Week Ten – Drakes, Bugbears, Ogres and Varghoul

It is early on Narl 41, and the heroes have just ventured into the stone-sculpting studio. A huge rock troll, posing as a statue, attacks Grimnar as soon as he comes within range.

Through liberal use of detect evil, you are aware of the danger and have cast spells to prepare. What you are not prepared for is the sheer volume of damage the troll can produce. Round one goes to the troll, with Grimnar tottering on the edge.

Domi attacks the troll and hits. Grimnar attempts to intimidate the troll while calling on his inner barbarian to recover some of he damage. The intimidation fails, as one would expect. Ban casts a spell on himself that is designed to focus the enemy’s attack upon him. The paladin is so comprehensively armored, that it is difficult for anyone to hit him. Then Zef casts displacement upon the hobbit. Seles, unable to make his way to Grimnar’s side, channels positive energy twice. The troll lands one clean blow on Domi. More


Week Nine – Stalkers and Creepers and Slayers (and Abominations), Oh My!

The party is in the chapel, fighting a mad Dwarf who is doing a lot of damage with his two axes. The Dwarf has just “appeared” on the ground in the midst of the group, and began laying about him. Ban remains airborn. It is the 40th of Narlos, a Fieldday.

Zef casts haste on the group and Seles follows up with a shield other on Waller. Everyone digs in on the Dwarf, but he’s harder to hit than he looks. Nobody lands a blow. The Dwarf picks Waller for this retort and hits the young ranger with a solid blow.

Zef then casts displacement on Grimnar, knowing that the barbarian is easy to hit and in need of an advantage. A voice speaks in everyone’s mind, “Okey doke, I’ll kill him last.” Seles Channels twice. Waller swings and hits, but does little damage. Grimnar lands two blows, but his usually devastating blows are truncated by some hidden resistance. The Dwarf wheels on Domi, but only manages a single, moderate hit on the rogue.

Zef finishes his defensive spells by casting blur on Waller. Seles casts moment of greatness on the party. Waller lands three blows this time, but only one actually gets through the resistance. Domi finally hits, causing a solid wound with significant bleeding. The Dwarf disappears. More

Week Eight – The Death of Beck

That our heroes have danced with death for so long while avoiding its embrace made them seem charmed. But the charm was an illusion of course, and on this fateful day of 39 Narlos, one of The Marshall’s most beloved would fall to the predations of the black elves, the underworld’s most feared soldiers.

It seems a bad omen that the God of Armies would suffer such a loss when the forces of shadow sweep Western Orandell, but bad omen or good, those who wish to live in and leave to their offspring a world of peace and prosperity must continue the fight, as failure means death and enslavement. There is no rest for such as they.

Grimnar leads the fellows back to the barrel room, then north into a long hall, full of small tables and chairs, along with scattered ash buckets. No doubt this room was filled with smoke many a day before the evil times fell. One can imagine the faint smell on the air of rich tobacco and good conversation. More

Week Seven – War and Pieces

There’s an old saying that the 38th of Narlos, known as the Day of the Fey, is more alum than spice, which is to say that one should look forward to things going badly on this day due to the essential mischief of the world and unseen powers around us. It is to be an apt predictor, in that the party briefly delves into a corner of that realm of essential life and death and natural magic, the Green World, or Old Ben’s Palace.

Paladins like to say that evil is evil and that it is only limited by the heart in which it resides, but most people have a more tempered view. The merchant who lies, cheats and steals to maximize his profit and gives not to charity, must still benefit others through his trade as he benefits the wainwright and the teamster. A tyrant who seeks to enslave his people and murders those who resist is evil as well, but no good comes of it and he will shy from nothing. Old Ben, Ben’tinnor, the wicked and cut-throat black sheep of the Old Gods, though he loves none but himself, is bound to their fate. He would not destroy that which his siblings created for it is around the margins of their followers’ commerce that his trade takes place.

It is a subtle lesson, and one that not every Chosen can grasp, but an important one. It is the nature of evil that it cannot trust, and therefore cannot ally long, only subjugate and bend people to its will. That does not mean that it can’t recognize and nurture a similarity of purpose. These alliances of convenience are always short-lived, but they can embrace any party, no matter how diverse their beliefs. More

Week Six – Dogs and Demons

It is 37 Narlos, Huntinday, and Lovers’ Day is just over a week away. You imagine the summer warmth is beginning to set in above ground, but it is still cold and dry here, deep below the surface. It’s been a week since any but Domi have seen even a glimpse of the sky. Three weeks ago, you first saw the dark lightning that inspired your journey to Arbordan. It seems like a lifetime ago.

You breakfast with the sphinx and your companions. Met’anra informs you that he does not require food to survive, but it is a great joy to him to partake in it, even as meager a fare as you have to offer. Before you venture out for the day, he blesses you once again with fire protection. It is well that you had it the day before in the forge. More

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