Session 32
Babus Burns

The session begins as the Walker returns to the party from his scouting, letting them know that there is a barracks with two trolls up ahead as well as a trollhound cowering in the corner. The PC’s begin delving deeper into the ancient dwarven fort and they find a small, headless, humanoid body without limbs and guts splayed out on a table fit for trolls. Walker uses his bond with nature to calm the trollhound, who then wants to play fetch with him – but the object he is fetching turns out to be the severed head of Jubilost.

As the party explores into the cave that was hurriedly constructed by the trolls inside the dwarven fort, they come to a crossroads. Two trolls are playing “smash the boulder” and there is a two headed troll encircled with dismembered heads and talking to himself in Giant. Walays creates an invisible wall to delay the two trolls from interfering as Andrei and Tess seek to kill the two headed monstrosity. A short fight ensues in which Walker summons a large gorilla to assist in fighting while Tess and Andrei get up close and personal with the beast. During the fight, the two trolls begin to get suspicious the wall is fake and one breaches the illusion, causing Babus to put a pit at the feet of the two trolls.

Walays heads to the stockroom to find something flammable, Walker floats above the pit and rains down fire on the trolls, while the rest of the party regroups and heals up. After about a half a minute of searching, Walays finds a barrel of lamp oil and rolls it to the pit. Tess uncorks the barrel as Walays rolls it into the pit while Walker sets it on fire. The trolls ignite and burn for several rounds until the pit spell ends, allowing the weakened trolls to the surface. The two trolls were quickly dispatched but the length and number of fights have depleted most of the party’s power and they are beginning to need to retreat, unfortunately they spy a rock troll cautiously approaching them.

Babus springs into action by casting web and a pit spell in order to assist in the party’s retreat. As they run down the halls and back towards the entrance they hear a whoosh and realize that they just don’t have the ability to escape – so it is time to prepare for a final stand. Andrei is enlarged, given blur and has his weapon set ablaze as the rock troll and the leader of the trolls, Hargulka climbs on top of the table to look down upon the invaders into his home.

The final battle starts with a huge fireball thrown from the necklace of Hargulka, exploding the room where the PC’s stand ready for the onslaught. The explosion of fire catches everyone unawares, doing massive damage, especially to Babus who takes the brunt of the fireball – killing him outright. Two more fireballs rain down on the PC’s as Andrei takes the fight to the rock troll. Tess casts burning disarm to force Hargulka to drop his necklace of fireballs, and Andrei channel his desperation into a perfect stroke, cleaving the head of the rock troll clean off. Walays casts grease on Hargulka’s morningstar, forcing him to use only his still very potent claws. Walker summons lightning as Tess and Andrei close in to mob the troll. Tess is able to deliver the finishing blow after Andrei was able to sufficiently weaken the beast. It is then the rest of the party realized that the newest member to the group lies on the floor, smouldering.

The session ends with the PC’s having a bittersweet victory – and wondering if there is anything they can do to revive Babus.

Session 31
Pit Pileup

The session begins as the PC’s catch their breath from the assault on Tatlzford by a trio of trolls. A downpour soaks the freshly broken ground of the newly established frontier outpost, but the Rezbin’s offer the party a respite from the rain in their humble abode.

Catching some rest, the party heads south to search out where the trolls appeared to come from. A day after setting out, the PC’s begin their search in earnest, though Andrei warns his allies that he believes he saw Nimbleshanks stalking them overnight. After many hours tracking the myriad of troll tracks, Walker is finally able to lead everyone to a cleverly build outpost caved into rock and partially obscured by the forestry. Babus notices that this appears to be a very old dwarven architecture and the party approached the area with caution. Andrei quietly approached the front door, hearing two trolls making quite a bit of racket. A third troll appears in the room and one of the original two go off up a stairwell.

Walays begins loudly playing his bagpipes, hoping to lure the trolls out and into the ambush the PC’s had set up. Unfortunately, the trolls were a little less than cooperative as they instead tried to attack the party through the arrow slits built into the side of the fortress. Andrei decides to step through the door and the fight is on.

The two trolls and our heroes begin trading blows. Sensing a tactical opportunity, Babus opens a bit between the two trolls, having one fall into it. Several trollhounds and two more trolls show up, only to have a trollhound and the two trolls fall into the pit. Walker buffs Whisper with an acidic bite, while controlling a fire sphere to harass the trolls. Walays provides fire support by using burning hands to scorch a trollhound and troll. Tess’ fiery sword also cuts through the tough troll hide and Andrei deftly steps between defend and offense to keep the enemies off balance.

After a bloodsoaked minute or so, all is quiet and the PC’s, feeling as though victory was theirs, began slowly exploring the fortress. Unfortunately, they hadn’t remembered to account for the regeneration of the trolls and trollhounds, as two reemerged from their false death, getting in a swipe on Babus before being killed once and for all. The session ends as Walker explores the abandoned fortress in the form of an air elemental and the rest of the party take defensive positions, awaiting Walker’s return.

Session 30
Troll Terror

The session begins as the party begins exploring the southwest reaches of their territory. Walker, in air elemental form and followed by Twig scout out the area ahead by air and notice a group (heretofore known as a “rend”) of trolls heading north-northeast. Fearing this may be some new encroachment by more malevolent “wildlife”, the party decides to ambush the rend.

A site which acts as a natural funnel is chosen by our heroes as the place to assault the six trolls. Twig is sent to be a lookout on top of a tree on a nearby hill so the PC’s will be able to buff up as the trolls approach. The signal is cawed out, and the party begins to spring their trap, but there are only three trolls to be found.

Walays creates an illusion of a helpless and hapless Jubilost lookalike who lures the trolls through the funnel. Andrei begins with a mounted charge, causing massive damage, but putting his horse in danger. The troll, absorbing the nasty collision, attacks Andrei’s horse, dropping it in one crushing blow. Babus begins controlling the combat terrain by tossing a pit under the feet of trolls. Tess, having buffed the party, engages the trolls in melee combat as well. Walker sends Whisper to attack the trolls, while summoning a fire elemental to prevent the trolls’ natural regeneration.

The ambush catches the trolls completely unawares, and the fight is swift and decisive, with our heroes completely crushing the trolls while taking minimal damage themselves. While checking the bodies, the party finds a partially burned map with an X over a spot that the PC’s assume to be Tyg’s Landing. After a few moments of consideration, the party decides that the other three trolls must be heading to Tatlzford in order to raid the encampment.

The party rides through the night, arriving in very early morning, just in front of an approaching thunderstorm. Through a torrential downpour, three more trolls breach the outer regions of Tatzlford, but the PC’s are ready for them. A combination of pit traps, lightning strikes, and the raw power of Tess’ and Andrei’s combined swordplay make short work of the invaders. Searching their bodies leads to the discovery of the other half of the crude map with an X positioned over what the party figures is Tatlzford.

The session ends with the PC’s deciding this was an intentional assault and they should head to the area where they originally spotted the rend of six trolls and find out where they came from and deal with whatever caused this incursion into the Sheildlands.

Session 29
Flying Follies

The session begins as the party decides it is best to create a beachhead on Candlemere Isle, with Walker helping cut down the brambles with magical efficiency. As the PC’s scout out the area, the Zomnt’s slowly begin accumulating around the border of where the brambles were removed. Much discussing as to what to do, a disembodied voice tells them to leave the isle or die here. Not respecting the warning, a Will-O-Wisp attacks Tess, though a protection against electrical energy spell prevents any damage from occurring. The party rally around one another, preparing for an assault. Time passes and nothing happens, so Walays and Walker decide to try and get to the tower where Walays is able to try and translate the writing.

Walker turns into a giant vulture and Walays hops aboard, turning both of them invisible. About half way to the tower, the invisibility wears off and a Will-O-Wisp chases them down and begins attacking them. Walker lands at the tower, allowing Walays to hop off and begin working on a translation, while Walker tries to defend the tower. The Will-O-Wisp, feeding off the fear that Walker is feeling, unrelentingly assaults Walker, leaving him nearly dead within 30 seconds. Walays runs back to help heal Walker and get out of the area, hoping he remembered enough of the symbols so that maybe Babus could help translate it.

Walker, with Walays riding on his back, quickly retreat from the tower – though the adrenaline and damage from the Will-O-Wisp caused Walker to come in for the landing a bit hot. Babus tries to get a spell off to slow them down, but needs to dive for cover before finishing the incantation – and Walker slams into the ground, causing both him and Walays to take some damage. Walays relays what the symbols looks like, and Babus is able translate what they say. Tess and Babus both recognize these are prayers to a chaotic god known as “Yog-Sothoth” who will one day awaken and help rid the world of order before it is destroyed.

Our heroes decide that they need to acquire a scroll of Dispel Chaos in order to cleanse this isle of its curse and nothing else can really be done for this region until then. They head home and inform the council of their findings before heading back out the next day to explore the southern reaches of the Greenbelt.

While out exploring the PC’s come upon an colony of lizardmen living in the lowland marshes at the mouth of the Murque River. Walays tells the Lizardmen they wish to see the King of the Lizardmen, but is told that they will only be allowed in if they disarm. Unwilling to leave themselves completely defenseless Andrei and Walays head into the village and are brought before the king. They are told that Candlemere Isle is a holy site for them and to not go near it again. King Vesket offers Walays and Andrei a small bowl from his crock, which Walays and Andrei both hesitantly eat. Vesket, pleased with himself that he was able to make Walays and Andrei eat human flesh and that they are now on an equal level with each other, is more willing to honor their requests. Walays, Andrei, and Vesket hash out the borders between their two territories and agree to honor their sovereignty. Pleased that Walays and Andrei were such respectable guests, Vesket offers Andrei his choice of one of his haram, which Walays helps Andrei politely decline.

The session ends as Walays and Andrei, their stomachs a little upset from their meal, and rejoin the rest of the group and figure out what to do next.

Session 28
Babus' Beginning

The session begins as the month of March begins melting away the cold winter and a civil war within Brevoy sends hundreds of people heading south into the newly formed Shieldlands (as well as Varnhold). One such refugee, a talented Elven wizard known as Babus seeks an audience with the Shieldlands’ council. Babus has heard of the many adventures the party has seen and wishes to prove his meddle among them and, having heard rumors of a staff of spell storing on an island to the south, has a great idea where to start seeking an adventure.

Seeming like a friendly sort, the PC’s decide to allow him to come along and see if he’ll fit well with the group. Before any adventuring starts, however, kingdom duties require the party to head to Ubagugia in order to head off a potential problem with Tatzlford encroaching upon Ubagug‘s kingdom. Arriving at the boggard’s home, the guards pantomime disarming before being allowed to visit Ubagug the Fair. Tess, trying to bridge the language gap, extends her hand to grant the boggard the temporary ability to speak common. Andrei let’s the guard know they are sworn allies of Ubagug and does not travel anywhere without their weapons, as the Stolen Lands are dangerous and not for the meek or disarmed. The guard relents and brings the party into the throne room and an excited Ubagug hops off his grand throne to greet his allies – and tells the guards to fetch heaping bowls of horse fly soup to celebrate.

Everyone sits down at a long table to feast on horse fly soup and discuss Tatzlford’s encroachment. Walays uses a slide of hand to act as if he is eating it, while ridding most of the soup on the floor for the local wildlife to eat up, while Walker chokes it down hesitantly. Babus, never experiencing this “delicacy” politely eats the soup while trying to keep himself from throwing up. Once Tess has finished a good portion of her soup, Andrei mentions he’s already ate today and hands his bowl off to Tess – much to her dismay. Tess, not wanting to be rude, eats a second bowl which doesn’t agree with her and, feeling a bit sick, Walays sees an opportunity and orders another bowl for Tess. Once the third bowl is in front of Tess she begins turning green and, trying to bail out his new ally, Babus tells Tess that his familiar raven, Twig would really like to try the soup. The bowl is passed to Twig, who happily eats the still live horse flies from the viscous soup.

Getting down to business, Andrei informs Ubagug of Tatzlford’s mistake and offers to renegotiate the land, granting Ubagugia hot springs to the northeast. Ubagug, pleased that the Shieldlands have humbly come to him and admitted their error as well as offering recompense with a valuable resource for boggards agrees to the deal. He also tells them that the large influx of population are boggards that have been displaced as the M’Botuu tribe has begun conquering other boggard tribes in the Slough. Andrei inquires about how the boggards handle war when they must hibernate in the winter and Ubagug says that it is considered very dishonorable to kill any hibernating boggard, but that the dishonorable human bandits don’t abide by that.

Having finished their diplomatic mission, the party heads back to Tyg’s Landing in order to acquire a boat to sail down to Candlemere Island. As they set off, they notice several platoons of Mivonian troops headed north, presumably to the southern Brevic border in order to support Rostland in the war. Walays, feeling at home for the first time in awhile, deftly handles the small boat and safely navigates the waters, ending up at the mainland shore to the east of Candlemere Island in the evening. Walker, in air elemental form, and Twig head to scout out the island and see humanoid figures scurrying around the thick brambles that have choked the island. When they return, Twig tells Babus that the sounds he’s heard are those of the Will-O-Wisp, an evil orb of energy that feeds off the fear of sapient creatures. Wanting to get a better look at the creatures they had noticed, Walker goes back to the island and identifies them as an undead plant known as the Zomnt. He flies up to the crumbling tower, only to have fear grip him, causing him to distance himself from the spire. After regaining his composure he returns to the cavern, where he looks on the inside of the ruins, finding odd markings above the door frame. Satisfied with his scouting, he returns to the campsite the PC’s have created.

The session ends as the PC’s spend the rest of the night discussing how to best approach exploring the island and ridding it of the Will-O-Wisps and Zomnts in order to ease the fears of their townspeople.

Session 27
Rostland Rebellion

The session begins as Tess invites her sister, Eve, and Nedda to Tyg’s Landing Fort for formal introductions. When Walays sees Nedda approaching, he excuses himself and disappears out of the rear of the fort. As introductions go on in the fort, Walays decides to go around town disguised as Grigori, the rabble rouser who appeared several days ago.

While visiting Tyg’s Landing Inn, Grigori hears the commotion coming from downstairs and heads down to investigate, where he discovers someone stealing his likeness. A classic “No I’m the real Grigori”, “No, I am!” standoff begins. Grigori decides to challenge the disguised Walays to a drinking contest, knowing the spell would wear off eventually and Walays’ ruse would be discovered. Once Walays’ disguise wears off, Walays claims Grigori compelled him to do this in order to undermine the Sheildlands’ leadership. Feeling as though the crowd is turning against him, Grigori calls down Scarlett to confront Walays. Walays keeps his cool and pretends he doesn’t know her, all the while blocking Grigori from casting a well times grease spell. Walays asks the crowd who is beginning to really heckle Grigori what should be done – and the chants begin of a duel. A frustrated Grigori pompously agrees, only to have Walays do a quick flourish with his rapier and tell Grigori that he’d been training with Andrei, unnerving Grigori.

At high noon the duel begins, each person is given special dueling rapiers and no magic use or magic items are allowed to be used. Tess and Walker check the scene for any magic use, and Tess keeps a Zone of Truth up to ensure the fight is fair. An entertaining duel for the crowd (though painful for Andrei) sees blows being traded and both Walays and Grigori being one hit away from being knocked unconscious. Grigori, uses his keener speed to get in the final hit – rendering Walays unconscious and beginning the celebration by telling the crowd the Shieldlands’ leaders cannot even beat him in a fight so they stand no chance protecting them from the vicious wilds just outside their door.

Recognizing Grigori is still in the zone of truth, Shieldlands’ loyalists, placed by Sootscale on orders from Andrei, start shouting questions at Grigori. When “who hired you” is heard, Grigori tries to lie, but finding himself unable to and not seeing an way out of his predicament, tells them he doesn’t know. With evidence that Grigori is in fact an outside agitator, Andrei orders the guards to seize and gag Grigori.

Kesten interrogates him as well as Scarlett, finding that Grigori was hired out in the Slough at Fort Drelev, where he also met Scarlett. He was paid handsomely to cause instability in the Shieldlands, though the purpose was not revealed to him. Grigori also offers the Shieldlands to buy out his contract, for the price of 5,000g. Scarlett admits she doesn’t actually know who the father of the child is, and has been going to previously lovers around that time and publicly embarrassing them in order to extract money out of them. A trial is held, and Andrei administers the punishment of death for Grigori’s crimes.

Walays also comes clean to Nedda, who is heartbroken at the news. Trying to smooth things over, he offers her a position in the newly formed Battle Crows regiment. She agrees, under the stipulation that she breaks up with him, who will grovel for her love, in the town square. Walays, knowing when to suck up his pride, agrees to her stipulation in order to prevent more potential damage and the future.

February comes and the council decides to infiltrate the tiny thieves guild that has popped up recently in Tyg’s Landing. The council also tells Svetlana to help inform the people that the PC’s will go to the “Isle of the Damned” that has had rumors circulating around the village about it. Walays decides to head to New Stetven to witness the trial of Ihvon Zupan. The King-Reagent declares that Ihvon is guilty and will be executed the next day at noon. The next morning Walays awakes to a massively increased number of guards and rumors circulating of a failed prison break by Aldori Swordlords. Walays goes to the execution site and watches the execution take place. The King-Reagent proclaims that traitors to the crown will be brought to heel and the punishment for traitors is death.

Walays gets out of the town and heads to Restov, passing several Brevic regiments along the way. The town of Restov is in complete revolt when he arrives. Walays heads to Nastya‘s house to get her to the safety of Tyg’s Landing; she accepts Walays’ request but Ihvon decides to stay and fight for his homeland. On their way out, Walays passes by the church of Gorum to see a large crowd gathered in front of it and a force of Gorum clerics clashing with the crowd. Rocks, bottles, and some incendiary devices are being hurled at the clerics who are trying to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed. Exiting the town, Walays tells all friendly passers by that there is refuge and safety to the south in the Shieldlands, though most brush him off, ready to fight for their homeland. Once Walays and Nastya arrive at Tyg’s Landing and informed the others of what they saw – a messenger raven is sent out to Mivon to inform them that war has come to Brevoy. The session ends as the beginning of march comes to the Shieldlands.

Session 26
Rabble Rouser

The session begins as Walker approaches his childhood home, seeking to bring his sister, Kimber, and his father, Jarlath, home. Kimber gives Walker a big hug, but tells him that their father died last winter of complications from disease and old age. They visit the grave site located behind the house and Kimber tells Walker that their brother Barrin has become an alcohol and is currently on a bender. Walker asks Kimber to leave with him, but Kimber still has loyalty to family and won’t just leave without Barrin, despite his being a mess. Walker tracks down where Barrin is and returns to Kimber’s home to wait for him. When Barrin arrives, a fight nearly breaks out, but Walker turns into a bear to intimidate him into giving up and returning to the Shieldlands to build a new life.

Jump over to Restov, Walays is attempting to bribe the guards to allow Eve to escape. Unfortunately, Walays did not immediately recognize his previous lover, Nedda, and she breaks down in tears. Walays quickly recovers and tells her that Eve is a princess due to be wed to a Pitaxian prince – the opportunity to help such a romantic story immediately persuades her to help – as long as Walays then takes her with him. Walays pays off the other two guards and then has Nedda distract two other guards, taking the opportunity to turn Eve invisible and switching disguises. As soon as Walays loses Nedda, he gets to a horse, but Eve is nowhere to be found. Figuring Eve will figure out her own way, he decides to return back to Tyg’s Landing.

Hana, Andrei, and her envoy continue to get to know each other, practice swordplay, and further work out plans for their desired alliance with the Aldori Swordlords. When Walays and Walker return, the council meets and determines to grant Mivon passage through the Swordlands under the condition that Jamandi approves of Mivon’s help. Andrei orders Walays to go with Hana to Mivon to help further establish relations. Svetlana informs Tess that Eve recently arrived at Svetlanagrad and requests to see her. Walker gets Kimber and Barrin a job on the fangberry farm, but Barrin begins to trying to drink again and Walker forces him to join the newly formed Shieldlands platoon: the Battle Crows.

A week goes by and, as fate (and poor plot writing) has it, Walays and Tess, with Eve in tow, are arriving back at Tyg’s Landing to someone up on a platform, a large crowd gathering around him. The large crowd attracts Walker’s attention as well, but the rabble-rouser casts Enthrall, absorbing everyone into his charms – except Tess. Tess, frustrated at what the rabble-rouser is saying, approaches him, only to be baited by the agitator. As Tess gets to him, he casts Charm Person and baits her into punching him. The crowd immediately turns hostile to Tess, who retreats to the fort and get Andrei. The crowd follows the agitator and a large protest forms outside of the gates of the fort. Andrei, seeing the need to restore order comes out to face the rabble-rouser – demanding he cease this disturbance and disperse at once. The damage already done to the Shieldlands’ leadership, the firebrand retires back to the Inn, with a promise that this isn’t over.

Session 25
Cookies Crumble

The session begins as the council gives their report: Jubilost‘s absence has been felt, lowering the spirits in the kingdom, rumors of an island which hosts the souls of the damned have also been spreading, the overlapping duties of the council are beginning to worry and frustrate the populace, and Brevoy’s march towards civil war is on hold with Ihvon turning himself over to the King-Regent.

The first order of business was to address Tatzlford’s accidental incursion into Ubagug‘s land. The PC’s first met with the Loy and Latricia Rezbin who were just beginning on their endeavor to found Tatlzford. Loy was a little hesitant to relocate, since the spot was chosen for being centrally located for the nothern and southern hunters as well as next to a river, so the PC’s decided to discuss the issue with Ubagug. Arriving at Ubagug’s they find the place fixed up from when they were last there, and many of the crumbling structures had been repaired with mud, wood, sod, and leaves. Tracks of many boggards surrounded the structures, but no one was about. Walays decided to announce their presence through a greeting song, with no answer. After several minutes, a door slowly opened, revealing a boggard covered in mud and dirt. Tess cast a spell to allow the boggard to speak common, and he informed the party – in very slow drawn out speech – that they are hibernating and that Ubagug is probably in the spire. They apologize for disturbing him and decide it is best to return in the spring when the boggards awake from their hibernation. As they leave, several more boggards open their doors, only to see four people riding away from the area.

Led by Walays, the group decides some spy work should be done to see how the situation in Brevoy is panning out. Andrei writes a note to his mother, Nastya, as well as the interim leader of the Aldori swordlords, Jamandi. Tess writes a letter to Zan and Dragana, hoping to suss out where the church of Gorum stands as well as if there is any news about her lost sister, Eve.

As Walays head out, Walker accompanies him until he splits off towards his homeland, wanting to contact his family. As Walays comes into town he drops off the letters, and, upon meeting with Zan, is told that Eve is actually in jail awaiting trial. Walays makes contact with her and begins trying to find a way to help her escape. A meeting with Elya Lopatin, leader of the thieves guild, reveals it was them that got Eve arrested, but they were unwilling to help. Jamandi was much kinder and offered to break her out of jail in a few weeks if there isn’t a stay of execution of another captured swordlord. Finally, a meeting with Andrei’s mom has her giving Walays a rose, an unleavened cookie, and 10 GP, with orders to give the items to the most attractive of Andrei’s admirers.

Unfortunately, for Walays, the cookie seems somewhat irresistible, and he devours it on his way out of Restov. The cookie is enchanted with a love potion, causing Walays to fall hopelessly in love with the next woman he sets eyes on – and that lucky woman is a dwarven guard known as Nedda Jelinek. Nedda and Walays spend the night together in the Lonely Dragon and after the cookie’s affects are worn off, Walays departs, completely forgetting of his promise to wait for Nedda.

Walays returns to Tyg’s Landing and relays the information as well as a 15 page letter to Andrei from his mother. While Andrei is reading the letter, Tess reads over his shoulder, and as he discards the cookie which was enclosed, Tess decides to eat it instead. The love potion kicks in, and Tess begins professing her love for Andrei. Andrei, taken aback briefly, and then realizing this is his mother’s doing send Tess out of his room. Tess, not to be deterred by a door, begins throwing her weight against the door to open it. Andrei leaps out the window and as Tess breaks down the door, the potion wear off, causing her to raise the alarm as Andrei is nowhere to be found and she has no idea what is going on. Kesten arrives quickly and begins searching for Andrei, who is located quickly and explains the situation, much to Tess’ embarrassment.

Walays sets back out for Restov with money needed to bribe the guards to free Eve. A few days into the trip, the Royal Ambassador of Mivon, Hana Gujić arrives. She requests permission to march a good portion of Mivon’s army through the Shieldlands to support Rostland when the civil war gets hot, seeking to redeem the Mivon swordlords in the eyes of the Aldori for fleeing their homeland many centuries ago. Andrei and Hana practice their swordplay over the next few mornings – each trying to feel each other’s motive out. The session ends with Andrei calling a council meeting to discuss how the Shieldlands should respond to Mivon’s request.

Session 24
Beldame's Burden

The session begins as our heroes head out from the abandoned keep, looking to explore the rest of the region surrounding the area. An uncomfortable night was spent out in the wilds, with Walker spotting Rigg Nimbleshanks watching them from out in the distance, almost as if he wanted to be seen.

After exploring the area, the PC’s head towards Old Beldame, a stop on their way home to see if they can reconcile the bad blood that has come between her and the party. The preserved body of the dancing lady is offered to Old Beldame, under the assumption she was the ‘queen’ that Nimbleshanks had talked about – but Old Beldame tells the PC’s she’s never seen her in her life.

A tenuous truce is come to after some apologies and a discussion over her experience with Nimbleshanks. Old Beldame tells the PC’s she had come upon Nimbleshanks after he had defeated Andrei‘s fathers party. She was able to get Nimbleshanks to back off in his weakened state, and gave a healing potion to Ihvon – the only person left alive. Upon awaking, Ihvon panicked, stabbing Old Beldame in the stomach and leaving her for dead as he gathers up the faceless body of Andrei’s father. Nimbleshanks followed her home, and began torturing her over the next several years – reminding her that good deeds are rewarded with nothing but pain.

While returning home, Walker spots a campsite that looks abandoned. Using his great tracking ability he is able to determine someone came to this camp bleeding, wrapped themselves in bandages and continued on in a hurry away from the campsite towards Tyg’s Landing. The party tracks the trail to Tyg’s Landing which is under assault by two hodag’s – led there by a woodcutter that had been attacked by one.

The party leaps to their village’s defense, but Tess is charged by the male hodag and is thrown against a wall of a nearby house. There is panic in the streets as the battle rages on. Walays puts up an illusory wall to protect Tess from being mauled as Andrei, possible still not mentally in the fight from the revelations in the past couple days is unable to take down a beast and is knocked unconscious for his effort. Walker brings down lightning to kill one, then Tess finishes the other off with her greatsword.

The session ends as the PC’s are heading into their first winter with their fledgling kingdom.

Session 23
Nemesis: Nimbleshanks

The session begins as silence falls over the abandoned keep. Unsure if they should quickly leave for the Old Beldame‘s to warm her of Rigg Nimbleshanks’ desire to kill her and risk being attacked by her or continue on exploring the keep and let her deal with anything that comes her way. The PC’s decide to take quick look through the courtyard before heading out to warn Beldame.

The silence is broken as Rigg again decides to sneak attack Walays who had strayed away from the group. A game of cat and mouse takes place, with Nimbleshanks in the role of cat: slowly and methodically attacking then hiding while awaiting for another opportunity to pounce. Frustration boils over as Nimbleshanks uses a Shatter spell to destroy Andrei‘s fathers Androri dueling sword while it was in Andrei’s sheath.

Walays decides to climb the stairs to the upper levels of the keep where he sees, unbeknownst to him, a baobhan sith who is admiring herself in the mirror. Walays introduces himself and she demands he beg for his life.

While this is going on, Tess trips a trap, leading to the grand hall to be filled with a sickening purple gas. As the gas fills Andrei’s lungs, he begins laughing uncontrollably, a sound Tess is not sure she’s ever heard from Andrei before. Tess begins pulling him out into the courtyard.

Just outside the keep, also at the same time, Walker, in eagle form, has zeroed in on Nimbleshanks who has pulled a crossbow out to deal with the flying menace. Walker dives down and grabs Nimbleshanks and begins carrying him up into the sky all in one fell swoop. Walker climbs ever higher and released Nimbleshanks to fall to his death – but the constant thorn in the PC’s side has one more trick up his sleeve as his Ring of Feather Falling activates, allowing him to slowly fall to the ground. Walker is able to hit Nimbleshanks with lightning once, but misses his second shot as Nimbleshanks evacuates the area – swearing revenge on the party.

Tess is out in the courtyard with Andrei, trying to help cure the poison that has gripped him. Walays is attacked by the baobhan sith and begins trying to retreat back downstairs. Walker follows Nimbleshanks as much as possible, but turns back when he loses sight of him. The stage is set for a showdown in the grand hall as everyone is gathered there as the baobhan sith comes down the stairs.

Tess tries to blind her, but is unable to and then the baobhan sith begins seductively moving her body – a dance that grips Walays, Walker, and Whisper in its grips. Tess steps up and crits the dancing lady with her fey bane greatsword, causing massive damage. The baobhan sith lunges at Tess in order to grapple her and drain her blood – but Tess sees and opening and plunges her sword up behind her ribcage, killing her. With one defiant breath, the dancing lady tries to curse Tess, but her last vision is that of Tess resisting the curse and sending her regards from Gorum.

With the keep seemingly secured, our heroes begin looting the place. Many artifacts, gems, and riches are found in the dancing lady’s chambers. One of the towers contained skulls interwoven in the vines and creepers which grow inside the tower. The next contains skeletal remains and the less desirable parts, tossed here for vermin to feast. The PC’s also are able to find a statuette that Walays feels would appropriately impress Lily, though is unsure if her affections (and the +1 Cloak of Protection) is worth the value of the statuette.

The final tower is that of Nimbleshanks where the PC’s find the perfectly preserved full-faced scalps of over one hundred previous victims, each with their weapons nailing them to the wall. The faces encircle the entire inner walls of the tower, from the ground all the way to the rafters. Included in this was three Aldori dueling swords, two bearing the marks of the men who died alongside his father and the other bearing his father’s mark. Many of these scalps had gold, gems, sewing kits, wetstones, and other miscellaneous items in them, as if he was using their lower jaw areas as makeshift storage areas.

Andrei, overcome with grief and anger steps outside to deal with seeing his father’s face decorating a madman’s room. Tess goes into full “cleric mode” as she has the party start pulling down each of the faces and cut down a tree or two inside the courtyard. Everything not of value in the room is tossed onto a makeshift bonfire in the middle of the tower and is set alight.

The session ends as the tower is engulfed in fire and Andrei now faced with innumerable questions as to what exactly happened when his father was killed – as well as what his step father, Ihvon Sokolov, hadn’t told him and how Old Beldame was involved.


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