Friday, January 23, 2009

Campaign Update #16 (by Ironbeard)

Last night’s session began with a somewhat surprising (for me at least) twist. Just as your party had finished listening to Zook’s tale and was preparing for bed, Whren Briarwhisper made a sexual advance upon the gnome illusionist. He seemed very happy to oblige the little rogue and invited her to share his bedroll with him. But while Zook’s lovemaking skills soared to incredible if not epic heights, Whren rolled a 1 on her sexual performance check. Some individuals around the table seemed to derive great humor from this failure, especially given Whren’s relentless taunting of Quarian for his rather disappointing showing with Isa. Some even went so far as to suggest that the roll was a kind of poetic justice. Whether the hand of St Cuthbert, God of Justice, tipped the roll or not, we will likely never know, but the next day Zook till seemed very affectionate toward Whren and agreed to teach her the deeper secrets of illusion magic.

Later that day, perhaps growing bored of the monotony of camp life, the party went looking for employment as mercenaries and found temporary work in the employ of House Argos, a landless noble family that has grown quite wealthy in the mercantile trade. Apparently someone named Sir Gar (aka Sir Gar the Bloody), a brutal and cruel son of the Baron of Charir, had taken it upon himself to harass the shipments of House Argos as they passed through his father’s territory. The knight was unfairly imposing arbitrary and exorbitant taxes upon these shipments. Finally having had enough, a representative from House Argos hired your company to travel to Charir (less than a day’s journey away) to kill Sir Gar on the condition that you remain discrete concerning who hired you. Needles to say, you fulfilled your contract to the letter, killing the knight and Bluespawn Burrower (pictured above), but allowing a witness to escape.

On the day after your return to Throdenoth, however, Tranna informed you that the market was abuzz with gossip and talk concerning Sir Gar’s killing. Many believe that the killing was perpetrated by the very same group of outlaws that had been causing so much trouble in the north, particularly around the Barony of Gix.

Feeling the need to lie low and get out of sight for a while, your group decided to return to the dwarven tomb and explore the deeper level that you had previously discovered beneath it. After camping for a night in the under-tunnels beneath the town, you made your way to the tomb and eventually robbed the grave of some long dead warlock. Unfortunately, the warlock’s ghost was still in attendance and he did not seem eager to part with his burial tribute. Thus began a long and hard fought battle with a Warlock Ghost. Things began to seem scary indeed when the ghost actually took possession of Aeschere’s body and used it to attack his teammates. Eventually, however, Aeschere took a stunning blow from the flat of Quarian’s Longsword, Vengläk, fully in the face and was knocked senseless. Once the ghost left its now senseless host, it proved to be more easy pickings for Quarian who quickly dispatched the fell apparition. Within the tomb you found an ancient and rather powerful magic tome, the Ars Divinica.

After all of this wild action and brawling, the evening ended with intrigue. Following the advice of Lady Riminoc, Whren presented herself at the home of Lady Zemshar of House Vershoshar, who used to be a member of Throdenoth’s High Council but who had recently been expelled from it in disgrace. Rumor has it that she had been caught seducing several members of the Duke’s private seraglio, a charge that she strenuously denied. Because of her family’s status, she avoided the death sentence, but was kicked off of the council as punishment. Whren turned in a spectacular one gnome performance before the noble woman (a performance which, incidentally was given in the nude) and seemed to gain Zemshar’s confidence. So taken with Whren was the lady that she actually entrusted our gnome heroine with a secret mission. She gave Whren a locked box with explicit instructions to keep it hidden and secret until the lady or one of her representatives came to collect it. Under no circumstances was she to open it. Everything seemed fine, if a bit mysterious, until the next morning when news arrived in Zook’s camp that Lady Zemshar had been found dead and dismembered in her home.

Driven by her curiosity and perhaps a little concerned about her own involvement in the affair, Whren told the rest of the party about the box and decided to open it. Within she found a strange iron rod, covered with what appeared to be magical runes, and having strange and jagged broken ends. No one among you could determine its nature or its purpose. Unfortunately for Whren, the moment that she laid eyes on the object, a terrible curse was laid upon her.

Having no one else to turn to remove the curse, Whren went to the Temple of Tiamat. There, Ishtuk the High Priestess offered her a deal. She would remove the curse if Whren and the rest of her adventuring party agree aid her in performing a delicate and potentially violent duty. She wants you to strike a blow against the Cult of Demogorgon that has recently been plaguing the Church of Tiamat across the kingdom. This cult of Demogorgon, the self styled Lord of Demons and Demonkind, sprang up about two years earlier and appeals mostly to those Blixtians who are not of Draconic heritage, humans primarily who feel disenfranchised in Blixt’s social hierarchy. It seems that not everyone is content to accept their rightful place in the natural order of things. Of late, the cult has been waging what amounts to a terrorist campaign against the worshippers of Tiamat. Humans who worship the dragon deity have been disappearing or turning up murdered. Most assume that they are being kidnapped and possibly sacrificed to Demogorgon. This is part of the cult’s attempt to discourage the worshipping of Tiamat. Lady Ishtuk has recently learned through her spy network of the existence of one of this cult’s temples, hidden deep beneath the city. She could send her own troops to eliminate it, but she is hesitant to do so. She suspects that certain elements in Blixt’s aristocracy are secretly supporting the Cult of Demogorgon, not because they directly believe in its goals, but because they are jealous of the Church of Tiamat’s power and are eager to see it diminished. Needless to say, your party has been contracted by Ishtuk to descend once again into the under-tunnels beneath the city and route out this threat. See you next time.

3450 xp for Whren

4200 xp for Aeschere, Quarian, and Ardyth

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