AD&D - New World

94: The Stargazer's Tower
our heroes agree to terms

The group continues to explore the tower. They discover a dial that powers the move tube and go down to the lower levels, where a series of force fields separates them from ten unopened/unspoiled boxes. They go back up, looking for a way to deactivate the fields.

Finding a row of cells, they discover some old & new friends inside — an alternate timeline Jongle Janglemancer (who did not die in the Chaos Storm – and instead traveled with Minja and a baby Valeria), and Ragnaught Tognarbro, a bullywug cleric.

In two of the other cells they find chained skeletons crying out for freedom. When Earnest opens one of the cells, however, a wraith emerges from the skeleton and reaches for him. Ervendio turns the spirit and it returns to its bony prison. They continue to cry for release, but the group leaves them behind.

At the top of the tower they find a telescope room. Flippin’ switches, Valeria and Ervendio look through the telescope and see a far-off planet or crystal sphere, home to strange plant-like creatures.

In another room, they discover a ghost who offers to play a game of chess for their souls. Jongle immediately accepts and barely outwits the ghost — gaining access to a secret library. Inside he finds several books on strange stars (which he ignores) and a single spellbook filled with low level spells. Earnest finds a scroll about shoelaces.

In another library, the group discovers tomes on light, glass, and metalwork. They discover an icy chest filled with vials of red liquid. They leave the vials untouched.

In one of their elevator rides, Valeria recites a poem she wrote about her re-discovered father, Jongle. Jongle says he’s written songs about her, but he won’t reveal them.

Back in the dungeon, the group finds that two of the force fields have been lowered by something they did upstairs. Ervendio and Jongle work the levers together, and Earnest and Carol/Ann proceed through the fields to the boxes. They discover boxes and boxes of gold and silver — which the Barrow Wood militia above want payment from. They give each of the 29 soldiers (and Bertram) 50 gp each. The wizard is left in the tower in his circle of salt.

The group teleports back to Grudgewood and meets with Red Al. They decide to establish a stronghold at Eddistone, but they will have to travel there to suss out the situation with the locals, who are said to be hostile and untrusting toward the Revengers.

Jongle pickpockets a massive bag of platinum from Chest Art. Valeria speaks to Chest, asking directly about the Black Cardinal — Chest seems put off and tells her to come to his tent in the evening.

The group goes banking and meets with Durge, depositing their treasure and getting the now-living Jongle some of his money back. They establish a group account for “The Real Revengers,” not to be confused with The New Revengers, LLC.

Ragnaught goes off to see the town on his own, as do Carol/Ann and Ervendio’s Silverwind henchman. Jongles advises Ragnaught to visit the brothel, which he does not do.

At Chest’s tent, Chest Art asserts there is no Black Cardinal. He says the nuns who accompanied Valeria and Bertram to Grudgewood have been “sent away”. Chest also says that Red Al has agreed to the posted terms of the pope’s visit: that there will be no combat or magic during or leading up to the visit, that a temple of the Church of the West will be established in Grudgewood, led by a goblin named Father Boon Marrow, and that a meeting between the Pope and the entire Barrow Wood council will be held.

Chest Art extracts a promise from Valeria, Ervendio, Jongle, and Earnest that they will not engage in combat or spellcasting during or leading up to the Pope’s visit; Jongle uses ventriloquism to make it appear that Bertram also makes this pledge.

Despite a meeting that was tense at times, they dinner & wine ends cordially. The Pope is scheduled to arrive in two days….

XP
Wraith, 2000
Telescope Room, 500
Force Fields, 5000
My Dinner With Chest Art, 1000
Treasure, 19,855

Group Total: 28,355 Individual Total: 5671

Individual Awards
Bertram: 15,671 (Where’s My Fifty Gold 10,000; Group 5671)
Earnest: 15,671 (No Consequence, Great Girth 10,000; Group 5671)
Ervendio: 15,671 (Telescopist 10,000, Group 5671)
Jongle: 15,671 (Chess Champion 10,000; Group 5671)
Valeria: 15,671 (Elevator Poetry 10,000; Group 5671)

LOOT
scroll about shoelaces
spellbook (2 level 1 wizard spells – Jongle’s choice)

9,591 gp
57,642 sp
900 pp

1 large pearl (properties unknown)
1 set of crystal dice (properties unknown)
1 bag of powder (properties unknown)

Active Bonds

Valeria: I fear for my father’s soul.

Bertram: to repair his friendship with Ervendio.

Ervendio: Bertram has offended my deity and I do not trust him.

Earnest: to protect Valeria.

Jongle: sang songs of Valeria when they were apart

Ragnaught: trusts Valeria implicitly

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93: Circle of Salt
our heroes reunite

Some months after parting ways from the Revengers on the dinosaur world (called Dino World by Earnest), Valeria arrives back in Grudgewood along with Earnest and a re-constituted Bertram Figg. They arrive around the same time as Chest Art, the head of security for Pope Ageptus II, who has arrived a week in advance of the pope himself.

Valeria tries to hitch Up Top on Chest’s carriage, but when she gives Earnest a hand he inadvertently pulls her off. She sets off on Chow Chow, who Bertram enlarges to 2x his size. Valeria & Bertram ride the giant Chow Chow up the hill, passing the carriage, while Earnest carries the now broken saddle and all of Valeria’s possessions.

Up Top, Ervendio discovers that Red Al is not in Grudgewood — he’s somewhere to the east, hunting bandits. Valeria and Ervendio reunite, and Ervendio greets the “new” Bertram with mistrust.

Chest and his papal soldiers (supposedly paladins of Edrick) arrive, scoffing at Valeria’s claim to be a paladin herself. Bertram tries to goad Valeria into committing to an arm-wrestling competition with Ruby, one of the papal knights.

Sister Agatha, one of the nuns accompanying Valeria, Bertram, and Earnest across the Westlands, finally reaches the Up Top and Bertram directs her to the Tankard for a drink.

Chest publicly posts the rules for the upcoming papal visit: 1, No public use of magic. 2, No public fighting. 3, An establishment of a temple of the Church of the West, and 4, a sit-down between the pope and the Barrow Wood council.

Ervendio takes offense at the posting of such guidelines — “If you invite someone into your home, do you let them make the rules?” — and very publicly casts a spell sending the Revengers to Skunt to begin their journey to retrieve Al for the upcoming summit.

Arriving in Skunt, they find papal banners and papal knights about. They choose not to engage with them, and to not seek out the reportedly-close-by Pope. Ervendio casts _easy march and the four-day ride to the hinterlands only takes an uneventful two.

They find Red Al and a small group of Barrow Wood militia folk having made camp outside of a castle. Al, cautious about this stranger claiming to be Bertram, is nonetheless glad to see the Revengers — there are some bandits in the castle and some sort of “salt circle” situation that needs clearing before he can return to Grudgewood.

The Revengers easily whollop the bandits, routing them and clearing the castle for settlement. Ervendio transports Red Al instantly back to Grudgewood and the Revengers stay behind to investigate a wizard’s tower and the so-called circle of salt.

Inside, they find a seemingly abandoned wizard’s tower. Valeria discovers a sort-of-hidden shaft that may be some sort of elevator; Bertram discovers a room full of bone boxes, as well as a foldable boat stuffed into a robe pocket. After rummaging through several empty bedrooms, they discover Content Not Found: null. Friendly at first, the wizard is outraged when they do not immediately disrupt the salt circle and free him.

The wizard answers none of their questions. Valeria shatters a very expensive crystal in front of him and Bertram goes through his books — they mostly seem to do with summoning creatures from far-away planes.

The wizard remains trapped in his circle, Valeria futzes with the “elevator” controls, and there are four days until the Pope is due to arrive in Grudgewood….

XP
Group Awards
Where’s Al?, 5000
Castle Bandits, 1300
folding boat, 10,000

Group Total:. 16,300 Individual Award: 4075

Individual Totals
Bertram 14,075 (Is That A Boat In Your Pocket 10,000; Group 4075)
Earnest 14,075 (Carries the Saddle 10,000; Group 4075)
Ervendio 14,075 (Holds A Grudge 10,000; Group 4075)
Valeria 14,075 (Book Bum 10,000; Group 4075)

LOOT
folding boat (Bertram)

ACTIVE BONDS
Valeria: I fear for my father’s soul.

Bertram: to repair his friendship with Ervendio.

Ervendio: Bertram has offended my deity and I do not trust him.

Earnest: to protect Valeria.

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interlude: Whence the Revengers?
our heroes start their journey home...

The Revengers — what’s left of them — are lost on a prime material plane far from their own. They are met by a group of saurian warriors, including Earnest of Greentop. Earnest becomes so impressed by the scope and grandeur of their quest to stop the Wolf of Arcworth that he pledges his sword to Valeria’s service, becoming her squire.

Dru Dracos opts to return to the Mountain That Moves and becomes the leader and unifier of the disparate kobold tribes within. He gives up ownership of ECCE, one of the pieces of the Rod of 7 Parts, and it is taken by Earnest.

After taking stock of the massive wealth from the dragon hoard, Ervendio attempt to plane shift the group back home. But something goes wrong and they are separated — Ervendio makes it back to Grudgewood with the treasure, Valeria winds up in The Craw, a wild and dangerous are of the Westlands, and Mildred is left behind in the dino-world.

But that’s okay with Mildred — she again becomes a witch of the wilds, sometimes helping the locals and sometimes being run off by them. Where Mildred winds up next is anyone’s guess…

Meanwhile on Urth, the Elven Moon has been destroyed and reassambled, and the Chaos Storm has dissipated. Ragnot Dankholme, separated from his crew and devastated by his brother’s death, encounters the CULT OF ISOLT, a small group of followers dedicated to Isolt ApBlanc, formerly of the isolated human kingdom called Grimland. The followers of Isolt nurse Ragnot back to health and he pledges himself to their golden guardian goddess. Ragnot encounters a group of wandering adventurers and protects them, finding new meaning in a new mission.

Ragnot dedicates himself to the tenets of Isolt: to guard, to put the charge before one’s self, to put first the well being of those under his protection, to chew his food before he swallows.

Wandering westward, Ragnot meets another traveler of the Stormlands — Jongle Janglemancer! This Jongle is seemingly from an alternate timeline or prime material plane, one where Jongle, Minja and baby Valeria were never separated in the Grimlands. Jongle suddenly found himself one of many alternate Jongles, some similar to the one the Revengers knew and some very, very different. The legion of Jongles started fighting amongst themselves until only two remained: this Jongle, who promptly crawled away and hid from the others, and a dark Jongle who callously murdered his other selves. The dark Jongle (who had renamed himself Jangle Jonglemancer) stalked off in search of the other-self he knew was still out there; but this Jongle headed off in the other direction, searching for his lost wife and child.

Meeting up with Ragnot, they decide to travel west together and head for Grudgewood.

Ervendio, splitting his time between Grudgewood and the island where his brother now leads a contingent of Kuraphai elves, convinces them not to rush to Elven Moon when it explodes during the illithid attack. When the Moon is subsequently fused back together again — in a broken series of “islands” locked in each other’s gravitational pulls — Ervendio leads the effort to transport refugees down to the island. The elves there are slowly and quietly building an outpost on Urth, not announcing their presence. Even in the aftermath of the Moon’s destruction, the island is a more light-hearted place filled with dancing and song. The Kuraphai are dedicated to rebuilding their civilization.

In the Craw, Valeria finds herself in a small goblin village that’s being terrorized by a nearby wizard. She goes to the wizard’s tower to investigate and finds an old human mage with a long white beard … who, somehow, is the long-lost Bertram Figg. Though still conflicted on whether to gather the pieces of the rod, Bertram is dedicated to solving the mystery of so many rifts in space & time, and joins with Valeria and they start heading east, back to Grudgewood.

On the way, they encounter a group of nuns — the Daughters of Edrick — who are also traveling to Grudgewood. They are going there in advance of Pope Ageptus II’s upcoming visit, planning to petition him for some kind of restitution for the recent burning of their convents on the orders of The Black Cardinal. 3 of the nuns are lost when they wander off with Bertram and are sucked into a space/time portal of undetermined origin; but just as they are thinking of turning against Valeria and Bertram, a miracle occurs. Valeria gains the new, divine power to cast spells in the name of Edrick, Half-Ogre.

The nuns pledge themselves to Valeria’s service, and the growing retinue heads to Grudgewood, the place where the Revengers’ quest began so many years ago…

XP
Bertram: 250,000
Ervendio: 250,000
Jongle: 250,000
Ragnot: 250,000
Valeria: 250,000

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Strange Goodbye
In which everything changes...

Flynnighan consulted with his crew, and decided that it might be best to find the captain of the downed spelljammer. He ordered the Pelicans into the tunnel that was ripped open by the crash. Magnus balked, though, and told Flynnighan, who was still quite drunk, that if he wanted to give Magnus orders, he would have to wrestle for it.

Flynnighan reluctantly agreed, and the two squared off. Magnus immediately went on the offensive, but Flynnighan proved slippery. And things became even more slippery when a strong hold from Magnus resulted in Flynnighan drunkenly vomiting on the half-ogre. The match ended in a draw.

Lines of command still unclear, the crew did indeed enter the tunnel. They found that it led to the lower levels of an old human temple, but no one was able to decipher the religious carvings on the wall.

The temple was large, and the party wandered through several rooms and down a cramped ladder before finding a secret door that had been opened and left ajar. When they entered the room, they were ambushed by a pair of Drow in dark but ornate uniforms.

Battle ensued. One Drow proved to be the Spell Jammer captain, and Flynnighan and Kyrashi immediately engaged with him. He nearly slew Flynnighan, who was then saved when Tognar poured an unknown potion down his throat. The other seemed to be the ship’s wizard. He slipped away from Magnus and got off a spell.

Tognar saw the wizard, Algezernon, preparing to unleash more magic and literally leaped into action. A long strange spear emerged from his hand, tearing through his hand. It was the magic slug sword from the beach, transformed to a spear to fit Tognars hand. Dread filled the air and a low human seemed to come from the spear as Tognar thrust into the wizard. But when the spear entered the wizard’s flesh something strange happened.

Tognar heard the sword thank him, and then it loosened and transformed. It became a slug once more, and burrowed into the wizard’s flesh. After just a moment, it emerged again as a dagger from Algezernon’s hand, and it cut the air, where a strange rending of space occurred. The wizard disappeared.

At that moment, Magnus remembered his Golem, and he ordered it to subdue the captain, who then yielded. Magnus offered to kill the Drow, but Flynnighan wanted to speak with him first.

The Pelicans learned that the captain was named Radazz. He had been part of an invasion of the moon, which had involved an alliance between Gith and Drow sects worshipping Nemo, sects which now had control of the Gith and Drow Kingdoms. Nemo had made a further alliance with the Illithid, and the Mindflayers were providing the dark elves with ships and strange weapons.

The captain said that the invasion was interrupted when the moon elves unleashed so much magic in their own defense, that they shattered the moon. The moon elves had been channeling magic through an orb, a twin to the one that Pelicans had found. But they had no chaos storm to fuel it, and they pulled instead from the life of the moon. When they used too much, their world broke.

The Captain then said that he had been ordered to break away from the now disorganized attack and told to return to Urth and enter the chaos storm. He was to subdue the Pelicans and take anything they had found, in particular the orb, and then rendezvous with the Gith ships that were en route.

Listening to Captain Radazz, Tognar realized that the moon elves must be dying as their world was being destroyed, and that he had the means to stop it. He took out the orb and told the Pelicans that he was going to fix things.

Flynnighan tried to stop Tognar, telling Tognar that it would kill him, and maybe destroy the whole crew. But Tognar was resolute and Kyrashi agreed that it had to be done. Tognar connected with the orb.

Tognar changed. His features flowed and he became a man, an elf, a dwarf, finally shifting into a yellow hobgoblin. He held on through the changes though, and then took control of the magic of the orb.

He felt the storm above him and tapped into it. He saw the past, and the present. The saw the forging of the two orbs, which were created by elves of all three elves nations in some distant past where they lived side by side. He felt the whole world around him, and felt the possibilities of change in it. He saw into his friends. He knew he could change them, and decided to leave them as they were.

He reached out to the spelljammer ship and healed it. It was a living thing, and it bloomed when he touched it with the orb. He thought that it would be good to be on the ship with his crew, and then they were there.

And then he reached for the moon. He felt the whole of the chaos storm channeled through the orb. He suddenly knew that Flynnighan was right—that the full power of the storm could heal the moon, but that in doing it he would destroy the orb and perhaps himself.

He did it anyways. He reached out through the orb and brought the pieces back together.

But just before they connected, the orb shattered. And Tognar was shattered, too. His last thought before he died was a vision of the moon, not quite whole, but saved. Five huge pieces of rock orbited each other, each with their own atmosphere, broken but stable and full of life.

For the rest of the Pelicans all of this took an instant. When Tognar’s body fell, they felt he had succeeded. The ship around them was whole. Kyrashi announced that they would need to use it to help the elves of the moon, and Magnus agreed

Flynnighan moved to kill Captain Radazz, but the captain told the Pelicans that he could fuel and fly the Spelljammer. Flynnighan wanted to kill him anyways, and to leave the ship. He said that they could build another, and crew it with gnomes.

Magnus and Kyrashi refused. Instead Magnus freed the Golem and asked it to keep watch over Radazz “until he learned to be good.” The Golem agreed.

Kyrashi set a course for the moon. Flynnighan though, did not stay on board. He stepped back to Urth as it took off, where he found the gnomes waiting for him.

He asked them if they needed a captain…

XP

Special: if you are bringing your character into the Revengers campaign, level them up to match those characters.

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Strange Signs in the Sky
In which the Pelicans lose the moon..

The Pelicans continue Searching the ship. They discover very quickly that the clicking noise in the Captain’s cabin came from a hidden compartment in the pantry. It has opened and released some sort of mold. The mold seems to be growing, and the temperature of the room is dropping alarmingly. The Pelicans close and lock the door, hoping that it will hold the mold in.
The Pelicans move to the higher decks, where they find a number of strange rooms. One is filled with star charts. Magnus walks away from it, ignoring the maps and muttering about finding and saving his fellow slaves. Tognar, however, searches the room carefully. He puts his hands on a strange black pillar, causing it to light up and project a hologram of the Urth, surrounded by broken fragments of what seems to be the moon. Tognar remembers what the Draw that they killed belowdecks had said—that there is no more moon. They had thought it was nonsense, but here was evidence…
The rest of the crew were continuing their search. Along the way, they discovered a strange cabin filled with wizard’s spell components. A chest in the room proved to be a mimic, which the crew destroyed and then plundered. They took a number of books and scrolls, but no one wanted to put on a ring still sitting on a skeletal finger.
Next the group traveled up another deck, where they were promptly ambushed by the draw crew that they had been searching for. The draw had armed to the gnome slaves with crossbows and were making them fire at the pelicans. The crew jumped over the gnomes, some engaging the crow and others turning to attack the gnomes. When one gnome was injured, Tognar healed it, telling him to flee, and the other slaves ran as well, but not before Ragnot speared one on his fork and bit out its neck, taking the gnomes blood in his mouth to complete some sort of ritual.
The Pelicans fought on, now focused on the Drow, when another Drow dressed as an officer entered, followed by a stone golem. Magnus began to wrestle the golem, and the Pelicans focused on the officer, whose magic proved a formidable threat.
After a long and hard fight, the Pelicans were victorious. The golem alone remained standing at the end, the officer having dropped its command stone when he died. The Pelicans took control of the Golem and continued up to the command station.
At the top deck they found several disturbing pieces of information. One was that the ship was built by mindflayers, though it had been refitted to accommodate Drow. How the Dow had taken possession of the ship, or why it had been given to them, the Pelicans did not know. The other was that the Captain had escaped through a hole in the top deck which led into a tunnel below the gnome village.

XP:

Group Awards:

Golem: 1,000
Drow: 1,250
Noble Drow: 975
Deep Gnomes: 65
Mimic (killer): 2,000
Total 5,290

Individual Totals

Tognar 1458 (Comforter: 400, Group 1058)
Ragnot 1458 (Frog Maw: 400, Group 1058)
Magnus 1458 (Drow Toss: 400, Group 1058)
Flynnighan 1458 (Combat Roll: 400, Group 1058)
Kyrashi 1458 (Back!: 400, Group 1058)

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Strange New Worlds
In which the crew explores a crashed starjammer

Face to face with the healing powers of the orb, the crew ponder taking it, but decide that it would be a betrayal of the gnomes. As they prep to explore the temples below the gnome-world, a messenger comes in shouting about a crashed ship. The crew are sent with a handful of guards by queen Pomefrite Dandlewine to investigate.

The ship turns out to be a starjammer, which has fallen through the storm and crashed into the outskirts of the gnomeland. The crew crawl down into its crater, but the starjammer opens and Drow emerge, attacking the Pelicans. The queen’s guards panic and flee, but the Pelicans leap to battle. Margeth is hit with a pot of green goo that being eating through his clothes. Tognar hesitates, knowing that he must burn the goo away but frightened of lighting Margeth on fire. In the end he does it, though, and Margeth lives. The Pelicans retreat.

They head back to the temple of the orb to try to get reinforcements, but the queen has no more guards. They contemplate using the orb to make an army, but instead decide to turn Uno back to flesh. The Gnoll comes to life once again. Seeing the possibilities of the orb the group debates what to do with it. Uno leaps forward, trying to burn off the whole of the chaos storm by conjuring fireworks. It is not enough to eat away at the storm though, and Ragnot, frightened of Uno’s impetuousness and perhaps missing his silent stone friend, turns him back into rock.

The crew decide to try to learn more about the orb, and attempt to speak with Mr. Randolph, the gnome who founded the gnomeland, but the other gnomes avoid speaking about him. In the end, they learn that Randolph created the gnomes from the orb, and tha tthe gnomes themselves are limited by Randolphs orders at their creation. They cannot use the orb for destruction, only life, and they will never leave their home. They cannot question Randolph, either, or disagree with him, nor can they commit violence of any kind. This might have proved a problem, except that Randoph himself has been dead for years, a fact that the gnomes refuse to recognize. All that is left behind by the gnome reader is a bad novel based on his life.

Realizing that the orb is not safe in such a place, the Pelicans take it, deciding to return to the Drow ship and fight off the Drow crew.

At the Drow ship, battle resumes. The Pelicans attack with stealth, disabling the goo catapult. They route the starjammer crew, and kill several Drow and a Deep Gnome. They take one last Drow prisoner, but Flynnighan kills him while he helpless. Margeth tries to stop him, but is disarmed by his captain, and, when the Drow is dispatched, declares the killing to be wring. He leaves the group, walking back towards the gnome court.

The rest of the crew enters the ship and explore its decks. It seems empty, although, they know that some of the starjammer Drow retreated into it. They make their way down through a hold, finding a trapped false treasure. Every item is cursed or dangerous, and they quickly abandon it, although not before it results in bug swarms and poisons. They explore furhter, heading down into the bottom decks where they find a number of slaves. Most are deep gnomes, but one is a huge Half-Ogre named Magnus, taken from the Drow fighting pits to serve on the ship as cannon fodder.

Magnus helps the Pelicans kill a Drow who is sent to poison the slaves now that the ship ha crashed. The Pelicans decide to invite the Half-Ogre to join the party, promising him food and treasure (and freedom, though he doesn’t seem to care about that)

The crew then make their way forward, finding a secret compartment. It is prtected with more traps, and contains a trapper, a strange creature that looks like a rug and a treasure chest but that attempts smother Tognar. The crew fight it off and kill it, taking the very real treasure next to it.

They then head back up to the middle decks, finding the captains cabin. In it they find orders for an assault on the moon. They also find a number of poison traps, as well as a door that causes a click, though nothing seems to happen….

XP:

Group Awards:

The Man Behind the Curtain: 1,000
Drow: 1,250
Ballista: 650
Deep Gnomes: 140
Lurker: 2,000
Traps: 2,000
Total 7,040

Individual Totals

Tognar 1908 (Smothered: 500, Group 1408)
Ragnot 1908 (Handshake: 500, Group 1408)
Margeth/Magnus 1908 (Stoned/Wrasslin’: 500, Group 1408)
Flynnighan 1908 (Trap Trigger: 500, Group 1408)
Rhonda 1908 (Battle Mage: 500, Group 1408)

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Tales of Urth
i: the last diary of cena fabius

It is 13 weeks on the trail, so it is fitting to put thoughts now to paper. “The Thirteen” is what we are called now, tho we number 3x this. We are split into 3 camps, and we stay on the move, tho there is no sign of pursuit. The curs of Eddistone would rather forget us. I cannot forget them.

3rd Camp is mine. There are 10 to 12 of us on a given night. The men call themselves ‘the last true knights’ when they think I cannot hear; they know I would not approve. It is a lie, a thing they tell themselves to settle their nighttime minds. The Barrow Knights are finished, we have been since Sir Aloysius died — the 1st time he died — on the field settling this damned country. It was a battle, and a death, all for nothing.

The old banners tear and moulder. The songs are still sung, but the words change a bit at a time. They are not written down. When we fled the burning of the 12 Barrows we brought nothing — none of the old books, the scriptures, no family items of succor or comfort. We had been out training, not realizing we had packed for the rest of our lives. That old life in the Barrows is a dream now. Eddistone was a nightmare. And what is this, what is now? The present-day. We take food from farmers and claim it is our right. In the morning their daughters are in tears at the sight of my men. Who are the soldiers and who are the beasts? Who is a knight without a castle? What is the difference between lordless knights and brigands?

2nd Camp: we hear their howls and screams of laughter as the sun sets. Bugbears, a score. 2 ogres, thankfully, for once they were 4. Orcs. Orcs! I am company + commander to orcs. How is this the life of the son of Fen Fabius?

The 2nd’s commander is a gnoll named Xot. He used to be chaplain, or some kind of priest-doctor, sniveling but polite. But as his stature grew so did his boldness, & the volume of his cackling. The previous commander disappeared one night, and Xot took his place. He know openly wears a new sigil, a skull with one eye. When asked its meaning + purpose he says “nothing.” When asked who it represents he says “no one.” He denies he was Pomarj, as do all of 2nd Camp, but what else could they be? How else are so many northern creatures so far south?

1st Camp is that of Gorge Entome, his closest followers, and his dread knight, Sir Robert Husk.

Sir Husk. From whence did he come? It seems for the world that when we came to this country he was already here, waiting for our arrival. Expecting us, & the desperate men we would become. He is always armored & he smells of the grave. I am afraid of him & I will no more about it.

Sir Entome is changed. The men say it is because of his imprisonment at Cano, but this is not so. I knew him before this, and after. He was shook by his time there, but he was still the same man, and good. This new change settled on his heart after the witch died, killed by the Grudgewood assassins. After the 2nd death of Sir Aloysius. Sir Entome darkened then, in pallor & in thought.

He still wears his old armor but he has added a robe of red & purple, like the witch wore and the risen Aloysius. His voice is the same, gruff but reedy, but his words have changed. They are ~ ~ older? The expressions are strange. “It is cold as a holiday morning.” What does that mean? What holiday? “The mill’s wife is displeased” he will say, when the morning mist will not lift. The expressions so strange, but he says them as if I should know them. None dare ask their origin or meaning.

He is like the Risen Aloysius in this way, and one other: his right eye is less alert than his left. This was never true of Sir Entome before. It was not true of Sir Aloysius before the fall, but it was true of him Risen. I assumed it was some side effect of the time between worlds, the time which changed him in so many ways.

But now Sir Entome too? Strange words, strange company. The eye!

What I suspect, what I fear, I dare not write down lest I commit to burning this diary after I write it. The fear that it is not Sir Entome at all, tho it is his body. That it was not Sir Aloysius risen, tho it was his body.

The fear that a spirit inhabits what was once Gorge Entome, an old spirit with only one good eye.

I have chosen this path. I ride with the Thirteen now. I am Cena Fabius, once a Knight of the Barrow, and once a good man. Now I am neither.

To the flames with these pages & I will never write another thought. There is no past & no future, only now.

Perhaps I am already dead.

Perhaps I am no one at all.

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Strange New Lands
In which the Crew of the Pelican rediscover the Gnomeland

The Pelican continues further off track. It is another day before the crew realizes how far off course they have drifted. They are far west of their intended course, well inside the old radius of the Chaos Storm. By the time they correct, the storm wall is in sight. Even in its weakened state, the Chaos Storm is enormous, but the crew are able to correct their course before they come close enough to be threatened by it.

Their new course brings them on a course parallel with the edge of the storm, and before long, the crew spots something strange. There seems to be a gap in the storm front, a gap that holds steady in the swirling wind of the storm. Examining this strange phenomenon gives no immediate answers—the calm spot in the storm should be impossible given the strength of the winds around it—but the calm area seems to form a kind of tunnel through the storm. And the tunnel is large enough that ship could sail into it.

A vote is taken. The ayes, led by Captain Flynnighan, win out, and the ship turns into the tunnel.

It is smooth sailing at first, although Margeth reaches up from the crows nest to skim a hand through the clouds of the storm, and his hand is magically changed. Afters hours of sailing, though, the boat is rocked by something in the water. Huge lengths of scaled wyrm rise out of the ocean to wrap up the ship, and three gigantic heads emerge form the waves. The crew responds by running to Arms. Martgeth barks out orders as the ship begins to drift towards the storm, and the crew pulls it back on track, but then he is blasted from the rigging by a One of the head’s breath. He falls but lives.

Tognar, from the privacy of his secret balcony, makes another head panic for thirst, but in doing so, he draws the ire of a third. Ragnot jumps on it, but not before another blast hits Tognar.

Flynnighan swings into battle with the first head at the end of a rope, but misses and skeres Margeth instead. The head bites him, nearly cutting him in two.

The Pelicans are able rally, though. Ragnot skewers a head, and Flinnighan and and Margeth strike as well. Kyrashi, having leapt from the shop, attacks from the water, where he sees that the wyrms body is a tangle of knots. It seems as though several of the worms have been knotted and fused by the storm into one terrible beast. Kyrashi cuts into the monster where its bodies join.

The beast pulls itself apart in end. The ship is damaged, but able to continue, and eventually the crew spots land.

By nightfall, the beach they’ve sighted is filled with torches. The crew launches boats and waves a white flag of parley. They are greeted by gnomes.

A long meeting later, they find that some of the gnomes of the Underdark escaped, using the orb (the very one sought by the Pelican’s old Captain) to calm the chaos storm. While they were safe from the storm, they were unable to navigate within it, and after wandering the storm, they settled in a ruined human city. The city became a safe haven for the Gnomes, and they used the orb to carve out a community, channeling chaos to build a life out of the storm.

Their Queen, Pommefritte Dandlewine, welcomes the crew, bidding them stay in this safe haven and hide from the terrors of the world. The Crew, though, asks instead for adventure, and the Queen invites them to explore the old chaos twisted tunnels beneath the Gnomeland, where the secrets of the old human kingdoms still lie buried.

XP:

Group Awards:

Sea Wyrm(King): 4,000
The Storm: 1,000
Total 5,000

Individual Totals

Tognar 1234 (Private Balcony: 400, Group 834)
Ragnot 1234 (Wyrm Ryder: 400, Group 834)
Kyrashi 1234 (Dive Bomb): 400, Group 834)
Margeth 1234 (“Take the lines!”): 400, Group 834)
Flynnighan 1234 (Critical Condition): 400, Group 834)
Rhonda 1234 (Captain’s Orders): 400, Group 834)

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Tognar's Room

tognarsroom.jpg

Few aboard the Pelican know that before it had her name, before Captain Tencoppers, she was a pleasure boat for Prince Earnest of the Goblin Kingdoms. The entire ship had since been re-fitted, but concealed behind a false wall, remnants of Prince Earnest’s quarters remained. A private balcony, that had since been covered, beautifully detailed in rosewood; it was perhaps twice the size of even the captain’s quarters, and even offered a personal built-in toilet. It was Tognar’s escape, and perhaps the only thing that brought him calm on days like today. This space was also his most closely-guarded secret, something Tencoppers had taken with him to the grave. On the outside, Tognar kept a modest bunk with a couple indoor coreopsis and hyperium to keep up appearances, while at night, or when the crew was ashore, he would disappear into his inner sanctum, to drink wine and read romance novels.

Tonight was different. Something was troubling him. Still weak from burns he suffered in the fight ashore, he drank his curative ale and tried to get up to write.

“Six dead men, laying around a sabre.”

But it was the way in which their bodies were positioned that bothered him. Almost as if they were trying to get to the sword but couldn’t. Arms outstretched; like they were being blown back by a tremendous amount of force, determined in their moment of death to reach this one point on Urth—from six different angles, forming a six pointed star.

Tognar straddled Uno’s shoulders and watched from the ship as his brother threw rocks at the blade, yarling like a baboon in mating season. Ragnot was just getting started. This could go on for hours. He knew, like his brother, that something about what happened here—about how those sailors died…had something to do with that sabre!

There was something else that was puzzling Tognar, something he kept to himself. All six dead sailors had cut their own throats.

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Beautiful Strangers
In which the Pelicans are charmed to meet someone

The Pelican sets out at last! The ships hold is full; the new crew is ready; the course is plotted. But the crew of the Pelican’s run into trouble when they drift off of their new course. They do not realize it, but almost immediately, their ships begins to drift off of their plotted track, and after sailing for some days, they are far from their goal.
A strange thing happens as they sail the open ocean—a voice drifts over the waves. Flynnighan and a number of crewmen seem transported, and the captain orders the ship to come about and sail towards the beautiful singing. In a matter of moments, an island is sighted, and crewmen begin leaping off the ship, including Flynnighan and Tognar, who sees what looks like a beautiful frog-mermaid on the rocky beach of the island. Ragnot swims after his brother and Margeth takes control of the ship, saving it from being wrecked on the rocks surrounding the Island.
Flynighan and a group of sailors end up on shore, though, where the Sirens (because of course they are sirens) begin to feed on them. Battle is joined and Flynighan’s mustache is sliced from his face, but the sirens are defeated when Margeth orders a broadside to fired from the ship’s balistas.
The Pelicans then begin to explore the beach, finding treasure in the shipwrecks around the siren’s lair. Margeth finds a sword as well, but when he picks it up it bites him, and he decides to bury it.
After some debate, Rhonda insists that the Captain take charge and lead them into the interior, where Kyrashi hopes to find any surviors of the Siren’s call.
Instead, they find a pair of floating tentacles monsters. Ragnot attacks one, and the Xantravars give chase. Battle is joined, explosions are set off, and the day is saved.
Wary of finding more of the monsters, the crew decides to leave the island once more. Before they leave, though, Ragnot digs up the magic sword. For some reason, though, he cannot touch it. He tries to destroy it instead, but it wriggles away, almost like a long snake or a worm. He leaves it on the beach and swims after the crew, who were rowing back out to the ship in their long boat.

XP:

Group Awards:

Xantravar: 1950
Sirens: 1,950
Total 3,900

Individual Totals

Tognar 1050 (Attention to Detail: 400, Group 650)
Ragnot 1050 (Swordbasher: 400, Group 650)
Valdus 1050 (Holding: 400, Group 650)
Kyrashi 1050 (Bodyguard: 400, Group 650)
Margeth 1050 (Broadside: 400, Group 650)
Flynnighan 1050 (Charmed by a Lady: 400, Group 650)
Rhonda 1050 (Off the Map: 400, Group 650)

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