Saviors of Rhillau

Session 1: Orcs and Kobolds and . . . Mushrooms?
The adventure begins

The day started like any other. The townspeople of Rhillau all awoke early, setting about in their morning routines. After some last minute repairs and resupplying, and a hearty breakfast at the Dragon’s Head Tavern, the caravan of traders headed for Dovale rode out, leaving the town oddly empty. Even as the townspeople went about their business, however, whispers spread. Rumors of a pre-dawn sighting of orcs inside the city walls. Not just that, but it was said that the orcs were being escorted by members of the city guard itself. Some of the townsfolk seem uneasy, especially as there are no caravans in the town right now, and thus none of the extra guards that they bring along with them.
In the midst of the growing paranoia, guards were swiftly, and quietly, sent to deliver a summons to particular residents of Rhillau. Each summons was simple, hasty written. All they said was to immediately report to the Governor’s office. It was not a request, it seemed, as the guards sent to deliver the messages waited impatiently to escort the party members back to the office…

When the group finally arrived, they discovered that there had indeed been orcs escorted to the governor’s office, including the orc chieftain, Tahni. Tahni explained that the kobolds of the nearby mountain had begun to grow more aggressive, encroaching on the orc camps and getting into skirmishes with the orc hunting and raiding parties. Even worse, it seemed, the kobolds were looking to prepare to lay siege to Rhillau. In the face of this mutual threat, Governor Korska dispatched the party to the mountain to scout the kobolds’ activities, determine what new power was guiding the kobolds in this more aggressive direction.
After gathering supplies, the party headed out to the mountain, taking the time to learn a bit about their new fellows. When the arrived at the base of the mountain, they found kobolds working on catapults in a small clearing. The fight was quick and decisive, starting with Rook and Thias tag teaming one kobold down before it even knew they were there. While the rest of the party burned the catapults, Rillifane and Thorn noticed a cave opening hidden behind some underbrush. Entering the cavern, the party found themselves face to face with a small group of kobold guards.
After dealing with the guards, and not bothering to rest at all, the group forged forward, finding themselves in a small cavern filled with strange purple mushrooms growing among humanoid skeletons. Sensing something amiss, Rillifane had Rook fire upon one of the mushrooms, prompting the larger fungus to begin advancing on the party. The party fought valiantly against the poisonous and carnivorous plants, though Amethystos was dismayed when her mind-attacking powers were of no use. Once the larger, more aggressive mushrooms were dealt with, the smaller mushrooms began emitting a deafening shriek. Once the shriekers were burned down and the corpses examined, it became clear that one of the skeletons belonged to Galen, a local druid.
When Thorn took hold of Galen’s Ranger badge, something strange came over him, and he swiftly departed for destinations unknown, taking Galen’s magical totem with him…

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Session 2: Dungeon and Dragon
Quest accepted

Following Thorn’s departure, the party rested a few minutes before continuing into the cave. They found themselves at a crossroads, with three passages leading further into the cave. Two seemed to loop together, while a third was straight and inviting. While examining the passages, Thias found two pit traps hidden in the floor . . . by stepping on them. After falling once and impaling himself on poisoned spikes, the group became more wary, ignoring the straight passage for fear of more dastardly traps. After throwing Amethystos over the pits, and while traversing the connecting passages, Elan found a third pit trap, by nearly falling into it. Finally reaching the point where all three passages merged, Rillifane finally found a pit trap without walking blindly onto it, and instead triggered it purposefully so as not to have any of his party members fall victim to it. Instead, in a room just beyond, four kobold soldiers waited in ambush. Thias fell victim to a net trap as he charged into the fray, but the ambush proved fruitless, and the party prevailed.
While catching their breath, the party examined the kobolds, discovering that they had been magically enhanced, their scales modified in hue and granted resistance to fire. It was determined that this must be the work of a Wyrmpriest, magically inclined kobolds who worship dragons as deities. Meanwhile, Rillifane remembered spotting a corpse in the pit trap he had triggered, and upon further inspection found that it carried a magical cloak. After it was determined that it was a protective item that seemed to respond to Rillifane’s hive mind abilities, the walking tree took possession of it.
Now using the corpses of the kobold soldiers as trap detectors, the party was easily able to bypass a deadly spear trap in the next hall, which led them to another, larger room. This room, it was quickly noticed, has scrape marks on the floor at the southern end, and a strange wooden structure to the north. Inspection of the scrapes led to the discovery of a hidden cache containing some magical bracers that Thias claimed, as well as a few gems and coins. The framework, on the other hand, appeared to be a sort of alarm system leading to a wooden door. After ignoring caution and announcing themselves, even going so far as to knock on the door, the group finally opened it, triggering a trap that the wooden framework had been concealing. Thankfully, the poisoned darts were ineffective against Thias and Rillifane, and Amethystos and Rook had retreated out of the trap’s range before it was triggered.
Beyond the door, a kobold Wyrmpriest was lying in wait along with a group of soldiers and skirmishers. The fight was fierce and long, but thanks to Rillifane’s defensive abilities, combined with his new cloak, he was able to eliminate the Wyrmpriest and protect the rest of his companions while they, eventually, finished off the rest.Upon examination of the bodies and the room, the group found the Wyrmpriest’s ritual circle, and the holy writings that taught the ritual used to empower the kobolds. Finally following the tracks of one of the kobolds that had run away, the group pressed further into the cave.
Around the next corner, though, they found themselves in the lair of the dragon that had once lived in the mountain, and now the dragon that has since taken up residence. Failing to resist the primordial fear that the dragon inspires, the group ran, fled all the way back to Rhillau.
As they were describing the events to Governor Korska, the dragon landed in Rhillau, demanding to speak with whoever was in charge. Standing before the entire town, she explained that she was the mate of the dragon that had been killed fifty years ago, and that she desired revenge against the group that had killed him. She explained that she was taking the town hostage, and that messengers should be sent to collect the dragonslayers and bring them back for her to kill. After she flew off, Korska asked the party to fill that role, which they accepted.
During the night of preparation (and drunkenness), Dyami made a point of giving Rook a suit of armor that he had made that would otherwise go to waste, now that the town is sealed off from the outside world.

As morning approaches, so too does the deadline by which they must head out to collect the dragonslayers.

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Session 3: Bandits, Cards and a Kick Ass Fiddle
Poker Face

Dear Diary,

After a night of entirely responsible drinking, Rook said that the only Dragonslayer he knows of is way up North fighting some Lich. Super gross, obviously we decided to go to the Elven capital instead to find the others. What am I, some kind of do-goody-hero? No way! Someday I’m going to be a famous idol, and dead people can’t do that. Everyone knows dead people have a terrible complexion and don’t become famous. Plus, I heard Val-town has nice boutiques, perfect for accessorising!

Then we ran into some lame bandits that tried to charge us for walking. Suns, might as well charge me for being fabulous, ridiculous. Of course I blew them all away with my outstanding voice and I guess the others helped too. But, seriously, something’s not right with that Rillifane guy. I mean besides being a walking bird nest. Pretty sure he killed that bandit woman, and Thias let him! Like they both didn’t even care! I mean, I don’t either. Of course. But, having been a slave must have been pretty tough. It’s not like she decided as a kid that she wanted to be a bandit. I dunno, it’s just a gross feeling. I’m over it.

Then just before I could get some very much deserved beauty sleep, this definite smelly group of Mini Dragons started spitting totally rank globs of phlem at us. Absolute worst! They were biting and spitting and ugh, so glad Thias cooked those things. If it’s going to be a nuisance while alive it should just be killed and eaten.

But let me tell you about the best part! I was so cool, I had a poker show down with some jerk-face Tiefling. Even though I had to doll up like that awful purple wench to set the initial tone, it was worth it to be all suave and cool. Although the other guys were acting really weird. Rillifane had some sort of anxiety attack right into that jerk-Tieflings face and Rook sang some old-ass song because he was drunk. I think. Weirdos. I guess that jerk-face guy was a little scary…but the bottom line is I’m awesome.

And then I won a sweet fiddle! It’s so shiny and cool! I’m guaranteed to rock at all times with this thing! Also I think I can use the bow for stabbing, definite bonus. Oh, and I guess we helped the super old elf not be super old anymore. Not important. I am kind of worried what Huge and Barky did to jerk-face after we left…if he goes on a murdering spree I swear I will just not be pleased. Anyways, I should go practice my amazing fiddle now, legendary bard icons don’t happen by themselves you know.

Love,
Ame

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Session 4: Definitely NOT a Sewer Level
Cult of Personality

After arguably the noisiest and most distracting game of poker, the Dragon’s Chosen found themselves awakened to news of missing townsfolk, as if the Age-Manipulating cardshark wasn’t the worst of this town’s worries. After some asking about, Thias and Amethystos find that all the victims belonged to the same city block and upon closer examination, find clues leading to the City’s Storm Drains, where the myriad waterfalls empty into. Only mildly deterred by the idea of rooting out enemies in the pipework, Our heroes make their way into the depths in search for the kidnappers.

Proceeding down the tunnel, the party notices that several heavy metal grates kept locked via magic had been torn open with blunt impact and further south, the sound of chanting could be heard, confirming rumors of a hidden cult in the area. After a careful procession down the main storm drain line, the Dragon’s Chosen notice an admixture of alchemical ingredients and since nasty beasts tend to pop up out of pools of ooze, decide to tread carefully. This particular blend of genre savviness is rewarded with a giant enemy ooze that upon death, split into even more obnoxious little slimes. Sadly, no alchemist sewage could face against the might of Thia’s Axe and the small slimes were slain.

With renewed vigor, the party proceeded down the last pipe tributary and wandered until they reached a large stone sphere adorned with glowing floating glyphs which served as a database for overseers of the storm drain to address issues of damage or allocations of water. Also nestled in the room were a pair of cultists who had empowered a Skeletal Warrior; The Hateslash. With Thias charging ahead to fight the Cultists, the rest of the party was held off a proper attack by the hardy swings of Hateslash’s Executioner’s Axe, but through grit, determination, and just a bit of luck, the foes were toppled and Thias found himself a new chopping implement that helped his inability to hit properly.

The Storm Drain database was mostly numbers, but the ever-curious Elanthruc found a way to detect damages in the pipe system, somewhere north of the present location. Since this band of cultists didn’t have any sacrifices or hostages with them, the party continued down the tributary and around, winding the confusing and oddly asymmetrical pathways until they reached a room with an even greater runic database than before. As if foretold, the cabal of cultists revealed themselves, alongside a pale-looking man almost ready to burst into an evil speech.

How will the Dragon’s Chosen survive outnumbered nearly two-to-one? Will they allow pasty-face to start revealing his evil plan in the middle of battle? Will we ever get out of this town? Find out next time on the thrilling conclusion of Dragon Ball Z!…

Err…

Saviors of Rhillau!

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Session 5: Vanya Gonna Do When PCs Come for You?
Meeting servants of Vanya, Goddess of Eternal Life.

The party confronted the mysterious group in the storm drains below the streets of Alneas, tensions rising quickly between the two when the party notices the kidnapped elves incapacitated on the ground. Their leader identified himself as Meitic, a cultist serving a goddess named Vanya. Meitic claimed that his intentions were pure, simply bestowing Vanya’s “gift” of “Eternal Life” upon the resting elves, as he himself had been gifted. The party assumed – quite correctly – that Meitic meant undeath, given their previous encounter with the axe-wielding skeleton.

Battle began and quickly turned against Meitic. After bringing down two of the cultists just to have them rise again as much more powerful skeletons at Meitic’s word, focus turned to bringing him down instead – and he was brought to heel within seconds, forced to dissipate into mist to save himself at the last moment and flee the scene of violence, instead of staying and dying like the villain he is. After cleaning up the rest of the cultists, the party revived the group of elves and looted the room. The only real object of interest was a magical acorn, manipulated by psychic energy. The party figured Rillifane would want it, what with being a tree-man.

After inspecting the ritual circle and confirming the suspicion that it is used to create undead from fresh corpses, the party escorts the rescued elves to the exit of the storm drain, before heading back in to check the final path. They are thorough, if nothing else. This led to an annoyingly long battle with zombies and a cultist, made much simpler once Elanthruc shot and killed the cultist.

Returning to the surface, the damp, annoyed adventurers informed the mayor’s secretary of the events in the storm drain (as cultists, kidnappings, murder and undead are not of sufficient import to warrant a personal appearance), and visited the workshop of one of the rescued elves to retrieve a bow promised to Rook from his assistant.

The party departed Alneas soon after, as every time they rested in the town problems emerged that they had to deal with and they were tired of that shit and had their own village to save. It was a two week journey to the Elven capital city of Vallinde and the continuation of the party’s original goal: finding the dragon hunters that killed the mate of the red dragon currently holding Rhillau (and them) hostage.

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Session 6: Cerebus Syndrome

Having arrived at Vallinde, the party put aside the lingering question of how to kill Meitic in favour of their true mission. Loot was hawked and swag was bought before Elanthruc sought an appointment with Archmage Pirellas at the Mage Academy for the next day – the Archmage being, incidentally, his father. The reception not unreasonably suggested that Rook could meet Pirellas at home, but insistence prevailed and the party retired to an inn safe in the knowledge that they had an appointment to discuss Rhillau’s plight in the morning. In fact, Elanthruc was so pleased by this outcome that he drank half the bar to celebrate how soon he’d reunite with his estranged father.

Rook did not realise the full extent of his luck, though, until his father stormed the inn and teleported into the room in his eagerness to see his son. So abundant was Rook’s fortune that it rubbed off on Rillifane, who enjoyed at point-blank the strange yet beautiful homecoming rituals of Elven families before discussion of Rhillau began and it could finally join in. Pirellas noted that it’d be best not to seek out the Dragonslayers with divination, as they also comprise the Starwind family and thus kin of the protective Archmage Pyraesonia Starwind. Given that Pyraesonia had turned hermetic to work on a secret project, though, the best course seemed to be speaking with her wife, Silecia.

The party woke the next morning to no grifting, kidnapping, or mayhem of any manner, not at the inn nor the academy. Silecia received the party not with an open door, as Pirellas suggested, but definitely with an open mind. Remarkably open – maybe a result of so much experimentation. By her account, Pyraesonia was at work on another plane (accessible to Silecia, luckily); Acalvia at the Temple; Caald and Rsaar at the Knights’ headquarters; and Dori and Mendrae wandering in places unknown on Ranger business. Amethystos was put off by Silecia’s chaos magic, leading to an unpleasant interaction with Rook, but the party nonetheless showed their gratitude for Silecia’s help by agreeing to find a reagent: the delicate pollen of a red and yellow flower, found southwards in a forest roamed by mere dire wolves, bears, and “stuff like that.”

Truly, we could not have asked for better luck.

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Session 7: Tea, Training, and Tricksters
Fuck you Alchemy.

Dear Diary,

Yesterday we all went for a nice picnic in the forest. We saw pretty red flowers streaked with blue so we all picked a beautiful bouquet to give to the completely calm and austere Silecia in order to keep up good relations since we asked for the favor of an audience with her wife, Pyra. In thanks Silecia invited us all in for a wonderful cup of tea, during which time I got absolutely no leg cramps at all. Because LA DEE FUCKING DA everything is perfect when alchemy is involved. It’s not like alchemy is the worst possible thing or that there are any so called “accidents” or trickles of runoff that cause permanent horrifyingly ugly deformities that make your supposed parents chuck you at the nearest set of caretakers in a long line of ‘hot ugly baby potato’ because everyone gets creeped out by the huge bug eyes the most and of course that’s the first part anyone looks at and of course that’s the hardest part to change.

So yes, it was a lovely time. Rook got all tuckered out from having a cry because he definitely got ridiculed by a flower and had to settle down for a nap right there on the forest floor. Big baby. Oh, and I sang a new song I learned about a pretty unicorn. Thias liked it.

After all those idiots had the tea party with She Who Cannot Be Trusted, Rillifane and Thias also drifted off to dream land. Apparently I am the only one who can be trusted to NOT suddenly fall asleep in an enemy’s presence. Rhillau is doomed.

Today’s breakfast was ok, had some nice sparrow which I guess Rhillifane also eats. I should get it to do my grocery shopping. Then we went to a temple and Rook had a very obvious and cringe worthy crush on High Priestess Acalvia Starwind, one of the elves we’re looking for. She graciously agreed to help us only if her brother Caald would also ride out to Rhillau. Couldn’t there have only been one elf to kill that dragon? All this running around is going to make me dizzy. Anywho, after getting to the Knights of the Sun headquarters, who barges in all in a tizzy but Highlord Caald Starwind himself, going on about gnomes and demons in the park attacking some elf girl.

Now we’re off to investigate the crime scene of where these gnomes and demons first attacked because apparently we do that now. Messengers, card sharks, rescuers, tea connoisseurs, and now investigators. Can we be Saviors too?

We’re just about to arrive at the scene, of course I am so talented that I can multitask writing and walking at the same time. Wouldn’t it be funny if the gnomes who attacked that elf girl were Jorpip and Celtina? Though they never seemed like the summoning type. Suns, I haven’t seen them since I was a kid. Ha, I hope they’re dead. Those guys were assholes.

Love,
Ame

(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

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Session 8: Asses were Chewed.
AKA: Every cop movie ever.

A glorious quest had been set before them and the Dragon’s Chosen found themselves impromptu detectives, tasked to investigate a sudden and bloody attack by gnomes. As the four arrived on the scene, the attacking gnomes were well and truly dead, slain by hammer and shield alike. An investigation of the residual magic suggested that at least one demonic footsoldier had been sent to attack and this was confirmed with each of the gnomes carrying a seal with a warped depiction of the summoner’s order that Elanthruc recognized as their darker demonologist coven.

After a short while, Rillifane got in touch with the spirits of the land which lead him to a bough-covered pathway and a deep tunnel. Since this was likely the source of the ambush and the location of any remaining gnomes, Elanthruc thought it best to return to the High Lord Caald Starwind and set up a perimeter….

__Sorry I was trying to make this all official, but seriously screw it. I consider myself a law-abiding citizen and believe that the Knights of the Sun should be allowed to finish a job that an ‘investigator’ properly investigated. Apparently Mr Caald didn’t agree and shared it in none too polite terms. By Heroics, I used to idolize this guy as a paragon of good, but after what I dealt with… What a dick! Look, whoever is reading, sorry but I had to get this off my chest.

After returning with little but a heated temper, Elanthruc grabbed a Sentinel as an arresting force and dealt with the remaining gnome captive who had his own demon thrall. Though Thias and Rillifane suffered bouts of crippling weakness, tenacity and a bit of luck allowed the Dragon’s Chosen to overcome the conjurer.

To hell with this city. Between spastic wizards, family disputes, and getting royally chewed out, It’ll be nice to get out into the countryside and away from all this ridiculousness.

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Session 9: Gnome and Garden Center
Cutting an interrogation short.

Well, we found one of the last of the siblings we were looking for. Caald, if I’m remembering the name right. It figures the one person we absolutely need to come along so that everyone else does is the type that thinks helping his own people and helping people without pointy ears are mutually exclusive. Honestly, if your entire city will be on the brink of horrific lawless breakdown because you stepped out of it for a month, you might want to rethink your command structure.

This leaves us helping him to play catch-up on paperwork. Fine by me; I’d have helped these people anyway, and this gnome put a child in significant danger. But I’ll be doing it because it’s the right thing to do, not to help that prick.

Of course, it turned out that the gnome fed this splinter faction information and put the child where she needed them to be. This makes him just as guilty as them, oaths or no. That’s one of the things about freedom: you have to accept the consequences of your choices and actions, whether or not you wanted the consequences to happen. That’s the point where navigating the whole issue of freedom gets complex.

Unfortunately for him, that’s where my sympathy ends. Especially considering he summoned a demon on me and kept refreshing his damned shield when I broke through it. Some interrogation. Rsaar spent most of that fight knocked out on to her ass, just in time to get back up at the end to bring down the shield in a strike and capture the gnome. Showoff. Too cute to be mad at though.

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Session 10: The one in which we confirm Rook is an alcoholic
And the rest of the group turn out to be assholes.

Last time, on Saving Rhillau:

Mother Bear Rsaar, oath taker of not killing those who summon giant electric bugs, informed the surly Amethystos how society regards his kind, possibly not aware that Ame had been conscious of her surroundings for more than five minutes over the last couple decades. Ame responded by turning purple, the obvious colour for indignation. However, in a show of thoughtfulness, Rsaar then offered a requisition slip for a mysterious item from the evidence locker of Sentinel Headquarters, located a few blocks away. Listening to Rsaar relay bug and bug people information to Caald was of no interest to the party, and so they all immediately went to go see what this mystery item would be. It was shape shifting armour/hoodie/skinnydress! Ame, aware of how valuable a garment that always allowed for fabulousness is, laid claim. No one else said much about it.

Out of boredom the group decides to seek out a bounty, the Undead War has caused many mercenaries to leave the city, in turn leaving many bounties to choose from. Blatantly ignoring the bounty for Alaneas bandits that Rhillifane had already killed on a bridge, our Saving Heroes decide to go after a Goblin chieftain causing trouble in a nearby town with a forgettable name. Upon deciding that leaving after a good night’s rest would be best, Amethystos spends the rest of the evening getting a fairy cut and commissioning a gorgeous tiara. Rhillifane and Thias stand beside each other in silence. Theirs is a forbidden love. Rook presumably sees this display of affection and becomes so disturbed that he plasters his face with all the inebriation. The next day he is so useless he must be left behind, however no one leaves a note and so for over two weeks Rook believes he has been abandoned. It is a hard time for him. He finds comfort in the bottom of many mugs.

After about a week travel on foot the rest of the Saviours find a gnome run inn in which Ame tries and fails to obtain free lodgings. Since they are dirt poor, they decide to share the most expensive luxury room. The room is very nice, it has a spot for orgies, a spot for being thirsty, and a spot for lounging. Only sleeping happened in the orgy spot, though there was much flopping.

The next morning Rhillifane gets plenty of information because he is a real corker that was made in the shade. He finds out that the goblins like to attack hunters and travelers in the woods. The entire party minus one drunk elf become bait. After half a day of boredom they finally hear unsightly goblin noise. Amethystos does a masterful job of being stealthy, Thias makes more noise than humanly possible. The noise bar for humans has now been raised. The goblins prove to be very sticky, causing Rhillifane and Thias much pain when they try to move. In the end, our Saving and Abandoning Heroes save the day and defeat the goblins. Hurray!

Next Time: where’s the goblin camp? Will our heroes defeat the chief? How pretty is this tiara going to be? Stay tuned!

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