CoT Events (season 2: 12-26)
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Session 12: Lynkeed is Worse off than They Remember (16 Smofena 783 to 23 Smofena 783)
Haas and Lennie reach Lynkeed after months of travel. They find the orcs are rebuilding the fortifications and still control the city. They quickly find the shrine to Stasis and the orc that helped them before, Ajax the paladin.
After telling Ajax their story, Ajax calls upon one of his few allies in Lynkeed, the dwarven merchant Broder Granitebreaker. He helps tell Haas and Lennie about what has gone on in Lynkeed and the difficulty of having the Lowtor Fangor, the orc they know as Riot, removed from power.
After several days of bad weather preventing them from leaving the shrine, and also not wanting to risk being captured, another wandering soul reaches it. Ash, the former companion of Ajax arrives, saying that he has no place else to go. Ajax welcomes him in after a speech.
The winter storm continues as the four discuss what they might do to stop the orcs. On night, Ajax and Ash and awoken by their mounts. A horrible stench has made it to the stables. Ajax wakes Lennie and Haas with his light and the four go outside. There, they too are assailed by the smell. Ash finds one large winged humanoid. Lennie exits and is suddenly attacked by three emaciated humanoids. None are clothed or have weapons. Two more of the thin ones appear and attack Ajax. The creatures use spells and strange attacks, quickly knocking out Haas and incapacitating Ajax. It is only Ajax's divine aura that slowly burns the creatures and kills all but the large one, who retreats.
The group drags themselves back into the shrine and rests for a day and the storm finally blows over. When they look outside, they discover two gems with the symbol of Vishtoo among the tar-like remains of the creatures. A messenger from Broder arrives that day, telling them that word has come of the Lowtor Fangor's cleric of Tyrogatore. He has won the Tournament of Palumbton. The Lowtor Fangor is being lauded and plans to march to Palumbton.
Several hours after that, the group is visited at the shrine again. This time by a halfling named Bidob. He is a resident of the city charged with watching the orcs and managing trade from the great forest. He says he thinks he and the group can help each other.
Session 13: A New Brood of Children with a New Problem (23 Smofena 783 to 27 Smofena 783)
Shortly after the tournament in Palumbton, the judge of the event, the Vass Hasshak from Habastalai arranges a meeting between many of the competitors. Yukimura, Shadow, Ecari, Grant, and Valizar. He tells them of the dangers to the faith he has seen and the threat of this orcish general who now controls two of the high temples. Ecari tells the group of the problems in Undrile. Hasshak suggests that he, Yukimura and Ecari sail to Undrile, while the other three go to Lynkeed. They agree.
In Lynkeed, Ajax attempts to talk to the imprisoned clerics. He spends more than a day in the jail to no avail and then is forced to fight his way out through soldiers. Back at his shrine, the others wait for his return and then are shocked to be confronted with three hundred orcish soldiers who claim Ajax must explain himself. After much diplomacy, the orcish Har Lowta decides that he will try to arrange a meeting between Ajax and the clerics.
Two days pass and Ajax is allowed to meet with Colin, an elder cleric from the temple that is imprisoned. Colin arrives with an orcish guard who insists on being present for all conversations. Haas and Lennie are happy to see a friend and teacher from the temple. He confirms much of what they already know, but reveals that the halfling who serves as the high cleric in Lynkeed is actually the former cook of the temple.
Later that day, Shadow, Valizar and Grant arrive. They introduce themselves to everyone. Shadow and Ajax know each other, as Shadow was sent by Ajax and others to challenge the Lowtor Fangor's champion in Palumbton. Haas also recognizes Shadow from his days years ago at the Orphanage. Shadow begins to search the city covertly for someone who may be sympathetic to their cause.
Shadow returns with Jacob Lamander, son of the merchant lord and Grovetender of Habastly. He offers some information and advice, and possible aid if needed.
The next day, as the clerics grow restless and the group and Ajax are still at odds over a course of action, another visitor arrives. A halfling in plate armor with a dog mount who Ajax immediately realizes is <a href="../NPCs/Firfin%20the%20Merciful.htm">Firfin the Merciful</a>. Firfin asks if they have encountered any powerful evil. He sensed it days ago and started to Lynkeed only to have its presence fade as he got closer. Ajax explains that they defeated some strange creatures that were Vishtoo summoned. Firfin identified them as Demodands. Firfin goes on to give Ajax a gem he found near Yellowia five years ago. The halfling claims to often find items and gives them away when he feels the time is right. Firfin places the gem in the hilt of Ajax's sword. When Ajax touches the sword, he is given a vision, and soon demands that they all leave the city.
Motivated by Ajax's force of will, the group says goodbye to Firfin, who stays in Ajax's shrine. Ajax, Ash, and Shadow go to find Bidob, while the rest start along the road west. Bidob is already preparing to leave for the forest. After talking to the three, he gets a bigger wagon and second pony, then they start off to meet the others.
As the two groups approach each other near the road, Ajax detects a large evil presence. The group is suddenly set upon by a spell that fatigues them all and then by hundreds of lesser undead. A voice calls out for vengeance on Ash and Ajax. The group begins to fight off the creatures with relative ease, as Ajax unleashes a fury of undead damaging light. Within seconds, the battle turns in favor of the group and the leader of the undead, a liche from Ajax and Ash's past curses them before leaving.
Session 14: A Trip that Could Have Gone Much Worse (27 Smofena 783 to 28 Progonust 783)
One day after the encounter with the Liche and his minions, Haas falls gravely ill. None of the groups' efforts to help him succeed and they simply pray they find help before he dies. Luckily, Grant is able to sustain the group with blessings so they do not have to hunt or stop for food.
The month long journey is mostly uneventful for the first two weeks though the wet, slushy plains and then around the Boiled Forest. Snakes, wolves, dogs, and militia pose little threat and mostly avoid the group. At the end of the two weeks, they discover that a troop of orcs is following them and slowly catching them. Lennie 'alters' the cart and leaves some food so that the group can pick up speed and he can ride on the cart.
Once they reach the edge of the great forest, the group comes across the northern most outpost of the Boiling Line. They briefly meet with the halflings at the post and camp not far from it. In the night, they hear creatures running towards them and soon discover three halflings from the outpost. The halflings say that their post was attacked by a mighty hydra, no doubt an agent of the Wugs. The group decides to avenge the halflings and deal a blow to the Wugs by slaying the hydra. Ajax, Grant, Valizar, Ash, and Shadow race back to the outpost, where they find the hydra tearing it apart. After a few blessings, Ajax charges ahead of them and is quickly unhorsed and knocked out. Ash lays in the trees at a distance and strikes the Hydra with dozens of arrows. Shadow sneaks in and out attacking the creature's vitals until he is nearly eaten. Valizar enlarges and charges, go toe to claw with the beast until he too falls to its teeth. Grant, after many prayers and healing Ajax, begins to fight it. Finally, Grant, Ajax, and Ash are able to overwhelm the hydra and Ash's arrows kill it.
While recovering from the fight and cleaning up the scene, the group discovers that the orcs are on the march. They quickly leave and the halflings that survive offer to talk to the orcs in an attempt to delay them. The group departs and heads into the great forest, where the orcs are slowed.
Several days into the great forest, several wraiths attack the camp looking for Ajax. The group defeats them with no ill effects.
After nearly a month, they reach Bodob's communities and his fellows.
Session 15: The First Steps Towards an Army (28 Progonust 783 to 15 Wavery 783)
After talking with the leader of the community, Ellic and his Sakor'akai wizard Tali, the group decides to stay at the estate until they have a plan. Haas is healed the next day by a cleric of Habastly and Celetal. The following day, Ash, Lennie, Shadow, Valizar, and Grant fight over the ioun stone they found in the belly of the hydra. Grant wins the battle royal and Haas awards him the prize.
After days of discussion, Ellic and the group decide that they best course of action is to raise an army of the forest to challenge the Lowtor Fangor before he gains too much power in the orcish empire and becomes a threat to the forest and the entire main continent. They decide to raise an army under the banner of the group, even though Ellic will end up leading the army in the end. Ellic and his aides tell the group of all of the realms of the forest and the group begins to plan its strategy.
The group decides that it will first go to Scalehome in hopes that realms they come across after that will be impressed by the fact that Scalehome is lending assistance to the cause; assuming they can convince Scalehome. When they reach the border of Scalehome, a voice asks them their business. They request a meeting with 'The Voice of Scalehome', the ambassador Giovanni. They are told the he will meet with them soon, but that he will find them in the forest and they should be on their way. The group agrees.
Two days out of Scalehome, the group is attacked at night by the Vishtoo that had hunted the children the year before, along with a Demodand and four lesser Vishtoo. The group quickly kills two Vishtoo and the others withdraw.
Two Hopeful Additions (15 Wavery 783 to 18 Wavery 783)
Two mornings after the attack by the Vishtoo, during morning prayers and sparring by the clerics of Tyrogatore, a group of Ogres approaches them and demands payment. Haas refuses, as Lennie says they have no coin and Shadow slips away. A fight ensues, but does not last long. Ajax and Ash join in and after some pain, three ogres are dead, three have surrendered, and the rest retreat.
Ajax questions that ogres, and then orders them to dig graves for their dead. The group discusses the possibility of going to the ogres' home and recruiting them to help. One of the captive ogres is particularly helpful, saying the current warlord was helped by a hobgoblin tyradin of Sutyr, whom Ajax recognizes by description. The ogre, Ulg, goes on to say that many in the community do not like the rule of this warlord. After much debate, the group sends Ulg into his community to retrieve several clerics of Habastly and Tyrogatore so that they may talk.
Before Ulg can return, the trip taking nearly two days, a green light descends on the group and announces it is the Voice of Scalehome come to talk with the group. Haas recognizes the voice and after Ajax explains their presence, Haas demands recompense for the death of his brother Pith at the hands of the voice's beasts a year ago. The voice eventually agrees to offer a large amount of coin as a payment for the death. Haas, to Ash's protest, declines. Haas then demands the voice, Giovanni is the name he gives, to aid the group mission and provide warriors to their assembling army is payment for the death of Pith. The voice agrees and says he will contact them again with more information.
That evening, the ogres arrive to meet with the group. The clerics agree that the warlord should be brought down, but they are not sure how. Usually the ogre that defeats a warlord becomes the new warlord. There is no other ogre capable. They eventually agree that if the group defeats the warlord and then Ajax, as a representative of Stasis, decrees a meeting will be had to find a new warlord, chaos might be averted. The group then sets to a plan and follows the ogres to their community, which is home to thousands of ogres.
When they reach the community, the ogres leave the group and send them with a weasel guide towards the edge of the community closest to the warlord's home. The group prepares, and then silently moves in, taking out three guards, trying to spare their lives. They are almost at the large ziggurat home of the warlord when Ash notices fiery dogs guarding the building, barking a warning. The group cannot hear because they have magically silenced themselves. The dogs attack with fire, and Ash moves to take them out while the others find the door.
Reaching the door, Lennie breaks in, causing fiery explosions, but not halting. Inside, the room is cut in two by hide curtains. Six ogres are waiting in the hastily cleared room. It takes the group little time to dispatch them, again taking care to try and only incapacitate them. Meanwhile, outside, Ash makes his way to the roof, while killing the fiery dogs he finds.
The group pushes past the curtain, and is met with another fiery blast. Six more ogres, the warlord, and two massive fiery dogs await them. After surrender is demanded and refused, the fight begins. Shadow continues to sneak and stun ogres almost at will. Ajax faces off with the warlord, Lennie and Haas fight the ogres, and Grant is left to the fiery dogs. The battle is fierce but quick, Ajax nearly kills the warlord before Shadow stealthfully stuns the leader. Those that remain surrender after Grant dispatched the dogs. Meanwhile, Ash makes his way into the building, finding several ogres on the upper floors. He sneaks up on them and kills them easily.
Almost Losing What Was Gained (18 Wavery 783 to 27 Wavery 783)
The group begins to clean up the room. Lennie orders the two ogres that surrendered to remove the chief's armor and to go and find the clerics of Tyrogatore and Habastly. Shadow and Ajax debate the next move as Haas watches over the fallen ogres. Grant and Ash search the rooms.
Minutes later, several groups of ogres make their way to the building. Ash and Shadow leave to find the ogre clerics. The approaching ogres in three groups, each led by an ogre that wants to be the new chief. One is a follower of Han~Sui, the other two announce no religious allegiance. The three debate with Ajax and the entire group makes its way outside to take part. After several minutes, the argument is nearly over when a commotion starts in the back of the ogre crowd. A fourth ogre, known as the rampager, charges the group demanding he be made chief. Ajax begins to speak, but Lennie throws a boulder at the rampager and a massive fight begins.
Ajax, Lennie, Grant, and Haas are able to defeat the rampager and soon after quiet the mob. The ogre clerics finally arrive and they discuss a plan. It is finally agreed that in five days the leaders of the ogre community will meet and decide upon a new chief. The group will attend the meeting. During the next five days, Grant meditates and prays, apparently creating some divine items. Ash stays with Ajax, who is teaching two faithful ogres of Stasis and erecting a monument to Stasis. Lennie enjoys being in an ogre town. Shadow does not enjoy it. Haas tolerates the time.
During those days, Ajax is visited by a fey thorn that is angry. The fey says that undead, which are rare in the forest, are being attracted to Ajax and entering the forest. He demands Ajax leave the forest. Ajax refuses and berates the fey, telling the creature of the impending doom of an orcish legion coming to the forest. The fey pouts, listens, and leave. The group is also visited by Tali during those days. He delivers barding to Brightsoul and a cloth package to Ash. He also answers some of the groups question and identifies several items they found.
On the fifth day, the meeting of ogres is held. A cleric of Dresta arrives with the community leaders. Ajax demands she leave under pain of death. She does, and the cleric of Dedestroyt leaves as well with two of the eight craft leaders. The ogre clerics agree to set up a tournament between the three remaining ogres that want to be chief. However, two quickly decide not to fight the third, who is the follower of Han~Sui named Hol. He proclaims himself the new chief. He agrees to send a force of ogres to help the group fight off the orcs. The group leaves the next day.
Four days out of the ogre community, the group is attacked by spells and wolves. During the attack, Shadow runs. Ash sees Shadow captured moments later while Shadow is running away.
The Court of a Wooduke (28 Wavery 783 to 8 Trest 783)
The group discusses how they should find Shadow when Tali arrives magically. The Sakor'akai tells them he scryed them for the evening and noticed Shadow was missing. He decided to teleport in to determine what had happened. After being told, Tali scryes for Shadow and determines he is on the Ethereal Plane. The group, realizing they have no hope of retrieving Shadow until he returns to their plane, decides to continue to Dukalia. The next morning, Ash finds a letter nailed to a tree for the clerics of Tyrogatore. It says: "Your friend will not be harmed so long as you do not come to Balinhost." For now, the group takes heed of the warning.
During their walk, while inside the realm of Dukalia, the group is set upon by a large legged serpent. Lennie is able to impressively drive the creature off and Ash hunts it down. While skinning it, a halfling watch captain approaches them in the forest. Hearing their story, he decides to personally lead them to Bewall, the Wooduke's home city and take them to the Wooduke.
A day later, the group receives an audience with the Wooduke. They tell him their tale and he agrees to consider their request for help. He also thanks them for killing the creature, a Scaletouched Behir. The Wooduke explains that Scalehome sends the creatures into the forest to collect magic items. In thanks for killing the beast, the Wooduke agrees to give them any items they collected from the creature that do not belong to a resident of Dukalia.
Over the next two days as the group waits for the Wooduke's answer, they travel Bewall. Lennie and Haas visit all of the shrines. Ash shops. Grant visits his family. Ajax spends his time with the cleric and followers of Stasis. When the Wooduke meets with the group for lunch several days later. he tells them that he wants to help, but first he needs a problem dealt with so that he can send soldiers. There are several communities to the north that are being harassed by an unknown monster. His troops cannot catch the monster or monsters, but are forced to guard the area just in case. If the group can kill or drive them off, the Wooduke will send soldiers for the war effort. The group agrees.
Later that day, Ajax meets with the temple cleric of Stasis of a nearby temple named Angus; the group collects some items from the Wooduke's quartermaster; and they meet the Wooduke's herald Ian who will be traveling with them. The next morning they head north.
During the trip, the group is visited again by Tali who gives them information and potions. One day out of the community of Leek, a horde of zombies attacks their camp. Ajax dispatches them and again curses the liche that continues to harass them. After the fight, a fey Thorn, who the group calls Zim, arrives. The fey apologizes for the last fey Ajax met, who was not in fact a Thorn, but did relay the message of Ajax to the faerie queen. The Thorn tells the group that he will help them, but that his brothers a few and precious. If the battle turns poorly, it could spell disaster for the feys' protection throughout the forest. They also ask him about the monsters attacking the communities ahead.
The morning they are due to arrive in Leek, Zim appears and tells them the creatures that are attacking the communities are a type of fey-giant-troll, known sometimes as Dusk Giants. Zim explains that they are extremely dangerous, but their power ebbs and flows. Later that day, they arrive in Leek and Ian announces their presence. The community leader greats them and begins to explain the situation.
The Evil of the Shadow Fey (8 Trest 783 to 12 Trest 783)
Upon arriving in Leek, the group arranges to meet with the only survivor of a gnoll hunting party that agreed to kill the creatures for a fee, but failed. The surviving gnoll was nearly killed and is staying in a quickly built shed at the edge of Leek. The also arrange to meet with a halfling member of an adventuring party that also arrived to help. That group left one member behind to watch while they searched for more help and information on the creatures.
Upon meeting the gnoll, named Ergore, he agrees to tell the group what he knows if they will take him to his homeland, the realm of Garlaccal should they survive. They agree and he tells them about his pack's fight with the giants. Shortly after that meeting, the group meets with Kerly the halfling member of the adventuring party. He confirms most of what the gnoll said and adds some other information, most importantly, that the gnolls had either killed or badly wounded one of the giants. He also tell them that the giants have only one magical item, massive boots worn by the largest giant.
The group sends Ian the herald to the community of Guster to make sure all of the halflings have left there. They hope to force the giants to come to Leek where they are waiting. On the first night, the giants do not come to Leek. The group spends the next three days planning for an attack on Leek. The halflings will gather in the community's center so that the giants have no choice but to come there to collect a halfling. Before the third day, the group follows Ash who tries to track the giants in the forest. He successfully finds a fairy path and then giant tracks. After several minutes on the path, the group begins to be harassed by several fey, who they try to ignore. They come across a benign fey who is sewing. The fairies begin to harass the sewing fey, which is more than Ajax can stand. He asks Ash to get rid of the fairies. and Ash shoots one of them from the sky. Ajax collects the wounded fairy and puts in in a bag. The thankful sewing fey tells the group information about the giants, most importantly that they are led by three tiny evil fey that travel with them. Soon after, the sky darkens and a shadow large elf-like fey arrives surrounded by grey crows. He demands the fairy's release, and then becomes annoyed with the group's response, quickly dismissing them from the fairy path and releasing the fairy. The group abandons tracking the giants.
On the fourth day, as the group readies for the arrival of the giants, Tali arrives and casts many spells on them to aid their battle, shrouding all of the group's weapon in fire. Kerly agrees to watch from afar and warn on any other dangers during the fight. Ian decides to stay among the halfings to calm them. Ash hides with Predator in the town as the others wait with the halflings in the town's center. Half way through the dusk, Ash spots the giants approaching. As he is about to warn the group, the giants walk into Haas magic and are turned visible. Everyone but Ash is momentarily stunned by the sudden appearance. Taking advantage, Ash shoots one of the tiny fey off of a giant's shoulder and the fight begins.
Lennie and the largest giant with a club square off. The giant's mighty attacks nearly killing Lennie, but he is saved by Haas' blessings. Haas himself is almost killed by the backlash of the attacks, and is only saved by Ian's lucky spell. The second giant faces Grant, while Ajax's light all but drives the third off. The remaining tiny fey shout horrifically, causing chaos among the gathered halflings. As Ash picks off the tiny fey, driving them off, the first one he had shot bites and blinds Lennie. Ajax turns his attention to the second giant while the third can only weakly throw stones into the fight. The second giant nearly shatters Ajax's sword, which crumbles after the fight, before Ajax and Grant fell it. The largest giant tries to destroy Lennie's axe, but only damages it, while the blinded Lennie tries desperately to kill the giant. Ash continues to drive arrows into the giants, killing the smallest one and then the largest, and then spotting the last tiny fey trying to flee and killing it in a fiery explosion.
The group collapses from exhaustion as the town elders and Ian gather the halflings.
Session 20: Finding and Being Found By Helpful Creatures (13 Trest 783 to 4 Huenti 783)
After resting. the group meets with Ian the Herald, Thomas the Mayor, and Kerly the adventurer. They decide to head south that day into Dukalia. Ajax and Lennie both need a smith and Ajax is looking for a different cleric of Stasis. Their trip through Dukalia is uneventful. When they reach the community in which the cleric of Stasis lives, they discover she has been called away to the Boiling Line. The group decides to go south.
On their trip through the forest to Balinhost, they encounter strange undead, which Ajax destroys. A scaletouched Behir attacks them, and Lennie makes quick work of it. A band of ogres approaches and is frightened off by the group. Tali delivers a new sword for Ajax, forged by Gregor the halfling and a repaired ax for Lennie. Ash decides that it would be best if he takes Ergore the gnoll to Garlaccal while the others go to Balinhost and the group agrees. They split up. The group is several times watched by unknown creatures. Finally, they discover the creatures are squirrel creatures known as Taffers. The Taffers ask to send one of their own with the group to determine their intentions and honesty, the group agrees.
They reach the edge of Balinhost where they are approached by a guard that is expecting them. He leads them into the realm to the capital city. Once there, the group finds that their arrival has been well prepared for and the prime minister and his ministers are ready to meet with them. After a brief discussion, the Prime Minister agrees to send help for the effort. During the meeting, the group notices one empty chair and are told that the minister of Death and Undeath, a cleric of Falan who the group had heard of had not arrived. After the meeting, the group goes with the Prime Minister to the temple of Falan to find her. Once inside, the door closes and the cleric appears threatening them, and specifically Ajax.
An Unfortunate Unexpected Enemy (4 Huenti 783 to 13 Huenti 783)
The battle with the cleric Lorraine begins and immediately a controlled Shadow joins stuns and knocks out the Prime Minister. Ajax detects undead in the room, invisible and between the group and the cleric. He destroys most of the undead with his glorious presence, but one remains blocking the way. The group prays and prepares and Shadow attacks Haas and Grant. Lennie and Ajax try to destroy the large skeletal Ogre as chaotic spells burn away at Ajax and Haas. Shadow is knocked out, and the ogre skeleton destroyed. The cleric finally engages Lennie and Ajax, with a variety of spells active, she proves to be more than the two can handle. As Grant and Haas are about to help, they are set upon by another undead creature, which Ajax yells is a vampire. Haas moves to help Ajax, while Grant fights the vampire. The fight continues and the cleric is nearly killed. The vampire then charges Ajax, draining of of energy and life. Grant is controlled by the vampire. The fight seems lost when the vampire is distracted by the now conscious prime minister and his wand of missiles. Ajax finally banishes the vampire.
In the aftermath, they question the cleric after healing her. She tells them nothing and is led away by the guards. The prime minister allows the group to stay at his home and rest for the next four days. During that time, Shadow tells them of his imprisonment and that he heard the vampire and cleric, who were lovers, discussing the arrival of Ajax. They had been warned that he would come and destroy all of the undead. The group concludes that the liche told her that. The cleric of Stasis of Balinhost arrives to talk with the group. She has many restorative spells cast on them and leads others into the temple of Falan to find the coffin of the vampire and destroy it permanently.
The group debates, with information from the prime minister, its next move. Against Ajax's desires, the group decides to go to Garlaccal and speak with the gnolls. Haas communicates with Ash, who has been there for over a week talking with the gnolls.
On their way to Garlaccal, a trip in which they are led by two dozens half-elven scouts, Tali arrives to speak to them of the progress. He tells them that the orcs have begun preparations to leave Lynkeed. Ellic and the warriors of the Fellos have assembled at the meeting point and are waiting for others. They talk about there plans and decide to have Tali teleport Valizar to the Vass to prepare them for the arrival of the group.
Session 22: Enemies Real and Imagined (13 Huenti 783 to 20 Huenti 783)
The group is led by
scouts from Balinhost to the border of the realm of Garlaccal. There they are met by gnoll guides that say they will take them into the realm to meet their chief, who has been told of them by Ash.Several days later, they arrive in the chief's community.
The chief greets them and invites them to stay for a Five Game Feast, a tradition for the gnolls. The group agrees. The next day, they feast and then talk to the chief, Arcaak, who agrees to send 600 gnolls to the battle. The group thanks him and leaves the next day. They are led to the edge of the realm by gnoll scouts.
The first night after the gnolls leave, the group is set upon by a band of lightning fast fey. The group first thinks them to be elves and the creatures rush in and out, slashing and unleashing blue fire. After a near deadly battle, the group manages to kill three of the creatures and drive the others away. Later that night, before Haas can pray to determine the reason for the attack, a flock of grey crows arrives and takes away the bodies.
After a visit from Tali the group gets directions to the Vass community to which Valizar has gone. On the way, they encounter several hunting parties of Vass, one of which they are forced to violently drive off. When the reach the community, they find a quiet hot place and are led to the chief's home. The chief tells them he knows of Valizar, and the he is in the temple of Tyrogatore. When the group arrives at the temple, they find Valizar in chains and the temple ransacked.
Session 23: An Attempt for the Vass (20 Huenti 783 to 23 Huenti 783)
The group immediately
questions the chief and Valizar. They discover that Valizar arrived to find the cleric of the temple locked in the temple prison and that he was insane and poisoned. He accused several Vass and a fight ensued. Valizar decimated dozens of Vass, killing several and wounding over 50 until they dragged him down and chained him up to await a trial. Three days had passed since then and the chief was waiting for a cleric that could judge him to arrive. The chief then left, allowing the group to determine what else hadoccurred.
They found out that the cleric, Messhin by name, had been poisoned and they cured him. They also found that Valizar had been poisoned and they cured him as well. Ash found a shrine to Tommimao, thinking he would know the most about poison since the cleric of Habastly was out of the community, and he and Ajax went to investigate. They found no one there but left Ash's hawk to watch. Hours later, a Vass came to the shrine. Ash followed him as he left the shrine and headed into the forest. The Vass collected mushrooms from the swamp and then came to a temple of Tommimao. Ash returned, told the group, and they all moved towards the temple. Ajax, Ash, and Shadow arrived before the others; while Grant remained with Valizar to protect him.
At the temple, Ash sneaks in the back door and Ajax knocks at the front. Ajax meets the Vass cleric and talks with him while Ash searches the rooms, finding other sleeping Vass and many drugs. The cleric leaves the room without Ajax and runs into Ash. A fight begins but quickly ends as the cleric uses magic to escape.
The group meets up and discusses the next step. They agree to tell the chief of the cleric and the poisons. When the get to the chief, he is not happy with them. The talk breaks down and a fight begins. Dozens of Vass guards rush into the room. The group soon defeats the chief and drives the guards away. They cure the chief, who is also poisoned, but he is still angry. The group goes back to the temple of Tyrogatore to await his decision.
Hours later, a mob of Vass begins to gather. The group decides to leave the community. They take the cleric of Tyrogatore as well as an acolyte of Habastly they had met. They head to the next Vass communities, to leave the acolyte off and wait for Tali to arrive and speak with him.
Session 24: The Forest Calm as the Orcs March (23 Huenti 783 to 26 Kiusta 783)
After speaking with Tali and Messhin, the group contacted the cleric of Habastly form the large Vass community named Assel. He arrived the next day and did not like what the group had to say. The conversation degenerated and ended in Valizar pummeling the cleric and Haas branding him with a mark of justice. The group decided they would return after the battle with the orcs to free the Vass community. Messhin agreed to go with them.
The group began to travel north towards the cities, deciding to go their first before returning to Dukalia, where Ajax still wanted to talk to the cleric of Stasis. On the road, the spoke with Tali, who took the belligerent Valizar back to the Fellos Estate. The group also ran into a group of weretiger brigands that they ran off.
Upon reaching Owt, the group found the cleric of Stasis Lindell and spoke with him about their mission so far. He described the state of the three cities of the forest and arranged a meeting with the mayor of Owt. The meeting with the mayor was a scary experience for the mayor and his entourage where Ajax explained the nature of the coming war.
The group then started off towards Dukalia. On their trip, they were informed that the orcs had begun their march by Tali. They were also tracked down and attacked by the weretiger brigands, who they drove off again.
Session 25: Clearing the Path for War (24 Huenti 783 to 30 Leenot 783)
Several days after
the brigand attack, the group reached the border of Dukalia. They entered the realm without problem and made their way to the small community of the halfling cleric of Stasis Dama. The cleric greeted them, invited them to stay, and for two days discussed the problems with them. In the end, she agreed to go herself to the orcish commander on the other side of the Boiled Forest and explain to him the situation. She told the group the even their enemies in the forest are leaving them alone now because they all realize the greater threat. The groups beginsits journey to the Fellos Estate.
The trip to the estate is quiet, with only animals and visits by Tali interrupting. He begins to transport them to the estate faster and tells them of the army assembling at the rallying point and of the composition of the orcish army. The group arrives at the estate, spends a restful day, and then heads to the rallying point. Once there, they meet with the various leaders of the army. Over the next several days, the last pieces of the army arrived; the fey and the representatives of Scalehome. Ellic, the halfling commander, then set about devising a plan. After days of planning, he called the group into a meeting, telling them that an orcish unit that had followed the group into the forest months ago and then stopped following them had been performing reconnaissance. The halflings had made sure the orcs didn't learn much, but then the orcs had recently set up a camp in the main path the army would take north to meet the orcs. Ellic sent special forces to prevent any sort of guerilla tactics by the orcs. When his men got there, they were confronted with not orcs, but demon-like creatures and undead. Unprepared for such a fight, his forces were defeated. Ellic then asked the group to deal with this threat. The group agrees.
The next day, Tali and the group (without Valizar and Masshin) teleport north just outside the camp. They prepare and assault. They are met by familiar demodands and undead forms of the orcish soldiers. Ajax divine aura blasts many of the undead, while powerful spells for Tali clear the area of many of the demodands. Lennie and his fellow clerics of Tyrogatore moved under the 'umbrella of death' decimating the lesser undead and demodands. Meanwhile, Ajax faced off with the leader of the undead, a massive orc with bone crafted weapons; and Ash was forced to track down the invisible leader of the demodands. Ajax and the undead fought toe to toe, blow for blow until the undead crumpled in a heap with a warning to Ajax that one day Ajax would be killed by the liche that hunts he and Ash. Ash faired well against the demodand on horse until Predator was immobilized. Luckily, Ajax distracted the creature and Ash delivered the killing blow.
In the aftermath, the group began to bury the bodies of the orcs and await the arrival of the army.
Session 26: The Battle of the Forest Coalition (30 Leenot 783 to 2 Napay 783)
Over several days, the army marched, planned, and waited. Finally, they reached the road north of the forest and Ellic began to make preparations. For six days, the army shaped the field, drilled and cast spells. Ash was stationed with the gnolls, Ajax made his way through the army, and the clerics of Tyrogatore aided the army with their blessings. On the six day, the scouts reported that the orcs were five miles away. Clouds that had been moving in for days burst and rain soaked the field. The orcs marched to within one mile of the assembled army and stopped.
After camping for one night, the orcs, still in the rain, played a song called Ozertort Konponya or 'Crushed Skull'. After the song, which the halflings retaliated with a few of their own happier tunes, the orcs moved closer and camped again. Ajax, Shadow, and Gregor remained camped out in front of the army waiting to speak. For four more days the orcs moved slightly, played their song, and waited in the rain. Finally, on the six day, they took formation and began playing and watching Agyar'Goylo. After an hour, they marched forward an played their song a final time.
Ajax moved out with Gregor and Shadow and were met by two orcs, one of which turned out to be Vor'Ruk. Ajax told them of their leader's evil ways. The second orc, and Altor Fangor of the 3rd legion, dismissed Ajax and warned him to leave the field. Ajax declined, followed him to the army, and challenged Riot. From deep in the orcish army, Riot declared 'Nem Kihívások' or 'No Challenges". Ajax having warned the army, returned to the coalition. As the rain began to subside, the orcs moved forward.
After a half hour of slow steady movement, the orcish artillery began to hammer the small stand of trees in which the Fey were hiding. The fey did not retreat and when the orcs came into range, the Fironi, halfling, and gnolls attacked with their bows and crossbows. After dozens of volleys, the orcs reached the halflings and gnolls and charged. Ash began to pick orcish commanders out of the infantry block. Another block of infantry merely waited in front of the ogres, inviting a charge. The battle was at a standstill as the orcish cavalry moved forward inching towards a charge. The Fey then charged out into the flank of the orcs fighting the gnolls and began to volley into the infantry confronting the orcs. Then the orcish cavalry charged, trying to split the gaps in the coalitions lines.
Suddenly, walls of force appear and stop the cavalry in its tracks. Entangles and tremors effect the infantry unit standing off against the ogres, which then charge into the flank of the disoriented cavalry. While the cavalry began to charge, half of the skirmishers advanced towards the flank and the town of Bristledown Farms. Alliec orders Ajax and the clerics to intercept them.
The clerics and Ajax set themselves for the skirmisher charge. In an amazing feat of skill and magic, the disperse the charge, defeat 40% of the skirmishers and Shadow and Lennie kill their leader. The remaining orcs continue their charge towards the town, but the delay allowed the force from Owt to intercept and defeat them. The group then waited for Ellic's orders.
One of the millenians of the 3rd legion begins to advance as the two cavalry units attempt to disengage. The infantry fighting the gnolls and thorn finally breaks and against orders, the gnolls and thorn pursue. Luckily, spells stop them from pursuing and the cavalry from charging them, although those two units engage each other a short time later. The ogres, having driven off the cavalry, turn to the entangles infantry unit that had been facing them. The halflings are finally forced to retreat through the hill that had been built behind them into halfling sized tunnels. The Fironi swoop down from on top of the hill and engage that orcish unit, while the Scowlbears move in to fight them as well. The remaining skirmishers and Vor'Ruk's cavalry advance towards the clerics and Ajax.
As the two units move towards them, Vor'Ruk signals Ajax to hold and them turns towards the skirmishers, preventing them from charging and leaving the path clear for the clerics and Ajax to advance towards Riot and his command within the other 3rd legion millenian. As they charge towards Riot, the other orcish infantry units fall back. The 3rd legion then engages the ogres, and shortly after the gnolls and Fironi as well. The 3rd legion is far more than the coalition can handle and the clerics and Ajax realize they quickly deal with Riot and stop the battle.
Upon reaching the 3rd legion millenian, Ajax proclaims Riot is a traitor and challenges him. His challenge is rebuffed, but then, the commander of the millienian, an orc named Brakus Latus speaks with Ajax. After talking, the Altor Fangor tells the group to select two champions. Riot and his champion make their way out to the meeting to confront Latus when he orders his orcs to surround everyone and form a fight circle. Ajax and Haas step forward to fight. Ajax and Riot's champion fight very briefly. The champion's hammer strikes Ajax only once before he is beheaded. Haas and Riot circle for a moment and then begin to fight as only two pugilists can. Fist for fist, punch for punch; the stronger and more skilled Riot pounds on Haas. However, Haas' skill and divine blessings are up to the challenge and time and time again he throws Riot to the ground and pounds him. Finally, Riot cannot stand and Haas ends the traitor's life.
Latus orders the battle to stop and the two armies retire to their camps.