’s journal and tries his luck on a locked jewelry box. Someone in the house stirs and he tries to force the box lock open. He’s able to do so at the cost of his lockpick and swipes a jade figurine that used to belong to his mother, and his father’s pocket sundial. He bumps into Griff as he leaves and uses the guise of coming by to tell them goodbye before his journey. Griff wishes him luck and says he will tell Aunt Rose that he stopped by.

Zharko enters The Foul Wand, the shadier of the two bars in First Conquest. In there he sees Bill drinking heavily. Zharko has recently awoken from an extended rest after the draining process of speaking with the dead. Bill is combative and unhelpful, so Zharko gets ready to turn around and walk out when Rook comes in and they catch up on recent events. Bill is unaware of a strange liquid being poured into his drink, but Zharko and Rook catch it. They stop the drink spiker as he tries to leave the bar and try to ask him some questions. He attempts to make a break for it and is promptly struck down by Rook’s magic missile spell. As he breathes his last he whistles loudly into the night and footsteps are heard on the rooftops. Looks like backup has come.

A quick fight ensues. Bill disarms Zharko, Rook pulps the skull of one of the reinforcements and that act frightens two into fleeing. Vultus appears at the end of the alley just in time for the fleeing bandits to pass him by and trip him as he fails to act quickly enough. The last remaining bandit begs for his life and maybe some coin since he is starving and an exasperated Vultus drags him into the tavern and buys him food. Zharko, Bill, and Rook continue drinking into the night and the rest of the group catches up on beauty rest.

The next morning is slightly warmer than the previous day. Snow still covers the ground but the sky is clear so the sun lends its warming rays to the group that is slowly gathering at the town gate once more. Constance presents them all with a pouch containing 30 coin and gives Rook the ledger of First Conquest’s available trade goods. She wishes them luck and then departs.

Oric gathers some money from the group and then goes to the market and buys a donkey and cart and 60 rations. The party then sets out into the unkown!

Sam acts as trailblazer: 12 (Success!)
Bill acts as scout: 6 (eesh)
Oric acts as quartermaster: 6 (eesh)

The party heads south and decides against going towards the mirthless marshes, feeling that the cart would not fare well in the sucking muck of the area. On the fourth day Oric discovers that a pack of rations were not properly sealed and have gone bad. They are tossed out and travel continues.

On the 4th night shortly before sunrise Vultus drifts off to sleep at the end of his double watch shift. His lapse in wariness is enough for three creatures to enter the perimeter of the camp. By the time they are noticed, they’re already in the warm light of the dying fire. Vultus alerts the others as three goat-legged men stand around and look at the group. Though initially met with hostility, the satyrs stay somewhat calm. Zharko consults his accumulated knowledge on magical creatures and remembers that satyrs can be kind and welcoming, but hold a long grudge if slighted. In an attempt to defuse the situation he comes up and puts his arm around Vultus’ shoulder and casts his unseen servant spell and has it pull down Vultus’ pants. The embarrassed paladin lashes out at the wizard but his fist catches something before he is able to punch his intended target. An invisible figure crashes to the snow and leaves the outline of a body in the snow, though no body can be seen.

The satyrs see these events and laugh uproariously. Vultus storms off angrily and the situation calms somewhat. Pipeweed is shared with the party and tales are exchanged. One satyr gives Oric a vial of goldenroot oil as a token of appreciation of the similarities the two share. Oric responds by giving the satyr a vial of his oil of tagit. After some time the satyrs prepare to depart again and ask if they can have some rations. Vultus angrily agrees and one of the satyrs gives him a shiny gold/silver (depending on the light) coin. When told that he does not require or wish for payment, the satyr says ‘This is no currency! Keep it handy. If you forget things, do not forget the coin.’ They tell the group that if they are to encounter any more satyrs in the area to mention that they are friends of Saturnus, Billy, and Ramuel

The group packs up camp and prepares to venture further south. Around midday/early afternoon the land changes somewhat. The coast to their west extends much further off into the distance. Ahead of them they see the beginnings of a mountain range and some dark spots which probably mark the entrance to a network of caves.

Which way will they go? Will they split up to cover more ground?

Session_3.png

Total XP gained from session:
Zharko: 5
Sam: 1
Bill: 3
Rook: 1
Vultus: 4
Oric: 3

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