Tuesday 23 October 2012

Session 28: The Empress Cairn 25-26/1/1480 DR

After weeks of heavy snowfall, the last few days have been cold but bright and clear. In Loudwater's Green Tankard Tavern, Lirael Sirocco is having a drink with the High Forest elf Ranger Palias and a dwarf Fighter, Dunstan Ironforge.
The old white-bearded hunter Trapper John enters, covered in scratches and bony shards. He reports that the Empress Cairn west of Highstar Lake has been broken into, he followed tracks and when he entered he was attacked by exploding skeletons. He asks Lirael, his old friend Dunstan, and Palias to check it out - there are old tales of a curse that will arise should the resting place of the Netherese Empress Nemeia ever be violated. Palias tends to John's wounds, then he goes to get a hot bath and a nice rest.
Palias talks with local man Sunsteen Urbeth about rumours of Najaran Serpentfolk; last year Sunsteen's niece Penny Tavistock was among those rescued from human slavers in the ruins of Zelbross by Lirael and the Burning Hand adventurers. The slavers were aided by a snake-headed lizardman shaman or adept. The Orlbar Royal Guard Jareth turns up and joins the group.
Lirael purchases horses for the group, they ride west to the stockaded village of Brownstone where they spend the night at the villa of the local knight, Sir Halvard Brooke. Brooke seems worried by rumours of 'frost goblins' in the woods. He seems to keep his attractive daughter Amanda under close watch. Lirael has private quarters, the other three sleep in the main hall with Brooke's retainers.

26/1/1480 DR
Next morning the group ride south from Brownstone through a snowy landscape, Lirael following a trail. They ride up through leafless woods to the edge of the High Moor, where they leave the horses in a hidden dell, then treck for four miles across knee-deep snow to where the Empress Cairn rises on the west shore of Highstar Lake. They reach the Cairn at dusk, as the sun is setting behind the distant ruins of Wyrmscrag Castle to the west. Clear tracks show a group matching John's description - a humanoid reptilian, an ogre, and human-sized tracks, some with bony prongs, approach the cairn. John's tracks can be seen approaching the tomb, then fleeing.
The tomb's stone door has been forced and broken. Inside, undead guards await - wights and boneshard skeletons attack fiercely. When they are defeated, the urinous Dunstan activates a gas trap in the entrance chamber. The group skirt the gas. Down a sloping passage are more guards, burning skeletons and frost zombies, but these are swiftly defeated. Palias uses his Fey Step to pass a portcullis then open it from the far side, while the rest of the group jump over a sheet of weird glowing ice. They stand at the top of a long flight of stairs leading downwards. From below can be seen a baleful red gleam...

Roleplay & Travel 100 per PC
Boneshards & Wights: 1000/4 = 250 per PC
Blazing skeletons, chillborn zombies & ice: 1300/4=325
Total: 675 each + 17,627=18,302
Need: 20,500 for 10th.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Dragons of the Gray Vale

Dragon Typical Level Range (Solo)
Young: 3-8 (Large)
Adult: 9-16 (Large)
Elder: 17-23 (Huge)
Ancient: 24-30 (Gargantuan)

Central Gray Vale (2)
Bitterstrike (f): This Mature Adult (Large) White dragon entered the Dire Wood from the north, ca 1/1/1480 DR. Commands the Tigerclaw Uthgardt clan.

Tyristix: (f) Elder (Huge) Verdigris Dragon (Copper/Green Cross): ca 600 years old, approachable, dwells by hot springs in the ruins of Kiris Dahn, on the north side of the Southwood. 1479 DR handed over the Slaying Stone to Ashara the Genasi. Rumoured to be a daughter of Grax Rekaxx. Copper mother unknown.

Emerald Dawn - The Wyrmscrag Dragon: (f) An Adult (Large) Green dragon of Najara, seen hunting in the northern High Moor around the ruins of Wyrmscrag Castle and into the western Southwood. Served by Yuan-Ti and Draconians (Lizardfolk Dragonborn). RIP 29/1/1480 DR. May have been a daughter of Tyristix.

Grimnoshtasdrano (m), the “Riddling Dragon" (Large adult green), ca 200 years old, made his residence in the ancient lair of Grax Rekaxx (m), an Ancient (Gargantuan) green dragon (slain by elven adventurers from Evereska ca 950 DR), in the Endless Caverns where the river falls a short distance to join the Unicorn Run.  Grimnosh is rumoured to be the offspring of Tyristrix, making him 1/4 copper and perhaps explaining his unusual temperament. That might also make Grax Rekax his grandsire. RIP M4 1480 DR: Grimnosh is reported slain by a pair of Chimerae, who seize his treasure.

Eastern Gray Vale (3)
Ice Fang: (f) Adult (Large) White Dragon, dwells atop Stonefang Mountain between the Gray Vale and Bleached Bones Pass. Considers herself mistress of the mountain. Ward Pact with Severed Eye Dragonskull clan Orcs; the deva paladin Shawna Carter persuaded her not to attack.

Nightshade: (f) Adult (Large) Black Dragon, former leader of the Poisoned Shadows gang of Shadar-Kai assassins. Last seen in the sewers beneath Llorkh 1479 DR - killed three heroes in battle including Karvol; Arya & Lirael narrowly escaped. 1480 DR: Rumour places Nightshade in service of the Mountain King.

Azaegal: (m) Huge (Elder) Red Dragon. This great red wyrm lairs somewhere in the Graypeak mountains far to the north or north-east, but has occasionally been spotted flying over the lands of the Mountain King, as far south as Wyvern Mountain. Centuries ago Azaegal and his father, the legendary Xhitigal (m) (Gargantuan two-headed Red, near Luruar), united to slay the Elder White Dragon Slevyas (f) that had claimed Wyvern Mountain in the aftermath of the fall of Ammarindar.

High Forest
Elaacrimalicros (m): Gargantuan (Ancient) Green Dragon. By far the eldest living dragon of the High Forest, this ancient green wyrm has a cavernous lair among the highest peaks of the Star Mounts. He sleeps for decades at a time, but when awakened his hunger drives him to devour widely before returning to slumber. Possibly brother to Grax Rekax.

Chloracridara (f): Huge (Elder) Green Dragon. She came to the High Forest from the Far Forest around 1360 DR. She has had several children by Grimnoshtasdrano the Riddling Dragon ca 1370-1430 DR, some of whom have survived to adulthood and departed to seek their fortunes elsewhere.  Her lair is located among the ruins of Mhiilamniir, between the Lost Peaks and the Nameless Dungeon. She is known to attack non-dragons on sight.

Deathsleet (m): Huge (Elder) White Dragon. The mate of Bitterstrike, Deathsleet is particularly large and powerful male. He lairs high atop the Lost Peaks, descending to the High Forest to search for game.

Young Dragons: Adventurers have occasionally reported encountering young Green dragons in the Southwood, young Red and White dragons in the Graypeak Mountains, and young Black dragons in the High Moor. Typical Level range 3-7.

Hunting Range: Typical range for an adult dragon is around 700 square miles, a 15-mile radius around the lair. Young dragon ranges are much smaller, around 7.5 mile radius or 175 square miles, while Elder dragon ranges are vast, around a 30 mile radius or more than 2800 square miles.

Monday 8 October 2012

Session 27: Death in the Sewers 24/10/1479 DR

In the sewers beneath Llorkh, the party finish off two Shadar-Kai warriors; the Paladin Calloway hacks his way out of the massive gelatinous cube in the sewer intersection. After a short rest, Karvol hacks a hole in the iron grate of the inflow pipe that the Oni fled through in gaseous form, beyond which a faint blue phosphoresence can be seen.
Karvol leads the way past the grate down the pipe to a large chamber lit by lumescent moss upon the ceiling. A barrel bobs in the sewer intersection. There is an acrid stench. Karvol emerges from the pipe - and spots the enormous black dragon hiding under the water. Battle ensues, the Oni emerges from the far side of the chamber and blasts the party with sleep-breath, while the black dragon scorches them with acid. Lirael fells the Oni with an arrow to the throat, but the dragon Nightshade proves too much for the heroes. Karvol, Calloway and Dardalion are slain. Desperately, Arya drags Lirael's unconscious body down the pipe, pursued by the dragon. Somehow Arya dodges Nightshade's bites and gets Lirael back through the hole in the iron grate, which blocks the dragon long enough for Arya to get a healing potion into Lirael, restoring her to consciousness. The two survivors flee round the corner as clouds of acid-breath from the angry dragon fill the sewer behind them. 
Lirael and Arya flee back to the surface.

Party XP
8-2: Defeated 2 shadar-kai, gelatinous cube, & Maiko the Oni: 1,900/5=380.
8-3: Fight and defeated by Nightshade, Adult Black Dragon: 1,500/5=300
Total: 680+16,947=17,627
Need: 20,500 for 10th.

Lirael, quite chastened by her near-death experience, has had just about enough of Llorkh. As Esme has retired to rule the land along with her doting Pig King hubby, she wonders if she and Arya can take their share of the spoils from Llorkh's treasury (including that Rod of Hope Triumphant--just in case) and move on. She does not mention it to Arya, but she is convinced that they need to find some trustworthy companions. While she feels confident she can protect herself in the wild, it is easier to move quietly about the countryside by herself than with a (rather squishy) companion like Arya, who she would never desert...especially after Arya risked her own life to drag her out of the very maw of the dragon. She ponders where best to find some...as "trustworthy" is not something one associates with the people who frequent Llorkh. ...
Lirael also sends word to Calloway and Dardalion's (sorry if I spelled that wrong) superiors letting them know what happened to the brave warriors and including a subtly worded suggestion that if they wish to continue their hunt of the dragon Nightshade they can damn well do it themselves.

Kitana and most of the Banites return from a glorious victory over the Severed Eye Orc outpost to the south, west of Stonefang Mountain. They surprised the orcs and killed dozens of orc warriors, cornering and slaying their leader, the human female alchemist Dreus Matrand - who Lirael might remember sent a Severed Eye Orc party into the ruins of Kiris Dahn after the Slaying Stone, months ago. Only one senior Banite, Oskim, fell in the battle, further convincing the Banites that they enjoy the Blessing of Bane and that the Banechild, Esmerelda, is truely the Chosen One to usher in the Age of Bane. 
Esmerelda in her wisdom sends the Banites back south again to man the southern frontier, fortify the orc caves, and defend the Victoria Mine from any renewed Orc threat.

The twelve men who Esme sent east after ex-King Boris do not return. Word soon comes from the village of Irondawn east of Llorkh that Boris apparently convinced the twelve to join with him (OOC: rolled a 31 on his Diplomacy check! [:D]) and they re-equipped in Irondawn before heading east over the Dawn Pass into the Fallen Lands.