"Second Son of a Second Son" - An Aquerra Story Hour (*finally* Updated 04/19)

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
darkhall-nestor said:
are you trying to work savage tide into your game

That is part of the plan, though I am not using most of the actual adventures from the Adventure Path (only Bullywug's Gambit so far) - instead I am using the outline of the path that came out in the preview and building the plot arc around what that inspires.
 

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Hi el-remmen

I've been reading this story whenever I've had time in the last week, and have now caught right up to the end. I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying it tremendously - including the inter-session bits. You've obviously got a great campaign world developed - and great players too!

I did try and get in Out of the Frying Pan a couple of times, but never made it somehow. Perhaps I'll give it another go ...

Anyway. keep up the good work - I'm looking forward to more. :D
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
HalfOrc HalfBiscuit said:
Hi el-remmen

I've been reading this story whenever I've had time in the last week, and have now caught right up to the end. I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying it tremendously - including the inter-session bits. You've obviously got a great campaign world developed - and great players too!

I did try and get in Out of the Frying Pan a couple of times, but never made it somehow. Perhaps I'll give it another go ...

Anyway. keep up the good work - I'm looking forward to more. :D

Hey Half & Half!

Glad you are along for the ride, and let me say, yours has always been one of my favorite user names on the boards!

More madness soon!
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Session #15 – “(Aborted) Goblin Genocide!” (part 2 of 3)

Anulem, the 28th of Quark - 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

[sblock]
Laarus Raymer was in one of the reserved suites at Death & Taxes. The light was dim and Markos was sitting across from him with a piece of parchment in his hands. He studies the paper intently and then looked up, tears streaming down his sun-colored cheeks. “I don’t care if it’s a trap,” he said. “I need to know the truth.”

“Personally, Herman Land is looking better all the time,” Telémahkos said. Laarus looked up to where the voice came from, and the blond Briareus and his cousin were moving the corpse of some dark-clad figure towards the door. It swung open. There stood Bleys, “More bad news… Orolenial has been imprisoned. They are saying he did it because he is one of the Pillars. There was a look of shock on Markos’ face, as all went white.
[/sblock]

“Brother Laarus? Are you okay? Did you have another of your visions?” Victoria Ostrander kneeled beside the young priest of Ra, who had turned on his side just as she went to wake him for his watch. He coughed up clear bile and it pooled in the dry ground.

Laarus nodded, as he fetched a kerchief from his pack to wipe his mouth. Victoria brought him water as he sat up. The first lights of the day were just starting appear in the east. Markos was awake, but had wandered off to relieve himself.

“So, I trust it was not a good vision?” Victoria asked.

“Never,” Laarus replied through another cough, this one dry and rasping.

“Did you foresee all our dooms?” Victoria was trying to lighten the mood a bit, but falling flat.

“Not all…” Laarus paused. “We were back at Death & Taxes, and there was a shrouded body being carried from one of our rooms… Not all of us were there…”

“Who was missing?” Victoria asked.

Laarus looked down instinctively, and then brought his sad green eyes up to meet hers.

“Oh…” Victoria’s face grew rigid. “And these visions? They always come true?”

“Except for the last set involving Telémahkos, yes they all have…” (1)

----------------------------------

“So… Should we go investigate the cave with the fire we saw last night?” Bleys asked some hours later when everyone was finally awake, spells were prepared and a breakfast of jerky and stale biscuits was eaten.

“Did we not agree last night that we would?” Victoria said.

“It is a waste of time,” Laarus of Ra replied.

“I will do whatever Bleys says,” Telémahkos added oddly.

“Have you no opinion?” Laarus asked.

“No, I do not, and so I defer to Bleys, who should be the leader,” Telémahkos replied.

Laarus was taken aback, and Victoria looked at Bleys. The watch-mage’s countenance was as placid as ever. He was looking at Markos and Timotheus as if waiting for an opinion on the cave matter, unconcerned with Telie’s assertion.

“I still think we should go after these pearls of power (2),” Markos said. “Forget all of this…”

“According to the charter we all signed, we are supposed to hunt the enemies of Thricia,” Laarus said,

“We can do that anywhere,” Markos replied with exasperation.

“Well, seems like we’ve been avoiding doing that until now…” Timotheus added snarkily.

“If these hobgoblins are not the enemies of Thricia, I do not know what is,” Laarus said, a little bit of anger showing. We need to find out what they are up to and warn people before it is too late… Anyway, going to the cave will leave us in the open…”

“So? It does not matter,” Bleys said.

“How could it not matter?” Laarus asked.

“Wait!” Telémahkos raised his hands. “I would like to set aside this issue for now and propose that we stop this unseemly arguing, and elect Bleys as our leader.”

“What?” Laarus looked at Bleys and then back at Telie. “We do not need a leader. The charter states we all have equal voices in our decisions.”

“But we do need a leader, and the election of one does not contradict the charter if we all agree to it,” Telémahkos reasoned. “It is beneath those of our station to bicker so… It wastes time and energy. Look at it this way, the Academy of Wizardry are the ones who rule Thricia, and he is a representative of the Academy…”

“The Academy does not rule, the Margrave does…” Laarus clarified.

“Who is advised by the watch-mages,” Telémahkos said.

“I second Telémahkos’ nomination,” Markos said suddenly, and Telémahkos did not hide his look of surprise. “What?” Markos sneered. “I am just tired of the endless arguing, too… For once I think you have a good idea…”

“I still think it is bad idea,” Laarus said.

“I am not a leader,” Telémahkos continued to try to convince the priest. “And we all know Markos is no leader, though he has some decent tactical suggestions sometimes. I would follow Timotheus into battle, but beyond that? I do not think he is leader material yet…” He looked to his cousin. “Sorry…”

“S’alright,” Tim murmured.

Telémahkos continued: “Victoria, as a Militant of Anhur answers to you (3), and you are our guide in matters of the law and morality… But watch-mages are supposed to lead… They lead and defend our towns. They command militias and hold sensitive diplomatic positions… It just makes sense…”

“Bleys is smart and competent,” Timotheus added. “He has my vote.”

“That is three of six,” Markos said.

“This something we need to have a consensus about,” Telémahkos said.

“I have no doubts regarding Bleys’ ability,” Laarus said. “It is the necessity of an official leader at all that I have qualms about…”

“It is not as if we will all lose our right to voice our opinions,” Markos offered. “If there is a really big problem, we will have to discuss it and decide as a group. But in smaller matters, and in making choices that have no clear better option, we should do what he says, because… Well, just because!”

“Victoria? What do you say?” Telémahkos asked her.

“I have no problems with Bleys being the leader, but I defer to Laarus,” she said. “But we have not heard from Bleys himself, would he even want to be the leader?”

Bleys rubbed his chin, as if deep in thought, and then finally said, “It is my wish to serve Thricia, if this is how I may best do so I welcome it…”

For a long moment the only sound were the calls of a flock of birds passing overhead, and then finally Laarus Raymer acquiesced. “I am willing to see how this plays out…”

“So that’s settled… Congratulations, Bleys. You’re the new leader…” Telémahkos smiled, but Laarus’ expression betrayed a lingering dissatisfaction.

“Now that that is settled,” Bleys replied. “Are we going to investigate the campfire in the cave?”

“You tell us, oh Leader!” Timotheus replied with a wink and a friendly smirk.

“I think we should…” Bleys said.

“Then that is the same as agreement!” Markos said, standing suddenly. “Let’s go!”

All that remained to be done was deal with the goblin captive, and once again, Bleys calmly dragged the edge of his saber across the thing’s throat, killing it.

---------------------------------------------

They marched into the gorge and around the edge of the fragrant dogwood trees that obscured the mouth of the cave into the lair of the Tuk’Tuk kobolds. They could hear frantic yapping barks echoing from within, and the silhouettes of small figures lingering behind the trees right above the cave, but they ignored it, making for the slope just beneath the cave they hoped to investigate.

The slope was steep enough in places to force them scramble up at times, and so the number of possible approaches to the narrow plateau that held the entrance were narrowed to a few.

The cavern entrance was taller and wider than the others the party had encountered so far, but quickly narrowed, though it appeared to widen again about twenty-five feet in where it branched off in three directions. There was no sign of an actual fire, though the ceiling was stained by smoke. Suddenly the sound of a growling bark echoed out from within.

“Well, something lives here…” Timotheus said. “Ready to do some talking?”

“If it talks…” Laarus replied.

“Yes… If it talks…” Timotheus sighed. He turned to Bleys. “You’re the boss… Shall you call in for us?”

Bleys frowned at being called ‘boss’. “You have bigger lungs,” he said.

“Hail the cave!” Timotheus called in, cupping his gauntleted hands around his mouth.

“Who’s there?” came a voice a few moments later. It was deep and gruff and seemed to come from the center of the three passageways, which was the widest. It turned to the right about ten feet pass the fork. The growling bark stopped.

“Timotheus Smith and the signers of the Charter of Schiereiland!” Tim called back. “Um… Who am I speaking too?”

“Ma! Ma! The Thricians are here!” The voice was muffled, as whomever was responding had turned his head to call back deeper into the caves. The voice had an edge of worry and anger in it.

By this time the Signers were moving into the cave. Timotheus led the way, Bleys’ radiant spark following along behind his shoulder, and looked around the corner of the wide hall. There stood a humanoid of obvious orc-stock, with a black tangled beard, and pale skin that gave away his human ancestry. He wore a chain shirt and let an arrow loose from his longbow. Tim raised his shield in time to make the arrow clip the top of it and bang against his helmet instead. He closed his eyes for less than a moment to shake off the reverberations of the blow, and opened them to see a figure eight feet tall, broad and ugly, in suit of makeshift studded leather and wielding a morningstar.

There was a fire pit between the noble adventurers and their foes, but there was no fire lit in it, just the chaired remains of the ends of some logs sticking out from a mound of ash. Telémahkos, who was hugging the wall on the right, took a peek and his eyes grew wide. “Isn’t that one of the half-orcs? Hezra’s son?”

Victoria of Anhur hurried past them, her long spear left behind due to the close confines, her morningstar over her head, but the ogre-blooded warrior slammed its club into her face, and knocked her to the ground. It chortled with thuggish glee, and raised its club to strike her again, but Tim rushed in.

“Get away from her!” Tim roared, charging, but the hulking guard’s long arms let it slam him hard in the side as he approached. Forced to take a step to keep his balance, his own swing went wide of its mark.

Laarus called to Ra to bless the battle in their favor as he came around the corner to get a view of the melee. He saw Victoria springing to her feet hoping to surprise the ogre-blood with her swing, but it leapt back with more agility than it seemed capable of, what for its awkward build and gangly limbs. Her wounds began to close of their own accord. (4) Markos called to him that he would be enlarged once he gave the word.

Meanwhile, the half-orc, who hung back behind the ogre, was giving him orders, “Grotitch! Move back!” Leading the ogre-blood back to where the stony corridor narrowed some, impeding passage around them and blocking the way to a large wooden door banded with strips of black iron that was set in the wall on the left.

“Anhur! I will not fall to the likes of this one!” Victoria called out, filled with the ecstasy of battle, as she stepped back to ready herself to leap back to it. “And nor shall my companions! Shield this noble son of Ra so he may bring this ogre down!” She leaned back and touched a hand to Laarus’ steel shield. (5) The militant was forced to raise her morningstar quickly to fend off a blow from Grotitch.

As Timotheus harried him back with a set of blustering, but ultimately ineffective blows, he noticed that there was a third figure in the hallway behind the ogre-blood. Tall for a woman, she had a slouched posture, a pear-shape and an ugliness that could only come from orcish blood. She had jaundiced skin and hairy thick legs, with swollen black lips and a splayed nose. She had white-blonde hair, and wore a gray smock and no shoes, her toenails thick and yellowed. “Onina hwu! she chanted, and Tim felt a wave of cold fear wash over him. He shook it off.

“Your magic won’t work on me, witch!” Timotheus bellowed, his wide swings falling short of Grotitch again and again.

“Grotitch! I said, get back!” the half-orc archer cried, trying to get a shot off, as Laarus rushed in to try to pen in the ogre-blooded man. He grew in stature as Markos intoned his arcane words. “Crusta! Get out of his way!” the half-orc added, looking to the witch.

“Ooh! Me likes him! He handsome! Me want him alive!” Crusta pointed at Timotheus, and mumbled words of dark magic that sounded like mirthful laughter.

“Don’t shoot her!” Timotheus cried with genuine concern, as Bleys arrived to send an arrow at her.

…to be continued…

----------------------------------------------------------------
Notes:

(1) Laarus is referring to the visions he had of Telie’s immolation in Sessions #4, 5, 6, 8.

(2) Despite being told repeatedly that Pearls of Power refer to a specific divine item, Markos (or perhaps his player) insists on referring to the black pearl allegedly responsible for the bullywug transformation in Kraken’s Cove (and others like it that may exist) as ‘pearls of power.’

(3) Deference: Militants of Anhur are required to show deference to both Priests of Ra and Librarians of Thoth, obeying their wisdom and authority.

(4) Victoria had cast Regenerate Light Wounds on herself the day before.

(5) Shield of Faith.
 
Last edited:

Martin Olarin

First Post
(2) Despite being told repeatedly that Pearls of Power refer to a specific divine item, Markos (or perhaps his player) insists on referring to the black pearl allegedly responsible for the bullywug transformation in Kraken’s Cove (and others like it that may exist) as ‘pearls of power.’

Using the term "pearls of power" is both an IC and OOC decision until Markos learns of this divine item and/or use of the term causes some confusion.

Thanks for all the hard work; I am enjoying the game and find the SH to be a fantastic tool for keeping track of things. I have not read the entire story hour (catching the above quote by accident and out of context) but find Tim to be my favorite SH character with Bleys a close second.
 

Martin Olarin

First Post
Rastfar wrote:

I laughed through the whole thing. That was fun stuff, and well written,...thanx.


Quote:
Every little bit of information took several minutes of wrangling and re-wording and a few slaps and punches. It was hard work.



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
That had me laughing aloud. Poor Telemakhos....

Sorry to reference something so far back but I'm playing catch up. The above had me almost rolling around on the floor - what put it over the top for me was: "It was hard work." :lol:
 




Martin Olarin

First Post
Finally caught up - great job. I'm looking forward to future displays of prickery.

Open call to readers to help me find a photo for Markos - kinda hard to find pictures of young males who look weathered and scrawny but tough (like beef jerky). I spent about 4 hours one night and couldn't find anything close.
 

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