Armour of the Gods

Dramatis Personae

The Cast

Joined Session 1
Astrid, Female Cleric 2
Freidrich Holtzer, Male Human Warpriest 2
Griffund, Male Human Investigator 2
Grugor Thunderbeard, Male Dwarf Storm Druid 2
Len Carse, Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 2
Wulfgang Ackerman, Male Human Bloodrager 2

Joined Session 3
Strider, Male Human Ranger 3

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Introduction
Where Our Story Begins

Our story begins in the town of Aspodell – a small county ruled over by Alrich and Elyssa T’al Vere.

The party is a mercenary company affectionately known as ‘The Black Wolves’. They are locals of the area and have quickly established a modest reputation as swords for hire in the surrounding area.

When not adventuring, The Black Wolves have lodging at the Aspodell Merchant Company. In exchange for the accommodation, they protect the premises and provide a presence onsite.

Business has been slow of late due to widespread conscription and good coin has been somewhat hard to come by.

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Session 1
The Journey Begins

Cast: Astrid, Friedrich, Griffund, Grugor, Len, Wulfgang.

Late in the evening, the party answers a knock on the door and they are introduced to a man who identifies himself as Aldaris Thrane.

He says that he his patron has need of a capable mercenary group and has a very well paying job proposition for them if they can leave immediately. He arranges a meeting at dawn and leads the party out of town and to a secluded forest glade, which lies just outside the outskirts of town.

They pass into a shimmering, transparent wall and into a private area which seems more inviting than the surrounding forest. At the far side stands a striking woman in her late forties. She has a natural presence, a lithe figure and raven black hair which is tied down to her waist. She is draped in the finery of her house, which is a stunning silver dress, and is immediately recognisable as the Countess Elyssa T’al Vere – ruler of the surrounding area and their local regent.

She has an urgency to her voice and quickly dismisses the pleasantries, explaining the following to the party:

  • King Magnus IV, her cousin, has died without a rightful heir and that the Council of Mages has hidden away the crown until a ruler emerges.
  • Members of the extended royal family and other powerful leaders of the various factions throughout the realm gather their forces and attempt to eliminate one another.
  • Elyssa has concluded that in order to survive, she must make an attempt to seize control of the throne to preserve her interests and knows that her best chance is to find and assemble an ancient artifact known as ‘The Armour of the Gods’, which was dismantled and scattered throughout the land many centuries ago.
  • She requires the party to seek out the relic on her behalf and offers riches, estates, titles and all the support she can provide.
  • She offers the party a shard of crystal which glows lightly and will guide them to the nearest part of the relic.
  • She gives them each a potion of Cure Serious Wounds.
  • She gives them a sack containing 100pp to recover the first item.
  • She gives them a small box (containing a magic insect) and tells them to open the box when they have found the first part of the relic, and not before.

Before the meeting can be concluded, there is the presence of a dark shadow overhead. The countess immediately recognises the imminent danger – she summons a wall of force to to protect the area and initiates a teleportation circle, which she ushers the party through, urging them to find the relic. It is the only hope.

The party emerge in an ancient forest with massive trees, in an overgrown clearing containing crumbling masonry. It is cool, quiet, dark and damp. A pervasive, heavy mist blankets the area 30’ vision.

Over the course of the next few days, the party travels West, following the glow of the crystal shard they were given. They are trailed by a tribe of feral monkey goblin creatures, who grow in numbers and harass the group until an attack becomes imminent. The creatures eventually swarm and the party is forced to fight them off on multiple occasions as they hurry along the game trails towards the glow of the crystal.

Even when the party rests, they are unsettled and, in one instance, they are startled by a fawn which has come to take a drink at the waterhole where they are camped. This does not end well for the deer.

The session concludes as the party follows the sound of running water and merging of waterways as the land suddenly falls away to reveal a waterfall at the edge of a cliff and a large drop concealed by mist and water vapour. Peering over the edge, the length of the drop and terrain below is unclear due to the thundering sound of the water crashing and the heavy fog and mist vapour which has accumulated in the area. The water vapour and the sound of water falling below conceals any attempt they have to discern the height of the cliff.

A consultation with the crystal shard reveals that the party must scale the cliff to continue their journey West or spend potentially days trying to circumvent the steep drop. After some discussion, the party decides to attach a rope to the top of the cliff and descend, though they soon encounter a large, very dark opening near the top of the cliff.

Using a hammer and pitons, Friedrich descends along the rope to investigate the opening and peers inside the cave to reveal a massive writhing pile of what is later found to be feces covered in hundreds of insects inside of the cave. In doing so, he stirs the small colony of dire bats who reside there. One of them immediately attacks and leaves Friedrich severely injured and alone on the ledge as Wulfgang hustles to descend the rope and comes to Friedrich’s aid.

During this time, Astrid holds the rope while Grugor watches over her. Len climbs to approach the cave from above and Griffund tries to find a way to assist.

Soon after, two more bats emerge from the cave and quickly move to attack the cleric who is holding the rope.

In a moment of madness, both Len and Griffund each make an impressive leap onto the back of the bats in an attempt to ride them and bring each of them down. However, neither of them is successful and they fall through the mist to the ground below. Fortunately for them, the pool of water below breaks their fall, though they are left stranded and unable to contact the rest of the party through the sound of crashing water. Meanwhile, Astrid manages to fight of two of the bats and prevent them pulling her from the cliff with Grugor’s aid.

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Session 2
Deep in the Forest

Cast: Astrid, Griffund, Grugor, Len, Wulfgang.

With the bats finally defeated, the party regroup and venture into the cave. Wulfgang trudges through the writhing pile of bat guano to uncover the remains of two adventurers who had previously met their fates with the bats. Eventually, the party cleanse at the base of the waterfall and continue West.

Whilst passing through the forest, the party encounters a skirmish between a small band of travellers and some native, fungal-infected lizardfolk, following an ambush by the lizardfolk on the group and the subsequent death of one of the rival party members. What ensues is melee with the lizardfolk warriors, followed by a tense stand-off between the two parties as they attempt to unravel the events which had unfolded.

The party enters an area of swampland and has more brushes with the fungal lizardfolk, avoids an ugly encounter with a swarm of dire cockroaches feeding on the carcass of some kind of fallen beast as they follow the path of the crystal shard – eventually reaching a large clearing in the forest, which contains an impressive ziggurat, which the crystal compass leads directly into.

They work as a team to dislodge a rusted iron portcullis which leads into the ziggurat and then enter through a passageway into an area littered with hundreds of human bones, which spring to life and attack the group as they traverse the room.

With some effort, the party manages to fight off the skeletons which had attacked them
and current stand poised to continue their journey further into the ziggurat.

The party rests and those present awake feeling stronger.

Astrid, Griffund, Grugor, Len and Wulfgang reach Level 2.

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Session 3
The Ziggurat

Cast: Astrid, Friedrich, Griffund, Grugor, Stepper, Wulfgang.

The party awakes to the sound of a loud horn outside. As they venture towards the portcullis , they look out to see Friedrich and a human ranger hurrying towards them as they are pursued by a band of hostile goblinoids – among their numbers are four goblins atop feral, rat-like mounts, along with the same number of goblin footmen and a pair of heavily-armed hobgoblins.

Though Astrid wishes to use the tactically-strong position to make a stand against the enemy, she is out-voted and the two newcomers are quickly ushered beneath the partially-open portcullis and inside the tunnel, firing a couple of arrows which find their mark on one of the goblin riders. Seeing that their quarry has now made it to the safety of the ziggurat, the goblinoids call of their hunt and withdraw to the forest, leaving the party to the dark, quiet tunnels.

Gathering their forces and moving forward, the party venture further through the tunnels and soon encounter a pair of Ghoul Wolves, which stand guard on either side of an iron-bound, heavy wooden door which has swollen into the surrounding stonework. Though Griffund is badly mauled into unconsciousness, the party work together to overcome the wolves and five others in the adjoining chambers before the are is cleared of the undead wolves.

Then party then breaks through the swollen door and into the adjoining room with a large stairwell shaft in the centre, where they are ambushed by a crudely-fashioned itching powder trap and a group of ratfolk on the same floor and the mezzanine above, who fire a barrage of arrows into anyone who passes through the door.

Grugor casts Obscuring Mist to protect them against the enemy’s bolts, though is soon rewarded for his efforts by being struck by a bladder containing a foul-smelling concoction and a bullet which cases him to be blinded and sickened for a round.

Astrid leads the charge along the left side and draws the fire of the enemy upon her and is able to deflect many of the bolts with her superior armour and shield, though she is ambushed by a larger, more threatening wererat, who attempts to attack her with shortsword and infect her with his bite.

On the other side of the pit, Griffund turns invisible and makes his way up one of the ladders to the mezzanine floor to dispatch the enemies upstairs, while Wulfgang swings through the enemies on the right, including more of the ratfolk and another wererat.

Eventually, the party cut and shoot their way through the enemy before deciding to venture down the shaft and investigate. What they find is an atrium with four doors from the central area and a large, black stone obelisk with a hollow centre.

They soon find that this appears to be some kind of intricate mechanism linked to an electric barrier across each of the doors by activating the mechanism and suffering the effects of the electricity.

Deciding that this is a job for another day, the party venture back upstairs and into one of the guard chambers and rest.

Friedrich reaches Level 2.

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Session 4
The Temple of the Rats

Cast: Friedrich, Griffund, Grugor, Zorbel.

Upon rising from their rest, the party investigates the remainder of the main floor of the ziggurat and find a large 70’ long, 30’ wide ceremonial chamber is through a heavy stone door. The floor and roof are worked stone with 2x columns on either side to support the 20’ high roof. 10x long black tapestries line the walls on either side – each of them with a crimson border and a symbol of a crimson claw in the centre (Malar). At the far end of the chamber is a stone dais, raised by two stone steps. In the centre is an altar which has a similar black and crimson cloth draped over.

In doing so, they interrupt some kind of Ratfolk ceremony and are forced to battle against the Ratfolk priest and his followers. Griffund is almost cut in half when he tumbles through the enemy fighters and attempts to sneak attack the priest, but the party manages to hold it together and emerge victorious.

Once they have vanquished their enemy, they search the chamber and find a black granite sarcophagus, which has a false bottom containing a 5’ long glass rod, which is shaped like an ornate table leg with a smooth surface and capped with polished steel.

They then search the adjoining rooms and set of numerous traps, before uncovering two secret doors which reveal a number of valuable items including:

  1. A leather artisan’s roll containing 6x Manticore spike darts.
  2. 4x bolts etched with spider web patterns and have sticky, bulbous head.
  3. Silver, gems.
  4. Vials of stink ink, dust burst bullets.
  5. Wooden shelves .containing dozens of leather-bound tomes, parchments, scrolls etc, on subjects of local history, geography, nobility etc.
  6. Magic scrolls.

Grugor and Griffund attain Level 3.

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Session 5
Assault on the Chamber

Cast: Friedrich, Griffund, Grugor.

The party descends the stairs with their newly-found glass rod and insert it into the obelisk, which deactivates the electrical fields and allows them to pass through to the chamber beyond.

After solving a pair of riddles written on the walls of the corridor, they uncover more items of value, including a pair of Javelins which crackle with electricity, before venturing into the far chamber, which contains a granite altar, similar to the one upstairs and a magnificent, heavy, black belt which sits atop the alter.

However, before claiming their prize, the party are forced to defeat the tomb guardian – a large suit of phantom armour. The battle which ensues is nearly leathal,; almost claiming multiple party members. Though, with Grugor’s use of the newly acquired ‘Javelin of Lightning’ and some effective teamwork, they are able to overcome the guardian and claim the belt.

Once done, they summon their patron and provide her with the belt. She appears very pleased with their find and rewards them with a heavy bag of platinum before sending them on their next assignment.

The party then step through a portal and are teleported to a location far in the cold mountains of the North.

Friedrich attains Level 3.

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Session 6
Snow & Ice

Cast: Astrid, Friedrich, Grugor, Sarge, Throm, Zorbel.

Traveling along the road east for a few days, Friedrich and Grugor arrive at an isolated settlement called ’Winter’s Rest’, which is a small, fortified collection of buildings astride the main road along the base of the mountains. Friedrich and Grugor stop here for the night and are reunited with Astrid and Zorbel, along with two new arrivals in Sarge (Cleric of Helm) and Throm (Tower Shield Specialist).

Whilst in the tavern, some of the group engage in a game of ‘Knockdown’ with a trio of Dwarven merchants, where they each fill a glass with ale and a dose of Blue Whinnis, count to three and yell “Knockdown!” and try to remain standing. The one who recovers quickest is declared the winner. The slowest loses and is obliged to buy the next round. Grugor wins 25gp from the game, though others lose some coin in the process.

Some of the group trade with an Elf named Finasaer, who supplies them with goods from the general store, though the party does not have any real interaction with any of the other patrons in the tavern.

Upon leaving the following morning, the party doubles back on themselves in an attempt to throw any followers off their scene, then heads east through the forest thorough the day.

Before making camp, Grugor locates a small band of goblins and goblin dogs in a camp of their own and the party takes the opportunity to ambush these while they have the upper hand. They quickly dispatch the goblinoids and make their camp in a what appears to be the abandoned lair of some kind of mammal, which provides them with partial shelter from the elements.

Zorbel attains Level 2.

The party then continue through the forest and encounter a band of drunken humans torturing a moss troll, which they have shackled to a tree. They put the troll out of its misery and continue east, although Astrid accompanies the humans back to Winter’s Rest.

Astrid attains Level 3.

The rest of the party then find a ruined wooden building next to a river and investigate. Throm is ambushed by a Owlbear which has made its lair in the building and, in the ensuing conflict, the party is forced to kill the owlbear to stop its attacks. They subsequently skin the creature and take some meat for the trail.

The party then overcomes a fast-flowing river next to the building by pulling themselves through the icy water with their ropes and dry out next to a campfire before continuing east. They create shelters and rest in the woods.

The following day, the party continues their travel until near dusk, when they find a small hut in the forest. Taking advantage, they use this as a resting place, but are rudely awakened when a rival party they saw earlier in ’Winter’s Rest’ set the roof of the hut on fire and attempt to ambush the party.

Fortunately, Grugor is alert during his watch and he rouses his comrades to prepare for a fight. In the ensuing skirmish, the party is fired upon from the edge of the forest and retaliates by casting obscuring mist and firing arrows back.

Zorbel and Grugor are struck by magic missiles from the enemy mage and Zorbel returns fire. Similarly, Sarge is rendered unconscious in the ensuing conflict, though the party is able to successfully fend off the enemy and put them to the sword without any losses. They pilfer the enemy’s goods and consider their options.

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NEXT SESSION

Next game is scheduled for 5th November at 3pm.

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