Æthra

A.C.S.L.
or How the Party Avoided Being Eaten

As the party finished with the cultists, a creature emerged from the shadows just long enough to gain the attention of the party, but slipped away before they could make out what it was. Broog, Vlarune, Lukas, and Marky seemed to all have the same mind to go after, for they took off with no words shared. As Vlarune approached the enemy, fear took over and he sprinted in the opposite direction. This should have deterred the others, but they pressed onward. Each Marky, Lukas, and Broog traded blows with the cannibal, and soon Vlarune returned to blast it from a distance. After a rather thorough bashing, the cannibal took off with surprising speed. Even in his wildshaped form, Broog could not keep up, but he could track the opponant. 

 

The party came upon a cabin in the woods. They tried to approach quietly, but the cannibal's hearing was too keen. With some slightly regained vigor, he swung open the door and prepared for the coming attack. To make sure he could run no further, Broog surrounded the cabin with a Spike Growth. Unfortunately, this also prevented his companions from getting close to attack, so they had to make due with a ranged assault.

 

After several barrages from both sides, the cannibal retreated to the inside of his cabin. Broog was quick to relieve the growth and head inside. With their enemy finally cornered, the party struck him down with little effort. Seemingly safe, the party took a moment to look around the cabin for anything of importance. Lukas sensed that a portal had recently been used, but before he could further investigate, the cannibal rose from his pseudo-death and took Vlarune hostage. He quickly broke free and the cannibal finally, truly slain. Lukas collected another Abyssal tome, this one about the use of portals, while the rest decided on how to transport the cannibal body to town.

 

On their way back, they found that the cultists had gotten away. Upon returning to the town, the party presented the cannibal who had been terrorizing the town. The townspeople were slow to praise, even doubtful that he was the source of their problems. Luckily Lukas, a seasoned hunter and a Council contractor, assured the people that their problem was solved. 

 

The next day, the group returned to Centurion City to await the Council meeting. Seeing that they would have a few days, thr group decided to run some errands. In particular, Broog wished to acquire a bag of holding in which to place the equipment they had been procuring. He and Vlarune entered a magical item shop owned by a Gnome. He priced the bag at 4000 gold, which even with guild funds was too much. The Gnome then suggested a box of holding, which had less space but the same function. He priced it at 2000 gold, but after explaining that they work for the Council and couldn't current;y afford the box, the Gnome said that if they could deliver some wares for him, that he could drop the price to 1000. After informing the others and getting ANOTHER delivery consisting of herbs for the same location, they decided that this task could occupy them while they awaited the Council summons.

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rumors in centurion city

note – from 1/29/17 session. – last week.

This week in or adventure the group followed up on some rumors. The first was a kid who was having  nightmares about a monster with YUUUGGGEE eyes. After finding the kid, they run into Lukas, who happens to catch the kid and scares the crap out of him.

Lukas had been sent to rendezvous with the group and had been tracking them for all of a day, after the council assigned him to help them. 

Broog calms the kid's mood, only like Broog can, by petting him like a pet. Not bothering to get the kid's name, Broog manages to convince the kid to show them where he saw this monster that started giving him nightmares. The kid travels while on top of Broog's shoulders, and they get there at dusk to where the well was, close to where the forest started turning into swamp.

As they come upon the swamp, they send the kid back. They notice a few specific things. There is death in the air, and in the ground. There is also mud, and lots of unsettled dirt. It smells pretty bad.

They venture a bit deeper, and are ambushed by a group of giant carrion worms. Lukas shows his stuff in dispatching some of them, while the rest of the party has a hard time because the monsters paralize with some of their attacks.

After dispatching 3 of the worms, a bigger version appears. It's obviously unnatural, and was heading to the party after catching the scent of fresh death, the preferred food for these worms.

Eventually the gigantic worm drops, and Lukas cuts open it's brains to see if he can find what caused the anamoly. He couldn't tell anything from it's head. The party finds some loots.

Lukas informs the party that they have been assigned to follow up with the town of WhitWick, while waiting for the rest of the council to arrive in Centurion City.

When the party gets to WhitWick, they notice all the houses have windows and doors boarded shut. They see lights on in the Tavern, but no one answers doors when they go to investigate.

The bartender at first is distrusting, but after he sees the papers he lets them in. He explains that people have been going missing at night, without returning. It started with hunters, and ended up with others when they went in the woods looking for the hunters.

It gets to the point where the incidents were happening in town instead of just the forest. The party is told by the bartender there's a hunter who seen the "man" and is at the bar to discuss. Lukas heads over to the man, who is 7 foot tall, and doesn't blink at Lukas' size being he is also just as tall.

This man didn't talk much, and his arm was in a sling. The group inspects his arm after he unwraps it. Lukas can quickly make out that it's not lycanthropy, but it's definitely human bite/claw marks. His arm is deeply wounded and it's interesting that a 7 foot man would get hurt by a "normal" sized human.

While talking to the hunter, they encounter a woman who's had her son abducted right out of his room. The group asks to check out the seen. After investigating, they can see there are sharp cut marks on the wood, and there was a fight inside the room. The blood is her son's, and he tried to fight back, before being flung out of the room and dragged into the forest as the claw marks in the grass outside show.

Deep in the forest, the party encounters cultists, doing what cultists do, with a body over a fire, presumably for the cultists to eat after they pray to their demon master. Most of the party can tell they are praying to Kaladesh. They try to shoot them to have an advantage of surprise, but the shots go wide and they clash in battle with a few clerics and a bunch of lackys.

They are dispatched after annoyingly commanding everyone to flee so they could get away, but aren't able to outrun or outsmart the group.

As the party decided to take a rest, out of the corner of their eye, a few notice a form in the shadows sprinting around. What could it be?

 

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T-t-t-triggered!

Vlarune and Monkey appear as Broog find God.

The group decides to rest. Everyone is sleeping, Broog has interesting dream. Silvanus appears as a wolf behind a background of a massive forest, then transforms into a human. Broog turns around and sees Beemo unconscious with no clothes, abyssal runes on the ground, and a brick wall behind Beemo.

He wakes up from this confused merger of nightmare and dream, wakes everyone up, and finds that Beemo is gone, but his clothes and gear are still there. The group can sense someone was in  here, and they lose the trail, presumably because magic.

They go back to the mage guild in Sanctuary to see Leps again. He's triggered like before this time by Vlarune, and requests help from the other mages. Broog can't seem to remember the dream anymore, but magic is as magic does so a spell pulls him into a state with one of the members of the guild, where they clearly see a tapestry, a shield with an insignia on it, the mage recalls that it used to be an old castle from a family that is no longer around. They also see something that resembles a suit of armor on the left of Beemo.

Now a brothel.

The group heads to the brothel, and Broog does some reconnaissance, after about 45 minutes of searching for a room, Broog just stops, and stares at a wall. And then realizes the wall is mis-aligned somehow.

He comes back to the group, they rent the paddle room for a few hours, which is the room closest to the anomaly, and find the button to open the door. It leads down a long hallway with two ways to go, left and right. The group goes left, eventually finding an empty room, with the same abyssal runes on the floor, a homunculous made up of stitched together body parts on the left standing table, and nothing on the right. Broog being able to read abyssal, understands that it's a soul transfer set up.

The party heads to the other room, and come across the demon in the dream, with the suit of armor, and Beemo. Jackpot. The demon is busy trying to understand why Beemo's soul won't go into the armor. He pulls some levers to start running electricity into the armor, and presumably to Beemo next, but the group interrupts him. The voice is familiar, Broog realizes it's the same voice from the cave when they were summoned out of the metal dungeon/dimension into the cave. It was the voice of the tiefling that Iris killed a few days prior, now in the body of a large ape like structure, with demonic features.

 

The party surprises and attacks the demon, while the suit of armor starts to animate from the current coursing through its body. Hammer springs into action, easily breaking his bonds, while Beemo was unconcious and unreactive to all the comotion. The ape demon took considerable damage before going invisible, but being spotted by Hammer's innate ability to locate such beings. Regardless of being found out, he summoned another demon that looked just like him, to help kill the party. After a few close calls, the demons are killed and Beemo is picked up by Broog to be taken to a doctor.

The doctor explains he was drugged and a night of rest will and a concoction given to Beemo will let him wake up feeling a bit weird but just fine. He is a hero after all.

Our adventurers go back to the mage guild, to explain what was going on in the brothel. Verifying it in the zone of truth, Leps gets triggered as usual, and the group is told they will need to appear at a large, LARGE council meeting that will be held within the next few days. All the guilds are attending. Mages, Druids, Thieves, Mercenaries, Monasteries, Paladin houses, even the Clerics.

The party has a few days to rest up before everyone convenes to discuss the issue of undead, demons, and how our adventurers keep getting caught up in the middle. Who keeps going after the party while they are resting? First another dimension, now a kidnapping, why are they being targeted? Find out next time on Dragon Ball Z

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Bad Religion
or How the Party Repurposed a Summoning Circle

Thinking the portal would lead back to their room at the inn, the party was very surprised to find themselves surrounded by cultist who weren't shy of their worship of Kaladesh. After a moment to gain their bearings, the party realized they were standing in what looked to be a summoning circle, eight of the cultists around them, one cultist (who looked to be the leader) on a platform. While Broog and Bemo took care of the underlings, Iris kept the leader distracted. After a furious battle, the foes were destroyed and their leader was knocked out.

 

With a moment to collect themselves (and any loot on their enemies), the party noticed Vlarune and Monkey seemed to be missing. Figuring the now tied up cult leader would be the most likely to know where they were, the party took a short rest. Upon his awakening, the cult leader seemed determined to kill himself. The party tried questioning him, but all was for naught. The leader lost consciousness once more and thus they would wait once more. As they waited, Iris found a book on the leader. The script seemed unintelligible, but somehow Broog could tell it was in Abyssal, tongue of Demons. Broog explained his recent learnings in the way of the ranger presented him newfound knowledge on Demons as his favored enemy. Being that he has never met a Demon, this didn't really make sense, but his weak reasoning is that he finds Demons to be unnatural and, therefore, evil. 

 

Anyway, the book clearly spoke of a summoning ritual for trolls. The cult leader awoke and the party questioned him once more, this time holding his head in a way that he couldn't harm himself. The leader claimed that they indeed were attempting to summon trolls, but somehow ended up with the three now standing before him. Broog presented the troll head he cut off as a trophy, figuring it was essentially a focus they used to ride the summons. Unfortunately, the total mass of the part was more than just two trolls, so some got left behind. The leader said that he could try the summoning once more to bring back the missing members, but those present found the implications behind his willingness too sinister. Quickly growing tired of the wailing and thrashing that followed their rejecting, Iris ran her sword through the leaders face, thus ruining any chance he had to just kill himself.

 

Bemo, Iris and Broog discussed their next course of action, deciding their goal was to bring back their companions, but first they must find a city in hopes that one more versed in summons could be found. Outside the cave where this entire story has taken place thus far, Broog wildshaped into a dire wolf and carefully approached a nearby pack. They surrounded him to be safe, but let him speak. The wolves gave clear directions, both to the city and to steer clear of their territory.

 

Half a day spent walking to the road, and another half walking to the city, the party found themselves in Centurion City by dawn. A guard at he front gates was wary of the group, but let them in once he understood their plight, or at least tired of Broog's ramblings about summoning and evil. The Inn didn't often take visitors this late, but all were more than okay with resting in the front commons area.

 

All woke ready to save their find their transdimentional trapped friends. It was decided that the local mages guild was most likely their best hope, be it a summoner or portalmancer. Sadly, the mages found that the current state of the ritual would leave one involved in experience tainted by Kaladesh, but they could change it so that a pact could be made with a god in exchange for a clean ritual, Broog mentioned that they could call upon Silvanus, Goddess of Wild Nature. He wasn't too strongly connected to her or the druids they would need to contact her, but the circle they met back in Sanctuary (formerly known as the refugee city) could help.

 

A portalmancer set the group on their way as they searched once more for the circle Broog had earlier warned about Kaladesh's army of undead. Understanding of the party's plight, mostly since they seem to be the only ones willing to do something to stop Kaladesh, the druid circle was willing to help Broog contact Silvanus. The only caveat was that he must make a contract in exchange for the safe return of his friends. Thinking of what Broog could offer, the party traveled sixty miles back to the cave where this story began. 

 

The ritual was set and the party was ready. Broog entered the circle and seemingly fell into a trance as he spoke with SIlvanus. In return for the retrieval of Monkey and Vlarune, Broog was to become an emissary of the Goddess of Wild Nature AND interfere with any plans he knew of involving the killing of animals for sport until Silvanus felt he satisfied her request. Accepting these terms, Monkey and Vlarune appeared before the group. Broog approached them both, gave each a hearty pat on the back, and loudly proclaimed "Broog found God!"

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The Realm of many Doors, and Trolls

After paying off the guard, the group finds themselves with an open-ended question: where to next? They decide against leaving the Tongue-less Tiefling to die alone in a prison cell, so they decide to catch their bearings. Finding a map in the mayors office, they decide the past route is to trek up the neighboring town, hiding their tracks along the way, and dropping the prisoner off at the city guard.

 

Once in the city, the party briefly split up. Bemo decided to find an armory to find a suitable ranged weapon at a reasonable price. Broog wanted to link up with his fellow druids, albeit the circle of the land variety. Broog warned the druids of the impending undead army, who promptly sounded warnings in the form of messenger birds to multiple cities. Marky couldn’t manage to find a church with her own diety, but still found company in a couple priests of  Pelor, who decided to come back to the tavern for a few drinks. Vlarune, after listening in to conversations, alarmingly found another couple individuals who have head of the impending undead scourge. However after confronting, was unable to get information before they left the tavern in a hurry.

 

Being late at night after a long day travelling, all group members decide to tucker in for the night. When the adventurers awoke, Iris opened the door to a queer sight: a landscape that is way to jagged to be described as an inn. With no direction to go but forward the group decided to explore the location. With Broog’s expert advice of “Always go left”, they ended up rather spectacularly scaling up to a higher pathway. This new pathway led to an altar with a single magic rune on a button. With no real direction to go, the team decided to activate this device in hopes of escaping this dream-like situation. Alas this was in in the cards for the adventurers, teleported to a room of doors, as all great adventures begin..and perhaps end. With no way back, the adventurers had a tough choice to make: Go through the metal, green, black, red or blue door. After an extremely democratic moment, Broog jumps through the Metal door, the other adventurers following quickly behind.

 

And thus, the group finds themselves in a similar predicament, stuck in a room with 2 locked doors. After some navigating, the group arrives in a larger room, this turned out to be a large water elementals bedroom. Battle ensues, at one point Marky is swallowed by the water elemental but manages to break free. Broog, taking on his bear form, swipes his claws from head to foot of the elemental, spewing water onto the ground.

 

After spying an important looking archway not present in the other “regular” hallways, the adventurers decide to proceed in that direction. Unfortunate for them, they found a group of metal murloc-like creatures. Vlarune tried listening to their leaders thoughts, but received only an annoying “BZZZZZZZZ” constant sound in return. The adventurers quickly dispatch the underlings, and Bemo manages to melt their boss to a puddle in the ground. Marky finds a trap, and after Iris nearly has a meet in with an arrow to her face, some hidden treasure. And so the quest to find an exit continues.

 

With some twists and turns through the dungeon, the adventures then came upon some big metal doors, and after opening found an interesting room, partly intriguing were the 4 pillars spaced out with fires on them, but most of the adventurers attention was spent on the 2 giant trolls in the middle of the room. Bemo and Vlarune team up to incapacitate one troll, causing it to fall onto the floor with laughter. The rest of the team manages to fling one of the braziers of fire onto the troll, setting the monster into panic and fire, unfortunately after the Troll slammed Marky unconscious. With the enemies distracted the group focused their attention, and weapons, on the closest trolls. After much to and fro, Marka jumped in the air, bashing the troll repetitively with her feet so hard it was knocked unconscious. The team then was able to focus their attention on the second troll who had decided it had had it’s fill of laughter for the day, looking at the adventurers with rage. Bemo quickly jumps to action before the troll can act, stabbing it in the back with a rapier, with which he later heated up to catch the troll on fire. After much trial, Vlarune was finally able to slay this troll, splattering it’s brains across the wall with a focused blast of force energy. After this battle concluded, a portal appeared in the room. The adventurers entered the portal, thankfully finding their way back to their original room at the inn, still unsure of what had occurred or why.

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evacuation, ambush, and undead

Our adventurers find themselves tasked to find the former mayor after the acting mayor/captain asked us to. At first we negotiated price for the previous job, but the captain said that the deal was with the former and not with him. We settled on 75g each for bringing back the people, and another 25 each if we bring back the former mayor alive.

Broog stayed in the forest connecting to nature, and learning how to turn into the animals he spent time with. The rest of the party also grew in power, learning new abilities and just becoming more awesome overall.

After the group rested, we they found Broog and saw his new found power, watching him turn into a dire wolf. He was able to track the former mayor to a cabin. After running head first into the door, Vlarune started busting down the door with Eldritch Blasts, while Iris went around the back to prepare for whoever came out the other direction. Tired of waiting with a bow and arrow, she lept in through the window ungracefully, finding the former mayor with a sword. While Bemo opened the blocked door through a whole in created by Vlarune, Iris got into a skirmish with the former mayor, and knocked him out.

 

Tied up and scared he explains that he "had to do it" for the town so they wouldn't be run over with undead. While begging us to not take him back to the captain, the group ignores him after the interrogation and hands him over anyway with the payment.

 

We informed the captain that an undead horde was coming to take the town, and he didn't seemed pleased. He decided to evacuate, rather than risk fighting and becoming part of the undead horde.

The new acting mayor explains what happened to the rest of the town. They aren't happy with the party, because now they have to leave the town, and they blame us for what is happening. The party doesn't really care.

The team remembered that someone is supposed to pick up the captured humans from the goblins. They go over to see Gob. They almost get into a fight with the goblin guards outside, but are remembered as "good longshanks."

Gob is good with the ambush plan, where Vlarune and Bemo pretend to be the captured humans that are being given over to whoever may be picking them up. After a few days, Iris and Marky hide behind some shrubs, while Broog turns into a spider and hangs out at the top of the entrance to the goblin cave. Eventually a cart with a humanoid rider comes to the cave. Undead surround the cart and start heading to the entrance of the cave.

 

Iris tries to get closer while being stealthy, and fails miserably. So does Marky. So much so that even the skeletons notice. A fight ensues. Vlarune lights a torch so the party can see things, being the MVP that he is and hexes the guy in charge. Bemo casts a spell that makes him drop with laughter. Twice. 

The skeletons attack Marky and Iris, but are easily disposed. Broog being the giant spider he is, sinks his fangs into the what we later find out to be a tiefling. The tiefling is surrounded and knocked out.

Tied up and awakened after a few hours, the group realizes he has no toungue and cannot speak. Vlarune casts charm person on him, and starts asking questions. With the group's help, the tiefling starts writing things down, but Vlarune again comes in clutch with Comprehend Languages.

The piece of paper with a rune on it is the marking of "Lord Kaladesh" which is the tiefling's god, or boss or something. Broog finds a stone and a feather in a hidden compartment in the cart. The stone is a stone of silence, which has a 10 yard radius. The feature casts "pass without trace" once a day.

 

Broog finds a key in the goblin cave, which no one knows what it does. He helps the goblins find a new cave, a gloriously better cave, as the group warns Gob that undead are coming for them as well. While he does that, the party comes back to the town to put the tiefling in a jail cell. He tries all night to break free, but can't and becomes exhausted. Broog stays with the goblins to sleep in the new cave, the group stays in the now deserted town for the night. They wake up to find the tiefling still there, and the guard complaining of the noise. A few gold pays him off for the nights work.

Somewhere a mysterious narrative voice pops into all of our heads at the same time, it speaks saying "If you didn't already know, you aren't good."

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Notorious G.O.B.
or How the Party Overthrew a Goblin King

Our party members found themselves rolling into town on a caravan heading to… somewhere. But before they could arrive somewhere, they stopped in Laham. A guard approached the driver, explaining that they didn't expect any caravans to come through, warning that without sending word ahead that that it may fall victim to the bandits that have been causing trouble as of late. So as to secure the roads ahead, the guard suggested the group stop for the night. The party quickly noticed that the town may seem empty st first glance, but the populace was simply hiding. Each member decided to head to the Inn for a brew. As they entered, Bemo and Iris lightened the mood with a quick melody, Vlarune headed one in, Broog sat with a stupid grin, to which Monkey Monk repaid in kind as she passed. Once all were seated inside, they introduced themselves.

 

Iris particularly took this chance to ask around about a person named Titus.The barkeep only knew of one Titus, but he only a child, and a rather unruly one from the sound of it. Then Mayor Erdan burst through the door, taking this chance to meet the outsiders. He too spoke of bandits, which finally set Iris off. She wished to to know if she, along with any other willing outsider, could take care of the bandits for a price. The Mayor said that they didn't have anything to give as a reward, but Iris would settle for a percentage of profits in a year's time. All willing members accepted these terms and retired to their various quarters for the night.

 

Come morning, they decided upon a plan. Monkey Monk, a nun of questionable repute, was to ride a canopied wagon along the dangerous path and lure out the bandits. This quickly proved to be a bad plan, as the wagon was slashed, the strange Druid Broog was nearly slain and the horse received quite a frighten. Luckily, not all was lost: One of the bandits, who appeared to be a band of goblins, was stricken before he could enter the torn wagon; Broog was revitalized enough to strike down his foe; and the final goblin was destroyed in an excellent display of power.

 

After calming the horse, a task that proved to be quite the kick in the stomach, the party awaited to awakening of the goblin Broog had knocked unconscious. Seeing he was surrounded and tied up, the goblin was quite afraid. Best that could be told, his name was Gob. They attempted to goad Gob into telling them where his clan was and their numbers, but his fear and stupidity prevented clarity. Luckily, Broog felt that he could level with the goblin and have the closest thing to an intelligent conversation that both were capable of. Broog suggest that Gob could become the Goblin King. This struck quite the chord with Gob, Believing that he might actually suit such a position. He was a charming young goblin, and quite healthy with his single hit point, so none other could fill the job any better. He lead the party, who he referred to as "long-shanks" due to their taller stature, towards the cave. Bemo and Iris convince Gob to gather some of his friends, but his first group was rather lacking. It took some explaining, but they finally got Gob to understand that he needed an army. After putting mouths to ears and helmets to heads, Gob has his own little rebellion. The party lead the rebels to the Goblin King and prepared for battle. 

 

After some unintelligible goblin chatter, arrows flew and swords clashed. Broog and Iris were the first to drop, but were quick to soon rise once more to the occasion. After a quick yet fierce battle, Gob struck the final blow, destroying the Goblin King. Now friends with the long-shanks, he allowed them to free the remaining humans and search the dead king's quarters. There they found a book that mentioned two fellows named Balda and Lacio planning to trade ingredients of some king on a "moonless night." This made the party suspicious that a human back in Laham may have been helping the raid parties, so they were quick to assist the freed hostages and return.

 

Upon their return, the party was greeted with celebration, though the Mayor looked none too happy. Iris approached him, saying that they must talk immediately and away from the townspeople. He was reluctant, but accepted. The party headed to his office, but the moment Iris began to question him, the Mayor leapt out the window. Broog and Iris followed, while Vlarune, Monkey and Bemo searched they office. Even with the aid of an animal and a well shot arrow, those in pursuit lost the trail. Luckily, the office party found a secret compartment with incriminating evidence. They retrieved the captain of the guard to show him their findings and await a response.

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