2007-02-10


Adventures: Interlude, Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Session: 2007-02-10
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 4 / Divine Oracle 2

An Itching in my Back

Recently my back has started to itch. I’m not sure why–I tried scratching it and magical means of getting rid of it, but nothing seemed to work right away. It’s not a big deal; I grew accustomed to it after a week or so. But I did want to make sure it wasn’t some type of necrotic cyst or anything, so I consulted G about it. He was a bit more cryptic than usual, only saying that I should try to acquire myself a headband of intellect at earliest convenience. Strange, since I rely more on understandings of psychological natures rather than bookish learning. But, he’s never led me astray before, so I continue to trust in him completely.

This, of course, leads to the other problem–I was about 4k short of buying that 4k item. The party was still in Sharn, nominally trying to stop some warforged uprising, but mostly being useless. The Lord of Blades threw down a gauntlet, challenging us to meet him in Xen’drik, and I felt we should have left immediately, but the others thought it would be better to acquire a fast mode of transportation from Viorr, who assigned us the task of impeding the warforged dissidents. Eldon managed to use a magical disguise to infiltrate the terrorist organization, and after a bloody show of “loyalty” by destroying a healing potion factory, managed to be promoted to guard for a “runner.”

The five of us hatched out a quick plan–assuming the runner’s package was a magic item that required some activation word, a silence spell would protect us. We could follow the runner to where he would use it (to learn his motives) before disabling him. Thus, we assembled where the runner emerged, intent on following him, but were surprised to find his label surprisingly apt–he (an undead warforged) ran, at top speed. Mike, the bird-man turned orc, either forgot our plan or wasn’t really listening in the first place, because he charged our quarry. Only to be intercepted by a warforged barbarian wielding a greataxe. Eldon decided the plan was shot, and thus so should be the runner.

Two other greataxe-wielding warforged emerged from the shadows, as well as some acid-branded arrows. Taris and I managed to down one down between the two of us (I actually contributed! Only indirectly though, via a spiritual weapon), and I quickly hid away the magical greataxe, whispering to Taris not to tell the others. We then heard an orcish grunt of pain, and ran to found Mike bleeding profusely on the ground once again. I patched him up, while the others took care of the remaining opponents, and then I stuck the other two magical greataxes in my haversack.

We reported back to Viorr, who finally granted me access to Elaydren’s corpse. I asked her a few questions on the intents of the Emerald Claw and the Lord of Blades, and learned that the fourth and final schema was to be found in the ruins of Xen’drik. She wasn’t very clear what would happen should our foes collect all four, but it seemed like something best not to find out through direct experimentation.

We then headed to Stormreach, on the northern tip of Xen’drik, by an elemental-powered submarine. Unsurprisingly, we were ambushed. Walking seems to be the safest method of passage. Can’t seem to enable myself to walk on water for long distances yet though. Where was I? Oh yes, the ambush. It was a rather large dire shark, that managed to shallow Anson whole. He was quite in trouble, but Eldon managed to zap it with a ray of stupidity, after a few seconds of dawdling.

The rest of the voyage was rather uneventful, and I was able to try out a few new recipes with shark steaks. I reached Stormreach, and immediately I headed out on the town alone, under the claim of asking around for the whereabout of the Emerald Claw. In truth, I took a not-so-short break to get chummy with one of the local magical arms dealers, and sold the three +1 greataxes at decently above the going rate for second-hand goods. That enabled me to buy the +2 headband of intellect (also at a discount). I then got back to business and found that the undead warforged expedition was headed south on the river.

Convening back at the inn, the others asked for their share of the proceeds from the greataxe sales, and I glibly told them that being new to this land and with no contacts, I was quite ripped off, and only received 1000 gp for the 2 greataxes (that most of them knew about). Eldon seemed a bit suspicious, but Taris and Anson both put in a word for me, so he let the matter drop.

That night, I snuck into Taris’s room, only have her pounce on me as soon as I walked in. Wow, this human woman really likes to play rough! She realized it was me, and released me, curious and somewhat annoyed why I was there in the dead of the night. I gave her an extra 300 gp, and confessed to her I had to buy something to please my patron. I promised her to return the favor in some way or other. She seemed to accept this arrangement.

Player’s Notes:

Out of character, I had just realized that I’m several skill points short of getting Heir of Siberys at level 13. Much as I hate to cheat other players out of their fair share of loot, Xame needed the item, and he wouldn’t have moral qualms about a little fib.

And incidentally, doesn’t Taris have terrible Listen and Spot checks? In that case, I probably would have just left the money under her pillow, with a note scrawled “Thanks for last night,” written by my left hand so she wouldn’t know it was me.

Number of times Mike has been brought below 0 HP so far: 3
Number of times Mike has been brought below -10 HP so far: 1

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Adventure: Interlude
Session: 2007-02-10
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +2

Well, it seems the three people we met were after that vampire because they were being employed by some Viorr Maelak, who leads the Dark Lanterns intelligence service in Sharn. And despite having failed miserably, he still wants to employ them to help out. Eldon and I don’t have anything better to do, so we’re going along. That, and Eldon is providing transportation, since we don’t have enough for five lightning-rail tickets.

***

Sharn is huge. The towers are much taller than I’d expected. I was able to find a shop in one of the lower levels. Poison is expensive, so I didn’t get much. Maybe I should learn to make my own.

It sounds like these other three have been up to quite a bit recently. Something about dragonmarked undead warforged. That sounds troublesome to me. In any case, the Lord of Blades has apparently been sending preachers to stir up warforged, and some major member of House Cannith has been killed by collaboration of the Lord of Blades and the Emerald Claw, and we’ve been asked to look into this. By “we,” I mean Mike, Xame, and Anson; Eldon and I are just helping out at this point.

Xame and I stood out at the warforged rally, but Eldon blended right in, thanks to his magic. He also got “in,” thanks to his magical talent. After visiting the preacher’s place… as a warforged look-alike… he told us they wanted him to smash some factories. To prove his loyalty. That’s going to get interesting.

Xame suggested that maybe we should sneak into House Cannith, to see if maybe he could speak with this murdered Elaydren… using some clerical talent of his… but then said that maybe it was a bad idea. Something about consulting with his “patron.” Huh. He is good at sneaking around; I guess not all clerics are as self-righteous as my mother.

All this about the warforged thinking they’re superior… it almost justifies the Church looking askance at them. Except not really. And then they feel justified in attacking people of flesh. What a vicious cycle.

***

Viorr Maelak is a curious character. He essentially gave Eldon permission to smash up a factory to get “in” with the warforged cell. And get an excuse to increase security, too.

All went as planned, more-or-less. Eldon looked warforged, beat up guards via magic, smashed door, smashed factory from which people had been evacuated, and lept out of the window when the watch showed up. The watch showing up part gives him an excuse for only smashing one factory. This would have been fine by me, except that his beating up the guards used some sort of black bolt that killed them both. He made some sort of excuse about the power of magic being somewhat unpredictable. I can believe that. Still, the last time somebody I know used the “don’t know my own stength” excuse, he ended up having to atone for his misdeeds. Well, I’m not that inflexible. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt; I suppose a sorcerer-soldier wouldn’t have much in the way of nonlethal magic.

Xame did some asking around beforehand; it sounds like a bunch of Emerald Claw sorts chartered a ship to Xen’drik, which apparently matches hints a note left for the embroiled trio by the murderers. That, and Viorr Maelak says that once this warforged business gets cleared up, he’ll be willing to give us sufficient funds to travel there, to chase them down. Track down a bunch of evil Karrnathi in Xen’drik? I’m in. But first things first.

Player’s Notes

Well, this is going to get interesting very, very quickly, methinks. Conspiracies make for lots of convoluted possibilities.

Adventure: Interlude
Session: 2007-02-10
Player: Rachel Reddick
Character: Taris
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +1

There was a bit of trouble on the lightning-rail Eldon and I were on. This kalashtar just popped up, started calming people down, then told us that the folks in front of us had had trouble. Well, trouble in the form of boarders and such. Sounds like that lightning rail wasn’t as safe as I had thought.

Eldon convinced a couple of the engineers that it would be a good idea to fix the other engine. We met a trio of odd people — a chubby human named Anson accompanied by a very large eagle, a winged guy called Mike, and an armored halfling named Xame. None of them looked so good; Anson looked like a klutz, and the other two looked like they’d had some of the life sucked out of them. Well, they all recovered, but apparently the vampire they met came out on the winning side. Sounds like they lost a couple of their companions to it. Undead are horrible things.

In any case, since once they recovered they had nothing else to do, they joined Eldon and me in our foray into the Mournland. That was fun. We met a bunch more of some kind of undead my brothers never mentioned. They were pretty disturbing. They scared the willies out of most of us, and shook me up pretty good, too. Sure, I stabbed at one, but it managed to get rid of most of my common sense. Xame seems to be some sort of cleric, and between him and Eldon managed to get rid of the things. Of course, trouble with healing in the Mournland made fixing my problem rather difficult. I am embarrassed to say that I was considerably less sensible than normal. It’s scary to realize what I’d do if I didn’t have some restraint.

That said, we found the town Eldon was from. It was all but obliterated, of course. We spent the night and ran into more trouble. I helped skewer more trouble. On the way back, we ran into this fluid-filled bear thing. I managed to eventually put a large enough hole in it that its fluid insides drained out, but not before it managed to kill the winged fellow. Whom Anson immediately reincarnated… as an orc. If I thought this was strange, I can only imagine what Mike thinks.

I ought to mention that during all of this, I used some of my talent at being hard to see for a bit. Everyone seemed to notice this; I tried to convince them that they hadn’t. After Xame returned my common sense, I gave up and admitted to my ninja training. I sure hope they know that it’s much less useful if people know you have it. Next time somebody wonders why I vanish, I’m going to tell them I had a low-quality potion of invisibility.

I suppose I should also mention that Mike seems to be some sort of monk. Monk! With a vow not to use any magic items on top of it. Something about atoning for something or another, he said. Maybe if he’d had some nastier magic on him, he wouldn’t be an orc now. Well, I’m not giving up my things any time soon.

Player’s Notes

Yeah, Taris likes her magic stuff. And doesn’t appreciate the advantages of the Vow of Poverty.

Anyway, we hit a break point… and therefore, 6th level for Taris. Which means Daring Outlaw feat, which means for some swashbuckler and ninja characteristics their levels stack. Excellent.

And she gets poison use. So, when they all get back to Sharn…

Adventure: Interlude
Session: 2007-02-10
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 4 / Divine Oracle 2

A brief return to the Mournland

The remaining three of us (Mike, Anson, and I) were all very relieved that Lucan did not give chase to us, though poor Mike did not fare as well against Lucan’s vampiric abilities. Anson had also been reduced to a walking speed bump by the poison from centipedes, but I was able to take care of that shortly. We returned to the lightning rail coach, and another coach arrived shortly after. The engineers of the second coach decided to help get ours running again, and in a day or so we were traveling once more.

We met two of interest–both humans: one swashbuckler named Taris and the other a warmage named Eldon. We bemoaned our failed missions, and they mentioned that they wished to enter the Mournland to investigate the Lord of Blades. Our accounts of the undead dragonmarked warforged particularly interested them, and since the three of us had no particular immediate goals, we accompanied them into the Mournland.

Oh, my haggling skills have definitely improved. Was able to get a good 30% more than I should have selling “second-hand armors.” That gave me enough funding to finally buy another handy haversack (the first of which was destroyed with Alain). That should be the end of my encumbrance problems–I promptly bought myself, among other things, 500 feet of rope, 3 ten-foot poles, 20 portions of trail rations, and 20 more lassos.

Soon after we headed into the Mournland, we were attacked by a group of three wispy wraith-like beings. I was still amusing myself with my new backpack, and was consequently a bit slow to react. Imagine my surprise when I looked up and found that all four of my companions had fled! What a disgrace! I should never be the last to flee. Yet, since the mourners seemed completely incompetent in penetrating my mithral armor and shield, I decided to stand and give them a nice big dose of light of Venya. It destroyed one of them, and harmed the other enough for it to flee, and Eldon finished the last with a hail of stone.

I noticed a curious fact about Taris. She apparently has the ability to turn herself invisible for short periods of time. Of course, she at first adamantly denied having the ability as any street-wise commoner with such abilities would, but after a good show of grace by restoring her wisdom, I was told that she is also by profession and family a ninja. Ah, most excellent, I now finally have someone to do covert missions with.

We traveled to Eldon’s home town, which was of course utterly destroyed, and in the night we were attacked by a living ice storm spell. We decided to head back to town afterwards, since we had exhausted our supply of rope tricks, and healing otherwise does not work well. We were assaulted once more though, by a gelatinous bear-like creature. It tore Mike to shreds before the rest of us managed to defeat it. Fortunately, Anson had a certain spell prepared, and Mike’s spirit now inhabits the body of a rather ugly orc. He does not seem to mind his new form too much, though he does worry about what his raptoran peers would say to him.

Back at the town we departed from, we received a message from Viorr saying that he had another job for us, and told us to head immediately back to Sharn.

Player’s Notes:

Oh dear. I’m the last surviving member of the original Forgotten Forge adventure. Well, not in spirit, but in body. Is there a “Curse of the Golden Sabre” (I think that was the name of the warforged we killed there?) going around? And in other news, Divine Oracle is actually quite useful, as I now not only have evasion, but am also the only party source of identify.

Adventure: Interlude
Session: 2007-02-10
Player: Michael Busch
PC: Mike
Status: Monk 6

An orc sits with a flock of raptorans in a rookery in Xen’drik.

So, you now concede that I am indeed Anethilzair Mykispar. Listen then, my friends, and I will tell you how this came to be.

You know that I had been in Sharn with my companions, waiting to finish the Walk. While there, we accepted a comission from Viorr of the Dark Lanterns, to hunt down a rogue agent called Lucan Stellos. He led us on a long chase, during which I was able to fly. We caught up with Lucan near the Thrane-Mournland border, when he departed a crashed lightning rail train. He had become a vampire, and drained the life from Malik and Antinua before we were able to escape.

As we were unable to defeat the vampire and had no means to return to Sharn, we agreed to help two new companions, both humans: the sorcerer Eldon and the ninja Taris, with their quest to understand what had happened in a town just across the border into Old Crye (they had heard rumors of the work of the Lord of Blades, who had sent the raiders that derailed the lightning rail train). As we worked our way out of the Mournland, a large acid-filled bear-like being attacked us. I was slammed to the ground and blacked out. When I came to, I saw my old body dead on the ground and the arms of an orc where mine had been.

It seems that I had in fact died, but the druid Anson had summoned me a new body before my soul had fled this plane. And so I became an orc. In the circumstances, I did what I had to do. I stripped my old body and laid it in an open place. This was hardly a proper burial, but I doubt the winds of the Mournland would be willing to take the body. So in a sense, I am dead. My old body lies, broken by claws, teeth, and acid, on the ground of the Mournland. The Mykispar monastery is dead in body.

My companions and I made it back to Thrane, where there was a message from Viorr requesting our urgent return to Sharn. Eldon had business at Morgrave, so we traveled by horse summoned by sorcery and augmented by druidic magic.

In Sharn, we learned that our patron at House Cannith, the Lady Elaydren, had been murdered and a message left from the Emerald Claw and the Lord of Blades for us, warning us to not pursue them to Xen’drik. That I am talking to you shows that we did not heed this warning, but before we left Sharn, we had to deal with supporters of the Lord of Blades, who were plotting attacks on the city. That will hopefully be the only time I am ordered to help destroy a building full of healing magic. Granted, it was for a legitimate reason, to insuinate a disguised Eldon into the warforged terrorist cell, but I have seen enough destruction of the innocent.

Player’s Notes:
This is a strange turn of events. I’m still not sure how to address transforming into an orc. On the other hand, it is only time I’m likely to be able to use the line “If you’ll excuse me, I need to go bury myself.”