Muddled Pasts - Pathfinder 3.5

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First Post
Interlude: Ritual of Atonement

((OOC: So I had Kat run through the attunement ritual for her sword Hadarga. I figured I’d do it away from the table to save us all some time on Monday’s session. So herein lies that account. Oh and yes, Kat actually did roll a 20 on the third attack when she went beserk. I couldn’t have asked for better timing on that 20. ))

It was a brisk October morning as Tofa and Grezz set out from Magnidaar. A cold wind swept off the Varisian Gulf as the pair rode along the coastal road toward Sandport. No bandits interfered with their progress, perhaps it was the close proximity of Magnidaar, or perhaps the fact that accosting two heavily armed strangers is usually hazardous to one’s health. In any event, they reached the sea cliffs of Whitewall just before dark, and struck camp in a sheltered hollow.

As the morning sun broke the horizon, Tofa and Grezz had already struck camp, and they began the arduous climb to the top of the cliffs. Tofa crawled her way up the steep slopes, seeking handholds among the weathered stone. Grezz, not trusting his grip in the sea spray, muttered a quick incantation, and slowly rose to the top of the cliff. Once there, Tofa went about clearing a scenic spot on the bare stone which overlooked the Gulf. Under Grezz’s instruction, she took a hammer and chisels and painstakingly carved a large sihidron rune into the chalky cliff, and adorned each of the seven points with an oxtallow candle. When finished, Tofa drew Hadarga and sat in the center of the rune, the blade across her lap. Grezz sat nearby, watching the ritual, and making notations in his worn diary. Tofa quaffed a mug of the blessed hoarflower mead, and began to chant the mystic phrase gleaned from the tales of old. Slowly, her mind focusing inward, she slipped into a trance.

Tofa found herself standing naked on a long cold beach, the longsword Hadarga in her right hand. The beach was a desolate expanse of black sand covered by rotting seaweed, and the smell of rotten fish pervaded the air. Inland, the shore gave way to thick conifers, their dark green boughs undulating steadily in the damp sea breeze. Suddenly from behind Tofa, a deep rhythmic voice boomed across the wastes.

I am Hadarga Heregos. Bonebreaker. Marrowdrinker. Jotenslayer. Who are you to stand before me?

Tofa spun around, her sword held ready. Behind her, knee deep in the surf stood a veritable colossus. The huge figure was easily 40’ tall, with thick perversely twisted legs and an obscenely muscular frame. His head was small, looking very strange compared to his hulking body. Two tiny, pure white eyes looked out from above a massive white beard, woven with the skulls of kings and defeated champions. Tofa, to her credit, stood her ground, rendered momentarily speechless by the appearance of the titan.

Again the creature spoke: “Well it appears a mouse has entered my kingdom, who are you to stand here before me?

This time Tofa found her tongue, and standing straight and proud declared “I am Tofa Thryndottir, of House Hrafn!!”

The Titan stared down at Tofa, his beady eyes appraising her for the first time. “You are the one who Slew Njal Bloodaxe, a small and weak king was he. I do not believe you are worthy of me”.

Tofa started back at the giant, “You thought he was weak, yet here you are, trapped within a blade that I heard was made of your own bones. If you are are so strong, why are you still here? And where is ‘here’?

“That is of no consequence!”roared the hulking creature.

What is of consequence is that you find me unworthy. Worth must be proven and earned, just as respect must be. What would you have me do to prove my worth then? What task would you set before me? I may not be worthy now, but I can become so.” Tofa replied calmly.

Tasks? Words?” the titan snapped, “You chose to sway me with words? You squawk like a raven! The southlands have made you soft! No? Am I wrong? Then prove it little one. Show me that the blood of the Hrafn has not become as weak as watered wine!”

With that Heregos swung a massive open palm toward Tofa, but quick as a snake she ducked under the blow and struck a reply with Hadarga. The sword hit huge fingers but failed to penetrate the thick hide.

Heregos struck again, his backhand slamming into the barbarian and throwing her back like a rag doll. Even as the blow struck her, Tofa reversed her grip and hewed two-handed at the tree trunk wrist, but again the blade barely scratched the terrible creature. Picking herself up,Tofa spat out a mouthful of sand, and braced for the next onslaught

The titan roared, “Not good enough! Is this all you are? Is this all you have to offer me? I, who have stood in the right hand of kings, shall not bow to one so weak!"

With that Heregos’s threw his weight into the next blow; his hand shot forward, this time balled into a gnarled fist. Tofa was ready for it. As the fist came crashing down, she dove to the side and spun. Rage filled her vision and screaming she lunged, putting all her power into one mighty blow. Driven by all her might, the sword bit deep, and Tofa pushed the blade clean through the titan’s hand.

The descending hammer blow never fell. The fist stopped a foot above her head, the ichor of the monster pouring down her unprotected arms. The beast’s eyes narrowed, and it withdrew the hand. “Now I begin to see. The fires of your ancestors do still flow in your veins.”

The Titan Heregos turned and gazed out over the dead realm. “Long have I been away from the northlands. My realm has grown warm. I crave the biting cold of a glacier’s heart once more. Give me this and I shall grant you my inexorable strength”.

The scions of my hated foes still walk the land. I long to taste their warm blood, to bite their flesh, and crack their bones. Give me the still beating heart from a true son of Kostchtchie, and I will grant you my wrath”.

I despise cowards and weaklings. Long have I traveled the mortal realm. I have given my strength to great kings, mighty heroes, terrible villains, and powerful champions, and through them I have seen what true strength can achieve. Only through mighty deeds of boldness and courage shall you prove your worth to me. Let the skalds sing of your true mettle until history ends. Only then, after you have given me everything you were, everything you are, everything you could be, will I grant you my soul”.

Do these things and I shall be pleased. We will talk once more”.

And with that the world began to dim, and Tofa found herself sprawled on the ground, once again in the world of the living. Grezz was standing over her, violently shaking her shoulder. The sun had set, all the candles had all burned out, and the only light which could be seen came from a softly glowing blue rune on Tofa’s wrist, where the Titan’s blood had made its trail.


Session #25 - February 21, 2011 - I Can Only Imagine the Honeymoon

notes: Grezz the boom-boom sorcerer finally behaved like a boom-boom sorcerer. Scorching Ray is a wonderful spell when, you know, you actually hit with it. Good group tactics helped make two difficult fights manageable and Trixie made some great decisions that both stymied the enemy and made us new friends. Everyone else made 7th level by the end of the night. I settled on Greater Fortitude for my bonus feat, Expanded Arcana for my level feat and Haste and Fireball for 3rd level spells. the group also spent the ridiculous amount of cash we'd earned. I grabbed a headband of mental superiority and a lesser rod of disruption. The rest of my money went to wedding gifts (goblin slaying arrows from me, and rings of shared thoughts from all of us).

Don't invite us to your celebrations, though. We may be big spenders, but all sorts of bad :):):):) happens around us.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

Back in my Academica days (which seem so very long ago now) I was having lunch with Nortlan one day when he looked up from his meal and said, "You're going to be destruction personified, you know."

I'd stopped toying with my chicken stew and raised an eyebrow. "Uhm, what?"

"You were part of my seeing in my Oracle class this morning. I saw you swathed in electricity and fire, your skin covered with something that might have been mold, tossing balls of energy around with an angry look in your eyes. At least, that's what I thought I saw."

"Isn't that with Professor Tanthalas, where he gives you a hallucinogen?"

Nortlan shrugged. "Just telling you what I saw, Grezz. It doesn't make sense, because you're a pretty lousy wizard."

My powers hadn't manifested yet, so he was only being accurate. "Maybe I'm destined to be an alchemist instead."

"Just telling you what I saw. Are you going to eat that apple?"

I'd followed up on the alchemy part - in fact I'd spent the better part of a month locked away in the basement of our new cottage on Hidemarch Estate with my cauldron of brewing and a spell to aid me in creation. It had gone reasonably well, as i managed to produce several batches of silver weapon blanch and several doses of the hangover cure known as Alchemist's Friend. Not too shabby. But Nortlan's prediction, well, ever since the fight with the lamia I'd felt different - more powerful. Certain spells I'd never been able to get the handle on at school now seemed like things I'd be able to cast now with ease. This was all in theory, of course, because I didn't think it would be cool wandering around our new digs tossing fireballs.

Yeah, new digs. The last remaining Foxglove, the sister in Corvosa, had laid claim to the townhouse, but we'd been fortunate in timing as Hidemarch bestowed our probationary Pathfinder status on us, allowing us to move into a cottage. The month fairly flew by and suddenly it was time to head back near Sandport for Shalue and Belden's wedding.

We bought gifts and spent a lot of money on ourselves as well. I picked up a handy headband and fondly laid my longspear aside, opting instead for a staff that could give my spells a little something . . . disruptive. Trixie went out one morning muttering about buying a wand of fireballs and came back bouncing on her toes. I was elbow deep in blanch but she kept pestering me until I stopped and let her show me what she'd gotten.

"Here!" She handed me a rod. "It can make fireballs!" She was beyond excited.

"Yes, that's -" I stopped and used magical sight to look it over. I'm not as skilled as Londis at detecting the nature of things and people but the thing was practically dripping chaos. "is this . . . is this a rod of wonder?"

"Yes! You can't IMAGINE all the things it can do!"

"Oh, I can. We had one of these at the Academica in the 'Unpredictable Magic' lab." i was about to go on but saw how happy she was and instead said, "It's very nice. Please don't use it if I'm standing in front of you."

She gave me an affectionate swat on the head as she grabbed it back, humming as she bounced off. Well, she'd still be cute even if she turned herself purple.


The wedding was in a small town south of Sandport and promised to be a good time. Trixie and Tofa were bridesmaids, along with baker Alma and Lyssa of the Guard, and they had to make some sort of baked good for an auction during the reception. the real prize was getting to eat said item with the baker and the money went to the happy couple.

Tofa produced some decent looking cookies and of course Alma created masterpieces, but Trix, well, hers didn't come out so well. She was going for a souffle but it soufell and kinda sorta looked like a cowflop. I didn't doubt that it wasn't going to matter, as men would be happy to bid just for time with her.

There was quite a collection of people there. Some full elves, a lot of farmers, and a very pale gnome named Tenzechial. It was explained to me that some gnomes lost their coloration as they lost their creativity. Creepy. He seemed somewhat unpleasant as well, surly and irascible. I tried to talk to him for a bit, out of politeness, but it was like trying to juggle beehives.

The ceremony went well, presided over my Father Xanthis. The booze and food were both in ample supply at the reception and Trixie, flirting with the local guys, looked as if she was feeling no pain. I introduced myself to Cassaviel and Kenthema, two elven women, who were peering at a horseshoe pit with undisguised curiosity. I offered to teach them how to play and Firedrin joined us. They weren't very good and we whipped them twice before they thanked us and wandered away. After they left I felt a hand pat my back.

"Grezz, you just don't have a clue, do you?" It was Trixie. I handed her a dose of Alchemist's Friend and she fired it down.

"What? It takes time to learn horseshoes, I'm not surprised they weren't very good."

She rolled her eyes. "No, you dope, they didn't want to learn how to play, they wanted you to show them how to play." At my blank expression she grabbed a horseshoe and got behind me, taking my hands in hers. "See, they wanted you to do this, to show them how like this, not like you were giving a lecture."

I was acutely aware of how her body felt firmly pressed up against mine as she 'showed' me how to toss a shoe. Ahem. At least my blush could be explained away by exertion.

The auction was . . . my friends make everything interesting. Tofa was won by Farmer Grump, survivor of the ghoul attacks, which disappointed several of the local boys who were quite taken by her. He cared nothing about the cookies and everything about her cleavage. Meltoria, the maid of honor, went to Firendrin but escaped unscathed, while Londis - yes, Londis - bid to win both Alma and Lyssa. He then proceeded to unleash a hellfire-type sermon about their wicked ways while I watched in slack-jawed amazement. of course.

There was a phalanx of young men who were hopped up to win Trixie's, uhm, baked thing, but the bidding quickly rose above their level. The gnome took an interest in Trixie and she made it obvious I wasn't to allow this to happen. I was in a tough spot here because if I bid on Trixie and didn't allow her to be won by someone she was interested in she'd lay into me yet again, but the gnome was clearly not an option. unfortunately he was well-heeled and the bidding was soon up in the high 20's - of gold! An elf named Galthieth joined in as well, and I figured she'd like that so I let him win.

The gnome was pissed and stormed off. I tried to go after him but he cursed at Dibbler - yeah, he was there too - and pretty much just vanished. he was ticked at C.M.O.T. over a business deal, but evidently he was just pissed in general because as Trixie took the stage to sing the wedding was suddenly under attack - by swarms of giants bees and creatures that appeared to be made of plants. The gnome's maniacal laughter rang out as he did some crazy talking promising retribution - turns out the runt wasn't even invited! Some people . . .

The plant things - spriggans - suddenly got a lot bigger as I webbed a swarm of bees (and Firendrin, unfortunately). Belden pulled the dwarf out as Londis smashed the captive bees with a flaming table - did I mention all our weapons and armor were in Tofa's bag of holding, since it was a wedding?

I tossed my first fireball at 3 huge spriggans, blasting two of them. Firedrin rose in the air and shot a burning spray, and behind me I heard trixie singing. the creatures didn't like fire so i hit them again, and then the bees and a spriggan hit me. Several times. I felt decidedly ill (OOC: failed a save, got poison that cost me 2 point of CON and thus 7 hits. i was at 4 hits when the fight ended, of course being too stupid to run). As we finished off the creatures it appeared that two guests had succumbed to death via bee stings, and Shalue was pissed. She stormed off to get her gear while Belden looked to us to stop her. "Please, she'll go off by herself. Can you take care of this for us?"

We could, but some wanted to wait a bit while Firendrin use d a magically sped up sleep pattern to regain his spells. We took off upriver into a thick, unnatural fog, looking for the gnome and a druid who might be able to help us. As we entered a clearing a naked woman ran from another direction and, seeing us, dropped to the ground.

'Help me," she said.

Firendrin healed her up as best as he could and we learned she was Bryna, a dryad of the 2nd world in bad shape. Creatures had attacked her grove and killed most of her sisters, and she begged us to try to save them. We agreed and headed off, carrying her but for naught as she died in the dwarf's arms.

We came into another clearing and found a nightmare - more spriggans burning trees and torturing a dryad and a horse. We rushed in, with me popping a Haste spell and smiling as my friends blurred into action. The creatures clearly intended to burn the captives alive but Trixie stunned them into inactivity with a song. Londis and Tofa charged into battle, and I finally managed to hit not one but two creatures with Scorching rays.

Then I saw the troll. I'd seem pictures in textbooks but nothing can prepare one for the actual size and hideousness of the creatures. I wasted no time in blasting him with a ray of his own (OOC: Crit, baby. Hello, Mr. troll, please have a quick 36 points of fire damage and oh, by the way, that spell was disruptive as well. Oh, and here's a fire elemental to keep you company). Firendrin did some zapping as well as Trixie freed the horse - I mean, the unicorn - and we poured it on. Somehow, it was quickly over and we tried to comfort a wounded dryad as Trixie summoned water elementals to save her tree. This wasn't okay. Our gnome friend had a lot to answer for.

Now we just had to find him.

more notes: we just blitzed the troll and it was never really able to get going against. Trixie's saving of the unicorn was a great move as it would have gotten pitched into the fire if she hadn't fascinated two spriggan just as combat started - her bard abilities are pretty impressive. Trixie and Tofa got their bridemaids presents before we left, a dwarven repeating crossbow and a silver elven dagger, respectively. Trixie rolled a 3 for her baking check and a 1 for her drinking at the wedding. i believe she actually fell off the stage the first time she climbed up. Grezz's CHA is now a 20 but I'm still playing him as having absolutely no idea he's attractive, as evidenced by his horseshoe debacle, although I can't be blamed for rolling 20, 18, 19, 17 for my throws.

Oh, and dryad trees are portals into the Fellnight. Can you see the noose tightening around Grezz's neck?
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Session #26 - February 28, 2011 - Icy you, Water youdoing?

notes: Hoo. We're in a bit of a spot at this posts end, though not as bad as I originally thought because for some reason I was convinced I only had 3 3rd level spells castings as opposed to the 5 I actually do. This was a session made epically more difficult but poor rolls and highlighted by both excellent and questionable tactical decisions. It's almost unfair to offer me a shot at some random item that might have a positive effect, I'm a total sucker for those. If the Deck of fate or the Knucklebones show up Grezz is in big trouble.

Dinner was burgers with bacon and cheese embedded (I know, right?), a delicious homemade pasta salad and leftover Darth Vader birthday brownie.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'Rethen:

Ever watch a semi-naked dwarf age 60 years in a matter of seconds? It wasn't on my list of must-sees but Firendrin did it in front of me anyway, for reasons I chose not to ask about. it's better that way.

We headed off upriver to try to find the druid Davere's mound. I'm not exactly at my best in the woods and after a few hours of wandering around I was tired and irritated. Plus I had a pounding headache that was making the earth shake beneath my feet.

Actually, that turned out the be the treant.

The drunk treant.

It lumbered into a clearing we were in, flailing angrily and mattering about an attack. We managed to control our usual 'destroy at first sight' impulses and decided to make friends instead. It didn't go well at first - Firedrin got himself knocked silly before delivering a healing hex - but after Trixie suggested I go pour the rest of my Alchemist's Friends on the thing's roots it became much friendlier - well, it stopped stomping around trying to crush everything (OOC:Totally Trixie's idea, and a good one. I dismissed it originally, fearing the potions would be too small, but she insisted and was correct. I'm okay with being wrong). As we'd figured, the Fellnight was making an all-out push to return to the First World. The local Fey Court was going to meet soon to see what could be done, but it didn't look great. the Thainguard was fraying and the Cerrulean Guard was nowhere to be found, if they still existed. Vinroot - that was the treant - agreed to get us in the right direction, and offered us some of his Ent-drink.

Of course I had some, as did Tofa. It, uhm, packed a punch, to say the least, and I watched in wonder as thick bark spread along my body (OOC: Grezz suffered -2 to wisdom but gained +3 natural Armor and grew and inch. the latter was permanent. he is now 6'5" and 155 pounds. heh).

We were able to follow Vinroot's directions and find the mound. We tossed the dust of appearance and as the grove came into view the mound just . . . surged with power, filling my body, my being, with raw energy (OOC: those who made the save gained two temporary caster levels. Those who failed were dazed. then there was Tofa, the barbarian . . .). Tofa dropped like a rock and suddenly the sky was filled with ravens, which flew for a few seconds before diving into her forehead and disappearing. She woke up confused and muttering about 'voices in her head.' Which is fine, because we weren't worried about her sanity anyway. Not at all. Nope. (OOC: this became a neat RP way to introduce Tofa multiclassing into Oracle, with eyes on one of the prestige classes.)

The grove was quiet and we advanced cautiously. Londis spotted a pit trap that contained canine bones and a collar. A cabin stood before us and Londis' never-ending judging of peolel probably saved us as his Detect Evil detected, well, evil. The man who answered the door seemed innocent enough, except for the eyes rolled back in his head and the stink of malice. Londis yelled, "We see you, evildoer!", at which point our presumably possessed druid turned into a treant or something like it. I figured a Protection from Evil spell would snap him out of it but lost concentration (OOC: a 1 on my defensive casting concentration check. Unreal).

Then Trixie, clearly terrified by the size of the tree, let loose with her rod of Wonder, which behaved like a rod of Fireballs. It nailed the druid, along with everyone else present except for me. Londis was able to do what I had planned, and his touch expelled a will'o'wisp from the druid. A couple of hacks by the martial types took care of it and we helped the druid regain his composure after several days in thrall (OOC: this battle almost went very badly - the treant/druid actually made a trample attack that clobbered Grezz and Trixie and killed her badly burned gecko, but we'd missed Firendrin's Opp attack and his familiar did a tail slap that confused the creature and saved Shotsie's bacon).

As an aside, during our time on the mound Trixie noticed Londis' previously hidden holy symbol emblazoned with light and of course she recognized it - that of Tarog, a Lawful good Dwarven diety. An odd choice, indeed. I'd like to know the back story to that. In the meantime Tofa was continuing to mutter to herself about voices and while she seemed somewhat lucid, i was concerned about her.

Davere recovered quickly and healed us up (OOC: nice to get rid of the damn -2 to my CON from the bees), listening intently as we filled him in on the problems in the forest. he did some sort of talking with nature and confirmed that the Fellnight was in full-blown invasion mode, including Fell trolls and other bits of nastiness. He'd called for a full meeting of the Fae Court and all the species within. We were invited as well, but it wasn't taking place until the next sunset. Davere was going down to try to help Fiera the Dryad, and he asked us point blank to help in a different way. The unnatural mist that was covering the woods seemed to be coming from the river's source, a place called Deadman's Falls, and he thought we should look into it. With all of us low on spells we rested up overnight and delayed to given Firendrin time to recover as well (OOC: some trickiness regarding his ring of sustenance). He communed with his god or demigod or whatever the freakshow he worships might be, and after getting a few vague replies he asked us for help with questions. I suggested he ask if the gnome was important to the invasion and received an affirmative - good enough for me. the murdering little prick needed to face justice.

We found the falls with ease and the lake below it. Tofa went to the edge and stuck Hidarga in, and while she muttered the entire surface of the lake was suddenly covered with ice that looked to be a foot thick.

Then things showed up. First a massive water elemental right along the shore, followed by an equally large ice elemental. it was entirely likely they were making the fog. it was also entirely likely they were going to try to kill us.

trixie pointed her rod and whooped in triumph, yelling out 'Yeah! Another fireball!'

there was no fireball. (OOC: she rolled the 'wielder is deluded into believing the next roll actually happened, and of course it was a fireball)

I, however, was perfectly happy to provide a pair of fireballs. Londis squared off against the water elemental and despite his courage seemed to be getting the worst of it. Tofa charged out on the ice and attacked the ice lemental, while Firendrin summoned a giant fire elemental - no, just an illusion of one. The ice elemental ignored it and swatted Tofa.

Between Londis and my fireballs we had the water elemental teetering, when suddenly I saw a somewhat battered Tofa rushing back to shore. The water elemental bellowed in rage, and trixie rushed forward to try to heal Londis before he was knocked silly yet again . . .

(OOC: we halted combat due to it being kind of late. I'm loathe to fire off any more 3rd level spells when we still have a summoner/illusionist out there to deal with, but I'm afraid scorching rays might not be quick enough. We're low on healing, of course, unless the witch memorized some cures, and this could be a very bad encounter for us if Londis gets knocked out and Tofa remains non-engaging. Then again, what fun would it be if it were easy?)


Session #27 - March 7, 2011 - I Thought Centaurs Were Half Horse, Not Half Chicken!

Notes: Ah, welcome to the night of Kit rolling 5 and under with great consistency. It was so bad that the characters started picking on Grezz for being incompetent. Poor Grezz. We managed to get ourselves in somewhat of a tricky situation, if you consider invading the Fellnight to wage war on a Fey queen who has her own sapling of the World Tree as a tricky situation. We also managed to run away from a fight, which is particularly difficult for overconfident PCs. Of course, if the foes had been made of gold or semiprecious stones this group would NEVER have run.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

All at once, I felt like an idiot. Moreso than usual, anyway. Before me Londis staggered on his feet after being battered yet again by the water elemental before us, and Trixie raced in on an unsteady Shotsie to bath him in healing light. Cursing my stupidity, I dug in a belt pouch as the inquisitor somehow dodged a massive blow and came up with what I wanted – the bloody Dust of Dryness we'd gotten from the dryad Fiera. Calling forth my mage hand I delivered the powder to the elemental, hoping I was remembering correctly from class what happens in this scenario.

I was. With a gurgling shriek the elemental simply boiled away, leaving behind a solid ball about the size of my fist (OOC: the GM ruled I needed not to roll a 1 to succeed. I rolled a 2. This was foreshadowing). One down, one to go.

Speaking of, the ice elemental seemed no too pleased by all this and unleashed some sort of freezing power again. My bones groaned in protest as it rippled all around us, and both Kina and Shotsie collapsed, rimed with frost. Then the thing slid through the layer of ice on the top of the lake as it it didn't exist. Wonderful.

Muttering to myself, I prepped a scorching ray, fire variety, and waited for the thing to resurface . . . waited . . . waited . . . There! My first ray went high and wide but the second was a direct hit and the thing bellowed in anger. Then Tofa stepped up and hit it with Hidarga, and for a second I saw the thing implode and send icy shards toward us . . . and then all of it, all of the freaking ice elemental, was sucked inside the blade. Tofa let loose a pretty mighty war cry, and we scanned around to find all was quiet, for now. Trixie managed to save her gecko from death's door and Kina seemed fine.

Soon we were poking around lake's edge, having found magical auras beneath the surface. Londis and then Firendrin dove in, and both surfaced with some of the missing wardstones. The rest were in some sort of bad and evidently responsible for creating the cloaking fog that covered the woods, so we gathered them all up with Trixie's haversack and Tofa's Bottomless bag, about 140 in all. I kept trying to figure out what they were and failing miserably, to my utter frustration (OOC: Grezz spent one of his 4 per level skill points on First World Knowledge, but three rolls produced a 1, 3, and 5, which meant I was useless). I wasn't helped by the constant harping of Trixie and Londis and after having my fill wandered off near the goat trail, absorbed in my own thoughts, and thus didn't see the horde of spriggans now lining the rim of the canyon (OOC: in the right place, being a sentry, and rolled a 1 for perception. More abuse from the players). The others saw them when I did and they all grew to super-spriggan size, and we fell back with looks of consternation. Well, not Londis, as he vanished, and not Firendrin, as he went airborne.

Our buddy Tanzekial's voice rang out, smug and mocking. “You're too late, foolish mortals! The ways are open and Queen Rhoswen shall soon rule this world! Now, leave the stones and perhaps we'll let you live!”

I couldn't see the little prick, but what he'd said made me sure he was lying about the stones. He still need them. I tried a lie of my own, yelling, “Call off your creatures or I'll teleport away with the stones! I'll be in the center of Magindaar in a matter of seconds!”

He laughed again, clearly not buying it (OOC: yeah, rolled a 2 on my bluff check. Awesome). Trxie managed to fascinate a few of them, but there were dozens, hundreds, and . . .

“TROLLS!” shouted Firendrin, pointing to the north. “RUN!” He then zipped away.

Discretion is the better part of valor and so on. Having already been hit several times by darts I ran as fast as I could toward Dead Man's Drop, hoping the others were following. As I reached the steep path alongside the drop I was suddenly facing the largest troll I'd ever seen (Okay, I've only seen one, but this one was much bigger). Before I could panic or curse or anything I heard “KINDNESS REPAID!” and saw a herd of unicorns charge into battle against the monster. “Jump down and mount up, friend!” yelled the unicorn we'd saved before, and that seemed like a fine idea. First, though, I let the troll have it with a pair of scorching rays, and this time neither one missed. The thing howled in dismay as the blasts hit while it was under furious assault from the unicorns, and as Trixie rode up to the ledge and leveled her rod of wonder –oh sweet Shelyn, be merciful - I leaped off, casting feather fall before I hit. Moments later I saw Shotsie climbing down the rock face of the drop before hearing 'SAVE ME' coming from over my head, and I flung another feather fall in that general direction (OOC: 65% chance to get the invisible Londis, that one was easy for once), sighing with relief when I saw muddy foot imprints a second later.

Shotsie came down riderless – no, wait. Shotsie had a rider, but it was a smaller version of Trixie, something I would not have thought possible. She was about 3 apples high now. I shook my head and mounted up but urged them to go back for Tofa and Firendrin. The troll vanquished, one of them rode up but quickly came back down, saying nobody was there. As the horde of spriggans came charging into view we were suddenly not there, instead back at Davere's grove. And just in time for a war council meeting, it seemed. Londis announced our presence by dumping runestones on pixies, which didn't go over well and would have gotten ugly if not for the pixie-sized Trixie, who caught the eye of the wee folk, especially the Mac Back Fegals.

Tofa and Firendrin turned up a few hours later – the dwarf had dimension doored them away from immediate danger and they'd made their way back overland. We sat amidst the fae and other creatures of the woods, and Davere implored us to sway them to our side to help stop Rhoswen. As mortals we could use the runestones to restore the Faenguard and also possibly render Rhoswen's sapling inert, or at least weaken it. And so we set to task. Trixie had clearly swayed the pixies, but she was also clearly not interested in doing anything else for the next few hours. We already had the dryads, unicorns, and treants on our side, and I approached Queen Arpha. I was told she was dampening her powers and yet it was still almost impossible to look at the nymph. To my relief she was open to my ideas, and I feel any resistance she put up was merely for show – she didn't want Rhoswen here either. The King was also swayed by Tofa, and Firendrin managed not to freak out the Wood Elves too much.

That left the centaurs, who came in wanting to side with Rhoswen and not shy about saying so. They were pissed about loggers encroaching in the forest, but Londis wasn't buying it and used his unusual style of diplomacy, mainly buy calling them cowards and insinuating they needed to hide behind trolls because they couldn't handle 15 year old humans with axes by themselves. Suffice to say, we didn't get their support (OOC: this was actually pretty hysterical as Londis' player just continued to heap the abuse on them, going so far as to borrowing chalk from Grezz to make graffiti on the standing stones of centaurs running from tiny stick figure humans).

With a day or two to prepare we're considering a run to Sandpoint to get some iron and whatnot, and also perhaps some research. We need Rhoswen's staff (or the sapling itself) to reactivate the Fainguard, a daunting task.

But. Also.

The Fellnight. Queen Rhoswen's court where, if Medea's vision can be trusted, my mother is, bespelled, along with the one the Sister claimed to be my father. I've alerted our allies to them and asked for aid if possible, although I believe Loric might be able to hold his own in a fight. If we can contact the Winter Court it might be worthwhile to see if they'll lend assistance to regain their ambassador . . .

By Shelyn's Glory, are we really going to do this? Invade the Fellnight? The Mac Back Fegals did some scouting and drew us a rough map – once more into the lion's den, it seems.

And if I'm such a big damn hero, why can't I find myself a nice girl?


First Post
Trixie's Letter Home

Note: This letter was written by Trixie sometime between the events of Sessions 24 and 25.She just had to write home and tell her folks about her cool new toy...a pretty, shiny Rod of Wonder.

Dear Ma and Da,

Greetings from sunny Magnadar! I know, I know – I don’t write often enough, especially since I left the Troupe. The less said about that the better, but rest assured that I’ve found a new group of friends who seem to be genuine and not likely to betray my trust like that son of a whore Drann (sorry for the language, Ma) and his poxy slattern Alastrina (sorry again, Ma). We’ve been traveling around a bit and helping some people out…it’s really nice to feel like I’m a part of something good. It’s a little bit dangerous, but it’s like you always said, Da: what fun is life if you’re not out there living it?

To help my friends and me stay a little safer, I went shopping the other day for a fireball rod. (You wouldn’t believe how big the market here is! Streets upon streets of stalls and shops, selling everything you can imagine! It’s a little overwhelming, but also lots of fun.) I popped into a reputable looking shop and asked if they had a fireball rod in stock or maybe a lightening rod or something – you know, so I always have a little something ready, just in case. Well, the salesman was so nice, and he showed me they had a bunch of rods that did a bunch of really cool things: lightening, fireball, turn monsters to stone, invisibility…they have a rod for just about everything!

There were so many choices – I must’ve stood there for an hour trying to pick one. When he realized that I just couldn’t make up my mind, the salesman asked me to wait a minute, then scurried off into the back. We’ve had some crazy things happen to us lately, so I was getting ready to hightail it out of there but then the guy came back with the prettiest little rod you ever saw. It’s all swirly pink and purple and a little glittery and has little crystals around the middle. I asked him what it did and he said, “Oh, a little bit of everything.” I asked about fireballs and lightening and he said it did both, and also could make butterflies and turn people to stone! (Not real people, Ma, like trolls and ogres and stuff.) It cost a little more than the plain rods, but it’s SOOOOOO versatile -- it’s TOTALLY worth it!

The guy gave me some paperwork with the rod, but I think I must’ve lost some of it. I have a list that tells me all the cool stuff it’ll do, but not how to make it do a particular thing. I’m sure it’ll be fine, though – I can’t wait to try it out! Oh! I hear everyone coming back in now – gotta go show them my new awesomeness! Love and kisses to everyone – I’ll write again soon, I promise!


Trixie (The "i"s are dotted with little flowers.)


PS -- I almost forgot to tell you! I have the coolest, awesomest pet ever: a blue war gecko named Shotsie! She's the best -- I hope you get to meet her soon! Maybe we'll swing by the farm if we're out in that direction. Love you!


I'd like to note that Trixie's first two times using the rod produced a Fireball and then deluded her into thinking whatever she rolled next had happened, and it was another Fireball. It would have been awesome if she'd rolled another one the next time she used it (instead of shrinking to mini-mini Trixie) just so she could complain that the guy had ripped her off and sold her a rod of fireballs anyway.

I love having it in the group and knowing that Trixie is pretty much going to use it whenever she's near a large creature. Just because I'm playing neutral good doesn't mean I don't love me some chaos.


Session #28 - March 21, 2011 - Hannibal Smith was Right!

notes: after a week off due to illnesses and PAX hangover, we swung back into action and headed into the Fellnight. Allow me to set the scenario of the second battle for you - a 10th level evil druid gnome. Knows we're coming and is all buffed up, including Stoneskin. Surrounded by allies. High, defensible position. Waiting for foes who can't trust their fire abilities.

That little SOB was dead before round one ended.

I love it when a plan comes together. After the previous battle which we kind of screwed up a little we turned what could have been a brutal fight into a romp.

Now if only the rest goes as well. Ha! Dinner was Captain Crunch Chicken and salad.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

With a couple of days before the invasion of the Fellnight was scheduled to begin we made a quick run back to Sandpoint for supplies. We pretty much emptied the town of cold iron, having most of it made into arrowheads. Brodderick Quint didn't have too much to offer in knowledge about the Fey, but he seemed impressed with the task we were assuming. I apprised Amieko Kajitsu and Ethram Valdemars of the situation, adding my concerns about the effect the logging was having on the creatures of the forest. This of course had to do with the Scarnettis, but Valdemars scowled as it would affect his shipbuilding business as well.

We headed back to camp with a restored Trixie (on the first try, I should add) and found that a flight of giant eagles had brought an advance platoon of Cerulean guards. led by Lord Vellin Bellis, the 22 of them quickly began to harass the foes that had already crossed over while preparing for a counterattack. We were given a lone trooper for support, an amiable elf named Calephalas. He had a large bow and one of those crazy curved sword, and he regarded us with quiet amusement as we scrambled around to get ready. Before long we moved down to Fira's tree and stepped through to the Fellnight . . .

. . . and a welcoming committee. Two pixies immediately took off at our arrival, but the pair of trolls - one cave, one war - along with a pair of things I vaguely recognized as Ibixians were more than happy to stay and tussle with us. Londis charged immediately and vanished into a pit - I was able to Feather Fall him before he hit. The battle was joined in earnest.

I made a poor decision - I summoned a dog to harass an ibixian, but left myself within range of the cave troll's maul, and he sent me flying. To make matters worse the ibixian summoned a panther that tried to either maul or mount me, I'm still not sure - but in any case it learned the folly of grabbing me - I fed it a mouthful of lightning (OOC:crit on Shocking Grasp for 36 points of damage from a 1st level spell) and it exploded into a thousand tiny bits as Trixie healed me in a timely manner. The battle was a slog with extra-szed Londis and Tofa doing a lot of the smashing but we took them all down in exchange for bumps and bruises. Oh, and Trixie's crazy rod summoned a rhino. A RHINO.

It was pretty effective, I must say.

As we looted the dead (of course) the Mac Bac Feagals (or whatever they're called) showed up, grumbling because they'd missed the fight. They were like a rolling ball of blue menace.

"Aye," said the leader, "We found your wee pale gnome. He be up ahead in a clearing with some bees and whatnot." He looked at Trixie. "Ach, ye got yerself all embiggened, lass!"

"More of me to like, boys!"

That raised a hearty cheer before they agreed to show us the way there. As we drew closer we discussed a plan of attack that wasn't us charging across an open field and up a hill against a spellcaster and his minions. And, truth be told, we came up with a good idea.

I stood at the edge of the woods, peering through leaves at Tanzekial up on the hill. With him were two giant-sized spriggans, an enormous bumblebee, and a giant swarm of bees. And that's just what we could see. Next to me Trixie shifted her feet, looking odd not being astride Shotsie. She's left the gecko behind with Daverre, who was going to attempt to give the thing at least rudimentary intelligence. Calephalas was on my other side, bow out and arrow knocked. In a low tone he murmured "This plan is good. Don't screw up your part, sorcerer."

I gave him the hairy eyeball before quietly beginning my casting. Fire is a dicey thing in the Fellnight, and trying to make magic with it is like pushing against a wall of water. You've got a good chance of your spell just flat out failing.

Lightning, however, suffers from no such impediments, and my fireballs work just as well when I change them to lightning. Invoking the power of my staff I sent the ball racing toward them infused with disruptive magic as well, and it detonated just where I'd wanted it to. Before the aftershocks had faded Londis, Tofa and Firendrin popped into view around the reeling gnome, courtesy of the dwarf's Dimension Door. The warriors unloaded on the hapless druid, and even though I could see magic soaking up some of the damage they knocked him to and fro. A pair of pixies uncloaked into view, fired small weapons, then cursed loudly when they didn't vanish again. The gnome started to do something but Londis and Tofa hit him again and he went down hard.

The pixies fled, no doubt reporting our success to the next breach in the wall, and their allies fell quickly. We reassembled at the top of the hill with one of the gaps we needed to seal now in our possession and nobody badly hurt. By Shelyn's Grace I even had a good amount of spells left, and even Calephalas looked mildly impressed. No time for patting ourselves on the back, though - this was merely step one on a long, tough journey. meanwhile I had to hope that Rhoswyn didn't know about my relationship with Shamara and possibly Loric as well - why do I feel as if that's going to become an issue?

Oh, and Trixie used her rod again and turned herself blue. The Mac Bac Feagals are positively ecstatic.
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Session #29 - March 28th 2011 - 160 points? Really?

notes: Nothing better than a well-constructed character, as one encounter was made immensely easier but the inquisitor's fine choice in spells (or maybe it's a judgment, not sure) and the second made wildly unpredictable by our chaotic bard and her always interesting Rod of Wonder. If you're willing to accept the negative effects that are bound to turn up, that thing makes one into a fairly powerful mid-range spellcaster with infinite spells. yeesh.

The title will be explained in the post. When we buff up, we're pretty tough, it seems. Dinner was venison chili and three different kinds of cornbread.

From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

I spared an extra kick for Tanzekiel's mangled corpse. "Little jerk. How dare you ruin our friends' wedding? You think we saved a guy from being a ghoul just so you could have him get stung to death?" I shouldered his - correction, my - magic haversack and winked. "Thanks for the loot, though. I'll figure out what it is later."

I joined the others at the gap in the wall and, drawing wardstones from Tofa's bag and Trixie's haversack, we began to fix the hole. We were on edge for reprisal but nothing appeared. Still, we'd seen pixies when I first dropped my lightning ball and there was no sign of them now, so it's likely our position was compromised.

After a brief discussion we headed out inside the wall toward the other break in the warding wall. Rob Anyone and the rest of the Mac Bac Feagals managed to break off from their worship of Trixie long enough to head out on a scouting foray. After a few miles we spotted motion from something small up ahead, but before we could get a good look the things simply blurred out of sight. Later, when they were dead I recognized them as quicklings, nasty little things that can move so fast they effectively become invisible. The love to zip by and slice at you before zooming out of range again, all unseen, but they hadn't counted on Londis. The inquisitor had been the first to see them and when they vanished he casta a spell that rendered them visible when they got reasonably close to us.

This changed things, of course. Oh, they were still frighteningly fast and cut Firendrin up some, but it's certainly easier to hit something you can see as opposed to can't see, and soon one was pretty much a smear on the path. Another thing about quicklings is that, well, they're not too bright, and I guess they didn't know how to adjust their tactics to deal with us. As a result I was able to bury a bolt right between the eyes on of one of them. I'd like to say this means I have some great natural ability to kill on my first attempted shot, but the truth is I was still aiming when I underestimated how little pressure the trigger required.

I mean, it worked out well, and the others were impressed, so I didn't feel the need to share that with them, you know?

Rob Anyone came back with a report on the next gap - well guarded. In addition to a massive troll there were a pair of ibixians, a couple of fae elf armed with bows, and several spriggan. Firendrin didn't have another Dimension Door for the day - how these casters can have to choose their spells in the morning and have no versatility without losing their minds is beyond me - but, when prompted, mentioned that he did have his minor illusion spell. I made a suggestion that was improved on by Calafas, and the defenders of the gap were looking at what they thought was the road when suddenly we burst through the glamour.

Trixie is terrified by huge things. As soon as she saw the troll she cranked out the Rod of Wonder, and suddenly the troll and several of his allies were covered by a Stinking Cloud. Something that was not a troll started retching noisily. The battle raged around the edges of the smoke, although I threw probably the lamest little lightning ball I've ever conjured into it (OOC: 7d6 fireball and I roll 17 points of damage. Blerg). One of the archers hit Trixie a few times as she lobbed a pair of wardstones at the troll - they exploded to wreaths of flame as they hit and set the thing to howling. Tofa hopped the wall and charged the troll, screaming her head off as usual and with my Haste spell and several other aids on her absolutely devastated the evil thing (OOC: 70 points of damage in a single round without a crit. Barbarians like Haste, it seems). Trixie took another arrow and didn't look good, so i rushed over with a potion to save her.

That is, I tried to rush over, but a spriggan cast Entangle and my advance was pretty much stopped dead. Trixie shot me a glare as she healed herself, and by then the battle was pretty much over as Londis reduced a foe to paste (OOC: 90 points of damage in a single round, aided by a crit. Still, crit or not, 90 points. Jeez).

After healing up we fixed the wall, completing half our mission. We headed into the woods, letting the Mac Nac Feagles find us a good camping spot. I took the first watch with Trixie (and the besotted Feagles). Nothing occurred, and we nodded to Calafas and Londis I turned to Trixie.

"Before I go to sleep, do you want me to get rid of the blue?"

Her reaction was not what I'd expected. Hands on hips, she scowled at me and said, "What, am I not pretty because I'm blue?"

I gulped some air. "No, you're fine, I'm just asking if you want to -"

"I think I look great in blue. Why don't you think so?"

"I don't think you're . . uhm . . .I'm just offering -"

"I can't believe you, Grezz," she said before storming off, leaving me scratching my head. Behind me I heard Calafas chuckle and say in humor-tinted Elven, "Fool."

I don't understand most things women do or say, but Trixie, I don't understand that one at all.


Waking up, stretching in the morning, we heard movement in the surrounding brush before words rang out. Given the expressions of my friends none of them spoke draconic, but I knew what was being said: "Well, well, so these are the flies that have been bothering Queen Rhoswyn . . . "

Looks like I'll be the negotiator, assuming it doesn't just try to eat us all right away. A dragon. Swell.
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Session #30 - April 11, 2011 - Waste Not, Want Not

notes: I was so close. So close. I had sweet-talked the dragon and was close to getting out without a fight - then I had to put my kids to bed, and the chaotic neutral witch couldn't keep from insulting the thing, and soon it was battle time. Good teamwork - the buffers buffing and the bashers bashing - gave us the fight and allowed us to be super greedy YET AGAIN. But that's who we are. Still, we're 7th level and took down a CR10 monster with no deaths (although it was close), so let's call that an Epic win.

Off last week due to illness (We played 'Once Upon a Time' instead). Pot roast and baked potatoes for dinner. Oh and CREAMED DRAGON for dessert. Hiyoooooooo!

From the journal of Grezzalik M'rethen:

Right. A dragon. Wonderful. I muttered to the others, "If I scratch my ass hit it with everything you've got." Then I summoned up a smile and called out loudly in draconic, "Ah, there you are. We were wondering when you'd come see us. Would you like to join us for breakfast? Our bard was just about to play us some inspiring music. Trix?"

She gave me an odd look but started playing her kazoo, and I took heart from her song. From the dragon there was a moment or two of silence before it replied. "Yes, breakfast, that's just what I was thinking. The bard looks particularly tasty."

The bard, or her shiny rod? "Nah, she's only fun-sized." I ignored her outraged glare. "But seriously, I'm glad you're here, because I was meaning to ask you something, if I may."

"You were expecting me?" I wasn't sure exactly where the thing was, but I had a rough idea - up in a tree shrouded in darkness.

"Of course. We were briefed on all the truly powerful creatures in the Fellnight, and obviously you're one of them."

There was an approving snort. "Of course you were told of Kurnok the Mighty!"

I nodded, strolled a little closer to the sound of its voice. "Indeed. But that brings me to the question that's plaguing me, Kurnok. You are an immensely powerful creature, no doubt commanding respect and fear from all you encounter."

"Do you have a point, insignificant half-breed worm?"

"Well, I was just wondering why someone like you would take orders and bend a knee to the likes of Rhoswyn?" I waited a moment or two but heard only the creaking of Londis' armor as he edged past me, so I went on. "See, here's the thing - we're going to take out Rhoswyn. After that, we're out of here. And when she goes, there's going to be a vacuum of power created here. The right being would just be able to step right in and take over. It seems to me that perhaps we don't need to fight an, in fact, might be able to help one another."

I glanced at my friends, who were looking around nervously and fingering weapons. I shot them a smile I hoped was reassuring. From the woods I heard a squeaky voice protest in elven, "I should go tell Rhoswyn about this right away."

Kurnok responded by saying, "No, no you should not," and then there was a crunching sound. When this happened I got a look at our new buddy, and the spit in my mouth dried up. Good thing I paid attention during Fell Creatures class because this thing was half-black, half Umbral, and all nasty. Breathes acid, immune to sleep and paralysis, no weakness to cold iron, greatly evil, and so on. And it had the audacity to call me a half-breed. Hypocrite.

"So," it rumbled, "you were saying?"

"Well, surely we'd pose no real threat to you, but even now the Cerulean Guard - you know about them?"

A snort. "I see one with you."

"Right, well he's just a loaner. There's a whole bunch more of them and they're busy obliterating those loyal to Rhoswyn. Now if we come to some sort of pact, when all is said and done I can recommend to them that a certain someone was helpful and should take over. You know, if something like that might interest you."

There was another few moments of silence, then the worm started speaking in common. "Well, fleas, it's time for you to drop to your knees and show proper respect to your betters."

"Kurnok," I objected, "if we're going to work together you need to be a little more tolerant."

"Quiet, half-breed."

Then Firendrin said something insulting. I can't remember exactly what it was, but the dragon was furious. I tried to soothe it but the Londis gave him the same treatment he'd given the centaurs. This wasn't going to happen.

"Now, " Kurnok said, and even from this distance I could see his eyes locked on Trixie's rod, "let us speak of tribute."

"Nah," I said, "you don't have to give us anything."

The dragon's outraged roar let us know battle had begun. My only real contribution was to immediately cast Haste - the rest of my spells had difficulty piercing his magical defenses. But Firedrin laid a mighty curse on it (OOC: some sort of daily Ill Omen that affected all rolls of chance and stayed the entire combat - it was big for reducing damage) and with Trixie's magical songs Londis and Tofa, aided by Fly potions, bashed the living hell out of the thing after it sprayed most of us with acid. At one point Londis used a feather token and dropped a tree on the thing, getting it caught up in the branches. Badly beaten it tried to flee, taking a swipe at Trixie's wand as it went, but the witch Dimension Doored himself and Londis in front of its escape route and Tofa lopped its head off. Not before it sprayed again, and Firendrin floated to earth unconscious and dying. He saved him and patched up the badly beaten Tofa and Calefalas before stripping that dragon for everything we could think of. I filled my new haversack with as much blood as it could carry. We even tried to get the gall bladder but it burst in Firedrin's hands.

The Mac Bac Feagals showed up and made the mistake of mentioning that they'd found the dragon's lair. Which direction do YOU think we were heading in after that? Had to maul a bunch of gremlins and a bandersnatch along the way, but soon the Slumbertongue River was in view. Now to convince the 100% thief Feagals not to empty out the horde before we get our grubby mitts on it . . .

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