3/12/49 (Cold, blustery, rainy)
18:30 – Group arrive at the “Three Flames” inn, in the small town of Jash'Sharim ( days to the northwest of the Merchant City of Tajanar); a rich mercantile town overseen by the “GunPrince” - a rich weapons merchant and artificer named Afzal.
On arriving the group get themselves some rooms, and after having a drink and in a few cases, a wash, all but Durjani settle down to discuss what to do next.
Pick up some rumours about a large chapter of Solum'Tassadexite knights staying in the town, the “Order of the Skull Enshrined”. Apparently they are on their way to Lumor to make their claim for the sacred sites there, and they have a relic (seen only under a shroud of blessed cloth) stored away in one of the inn's towers, under constant guard.
Even Llewellyn isn't stupid enough to try and have a peak...though he is tempted...
18:45 - Durjani (freshly washed, but still wearing her armour and weapons) tells the group that she needs to go and report her presence in the area to the chapter house of her order, and informs them she will return shortly.
Allowing her time to leave, Llewellyn slips out to follow her. “That can't be good” is Brundorson's opinion.
18:45 – 19:05 – Despite Durjani being vigilant as she moves through the streets of Jash'Sharim, Llewellyn has no problems following her to a horse merchants undetected.
Whilst following Durjani, Llewellyn spots someone who strikes him as belonging to a similar profession as himself, and knowing that the North Ward Procurers Guild have a long arm, he is careful to avoid being detected by them.
19:05-19:25 – Scrabbling on the roof of the stables, the Vyrleen listens to what is going on inside (he can hear Durjani talking to a male, but both speak the Southspeak of the Merchant Princes, which he does not understand).
19:25 – Durjani leaves the stables on the back of a horse, and Llewellyn realises that she intends to leave the group. From the roof he calls to her, warning her that if she betrays the group she will be struck down before trouble can find them, and the Vampire's heart will be destroyed.
Durjani laughs at him, full of scorn, and informs him that she is leaving to stop the pain of knowing that she should by rights be handing the group over to her house for trial, but not wanting to because of all they have been through together. She then adds that Llewellyn is in no way part of that, and that she would gladly see him beheaded.
Llewellyn continues to try and engage her in conversation, but she ignores him, riding into the rainy gloom, and out of the party...
19:45 – Vyrleen returns. He tells the group that Durjani has left, and gets a bit of a roasting from Brundorson who (correctly) states that it was the Vyrleen's constant comments that had pushed her away.
- By this time the group have decided to either stay a day here, so that Ormid can master the Linked Portal ritual that he has in the Gigorim book, which would allow him to open a portal to the Rune Circle at Darryd Keep, or to visit the local branch of the Apporters Guild, and use the location of the lost Dundorin Rune Circle in the mountains as collateral for a free run to either Darryd Keep or Lorehaven.
The group also decide that they should hire a local mage to send a message to Lorehaven about the downed ship and their plans.
Whilst this is going on, Llewellyn buys the Knights of the Enshrined Skull (who are drinking in the bar) a round of drinks (on Ormid's tab lol)
He also spots the Wild Mage Alim Vazir, sat at a table, reading a book (who's pages are turned by his familiar; a small purple ooze), and wanders over.
Alim is clearly insane, though his control is weakened by the Vyrleen's somewhat irreverent attitude.
In a moment of arrogant madness, Llewellyn loudly announces who he is to the sorcerer – and notices a rather suspicious fellow slipping out into the night.
Realising that he has just made a potentially lethal mistake, the Vyrleen (who Alim clearly thinks is a human child), wanders off telling him to speak with Ormid, and heads out to try and stop the stranger...
The Stranger has vanished, and Llewellyn suddenly feels the cold hand of fear at his guts...
Meanwhile, inside, Alim has approached a rather befuddled Ormid and begun to ask what the artificer wants. The two confused gentlemen engage in a circular discussion, which results in Alim getting angry, and being ejected from the Inn.
Llewellyn returns to the group and tells them of his faux pas. It is decided that all (except Brundorson who is going to have a few more drinks – to be exact – as a “nightcap”) should go to bed.
21:30 – Group retire for the night (Llwellyn sets his bed up to look like he's in it, and sleeps beneath)
4/12/49 (Heavy icy rain, clear by night, slight frost)
03:45 – Messenger arrives at groups room with a scroll from the town's ruler, Afzal.
Delivers an “invite” (worded in a way that makes it clear it is a command) into the Warforged's hands for the group to attend Afzal's home at noon that day so Afzal can “study your automaton” - the Warforged
The Warforged is vexed, remembering the prodding and cold interest of the Lorehavian artificers, and some of their dark plans for him
04:15 – After Ormid has been woken by the Warforged, and group have discussed their plans. (They decide that Ormid will begin trying to decipher the Linked Portal ritual at once, with the hope that they will be able to utilize it before anyone comes from Azfal's estate looking for them).
08:30 – Gyllithed heads downstairs to order breakfast for their room, to double check when they need to be out, and to see what's going on. With concern he notices that there are an increased number of Afzal Gunners in the inn; Azfal's personal guard
11:30 – A very tired and stressed ormid is nearing the end of his study when a member of the bar staff knocks on the door, and in a nervous voice begins to insist that the group come down.
- The group fob him off...
12:15 – Afzal Gunners begin to bang on door – polite at first but growing increasingly forceful with their insistence that the group “visit” Azfal at once. Having mastered the Ritual, Ormid (with Gyllithed's help to hold the wild magics he will unleash) begins to work the spell, all the while having to ignore the increasing disturbance from the doorway
- Those not involved in the ritual stand by the door, holding it closed, and using threats, intimidation and diplomacy to prevent the guards from breaking their way in (Skill Challenge – the group are successful)
12:25 - ...Ormid to get the Linked Portal ritual completed, whisking the group away to Lorehaven just as the guards force the doors.
On arriving at the Darryd Keep Rune Circle the group nearly get their heads blown off by over anxious guards watching the portal).
After some hasty explanations (and some open mouthed amazement by the guards who assumed that the party had died in the skyship crash), the group get an audience with Willem
12:45 – Group meet with Willem
Willem is stressed, and it seems a little scared.
He firstly fills the group in about a few things
It seems that a rescue team was dispatched shortly after their sky ship failed to reach Lorehaven. It uncovered no survivors, but did witness a skeletal Dracani, dripping with unnatural acids, scouring the site as if checking it out (everyone gulps – Tyranzalphanasus was a Black Dracani, and the ship was brought low by a Kydraxi of the Venom Soul Clan – a clan allied with the Dracani and its worshippers)
As for the whole Shakem murder thing, it seems that despite their initial insistence on the groups capture and trial, they suddenly withdrew from the keep on some mysterious orders.
The group state that they need to get to Lorehaven, and Willem agrees to help (he will smuggle them on board the next supply ship heading to the city, which leaves later that day).
Willem then reveals that there are problems at Darryd Keep. By now and extensive network of tunnels, chambers and portals, filled with various dangers as well as ancient relics have been uncovered in the black depths beneath the keep. However, the deepest tunnels have been having a strange effect on those entering them, driving them mad. Even more vexing, they seem to be changing each time people enter them, and recently, a large group of individuals entering them have vanished completely, along with the tunnels they were sent to examine.
These tales of a shifting dungeon seem to spark the collective brains of the group, and they relate to Willem tales of Castle Armun; a dread and apparently sentient dungeon that is rumoured to be anything from a demiplane, a truly sentient creature that lures adventurers to their doom, or the cruel trick of a vicious godling.
Willem turns pale, and states he will have to consider what to do very seriously...
5/12/49 – (In Lorehaven – Heavy Blizzards, bitterly cold, very deep snow on ground)
02:00 – Group are smuggled on board the supply ship in a supply crate, and finally head back to Lorehaven.
15:30 – After a very uncomfortable trip, the group return to Lorehaven.
- Their first action is to head through the roaring Blizzards to the Bardic College, where they hope to grab someone associated with the Numinaris Project, in order to get back on board “The Wanderer”.
18:00 – Group arrive at the Bardic College. Few if any guards are about, and they do not stop the group (probably because everyone is wrapped up in heavy furs, and visibility beyond a couple of feet is zero).
18:15 – Arrive at offices where the Numinaris Project planners are based.
Group meet with Ozmir, one of the planners for the project.
Ozmir is amazed to see the group, and with questioning informs them that here, as in Darryd Keep, the Shakem soldiers and officials withdrew after receiving instructions from their base.
Ozmir is a bit perturbed at the groups arrival, but agrees to help them return to the Wanderer, as it seems there is trouble aboard (he stresses that for now, their arrival here and the aid he and his allies are giving them must be kept quiet).
It seems that two days after the Wanderer passed into the Segmentum Mortalis, all communication with them was lost. A team were sent through to check everything was okay and never returned, and it was noted that opening the portal to the ship board rune circle was particularly difficult, as if some kind of force were working against the caster.
In light of this Ozmir is happy to help the group, as long as they sort out the problem on board the spelljamming ship.
The group agree, eager to be away from this world for a bit, and to get back to their original mission. An apporter is sent for, and the group rest a while in the Projects office.
18:50 – A mage of the Apporters Guild arrives and is paid a hefty sum to ensure his silence on who he is sending.
19:00 – After a struggle with energies that seem intent on preventing the portal to the Wanderer from being forged, the mage manages to briefly open a gateway, and the group, battle ready, leap through...
SPACE – MIDDLE DECKS OF “THE WANDERER”
19:00 – The group arrive in the spelljammers belly, and are struck by the strong spicy aroma and heat of the place. However, the door to the chamber in which the rune circle stands bursts open, revealing a massive black-skinned Gorgoth wielding a double axe, and a heavily armed and armoured Dundorin of strange complexion.
both creatures bear a small, spiky growth in their foreheads, and have unfocused, milky eyes.
Despite being clearly under some kind of external control, they move to attack and prove to be potent adversaries!
A short battle breaks out, with the Gorgoth proving incredibly tough to take down, repeatedly seeming to draw strength from somewhere which allows it to ignore the truly brutal wounds it suffers at the blades and powers of the group.
As the group finish off the monsters, movement from a flight of stairs heading to the crew quarters signals the arrival of more souls...perhaps the crew?
So, a bit of a roleplay heavy session this one, which was a nice change after the combat heavy last few weeks. This entire game was run "off the cuff", with me having to come up with everything on the fly. luckily, I had the basic "what's been going on" planned, which made the role playing and stuff a lot easier.
Anyway, no game for two weeks now, so you will have to wait to find out what has happened to the crew of the Wanderer.