Earthdawn with Rachel and Andy

Summary of Visit to V'strimon

NOTE: This is a very brief summary, done from memory months after playing the session.  I'm going to get a lot of details wrong and leave some things vague, but this should be good enough to maintain the overall continuity of the campaign.  —CAL 11-25-17

Characters involved: Keyhana, Garadin, Andromedon, Dawn Death, Death Skull, Buddy.

From Darrinis, the players took a show boat to the Floating City of V'strimon.  There was a little excitement on the boat.  There was a questor of Vestrial who booked passage and created a major disruption by planting evidence (mostly cryptic hand-written notes) on passengers and crew members.  This caused the crew and passengers to turn on one another.  At one point a crew member believed an accusation about an elderly woman and threw her overboard.  The players managed to rescue the woman unharmed, find the culprit, and restore order.  (I think the questor was killed, but I don't remember the details).

They reached the city and began looking for the female T'skrang military office who was to be the recipiant of Hax's letter.  A clerk at the Foundation House (where they were told to find her) told the players the he knew how to find the officer, but he would not give up the information unless they did a favor for him.  He was awaiting an important package that had been entrusted to the Windling messenger service that lives in the grove.  

The party found the Windlings, but they were all drunk, celebrating the Festival of Flowers (it was a day or two before the official beginning of the festival, but they were starting early).  Rachel's characters wanted to try to negotiate with the Windlings to gain possession of the package, but Andy's characters decided to attack and try to force them to talk.

One of Andy's characters (I don't remember which), tried to pin one of the Windlings to the ground.  He almost got him, but the Windling got away and retreated to the treetops.  Several other Windlings who were hidden in the trees began lobbing arrows onto them.  The party had no choice but to retreat.

Without having completed the favor, they ended up wandering around the city, asking random people for directions and advice on finding the military officer.  Finally, long after the sun had set, they found her on board an anchored military ship in the harbor.

[Meanwhile, Rachel's elementalist was exploring the city.  He went to the Tower of Fire and spoke with the fire elemental.  Through her interactions with the elemental she gained some arcane knowledge of the Elemental Plane of Fire.  In game terms, this translated into her gaining a first circle fire-based spell for free.]

Rachel's troubador tried to convince the guards to let the party in, and for them to wake up the military officer, but they failed.  They were told to come back in a couple of hours, and she would be up.

They came back and were immediately arrested.  It took them a while to sober up and make the trip, but the Windlings from the grove had come and reported the party's attack on them to some military officials.

The party was taken on board the anchored ship and interrogated.  Eventually, after a lot of talking and some success using various social talents, the part was able to negotiate their release on the condition that they immediately leave the Floating City and never return.  Technically, they did achieve the objective of delivering the letter.

They took a ferry from V'strimon back to the show board that they had arrived in, where it was still anchored across the lake, near the beginning of the Pilgrimage Path.

 

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Traveling to Darranis

The players need to get to the Floating City of V'strimon because the Pilgram's Trail begins near there.  They met with Hax to ask about airship passage.  The airship was about to leave the next day for Throal because it was needed for official business of His Majesty's Royal Exploratory Force. (The airship is technically the property of King Varulus, with permission for Hax to time-share it with H.M.R.E.F.)  

Hax said that the player characters could get a ride to Throal but no farther.  He said their best bet would be to travel with a Caravan from Throal to Darranis where they could negotiate for river boat passage to the Floating City.

Most of the trip from Throal to Darranis was uneventful, but about three days walk from Darranis, the caravan was attacked by three Sarauls (I was using the 1ED stats from the Creatures book, which are much weaker than the stats in the 4ED book).

Dawn Death (Andy's T'skrang Swordmaster) was the victim of a Saural acid attack to the face.  He survived, but his eyes were almost completely destroyed. The players killed the Saurals and Deathskull (Andy's Troll Nethermancer) took the glands out of two Saurals, worth legend points and 200 silver each.  During the attack, Keyhana remembered (using a knowledge skill) that Saurals can be tricked by painting large eyes on another object, making them target the decoy instead.  She and Buddy (Andry's dwarf skyraider) created a pair of false eyes on the wagon, which helped them to defeat the Saurals.

The caravan was only about an hour away from a small trading settlement, so the players stayed with the caravan until they reached the settlement.  

The settlement consisted of only about ten makeshift structures.  It was just a temporary trading outpost run by a small group of T'skrang whose riverboad had been sunk by a T'keshin warship some time ago.  They now make a living by producing what items they can and trading with caravans that travel between Darranis and Throal.  The structures were near the river in an area that would be underwater when the river flooded.  The village was mostly run by T'skrang, but there were a few namegivers of other races there also.

The settlement was being harrassed by some Shrieker Bats nearby.  So far they had not attacked anyone, but their shrieking was destroying trade goods, including pottery made by a male Human named Grollock.

Grollock told the players that there was a questor of Garlen who camped out on a hill above the settlement and that she may be able to heal Dawn Death's eyes, but that she was "crazy."  He warned them not to approach her without a gift, preferably the gift of several dead Shrieker Bats.  Andromedon determined that Grollock was lying, so he and Death Skull decided to approach her directly.

The questor's name was Larona (see wiki post for this character).  She was a 160 year old elf.  She offered them some Mahogany Tinrose tea and had some light conversation with them.  She said that she traveled around a lot and had only recently come to this village.

She was very pleasant and said that she did not want a gift.  She would heal him for free.  Death Skull even offered her one of the Saural glands (for use in making potions), but she insisted in paying him full price.  She bought both for 400 silver pieces total.  She also mentioned that she had had some conflicts with Grollock since arriving in the village but she did not go into detail.

The three of them walked down the hill back to the village.  She attempted to heal Dawn Death, but was unsuccessful.  She explained that she could make one attempt each day.  The caravan moved on without the player characters.  The caravan operator was fine with them leaving the caravan early.  He paid them for the portion of the journey that they had already worked and left (5 silver each per day, docking for the time missed by not completing the journey).

On the second day, the Larona successfully healed Dawn Death's eyes, basically using her powers to grow him a new set of eyes and repair all other damage done to his face.

The player characters continued on to Darranis without any other incidents..

characters got into a bar fight with a human non adept, orc scout, troll wizard, and a dwarf elementalist. Characters won, killing the orc. The other characters ran., except the troll who was unconscious. A few player characters were wounded but mostly recovered by the next morning. They booked passage on K'trallor's riverboat, a T'skrang showboat headed for the Floating City for V'strimon, in time for the festival of flowers.

in addition to the crew of the showboat, a small band of dwarven entertainers also booked passage. Also an elderly wealthy dwarf couple and a middle aged Human in a gray cloak.

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Summoned by Charcoalgrin

While speaking with Cleotha Splalyfoot out in the streets in Haven, Fafedriel comes by and blamed Cleotha and Deathskull for the death of his nephew, R'Grag (fell off of a mountain while on one of Cleotha's caravans from Parlainth to Throal.  See previous adventure notes for more details.  He makes a lot of non-specific threats about future payback against Cleotha, Deathskull, and even against Torkgak (who was just kind of standing there) and against Haven itself…even against Throal.  Then he stormed off.  Cleotha looked visibly shaken, although she tried to hide it.  Torkgak looked unimpressed.

Moments later, two rough looking Unforgivables approached the characters shortly after Cleotha and Torgak left.  They gave the player characters clay fired dragon badges…with a black background instead of the red background ones that the Unforgivables had (signifying that the player characters are guests and not to have permanent access).  

The players were told to bring all of the magic items recovered from the old Theran lab (see previous adventure notes), and they were told to as for "Captain Zhorgok" at one of the Unforgivables checkpoints on the border of the Vaults and the Laneways.

After a very short amount of prep time in Haven, the characters went to the Unforgivables checkpoint, where a few Unforgivables escorted them to a pyramid in the Vaults, near Charcoalgrin's main complex.

Inside was a room with a rount table.  When they entered, Slowstone was there and said "Master should be along shortly.  Would you like some tea while we wait?"  The players had a brief conversation with Slowstone where they learned his name and a little of the backstory of how he was named and ended up serving as Captain Zhorgak's assistant.  (See original GM only notes for more details…the conversation went pretty much as described there.)

The players then met with Charcoalgrin.  Again, see GM notes…most of what is there ended up coming up in the conversation, but here are some high points.

  • Kayhana correctly identified the rusted old sword as the most valueable of the magic items they had recovered

    • Charcoalgrin said she had no interest in the other "trinkets" from the Theran lab
    • Charcoalgrin said that the sword's name was "Purifier" but did not give any other information about it.
  • Charcoalgrin asked the player characters if they had heard the rumor that she was horror tainted

    • They replied that they had heard it but did not believe it.
    • She invited them behind her curtain to see that she had brought the bloatform from the Theran lab under her control.
    • She told them that she is indeed NOT horror tainted.
  • Charcoalgrin ordered the player characters to travel to meet with Shivalahala Syrtis and bring back an answer to her riddle/question: "If a blessed dog and a cursed lion fight over the same bone, which will prevail?"

    • She said that the Shivilahala will be wise enough to know the meaning of the question.  She said that dragons are not in the habit of seeking the input of the lesser Namegivers, but that she values the Shivilahala's opinion much higher than most.
  • Andromedon half-solved one the dragon's riddles (the one whose answer was "Parlainth"…he said "The Screaming/Singing Fountain."  HIs reward was that Charcoalgrin told him how to gain an audience with Shivalahala Syrtis: by waling the Pilgrim's Trail.
  • Charcoalgrin kept Purifier in her vaults.  She intends to keep it until she can decide whether the passions truly intended for the player characters to have it, or whether it was dumb luck.  She let them keep all of their other items.

After the meeting, the Unforgivables took the badges back and allowed the characters to leave with all of their posessions, except for Purifier.

 

 

 

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Found magic items in old Theran lab

The following player characters participated in this adventure:

Deathskull, Rock Shooter, Buddy, Tristan, Andromedon, Kayana, Garadin.

Archiana Smoothskin gave the player characters an assignment that had come to the Association from Pagmore Guilthroat (Parlainth book). There's had been reports of people dressing as falsemen and "capturing" War Zone monuments in an attempt to rig the war games. The players were offered a bounty for killing or capturing the offenders.

On the way to the War Zone, the players had a junior incident at the Screaming Fountain where a couple of them went temporarily crazy and started fighting each other. I don't remember which characters, but at least one of them was Andy's…maybe RockShooter? They also sustained some injuries due to traps on the Laneways, but nothing too serious.

the players went to the designated spot in the war zone and found a few people dressed as falsemen. They were about to confront them when actual falsemen ambushed the people pretending to be falsemen.

One of the player characters (don't remember which) was walking and the ground collapsed below him. He fell into a very deep hole, and the other players soon followed as a way of escaping the escalating falsemen battle above ground.

They had fallen into a room in the Western Catacombs. The room had served as a laboratory for a pre scourge Theran wizard. The wizard had been performing experiments on a live Bloatform that he had in a custom built containment chamber.

The Theran wizard was killed in the battle between the wizards and the horrors, shortly after Parlainth was removed from the world. The combined magical energy of the horrors and the Therans in that battle permeated the experimentation chamber. The chamber was almost perfectly intact, but the wizard's stoneman was accidentally given the ability to speak, and to cast spells.

The unnamed stoneman repeatedly insisted that he could not speak, and he denied the ability to use magic, even though he was using magic in front if the characters. He kept insisting that his master would return any minute. All of the chamber doors were magically locked, although the stoneman would lock and unlock them as needed as he walked around.

One door lead to the wizard's library. Another to a store room full of magic items. Another to the bloatform chamber, and another to a tunnel leading further into the western Catacombs.

The players finally convinced the stoneman that his master was long dead and that he was free to think and act for himself. (They mostly did this to convince him to unlock the door to keg them out, even though "master would not approve".)

The stoneman had always been tasked with keeping the place "tidy" and decided that his first act of freedom would be to see what it felt like for things to be untidy. So he unlocked the external  door and calmly announced that he would be releasing the horror.

The characters, all circle 1, wisely decided to run rather than to fight the horror. Before running, some if them grabbed what they could from the wizard's storeroom. The players have not yet researched any of the items, so see GM Only notes about what they found.

The players ran down the corridor away from the lab. It was mostly collapsed but they managed to get through because before announcing his plan to release the bloatform, the stoneman graciously cleared a path through the rubble to allow them to escape.

They finally came to three shimmering portals (a side effect of the lingering magic in the Western a Catacombs). They picked one and all ran through it. It warped them onto the top of a building in The Vaults (the building resembled Torgak's because he modeled his shop after the architecture of The Vaults.

They managed to make it back to Haven with only light to moderate injuries, but nothing permanent. They spotted a few Unforgivables patrols, but since the players were away from Charcoalgrin's courtyard, the patrols didn't come very close and they were able to avoid detection. 

Altogether they brought six items back from the magician's storeroom. See GM Only notes for details.

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Working to get the airship
...then going back to Parlainth

Once in Throal, the player characters did various tasks to help house Byril'ah (Hax's house) grease the political skids to allow them to take possession of a Troll Drakaar that Prince Neden had captured in a recent adventure.

Neden had previously promised to give the airship to His Majesty's Exploratory Force.  But since house Byril'ah has always been close to the Royal Family, Neden and Varulus were willing to listen to Hax's proposal.

They finally reached a compromise. The ship would be owned jointly by House Byril'ah and H.M.E.F., but a few things needed to be accomplished to get all parties to agree to the compromise.

Cleotha mentioned to Rachel's character, Andromedon, that he should use the location of the sealed kaer as a bargaining chip to help House Byril'ah in the negotiation.  She pointed out that a small band of first circle adepts was not fully equipped to open a kaer by themselves.  She also pointed out that two of the other member of the caravan had spotted the runic markings and had been looking for hired help to assist them in opening the kaer and exploring it.  If Andromedon didn't act soon, his information would become worthless anyway.  Andromedon turned over the information about the kaer to H.M.E.F.

The second problem was that Selenda, of house Ueraven (see Throal book) had gotten wind of the proposed deal and wanted to put a stop to it, simply to spite the Royal Family.  Although she didn't have any official reason to have a say in the matter, she had the ability to create a lot of headaches for Varulus, so Cleotha, acting as a go-between to keep house Byril'ah from having to associate too closely with the player characters (keeping open the possibility of using them for more clandestine operations), told Andromedon that House Byril'ah needed some dirt on Selenda in order to leverage her into keeping her mouth shut.

Cleotha said that she knew of an enemy of Selenda's who had information that could hurt her, though Cleotha didn't know what the information was.  The potential informant was associated with a Hach'var team that had recently fallen ill (suspected poisoning).  He agreed to release the information directly to House Byril'ya (not to the characters) if the characters filled in and won the Hach'var game. (This is based off of an adventure framework in the Throal source book.)

The characters sought out Zamirica One-Knee (also Throal book) to receive training in Hach'var.  It's cheating the rules a little, but because of this training I gave all of the player-characters a level 1 Hach'var skill.

One of Andy's characters (I think it was Deathskull) was approached by Thom Edrull.  Edrull offered him money in exchanged for throwing the match.  (Deathskull had previously bribed Edrull to get a look at the forbidden book on the Horrors in the Great Library.)  Deathskull refused, and the player-characters went on to win.

The next day at a poetry reading in the Grand Auditorium, Kelassa of House Bryl'ya was joined on stage by Prince Neden and Oergesol (leader of His Majesty's Exploratory Force) to announce the sharing of the airship.  It would be for the purposes of assisting H.M.E.F. and also for allowing hosue Byril'ya to begin offering tourist packages to remote locations of Barsaive, as well as spreading Throalic culture to areas where it was needed most.

Shortly after this, Cleotha headed back to Parlainth with a return caravan.  The player characters spent a few uneventful weeks in Throal (they are all Throalic citizens now), getting familiar with the setting, and then rode the airship back to Parlainth.

On the way, they spotted a dwarf on board the airship looking over the edge and hastily drawing maps.  He mentioned that he was looking for a fabled jungle settlement near Parlainth, but he had not managed to spot it.

When the airship arrived in Parlainth, the player characters noticed that the theater was much more complete than it was the last time they had seen it.  Attached to the theater was an airship dock and a hotel, made entirely out of a single living tree that Hax was growing using his abilities as an elementalist.

Hax was too busy to meet with the characters, but he sent word to them that he would have some work for them soon.  In the meantime, he offered them free rooms at the soon-to-be-opened hotel.

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The story so far
...so far as I remember it, anyway. And this is very abbrieviated.

Rachel and Andy's characters were all in Partlainth, seeking to make their fortunes as adventurers.

They took an odd job doing various tasks for Hax, a businessman from Throal, setting up a theater in a reclaimed section of the Smalls, in the ruins just beyond Haven's walls.  The concept of the theater was to give upscale Throalites a chance to visit Parlainth and say that they have "explorer the ruins"…meaning "had dinner just on the other side of the wall."

During the first performance of the show (a soft opening, where Hax performed his magic for the Haven locals), an employee of Hax's, named Byron, added a cursed compass to the act.  Anyone who touched it (including a few of the player characters) received a minor curse.  The compass would magically appear in the possession of one of the people who had touched it and they could not get rid of it until they had performed a particular task that it "wanted" them to do.  Some of these tasks were annoyances, some put them in danger or pitted residents of Haven against one another.

It turned out that Byron was a questor of Dis (Hax did not know this, and neither did the player characters).  The compass incident game lasted a few sessions and ended up with the player characters having the compass disenchanted.  Byron was killed by a Shadowmant that he set loose in Haven.

Hax later suggested that the player characters escort Cleotha Splayfoot (see Parlainth and Throal books for more info) on a caravan from Parlainth to Throal.  Fefadrial, and upper circle blood elf (also see Parlainth book) suggested that his nephew (a blood elf whose name I can't remember) also go with Cleotha.  Cleotha didn't seem to like the idea, but she agreed (she seemed to have felt compelled to do so, possibly out of fear of Fefadrial).

During the journey to Throal, Fefadrial's nephew, Rgrag fell off of a mountain and was killed when his horse lost its footing. Up until that point, Andy's troll Deathskull had been clashing with him, but the blood elf's death was unrelated and purely accidental. Other caravan NPC's Brock and J'allen witnessed R'grag's accident.

There were a couple of other notable events during the trip to Throal.  Rachel's Elf troubador (Andromadon) received a mysterious letter telling him to sneak into Cleotha's wagon, steal a blue scroll, and replace it with a decoy.  He was to do this before someone else in the party (may have been the blood elf…I don't remember) could get to it first.  He failed.  Cleotha later told him that he was being tested.  Even though he failed, she liked him and saw some potential in him, so the people she worked with (she didn't elaborate) may have some use for him in the future.

There was also an incident where one of Andy's wounded characters was being stalked by a Kreeska.  A couple of player characters and NPC's fought the Kreeska and knocked it off of a mountain.

Rachel's character, Andromadon (or was this Garadin??? Rachel said Andromedon but mr notes said it was her "male dwarf elementalist"…Garadin in a wizard, maybe I meant him?) also noticed some runic markings on a cave wall in the foothills of the Throal mountains. He made notes of the runes but didn't tell anyone except for Cleotha.  After reaching Throal he researched the markings in the library and realized that they were wards that were used to protect the entrance of a kaer.  Most likely, he had found the entrance to a forgotten, still-sealed kaer.

The party finally got to Throal.  They found basic temporary lodging (aside from one of Rachel's dwarf characters who stayed with low ranking noble family members…I'll have to fill in that back story later).

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