write down the first session, mainly because I didn’t have enough notes
to write on and, personally, it was pretty mediocre. It can also be
summed up in a paragraph so… Before we continue, here’s the cast of
Hershel – Human Rogue 2. An assassin for hire, played by Ian.
Caine – Human Monk 2. Gabe’s former
character. I probably misspelled his name.
Luc – Human Fighter 1. Gabe’s current character, introduced in this session.
Maverick – Human Sorcerer 2. A magician held captive alongside Kaine, he was freed in the first session. Played by Steve.
Now, on with the recap and session…
has met the objectives set by his employer. Rescue two prisoners and
eliminate their captor. He also met the bonus objective of rescuing a
cleric prisoner named Gamros. The four of them, having escaped the
dungeon, have reached the city of London. The city is ripe for
exploration but first, they must check in with Hershel’s employer.
Not much is known about him, but he’s paying good money to see that
both Maverick and Caine survived.
On the outskirts of
Albion’s capital city is the Corner Cupboard Inn. It’s mostly empty
aside from a few guards and a half-elf man dressed in well-tailored
(yet weather-worn) clothes. This half-elf is clean-shaven with ruffled
brown hair and looks like someone of importance. The guards in the inn
are probably his entourage. Hershel talks with the man while Kaine,
Maverick and Gamros wait at the bar.
Hershel reports that the
deed is done. The half-elf man, who introduces himself as Alasteir,
seems to already know this. He pays up 600 gold for the hit. 600 gold
is quite a bit of money, only the richest of the rich make that kind of
money…and even then, that’s over a course of three months!
GM’s Note: I threw away the first page of my notes by accident but originally, Hershel was supposed to only get 500
gold. A goof on my part, but the extra 100 could be a raise for
rescuing Gamros. The first session had Hershel infilitrate a ruined
keep to assassinate a man who was holding Caine and Maverick captive.
Gamros was in an adjacent cell and could have been left behind but
Hershel decided to rescue him.
Seeing how well Hershel
performed with his last mission, Alasteir has another mission for the
assassin. The King of Albion is dead, but there’s no successor to the
throne. As a result, power is up for grabs. Numerous nobles are
scheming for their own bid for the throne, seeking the support of the
people. This goes on even as barbarians invade from the north. There
is one group seeking power, however, that aren’t nobles…the druids.
druids ruled Albion until a thousand years ago, when they were
exiled in favor of the Alliance. When the Alliance disintegrated, the
druids tried to reclaim power…but were rejected in favor of the
popular Uther, whose son, Arther, later united Albion under his royal
banner. Uther and Arther set up a dynasty that ruled Albion for over
four hundred years. When the bloodline died out, a new line of kings
under the Grim name ruled Albion. The Grim dynasty lasted almost two
hundred years but died out when the latest king, Myshiou IV, left no
legitimate heir (but plenty of illegitimate ones).
seek to regain the power they lost 1,000 years ago, but no one wants
them to. Albion is experiencing a population boom and, as nature’s
guardians, the druids fear what will happen to the land they’ve sworn
to protect. The more militant members of their sect have been damaging
crops, attacking travelers while disguised as animals, along with other
attacks. The druids are a secretive group, so it’s impossible to know
their total numbers. Plus, the military is tied up with the
barbarians. Assassinating the druids (or, at least, their most
problematic members) should take them out of the power struggle…or at least, send a message.
members of the druid’s circle are unknown, but Alasteir has some
informants who have infiltrated their ranks, at one of the druid’s few known meeting spots. They have provided him with three names; Dorean, Elysia and Nevada. These three are known members within the druid’s circle and are known to convene at one spot. This spot is about four days travel west of London, characterized by a ring of stones. These informants will
meet the party at Basingstoke, a village roughly three days travel west along the Old Harrow Way. Hershel agrees to the mission and meets back with the party. He tells the party he got 200 gold and gives each member 50 gold. Gamros declines his share, which is split between Maverick and Caine.
GM’s Note: Yeah, Hershel lied about the total take from the hit. This was pretty cool and all the guys played it in-character so there weren’t any arguments about it. I should of had Ian make some hide checks later on (with 400 extra gold lying around, wouldn’t someone notice?) but didn’t. Justified because I don’t think anyone would have been looking for extra money and they don’t have a reason not to trust Hershel. He did save their life, y’know?
After splitting the gold, the party itself goes off in separate directions. Caine has received disturbing news concerning his homeland, so he’s leaving to go deal with that. Hershel goes shopping for new supplies while an intoxicated Maverick goes out to look for a new party member. The Corner Cupboard Inn’s bartender recommends a guy named Luc, who’s from the Ascalon region. Maverick slurs a request for a description, which the bartender provides.
“Luc’s a sturdy young man with gray, calculating eyes and slightly scruffy, shoulder length brown hair. He sports a cobbled-together suit of leather armor comprised of earthy colors (dark
greens and browns). He’s inexperienced but he’s from the Ascalon region, so he’ll be as tough as they come.”
Maverick walks around town, trying to find Luc. Luc’s a traveler though…and is keeping a low profile. Maverick doesn’t find him, although Luc gets word of this magician looking for him. Luc and Maverick meet back at the Corner Cupboard Inn after Hershel returns from his shopping spree. Hershel retires for the night while Luc and Maverick converse. Maverick has consumed more alcoholic beverages than necessary, so he doesn’t do a good job persuading Luc to join…even with his charisma score. Gamros intervenes and, after a lengthy discussion, convinces Luc to join the party.
GM’s Note: This was a nice role-playing part, if a little drawn out. A shame I didn’t tape record the conversation, otherwise I’d transcribe it here. Anyway, I think the two had their roles switched up. Maverick has a higher charisma score, but Hershel would know more about the job he wants Luc’s help with. Of course, Hershel would have had to do all the work. So, I had Gamros listen in on Hershel’s earlier conversation with Alasteir…enough to give Luc appropriate information to join. I also miscalculated what the party would do in town. I thought a good deal would be spent asking about the feuding nobles and didn’t think about shopping.
Oh, and this time also brought us the introduction of the retarded donkey. The best animal that stabler had, but didn’t answer to any name. I was going to have it respond to the party, which sounded good in my head. Ian said it was the most retarded thing he had ever heard. *sigh*
The next morning, the party sets out for Basingstoke. Despite warnings of bandits on the road, three days pass without incident. They reach the village at dusk and set up camp outside of town. Luc goes to scout the village.
GM’s Note: I forget why this was done, although I’m sure the reason was valid (if a bit paranoid). What I didn’t get was sending Luc to scout the town. Hershel would have been a better bet, since he’d be better suited to this kind of thing…in terms of skills, at least. And I forget why exactly they had a debate below. My players will remind me…I hope.
Luc finds out (via the bartender) that the informants haven’t arrived yet. They were supposed to arrive a few days ago but haven’t. Luc returns to the party with this information. Now, the party has a predicament on their hands. Do they wait for the informants? Or travel on to the druid’s circle? The party also has another debate whether to stay in the tavern or camp outside. Luc doesn’t want to risk losing the cart, expecting that druids might make a move for their gear (if they’ve already gotten the informants, they might know about them). Hershel and Maverick are tired of sleeping in a cart for three days and wouldn’t mind a warm, comfy bed. Luc and Gamros stay outside town to guard the cart.
Gamros falls asleep as Luc takes first watch. Hershel and the village bartender wonder what happened to the informants. Maverick gets a few mugs before retiring for the night. Hershel follows suit. A few hours pass without incident. It’s well into the night, with the moon shining bright. Then all sorts of things start to happen. Maverick’s sleep is disturbed by a mysterious dream. Luc’s shift is about to end as he wakes up Gamros when a wolf’s howl pierces the night sky. Gamros and Luc are on alert. Maverick hears the howl too and moves to investigate, leaving Hershel alone.
Meanwhile, Gamros and Luc get a visitor. A tall, mysterious figure who is shrouded in black. From his wide, brimmed hat to his long, flowing cloak, this guy is more like a shadow than living being. The only thing not black on him is a blue medallion around his neck, which sparkles in the moonlight. His features conceal his deathly pale skin. He wields a wicked scimitar shaped like a crescent moon with a blood red hilt.
“Follow me,” the figure speaks as another wolf howl echoes through the night,” Now!”
Luc and Gamros stay put. The figure doesn’t stay to convince them, instead heading off towards the village. At the same time, Maverick is downstairs when he hears the second howl. He goes outside to investigate. Another howl sounds and Maverick moves in its direction. He heads around the village forum when he hears a growl. Maverick casts detect magic, which reveals it’s just an ordinary wolf. A split-second later, that ordinary wolf tackles him to the ground, tearing his flesh with its sharp teeth.
Luc and Gamros hear something going on in town, with Luc following the direction the figure went in. Gamros stays with the cart. Hershel is up, sees Maverick gone and hears some commotion coming from the village square. He grabs his short sword and rapier and heads out. Maverick tangos with the wolf, faring up on the losing end. The wolf easily dissects him and Maverick collapses from the blood loss. Just as the wolf is about to finish Maverick off, an arrow pierces its jaw! The mystery man has knocked the wolf back as Luc and Hershel arrive on the scene.
Luc rushes past the figure he followed and takes aim, firing arrows at the wolf. Hershel, meanwhile, draws the creature away from Maverick. The two succeed in distracting it long enough (and weakening it) for Maverick to get himself in position to launch a magic missile. Maverick gets revenge as the wolf goes limp. The figure rushes back with Gamros, who heals Maverick and Hershel up pronto. The figure mentions that wolves are never seen this close to town and rushes off before the party can ask anything…or even thank him.
GM’s Note: Although they had excellent reasons for it, splitting up really hurt the party here. Maverick was reduced to 0 HP (which is a lot closer to death than he would have liked to have been). His idea to use detect magic to detect a druid was clever, but if it had been a druid, Maverick would have been even more outmatched. I had also considered a warg, but decided to tone it down before the session.
The party returns to the cart and sets up camp for the rest of the night, cooking the wolf’s remains for tomorrow’s lunch. During Hershel’s watch, he hears the voice of the figure from earlier. The figure says they should move on to the druid’s circle, something Hershel had already planned on doing. Hershel asks for the figure to reveal itself, a request that is refused.
“You bastard,” Hershel says to the silence of the night.
The night passes without further events. In the morning, the party heads for Amesburg Abbey. Hershel decides that if the informants haven’t arrived, they probably aren’t coming. The party agrees with this sentiment. Amesburg is the closest settlement to the druid’s circle. Gamros’ former home is also a place where the party can rest before moving in on the circle. The journey is boring and uneventful and they reach the abbey at dusk. The party decides to head for the circle under the cover of darkness, with Hershel scouting ahead.
As the party approaches the circle, they make out a circular ring of stone slabs. Smoke rises from inside the circle and a faint chant can be heard as the party approaches. As Hershel gets closer, he can hear the chanting grow louder but can’t make out what they’re saying. He doesn’t need to understand what they’re saying as he sneaks around the stones, though. As he peers through the openings, he sees two hooded figures with daggers. Another two figures are tied down on stone slabs. Hershel puts two and two together and draws his crossbow.
He fires a bolt at one of the knife-wielding figures. The bolt pierces through the man’s neck, dropping him instantly! The chanting stops and the other figure flees. The lack of chanting gives the rest of the party a cue to move on ahead. A hidden lemure emerges and advances towards Hershel as the assassin fires another bolt at the fleeing target. This one lands in his target’s shoulder. Hershel doesn’t get a chance at another shot, as the lemure is in his face. Meanwhile, Luc, Maverick and Gamros move towards the pillar. Gamros and Maverick head around the stones while Luc goes through the middle. He fires an arrow at the devil fighting Hershel, which destroys the summon.
Luc frees the captives before the next wave hits. Three spiders appear and head towards the party. The spiders are easily disposed of, although Maverick is poisoned. They were summoned just as the devil was. With the spiders gone, Hershel tries to find his target’s trail but can’t find anything. No blood, no footprints, nothing. He scans the area before heading off in the target’s supposed direction.
Gamros, Luc and Maverick stay behind to investigate the stones. Maverick detects lots of magic from the stones, but gets a different vibe from one of them. One of the stones emanates a faint transmutation aura, weaker and different from the rest of the stones. Luc smacks the stone with his sword to no avail. With the captives in no state to talk, the party sets up camp. The mysterious, shadowy guy from earlier reappears, telling the party to keep focusing on that stone. They do so and, twenty minutes later, the figure from earlier emerges from the stone, clutching his right arm. The pale, shadowy person quickly subdues the figure.
“He’s all your’s,” the shadow says, hiding a slight smirk.
When the party realizes they left their rope back at the abbey (along with their cart and other gear, aside from weapons and armor), the mystery man continues to hold the figure. The figure rambles on in an indecipherable language, one that even Maverick doesn’t understand. A good cop/bad cop routine (with Luc and Hershel playing the respective parts) gets the figure, who is named Belenus, to talk in common. He provides answers for anything they could ask. When he’s no longer useful, Hershel slays him.
GM’s Note: Belenus could have beat the party (he’d have been a 5th level character) but the players found out he was in one of the stones and were ready for him, with the help of the shadowy, mysterious guy. Belenus probably didn’t expect to run into enemies, so he had no spells prepared. He could of come out swinging with a bunch of summons, but I figured I’d reward the players here instead of letting him get away. I’ll probably give them a bigger experience bonus (600 XP, 400 for Gabe since I gave him 200 after he asked) at the start of next session. A bit of a goof-up on my part, but hey, more XP!
End of Session 2
I don’t think I prepared very well for this session (I even went into the session without the first page of my notes!) but, in the end, everything came across really well. Oh, and I probably should have broken this into parts. Oh well.
“Time is not your enemy, forever is.“