Red Tide

Score!
And some leveling...

Seventhmonth 28, 300 AL – Eighthmonth 19, 300 AL

After spending three weeks healing and recruiting, the party travels once again to the Yellow Throne. On the way, they narrowly avoid tromping through a camp full of bandits, but they do avoid it, make note of it, and continue to the ruins.

They search about the spiral staircase again before Walderson remembers what the one captured brigand said about his cronies hiding a cache of loot “in a cave near some ruins”. He suggests that they go looking for it, and in less than an hour, they find it.

There’s the dead husk of a giant centipede here, and preparations are made for smoking the inhabitants of the cave out, but minds are changed at the last minute, and instead they light their torch and head inside.

Rounding the first bend, they find a cavern with strange, meaningless patterns of tentacles and eyes all over the walls. Also, giant centipedes. The fight begins, with good use of arrows by the henchmen, when the sound of battle attracts a flock of stirges who attack indiscriminately, both men (and dwarf) and centipede. One manages to latch onto Jian’s neck, but Walderson wisely decides to sleep the whole lot of them.

After a quick round of throat slitting (do centipedes have throats?) they continue into the tunnels. After a brief time-waste of a detour, they find another cave. This one has a furry figure slumped on the floor in the center, at the edge of their torchlight. They keep quiet, and Yosif investigates, finding a dead brigand in an expensive fur coat, slumped over his treasure chest. The main is quickly looted and the chest dragged out. Despite the slow going, the party manages to make it all the way back to town unmolested.

Six-thousand silver and a really nice fur coat, as well as a few gems and trinkets, push the party well over the mark for second level (though not quite enough for the henchmen). With all of their new loot (and nowhere good to spend it), the group decides to head to the larger market in Panpo to gear up and hire more henchmen for a return trip.

Next, overland travel!

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Ambush!
Sneaky Brigand Bastards

Seventhmonth 13, 300 AL – Seventhmonth 28, 300 AL

Despite barely spending half an hour in the dungeon, with nearly everyone injured and Lai Chao dead, the party decides to head back to Manba’s little corner of civilization. On the return trip, they encounter a heavily-armed convoy of merchant wagons, but after the merchants make it clear that they are willing to kill the adventurers if they get too close, the party gives them the rest of the day as a head start.

The next morning, funeral services for Chao are arranged, and new flyers for henchmen are put up. Also, Fleta Strauss leaves Walderson Turunen’s service, to find her own way for a while.

Over the next two weeks, as everyone heals up, Yosif Orefinder hires Glenna Nairn, a raven-skinned Gadaal woman who seems like she might actually be useful in a fight. San Chal hires Shi Jian, an Imperial man with some military history behind him.

Jian mentions being turned down by two other adventuring parties that have been in town recently, but he doesn’t know anything about them.

After a few purchases are made from the newly restocked market, the party travels once more to The Yellow Throne.

Or tries to. An hour into the jungle hills, the party is ambushed by brigands! Arrows from the foliage knock the mage from his horse and drop the two new henchmen to the ground, unconscious and possibly dead!

Seven brigands pop out of the bushes, and Yudai, Walderson’s ridiculously weak henchman, charges a group of three brigands with his spear, impaling one in the gut, and smacking another with the butt of his spear.

Walderson staggers to his feet from the mud and with a bold incantation, invokes a wave of arcane slumber over the four on the other side. San Chal and Yosif do their best to quickly dismount, and then the dwarf and the elf charge forward and attack. From the rear, Walderson kills one of the brigands with a well-placed shuriken, and the last brigand flees, with Hilt hot on his heels. He’s too fast, however, and soon escapes.

The fallen henchmen are patched up, but they won’t last the day without real healing. A closer look reveals that Jian took a serious injury to his leg, and Glenna’ right hand is crippled.

Walderson lets his mystic aura run free as he interrogates the brigand captives. One is intimidated into revealing that the other half of this crew, including boss “Fancy Feng”, took thier loot to hide in a cave they found near some ruins. Might those ruins be the Yellow Throne?

They leave the brigands, bare and bound, to their fate, and return to Manba.

Luckily, Wen and Fong are available to heal the two henchmen. Disheartened, Glenna leaves. Jian is having second thoughts, but sticks with the group.

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Pits: 2 - Adventurers: 0
The Dungeon is Not Your Friend

Seventhmonth 11, 300 AL – Seventhmonth 12, 300 AL

Once everyone has recovered, Yosif buys himself a battle axe to go with his hand axe, giving him the option to dual-wield or lay into thing two-handed, as needed. He also hires a pair of henchmen, the poorly dressed Hilt and the less-than-bright Chao, arming and armoring them as best he can from the poor selection of goods in town. Walderson, seeing the need for a ranged support option, picks up a handful of shuriken as well.

There’s some discussion of arbitrage trading, perhaps importing tools from Panpo to sell in Manba, but in the end it’s decided that there’s too much set-up for right now, and the best bet would be to loot what they can from the Yellow Throne dungeon.

A day of uneventful travel across the plain and into the hilly jungle brings the party back to the Yellow Throne. After checking for guards in the dim light of dusk, the group takes the same spiral staircase down into the darkness.

A dead goblin in the corner proves to be just that, so the party moves on. Knowing that angry orcs and goblins are waiting for them to the north and east, the party opens the door to the west, and files into the small room.

That’s when the floor gives out, dropping Yosif, San Chal, Hilt, Chao and Walderson’s dog into a pit, 10 feet deep. Everybody is bruised, but Chao is bleeding from the ears and non-responsive. He dies shortly thereafter.

The silver lining to this tragedy is, indeed, silver. A goblin corpse and an elven corpse are found at the bottom of the pit, along with a sack of ~4000 silver pieces. The survivors loot the pit, and using their available rope, climb back out to regroup.



Treasure: 4000 silver wheels (400gp), bloodstone (50gp), silver necklace (200gp), 2 bronze bracelets (150gp x 2), 12 gold koku (12 GP)

Henchmen Killed: Chao (0-Level Human)


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VNDE
VERY Near Death Experience

Seventhmonth 10, 300 AL – Seventhmonth 25, 300 AL

Finding the secret door in the corner that the goblin described to them before being forced to duel for its life, the party climbs through to reveal a room with a freshly killed body on the floor. Rolling it over, Yosif discovers that it’s an orc, apparently killed by two arrows to the chest and one to the throat. Yosif takes the orc’s signal horn, and they move on, ignoring the nearby door to take the hallway to the north.

Soon, the hallway ends in three doors. The left door reveals a crowd of chatter and squealing. The center door offers grunting and wet noises. The right door seems to be silent.

Apparently looking for trouble, Yosif peeks into the left door. The room is crowded with she-orcs and orc-spawn. They notice the light from Walderson’s torch, but Yosif quickly closes the door before they can see him.

Rather than leave, Yosif quietly opens the center door, to reveal four orcs eating… something. They totally notice Yosif.

A fight breaks out, but Yosif holds the doorway. One of the orcs escapes out a side door, but the other three move in to attack. When one of the orcs’ attacks comes too close to Yosif for comfort, Walderson sleeps two of them. Yosif fells the one that steps in to take it’s place, but its falling corpse wakes their “sleeped” champion, who can’t seem to take a hint, and keeps up the fight.

Meanwhile, Rekkae, Walderson’s hunting dog, begins growling at the left door, the one full of she-orcs, and the one by which Walderson is standing. Walderson calls out a warning, but it’s too late. The door flies open, and an orc’s cruel black blade takes Walderson down!

The party scrambles to react! Yudai avenges his boss with a spear to the orc’s face while San Chal tends to Walderson’s horrible wound. It doesn’t look good, and San Chal doesn’t think Walderson will keep his left eye.

That’s when the other orc drives its black blade into Yosif’s chest!

Desperate, San Chal launces himself at the remaining orcs, crushing the skull of the nearest, while Yudai once again masters the skill of vengance, piercing Yosif’s assailant through the throat!

Fleta staunches Yosif’s wound, but he, too, won’t last the day without real healing.

Luckily, the party still outnumbers the fighting orcs, who begin to back off. San Chal and the henchmen take the opportunity, closing the door behind them and dragging their fallen away as quickly as possible. It takes nearly a day to get back to town, risking travel through the night, and Walderson and Yosif are deathly pale.

Luckier still, there are just barely two clerics available, and they are quite willing to aid the adventurers who have come to rid them of these “beastmen”. It takes a week before they can leave their beds again, and another week of rest before they feel ready to continue.

The party considers what other supplies or preparations they might need before returning to The Yellow Throne



Kills: 2 Orc Champions, 3 Orcs

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NDE
Near Death Experience

Seventhmonth 10, 300 AL

After killing the goblins in their sleep, the PCs moved further into the dungeon, passing a room with a puddle of water in one corner, a hallway, a chamber with a defaced dwarven relief (four dwarven warriors battling “The Mother Below”), a locked door with a framed carved like the a dwarf’s beard, and then stopping at one of several doors at the end of a hallway.

When they burst in, they find a trio of goblins sitting around a small pile of bones. The goblins pick up their spears and charge! (This is where poor rolls on my part saved Yosif and Fleta from instant death). Soon, two of the goblins are dead, and the third surrenders. It tells the PCs of the gold that the orcs have, and suggests they go there. Despite being helpful, its hateful attitude toward the Yosif leads him to challenge the goblin to a duel. After nearly half of minute of intense fighting, the goblin loses both arms to Yosif’s axe, and dies.

The PCs rest for a moment before running off to find the secret door that the goblin told them about…



Kills: 2 Goblin Champions, 3 Goblins

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...And Hello Again

Seventhmonth 09, 300 AL – Seventhmonth 10, 300 AL

The party arrives in Manba, and after a nights rest, heads out to the forest to find the source of the beastmen. At the forest’s edge, Yosif returns, having changed his mind. After the reunion, the party camps for the night, and has an encounter with a swarm of bats. Luckily, nobody killed anybody else in the party with their panicked flailing. In the morning, they continued to search, and found a yellow-stone ruin that must be the “Yellow Throne” that the villagers mentioned.

The ruins look dwarven, but that doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Down the spiral staircase they go, and through a door. The room inside is filled with tables set up as barricades and a makeshift gong, but no guards. However, a small room off of the next corridor reveals two snoozing goblins. A bit of pantomime, and it is agreed to slay them in their sleep, which they do.

More to follow…


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Hellos and Goodbyes
A Change in the Roster

Seventhmonth 02, 300 AL – Seventhmonth 09, 300 AL

While there was still treasure to be had under the city, the party felt it was too risky, especially with the tunnels being off limits by city law.

So it was decided that they should reequip, hire some help, and seek out new adventures!

This is, unfortunately, when Yosif took his leave to return to his dwarven people.

That said, Walderson hired a charming young woman named Fleta, and an eager young man named Yudai. Neither had much experience with the adventuring life, but both were brave and hearty.

During the hiring process, the party heard of a loot-worthy ancient crypt and a town with “beastman trouble”. Being the altruistic sorts that they are, it was decided to head for the troubled village of Manba.


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Success
(Well, kind of...)

Seventhmonth 02, 300 AL

Searching the rest of the tunnels, the party finds a blocked door. Moving the heavy stone aside, they open the door to find a nest of fire beetles! Before Yosif and San Chal can get themselves killed, Walderson casts a sleep spell on the beetles, allowing the dwarf and cleric to slaughter them at their leisure.

Searching the room, they find it used to be some sort of temple. This doesn’t stop them from looting candlesticks and holy symbols from under the beetles’ nesting materials.

The party continues looking for the kobolds, but find only a crack in the wall to narrow to enter. This is probably where the little beastmen came from and to where they returned. Unable to follow, they continued to seek the lost boy.

Walderson’s careful approach allowed him to notice the collapsed hall full of centipedes in time to flee from them. Cleverly tossing the venomous critters a beetle carcass and then bolting past, the party finally found the pit where the children were being kept. But not the one they were seeking.

They were able to save these children, but not the one that came with a reward. Later, they heard that the boy was found wandering the streets with his hands bound and a bag over his head. Weird.


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How to screw it all...

Seventhmonth 02, 300 AL

Today is our second day down the ruins of the old city of Panpo

The thought of those boys being enslaved by the kobolds is disgusting. I am anxious to reach the mines and free them.
I have to be more patient to use my limited magical resources, last time I saved Yosif Orefinder and Gendai for the reptilian creatures, but this time I have doubts that it would be enough.
We weren’t able to obtain more information from our prisoner… I really dislike this creature, even more since he provoked Gendai’s death. Poor elf, the remaining kobolds had robbed his corpse. I really want to take him out of there. For all the things I know about the elves, his soul should be looking for another body to reincarnate, but still…
The nasty kobolds had set more annoying traps for us. Just as we entered the tunnel Yosif Orefinder almost broke his ankle. I hope he can fight properly.
At the entrance of the bath house the dwarf noticed that the kobolds had left the entire wall at the brink of collapse. At this pace we will never make it.
I looked at the restrained and gagged kobold who was our prisoner. Realizing that they are treacherous and greedy creatures, I tried to convince it to guide us through the complex where the children are being held. I promised it that we would leave it as the leader of the pack, providing that no more children were kidnapped.

Kobold

Little bugger conned me! It nodded in agreement and as soon as we untied it, it ran away!! Its little body wasn’t enough to spring the trap, so by now it should be with the rest of its lot.
No point in being cautious and keep it quiet now.
San Chal threw a couple of stones at the wall with his sling and the thing collapsed. We continued, but better be really cautious for ambush or traps.
I don’t fear for the children’s safety, at least no more than before. They need them after all.
But I curse myself for being so naive. Next time I cross one of those creatures there will be no talking nor negotiation, just retaliation…

Walderson Turunen


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Things are Never Easy
... when you leave kobolds to their own devices.

Seventhmonth 02, 300 AL

Unfortunately, the kobolds haven’t been idle in the evening hours. Right away, Yosif steps on a simple trap, an “ankle-breaker”, that causes him to twist his ankle, slowing him (and the rest of the party) down significantly as he limps along.

Carefully making their way back to the bath house entrance while watching out for ambushers, they find the entrance suspiciously blocked by a stone slab. Investigation by Yosif confirms that it’s unstable and probably a trap.

They consider their options…


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