Red Tide

The Delve of Daizen
(Yes, that one...)

With adventure in their hearts, the party looks for other opportunities and finally decides upon a ruin known as the Delve of Daizen. More than one intrepid band has investigated the underground structure, but few have returned.

Upon arriving, the party takes care to search for dangers and then proceeds down the leaf-strewn spiral staircase. Below, a few goblins guard the entrance, but the party makes short work of one and the other flees into the darkness to get help.

Soon enough, the goblin returns with several other goblins and a rather skinny hobgoblin. Unfortunately for the shou, Walderson cheats and sleeps the lot of them before slitting their throats and looting their cooling corpses.

The party continues into the darkness and rounds a corner to come face to face with a lone hobgoblin. The hobgoblin flees into another room, and calls out for the adventurers to leave, or else.

The party, only slightly intimidated, takes the time allotted them to have San Chal summon a “golden servitor”, which he then sends into the room beyond, where it easily kills the hobgoblin.

Investigating the room afterwards, Shi Go notices an artifact from his destroyed hometown being used a decoration. Apparently something (everything?) here is responsible, and Shi Go vows vengeance.

Backtracking a bit, the party opens a barred door clearly marked with a skull-like symbol in black paint. Unsurprisingly, several animated skeletons shamble silently forward, only be crushed to shards by the servitor before it finally dissipates. Shi Go offers a prayer at the dry devotional fountain there before Walderson leads the group into the next room where they find an ancient sarcophagus.

Deciding not to disturb the dead, the party moves into the room to their left, finding a larger pair of chambers featuring another sarcophagus and walls covered in elaborate mosaic tile-work that describes some saint saving a town. Jian points out that the holy symbols here look like the kind worn by the shou.

To be continued…


Kills

6 Goblins (5 XP ea.)
2 Hobgoblins (15 XP ea.)
6 Skeletons (13 XP ea.)

Loot

None

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The Wind Palace
Tide Cultists!

Following rumors of cultist activity, the party hires some mercenaries to guard their stuff on the trip, and travel upriver to a remote village at the foot of a run-down palace surrounded by wind-dragon sculptures. Things are weird there, and when they awake after staying at the inn, they discover that their mercenaries are missing.

They make a run on the palace and kill several guards. A sleep spell from one of the resident wizards nearly kills the whole party, but a surviving henchman awakens the others and turns the tide of battle. A web spell nearly undoes them once inside, but luckily the party gets trapped too far inside the thick of the web to be attacked effectively, and another party member burns the rest out with his torch.

There are some heroics from the henchmen as the get in the faces of the wizards, preventing them from casting, and soon, the cultists are all dead. Downstairs, the party finds their mercenaries, mostly unharmed.

However, when the adventurers leave, they find a ruined and overgrown town where once there seemed to be life. Perhaps it was a strange illusion, disrupted by the death of the mages.

The party returns to Panpo to recuperate.

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Droskar's Crucible
I forgot what happened, mostly.

The party then makes its way to an old dwarven keep, where they fight wolves and giant spiders and a kobolds. The sleep spell proves to be quite powerful. Finally, they encounter the “boss” of the ruined building, a mighty worg. The worg makes the mistake of talking to the PCs first. Knowing that the worg understands them, San Chal casts “Command” to put the worg to sleep for a moment, which is long enough to murder it and loot its lair. They also find the mushrooms they need to complete the cure for the nearby plague.

They return to town, but find no sign of Yosif or his retinue there.

They decide to return to Panpo to rest up and plan their next move.

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The Witch's Hut
Smart play saves the day.

Ok, very late in updating this. I’ll do my best.

The party travels to the witches hut. It’s creepy, with little straw men and animals standing “guard” around the clearing. They don’t move, though. The party pokes around the hut, and suddenly the huge cauldron in the middle of the tiny structure springs to life, chomping any character that touched anything in the hut. The thing is dangerous and seems nearly invulnerable, however, the party soon discovers that it will break off pursuit past the forest line.

So, the fastest character jabs it and bolts to the edge of the clearing. As soon as the cauldron is as far away as it can get, the others loot the hut for the “rat tail” root they need and flee the clearing. Win!

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The Thing in the Tree
...and the Zombie Kobold

Secondmonth 3, 301 AL – Secondmonth 5, 301 AL

Unfortunately, the hobgoblin is severely weakened by his injuries, and it’s decided to make camp. Equally unfortunately, the party is awakened in the middle of the night by a dozen man-sized, bright red ants going going through their supplies. Walderson quickly calls for torches and with much shouting and waving of fire, the ants are driven off, and a potentially deadly (for the party) battle is averted. Alas, a night of rest in the forest shows no signs of recuperation for the hobgoblin. It’s finally decided that the hobgoblin will have to be lead around on Walderson’s horse.

Several hours of travel through the dense jungle brings the party to a ridiculously large tree. As the party searches around the base of the enormous tree, San Chal hears a scraping sound, and looks up in time to see a huge serpent, with the head and forelimbs of a dragon and the body of a giant snake, lunging out of the tree’s branches toward him! It entwines the cleric in its coils, and nearly crushes the life out of him. Luckily, Shi Go nearly decapitates the thing, and Jian finishes it off by pinning its head to the tree with his spear.

Badly shaken by the attack, San Chal calls upon his deity to return the vigor to his limbs and heal his bruised ribs. A continued search finds the special moss, and Qiang’s search of the upper reaches of the tree discovers several dead men draped in the branches. They must have been wealthy merchants or nobility, because their cloaks and jewelry are very expensive. The party loots the unfortunate corpses, and asks the hobgoblin what it was that they just fought.

“Is ‘claw-dragon’”, it says in broken Imperial. “Very sneaky. Me no think is true thing. Me is wrong.”

There’s talk of continuing, but darkness is rapidly encroaching as night falls, and despite the sickness spreading back in town, the party is forced to make camp once more.

That night, the party’s rest is once again interrupted, though by a much more… interesting visitor. It’s basically a zombie kobold with a rat riding around in its skull. The party is on guard, but the zombie stumbles around mindlessly, so there’s no immediate move to get into a fight. The rat seems intelligent, but nobody has the ability to understand its various squeaks and chitters. The cleric views the duo through the veil of divine morality, and while the zombie kobold glows an obvious and malevolent red, the rat on top does not. Despite this, the party decides that strange pair are not a threat and eventually the zombie stumbles out the other side of the camp, taking its rat co-pilot with it.

The next day, the party prepares to travel to the witch’s hut.



Treasure:

  • a really nice short-bow (worth maybe 3GP),
  • a signet ring with the image of a flaming hawk (worth about 5GP),
  • a fine fur coat (nearly 5,000 gold koku, if cleaned up),
  • an ivory bracelet etched with battle scenes (worth about 500GP),
  • a pouch with 9 gold koku and 12 silver wheels.

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Rumors of Disease
Panpo is the wrong place to look for help.

Firstmonth 3, 301 AL – Secondmonth 3, 301 AL

The party scraps up enough coin between them to have the Temple of the Nine uncurse Walderson, and identify a couple of magic items, to boot. A blood-forged (+1) scimitar and a Wand of Lightning Bolts! Sweet!

Meanwhile, Shi Go makes the rounds of the small city, keeping an ear out for rumors of adventure. He hears of a man, Umar, seeking help in curing his small lumber town to the north of a horrible plague. Panpo is, of course, very paranoid about illness, and immediately boot him out and burn their gloves afterward. The party interview him, and he promises some meager gold coins in return for their aid.

The adventurers agree to help, buy a new mule, and gather their twelve-man party to travel to Breivik. The trip is thankfully uneventful, and Umar takes the party to meet the village alchemist, Laurel. She’s doing her best to soothe the afflicted, but a cure requires ingredients listed in her grandmother’s old book, and she can’t go retrieve them and tend to the sick at the same time. Others have sought out the needed items, but never returned. The party agrees to help for a small sum and a dose of the cure for each of them.

The party needs “elderwood moss”, a root called “rat’s tail” and “ironbloom” musherooms. Laurel suggests that they stop and ask for directions at the lumber mill on the way, but the party decides to make a direct drive for the forest instead. They pass a burned out building at the edge of the forest, and then begin rather blindly tromping through the misty woods.

Shi Go spots a fox caught in a trap, and approaches it and attempts to free it. It is badly injured. The hobgoblin trapper hiding in the woods doesn’t take kindly to this, and threatens the party. They try to recruit the beastman to help them find what they need, but the beastman considers their offer stingy and has his razor-beaked monster-crows attack while he begins firing his bow at the party.

The adventurers make short work of the razor-crows, and then run down the fleeing hobgoblin. It almost dies, but San Chal heals it. Now the hobgoblin agrees to help them, though he can’t walk and has to be lead around on Walderson’s horse.

Unfortunately, while everyone is preoccupied with the hobgoblin, nobody notices a giant centipede that sneaks up and bites Yosif. The dwarf is poisoned and becomes violently ill. His henchmen decided to take him back to town to rest. Oh well.

Unfortunately, Fleta, Walderson’s hench-sweetie, is in Yosif’s employ, and she has to leave the party with him.

The hobgoblin knows where the eldest tree in the forest probably is, and that’s where the party was told they’d find “elderwood moss”, so they prepare to go.


Unfortunately, the dwarf’s player had to drop out, so he was (in)conveniently put out of commission.


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The Mage Croaks
(...and Hops)

Twelfthmonth 26, 300 AL – Firstmonth 3, 301 AL

The new year starts without fanfare while the heroes are on the road between Panpo and Manba. Settling back in at the small village, rumors of increased attacks by bandits find them, and so they keep an eye out for trouble on the way to the ruins of the “Yellow Throne”.

Arriving safely at the dungeon, the party enters and encounters a few bandits guarding the room to the east. The bandit bowman responds to threats from the party with a clever “Taste my shaft!”, much to the amusement of his comrades. Two of the men are killed in the ensuing melee, but one bolts down the hall with the party not too far behind.

Running up the hallway, the party throws open a door to reveal more bandits waiting in ambush, but they don’t last long. One surrendering bandit tells the party where in the dungeon they can find the bandit leader, Jafar. They release him, and go to find the boss.

Another battle is averted, as Walderson cast a Sleep spell on an entire roomful of bandits.

On their way out, however, they are ambushed once again. Apparently their informant came back and warned the real Jafar, who set up a pincer maneuver to surround the party in the hall. Walderson’s second Sleep spell shortened the encounter greatly, and when the party finished cleaning up, they found their informant once again surrendering. In exchange for his life, he promises to show them where the bandits’ loot is stored. For real, this time!

The party gathers their treasure, including some potions, scrolls, a magic ring, magic sword and magic shield. Unfortunately, something ate their donkey while they were out, and so they had to pull their own cart of loot back to Manba.

Walderson and a couple of the henchmen level-up!

Walderson has an intimate encounter with a hench-lady, after which he begins studying his new scrolls, only to be turned into a toad by a curse!

The party, now in need of a curse removal, as well as magical item identification and spell-training, packs up and returns (without incident) to Panpo.

While others see to important matters, Shi Go looks for work and rumors.


Treasure Found

  • 1000 Silver
  • 5000 Electrum
  • 3 Gems
  • 1 Wooden Bracelet
  • 1 Glass Necklace
  • 1 Porcelain Pendant
  • 1 Potion of Clairvoyance
  • 2 Other Potions
  • 1 Scroll with Continual Light and Polymorph Other
  • 1 Cursed Scroll
  • 2 Other Scrolls
  • 1 Amber Wand
  • 1 Magic Ring
  • 1 Magic Longsword
  • 1 Magic Shield

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Sorry No Cultists
Goblins, though.

Ninthmonth 19, 300 AL – Twelfthmonth 26, 300 AL

I’ve lost track of time a bit, but eventually the party decided to investigate the cultists that Walderson’s henchman had mentioned. Returning to Panpo, and then to the small mining hamlet of Silverton, they found goblins hoarding stolen silver ore, but no cultists. Having returned the ore to the miners, the party decided to return to the not-yet-fully-explored Yellow Throne. First, however, Yosif sought to fill out their ranks with some henchmen. He met a strange warlock looking for work and was lucky enough to encounter Fleta once more, so he hired both, as well as a simple townsperson, looking for adventure…

The weather begins to cool to a more tolerable level as the seasons change…

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Busywork & Wights

Eighthmonth 21, 300 AL – Ninthmonth 19, 300 AL

About a month is spent in Panpo as Walderson learns new spells and everyone looks for new hirelings, hopefully one with some skill at infiltration. Junko the cleric and Qiang the thief join the party, though apparently neither wants to work for Yosif. Junko says she was here looking into rumors of a cult in a nearby town, but the party isn’t interested in going there right now.

San Chal also shops for a magical weapon, and indeed finds a blood-forged tetsubo (+1) that he unfortunately can’t afford.

On the return trip to Manba, the cross paths with a fighter on horseback who claims to have cleared the beastmen out of the Yellow Throne. As awesome as he is, he isn’t interested in joining up with this party of adventurers.

In Manba, they meet a traveling fighter named Shi Go, and he agrees to join them (new PC!).

Another foray into the Yellow Throne finds a natural cavern extending from one room. The party enters, suspecting that it connects to the last cave they were in nearby. Instead, they find morlocks, kill them, and then descend a natural stone “stairway”.

The room below is filled with bones, is icy cold and creepy. The party draws attention to themselves, and a carcass scavenger answers. Thanks to some solid attacks and a crazy charge by Jian the hireling, they make short work of the thing.

Despite the full-on horror-movie vibe of the room, the party hangs out there for an hour while Yosif and San Chal recover from being paralyzed. That’s when the wights show up.

They’re creepy-looking as all get-out, and dressed in ragged clerical robes, but they aren’t immediately aggressive. However, the party is, and jumps in swinging. They quickly find their weapons ineffective, and then realized that these things are soul-draining horrors, and San Chal (barely) turns undead, sending the things fleeing long enough for the party to do likewise. They set fire to a patch of oil in the stairway and then leave the dungeon for Manba.

On the way back, they notice a beetle lair of some kind, but ignore it for now as they plan their next move.

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Gnolls!
RUN AWAYYY! No? Um, ok. FIIIIGHT!

Eighthmonth 20, 300 AL – Eighthmonth 21, 300 AL

The party travels about half of a day, following the river to Panpo, when suddenly they hear splashing and see a band of 10 gnolls charging across a ford toward them. Luckily, with the water slowing them down, the gnolls’ surprise attack was wasted, because instantly things were looking bad for the party.

The sub-chief gnoll lead the pack, and was huge and hard to hurt and hit really hard. While nobody was taken out by the monsters, it was obvious that it wouldn’t be long. Luckily, Walderson was able to get off a Sleep spell in time, and all of the gnolls were overcome by arcane slumber… except for the two archers that hung back in the water, who promptly awoke, choking in the river, and then ran away as soon as they got their feet beneath them.

Throats were slit and bodies looted (not that there was any loot to be had), and one gnoll was questioned, but either didn’t understand Imperial or had nothing to say. There was talk of trying to release it and track it back to its lair, or bring it back to town, but all of these options were considered too risky, and eventually the gnoll was left behind as the party continued to Panpo.

A day later, they arrived (and San Chal leveled again!)

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