Saturday, April 4, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 22 Summary

Still on the search for Kirk, the Combative Companions begins scouring the mountains in hopes of finding him. With the area no short of peculiar faces and creatures, the party comes at odds with a small band of skeletal warriors, and a group of lycanthropic soldiers who were all to eager to eat their ox, but there was never a sign of Kirk along the way. Thankfully they had detecting a hint of smoke far in the distance that they were using as a guide. Smoke leads to people more often than not, and if they cold find people, they could potentially find help, or even the man that they are looking for. As they follow the smoke however, something sinister occurs beyond their adventure.

The kraken has emerged. Being in the mountains, the exploring members of the CeeCees don't realize it yet, but for the unfortunate few who man their boat at Lort's port, they are very aware. Desperate for their survival Randon, Nanok, Morrigu, Desdaimonia, Ursan, and Eptun gathered what they could from the ship and scurried into Lort for sanctuary, only for the beast to emerge from the waters, revealing its unforeseen mobility, to begin destroying the very town they hoped they would be safe in. As Lort fell apart to the beast, the group had changed their plan, hoping they may return to the boat and sail away, but as they ran back to the boat, the kraken turned to returned to the waters. They were trapped, unable to sail away at risk of attracting its attention, so they stowed away quietly hoping the creature would not take the entire vessel with it. Thankfully, it left, leaving the party safe in what remains of Lort.

Meanwhile the exploring party does actually manage to find the source of the smoke leading them to a longhouse. They are greeted by a man who wears a blue mask with a white square, and he seems well enough until the party mentions their search for Kirk with the intent of finding treasures. He rings a bell signaling something they are not entirely aware of, but another figure does emerge to arm the man with a weapon. He warns them to cease their search or face death. The party probably won't listen to him in the long run, but not wanting a needless battle they agree, telling the man that they were unaware of the nature of what they were searching for. He seems to forgive them, and even offers hospitality afterwards, giving them shelter for the rest of the day. The following morning they leave to continue exploring the mountains in search of Kirk, but they do make a mental note to try and become more aware of what Kirk's intent may be, and to question him over the matter when they see him.

As they travel, they come across a massive metal cylinder, at least 20 feet tall with some sort of cover screwed on by a handle gripped cap. Despite the size, the CeeCees convince Halthor to climb to it's side and slowly unscrew the top, and surprisingly, this works. Inside he finds the starved remains of a group of Namekians, but more importantly, he finds more amulets and another gun. After retrieving the items however, the entire structure begins to emit a metallic grinding, and there's some form of movement within. The party begins to back away, and as a pyramid like structure begins to rise from the cylinder, the party decides, "Nope!" and begins to run away as the cylinder changes from a gray metal to an indigo with a shining green light. As the party runs away they can see the structure sprout mechanical legs and an eye, but thankfully, they're long gone before the beast of metal and gears becomes mobile. They may have released a horrific threat upon this land, but that is an issue to worry about another day.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 21 Summary

Having successfully killed the cyclopes, the Combative Companions decide to hold back on their mission of mapping the shores in favor of pursuing one of the many offers and request they've been given over the past week. For them, they'll now be pursuing treasure for a group working under Kirk Serpent-Eyes, because treasure is always of the upmost importance. Now they just need to find Rod Bullbrow in the mountains, and he will guide them to the site. There was also something about Halthor being kidnapped for the night and some huge conspiracy to commit regicide, but once again, treasure is of the UPMOST importance.

As the group travel through the woods they come across a group of one dozen men who, based on the reverberations of Bodhi's sword, are likely part of some cult. With demands of a maiden to sacrifice for the Kraken, Halthor tells them that they're fresh out of offerings as any women they had to offer have succumb to the terrors of these woods. They were not too fond on the response, but it at least made enough sense for the men to give them peace. They turn their backs, and walk away.
And then everybody shoots them while their guard is down.

What remained of the men scattered as they realized, along with the party, just how devastating those mysterious items Halthor picked up a few days ago were, as he, Axrid, and Zanorak fired beams of light that pierced through the cultists leaving melted holes through their chests. Apparently these men now wield "ray guns", and it is utterly terrifying. Even Axrid's a little intimidated by what his weapon can do, and Sain's concerned that using these guns may have adverse side effects. But with a weapon so powerful, of course they'll continue using it.

Later that night, a rustling is heard as a group approaches them. At first they assumed it was the cult from earlier, but thankfully they had not come for vengeance. Rather it was an entirely different cult that just so happened to have found them and wants to take their blood. How comforting. The men were actually semi-civil of the entire matter, requesting that they offer blood to their deity The Lord in Veins via bloodletting, and that they may even be granted protection for doing so. There were even implications that Sain may be able to serve under the Lord in Veins if he participated, but he declined, as he viewed their group as "unforgivably lame and embarrassing". No one wanted to participate, and the party were open to simply murdering them, and calling it a night, but before they could do so Zanorak decided "On second thought, I'm gonna do it" and the end result became Zanorak and Bravello the hireling offering to perform enough bloodletting for one dozen people. So, they are given an urn with black shards to stick their hand into that would cut and draw blood from them. Zanorak draws blood for six people, making him slightly lightheaded, but otherwise he was okay. For Bravello however, this was a different case.

Bravello didn't say anything as he wanted to be a brave boy when Halthor asked if he wanted to participate, but Bravello has a slight problem with hemophilia, and he had an overwhelming feeling that if he tried sticking his hand in the not-blender, he could die. Halthor picked up on the fear Bravello was experiencing, so, despite not wanting to do this in the first place, he took Bravello's place and performed bloodletting for six people, ruining his hand with a series of scratches and tears. The cultist left, the party gained nothing from the experience, and only Zanorak was okay with this.
As they make it to the mountains a storm begins to form, forcing the party to find shelter for the night, but with a heavy downpour soaking them and leaving them at risk of freezing over the night, those with oil cloaks, Bodhi, Matthias, Halthor, Zigfried, Axrid, and Viglaf set off to find wood suitable to make a fire with. As they travel through the storm, they can just barely make out a few men in the distance, at first they had hoped they could gain insight on the locale and where they could obtain wood from them, but as they noticed their green complexion, and the stinger-like trinkets on their belts, they realized these were the same creatures they had found punctured with arrows a week ago, and they're also carrying ray guns on their belts. Well...time to murder them and steal their shit.
Matthias had plans of distracting them with conversation while their gun wielders Halthor and Axrid ambushed them, but as the group quickly became hostile upon noticing them, that plan was thrown out the window, and Halthor and Axrid fire first, killing who they think is their leader, and one of the lackeys. Then the most surprising thing happens. The green men begin to unload their weapons into the corpse of their leader. It turns out, these green men are Namekians, a proud race of copyright friendly people who were captured, and enslaved by the Aresians, which their "leader" was attributed to. They were under hypnosis, but once their leader was killed, they were able to break free of his will. Despite unintentionally murdering their companion Picolo, the trio of Fluut, Obo, and Klaranat were grateful for their aid, and viewed the Combative Companions as companions despite being combative. With no ill will, they settled with the group for the night before leaving the next day in search of a Kingdom on the other side of the bay, where they may be able to settle.
Hopefully, they're paths may cross in the future.

Oh, and a dinosaur was set on fire after getting struck by lightning in the middle of the night. Not important, but interesting none the less.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 20 Summary

With the Combative Companions devoid of any light, the party began trailing along the coast in search of somewhere that they could obtain additional torches. They sail for days hoping to find some glimmer of humanity, but would find no one leaving them in the dark night after night until they could it to the village of Lort. The best they could do is take some rope and tree branches to improvise a few torches.

As they were traveling however, they came across a pair of small islands away from the shore. Maybe, just maybe they would be inhabited, so the men decided to take a detour in hopes that they'd find someone who could help them. Once again, they're journey was fruitless, but they did find something that could be of potential interest. It was an angular crag covered in algae with what seemed like rhomboid patters hidden among certain parts of the surface's edge. Odd, but not the strangest thing they've seen in these waters. The party decides to beach the ship and a small party of men (complete with the team's mascot Butchy the Butcher of the Sea) begin exploring this land to better understand it. As they wander the crag, they come across a large hole filled with water, sporting that similar rhomboid pattern they had saw along the edges of the algae when entering. Curious, Halthor brushes is foot along the algae covered ground, and realizes there's a lot more of these rhombuses than they anticipated. Not only that, but they weren't mere patterns etched into the ground, but were much closer to a series of overlaying and interlocking tiles.

Something's off about this.

Halthor attempts to take one of the tiles lining the ground, but after realizing they were embedded into the surface, he takes a dagger and proceeds to try and pry a tile free. After doing so however, the party notices something they had not anticipated. Blood. Blood is beginning to pool from where the tile was ripped and pulled. It's then that they slowly begin to realize, that wasn't a tile he removed. It was a scale.

"We gotta get going!" declared Halthor and the party began a frantic escape in hopes that the "crag" they were exploring doesn't retaliate to their presence and crush their boat. Thankfully, they escaped without any complications.

They would later learn that they were walking on top of a leviathan sea monster.

After another day's worth of traveling, the party were finally able to make it to Lort. They had purchased their torches and some additional food and supplies, and whilst doing so were approached by a one eyed man named Til who wanted to make an offer. Allegedly, he was associated with a group of men who had died trying to hunt a cyclops for a bounty that was set by King Adok, but with his men dead and him missing an eye, he was willing to sell the map to the cyclops to the party. After some light haggling, they agreed, but the map he gave them was odd. He claimed it led to a cyclops, but this "cyclops" had a angular head and rows of sharp teeth that made it seem more like the crude doodlings of a reptile than the hulking ogre of a beast the party expected the cyclops illustration to be. Perhaps he was taking advantage of their naivety by selling them some random map he had, but at the very least it did have information on the nearby terrain, and even warned against haunted ground that was near the river the map traveled across, so they decided the map had some level of merit, and began traveling the path it had laid out across the river in search of their cyclops.
After eluding a group of skeleton warriors, the men came across a group of green skinned corpses who were penetrated by arrows and left to rot along the river. They were looted for what they had, allowing the party to gain a few amulets and some kind of strange trinkets that seemed like horns or especially large stingers attached to a handle. No one could guess what they were, so they stored it away for later investigation. Finally, after a couple of days exploring the path across the mountains and along the river, they had discovered a fearful sight.

A "tyrant lizard" from what Randon called it. A massive feathered reptilian easily the size of a small house with unusually small arms, but a massive tail and rows of teeth that could rend and tear apart a man easily. Looking at the beast, the illustration suddenly began to make sense as they realized, this creature was missing an eye. Thankfully they had they're mascot Butch with them to inspire the group with his powerful claws and crabby demeanor. He was probably the most powerful part of their team and would serve as a crucial component to fighting this thing. Butch approached the beast snipping menacingly in preparation to fight with the party...only to be immediately torn apart by the tyrant's powerful jaw. Without even a chance to fight, the team's favorite crabby boy was no more, leaving the party in a struggle to avenge him. Matthias, being a man who always seems to be dancing with death, nearly has his arms torn away several times over from the beast, but, as is tradition, he and his fellow holy men have an abundance of holy water and prayer to spend almost exclusively on his death attracting body. Eventually, the beast is dismembered by the might of Viglaf's sword. "The beast was slain, but at what cost?" thought Axrid looking at the remains of his former (unwillingly bound) ally.

Regardless, the party decapitated the beast, and with no one else having any room to carry it, they planted the entire head on the shoulders of Morrigu, and had her huff, grunt, and shamble the multiple days journey back to Lort, with the others providing verbal support and complementing her powerful shoulders and tyrant bearing hips that had never given out along the way. They had collected their bounty, and would continue their traveling soon, but there was still the unanswered question; what exactly were those strange trinkets the party had picked up earlier?

Session 20 Downtime Events

After bringing the head of the Cyclops to King Adok and receiving 3 sacks of silver. Bodhi and Matthias found other members of the Ymirst church in Lort and with them performed the ancient rites of Vodim. They partook in the sacrificial offering of a young auroch beneath the gnarled roots of a pale oak.

Later on Matthias, was approached by a old crone with a ugly burn on the left side of her face. She trembled as she attempted to elevate herself upon a staff and coughed twice before speaking. She said that she had heard that Matthias was one of the men who slew the Cyclops and explaiend that she sought to purchase his and his men services. She continued stating that she had little to offer save for this and showed a ruby amulet from beneath her cloak. She asked for protection as she and her two grand daughters traveled to where the Hamin River meets the sea to visit the grave of her daughter, their mother. 

As Bodhi was walking across Lort he was approached by a pair of tall men clad in furs. They expressed admiriation for Bodhi's blade and explained that they were men in the service of Kirk Serpent-Eyes. One approached Bodhi closer and whispered in his air that they sough treasure amid the mountains to the southwest and they would be willing to offer a share of spoils to Bodhi and his men if they assisted. 

Randon, Viglaf, and Siegfried sought to carouse within Lort spending a combined 330 silver to drink deeply with the villagers. They became quick friends with a young man who called himself the apprentice of The Sorceror Thyrmyr but their jubilations were not uneventful. Viglaf boasted of his slaying of the Cyclops and one man laughed which resulted in Siegfried breaking a jug of mead over his head. The man's companions rose and and violence broke out amid the tavern as blood sprayed the walls. Meanwhile, Randon was struck by infirmity and has since retreated to be treated by Desdaimonia until he recovers. 

Halthor sough to consult the elders of Lort as well as the Tomes of Lore to determine the nature of the stinger-like artifacts that he had recovered. He found mention of them in the tome that they were called ray-guns and were weapons used by men to slay one another at a distance. The night after discovering about the ray-guns, Halthor walked back to the inn where he and his companions were staying at but suddenly a burlap sack was thrown over his head and several muscles limbs bound him in rope. The sack was removed several minutes later after he was transported to the woods and he stood before a pair of Vanir men he had previously seen. Taut thews covered each man and with a grim expression they begged of his assistance. They explained that King Adok's men had slain several of their ancestors and now the Vanir and King Adok each sought to make war against one another. They asked that as a friend of the Vanir that Halthor would aid them, and explained had they been seen in Lort men would attempt to slay them. They bade Halthor farewell and traveled back into the woods. 

Axrid and his men talked to those in Lort and sought to learn more rumors. Kaligula left at dusk and hidden away in the woods near Lort performed profane rituals to appease his master Dyspatur. Zanorak croaked with excitement as he changed yet again, now having both legs resemble that of a frog. 

Rumors gained during downtime:
1) The ancient Ytori were turned to a hideous shape under the light of a passing comet
2) Men whisper of a witch who lives to the west who posses sorcery to make men disappear from sight never to return
3) The inhabitants of the Hamin kingdom are descended from the settlers who came here alongside King Vold
4) King Vold was buried in his ship wearing a crown of orichalchum and a necklace of blue gems
5) In Burd, those who share blood with the Ytori still make offerings to one of their ancient gods.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 19 Summary

Wanting to put their boat to use, the Combative Companions set out on the Eruption in search of Kalu Wolf-toothed, Lord of Thain, to take part in his task of mapping the shores of Hamin. The sun is shining. The refreshing scent of sea water is in the air. Halthor is humming shanties as Axrid is gambling berries with his hirelings. Everything seems well until they set into the deep waters and are immediately attacked by a giant crab.

Called the Butcher of the Sea, this killer crustacean quickly wraps its big meaty claws around Matthias and Halthor, nearly crushing them in its grip. It's then that Axrid decides, "Now would be a good time to use this ring I've been holding onto" and tries to tame the beast. With a single command, the crab suddenly stops its rampage and goes limp.

"QUICK! MAKE IT DANCE!" yelled Halthor through his choking gasps, and sure enough Axrid was able to make it spasm its arms in a manner as if it were having a seizure. Halthor was amazed regardless.

With the Butcher of the Sea under their control, the party eventually made it to Thain with no other issues (aside from everyone's disgusts for Zanorak), and were able to meet Kalu. He explained that he was planning an assault on the kraken of Hamin and needed the shores of the island mapped as a result. If the party were to accomplish this task, they would be payed a whole 0 silver. This obviously didn't sit well with the party as they already know trying to map out the shores of Hamin to be a potential death sentence. And if the party is going to kill themselves over a ridiculous task, they might as well get something out of it. So, after a bit of negotiating, Kalu offered the aid of two of his sons, Sigfried and Viglaf, who were armed with some of the rarest items the party had coveted. Swords! Having two swordsmen on their team would be of tremendous aid to the party, and if they were to "tragically" meet a premature fate, the group might be able to gain said weapons. So the party agreed, and with their two new soldiers, they had set out to travel to the shores of Hamin.
And then they were attacked by a giant octopus.

Well, shit. No wonder why half of the sailors decided not to come along for this.
Several tentacles begin to engulf the ship in the middle of the night in an attempt to pull it down, and with little time before they would be submerged into the dark abyss the party begin desperately hacking away at the appendages in an attempt to have it release. Thankfully they manage to cut through an entire portion of the creature's limb, causing it to release its hold and begin swimming away. They were safe, for now, and after a botched attempt to make calamari from Halthor, the Butcher of the Sea (who may or may not be named Butch for short) was given the remains to feast upon.

Despite being able to fend of the many demons of the ocean, the party's biggest issue emerged as they collectively realized that they didn't have enough torches for their journey to Hamin, but they were thankfully able to find a small island nearby that had a village they could settle at. Rather than go to said village directly however, they had spent the day travelling around the shorelines to better understand the structure of the island, and ya know, when you spend the day monitoring the coast of a village only to eventually come in at the dead of night, it tends to look kind of suspicious. The party were sent away with threats of violence, with the collective of this village believing them to be pirates, so they sailed out into the darkness to try and find their destination. Thankfully however, they were able to make it there without any further issues.

So, the party finds themselves at the western reaches of a mountainous region that will lead to Hamin, and from there, the party will continue their journey.

Session 19 Downtime Events

After eight nights of travel they arrived on the western shores of the Kingdom of Hamin. The Eruption was beached before a large mountain. The northern shore of the bay expands northwest and then west into swamps and past them a mountain range can be seen. The southern shore of the bay expands southwest into swamps as well. They recall from your previous visit that Lord Adok rules from the eastern shore near the woodlands where they caught a saber-toothed tiger.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 18 Summary

With Sain being afflicted with a bad case of not having an arm, the Combative Companions decided to take a trip back to Jotun’s Tomb in an attempt to alleviate the issue with the power of the regenerative fountain they had found in the past. Arriving back to the site, they noticed a new series of decapitated heads mounted on spears along with some graffiti that read "Death to the Sons of Kronus". Thankfully the Companions were not associated with those men, so they entered undeterred.

Surprisingly, they reached the fountain without a hitch. Not only that, but the fountain was filled with enough of its healing liquid to fix not only Sain’s arm, but Halthor’s damaged ribs as well, with plenty of liquid to spare. So Halthor had an idea. He was going to take the waterskins he had, and use them to store the liquid from the fountain. But the process would be sloppy, and potentially waste some of the liquid, so, he had a follow up idea. He would do that before the group left. That way, the party would use as much of the liquid as they needed before he attempted storing any of it. “What a good idea,” he thought to himself.

Having accomplished their goal with surprising ease, the party decided to explore the area as there were still plenty of rooms they had never seen. There were many strange sites such as an albino giant suspended in a glass hexagonal chamber, but still no monsters to contest their travels. They soon found a sarcophagus, and after using a few arrows to shoot the nearby mummified horses, they opened the tomb to find an amulet, and a chest full of treasure.

Their journey through the tomb had been surprisingly calm so far, but finally, something had appeared to contest them as a pair of albino apes approached in a nearby room, beating their chests and screeching at the party. Halthor, having the strongest armor and newfound confidence at his fixed chests, attempted to contests their screeching with his own derogatory cacophony of “ooks” and “eeks”, with the intent of being a target for the apes to fatally attempt to fight while his other companions did what they could to kill them. This plan did not stop Axrid from almost getting his skull bashed in by an ape, but it's the thought that counts.

The rest of their journey through the tomb was less eventful. They had met an abominable giant that was a former explorer of the tomb that had met a terrible fate to its inhabitants. They found a room with reversed gravity, suspended hooks and cut away faces that they ignored, under the suspicion that they would get trapped on the ceiling. And they had finally reached the third level of the tomb, where they began a short exploration of a cavern they had discovered. Aside from this, they had not fought anything else, or found any new treasure. It was a surprisingly calm day for them.

All that was left was to return to the fountain and get as much rejuvenating liquid as they could before leaving. Unfortunately, fate had decided that this relaxed day of theirs must come at a price. Returning to the fountain they saw several eviscerated ticks, indicating that some fight had occurred while they were gone. And as for the fountain, it had been completely drained of its liquid with it likely being used to recover the state of whoever had fought these creatures. It would probably refill in due time, but the experience was disheartening as what would have been an amazing opportunity disappeared before their very eyes. At the very least, they were still able to gain treasure, and they had still healed Sain and Halthor, so while the fountain being empty had hurt, this day was certainly not a loss.

With the party a little bit richer and in better condition, they leave the tomb and prepare to sail northwest towards the Island of Thain. A man named Kalu would like to have a word with Halthor about the potential mapping of islands.

Session 18 Downtime Events

Hidden in the shadows of Lestryhonia, Zanorak further changed. He awoke to find both of his arms scrawny and feeble. Both were covered in green flesh up to the shoulder and each of his hands grew webbed and slimy. 

Halthor spoke with those who he knew in Lestryhonia and discovered that Kormak bore no relation to Hetun and was a mercenary from foreign lands. It was said that Kormak had the strength of four men and was able to throw one as a child tosses a doll. Those he spoke with speculated that Kormak meant to bully the Holy Trio out of Lestryhonia so his patrons would not have reason to hire others. 

Sain sought to learn about those who could charm snakes. He learned that the Magi of the Trepanted circle were said to have power over snakes even being able to force them to whisper their secrets. 

Bodhi searched through the Tome of Lore but was unable to find any mention in regards to a magic amulet.

Axrid took his mercenaries with him to carouse and the trio grew closer. The men proclaimed Axrid a fair and kind commander and that the band of men who he fought with were fearless. 

Matthias returned to the temple of Vodim and repeated ancient rites. He chanted the ancient song of the world-tree and prepared doses of holy water. Before he was able to rejoin his companions he dream of valkyries taking him away to Valhalla where he fought fiercely with Gento, Tontra, and Cartivel. He attempted to reach out to them but merely awoke in a cold sweat.

As Nanok searched for rumor he was approached by a trio of men, behind them a figure clad in a dark robe with his lips stitched tight. One of the men offered a letter while, the two behind him set down a small chest at Nanok's feet and then departed. Inside the chest were 12 golden coins and the letter contained the following. 

To the Holy Trio

I greet the sword of Vodim and his two spearmen. I hear that you took Hetun's head from his shoulders. I hope you kindly accept my gratitude. 

The Sorcerer Called Ebon Pirithus

The following day he was approached by a band of men clad in white masks. They introduced themselves as the anointed of Tepes and servants to King Huhalyn. They explained how word of the Holy Trio's actions had reached them and they wished to barter with the Holy Trio. They explained that in exchange for five able men to serve them, they would extend means of preparing sorcery which would warn a man of danger that would befall them. 

Two days after Nanok was approached by a man nearly twice his height clad in a dark cloak. The figure lowered his hood and introduced himself as a disciple of The Sorcerer Arkad. He explained that seeing as the Combative Companions were unable to find the Ring of Kordis, the sorcerer's disciples would enter into the Burial Tomb of the Tridobaktrus. The disciple explained that The Sorcerer Arkad would pay them to protect his laborers as they constructed palisades around the entrance into the tomb. 

They gained the following rumors:

1) Kalu Wolf-toothed of Thain seeks a husband for his eldest daughter.
2) Sailors whisper of a pair of giant pincers emerging from the bay south of Lestryhonia and cutting a man in half.
3) King Adok pledges three sacks of sliver to whoever can bring him the Cyclops's head.
4) On Samarta lives a tribe of men who are able to turn their flesh transparent.
5) The Magi of the Trepenated circle gained their sorcery by reading the grimoire of a giant.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 17 Summary

Though their victory against Hetun freed the Combative Companions of his thieves and assassins, the party found themselves under threat of an entirely new threat. The CeeCees encountered a man named Kormak who claimed to be Hetun's brother and sought vengeance on his behalf. After witnessing the death of four of his men at the might of the trinity of lawful companions however, he had set forth a hasty retreat declaring that they would meet again. They should probably deal with this threat before it becomes a larger problem in the future, but that ring isn't going to get itself, and the Eruption is just begging to be ride across the sea, so they choose to ignore it until it inevitably comes back to haunt them.

The party decided to once again set out to the Burial Temple of the Tridobatrakus to get the ring of Kordis. They already knew it should be in the general northeast of the second floor, so they figured today would be the day they would finally get the ring, and eventually trade it for a metal melting weapon crafted from the skull they had obtained. And just to be certain they don't screw up what may be their final trip to this tomb, Axrid invested in four more hirelings that he armed for the journey.
Back in the Tomb they begin further exploring the second floor with a wall of expendable men taking care of the search for them. Their search is halted however by a mild case of death as one of the hirelings Marse inspects a tomb and collapses due to reasons no one was completely aware of as they had let him move ahead on his own. His torch then fell, bathing his area in darkness. Those that were near had heard a distinct buzzing noise, leading to many assuming that the corpse was secretly filled with bees. Nobody wants to deal with bees, so they decide to leave the site, and explore other parts of the floor before returning to this area.

Their search does however lead to a few useful faces, as they find several Zaba worshipers feasting on a stray corpse. They were more than willing to help the servants of "Zanorak the Magnificent", but they knew nothing of the ring. Thankfully however, they were however of the location of Kordis, the man who bared the ring.

They gave the party a path to the tomb, and sure enough they were able to recover a ring from a body that depicted two ravens tearing apart a serpent. It's his ring! After a month long promise for something they probably could have found in a few days if they didn't set out to the sea, they have the ring they've been looking for, and can return to the surface, head into the swamps, and get their weapon...but then again, what if they didn't? This ring may be more useful to the party than the weapon, but it may also eat the soul of the wearer and summon a demon from their chest. With no context of what the ring can do, the party decides to keep a hold on it until they make it back to Lestryhonia.

But before they can put an end to their constant travels within these tombs, that corpse also had a key. Maybe, just maybe, there's a nearby room the key will open, that is filled to the brim with treasure, and there was an unexplored passageway in the very room they had found that key. They decide to explore the passageway, and after opening a nearby room, another hireling was quickly torn apart by one of multiple dog sized spiders.

"God I hope these things aren't poisonous," thought Matthias as a spider set its compound eyes upon him, but thankfully...yes, they were in fact poisonous. The only reason they did not succumb to the poison was due to hundreds of silver worth of tithing, and an aggressive amount of prayer, but they at least managed to kill the spiders.

With the room cleared, they had opened one final tomb revealing a wondrous lammellar curiass on a body that Halthor accordingly loots. They didn't figure out what the key was for, but they've danced with death enough for the day, and decide to leave.

Session 17 Downtime Events

Zanorak hid himself alongside Hurass, in the darkened corners of Lestryhonia, as both turned more frog-like. Zanorak's left leg turned into that of a frogs. His toes transforming into wide webbed pads. Hurass hid himself in the shadows and croaked a dirge of loathing which echoed underneath the night sky.

Halthor was approached by a tall blond woman her head taller than the pair of armored men who flanked her. She introduced himself as Alais as each of the cast harsh glances around, their hands resting on the axes hanging from their belts. In a clear voice she explained how her father Kalu Wolf-toothed, Lord of Thain, sought to hire them to map out the shores of ilse of Hamin. She explained they would be well compensated for their service and if they sought to accept the offer to travel northwest towards the Island of Thain where Kalu would speak with them directly.

Nanok called upon the Cult of Dyspatur and the party was joined by a man named Kaligula. A wirey man with thin black hair tied up taut behind his head ventured forward with Nanok as he proclaimed himself a potent wielder of sorcery. He claimed he could strike men dead where they stand and overwhelm even hardened veterans with visions of their doom. 

Jorund traveled the streets of Letsyrhonia with Randon and Morrigu. The trio talked about themselves and their travels. Jorund learned that Randon was taught his sorcery by a traveling mystic from the far east. He spoke of how his master had the power to call forth a great burning wheel to destroy everything in his way and that his master was taught sorcery by a four armed dancing demon with skin as dark as obsidian. He spoke of his wishes to help Dysdaimonia return to Abystra and his plan to gather enough money to purchase a boat of his own. Morrigu, who normally kept quiet and timid, spoke of her past as well. She spoke of her birthplace on an ilse ot the west of Lestryhonia. She explained that she was traded to a merchant for a sword when she was young and then brought to serve in Hetun's kitchen as she could easily taste poisons. She spoke of her kindred the Tokhari who ate the flesh of their fallen brethren to honor them and keep their spirits safe. She spoke of the the taboo against eating flesh and that she had to purchase special rations at triple price lest she suffer a terrible death.

Returning to the Eruption Axrid consulted the tome of lore and learned that in ages past it was said that Kordis could use his ring to bind monstrous beings into his service. With these terrible beings under their thrall, the kings of the Tridobaktrus were able to wage war against the ancient giants and slay a great deal of their number. Axrid learned that the ring he possessed could be evoked to bind a entity into the wearer's service in perpetuity.

Bodhi and Halthor returned to the Temple of Vodim to pray. The trio chanted the ancient song of the world-tree and each prepared doses of holy water. During their time at the Temple of Vodim they assisted in the burial of the head of the family and helped his youngest son remove his left eye to join the temple of vodim.As they left, they were approached by Vali, the chief Ymirist priest who asked them why they had not yet travel west to slay the bandits who call themselves the Fishers.  

They gained the following rumors:

1) Under the light of the full moon, the undead gather to wage war against the living jealous of the love they still have. 
2) It is customary for kings to feed their populace an extravegant feast each summer solstice. 
3) Sailors speak of terrible things watching them from the waters, they describe mishappen men with the heads of fish.
4) Cycladeans from Dolonia sail north searching for a new bride for their king.
5) Marius the Lost was the most recent winner of the great games in Gotalandia.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Chasing a Blaze in the Northern Sky Session 16 Summary

Having gained a massive influx of wealth, the party decides to reinvest that income on a boat so that they may find new lands and eventually reach the dragon's island that was mapped for them. A boat is not a mere tool, but an extension of the crew itself. A home of the sea worthy of respect. But what shall these men call their new vessel? The party pondered over the perfect name for their ship, unaware that their newest recruit Axrid was already filling out the paper work in the background, and named it on their behalf.

These sea men are now riding The Eruption.

With their most expensive purchase yet out of the way, they were to return to the Burial Tomb of the Tridobaktrus to find the ring, but this was put on hold once against as Matthias and Halthor were invited to join several nobles in a feast for completely unspecified reasons, by mysterious men in dark robes.

This is probably a scam.

After arriving to the sight they hear faint murmurs from their escorts who indirectly reveal they are representatives of Dyspatur, who the party knows for a fact are one of the largest cults in Nor-Volsuth.

This has to be a scam right? Is this the same cult that the CeeCees took those statues from? Maybe they're involved with the assassins that everyone knows are after Matthias.

Regardless, the group decided to at least approach the two men to figure out more about who they are and why they were invited. They were honest that they were members of the Dyspatur cult, and said they were to meet with Lord Dyspatur himself. Buuut the path to his domain required traveling underground...and there are monsters that will kill you if you look at them, so the entire party needs to be blindfolded the whole time.

"For fuck's sake," mutters Halthor under his breath, not willing to deal with how fishy this entire scenario is. Thankfully, he had bought two hirelings earlier, and if there's one thing he's proven with time, it's that he knows how to use a hireling (expendably). He promises them both ten extra silver if they keep their blindfolds off until specified otherwise, and to his surprise, they agree. The end result of this loyalty is one of the hirelings being brutally murdered after witnessing the creatures that the cultist explicitly said not to look at.

Looks like this wasn't a scam after all. Go figure.

After meeting Lord Dyspatur, he began passive aggressively bashing the group's deity Vodim, while simultaneously buttering them up with food, wine, and women. He wants their help disposing of Hetun and his band of thieves. They've been stealing from Dyspatur and their assassins are still after Matthias for accidentally betraying them, so they have a common enemy. The party agreed and were given a map with directions to infiltrate his home, and if they successfully disposed of Hetun, the Dyspatur would give them not only their cultish magic, but additional forces for the future.
So, the party set out in the dead of night. Some even draped themselves in cloaks for their mission of quickly, and quietly finding Hetun, and murdering him. To infiltrate his home surely meant they would find themselves outnumbered by his men, but having entered his mansion in the dead of night, they had stealth on their side.

They were almost immediately discovered by one dozen soldiers.

Their plan begins to quickly fall apart as the soldiers make their presence known to basically the entire building, and to make matters worse, Matthias is STILL cursed with the inability to run away from fights. Unless they somehow had an ace up their sleeves there's no way they were going to do this without getting overwhelmed...Wait a minute...

Bodhi pulls out his newly acquired sword and the entire group of men begin to trip over themselves in an attempt to get away, because nobody wants to deal with something like that. They even go so far as to begin sealing the door of the room they entered from the inside so that the party can't enter. That at least lowers the number of men they had to deal with by a massive margin, but trouble still emerges as several more men from the Brotherhood of Strangulation emerge with ropes, and a woman who claims to be an assassin after Matthias enters. She then strips away her clothing, turning her cloth into giant bird monsters, and showing the party her sweet full body snake tattoos.
Despite their forces, Bodhi's sword deletes the existence of her birds and the men with relative ease. Little effort is needed on the part of anyone else, with the exception of Halthor who corkscrewed a man's head for trying to choke out Matthias. It seemed like despite the overwhelming odds, the party was going to accomplish their goal. Hetun even appeared during the commotion, so they wouldn't need to worry about finding him if they managed to get past this unarmored woman. Before they could even get close to striking her down however, a snake manifests itself from her tattoos and bites Matthias. He has now been poisoned, and will quickly die without some form of intervention...without some form of divine intervention. Halthor and Bodhi repeated ancient prayer and alone through Vodim's grace was Matthias healed from the venom.

Before anymore snakes can emerge, Bodhi slays the woman, and Hetun quickly follows, being unceremoniously decapitated before he could even do anything. Surprisingly, the party accomplished their mision, and the few men who were left scattered upon the sight of their fallen leader.
With nothing left to do, the party interrogated the men still locked away and now separated by a layer of caltrops left by Axrid, and find Hetun's secret stash of jewels. They loot the location, and later find a captive in the kitchen. Her name is Morrigu, a tattooed women of the Tokhari, same as the assassin. With her life indebted to the party for freeing her, she swears her loyalty to the men, and they set off together, to celebrate their victory with more wine, and more women.

Session 16 Downtime Events

Zanorak hid himself alongside Hurass, in the darkened corners of Lestryhonia, as both turned more frog-like. Zanorak's tongue grew to a terrible size as it filled up his throat, growing muscular enough to strangle a man in a grapple. 

Upon the beheading of Hetun, Bodhi returned to the cult of Dyspatur. As he tossed the head to their feet, the noblemen shouted in surprise. As the cultists shouted joy and promises of future allegiance to Bodhi, he returned to the surface as it began to rain.

Bodhi, Halthor, and Matthias returned to the Temple of Vodim to pray. The trio chanted the ancient song of the world-tree and each prepared doses of holy water. As they left, they were approached by Vali, the chief Ymirist priest. He charged them, as Spears of Vodim and famed slayers of criminals, to travel to the western coast of the Giant's Drown and slay the bandits who call themselves the Fishers.  

With the end of the rain, the holy trio as well as Jorund and Axrid were met by a crowd of men in dark cloaks who drew weapons upon their approach. From the crowd stepped forward a man of long red hair with a blue tattoo of a serpent across his brow who drew a sword. Calling himself Kormak, he claimed to be Hetun's brother. Blood was spilled beneath sweltering sun. Following the death of four of their number, Kormak and his men fled shouting promises of future vengeance. 

Randon alone choose to celebrate the slaying of Hetun and ventured forth to carouse amid Lestryhonia. Three sacks of silver in hand he wasted 625 silver across a week of wanton debauchery. Attracting a crowd of celebrants they gained a reputation for hosting contests of drunkeness. Awakening on the 29th day of spring month 1, he found a woman beside him who thank him for his pledge to protect her from those who had been attempting to slay her. Giving the name of Dysdaimonia of Abystra, she explained she was the wife of a merchant who treated her poorly and sent men to apprehend her after she ran from home. 

They gained the following rumors:

1) King Lychin of Likas and King Amkian of Beberica wage war against one another. 
2) Men sail to Hamin despite the threat of the Kraken to search for treasure.