Monday 4 February 2013

Session 35 Reach Lvl 11 PARAGON TIER - Demolishing the Zhents 5/2/-6/2/1480 DR.

5/2/1480 DR: Morning, a small crowd sees the party off from the Loudwater docks. Megana Nistral promises Jareth she'll make him a good sword. A little before sunset Tollun's barge draws up at the docks of ruined Zelbross. Paelias climbs the mast to survey the ruins, and in the red light of sunset he spots a metallic glint from an upper-story window about 200' away to the south-east. He decides to scout the ruins, the others following. 
A raven breaks from a leafless tree, cawing - Paelias turns back to see black & yellow clad soldiers closing on him - Zhentarim! A fierce running battle breaks out in the ruins; a squad of Zhentarim troopers supported by a Red Wizard, who magic-missiles Jareth. Arya senses something evil - Vale, Adept of the Black Sun, has returned! The Red Wizard blasts them with noxious vapours; Vale strikes Jareth blind with the Black Sun. But the power of the Black Sun proves no match for the heroes of Loudwater; Zhents fall, and Arya fries Vale with a fireball. The Zhent captain and last of the troopers are cut down trying to flee. Paelias decodes the notes found on Vale - apparently the Zhents have activated the Ammarindar Portal in the Southwood and are building a fort there. Furthermore they have an agent in Loudwater...

6/2/1480 DR: After staying overnight in Zelbross, Tollun's barge makes the forty-mile trip downriver to Secomber, a town which still stands on the north bank of the Grayflow. The sailors tie up the barge at the quayside and the group prepare to enter 'Lord Baldhead's' town...
"They never are friendly" - Lirael
Zhents in the Ruins of Zelbross

Jareth knocks the enemy Red Wizard prone
Lirael's Account:

Lirael sighed to herself as she carefully helped wash out one of Jareth’s many battle wounds. She was amazed he was still standing, but then, she was always astounded he was still going after a battle. He was a tank of a man. She had hoped that their trip to Secomber would pass without incident but had suspected (rightly, it seemed) that their usual luck would prevail. 

No Yuan-ti this time, but instead that horrible Vale and a whole host of Zhentarim. She glanced over at Arya, who was quietly tending to Dunstan (who, in turn, was happily jingling the additional 400 gold pieces they had taken off of the dead Zhents in his large hands). 

She wondered how the wizard felt after the spectacular fiery send off she had given to Vale. Revenge was sometimes sweet…or was it bittersweet? Now they knew that there was a spy in Loudwater. It was hard to imagine that someone they knew could have betrayed them. They would have to get to the bottom of that as soon as they could.

“Did you see how I dominated that guy? That was amazing, wasn’t it? I was amazing, wasn’t I?” The bard, Quinn, was so excited that her eyes practically twinkled. She even fist-punched the air, which reminded Lirael of another bard in times past.

“Yes, you were indeed amazing,” said Halvath gravely. Lirael smiled at him as Quinn rounded on him and proceeded to recount the battle in great detail once again. He was good at listening and that was what the bard needed.

“All done,” she said to Jareth. He flexed his arm, perhaps a mite gratuitously, and patted her on the shoulder. She waved him towards Arya, who was trying to help Dunstan out of his breastplate with little success. “Go on,” she said, “put those muscles to work, would you?”

“Will do,” he said, and clanked over to help the Red Wizard.

She wandered over to Paelias, who was still examining the sheets of foolscap they had taken off of Vale and the Captain. It had been pure luck that he had known enough of the language to puzzle it out (with the help of Arya). Mielikki be praised.

“Have you discovered anything else?” she asked him.

“More of the same,” he said. “I wonder how far they have gone with construction of the fort in the Southwood? Do you think we could turn the portal to our own use? And when are they planning on attacking Loudwater? And do you—”

Lirael held up her hand, not used to so many questions at once, especially from the normally quiet Paelias. “We shall see,” she said. “It will have to be one thing at a time. We have far more questions than answers.”

Quinn's Account:

A lifeless town, remnants of death

A fluttering Raven, an omen of the battle to come

A mass of marauders clad in armour of yellow and black

A Wizard in red casting missiles of magic might

A silver haired devil, casting light as bright as the ebony sun

Our fiercest fighters sight made black

Vapours of death brought down upon us

A rallying cry as the elf of the moon deals death

Vale brought to heel by a strike of song

A field of yellow and black corpses cover the town

Fire from the sky blots out the evil of the Black Sun

A scarlet mage brings an end to a chase ran too long

The words dance across her mind as Quinn lies back on her bedroll. The days previous events playing back over and over. Smiling as she thinks about her new companions. A motley group but truly the best a young treasure hunter could ask for. The Ranger, The Soldier, The Duelist, The Mage, The Priest ….. and The Dwarf. Laughing softly to herself at the last comment. Whatever else Dunstan might be he was a Dwarf through and through.
Snapping her fingers at the end of a stick in her other hand trying as always to bring fire into being as her master showed her years before. Her eyes widen as the tip sparks and catches light, succeeding where countless attempts before had failed. Laughing as she feels her arcane connection bloom and new possibilities open up before her.

                                                          *   *   *
XP: 728 (Zhents, deciphering script) = 728 per PC
Need 26,000 for Level 11
Lirael's account 150 XP+26,034=26,184
Quinn's account (bonus) 75 XP+26,184=26,259
Need 32,000 for 12th level.

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