Friday, 1 April 2016

[Actual Play] Cruth Lowlands Campaign: Session 8 - In Defiance of Easy Summary

(To catch up on previous reports from my Known World Rules Cyclopedia campaign, see here.)

PCs present:

  • Jason, playing Naghmeh, a 2nd level magic-user
  • Patrice, playing Dragosta 'Wraithkiller', a 3rd level fighter
  • Luke, playing Andy, a 3rd level fighter
The session started with the PCs wondering how to go about advancing. Naghmeh was keen to find a teacher to help her improve her magic (and identify the rare elven books discovered in the elf wraith maiden's tower). Dragosta and Andy, on the other hand, wanted to find weapons trainers. They were also all aware, however, that they probably needed an adventuring cleric to accompany them on their journeys. They decided to put the word out at the Temple of the Elements, and with Yokomosok, to see if they could find such a retainer, and in the meantime (2-3 days) started planning their next move.

Asking around, they made a number of discoveries. First, as they knew, there was a Jann living somewhere in the Achelos Woods, to the south-west. Also in these woods lived a druidess called Harmonia and a hag known as 'Lady Yellow'. Second, they learned a lot more about the layout of the local region, including the location of Fort Doom, home of Baron Ludwig von Hendricks (a likely location of weapons experts to carry out training); the lay of the land to the South (Blight Swamp, as attractive as the name suggests); and the nearest place where elves might be found in large numbers (Callarh, at least two weeks' journey to the East). Finally, they heard that to the South of Riverfork, where the Magos, Gustos and Achelos Rivers meet, there was a small fort called The Tower at the Fork, and the garrison there often had trouble with smugglers. 


They decided their best move would be to visit the Jann in the Achelos Woods, then hook round and visit the Tower at the Fork. There, they planned to buy a boat to sail down the river through Blight Swamp to the sea, where they could make their way to Fort Doom. Failing that, they would go by land (either through the Riverfork Woods and Blight Swamp or around the road via Luln.)

They received a letter of marque from Sir Georgios, the captain of the guard in Riverfork Keep, to give to the commander of the garrison at The Tower at the Fork, with the intention of offering their services as "sell swords" there. They also learned that, in fact, there was a merchant in Riverfork called Niketos who had recently lost a shipment of grain in that area - it had last been seen at the coast, but somewhere between there and Riverfork the boat had disappeared. Niketos offered to pay 700 gold pieces to each of the adventurers if they could recover his grain. 

While making inquiries, Andy noticed that a little old woman was obviously following him around. On several occasions he spotted her watching him. The next time he saw her he took her to one side and demanded to know what she was doing. She told him that a group of men had offered to pay her to follow him and report on his movements. They knew that he was friendly with Yokomosok at The Bull Rushes Inn, and that he was sleeping at The Temple of the Elements and in cahoots with the other adventurers. She heard one of the leaders referred to as 'Anacreon'. Andy recognised the name as belonging to one of the inhabitants of Lithakia, the village which was home to the Cult of Cronus, bitter rivals of the PCs from previous sessions. Clearly, they were planning an assassination attempt. He offered to pay the woman in return for information on Anacreon and his men - she would leave a feather for him under a loose brick in the wall of a certain building whenever she thought she had something useful to pass on, and he would then meet her at midnight and pay her for it.

Satisfied, the party decided to spend the night at Yokomosok's inn. Dragosta and Naghmeh took expensive rooms and spent the evening trying out the elven perfume they had recovered last session, while Andy, expecting something might happen, slept hidden in the cellar amongst the beer, with Chucklefuck the ice demon on watch. 

The PCs were awoken in the middle of the night by a crash of glass and the sound of screams. It seemed somebody had set fire to the inn. Sure enough, after Dragosta and Naghmeh extricated themselves from the building and gathered together with the rest of the guests, it became clear that somebody had thrown several flasks of oil through the windows to the common room and set the whole thing ablaze. In the chaos, they noticed that on the rooftops opposite the entrance to the inn were five archers with bows and arrows at the ready - apparently waiting to rain arrows down on people leaving the pub. Thinking quickly, Dragosta whipped up the crowd of guests (and Yokomosok) into a frenzy, suggesting that they were all under attack from unknown forces. Together, she (naked except for her elven cloak), Naghmeh and the mob of guests charged across the street and began hammering down windows and doors in an attempt to get up to the rooftops. 

Meanwhile, Andy and Chucklefuck were trapped in the basement under a raging inferno. Andy attempted to climb the ladder to escape but the smoke was too thick and he was paralysed by coughing. With the fire descending through the ceiling and down the walls he began desperately smashing holes in barrels to release all the beer and hopefully make it more difficult for the flames and heat to descend. 

Dragosta and Naghmeh, at the head of the mob, charged up onto the roof. The archers opened fire and Dragosta was severely wounded, while several of the other guests died. But Dragosta's bravery prevailed and she killed two of the archers in short order - their bodies falling to the ground below with satisfying crunching sounds; the other three surrendered in the face of overwhelming numbers. The crowd hoisted Dragosta and Naghmeh onto their shoulders in triumph while the town guard were summoned.

Down in the basement, however, things were getting desparate, and Andy decided the only thing to do was to attempt to mount Chucklefuck and ride him out of the inn, braving the fire. His ice demon slave obeyed without question, and managed to fly him out - but then succumbed to the heat and melted to nothing. Andy had lost yet another friend...

Sir Georgios arrived to take the three prisoners away for questioning and to congratulate Dragosta and Naghmeh for saving the day. But it quickly became apparent that the inn could not be saved - it was burning to the ground and the fire was in danger of spreading. 

It was then that the party decided that the only thing to do would be to give Yokomosok the money to build a new inn. Andy would invest all his gold (since he had been looking for an investment opportunity anyway), and Naghmeh a sizeable chunk of hers, for a majority stake in the business. They would rebuild the inn, and Yokomosok would run it for them. But in the meantime, while the inn was being built, Yokomosok would accompany them on their adventures - particularly since, as a bullywug, he would be invaluable when travelling near or around Blight Swamp. [DM's note: I think the idea of having a bullywug henchman was a prospect they could not resist.] Yokomosok duly agreed to this plan. 

The next day dawned and the PCs' fame had now spread around the town. The tale of naked Dragosta Wraithkiller and her magic user ally was being told in every inn and alleyway, with rumours abounding that the two women were lovers and had fought a dozen wraiths in order to rescue the guests of the Bull Rushes Inn. This made it easy for them to recruit a cleric, who was attracted to their service; his name was Philemon and he agreed to accompany them for a full share. 

With that, they set off into the woods in search of the famous Jann. On the way they spotted a wyvern flying in the distance and hid from its gaze; Yokomosok told them that the creature was known to live somewhere in the woods. Once it had passed by they continued their journey and a short time later came to a side trail that led to a clearing where the Jann had his home. This consisted of a large, brightly coloured tent - decorated with purples, yellows, reds, oranges and greens. The Jann was a flamboyant older gentleman dressed in fine, multi-coloured silks. Naghmeh asked him to teach her magic, offering 500 gp in exchange. The Jann took the money, threw it up into the air, and clicked his fingers, whereupon it disappeared. He suggested she try again. She gave him another 500 gp. This time he took the money and slipped it up his sleeve with a flamboyant gesture, whereupon it again disappeared. He suggested she try one more time. She gave him another 500 gp and he piled all the coins up in a column, threw it into the air, and swallowed them all in one. But he agreed to teach her the spell Sleep overnight while the others rested. 

The session closed with the party camping with the Jann, ready to press on the next day towards the Tower at the Fork. [DM's Note: We also realised at this point that due to XP gained from overcoming the would-be assassins, Naghmeh was now 3rd level.] The party currently consists of Dragosta (3rd level fighter), Naghmeh (3rd level magic user), Andy (3rd level fighter), Philemon (cleric retainer), Yokomosok (bullywug retainer), Eva and Zeno (hirelings). 

2 comments:

  1. By Halav you weave a gripping tapestry...

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  2. To flee war, to protect the lives of themselves and their families.
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