Saturday D&D

Giants ! 3
3rd day after leaving gnoll encampment

After another rest to bind their wounds, the party embarks once more upon the giant city.  As only two can be turned gaseous, Balasar is abandoned and they drift silently to the giant citadel where they ambush the winged leader of earlier ritual.  After a brief aerial combat, their foe crashes to the ground and they loot a scroll and a seal from its corpse. 

Hiding, the party observes rifts beginning to form in the alliance between ogre magi and formians.  

En route  to the safehouse, the party interrupts a summoning/binding ritual in the undercity, and steals a vital component.

Arriving back at the safehouse about noon on the 3rd day since leaving the gnoll encampment, the party rests then examines their loot.  A powerful scrying ritual designed to locate an object,  a basketball sized globe that no longer glows, and symbol of Erythnul that emanates such astounding amounts of magical power that the party at once realizes they must be a beacon and target for any mages in the area.  The safehouse is no longer safe.  Time to go.

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Giants 2
Afternoon of day 2

Late afternoon the party completes their rest, binding their wounds and preparing for another foray into the city.  Patrols are out in force, and after a brief foray to the rooftops where the party identifies their destination (a church steeple with good views of the city) they make their way through the undercity to the church basement.  After tricking the guard into leaving his post, they loot the treasure room for a number of giant sized wands and head upstairs. 

After a brief climb to avoid guards they ambush and slay the lookout, then climb back down to resurrect and interrogate him.  He spouts riddles about being on the same side as the party and the coming of a glorious slaughter but the party has no time for puzzles with another giant patrol on the way, so they kill him again before retreating to the safehouse with their loot.

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Giants!

For a break from trolls, the party heads east to enlist aid from the giants.  Halfway up the mountain they are met by additional reinforcements, so after a brief altercation with a bullette, the party retreats to the gnoll encampment to rest.  The next day, armed with the powers of magic, they fly directly to the giant city while insubstantial and Boosh infiltrates and disrupts a ritual being performed on a zigguraut at the center of a large plaza filled with deformed giants, without attempting to understand the intent.  Immediately,  search parties are sent out, and one stumbles upon Balazar and Baknal who are looting an abandoned house.  Combat ensues and Baknal is cursed,  but they manage to escape with their loot.  The party then regroups to plan their next move, finding a place to rest for the remainder of the morning.  

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Time passes
A montage scene

Our Valliant heroes spend the next [period of time] holding the line against the unending troll horde, but no matter how many they kill, it seems the trolls' numbers only grow.  Inevitably they are pushed back, watering each begrudging inch with the blood of trolls, gnolls and themselves.

However, this gives the gnolls time to regroup, build defenses and unite the remaining tribes, so when the party arrives with the last ragged veterans the rallying point is a death trap of pits, spiked barriers nested in tinder,  and treetop shooting platforms.  

Satisfied that the gnolls (with the aid of the imperials) will be able to hold on thier own for at least the next couple of days, the party plots their next move around the cookfire.  Will they:
Strike directly at Troll Mountian in an attempt to cut off the invasion at its source?
Hunt down the dragon, for everyone knows dragons sleep on beds of gold?
Pillage the basement of Wendigo and their treasure?
Entreat the giants for aid?
Kill the giants and take their possessions to fund the war effort?
Loot the abandoned hobgoblin fortress for much needed weapons and supplies?
Abandon the trolls and head north to loot the enemies of the Red Sultan ?
Travel south to become pirates on the great inland sea?
Slay Maximillian,  taking the fort for themelves to found a robber barony?
Abandon this plane entirely to go seeking for Narder and/or employment as mercenaries in the bloodwar?
Something else entirely?

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Events of 2/24/2018
Gnolls n' Trolls.

Day 1 

The party met with the leader of the group of gnolls. Their representative, Skorpa, demanded weaponry and armor, as was promised. The Gnolls also asked for the promised assistance back out near the Gnollish villages. Balasar promises his assistance, and claims that the party will leave at first light.

Ren and Boosh interrogate the Quadruple Amputee Troll (who the group has recently given the name Russel). The group learn that trolls hate Boosh, and that there is a Mother Troll in the base of the mountain. It appears their numbers are in the hundreds, and they hate Boosh. Also the trolls seem to think about themselves as a collective of sorts, they refer to themselves as the legion, and they hate Boosh. Also, the trolls hate Boosh, like, a lot.

Narder came with a final will and testament claiming rights to all of Wartooth's belongings. The party Attorney displayed a parchment which contained a duel agreement, that acts as a final will and testament, that stated that all weapons and armor upon Wartooth's person would be forfeit to the victor, in the assumption that he lost his duel. This Duel agreement was signed by both combatants, Wartooth and Balasar, as well as witnesses, Cyren, Elana, Ren, and the beloved scout – Lefty Righthand. Narder accused the party of falsifying documents, and proclaimed that that signature on the duel agreement doesn't match that of Harald wartooth, being his personal attorney, he would know the signature better than anyone. General Maximillian berated the parties' attorney and claimed there would be a full investigation. He also shared some unfriendly words with the parties attorney regarding his disrespectful tone towards a superior, and claimed that it would be wise not to show his face around camp again.

The Party's Paladin, Balasar, held a Company meeting of the officers and high ranking non-commisioned officers. This meeting was held in the commanders tower, which is in fact not a tower, but a tent, which nearly burnt down with the party in it. Nonetheless, items discussed and actions arising from this meeting are as follows.

1) The mercenary company needs to maintain it's numbers, and prevent men from heading north to fight in the war in the desert, which is vastly more lucrative. Cyren and Elana were charged with this task. Both went off to secure the assistance from an allied organization, the Ladies of the Evening. The women went to work convincing the soldiers that there was more money, and more women here to fight for. The ladies of the evening were successful on this front, but failed their secondary task, digging a new Latrine pit. 

2) Boosh was tasked with locating and facilitating the safe return of Tillamook, the battlemage, who is located at the large staircase. Before Boosh was able to achieve this goal, the decision was made that the Company would march, as a unit, to the staircase and down into the valley, thus negating the need for Boosh's task.

3) Ren was tasked with pressing Balasar's claims to Wartooth's personal belongings. Ren went and had a brief conversation with Narder, and was able to convince him that the new will was indeed legitimate. Narder recognized the final name on the will as the company scout, Lefty Righthand. Given that Narder trust's Lefty, he spoke with him and concluded that the will and testament was legitmate . Afterwards Ren retired to his tent for the evening. <u>This event actually panned out differently, however, only Ren is aware of the changes. Ren banished Narder to another plane of existence, and then proceeded to pass himself off as Narder, informing others that he was leaving to return to the city, never to be seen or heard from again. Ren then disguised himself as one of his alter-ego's and wandered around the camp.</u>

4) Balasar decided that he would gather the necessary information and ask Maximillian for additional aide to assist with destroying the Troll menace. Before the meeting, Narder went and spoke with Balasar and apologized for disbelieving his claim to the belongings of Wartooth. Afterwards, he advised that he was heading to Tuaca, in the event Balasar ever needed to speak with him again.

5) One of the mercenaries, Brown, asks the party to look after his friend, Fisheye, who was mauled in the basement of the Outpost by what he claims was a Yeti. The group isn't fond of Yeti's and shrugs this information off.

6) Balasar provides a list of details and paperwork that need to be handled by the Auxillary Commander, Elana. Elana, being a master of delegation, delegates this task to Boosh. The two get into a spat, and the paperwork is never handled.

The party reconveined and Balasar led a small group to meet with Maximillian. At the meeting, Maximillian advised the group that he was unwilling to provide support in the form of additional money or troops. Maximillian caved to reason and provided 12 of his personal guard to assist with the forward party, after being pressured by Skorpa, Balasar, and the company scout Lefty Righthand. 

Baknal nearly converts one of the whores into a follower, presumably with the use of a lightning rod…

The party has recruited two young mercenaries, who will act as Balazar's personal squires.

Day 2

First thing in the morning the Party sets out, lead by Balasar, who is riding one of the only three horses in the company. Followed by Elana, Cyren, Baknal, Boosh, Reed, Phira, Ren – atop his mighty steed,  and Balasar's 2 new squires (unbeknownst to him) – Ryan and Todd (Toddric) – who were on loan by maximillain. Behind them was the remainder of the mercenary forces, plus the 10  additional soldiers from Maximillains personal Guard. The group met up with Tillamook and proceeded down the steps to the valley floor. 

The group halts at the base of the staircase to setup a way fortress of sorts, a small series of tents with some wooden spikes to provide some form of protection. Todd and Ryan and tasked with digging a new Latrine Pit. The two work the day away digging the most glorious pit that Balasar has ever seen.

Boosh, being native to this land, volunteers to scout out ahead. Ren volunteered the use of his steed, The mighty Pegasus – Steve. Boosh opted out of the assistance, as he is untrained in the art of riding a horse, let alone a winged one. During his scouting, Boosh found multiple bodies that had been eaten by the local giant spiders, as well as a freshly killed Gnoll. Upon returning to the party with this information, the party makes haste to the nearest Gnoll Village, Warm Den.

Upon arrival, they find village to be overrun by nearly 3 dozen trolls. In an instant, lightning bolts, fireballs, and crossbow bolts rain down from the sky on the trolls. The paladin on his beloved horse charges into battle, followed by two dagger wielding rogues, a monk, and his two, would be squires. The battle cry is sounded, "IS HE LOOKING AT US?" " WERE GOING TO BE FAMOUS!"

In a matter of moment's the troll force is dealt with. The gnoll village has been liberated, with 3 casualties. Balasar performs a miracle, or possibly basic medical attention, and brings one of the nearly dead mercenaries back from the brink. The mercenaries cheer, and Balasar accepts that one miracle is enough for this day, thus condemning the remaining 2 mercenaries to their eternal rest. 

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The story thus far

An unstoppable torrent of trolls is pouring down from the mountains,  and hobgoblins are fleeing their hunger.  The Gnolls have rallied behind an elf with a mysterious past, and the emperor has sent his least effective general to secure the pass.   All contact has been lost with the local giants and a dragon seeks revenge for her slain child.  A famous mercenary is slain and his loyal retainer banished to another plane of existence.  

And noone wonders what an abominable yeti was doing in the basement.   

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Session the first
'Cause everything else was just prelude

A captured troll is intertogated, and speaks of a mother of trolls in the lowest depths of the cave under Troll Mountain.  

Following Balazars defeat of Harald Wartooth in a duel, Nardir the lawyer comes to collect Harald's will, so the party banishes him to another realm of existence.   

Centurion Maximillian is convinced to contribute half his troops to the defense of gnoll valley, and a further 33 mercenaries are recruited to the cause.  One, who goes by the moniker of Cough, is joined in holy matrimony to a camp follower recently recovered of many diseases.  

Brown asks the party to look after his friend Fisheye who twisted his ankle looking for buried treasure in the basement.  

The scout Waetmayer heads home to Tihuta after saying his farewells.   

Skorpa, the party, and their army return to gnoll valley where they camp and then rush to defend Warm Den, the southernmost  of the gnoll villages, and thus closest to Troll Mountain.   Only 3 mercenaries are slain, and Balazar is able to return one to life.  A great miracle to the glory of Bahamut!

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Into the Mist...

The party made camp at the Fortress, and as the night wore on, a thick, heavy fog rolled in. By morning, the entire encampment was obscured by the mist, which stunk of death. If they looked closely, they might see dark shapes moving in the inky miasma.

As they took stock of their surroundings, the trees that had been there before seemed to be…different trees. A gravel path was laid out before them with forest and mist on both sides. One quick step into the mist and it was decided that the mists were not probably the best place to be hanging out. The party followed the path through a large gatehouse with iron gates that swung inward as they approached and clanged shut behind them as they passed through.

Soon they were beset by a trio of dire wolves. The wolves put up a good fight, but the party prevailed and continued on. An hour or so later, they stumbled up a violated grave, which Balazar chose to consecrate. As he did so, he felt a surge of anxiety tugging at the edges of his soul. The party then hastily moved on.

Some time not too long after, during a search for healing herbs to make a salve, someone discovered a leather-wrapped bundle of clothes in an old tree stump. They were rather drab and simple, sized for an adult. 

A little further on and the sounds of weeping, intermingled with a child's laughter, became apparent. The party eventually found its way to a small village, obscured in the mist. In the village center they found a young boy, holding a stuffed toy and crying. An older girl, presumably his sister, was trying to console him with her laughter and stories. When the party approached, she stopped, the boy ceased his weeping, and they implored the party to help them, as there is a monster in their house, or so they say.

The monster is in the basement, they said, and their baby brother Walter is on the 3rd floor.

The party went inside and inspected the house, finding a number of old portraits depicting the children from outside, along with their presumed parents, and at least one image of the mother looking scornfully at the swaddled bundle in the father's arms. Also in the home was a lot of dust covered furniture, etc.. On the 3rd floor, a suit of armor seemed to animate itself and begin attacking them, but it was quickly dispatched. In the closet, a broom tried to attack the paladin, but was crushed into oblivion in one swing of Balazar's hammer.

When the 3rd floor nursery was disturbed, a specter rose up to protect the crib, but the party was able to dispatch it without much trouble….however…the crib was empty, save for a bundle of blankets. 

The ghosts of the two small children appeared and the right line of questioning being followed, the party was able to locate a secret door to the basement. After an amusing attempt at dress-up, the children's ghosts were convinced to follow along while the basement was investigated, but the apparitions begged the party not to leave them behind.

Next time… Down the spiral staircase and into the depths….will there be a monster at the end of this book??

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