dungeons and dragons and fighting games
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https://www.yuggoth.space@yithian

Orphans & Organizations: session 21

New blood

18 Eleint (flashback)

Heyax had to be encouraged to go and enjoy Brightswords. He watched the tournament and afterward, wanted to try the smoky, misty drink at the Trollskull Tavern. While looking for a drink, he saw a drink apparently pouring itself at the bar and tried to tap at where a shoulder would be. His hand passed through the air and, confused, he asked for the special. The drink seemed to pour itself and a chalkboard appears with "1 silver please".

After several hours of drinking, Heyax left a tip and waved in the general direction of where he thought the spectral bartender was before heading back into the night to prepare for the next day's work. Along the way, he found himself at the Steam and Steel and stopped to admire the fine detail of their work. After looking over the items he could make out, Heyax started slogging his way back and after 30' or so, he took a quick break. But the next thing he knew, early morning was gathering in the streets and the sky was too bright to be night.

"Shit, he got too far! We don't need to do this... Shit, we need to do this" from a halfling who then blew a short, sharp whistle. Then he felt a massive explosion through the ground and air that echoed in his chest! After the roar died down, screams and footsteps filled the silence and flames lit the alley.

19 Eleint (present)

After the explosion, Zephyr bolted into the alley to find three people downed, unmoving in the street. I followed and found that the three were likely dead. Heyax awoke to hear our voices and saw someone in the alley in front of him, with a shimmer over him in a runner's stance; Heyax recognized it as some kind of defensive magic.

Through the din, I heard Fala crying out of help - I ran (and leapt through a tunnel in space) toward Corellon's Crown to find her shop catching fire. Uncovering the Lantern of Remembrance, I extinguished a section of flame and called for Fala to make her way outside.

Vivi, using magically assisted jumps, went to The Book Wyrm's Treasure to find Rishal's shop, and likely bedroom, are collapsed and burning.

The figure Heyax saw came up behind him and suggested he help assist the living, which Heyax was compelled to do. Heyax ran over to Zephyr, who shouted for him to look for an elderly dragonborn (Rishal).

About this time, Vivi got a bad - worse - feeling. Something is off, even considering the chaos of the moment.

Zephyr and Heyax searched through the rubble of shops, looking for Rishal, while I ran through Corellon's Crown to find Fala. Meanwhile, Vivi sent a sending to Renaer and warned him there was an explosion and he may be a target. While searching the remains of the Book Wyrm's Treasure, Heyax and Zephyr heard a gasping breath from above them. Vivi joined them and the trio made their way to the second floor, which trembled under their combined weight. With inspiration from Vivi, Heyax cleared rubble away to clear the way to Rishal, who was buried in it. Vivi spoke a word and brought Rishal back to consciousness while Heyax cleared more wreckage to free Rishal, who disappeared and reappeared in a cloud of bronze dust.

I heard Fala behind a door that was blocked by a pair of beams. My only real option was to blast at them with starstuff and thankfully, they split and partially cleared the door. I kept blasting at the beams, trying to make space for Fala to escape. After the beams were shattered, Fala somehow blasted the door apart and sent the thunder and shrapnel into me as well. Since Fala had freed herself, I ran downstairs, used the Lantern to consume more flames. Then I stepped through a magical tunnel back into the street.

We gathered in the street once everyone was safe and realized that the bodies in the street were a group of halflings that sometimes came to Trollskull Cavern. Looking at the body closest to the tavern, they're a bald human with a mass of scar tissue on his palm. It's got to be Krentz.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 9

The other problem

Speaker Oarus Masthew of Termalaine sent a messenger to the Speaker of Lonelywood, telling them they needed to stop logging the forest or the attacks inside its borders would resume. This left the group time to investigate the training site Captain Rein used (located by Geren).

Ukira, Kithri and Grevekt stocked up on supplies while Allegra and Roathus left for Bryn Shander in persuit of their own goals.

Along the way to the camp, Ukira and Kithri could feel another storm on the way, predicting it would arrive by the end of the day.

It was a rough, cold hike but eventually the cabin appeared from the dark. The trio went inside to find that some of the furniture had been broken and parchments were everywhere - apparently it had been raided since Rein had been here last. However, Grevekt was able to piece together that Rein had made an arrangement with a tribe of Bear Tribe nomads to trade supplies for "something they found in the ice, near the Reghed glacier".

There weren't many comforts available in the cabin but the three made a fire with the broken furniture and settled in for the night.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 8

The Lonely Wood

Oarus and Geren had two problems: the stories about a huge white beast attacking loggers in Lonelywood forest and suspicions about where Rein took her team for training. The group decided to trek into Lonelywood Forest and leave investigating Rein's campsite to the militia.

24 Nightal, 1489 DR

After resting for the night, the group hiked into the woods, using what little light there was. They weren't far into the woods when they found shapes built from sticks and bones hanging from the trees and symbols, which Kithri identified as Druidic and taken together, meant protected from logging.

They wound their way deeper into the forest and eventually encountered a rough wooden bridge crossing a river (long since frozen over). Both Kithri and Ukira had stepped out onto the bridge before anyone could tell that it was illusory, and sent Ukira crashing through the ice into the frigid waters!

The group scrambled back onto land and took some time to dry off and warm up by a fire. Unfortunately, while they waited, a thick fog rolled in followed by an intense downpour - heavy enough to douse the bonfire and soak the entire group to the bone.

While they figured out what was going on, two enormous, animated trees loomed over the group and began pummelling them brutally!

The others tried to stay alive while Kithri called out in Druidic for anyone listening. The trees held their assault (being badly splintered and burned, themselves) and a woman's voice cried back that they could have three days of peace to stop all logging in the forest.

After resting and drying again, the group left the forest and told Oarus what they discovered.

Orphans & Organizations: session 20

The reward for work well-done is more work

Aldwin's request of the lords was for 1,000 gold each month to Saint Laupsin's and for enough to get him safe, comfortable passage to an island for training. In gratitude, Aldwin offers his assistance whenever we're around and says that he'll tell everyone at Saint Laupsin's to provide healing for us as well. He departed and the table's attention turned to us.

Once Aldwin departed, Laeral Silverhand asked us if we wanted to place our requests or to hear what they had to say first? Azthoran thought it would be best to hear the lords out first and said so.

The Open Lord - and the others - are concerned about how that dragon came to be in the tournament at all. The city is supposed to be - and still is - warded against dragons. She told us about how Ahghairon (the first Open Lord of Waterdeep) used his staff to protect the city from dragons and still kept the ward active. Intrigued, Vivi asked if they knew where the staff was but the Open Lord and the Blackstaff could not recall - no matter how much they tried.

Renaer told the group that he'd been in touch with his father - Lord Neverember of Neverwinter - and that he was supposed to meet this person and that it would have something to do with his missing necklace. The one that Vivi took... Laeral jumped in and confirmed what we had suspected: that this was about the Grand Game.

The Open Lord continued, saying they couldn't participate themselves, since they are far too notable and would draw too much attention. Instead, they wanted us to be their proxies. We might just be citizens, but she pointed out that we are deeply active in the city. That we have investments - she looked at Vivi -, family - she looked at Azthoran - and work - to Zephyr - and then finally that some of us want to make a name for ourselves.

Azthoran asked about the sixth, empty, seat - it's for Davil Starsong. He offered to get in contact with Davil for the lords.

They asked the groups' requsts at that point. Azthoran asked for two "relatively easy-to-grant" requests: unrestricted access to the Magists' Guild's library and a gem containing tears. some concern about the reagent and have to register

Zephyr wanted to know how Ishtal escaped captivity and to learn where her friend Merrick is. Mirt told her that Ishtal talked a lot in captivity and that her association is known to the lords and isn't a problem for them. Ishtal was almost certainly ferried out of the city and safe, somewhere that Bregan D'aerthe operates. Mirt promised to look for Merrick and let Zephyr know what he finds out.

Finally, Vivi had her opportunity to make her request: a "permanent guest pass" to visit the griffons and help care and train for them. They are happy to let her visit the griffons, with the exception of the hatchlings (that need to imprint on their riders).

With the requests out of the way, the Open Lord formally asked the group if they would be players in the Grand Game and of course, they agreed. The lords couldn't offer too much assistance, lest they reveal their involvement.

Renear gives Zephyr a dagger with an obsidian blade and names it as a Blackfire Blade. It's potent equipment from the Griffon Riders' armory. Laeral called out Vivi's name and Mirt flicked something shiny at her: a Feather Ring. Vajra handed Azthoran a Lantern of the Rememberance.

On the way back, the group discussed - vaguely - what we thought of the lords' request. Azthoran remembered the sending stone he was given by Davil Starsong and sent a message: Checking in after Brightswords. Do you need assistance with anything? Mutual acquantainces mentioned they missed you at the winner's box.

And got a response: So I heard. Laying low. Be in touch.

Overdue rest

The night's activity in the tavern turned a profit of 145 gold and 7 silver. The group crashed, exhausted, from the day's events.

As Zephyr was sleeping, she came to partial consciousness and saw a spider. It was a very uncanny dodge.

Vivi heard various rumors on the wind that came to her, unbidden.

Azthoran had fitful sleep and a dream - or a vision? - he was in a field of constellations, and was himself a collection of stars. As the scene progressed, he realized that he was actually flame and was enclosed in glass. He heard the monk's chant echoing and repeating but sounded damning. The glass broke his flame expanded and grew while his vision faded.

Morning flames

19 Eleint

Vivi and Zeph heard a shout in the alley and looked out windows to see a thin figure with a wide-brimmed hat yelling after a bald, purple-cloaked figure was running toward the tavern. The figure was humanoid in outline but not in detail. They saw the thin figure make a gesture and then the alley was filled with fire! Vivi and Zeph were scorched and the alley was warped and ruined; The Bookwyrm's Treasure was a hollowed out shell.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 7

Who Goes There?

With the unsettling fight behind them, the group took the disfigured bodies of Rein and her militia outside of town to bury them, before the rest of the town saw them an panicked. Ukira, Kithri and Roathus went back to collect the first bodies they encountered - the ones in the streets. Along the way, Ukira shared how she found a scene like this once before - for her clan. They, too, had been found dead but with places where someone clearly fell but their body wasn't there.

When they arrived, the blood that had pooled in the snow was gone! Instead, there was a web of tracks snaking through the snow, which they followed... back to the Eastside. Of course.

They went back inside and asked Marta if anyone had gone upstairs (where they fought earlier). One of the servers - Genny - had and was in a back room just then. When the group started talking to her, she was being very suspicious. When she tried to push her way out of the room, Ukira was blocking her.

When she realized that the didn't believe she didn't know anything, Genny's head split in half and grew entirely too many teeth and took a bite at Ukira! There was a short, horrifying and brutal fight that left Genny mutilated and very dead.

Allegra got worried that Marta was compromised too and magically disguised herself to be Genny, then called Marta back to "talk". The conversation quickly revealed that Marta was involved with whatever was going on and the group slew her, too.

They burnt these new bodies out in the street too, and carried them out of town to the grave with the others. Ukira declared that she hates this town.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 6

The Captains

Oarus took the letters detailing Captain Rein's corruption they found in her house and, accompanied by the party (and Trex), went to show them to the other militia captains. Captain Calston already disliked Rein and was happy to have a concrete reason to demote her. Captain Geren had never been inclined to participate in what they consider "political matters" and told Oarus they didn't want to get involved.

Before the group could make it to the remaining captain (Captain Lunaren), they stumbled into a pair of face-down bodies in the snow! Blood had pooled in two other spots nearby as well. Ukira didn't think they had been there long - maybe a couple hours. Kithri found a broken piece of something that looked like ice but felt like metal.

Following a trail through the snowy streets lead them to The Eastside - the main inn for travelers. Inside, the common room was relatively crowded but Captain Rein wasn't in sight. Allegra asked the innkeeper - Marta Peskryk - if she had seen the captain; she told Allegra that Rein and the others were at a table upstairs.

As soon as Captain Rein saw Oarus, she (and the two militia members with her) started attacking! As they started taking wounds, their bodies began to warp and distend - their voices even modulated in strange distoritions! Rein fled through the window of one of the rooms upstairs onto the roof and to the street below. Roathus and Ukira didn't let her get away though, and killed her before she could lose them.

Disturbed by what they saw, Oarus ran to bring Captain Geren to show them the horrifying bodies.

While they waited, Kithri noticed one of the spikes on Captain Rein's flail was broken off and matched the shard she had found earlier. Intrigued by the unusual substance, she took the weapon.

When Captain Geren arrived, they immediately agreed that not only was Rein a danger but that their actions were more than justified in defense of Termalaine. They burnt the bodies but when Roathus and Ukira collected the other militia members' bodies, they noticed the blood from their injuries was gone.

Orphans & Organizations: session 19

The Trollskull Travelers

Ahead of the final round, Vivi and Zephyr scouted out the other teams while Azthoran tried to find out which beasts were going to be in the final rounds. The attendant Azthoran talked to couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me anything about what we would face.

Our opponant slithered out of its gate: a giant, two-headed skeletal serpent! It spoke directly into our minds - which was my trick - and asked if we wanted to play first or get directly to the killing. Vivi and Zephyr were entranced by its presence but Azthoran managed to resist, noticing there were two smaller entities that drifted in behind the serpent as well.

Vivi and Zephyr were unable to break free of the serpent's charm for some time and instead focused on the smaller, snail-like creatures instead. Azthoran was nearly eaten whole by the skeletal being, panicked and stepped through a cavern of reality toward the other side of the arena where the snails closed in on him. Fortunately, one of which was on the edge of a raging river through the middle of the arena. Azthoran steeled himself and, feeling a latern kindle inside him for a moment, shoved it into the waters below.

Aldwin continued holding the attention of the undead being - afflicted by magical blindness from Zephyr - while Zephyr started chopping it up. It was chasing down where it thought Vivi and Azthoran were when Zephyr lunged her rapier into its eye socket, felling it.

The snail Azthoran pushed into the water climbed its way back into the fray, where it immediately was pummelled to death by Aldwin's protective spells. When it died, however, its death wail tormented Aldwin and Zephyr - to the point of physical damage! Aldwin rushed toward the remaining snail and crushed it, which drained him, Vivi and I. Aldwin's eyes rolled back and he slumped to the ground.

I deliberated for a long moment before using magic from his Book of Shadows to stabilize the cleric and Vivi used some of the last of her magic to revive him.

Mirt invited us to view the rest of the event from the upper box, with luminaries such as Laeral Silverhand, Elminster, the Blackstaff and the like. The next team fought against a two-headed giant and was forced to yield rather than die.

The griffon cavalry escorted us, as the only victors, north toward Diamond Street (by the West Gate). Vivi saw all the griffons and, once she was helped into a saddle, confirmed that this was the best day of her life.

Riding in the parade was exhilirating for all four members of the Trollskull Travelers! The route swept around above the city and was eventually joined by colorful explosions!

After landing, the griffon riders escorted the group to a plain building, the inside of which was dark until they entered. Once it was lit, they saw a long table, behind which sat Laeral Silverhand (the Open Lord), Vajra (the Blackstaff), Elminster (legendary wizard and current Warden), Renaer Neverember and an empty chair which was claimed by Mirt.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 5

Breaking and Entering

The group went back to the Blue Clam to find out how his conversation with Captain Rein went. She didn't admit to anything but didn't back down from him either. Rein gave him an ultimatum: get rid of the kobolds in two days or she would do what he couldn't. After catching the party up, Oarus offered them 75 gold to get Captain Rein to stop being a problem.

Since Oarus had mentioned that Captain Rein challenged him over (repeatedly) declining a trade agreement with Targos, the group wanted to find out if she had been in contact with Speaker Maxildanarr. They found her house and Kithri's druidic magic let her crawl in through the chimney in the form of an arctic weasel. She unlocked the door and let in Allegra and Grevekt, who helped search for evidence. While they were investigating, Allegra stole a pile of coins and a few gems from Rein's desk.

Letters on Rein's desk showed that she was in touch with Speaker Maxildanarr - not only was she trying to establish that trade agreement but she would have Maxildanarr's support to replace Oarus as speaker.

When Oarus got the letters, he started getting ready to show them to the other militia captains to oust Rein from the militia.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 4

Mutiny Management

21 Nightal 1489 DR

The group convinced Oarus to meet up with Captain Rein to see if they could head off whatever the militia had planned for him. They decided to go to the Blue Clam for this meeting since it's more neutral ground.

Once there, they got a table and sent a messenger to find Captain Rein. While they waited, Grevekt found a hunter in the tavern and followed him when he left. Just outside, he called out for the hunter to wait and the specter - previously thought defeated in the gem mine! - left Grevekt's body and possessed the hunter instead. Grevekt wandered back into the Blue Clam in a daze and eventually the others realized that he was in a bad way and also that he no longer had the satchel.

The group didn't want to let the being free and resolved to burn the satchel. They left Trex with Oarus and followed the hunter's trail north, into the forest, racing an incoming blizzard. As they continued following the trail, they found other - much larger - trails as well. They followed the trail into a clearing, where they were ambushed by a trio of crag cats. Roathus was gravely wounded but two of the beasts fled and the group slayed the third. Since the storm was bearing down on them, Kithri marked their location on a map and they turned back for Termalaine - they made it back to town just as the storm caught them.

Orphans & Organizations: session 18

Fight!

Aldwin lead the way into the arena as we were called. A manticore is released to fight us! The fight was quick and brutal - Aldwin took a manticore spike to his collarbone while Vivi was savagely clawed. After the creature was defeated, we were escorted from the stadium to rest and prepare for the next round.

Once the initial healing from the tournament officials was applied, Vivi started scouting the other teams, trying to size up their participants. Meanwhile, Zephyr snuck past the clerics to watch other teams' matches.

The group that followed us had one of their number dangerously wounded that had to be revived after their round. They did win their match, however.

Another group fought against something that Zephyr described as a blue dragon! The group was almost entirely armed with melee weapons and fell to the creature's lighting breath. One of the fallen was beheaded and eaten by the dragon(kin?).

The next group forfeited after seeing the slaughter from the round before.

In the next phase of the tournament, we were matched against a team called The Lizardfolk from the Undermountain. They started the match hidden inside a cloud of fog, which would have seemed unfair if I hadn't disguised myself as a Tiefling warrior-monk as a bit of misdirection.

Thanks to some effective use of summoned thorns filling a choke point, The Lizardfolk put up a much better fight than the manticore. Ultimately though, we were victorious and left the arena to prepare for the third round.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 3

Undermining

21 Nightal 1489 DR

The group briefly struggled against the specter and left it as nothing more than evanescing ectoplasm. Afterword, Kithri searched through the satchel to discover it contained samples of mosses, herbs, lichens and cuttings of shrubs - all native to Icewind Dale. She took enough to create a makeshift Healer's Kit and Grevekt took the rest of the satchel.

Trex couldn't remember anything that had happened since his tribe stumbled into a corpse during a blizzard near Kelvin's Cairn. He did want his tribe to live in town and work in the mine, so the group took him to Termalaine's town hall to negotiate with Oarus.

On the way to town hall, Allegra noticed some (heavily bundled) figures standing out on the street that left as soon as they got near. The group was extremely suspicious and followed one of the figures across town to a building bearing the mark of the Termalaine militia.

Once back at town hall, Ukira also noticed shadows moving on the roof of the building as they entered through a side door. Inside, Trex convinced Oarus to let the kobolds stay. Then Roathus convinced Oarus that he was in imminent danger from the militia captain Captain Mara Rein.

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 2

Deeper into the dark

21 Nightal 1489 DR

After defending themselves from a pair of giant rodents, they took a moment to dress Roathus' injury - Allegra spoke a word of magic that helped close the wound. With his breath caught again, Roathus stepped into the river flowing through the chamber to see where it led. The frigid water immediately shocked him to the bone and nearly swept him away but the skilled sailor kept his feet and saw that the river fell into darkness not far after the end of the chamber. Roathus quickly stepped out of the rushing water and dried off.

With no other path, the group followed the reptilian tracks further into the mine to a wooden platform leading across a chasm which fell further than their light could illuminate. They - very carefully - crossed the platform across from the thundering waterfall from the cave where they fought against the rats. Once safely across, they descended to the next level of the mine via a single-passenger bucket elevator.

There were a lot of reptilian tracks in the dust both going and coming from one direction and only a single set of tracks leading (but not coming back from) the other. Out of an abundance of caution, they all agreed to follow the lone set of tracks first and found themselves in a chamber with an opening to the central chasm but no sign of any creature, kobold or othewise.

Roathus thought he saw something move among a cluster of stalactites and sent a beam of frigid energy toward it, striking something that pulled further into the dark! Ukira offered her torch to light up the ceiling and Allegra created a magical hand and floated the torch upward, revealing a set of barbed tendrils attached to a bulbous, wrinkled body with a cruel-looking beak!

A quick, brutal fight followed, leaving Ukira injured and Roathus gravely wounded. While the group caught their breath, cleaned their equipment and tended to their injuries, they heard some scuffling sounds back the way they came but never seemed to come close. Roathus also felt a distinct impression of volatile pride that wasn't his own and the realization soured his mood.

After recovering, the adventurers took the opposite tunnel and Roathus just caught sight of a pair of waist-high reptiles bundled in furs and leathers fleeing from a room with another dead giant rat. They carefully continued through the tunnels, sloping down further into the cold earth.

The tunnel opened to the chasm again, with another wooden platform leading to another tunnel hosting a cluster of the reptilian creatures. One of them wore a crude set of wooden-and-paper wings, and introduced himself as Trex, saying they meant no harm and simply wanted to work the mines as part of the town.

To a one, the group was suspicious of Trex but couldn't put a finger on why. They asked him to wait while they continued looking for the missing miner. After finishing their search unsuccessfully, Allegra offered to escort Trex back to Termalaine to negotiate living in town and working in the mine.

On the way back, they pried into what Trex was hiding, eventually grabbing his satchel to search it. But when Allegra held it, her hand started going numb and she tossed it away - when it landed, a spectral figure with a mauled face and a deep gash around his entire neck appeared, floating, nearby!

A hollow voice rasped out: You just couldn't let me get to town, could you?

Orphans & Organizations: session 17

Holiday shopping

After Vivi won the contest against Mirt, he asked why we were looking for Renaer out of curiosity. Vivi told him that we were looking for a fourth for the Gladitorial Games and wanted Renaer's advice.

We wandered the streets looking for interesting booths. I found one that looked like an untidy wizard's most back room. A goblin named Kripit is running this booth. He has a set of 6 tomes bound together in leather straps - An Anatomical Study of Magical Creatures. It contains encyclopedic information about extradimensional beings - mostly nearby planes but growing more esoteric.

Vivi bought a Collar of Common Speaking (which allows a dog or a cat to speak, but not necessarily understand Common) and a Pan of Safety (whose handle does not get hot).

I found an astrologer who was selling telescopes and spyglasses. Her telescope was impressive and impressively priced at 1000 gold. A spyglass was much more economically priced for 100 gold and I bought one.

After shopping, we went to sign up for the gladitorial games under the name Trollskull Travellers.

We spent some time looking for Gwen the Red; Vivi found another member of Force Grey and asked about Gwen. She had been deployed outside the city so we didn't ask any further.

Next, we found Fala's booth for Corellin's Crown. Fala had a lot of impressive potions with a variety of effects. I had spent almost all of my coin on the entrance fee and the spyglass, so I didn't buy anything.

Talking to Fala, I had the idea that if she has antidotes for drunkenness or hangovers, we could direct patrons of the Tavern to Corellin's Crown to buy one if they get too deep in their cups. She also told us that Rishal is a little sick and won't be staffing a booth for the festival.

We decided to go check on him and I wanted to drop off the collection of tomes anyway, so we went back to Trollskull Alley. While there, Rishal asked Vivi if she would bring him an apple muffin from Glavert's Punctual Pastries.

On the way back from the tavern, Zephyr noticed several members of the guard following and keeping an eye on herslef and me. We didn't know what we did to draw their attention but we didn't like it, so we agreed to split up and try to lose them. I put on a Mask, mimicing someone nearby and changed the mask every few steps until I was sure I lost them. Zephyr also got lost in the crowds. Meanwhile, Vivi went shopping for trinkets to tease her siblings with.

After some more games, we met up with Renaer at the gates to the Fields. Renaer and Vivi spent some time looking for a physical combatant who we would trust to share in a prize that seems too valuable not to be related to the Grand Game. During the search, Vivi heard someone rumormongering about Renaer's father raising an army to take Waterdeep.

Renaer points out an older man with dark skin and white hair, wearing armor and holding a shield with a book strapped to his hip. His name was Aldwin - his shield bore a symbol of two hands bound together at the wrists by red ribbon: this was the sign of Ilmater, the god of endurance.

The schedule is announced, and we were slated to be fourth. Ahead of us were a solo competitor (defeated), a group of three (defeated) and a group of four (victorious). We were called into the stadium next and were announced to be fighting...

Orphans & Organizations: session 16

Brightswords

18 Eleint

The morning was cool and crisp, with vendors setting up outside. The High Road, between Sulmore Street and Selduth Street were where a lot of things were, but most activity happened in the Market. From there, one could go over to Julthoon Street to see the gladitorial games.

The gladitorial games were updated every year to keep entrants coming in. Last year, it was an obstacle course, won by a "young" elf named Moltaire. The prize was 2500 gold!

We reasoned that supplies for the tavern will average 120 gold per tenday.

Laeral Silverhand - the Open Lord - was present, herself, at the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony payed a lot of thanks to the watch and griffon riders. She said that she'd like to say more about the games but instead handed off to the Warden: Elminster. He said the games will be a "showcase of combat", with three rounds. The first and third against an entity of their choosing. The second round would be against one of the other teams.

Syldaral Halwinter was introduced as Elminster's retiring right-hand person, and a griffon rider.

Maximum team size of five. Anyone was able to participate and sign-up was around noon. Pairing could be provided and healing was provided after the first round - after the second round, it would be minimal. Resurrections were provided at a nominal (250 gold) fee. Signing up was 50 gold per participant. The games would begin a few hours before sundown, with lighting provided.

They were introducing "versatility" to the reward this year; any and all victors would be allowed to choose a reward, as a team:

  • 4000 gold
  • an item carried by the griffon cavalry
  • a favor from the Open Lord

Passing the first round granted 100 gold each, and the second grants 200 gold.

We'd like to keep the final prize to ourselves if possible and decided to ask Renaer if he thinks we should recruit more. We realized that we didn't know how to contact him so decided to ask Mirt if he knew where to find him; a guard near the stage happened to be at the soft opening of the tavern and was willing to tell us where to find Mirt.

Mirt didn't want to simply tell us how to contact Renaer, however. Instead, he challenged Vivi to a magical pie-eating contest, where each pie had a different magical effect. I told Vivi that I had full confidence in her (using it as an opportunity to cast Guidance).

Vivi's first pie turned into a greasy, magical jam, that went down easily. The second pie ate ok but once it was in Vivi's stomach, it exploded, complete with billowing smoke. The third pie tasted like a normal pie. Zephyr cheerlead for Vivi on the fourth pie but Vivi couldn't get through it. Fortunately, Mirt's fourth pie doubled in size, stopping him also. Vivi managed to take a final bite to pull ahead of Mirt, who tipped his hat in consession. Ultimately, a small human girl was the winner.

He said that he owed her some information...

The Aurora-lit Tundra: session 1

Cold Open

21 Nightal 1489 DR

After a dangerously frigid night sacrificing warmth to Auril, most of Termalaine gathers in the morning in either the Blue Clam or the Eastside to huddle by their fires. Our characters are no different:

Roathus Almarssen: a begruding cleric
Allegra Allamarcia: a tavern server turned bard
Ukira "Wayfinder" Tuuluuwaqsiku: a protective barbarian
Kithri Windrivver: a druid trying to unify the Tribe of the Wolf
Grevekt: a wary mage in hiding

They made some small talk with the owner of the Blue Clam - an orcish man named Vernon Braig - and complained about the sacrifices in Ten-Towns being unreasonable. The tavern was slowly warming up; every time someone came into the building, freezing wind rushed back in.

The town's Speaker was a chatty half-orc named Oarus Masthew, whose long hair is pulled back in a tail. After the tavern finally warmed up, he came in from the cold and spotted the characters - by far the best-armed people in the room, maybe even the town. There has been trouble in the gem mines, and Oarus has offered a bounty of 50 gold to anyone who could rid of the kobolds who have moved in.

Grevekt worked in the mines and Allegra was eager to get coin too, so the group left immediately for the mines. On her way out, however, Allegra noticed that Oarus was avoiding a member of the militia while he walked through the tavern.

Into the tunnels

The hike there sapped their warmth left from the Blue Clam and they arrived at the mine's entrance to see a calligraphied sign stating Kobolds only!.

Disregarding the sign, the characters entered the mine to find reptilian and oversized rodent tracks in the dust. They followed the tracks to a cavern containing a small river and two giant, aggressive rats. Roathus and Ukira felled the animals quickly, but not before Roathus was bitten savagely.