Omen

HEY GAMERS

Yeah, so, Bigs got super sick again and that’s why this post is also gonna be kinda short and less typed out than the others. Time for bullet points because, again, a lotta shit happened!

- The gang got on the train! It is a very modern, very black bullet sort of train. The interior is trashed, all the chairs are pretty fucked, stuffing ripped, posters and advertisements shredded, screens and maps just all sortsa fucked and cracked.

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A Modern Discovery OR We Got Dumb Items

What even happened last week? Let Bigshot try to remember through her feverish haze because it was…

Quite a lot.

So, on a little bit of a sad note since Noelle’s unfortunate demise, the party returns to The Wardens. Theriata asks Rauva for help to learn martial combat, namely with swords. Violet watches on and responds with amusement as the two practice with training dummies. Theriata summons an illusory sword which she is much better with! It’s pretty cool. Rauva definitely wants to be there.

Itxaro debates the morality of Enchantment spells with Raeneth, who seems a little uncomfortable with the line of questioning. She assures Itxaro that the spell she’s speaking about, which makes an enemy worse at attacking people that aren’t her, doesn’t really count as mind control. Still, Itxaro opts not to learn it or practice it.

Eru asks Rauva if she can read through Noelle’s journal, and Rauva, distracted with a number of things, lets her take it. Eru finds a number of things in the journal, namely a crudely drawn map of a town named Centersville. There are also a number of names and a few notes and observations, most of them negative. There was also talk of some sort of ruin that the townspeople feared.

Seems Noelle just kind of hated everyone. Big surprise, right?

The next day, everyone gathers up for a Warden meeting. Seems Ayego is the one speaking and nobody wants him to be. Even he doesn’t want to be. He gives everyone dumb, plastic coins and tells them to go to the nearby Warden town of Cible to redeem their rewards. Violet gets upset he didn’t say “reWARDENs” but he just refuses to have fun.

Ayego teleports everyone to Cible. It’s pretty damn cool. Kiran figures out it works by transporting matter along ley lines, which is pretty sick. You gotta stand on a cool platform, just like in my Steven’s Universe.

The party meets Hamantha, a curator who offers them boxes of loot! She likes her privacy and just likes giving people things. I will be including everyone’s magical items on their character pages on this site, as well as sending it to them on Skype. They should also update this on their roll20 page.

Then everyone teleported back, and then went off to Centersville! It’s a pretty lame tiny town that’s had a slew of disappearances recently! Teens have disappeared, merchants, and more! They just go near this mountainside and this cave in it and then go away forever! The towns people are super scared of it and stay away from it as though it’s cursed.

Turns out it might be!

The party goes to talk to the mayor of the town! Or…mayors? It’s unclear who that Dwarven guy is, but the Drow lady’s name is Naryas. She seems alright, but the party is still wary of her. Which is good, because that means they’ve learned something. They roll an insight check and Bigshot, DM Extraordinaire sheds a tear. Turns out she’s genuine in saying that she really cares about the missing people and genuinely wants the party to be careful exploring the tunnel so they also don’t go missing forever.

The party is like, “Yeah, uh-huh, okay,” and then they head into the tunnel anyway! It’s a big ol’ hole in the side of the mountain. Pretty sick, huh? Most of the party hasn’t seen anything like it, which makes it extra neat.

The remainder of Noelle’s notes are as follows:
- Get on as soon as it comes
- The longer I waited, the more attention it drew
- Drawn to magic?
- Less hostile? Investigate
- Once inside pay attention
- He said six times exactly
- Never opened, only stopped
- What happens if it opens?

Inside of the tunnel are two stone imps! They appear to be non-aggressive and kinda just are crouching around chillin’. Seems like they’re waiting for something together! They also speak Abyssal, which is cool because it means Theriata can talk to them! Which she does. They growl and grumble a lot but say they’re waiting for something and want a snack. Krriok thinks this means he should go get them snacks, and he runs off and comes back with chips and macaroons! The imps tear into the chips with vigor, and the party waits with them.

They do a little dance about the snack place, and kinda rub their tummies and bop around. It is adorable. Everyone loves them. One of them tells Theriata their name is [insert guttural groan here].

After a bit of waiting— until after sunset, according to the imps— there’s a rumbling in the tunnel. It vibrates the feet of the party and fills their whole body, and the undeniable sensation of a vast amount of magic fills the tunnel as a…rather modern bullet train pulls up. Vancho guessed it! It’s a train tunnel!

The party, dazed and confused, checks Noelle’s notes. It says to get onto the train, and so they do! The imps cheer and do their celebration dance, eating up the residual magic energy in the air around this thing, just like they told Theriata.

Where is the train going? What are the imps about? Will anyone befriend them and learn their little impy dance?

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This Conversation Was A Mistake

STOP THE FUCKING PRESSES. SOMEONE FINALLY PET THE DOG! THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS!

Oh, yeah, other stuff happened too. It’s just way less important than the dog finally receiving some love and attention.

The party faced Noelle bathed in green light, their mouths hanging open. It wasn’t a very good look, but at least it was honest. After all, none of them saw this coming. Eru collapsed and was dragged away by Gnash, and Noelle waited patiently for her to be taken care of before continuing. How considerate!

Everyone then attempted to stall! Noelle seemed eager to talk to the party anyway, and quickly showed her true colours. She proved cruel, maybe more than a little bit crazy, and supremely sharp-tongued.

Krriok kept interrupting her with questions, so she kept interrupting Krriok. He spoke poetically about a bunch of stuff and she kept belittling him and, ultimately, talking circles around him and generally talking down to him!

Itxaro debated with Noelle on the nature of justice and humanity. I believe religion was mentioned a number of times, too, because Noelle’s Gods are very different than the ones Itxaro knows, respects, and worships. Noelle drags her too, calling her stupid more than anyone else and insinuating she doesn’t know how to read.

Noelle seems the fondest of Rauva, if only because she’s the only one that seems to be capable of following anything she’s saying. She even guessed a few things right without Noelle spelling it out! Truly impressive, for this group. Noelle thinks this entire party is dumb and worthless and they don’t do a great job of proving their intelligence.

Why was she planning on resurrecting a God-King and wiping out humanity, or at least converting them all to the same creatures she believed she was descended from?
Because this world was apparently a mistake.
Because they weren’t supposed to be here.

The party — particularly Krriok — kept debating the way she worded these statements, but it didn’t seem to change her stance. The party tried to sway her to their views, to their Gods, to the idea that life here is worth living…and failed horribly. Noelle didn’t verify too much further with them, preferring to laugh in their face and be purposely mysterious, but she implied she knew of the scarecrow the gang mentioned. Well. After pretending she didn’t, of course.

Noelle was terrible.

Good thing the party fucking killed her! After they’re done trying to talk to— and stall— Noelle, she laughs in their faces! Turns out the ritual she was doing with Cyrus strung up by roots had a sort of…duration of time until it could complete. The party just wasted almost all that time talking! Hilarious!

Rust monsters, burrowing monsters, and Noelle prove difficult for the party. Itxaro ruins her halberd and fucks up her armour. Rauva punches a fuck ton of shit. Atlas shows up spontaneously and starts whacking shit. Krriok keeps shooting reinforcements in the face.

THEN, THE GOD-KING SHOWS UP. He’s terrifying. Enormous, winged, and equipped with a gaping maw-like mouth full of rows of sharp teeth, he’s jarring.

The party almost goes down more than once. Raeneth turns into a bear and still goes down three times, Itxaro goes down twice, Krriok once, and everyone is nearly dead by the time they finally defeat the God-King. Atlas beheads him. It’s pretty cool.

Everyone did a great job. Then, once they’re done, they decide to go back and check that other room they didn’t go into before! Turns out it’s a big ol’ treasure/gear room. Looks like a lot of people died and their stuff got hauled here for the rest monsters to eat or something. It’s also where Noelle’s bed and a few journals are! Rauva notes the books and takes the journal, Atlas takes the Ring of Jumping (which probably coulda helped in the last encounter), and Itxaro scores an Adamantine Chain Shirt and a really dope looking Naginata. They don’t quite know what it does yet, though! Couldn’t appraise it well enough.

Oh, yeah, they find 1,900 gp, too. That’s pretty dope.

The party then promptly fucks off. Staying in this place any longer than they have to isn’t ideal. They head back to the inn and tell Benny— the innkeeper— about the area and what happened and he promises to call some sort of Paladin order or some shit to come clean and purify the area. Marge thanks the party for taking care of her and says she just wants to hang out at home with her dad.

After resting at the inn, the gang heads home! Rauva looks in the journals and finds a map and some pretty detailed, but currently cryptic, instructions from Noelle. Though she didn’t look through the book too thoroughly, it’s still enough for the party to decide they need to explore these notes as well and find out what this gal was on about. It’s apparently somewhere Kiran, the wanderer, hasn’t been to. Neat!

Darrell makes everyone a dinner once they get home. Atlas shuts himself in his room and Darrell tries hard to make him socialize. People make jokes about how Darrell is like Atlas’s dad. This is inaccurate but poor Darrell doesn’t want to explain. The crew talks a bit and relaxes and then treats themselves to a nice chicken sandwich and tomato soup dinner.

It’s what was requested. A little rustic, but…still…charming.

Dinner is awkward. People force themselves to talk. They go around the table in a big ol’ mess darting from person-to-person and asking about their days. Atlas doesn’t want to be here. Everyone is good. Ayego is upset at the implication of him having no love life. He’s working on it, okay! Violet drinks milk when she shouldn’t. Itxaro pretends she’s okay when she’s not. Rauva is gay. Kiran is the only non-problematic one.

Oh, yeah, Bad Janet gets summoned again, too. Seems Kiran made them a small, rectangular device with a tiny screen on it for her to show up in. It reminds us, modern people of something like an…original Gameboyâ„¢. Bad Janet— who tells the party they can call her Pedir— tells everyone she’s going to try to be nicer.

Yes, even to Raeneth.

ALSO KIRAN FINALLY PET THEIR DOG! THEN EVERYONE PET THEIR DOG! KIRAN MVP!

Will the dog get pet again before everyone leaves? What secrets do the maps hold? Will Darrell ever get to speak a coherent sentence without dissolving into anxiety? Will something get beheaded again? Will we find more memeons?

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Along A Not-So Lonely Road

This session was massive and I will be bullet-pointing it to make it less ridiculously long to read and re-cap.

- The party went back to the inn before, and woke up with some familiar friends present! They decide to start off again after realizing the rain wouldn’t let up and convincing Cyrus to go.

- Itxaro prayed to her God to stop the rain, which he could not do. The wind got a little better, though! Almost undetectably so.

- Marge the innkeep’s daughter decided to tag along and brought a tarp for the scrolls and paper and junk.

- Itxaro, Eru, Theriata, Rauva, Krriok, Volet, Raeneth, and Gnash all tag along for the adventure into the vale. IT IS VERY FOGGY!

- The party set off along the one road heading into the vale! They spotted a silhouette between the trees on a hilltop that looked human and wasn’t moving. There are a lot of birds all up in the trees, too!

- Violet, Eru, and Itxaro decided to see what the heck was casting this shadow and staring at them!

- Turns out it’s only a scarecrow. A burlap, stitched-smile scarecrow. Nothing strange here! It makes them feel uneasy, but only in the small way that a scarecrow super far from civilization in the middle of nowhere guarding no crops can do.

- Eru finds out there’s NOTHING INSIDE OF IT GIVING IT SHAPE. That makes their fear a little more justified!

- Itxaro thought it would be a great idea to rip this thing out of the ground and bring it with! Violet protested loudly, and even Eru seemed to think it was a terrible idea and that this thing was unfortunate and unnatural. Raeneth agreed, as did literally everyone else.

- After only a few minutes of having this thing, they decide to go put it back! Itxaro sticks it back into the ground exactly as they found it.

- The party then continues down the road until it gets too narrow to pass the caravans through. Looks like they’d have to continue on foot!

- With party rangers scouting ahead, they note someone crouching in the brush and undergrowth where the road began to widen. Spotted, the man triggers a DEADFALL TREE TRUNK TRAP!

- A few party members were minorly damaged by the trap, but the worst part was that the party was separated by that big ol’ trunk!

- COMBAT WITH BANDITS START! Three rangers, three swordsmen, and a bandit captain!

- The bandits are super gross and keep making kissy noises at people, Krriok shoots 2 in the throat, Raeneth has 3 daggers in her, Theriata scares a guy the heck away, Rauva punches and kicks, Eru stabby stabs, Itxaro slices ’n dices, Violet misses and hits a few times, and Gnash stays back with civvies!

- By the end of it the bandit captain is taken captive and tied up, and the other bandits are murdered except one who fled from Theriata.

- Bandit captain wakes up eventually and party moves to interrogate him! Or, like, Theriata does, because she’s the big Charisma character that seems most comfortable with interrogation.

- Theriata tries to use Charm Person 4 TIMES on this bandit man and he resists each time. She then uses friends to ask him where the bandit base is (and that the bandit queen’s name is Veronica) and he— unable to resist, really, tells them east and then snaps-to. He immediately accuses Theriata of being in his head.

- Raeneth seems sickened by this entire situation and walks away to the other side of the deadfall trunk, Itxaro, shaking with rage, follows, and a concerned Rauva does as well.

- Bandit captain fights a bit, gets mad and says this is typical behaviour for Theriata’s (tiefling) kind, and then spits in her face. Gross.

- The party lets him go and he, drained and clearly vulnerable, departs into the woods.

- Krriok tells Theriata he is very disappointed in her. Theriata says ‘fuck you’.

- Itxaro talks of how horrible that was, how she can’t believe it happened, while Rauva remains fairly quiet and merely asks Raeneth if she’s okay. Raeneth seems…not great. She seems like she knows about this sort of thing more than she is willing to talk about in the middle of horror-woods.

- The party decides to camp in the bandit clearing as it’s pretty fucking defensible. Why not? They set up watches, and take shifts throughout the night to make sure nothing stupid happens.

- IN THE MORNING SOMETHING STUPID HAPPENS. THE DAMN SCARECROW IS BACK.

- Also, there stuff has been moved around and a few, minor things are missing. Like socks.

- The scarecrow smells very bad. The party approaches it, and finds out that it’s filled with…meat. A few people barf, and it’s altogether pretty gross. After a moment, there’s a sloshing, grinding noise from the scarecrow, and Itxaro decides to smite it!

- As it rips apart and begins to burn, the scarecrow smells faintly of rotting meat, though there’s nothing inside as it falls to the ground and starts turning to ash. Spooky!

-The group is supremely unsettled! It doesn’t help that they’ve now noticed crows and owls up in the trees that seem to follow their path, watching them curiously. Krimson goes to throw a rock at one, and the birds merely flap out of the way before shifting back into place.

- Eru decides to talk to them. The birds are dumb and just insist that they are friends and are watching. Eru gives them some snacks. It’s nice. The stay with the party the whole time!

- The party continues forward with Cyrus. After navigating over another big tree trunk they start through the woods! Cyrus is following a map. There’s a number of places he wants to stop at! The first one is a 4 foot tall obelisk with some worn markings on it. Looks like there are little people! Pretty neat. Some are small, some are tall, and there’s a big, looming figure behind the entire scene.

- Krriok is very uncomfortable here! As is Raeneth. This place seems wrong and those most in-tune with nature seem most uncomfortable here.

- Cyrus finds a bone blade shaped like a leaf! Seems like it’s recent.

- The party notices Marge is gone! Uh-oh!

- After back-tracking, they find her. She’s slumped against a tree. When she comes-to she tells the party she can’t remember what happened. She dozed off, something called her name through the fog, she followed and then…she woke up! Her things are missing, her pack misplaced.

- Itxaro picks her up and carries her back and the party starts back off again!

- The feeling of unease only grows. Krriok continues to be vocal about his discomfort and Raeneth, again, agrees. This place ain’t right.

- They find stick effigies of people hanging from tree branches! Spooky. Krriok hates them. They also find multiple arrows lodged in trees, and little mounds where it looks like the earth has been disturbed. Upon digging, there’s just more dirt! No dead bodies!

- They see a formless silhouette through the fog. When trying to follow, they only see undisturbed ground and general forest detritus.

- Time to keep adventuring! Oh boy! Surely only fun, interesting finds that will bring the party closer together await!

- Just kidding. The party wanders into an abattoir. It’s terrible. There’s a huge, over 6-foot tall black stone obelisk in the center, caked in dried— and partially fresh— blood. Bodies are eviscerated around it, no one’s dead form fully intact. The image on it is similar to the others, though it seems recently re-carved. The massive, looming figure is clearer. It has huge wings and troubling eyes.

- The party recognizes the bandit that fled from Theriata…or, uh. They recognize parts of him. Most people barf.

- The obelisk depicts the same image as before, but with more details. Some of the figures wear headdresses. Some have knives. There are figures at the foot of the obelisk “laying down”.

- After slowly recovering, the party decides this is their grand sign to book it. Cyrus agrees, and they start heading back to the bandit clearing as quickly as they can.

- Again, the party sets up watches as they rest.

- Marge approaches Rauva and Itxaro and tells them that she snuck a peek at Cyrus’s books while he was sleeping. Apparently the “Ancient Ones” he talks about used to worship demons, traded with them, made pacts with them, and even…fuct them. She thinks that the weird stuff happening is because of them. That maybe they’re still here and living underground like the book says. She is clearly troubled by this.

- Itxaro and Rauva decide to check into this! Rauva goes into Cyrus’s tent and takes his book. All the information Marge spoke of is there, it’s just written as baseless accusation and Cyrus’s notates explicitly that this is mostly rumour and has no evidence.

- In the morning, the damn scarecrow is back. It’s empty again.

- More troubling though, is the fact that Violet wakes the party up letting them know she couldn’t find Krimson in his tent when she went to do morning wake-up calls. He’s just gone.

- Trying to look around his tent tells the party nothing. There’s just disturbed earth in some areas and no trackable evidence.

- Rauva admits to Cyrus that she snagged his book. He seems upset and says he didn’t want to worry the party, and they accuse him of not warning of the dangers. Noelle comes to his defense and says that they did, though that’s not a good enough answer.

- The party goes wandering looking for Krimson. The birds are no help. An entire tree is covered in creepy effigies. It sucks. They find nothing. Night sets in and they decide to camp.

- SURPRISE ATTACK! Strange, crouched, pale, gaunt, rat-like creatures descend on the party. Some hide int he fog and are difficult to hit, but the party deals with them okay.

- Their blades are coated in a poison that blinds. Only Raeneth ends up staying blinded after the battle, because she sucks the most.

- The party captures one of these monsters and ties it up! They love to do that, apparently. What that says about their morals is up for debate.

- Cyrus and Noelle are gone, as is most of their gear and supplies. Only those damn disturbed patches of earth remain.

- The party asks blind Raeneth to talk to this monster. She thinks this is dumb, but tries it. The thing screams at her uninterrupted for like three minutes before she says this is a dumb idea. Then they let it go.

- TIME TO LOOK FOR EVERYONE!

- There’s no evidence. There never is. Only holes in the ground. The party decides to try to go back to the massacre area, and the effigy tree.

- A snow white owl presents itself to Itxaro. She recognizes it as an aspect of her God, Owdur. The owl hoots, Eru talks to it, and it tells them to follow it.

- The party follows the God Bird, because when a God appears to you as a bird you fucking follow it, right?

- It takes them to an enormous tree with gnarled, tangled roots that extend partially above the ground. There’s an entrance hole amidst the roots, wide enough for people to squeeze through.

- Gnash stays above-ground with Theriata and Marge. The rest of the party descends below, knowing this to be the underground spot they need to be. After all, DM intervention owl told them to. Though Bigshot informed the players after that the owl was going to show up and help in other ways no matter what.

- The entrance leads deep underground. It is dark and dank and kind of gross.

- The party wanders into a large chamber. There are 5 statues in the center and an exit to the East and West. Before they can decide where to go, vines begin to close over all the entrances, making them impassable.

- Light flickers in the statue’s eyes, and the party enters combat!

- The first statue is a dark, hooded figure.
The second statue is a rotting, emaciated figure that extends a single, gnarled finger.
The third statue is corroded and seems like it depicts a fat, toad-like creature.
The fourth statue Is an amorphous blob of slime? Or something?
The fifth statue resembles the massive form on the obelisks, with large wings.

- The party destroys the fifth statue first. The second statue poisons Rauva. Eru is covered in acid by the fourth statue, and terrified of the third statue. It terrifies Raeneth as well, but the party eventually bests the damn statues, even if they’re spooky.

- Once they beat the stone figures the doors open again. The party opts to go West.

- Green light begins to darken and intensify as they proceed through the tunnel. The energy is strange here, and eventually the tunnel widens into a chamber. The green light is bright here, and the party sees a bunch of those rat-creatures in a large circle in the largest room connecting.

- The party also sees Noelle and Krimson. The latter lays upon an alter, his torso slit open. The former is holding a bloodied knife that…likely did the slitting.

- Upon the party spotting her, Noelle laughs and says, “Oh, man—” The green light accents her face as she turns to the party, a wide, wicked, crazed smile on her face. She does not seem like the quiet, gentle, detail-oriented Noelle they knew.

- The green light seems to be emanating from above them. When the party looks up, they see Cyrus, suspended by roots. They seem to be weaving in and out of his flesh, holding him to the top of the cave wall. The glow is…coming from him.

Will the party find out what motivated Noelle? Will the party be able to stomach her gross villain monologue? Will they live to pet another dog?

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Absolutely Nothing

This session was abysmally short. No dogs pet. A bird friend and a dog friend are introduced. Their names are Krriok and Gnash. They’re pretty cool. Gnash is a Warden.

It rained a lot. There’s a lot of rain. Cyrus decides to tell the party to go back to the inn to try to wait the rain out.

That’s it. Some people talked a little bit? Itxaro made a pact with Violet about climbing a tree and talked about their life perspectives. It was eye-opening. Rauva is very awkward and asked Raeneth more about trees.

Will we get a full session next time? Will the rain let up? Will we live?

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Parting the Veil-- or is it Vale?

Non-ghost dog is not present and therefore gets no pets by default! At least ghost dog got some pets. A small boon for a small pup.

Our session opened with something unexpected: the arrival of someone new. Or perhaps not so new? A High Elf named Atlas Thordir showed up, escorted by Darrell, and seemed to upset the emotional balance of the Wardens. Two of them, anyway. Raeneth and Ayego seemed the most impacted by this sudden addition. It was the most rattled anyone had ever seen Ayego, and talkative-at-heart Raeneth seemed to struggle for words.

Rauva, and Itxaro watched his arrival through the window while Theriata played with her dog. Seems she wasn’t interested in whatever drama was unfolding, unlike the other two! Itxaro and Rauva are privy to what appears to be a sort-of reunion of the three, which really just raises a bunch of questions.

Wasting no time, Raeneth guides Atlas into the castle and informs him that they’re going to be setting out on an expedition. She introduces him to the three girls in their party and it goes…not…great. It seems Atlas is a very blunt, to-the-point sort of man, and the other party members didn’t seem to love that. Itxaro finds him outright rude and Rauva thinks him condescending. Even Theriata doesn’t seem to be a big fan.

Raeneth shows Atlas to his room and he doesn’t even bother to look around! In the few minutes she’s gone, the gang chats among themselves about his flippant answers and holier-than-thou demeanor, while Violet poses a game. Whoever can most-accurately guess whatever weird connection this new guy has with Raeneth and Ayego gets some sort of secret prize! How fun!

Only two Wardens opt to go with their party on their mission to Armos City to meet with their charge. Violet and Raeneth are the lucky pair! The trip to the closest city is awkward, mostly because of Atlas’s new, strange presence. He doesn’t really stop being as bristly as his lame beard, and it’s halfway through their journey to the city that Itxaro pieces together his relationship with the others.

He knew Raeneth and Ayego in the past. He knew…them both…when they were younger. Raeneth…“worked for” High Elves when she was younger and they’re both…High Elves.

The prize is a shiny rock and Violet’s approval. It is silent approval, but still a very good reward.

The group arrives in Armos City and heads to The Guilded Weave, a pretty dilapidated looking tavern that Cyrus is apparently in. As soon as the party enters an older looking Half-Elven man greets them, rising to his feet. He has gray in his hair, but his eyes are bright and sharp, as is the smile on his face. In his hurry to greet the party he trips over his words, but nothing is really changed about what he tells them.

His name is Cyrus Robren, and he’s a tenured professor at Armos University. He paints them a picture of his life’s work and the devotion he has to finding lost information. He’s a history professor, after all, and nothing is more appealing to someone that keeps track of the past than histories left untold. The Bisam Vale was home to Ancient Ones lost in The Cataclysm, and his research over the years unearthed tales and stories of the things allegedly found within…though no solid proof exists.

It’s solid proof he says he needs the party to help him get. He’s perfectly capable of doing the research and investigation in the area himself, but he needs bodyguards. The party ends up getting a varying amount of pay per day (Itxaro takes nothing, Rauva takes 3, Theriata and Atlas take 5, the Wardens are fine with 3) for agreeing, and Cyrus seems enthused. He keeps answering questions about his life’s work, about the funding he finally got by wearing down the University, and about the sort of people that used to live here. The Sallonian’s were apparently a highly magical race that practiced both Arcane and Druidic magics, and he knows that there is likely some sort of relics, shrines, or artifacts left over from their days alive.

There has to be.

Cyrus has two other companions with him, named Noelle, Cyrus’s assistant, and Krimson, one of his students. Noelle is a quiet woman who documents their travels, is always drawing, writing, or inspecting. Krimson is…eclectic. Krimson seems enthralled by all things dark, bloody, and related-to-death. The party makes fun of him an awful lot and he continually launches into grand, sweeping descriptions of plays, his views on life and death, and just…darkness in general.

After Cyrus explains, he takes some time to get the party ready to set off! The gang decides to go ahead and prepare as well. Theriata spends a bunch of money on a potion so she doesn’t die. Rauva doesn’t know what a vale is and talks to their quest companions. Atlas shrugs. Itxaro gets swindled by an old lady into holding some stolen weapons for her and has no idea she’s being duped.

Oh, also, they bully Krimson. Theriata makes it look like he’s gonna trip with illusions and then he does and gets really flustered! Theriata, Atlas, and Violet seem delighted. Raeneth seems defensive of the poor guy.

After a brief moment of respite and weirdness, the party sets out on Hipsley Road! They travel in caravans with horses, though people occasionally refer to them as carriages. What even is the difference? The party chats with Krimson who, again, is super talkative and weird as hell. Theriata keeps making illusions at him and losing it at his antics, along with Violet and Atlas. Seems they’re becoming fast, comedic friends. Or, at least, their terrible senses of humours overlap.

Then some shit happens! Lightning crackles outside the caravan and the party seems curious, though only Itxaro and Raeneth really seem to notice it. Rauva, as well, makes her way over to observe the sky while the rest of the party sticks back near the caravan. Eventually the lightning takes shape into three imp-looking creatures. Before the party can respond, thorny imps from the trees grapple at Theriata, wrapping their sharp, spindly appendages around her. She cries out in pain, already bleeding and nearly lost, and the group springs into action!

The combat is frustrating. Rauva ad Itxaro do their best to goad the lightning creatures but they’re difficult to hit. Violet slices the arm off of one briar creature while Raeneth summons a fire scimitar and finishes him off. Theriata frees herself and scares the other briar imp away, while the lightning creatures focus on Itxaro and Rauva. Turns out being shocked hurts, and anytime the party attacks the creatures with anything they’re holding onto, they get shocked as well!

It sucks. Everyone keeps missing. Raeneth is the only one who can reliably hit them and they take her down rather quickly for it, despite Itxaro’s attempts to keep her healed. The imps continue to do their own taunting, styling on the party. They whip. They naenae. They dance and taunt and teleport away until they’ve made the entire party furious.

Rauva punches one to death. It’s awesome. The party also discovers some dust the imps leave behind! Violet says you should put it on your dick.

Lifting Raeneth’s unconscious form, Atlas gently gets her into the caravan. Rauva seems weirdly prickly about it, but the others are just varying shades of frustrated and sad. They talk among themselves about how scary that was on the way to the Hapsley in, sharing a bit of their feelings about what exactly it is that they’re in for. Raeneth also reveals the imp-powder can be carefully mixed with water and applied to weapons. She advises no one put it on their dick.

Once at the Hapsley inn (or the hip-happenest place in the Vale), Theriata decides she needs to stay behind. She’s not a combatant, and she’d merely slow the party down and be a burden. The group respects her decision to varying degrees, and everyone decides right away to get some rest. Krimson seems to have some sort of weird, obsessed crush on Atlas because the High Elf protected him in the previous battle. The walls in the inn are thin, and the party hears him arguing with Krimson about various things. Mostly personal space and touching, it seems? Out of context, it sounds awfully sexual. Lots of banging and strange, intermittent exclamations.

The following morning, Rauva is talkative and speaks to the people at the inn to get some information. Most people are no help, but a few inform her of a number of things! Apparently there are ghosts in the area, and monsters and demons, too. There are tales of traders caravans that went deeper into the Vale and never came back on the other side. A gentleman went in and had his things taken and all of his food spoiled. He never went back. People at the inn hear tapping on the windows and scratching on the outer walls. There’s apparently a bandit queen in the area who has a group of marauders that might be causing some of these issues.

Spooky!

The gang sets off and immediately is ambushed again by lightning imps and a new challenger, a bigass fire bird. It’s huge and angry and immediately breathes fire on everyone. Raeneth is the only dumbass who can’t manage to dodge out of the way. The flames swallow her up, and while she retaliates with a moonbeam, she goes down again. In fact, despite how awesome the party fights— Rauva slicing, Atlas raging, Itxaro stabbing and tanking— three people go down. Violet manages to actually hit shit with her bow this round, and once all the enemies are down she gives Raeneth a potion so she can heal the party up.

Unanimously, the party decides to turn around and head back to the inn to rest up before…trying again.

Will the party be able to survive if more of those shitty elemental creatures show up? Will Raeneth actually manage any saves? Will Atlas accept Krimson’s love?

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Sworn In: Warded (Or not)

Spoiler: no one remembered to pet the non-ghost dog. A true tragedy.

We open on the tail-end of Farileth’s true nature being reveled. Eru is suddenly catatonic so the group shows the Wardens- minus Ayego- Bad Janet. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to let her speak is beyond me. She opens up by exclaiming, loudly, “Hey, Cunts!”

Itxaro doesn’t want one of Darrell’s breakfast sandwiches, but everyone else gets one after they remove Bad Janet’s rock from its apparatus. Instead, Farileth offer Itxaro a berry! It’s awfully good.

Our two magical party members decide they want to try to come up with an easier method of transporting their abrasive rock “friend”. Kiran and Theriata start thinking of ways to transport just the rock and lens! In fact, it might take Kiran upwards of a month to figure it out, depending on Out of Character factors.

Troubled by the idea of tampering with something from the original Wood Elven society, Itxaro goes to the library to try to do some research about a dead society’s technology. Farileth follows along, and manages to upset their youngest member through a series of off-colour jokes. The Wood Elf is quick to explain herself, saying most people where she grew up talked like this. Apparently, her brother called her a li’l cunt all the time!

Sul realizes with horror that Farileth’s tribe was Australian. He’s not far off.

They don’t find the books, but Rauva ends up joining the pair in the library and they talk a bit! Rauva and Itxaro’s birthdays are revealed and Farileth shuts down the question about her own birthday only a millisecond after Rauva breathes the question!

The duo does learn Farileth’s real name is Raeneth, though. That’s one plus.

The trio talks about their backstories a bit, right from the start of when they popped out of their mothers. Weird! Rauva was taught by her Sifu. Itxaro went to school and now is here. Farileth used to belong to someone.

Theriata joins and can’t remember her own birthday! She only talks briefly about her sordid past with Farileth, seemingly uncomfortable with the presence of a Paladin.

The next day, the group gathers for a meeting! It seems they’re finally ready to be officially sworn in. Farileth mentions a vote was done among the Wardens and seems to imply there might’ve been a few “No” votes for a few people, but that everyone made it in regardless!

Then things get a little grim. She talks about an initiation process the Wardens go through. It’s apparently a magical ward applied to their physical forms through unknown means in an undisclosed location that prevents them from sharing information with those outside of the Wardens. Apparently the magics manifest differently for different people. Helena loses her voice. Farileth describes hers as intense, shooting pain.

The gang seems confused. Being a Warden means they’re trusted with more information than those outside the organization, but what kind of information? Farileth seems pained as they ask for specifics, dancing around and picking her words carefully. Astutely, Rauva asks if she’s experiencing that warded pain now.

She dodges the question.

It seems Farileth is vehemently against the idea of shackling people with magic, something Itxaro might have an inkling about. Helena seems like she didn’t like the initial vote for the senior Warden group, either, and supports the idea that the new recruits should be free. Violet seems undecided. Darrell is by-the-book, and seems to think if things worked for the Old Wardens it should work for them. Ayego is enthusiastically in favour, going as far as to get into an argument with the youngest recruit. Itxaro trivializes the information at the Wardens disposal by likening it to toast because Ayego suggested all information can help towards a job, and he goes off. It’s more than anyone has seen him lose his cool before.

Finally, after much debate and weighing in- and Eru coming to just to say NO- thhe group decides against the warding. Farileth seems relieved, and informs them that they won’t get access to all information the Wardens have, but it feels like a worthy trade.

After that, everyone gets excited! Does that mean they can go adventuring now? Farileth says yes, and pulls out a parchment. There’s a man named Cyrus that needs escorting through an undisclosed location. A fat raccoon scurries into the room and Farileth gives it a treat before whispering a message to it. The raccoon leaves, and she tells the group they’ll leave in the morning or tomorrow afternoon.

Will the rest of the group also learn Farileth’s real name so I can just start writing Raeneth and make my life easier? Will people respect a fat raccoon and realize that just because he’s fat doesn’t mean he can’t run and properly deliver a message? Will anyone REMEMBER to pet the REAL FUCKING DOG? Oh, wait, they can’t, the dog’s staying behind with Kiran. Bummer.

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Team Building 2!
Take Me Where It's Green, You Jerks

It turns out that everyone lives through this horrible situation. Except, y’know, the thousands of people that died and exist now only as ash. That one’s kind of a bummer.

Eru gets the ash out of her mouth! Rauva still likes rocks! Itxaro feels immense, crushing guilt! Theriata still doesn’t want to be here/doesn’t think she belongs here! Kirin continues to say “Hm,” and just generally think this is the exact place that they should be!

The group returns the next day with packs of supplies, though none really feel any better about being there. After some investigation, the group ends up finding a few more parts and assembling some sort of…stand? Eru make a map! Rauva finally gets her comrades to let her look at the damn rock.

Turns out it’s not even a rock. It’s a gem. Great job checking that out sooner, guys.

Still, even finding that very important piece of information out so late, the group manages to get this device together…though they can’t get it to work! Farileth seems to know how to get it to operate though, and divulges as vaguely as possible that the team should go sit in the nice, warm sun.

Eru decides sitting in the sun is the perfect place for an interrogation. Also, just kind of in general. She really laid into Farileth this session. The Cleric did not take it well, and only got more and more distant in her responses the more she was pressed. Hell, she seemed to get agitated after a bit.

With the sun charging the rocks, they began to project some images! Seems they were some sort of soul stones, which was discovered by Theriata being literally the only one to look at them while they were projecting the faces of the dead. This introduced the group to a Wood Elf they dubbed Janet, who seemed pleasant and just kept asking them to take her where it’s green.

Also, she sang a really catchy song. They call it The Green Song.

They found one other soul stone, though the person inside was less nice than Janet. They dubbed her, creatively, “Bad Janet”.

The group took Janet to the place she wanted to go, a winding, lattice-like tree. In front of the tree, they broke her stone open, and Janet turned into light and clung to the bark!

Then they went home and interrogated Farileth some more.

Turns out she’s not a Cleric or a Sand Elf. Seems she’s a Wood Elf and a Druid! Whoo! The lies keep going. I bet Farileth’s not even her real name.

Will the gang ever find out Farileth’s real name? Will anybody even fucking ask? Who will get interrogated next? Will Itxaro keep rolling natural 20’s? Will Theriata keep her confidence? Will people remember to pet the dogs next session?

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Team Building!
The Gang Touches Dead People!

Our heroes Itxaro, Rauva, Kirin, Eru, and Theriata, finally came together! It’s too bad it was during some awkward intro meeting. The main speaker of the meeting, Farileth the Cleric, seemed to struggle a little bit with addressing the group. To stick with her apparent wheelhouse, she insisted on answering questions. Everyone was real curious until they weren’t, and there was a little bit of shit stirring and attitude issues among everyone. Itxaro is an adult! Theriata doesn’t want to be here! Kirin says hm! Eru wants to know why the other Wardens aren’t participating! Rauva is really bad at interpreting signals!

Eru asks why the other Wardens aren’t speaking up and Violet the Tabaxi Rogue, gives a demonstration. Turns out her and Ayego the Warden Wizard, lack an awful lot of tact. They’re funny, apparently, but suck at talking in a nice way to people. They’re real bad at it. Spectacularly so.

After this demonstration, the gang decides to go on a team building exercise, recommended by Eru! It’s a great idea and Farileth jumps on it because she has no clue what else to do. The other Wardens won’t help her. They’re terrible.

Rather than draw maps and live peaceful, ignorant lives, the gang decides they want to go ahead and visit A Dead Zone. It’s as neat as it is horrifying. It’s been 23 years since the death of the Wood Elf tribe that lived here and nothing has regrown in this area. It’s all black and grey and ash and totally, completely, horrendously, utterly dead.

Turns out Itxaro passed through here before and took a rock from the place! That’s cool. Farileth freaks out and the gang determines that they need to put the rock back. Itxaro, Faileth, Eru, and Kirin go into The Dead Zone while Rauva and Theriata hang back.

The pair bond a little. Theriata feels like she doesn’t belong. Rauva likes rocks. Violet comes in to keep them company.

The larger group puts the rock back and it gets sucked down before a gust of wind blows the ash away again! Itxaro picks it up and then the ash goes back to where it was. Then they walk around more and find a disc, too! Boy, this is neat. Then Farileth and Eru leave and Kirin and Itxaro opt to keep the stuff they found and take it out of The Dead Zone.

Will they find the other pieces? Will they ever feel clean again? Will Eru forever taste the burnt ash of tons of dead matter?

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