Lords of Whitecliff
The messenger stood in the pool of light cast by the single torch in the dark hallway nervously waiting to pass on the note he had been tasked with delivering. The dungeon wasn’t a place that he even knew really existed. Sure there was a jail, one of the favored sons used to have a permanent room there, but a dungeon…a dungeon was something else entirely. It was hard to believe that Lord Lighthammer would even allow a place like this to even exist if half the things he had heard about the lord were true.
An ear splitting scream of terror echoed through the dungeon halls causing the messenger to almost jump out of his skin.
Pure silence. The only thing that he could hear was the thump-thump of his heart beating in his chest
The messenger almost wanted to the scream that preceded it to continue. He started to hum to himself, a little tune some bard was playing the night before at the tavern, something to add some noise to the overbearing silence. Something to fill the air over the thumping of his heart in his chest.
What was that noise? Footsteps? Slow and precise. Almost ominous in the silence of the dungeon. No, not almost ominous, they were definitely ominous. The Messenger wanted to leave, screw the message, screw this dark place, screw the man who is supposed to pay him for doing this, screw it all. He turned to leave but then remembered the man who asked him to deliver it. No not the man, just the man’s eyes. The way they seemed to bore into the Messenger’s soul.
He stood there quickly shifting his weight from foot to food and humming the little off key tune trying hard to not listen to the approaching foot falls.
The figure stepped into the torchlight suddenly as if he materialized out of the darkness itself. For the Second time the Messenger almost jumped out of his skin. The figure dropped a rag that he was wiping his hands off on and held out his hand for the note. Is that blood?
He couldn’t give him the note to the man fast enough.
“Go.” The voice was spoken low but the messenger was more than happy to comply. Turning on his heels he all but ran to get out of there.
Back outside the Messenger ran into the man who hired him again. Money was exchanged and thanks was given. He had done well and the man was pleased with him.
That night the messenger sat at table with his wife enjoying dinner.
“What did you do today?” She asked him.
He thought for some time before replying, “I don’t know, it must not have been important.”
Later that night he found a gold coin in his pouch, “Where did this come from?”
This is the story of Hassan as told by my, your humble Narrator.
Now Hassan is not a nice person, he is not a good person by any stretch of the imagination. He is dark and gloomy person, to say he is a sadist would be putting it lightly. Hassan possesses a dark gift from an evil bloodline and the whispers of death, destruction and power drift into his ears constantly. So far in his life he has managed to direct those dark urges towards doing what is necessary to protect the people of Whitecliff. What is necessary isn’t always necessarily good or popular. Hassan is a man who does very bad things when necessary for good reasons.
After the messenger gave Hassan the note and took off like his life depended on it, Hassan found himself smiling as he watched the messenger flee. It was the simple things in life like that Hassan enjoyed. Simple, pure, unadulterated fear carefully crafted, molded, and, finally, released. Hassan could have met the courier here in the light, it would have been simple enough. The dungeon is set up with magical wards that make it so that nobody can enter without the dungeon master knowing. But no, this was much more entertaining for Hassan. No harm done really, except maybe to whoever had to do the poor man’s laundry. A little bleach and some scrubbing will take care of those stains.
Hassan turned the note over in his hands and examined the seal, it was a missive from Brom himself. This was something new. Hassan didn’t even know that Brom was aware of his existence. Perhaps the old man knew more than he has previously suspected. Hassan will have to reevaluate his opinion of the old man. The fact that the note was delivered here meant that Hassan’s Father has approved this action.
Hassan looked back down the hall into the darkness. Somewhere back there was a man tied to a chair bleeding from several rather painful wounds. It will do him some good to sit there and suffer while other things were attended to. Besides, that what you get for cock-blcoking Hassan… Oh this wasn’t that guy? Sorry, that’s what you get for being an even spy for the hag that wanted to wipe out Whitecliff. Hassan turned away from the dungeon and climbed the stairs and returned to the surface world.
Lord Lighthammer has some council chambers located just off of the throne room, they were nicely decorated and appointed with various relics from the days of the Rolling Stones. Pretty much what you would expect from an adventurer turned King. When Hassan entered the room the eyes of all of the lords and ladies turned towards him. It was painfully obvious that something was wrong. Then Lady Rushmoor stepped aside and he could see the body the Madderhorn girl.
Hassan was sat down and the situation was explained to him. Several of the Favored Sons have gone on an adventure and Kelly perished as a result (got her butt kicked by some lesbian vampires at that). Hassan was asked to take her place. It seems like they need somebody willing to get their hands dirty to see to it that no more of the Favored Sons come back in body bags. He had till morning to pack his things.
You would think that Hassan would just say no. His relationship with the Lord and Ladies wasn’t the same as the others where when they are asked they have to say yes. They couldn’t make Hassan do anything. Father wasn’t there, wouldn’t be there, and wouldn’t try to do it either. In the end Hassan chose to go into danger. The reasons are entirely his and completely unknown to me, but if I had to guess I would say it was because he was bored with the ladies in Whitecliff and there weren’t many prisoners for him to play with.
Yup, Hassan went because he was bored. And when Hassan gets bored those fell whisperings in his ears get much worse.
Hassan didn’t need much, he traveled light when he felt the need. He was given access to Kelly’s personal items which he decided to take almost all of them.
The next day the Lords and Ladies gathered to see Hassan off and they teleported him to where the rest of the Favored sons were. As soon as he appeared he was attacked. Not by the party, not by the cultists that slew Kelly. No, Hassan was attacked by a large wolf. It seems that Kelly’s animal companion didn’t take to kindly to Kelly not coming back but instead there was a man carrying all of her gear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a wolf look so sad when Kelly didn’t come back. Fortus and the rest of them were about to get the wolf’s jaws detached from Hassan and the poor sad wolf ran off on its own heading East.
(in the end Grey took up residence over Kelly’s grave in tree town. He came back there each night after hunting will he became old and eventually passed as well. The citizens of tree town honored Kelly one last time by burying Gray in a grave next to hers. This is where you go ‘awwwww’)
So Hassan joined up with the rest of the party, distributed some of the gifts he was given to help them combat the vampires, and was briefs on their battle plan.
When we last left the brave party they were kicking the vampire’s butts. It seems that when the cleric, Hogrin, has a mind to do it he can become a very very scary warrior.
update 10-18-14 for previous games: 9-20-14 & whenever the one before that was….
Greetings and salutations to the readers of the words of your humble narrator. Once again I find myself with the time and the will to put quill to parchment and record the latest of our Hero’s journey. While I write and reflect upon the events of days past I find that I may have underestimated the will and moral compasses of the Favored Sons. Maybe this assignment will be more entertaining that I first suspected.
When last I wrote it seemed that Hassan and the Favored Sons were engaged in fierce battle with the undead femenazis that were the cult of the third moon. The blood sucking, man hating wenches had prepared for the return of the Favored Sons by animating with glorious fell magicks a hill giant, or at least all of the hill giant that they could fit into the room. It was truly a thing of beauty: the business half of a freshly killed and reanimated giant still leaking goo fighting side by side its undead masters. Despite this addition to the force the blocked the way of the Favored Sons the battle was short lived. With the well placed application of magic and something of a plan on how to handle the magical room in which the battle took place Hassan and his companions were able to quickly and efficiently clear the room of any threats.
Onward the fool hearted group continued, barely pausing to catch their breath. Through the door and into the next room they went and once again they were greeted by a sight that almost stilled my heart. They had made it, they had finally arrived at the heart of the temple. Spread before them were several of the vampiric femenazis including the leader of this particular group. All illusions and glamours were dropped and they stood before Hassan’s companions in all of their undead glory no longer caring to mask their true identities. Among those rallied before the favored sons where all of the young ladies taken from the surrounding area. Young girls who should have carried dollies up to young women who should have been driving their father’s crazy and sneaking out of their houses at night to meet a local boy behind the barn. All of them carried weapons instead and stood between the Favored Sons and the Vampires who stole them from their homes.
At this point I fear that I may not be the only fell influence whispering in the years of this particular band of mortals. For while I whispered into the ears of Hassan the glory and pleasure that a slaughter of innocents would bring one of his companions beat me to it. It happened so fast and was so unexpected that even your humble narrator from his lofty vantage point missed it. There was the death cry of a prepubescent human and a spray of a sweet innocent’s blood. I almost wept in pleasure.
What followed was a slaughter as the Favored Sons wielding steel and spell cut down the young ones without hesitation. Perhaps there is hope for them yet.
Though I do get ahead of myself briefly, there was one among them who possessed a purity of thought and action still. The Gnome who I often forget even exists. He sought to spare the lives of the innocents but was not fast enough or strong enough to act before it was too late. I will long remember the look on his face as he approached the last of the Innocents with a sap in hand ready to render her unconscious when she was cut down before him. I will have to work long and hard to influence that one.
The battle that continued among the vampires and the heroes was long and too often did one of the Favored Sons find himself close to death, including Hassan himself at one point as an archer sought to end his life and blasts of power.
In the end one of the vampires got away, all of the others were destroyed. and they found out that somewhere else in the world another temple of the third moon exists. but that is a problem for another day.
So the Favored Sons made their way back to White Cliff though on the way they found the wreckage of an attack on a wagon. The Gnome and Fortus went to track down those responsible with Hassan and rest of the Sons following behind. it wasn’t long before those two came running at full speed away from a bat winged panther looking thing. The Panther grabbed the gnome and was tossing the little guy around like a toy while the rest of the Sons attacked the beast. The gnome tried his damnest to get away till in the end he took a different approach and managed to land a kick in a sweet spot. The panther released the gnome and curled up into a ball and fell unconscious. That is when they heard the approach of the Panther’s friends.
Oh yea, this part was great, you know that pompous, arrogant, goody two shoes elf that has been following the party, Kale? Well it seems like he has managed to come to terms with some of his magical ability for something other than shooting gay little rainbows at people. He turned into the giant centipede type thinger. Other than making himself a giant target (literally) he did manage to eat the panther thing once the little guy kicked it unconscious. Brave brave sir pompous ass ate the unconscious beast. my hero!
It looks like it’s going to be a fun day.
Game Date 10-18-14
I have heard stories from the breeding races that there are moments in a father’s life when he knows that he has raised his son right, he knows that the boy is going to make it. That father gets overwhelmed with emotion to the point that he cannot control his emotions any longer. It is a pathetic display of sentiment and weakness that need not ever have to worry about, thank the nine hells, but there was a moment today that I could understand that sentiment even if I couldn’t share it. Also I learned that I should step carefully around Hassan, for if I cross him I may find myself in a truly painful and demeaning position that I would very much like to avoid.
So back to my story and to that moment of almost fatherly pride.
The troops from the winged pather things, which I have learned is known as a flying ball of darkness, or FBoD™, crested the hill and proceeded to attack Hassan and the Favored Sons. A bunch of veteran Hobgoblins plus some humans launched an attack on the group. I didn’t pay much attention to the results on most of the group, I do know that Sir Pompous Ass took a few hits but Hassan was struck in the back with a Javelin from one of the hobgoblins. Hassan turned around, his eyes flashed with fell power, words in a fell language combined with his own as he commanded the hobgoblin next to the one that struck him to take and rape Hassan’s attacker.
My jaw dropped and my black heart swelled (albeit briefly) as Hassan’s words became laced with power. The hobgoblin looked at his companion, love, no not love but lust filled his eyes and the hobgoblin licked his lips. It’s not often that you get to see gay hobgoblin buggering and I thought that today might just be that day but the beast managed to shake off the affects of the spell and nobody was going to get buggered today. Well that’s not exactly true but at least nobody was going to get buggered proper today.
The battle pretty much went how you would expect it to. Hassan and the Favored Sons managed to kill off or defeat all of their opponents. It took quite some time, the hobgoblins were well trained and there really were a lot of them. There were a few moments where Hassan was able to shine. One of the humans decided to turn himself invisible and walk out into the field of battle, little did the poor fool know that Hassan could easily see him. By channeling his gifts Hassan is able to call upon the eyes of the dark masters and simple illusions such as invisibility are powerless against him. So Hassan take a scroll of faerie fire and casts the spell on the mage, now everyone can see him right in the middle of the battle field. the fool looked so surprised, it was great.
At another point Hassan stalked after two of the Hobgoblin archers firing blast after blast at them slowly whittling away their health as they fired arrow after arrow at Hassan missing him constantly. Those few arrows that hit barely phased him until finally the last hobgoblin fell to Hassan’s onslaught.
Then the big guy showed up. Which really isn’t that big of a deal except the big guy showed up with a basilisk. Which you would expect to be a pretty harrowing turn of events, and generally it would be but the Favored Sons were ready of it. And I lost 20 platinum pieces in bets that I wagered on the fight. I mean seriously, usually they just rush right in with no care of their personal safety I thought surely at least one of them would get turned to stone. But I was wrong. The big guy and the basilisk advanced on the cleric Hogrin so what does Hogrin do? He falls to the ground and covers his eyes while the big guy beats him with a chain trying to get him to open his eyes. Hassan called upon his gifts once again and destroyed the big guy’s weapon, and the basilisk was quickly killed by magic and arrows. So the big guy does what any sensible big dumb warrior would do when outnumbered and having lost any type of advantage he had to begin with: he ran.
And was quickly disposed of by some guy named Jack who I guess the Favored Sons all knew and was friends with the Late Ms. Madderhorn.
So they Searched the groups encampment and it seems as if this group was part of several groups that is laying siege to Whitecliff, and from the siege equipment that Kale saw while scouting the area as an FBoD™ they are planning on really laying siege to Whitecliff.
And that is when Hassan’s skull rang. not that skull, the animal skull that he has to talk to Lady Madderhorn with. Well it seems as if Lord Lighthammer had the gall to up and die at an inopportune time and the Favored Sons had been ordered back to Whitecliff.
no big deal except that fortune decided that it would be a good idea for there to be blizzard. So the trip back to whitecliff has been tediously slow at best and I’m getting bored so I’m I’ve been trying to get Kale to turn into something big and eat the wizard. He’s been ignoring me so far but I might be wearing down his resolve.
Game Date: 11-29-14
There are few times that being an incorporeal observer has it’s advantages. One of those times is when Hassan is forced to trudge along a road in the middle of a blizzard. Watching him and his companions fight their way through a snow storm has really made me appreciate the fires of the 9 hells at my back. I would feel bad for them if it was in my nature, which it isn’t, but something deep within me enjoys watching mortals suffer, even if it is my charge’s suffering that I get to witness.
Of course leave it to the child slaughtering cleric to spoil my enjoyment. He must be trying to make up for all of the joy I took watching him slaughter human children. It’s almost as if he knows I am here watching. Inconceivable, of course, there is no way that someone who was foolish enough to throw away a position of influence and power as second in line to the Throne of Whitecliff for life as a humble cleric would ever be able to notice my observations or subtle machinations. Still, as they say: “Even a squirrel I blind can find a nut.” So out comes the clerical spell of ‘spoil my fun’ and their horses are enchanted to not be hindered by the snow. Bollocks!
So why spoil my enjoyment? Trying to make it to a funeral on time wasn’t enough for the cleric to spoil my fun. The town being under siege, that did it.
Hassan and his companions were trudging along in the snow getting close to that worthless village that grew up next to the keep. Like those little fish that swim around sharks and clean up after them, yea that’s exactly what this town is like. So, right, walking through the snow and they hear horses coming. The brave and powerful companions of Hassan immediately got off of the road to cower in the frozen bushes off the sides of the road leaving Hassan to deal with what was coming. Of course a blind kobold could follow the trails of the horses exiting the road, but still, gotta give them marks for bravery.
It is not everyday that a man’s mettle is tested by a group of paladins mounted on horseback charging out a storm straight at you. That is what Hassan faced, and he faced it well, though I worried for him as soon as saw his adversaries. The Paladins stopped short of Hassan and after a brief conversation, the Favored Sons came out of their hidey holes.
with the Paladins’ assistance (though it was mostly through the efforts of Hassan and his companions) they charged into the fray. They rushed headlong into battle with the ork army that has laid siege to that nameless town outside of Whitecliff.
Many orks have fallen to Hassan’s power and to the skills of his companions. Still the battle rages and Hassan is far from finished showing these curs his might.
Game Date: 01-10-15
And now this is where things start to get weird. So the favored son’s fought their way through the orks….
Wait those are hobgoblins? Why didn’t anyone tell me that like an eon ago? Stupid goblinoids, they all look the same anyway.
Orks aren’t goblinoids? Screw it I don’t care, now shut up and let me tell my story or I will rip off your tail and stuff it down your throat.
So where was I? Right, they fought through the hobgoblins and reached a trebuchet that was raining death and destruction down on that two horse town. They fought off the defenders and when cleric kill-joy approached the thing to deliver the killing blow to the trebuchet it collapsed in fear for the wrath of kill-joy’s god. Or perhaps the goody two shoes gnome managed to cut the right ropes finally turning it into a pile of scrap. I’ll let you be the judge as to what really happened. I’ll give you a hint though: Kill-joy’s god, really isn’t all that scary.
So one minor threat averted. I mean seriously it’s a trebuchet, you just don’t stand near where the rock it throws lands and you’re ok, not all that much of a threat especially since it had already destroyed the part of the town where it was aiming. Heroes to the rescue to wreck a perfectly good piece of siege equipment that had already done it’s job. Good job guys, way to save the day.
Then a giant plant attacked them. You’re going to think I was drinking or something when I tell you how big this plant was but I assure you that I was still on my first at this point and still quite disappointingly sober.
This plant was so big that even from my vantage point I couldn’t see the end of it, it was a giant vine with these long leaves that reached out and attacked anything it could reach. The main trunk of this vine was probably about 20 feet in diameter, and the attacking leaves reached out even further than that. It looked pretty scary, but then in reality it wasn’t. The favored sons rushed in and proceeded to cut their way through it (and the little sprouts that popped off of it and attacked) like a goat in the field.
Then there was the giant thudding noise making its way across the battle field. It turn out the the Elf’s eccentric lover decided to join the fray, except that the…person was 100 ft. tall. And given the looks of horror on everyone’s faces as they looked up I can only imagine that they could see up his skirt and he was wearing only a skirt. Looks of horror on mortal’s faces is always nice to see, doesn’t mean that I’m going to look up and see what’s happening but its nice that they saw it.
So 100 ft.free balling Merryl comes to save the favored son’s, or maybe just Kale, who was in the shape of a hydra, and was taken by the giant vine leaving the path ahead clear for the Favored Sons. Of course the fight between 100 ft. Merryl and the vine could have been a story of an epic battle, synonymous with man’s struggle against nature that parallels man’s struggle with his inner self. But no, it didn’t happen that way. If you’ve ever seen a bag of devouring suck a mortal into itself you would understand what happened next, and Merryl didn’t eat it. I’ll let you figure it out from there.
So the path ahead was once again clear and the Favored Son’s mounted up and charged ahead to face their next threat. They came to the walls of Alnwick where a dire tiger, a regular tiger and really big freakin’ one eyed snake were defending the way into Alnwick from a bunch of zombies.
Seriously a one eyed snake? first a giant vine with a bunch a littler thrusting vines. Then we had the vine’s sprouts which were nothing more than thrusting vines and mouths, and now a one eyed snake. How many phallic symbols can you go up against? And that isn’t even counting the swords and that 100 ft. Merryl’s staff.
Anyway, pile of dead zombies with more zombies on top, and among all of those zombies was one guy who wasn’t a zombie. He probably would have been more of thread against the Favored Sons but instead of staying to fight a losing battle he flew away.
So the dire tiger was actually Lorik Madderhorn, she turned back to halfling form and looked pretty much dead on her feet. She told the Favored Son’s that it looks like the guy who flew away was heading for the iron gate and that they all should hurry there as well.
Well when the not zombie flew away, Kale decided that he didn’t want to be a hydra anymore so he turned into one of those bat winged panther things, Hassan gave him a darkness stone that Kill-joy gave him a while back and Kale followed disguised as a flying ball of darkness.
So now it’s off to the iron gate for everyone.
its good to know that the killing isn’t done yet.
the next game, and the one after that:
You would think that with an event that will be known as ‘The battle at the Iron Gate’ there would have been this epic battle of a few men holding the gate against the enemy and prevailing against all odds.
Well prepare yourself for disappointment as those few men were the Favored Sons and the enemy only consisted of a few of the winged panther creatures. Blows were traded, spells were cast, an iron golem burst out of a wall and helped out, you know nothing of not happened. in the end the panther thingers and the big manticore were dead and the Favored Sons weren’t.
Of course that didn’t mean that they won the day, only that they survived.
The enemy had come for one thing and one thing only, some bits of an artifact that the Lords had laying around. Balkara was taken hostage, the enemy got away, and it looks like they are heading to Kale’s mom.
Yup that’s about all that happened. I’m sure there are bards out there that will liven up the story, but I’m just here to tell you how things really happened.
3-30-15 thru 8-22-15
The battle was over, Whitecliff managed to survive somehow. It sure wasn’t due to the might of the defenders but rather more that the attacks felt it fitting and appropriate that they survive. The dead were buried and the rebuilding began.
During this time the Favored Sons were summed to the tree room where they were tasked with a series of jobs that ‘Only they are expendable enough to deal with’ (no that not the actual words that were spoken, but that was pretty much the sum of it.
They were tasked to find Cnedra Aldershott and the rest of the artifact that the enemies of whitecliff were searching for, there are to recover the artifact that was taken from Whitecliff and they are to investigate the Lair of Pellgram the Pale, the lich that once terrorized this area of the world that the Rolling Stones defeated and a cult follow has grown around. Reports state that an increased number of undead activity has been witnessed in the area.
Obviously impossible tasks are the popular.
So how does someone find an Elven Wizard who has removed herself from humanity to the point that she will not even communicate with her own son (actually its the son who isn’t talking with her, but we’ll go with Kale’s version for today).? Who knows, Kale isn’t offering any suggestions and nobody else knows where her home is. So they do one thing that is slightly less intrusive and make use of a Quall’s feather token to send her a message. It probably wont ever get a response, and there’s always the possibility that Cnedra is already dead, the artifact taken, and all that jazz but hey i’ll let the silly mortals cling to foolish hopes.
Finding the Artifact taken from Whitecliff is pretty much a completely impossible task at this time. They have no idea where it has gone or really who had taken it. So until Hogrin gets enough rapport with his foolish god to ask him where it is, there isn’t much that they can do there. They are told what the artifact was able to do when it was used by the lich who created it: it could animate dead at range and could be charged with the onyxes required for raising them. and to add more urgency to the impossible task: When Pellgram used it he could unleash a necromantic blast. I know of a number of people who would trade their souls to my masters to get their hands on that.
So that leaves the lair of Pellgram the pale. They decide to go find the Lair of Pellgram. Sounds easy enough right? Nope, when it comes to the favored sons nothing is ever easy, and that before their foolish bumbling makes things even worse for them. So Pellgram enchanted the land around the his lair so that only the undead can find it. It seems to me that at this point they probably should have let the druid come back as a vampire, she would have been able to lead them there without a problem. I guess they didn’t plan that one out.
So how is the group going to find an undead creature who is able and willing to lead them there? Conveniently enough the parents just happen to know of one who would probably be willing to help them out. When the Rolling Stones were first terrorizing the followers of the Pellgrim in the area all those years ago their ranger was killed by a Steppe dragon and his ghost still wanders the area. They just have to find the ghost and keep those in the party to put aside their desires to destroy all undead for long enough to talk to it (yes Fortus, and to a lesser degree, Hogrin and Syrefyne I am referring to you). So the Favored sons take to the road again.
Maris Meriwether was actually a lot easier to for them to find than I thought it would be. It turns out that, for once, the direction the Favored Parents gave them were accurate and Maris must have been really lonely because he quickly showed up and really just wanted someone to talk to. Makes me pretty glad that imps cant be ghosts.
So the late Maris is willing to help out the Favored sons if they do something for him (why is everything quid pro quo?): recover his body.. err his bones from the lair of the Steppe dragon and give him a proper funeral (did I mention that those bones went through the digestive track of a dragon?) he would help them. As an added bonus he knows where the Steppe Dragon could be found.
So off they go to find a steppe dragon, which once again was surprisingly easy even with all of their bumbling. finding it was the easy part, getting it to allow the group to go through its garbage, well not nearly as easy. Hassan actually decide to go talk to the dragon and try to strike a bargain with it. And he did (yea I’m still in shock that Hassan didn’t get himself eaten that day either). The Dragon was willing to trade the bones of Maris for the eggs of a copper dragon that lived nearby (again with the quid pro quo).
So from a Steppe dragon they go to visit a copper dragon. this is really starting to look like a while goose chase and more trouble than it’s worth but the valiant bumbling fools trudge forward to the lair of another dragon. And once again they manage to find it surprisingly easily. now instead of just going in and slaughtering the dragon and taking the treasure like any group of intelligent, self respecting adventures should they knock on the wall sealing off the lair and wait for the dragon to come to them.
Despite every ounce of evil that I am personally an embodiment of, I found myself actually liking this copper dragon and came to approve of their decision to speak to it instead of just slaughtering it. I’ve never seen a dragon all but piss itself laughing so hard but damnit her laughter was infectious. The Favored Sons knocked on her front door and she thought it was the funniest thing in the world. AND she decided to craft a magical arrow that would help them defeat the steppe dragon. Of course this one time it didn’t count as quid pro quo, the only she asked in return (and by asking, it wasn’t stated) was that she be allowed to continue to live… Or more likely not have to waste her time killing the Favored sons.
Magic arrow in hand they started to make their way back to the lair of the steppe dragon to kill it (obviously whenever Hassan’s diplomacy is involved, death is going to be the end result). But they could not decide how they were going to use the one magical arrow that they had, essentially they only had one shot at this otherwise they were all going to die gruesome deaths in the digestive track of a dragon. Fortunately Hassan is a man of many talents and was able to retrieve a few scrolls of True Strike so that Kale would be able to shoot the dragon. (that and he got to eat a hot meal, drink hot mulled wine, sleep in a comfortable bed with 3 woman and enjoy a home cooked breakfast).
The journey into the Lair of the steppe dragon was met with resistance as rust monsters, cavern wyverns and the steppe dragon itself sought to kill the favored sons. And they came close, damned close. a lucky strike from Hogrin shoving his sword up the dragons butt made up for his being useless for most of the combat. The killing blow saved Fortus from a certain death as he was trapped in the dragons maw, and Hassan from certain pain (and possible death) as the dragon was lining him up for an attack with his breath weapon. Styge almost fell to his injures compounded by the effects of Wyvern poison coursing through his body except for the fortunate positioning of Hassan and Hogrin to get Hogrin just into range of a spell that saved Styges life.
They say better lucky than good, but lady luck is a fickle whore who decided to smile on the favored sons that day.
With the Death of the Steppe dragon the companions decided to return to Barias, the copper dragon, to inform her of the outcome. Once again the charm of the dragon melted my cold, nonresistant, heart. She was as shocked as I was that they all survived the day and invited them all of for dinner. I dare say that Hassan was quite smitten with the creature in her human form as he spent the whole evening hitting on her. I’ve seen Hassan out womanizing and he was pulling out all of the stops on his game that day, I dare say that virgin priestesses who were dedicated to celibacy would have given into Hassan’s charms that day but the Dragon, despite the playful flirting back, did not. I see a challenge to Hassan and a believe he has accepted it. The dragon is going to take more wooing than anyone else Hassan has sought.
Steppe dragon defeated, and the companions all alive, they took some time to rest and collect their thoughts, the dragons treasure, and the bones of Maris Meriwether. A trip back to Whitecliff followed allowing the Favored sons to attend the entombment of Brom Lighthammer into the family crypt and the procurement of supplies needed to assault the lair of a lich.
While in the town Hassan was approached by a Lady known as Tessa who the group has crossed paths before. She asked to see Hassan’s guests, which meant that there was only one person who could have sent her.
I still don’t know what the purpose that visit was.
After some time in the village and the funeral complete, the group made their way back to the Dire Marches in search of the Lair with the help of a ghost. seriously this is how it is happening, I couldn’t make this stuff up (us Imps are notorious for our lack of imaginations).
Once again I am glad that I have the fires of hell at my back and that I’m not slogging my way through a half frozen swamp in the winter on the material plane. Because that is what they were doing. During the first night there a group of Ghasts almost killed everyone (except Hassan who had enough survival sense to get away from being surrounded by them). A well placed earth elemental managed to saved the companions from a cold, wet, death and a future as a ravenous undead. The second night had Fortus slogging through the swamps after some floating balls of light that turned out to be will o wisps. the end of the third day they managed to find the lair of Pellgrim (thanks for that belongs solely on Maris who led them there).
The lair had been destroyed and the effects of the magics that ravaged the area were still quite obvious. The entrance itself appeared to have been split by an earthquake. So what do they do? they go inside.
the inside of the lair looks pretty much like the outside: cold, damp, moist, and rubble. They reach an area where the floor of two levels had collapsed down to the a third level below them. They make their way across the Chasm to another hallway and make their way through that to a room that is full of spider webs that could only have come from a man sized spider.
This should be entertaining…..