Thursday, 13 March 2014

Doggerland Session 3:23 (The Party Splits)

Due to the campaign running longer than the allotted time span, three of the regular players left the group this week to start on a new game that they had already booked a place on. I wish them all the best and hope they enjoy their new roles. Meanwhile, this campaign moves on and the pace will start to hot up a bit in the coming weeks as the Temple encounter draws ever nearer. We have got a couple of months to wrap up this campaign, which should give me just enough time to complete all the little side adventures required for a grand finale.

The Party Splits (12th March 2014)

The Adventurers
Bow – Ranger
Cormac - Fighter
Joan – Cleric (not present)
Johan – Cleric
Ryze – Magic User (not present)
Ulf – Fighter (NPC’d)
Vox – Magic User

The Cavalry Arrives – Wodensday 3rd Quinquember (Day 36) – early morning

Just before settling down for the night the party discussed what they were going to do next. As Blaise had to return to his master, the Great Druid in the Gnarley Forest, he mentioned that they ought to use the mouse supplied by Arcturus, the druid of Castleford. He whispered a short message to the mouse that requested aid to come as quickly as possible as the mission was completed. Blaise let the mouse go outside the main doors of the broch and the party saw it scamper off. There was a sudden pulse of power and a hawk then took off from where the mouse had been. It squawked once and beat its wings swiftly in the direction of Castleford.

Paulix, Hallan and Maximillian decided that they would also head back overnight to Castleford just in case the mouse/hawk did not make it through. The party treasure was divvied up between all of the members and then they bid their farewells. The three departing companions headed off into the dusk and then the main doors of the broch were sealed against the danger of the coming night.

The remnants of the party woke and broke their fast together early the next morning. They had made up their minds as to what they would do next. Blaise was the first to leave; he had completed his mission and would now return to the Great Druid’s service in the Gnarley Forest. The rest of the adventuring band had decided to head back to Castleford to report on what they had found, collect any reward that might be coming their way, and then decide how they wanted to continue investigating the rise of the Temple.

They prepared themselves for the journey back to Castleford and then relaxed whilst they awaited the coming of the relief force from Castleford.

They did not have to wait long before the jingling of harnesses and the clop of many hooves was heard through the twisted trees. Sir Guy, the second-in-command of the troops at Castleford hailed the broch and then approached the doors after being welcomed. Before he dismounted, he ordered the rest of the troop to emerge from the woods. Sir Guy was accompanied by the lady Mathilde, Arcturus the druid, a handful of knights, a lance of hobilars, and two dozen men-at-arms.

The lady Mathilde and Arcturus were shown directly to the upper storey where the ball of energy was located and the two tomes were handed to Mathilde by Vox. She took a brief glance at the spell, discussed a few details with Arcturus and then prepared herself to cast it. She mentioned that the Dispel Magic route would have worked but it would have taken about a dozen of them to reduce the size of the energy ball that had been created thus far, and at each casting of the spell there would have been a discharge of energy within the room that would have been quite nasty.

Vox was totally in awe of her power and watched everything that she did with puppy-dog eyes. Even though she was most likely twice his age, she was still a very nice looking lady in his eyes.

In the meantime, Sir Guy had the men-at-arms clear up the mess within the tower and began to burn the dead bodies outside. Some of the soldiers were then given their orders for when the main body left the broch and returned to Castleford. About a dozen men-at-arms would be left to refortify and then man the tower and bring it under the auspices of the Thuringian Empire.

Once the magic had been completed and the lady Mathilde had rested a while, the troop remounted and travelled back to Castleford with the party accompanying them. The size of the troop made sure that they were not attacked by bandits on the way back.

Hallan, Max and Paulix – Wodensday 3rd Quinquember (Day 36)

The three adventurers made it back to Castleford overnight without any problems and headed directly to the castle to report their news. They were quickly invited into the baron Tancred’s chambers and asked to tell their story. The baron and his advisors listened carefully and confirmed that the hawk had delivered the message too. Preparations were underway to send a troop to the broch to nullify the energy ball and to relieve the adventurers’ companions.

Each of the adventurers were rewarded with 200 silver coins, thanked for their service and asked what they would be up to next. Paulix mumbled something about taking on some form of employment within the town and Max mentioned that he had some business to attend to in Abiswick and needed to catch up with his friends Joan and Ryze who were still there. Hallan shrugged his huge shoulders and growled that he was not so sure. The baron sized him up and then offered him the role of castellan at the moat house by Staneford. He would oversee its repair and subsequent use as an outpost in the fens under the command of Sir Rufus of Staneford. Hallan briefly considered the offer; it paid very well, and said that he would be honoured to take the post.

Return to Castleford – late afternoon

The rest of the party were escorted safely back to Castleford and then taken to the castle to be debriefed. The baron Tancred mentioned that their companions had been rewarded and had now gone their separate ways. He then produced a pouch for each of the adventurers containing 200 silver coins and asked if there was anything else he could do for them. He pointed those that wished it off in the direction of the temple of Sol Invictus to be fully healed and suggested places that they could go to get trained. He also pointed them in the direction of certain artisans who could buy and sell them adventuring gear at a good price.

Errands and Rumours – Wodensday 3rd to Godsday 13th Quinquember (Day 36-46)

Over the following ten days the reduced party of adventurers set about spending their hard earned rewards and treasure. Armour and weapons were upgraded and training was taken by all to improve on a few of their skills. Everyone booked a fine room on the Talehangers’ Inn and they were treated to the best hospitality that their money could buy.

Vox spent most of his time in the company of the lady Mathilde. He had become quite attached to his mentor and she returned his favour equally. He thought that maybe she was in love with him; an unmarried mage in her fifth decade of life might want to settle down soon with someone who was still full of the joys of spring. However, the relationship was merely platonic, and although she did quite like the cheeky wizard their stations in life could not reconcile such a match. That said, she did everything she could to help him learn his new, more powerful spells that would certainly help him in the upcoming adventures.

The ranger, always on the lookout for money making schemes, approached some of his merchant acquaintances and invested in one of their ventures. It would be a couple of weeks before the caravan got back and he found out if he had made much of a profit.

Cormac and Ulf spent most of their time carousing and living the high life before they all settled down and tried to work out what they wanted to do next.

Plans Afoot – Sunday 14th Quinquember (Day 47)

The party eventually ran out of money for training and new gear and so had to discuss their next moves. They brought together all of the clues that they had to date and set them out for a course of action. Their choices were…

To assault the Temple – unfortunately they only had a vague idea where it was and had been told it was heavily guarded and that there was a lot of traffic going in that direction.

To banish the demoness Zuggtmoy – for this they would need to find a particular sword, the four amulets and a golden orb/skull. The skull then needed to be destroyed by the sword to banish the demon back to her realm for 666 years. They had no clues to go on other than the possibility that someone called Otis may have the sword and the weasel-faced Gauk may have one of the amulets (unless it was destroyed with the earthquake a few weeks back).

To destroy the fifth columnists in Castleford that supplied the warriors for the Temple – they would need to destroy the pirate ships that plied their trade up and down the Imeryds Run between Castleford and Nulb, as well as work out what the factions in the Iron Ring were up to. Was this linked at all?

To destroy Nulb – there were many ne’er-do-wells in Nulb, at least three factions that were evil; the pirates and their allies, another town faction, and the cleric from the moat house.

The party were aware of the rumour that the Thuringians were amassing troops in Castleford in readiness for attacking Nulb in the near future to rid themselves of the bandit threats as well as to bring the village under the protection of the Empire, and thus gain its tax revenues. The party agreed that this may be the best course of action, especially when their contacts said that the attack would be taking place on the full moon the following day. The troops would be moving out later on that night and the party was welcome to help on the fight. The only misgiving was that Johan did not want any non-combatant casualties, so would only be there to help fight the Temple forces and to aid those who might become refugees.

A Mission to Nulb - Sunday 14th Quinquember - evening

A swift meeting was set up with the baron Tancred who would be coordinating the forthcoming attack on Nulb to discuss the role that the adventurers would play. He agreed that as they had a score to settle with the Temple priest and his minions the party could attack and hold the Waterside Hostel. He handed the party a red sash each to be tied around their right wrist so they could be identified by friendly forces in the heat of battle.

The wagon train set out after curfew and all exits from Castleford were watched in case word got out about the impending attack. Any bird or other form of messenger that attempted to leave the town was swiftly shot from the skies or hunted down by magical means.

The party were given instructions that the signal to commence their part in the manoeuvre was a fusillade of flaming trebuchet missiles aimed at the pirate boats in the pool harbour. They were then on their own until help could get to them once the battle for the village was completed and any resistance put down.

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