– Session Log of Session 1
This game is set within the world of Ashfen, upon the continent of Elbion, within an area known as the Verdant Dale which forms part of the Kingdom of Brelik.
Costine Nort, Half-Elf Druid, habit of hiding and or turning into stone at inappropriate moments
Everard Sosa, Human Wizard, eyes go gooey at dark magic, pretends he doesn’t take advise from a talking book.
Kristian, Human Ranger, ‘boom headshot’, fear of turning into a small person
Ozwald Percival, Tiefling Warlock, carries a magical bag of beans, rather level-headed.
The party form part of an adventuring guild known as Bannerfall. They were tasked by their guild master, a grizzled dwarf by the name of Lali Pebbleback, to rescue a noble by the name of Maxwell Bolthorn who had been kidnapped by a band of Orc slavers who raided the village of Hogsfeet. The Orcs also took a priest of Nerill (Chaotic Good Goddess of the Storms) by the name of Erinon Farlight, a local Dwarven Miller by the name of Banain and a passing Halfling merchant by the name of Drigold. The Bolthorn family had offered 1000 gold pieces for whoever can return Maxwell back safely and alive to the village. The other hostages do not have any explicit ransom however may be able to provide something upon their safe return, or perhaps could be rescued out of the goodness in the parties hearts.
It is worth noting that it is strange that these Orcs were so bold as to go so deep into the dale to find their quarry and that they are acting in such an organized manner.
They traveled to an area of the world known as the Verdant Dale. This is a huge, fertile valley that provides much of the grain for the wider Kingdom of Brelik and is heavily fortified by walls, men, and magic against the numerous forces of evil and chaos that seek to destroy it or take it for their own. It is ruled and sometimes fought over by three noble families, the Bolthorns, the Mortlings and the Blackfriars.
The party tracked the Orcs down to the ruins of an old wizarding guild known as Sarkoth Keep deep which rested deep within the Azure forest. Sarkoth is the True neutral god of magic. This keep was destroyed 20 years ago in apparently a freak accident, many say it is cursed and there has never been an attempt to rebuild it in the same location. The guild has recently rebuilt, around a year ago, its keep in a new location which now rests around 70 miles to the south of the former guild, still built across the leyline of magic in the area, and is situated near the village of Goldcrest of which its magical wards protect from harm.
The band of Orcs, led by a one-eyed shaman by the name of Urgosh, had temporarily taken over the ruins of Sarkoth keep. Standing outside as the party quietly approached were 4 Orcs torturing a halfling tied to a large stick. A bear sat angry, tired and mangy within a cage next to this halfling and it appeared as though the leader of the pack of Orcs, who herself was unnaturally bloated and diseased, was about to release the bear onto the helpless halfling.
The party acted quickly, arrows flew true and bolts of magic shot out of their hands wounding the Orcs. The Orcs reacted quickly and with a ferocious and reckless speed charged at the party paying no need to the still burning campfire they were charging through.
This caught the party off guard and in particular, Everard took a mean blow from the axe of one of the Orcs. However the party prevailed, slaying the Orcs, unfortunately, the reason for the leader of the packs’ recklessness became clear when upon her death at the hands of Costine, she breathed an almost bloated sigh of relief and exploded in a shower of disease and gore which bathed Everard as well as Costine further in the viscous fluid.
The party was still left with the bear to deal with, it had at this point escaped from its cage and was mauling the Halfling. Costine bravely drew attention away from the beast and Everard peppered it with piercing arrows from afar until it fell.
Costine healed the fallen Halfling, her name was Drigold, she rose and in thanks once she had calmed herself gave Costine a small, magical ring as thanks and told them that should any of the party find themselves at her merchant stall within either the village of Hogsfeet , RedWater, or elsewhere she would be happy to offer them a discount to her wares.
The party explored the area and found a pit trap that the Orcs had crudely covered as well as the main entrance to the ruins of Sarkoth Keep itself. Investigating the pit trap further Ozwald discovered that it was actually a tunnel that led towards the keep. He wisely filled the pit with the corpses around him and jumped down, thus avoiding the spikes at the bottom. The rest of the group followed.
They crept through the hidden tunnel and found themselves at a door that when opened revealed a large room that appeared to be some area of ritual and religious significance within the keep that had now been taken over by the Orcs. A one-eyed Orc, wearing a helm made of bone was looking through the entrails of a human upon an altar. Around him were two cages filled with quietly sobbing people and two Orc guards. There was also a treasure chest within the room filled with the warbands haul.
The party attempted to quietly release the hostages whilst the Orcs were distracted, Costine put on her cloak of invisibility and snuck towards the large door at the far end of the room however made too much noise on her approach which alerted the Orcs.
Battle went into full swing and it was then that Costine realised that behind this large door was a ferocious troll, this realisation was made worse by the fact that an inopportune thunder wave spell had now alerted this troll who began to smash through the door.
Fighting got rough as Urgosh let loose fiery bolts from his magical helm and the other Orcs while the troll tore through the door. The party fought back hard but were finding themselves outmatched by the ferocity of the creatures they had disturbed.
The Ranger, after having killed one of the Orcs was tragically felled by another. Nobody acted quickly enough to come to his aid with either healing magic or a health potion and he faded away into the darkness.
Then Everard fell and Ozwald beat a hasty retreat dragging his still conscious but immobile body out of the tunnel while Costine hid beneath her cloak of invisibility.
Everard through sheer good fortune managed to bring himself back from the brink of death which turned the tide of the battle. The Warlock and the Wizard charged back into the fray sending bolts of eldritch magic and fire into the Orcs whilst Costine. The troll tore with its huge claws at them but they defended against its blows and managed to slay Urgosh. Upon Urgosh’s death the troll let out a piercing howl and picked him up in his arms, sobbing and sitting upon the floor. Leaving the troll to mourn his master’s (or perhaps pet’s?) death the party managed to free the hostages and retreat out of the tunnel before it could come back to its senses and claim them for its dinner.
Whilst the party had claimed victory the fighting had proved fatal, they were wounded and Kristian had fallen in battle. Costine knew that her druidic circle resided within this forest and the party resolved to bring Kristian to them so that they could attempt a spell of reincarnation upon him. The journey took them east through the forest and over one of the bridges on the trifold river. The particular bridge was guarded by a fey sprite who asked the party for offerings before they crossed. Costine , presumably having some affinity with the creature, procured some mushrooms for the creature who with a satisfied gurgle gorged upon them and sunk back into the waters.
Maxwell proved to be rather frustrating in person, arrogant with no skill to back it up. He mostly wanted to return home as quickly as possible. While the Dwarven miller Banain was supportive of the party and was happy to join them to aid in returning their friend to life.
They passed and found the circle in prayed upon the moonlight. The circle were hesitant to help at first for a dark omen was in the air of magic of late, consequences may occur when trying to cast such a powerful spell between the boundaries of life and death. None the less they knew Costine well and agreed to cast the spell for her, they asked for nothing for this service except the component cost of the ritual to a total of 1000 gold, which the party agreed to.
The group held hands and the ritual began, each party member, in turn, offered a trinket of significance towards Kristian and as the ritual commenced his body formed back to life. It seemed for a terrifying moment that Kristian may return as a halfling, an ironic jest at the gods for his own prejudice against the smallfolk, however at the last minute his legs grew and he returned as his human self. Albeit with a new penchant for life, an urge to always say yes to new experiences and challenges in life.
Thanking the circle the party departed with their hostages back towards the direction of the keep. They scouted the area and found that what was left of the Orcs seemed to have left the area and headed towards the south-west. The party went down into the keep and began to explore it. Everard found a large number of spell scrolls within the central, ruined library area of the keep as well as a secret journal. The party found that the great hall in the keep was abandoned, though a small religious trinket showing a symbol of a tidal wave was in the room, indicating that the priest of Nerill had been in this room.
A small master bedroom within the keep had an unerringly lifelike statue of the former master of the Sarkoth wizard guild, the Elf Eremil Lenwick. Everard thought this strange in particular as he knew that these guilds did not tend to build statues of their masters as they saw that as a form of idolatry against Sarkoth.
They decided to take the statue with them though it took two of them to carry. Before they could achieve this however they stumbled upon their old friend the troll again and a fierce battle ensued. The creature resolved to tear apart the keep itself and began to attack its very foundational towers as the party slammed it with magic, sword blows, and arrow bolts. Only the final support holding the keep together remained but the party managed to kill the creature just before it destroyed the entire keep.
With the keep in a state of disrepair the party had one final look around, they saw that the treasure that was once in the southern room had been taken however Urgosh’s magical helm of bone did remain discarded in the room. They also discovered a room full of broken and smashed apart potions bubbling upon the ground. Ozwald decided to try to put the random concotion within his flask and 4 Dretches , small, slime covered and almost ape-like demonic creature were conjured from the mess and attacked the party. The party dispatched 3 of them and Ozwald decided to simply knock the last one out instead of killing it. Claiming himself, for better or most likely ill, a pet dretch.
The party made a hasty exit from the keep as it collapsed in upon itself and found themselves where they had started, within the Azure forest, in the ruins of the keep, but with all their hostages safely under their guard.
That is where we ended the session.