Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The real story begins to surface (Chapter 6)

The holidays are close and also final exams are still a concern for two of our players, so there were just three PC's for this session. Aeldrick the Warlord, Minos the Warrior and Rendrill Halfmoon (from Thunderspire labyrinth) the halfling Rogue were present. Absent characters were off doing their own things for a time.

This session was almost completely devoid of dangerous combat and as such, it was filled to the brim with story development.

  • PC's return to Shinar, hear rumors of a courier from Prauld arriving yesterday. There's some speculation about the courier's message, but no details.
  • PC's meet with King Yutsen, to inquire about what's up. Yutsen says that there have been reports of Hobgoblin movement in the northern forest. He also mentions that the heroes that scouted the giants armies have returned and are currently in Drunduin (Drunduin s the fort the dwarves captured from the giants in Estvald last year.) Yarl Hastel and his brother Hagel have been sent to Drunduin to gather information, coordinate with the Dwarves and to form the basis of a lasting trade agreement with Drunduin and the new Krondheim.
  • PC's stop by to visit with Dre and Oran the dragons that settled north of Derros. They ask the PC's if they could carry a valuable package to Nolton in the Republic of the Isles. The PC's agree to stop by on their way back from Drunduin.
  • On the road they see that the Dwarves are working on a highway through the hills between Drunduin and Derros. A wide path has already been cleared, and bridges are being built across ravines and gullys. Once the highway is complete, it will allow easy trade through the hills.
  • In Drunduin, the PC's see recent development of the area; the silver and mithril mines are in full operation. Drunduin's forges and factories are busy building war machines, weapons and armor for the anticipated confrontation with the giants.
  • The PC's meet with the "old heroes" (The "old heroes" are from a previous campaign, that took place in OY 603, whcih ended with the old heroes following the giants off to the war in the west.) According to the "old heroes":
    1. The Giants fought in a civil war backed by Kryve. and then against an invading Kryve army. The giants were victorious driving the Kryvans back out of the mountains, and using a powerful ritual the Stone Giants of southern Estvald, cracked the earth and raised a giant gap across the western edge of the mountains, effectively defending Westvald from Kryvan invasion.
    2. The "old heroes" made contact with the Stone Giants and explored parts of Kryve and old Kryvan ruins. They discovered a change in the religious leadership oin Kryve seems to be the cause of recent warlike activity out of the Kryvans.
    3. They do not think that the Giants will attack the hills. The Giants have already born the brunt of a major invasion and feel that there are world-shaking events on the horizon.
  • During their stay in Drunduin, the PC's were contacted by Hagel and his assistent (Jenkins in disguise). They tell the PC's about Jaryl Hastel's recent strange behaviour, and wish the PC's to stealthily break into his guest chambers while he's meeting with the Thanes. He's been particularly secretive about the room's contents and they want to know why. A key is provided, a dwarven guard in the area is bribed to take a short walk, but the key needs to be returned before the council is sceduled to finish in one hour.
  • The PC's break into Hastel's room and discover several arcance traps and glyphs protecting the room and it's contents, setting off one trap and making the break-in quite obvious due to singed carpet and damaged room contents. Nevertheless they do find notes that include a summary of Jaryl Hastel's life and mannerisms, including things that he should know and a check list of things that should be said to the Thanes that include many inflammatory statements. There are also ritual materials, and a lock of what appears to be Hastel's hair.
  • The PC's head for the council chamber and confront Hastel on the spot in front of the thanes of being an imposter. There is hot debate, followed by an attempt to escape by Hagel, who is eventually revealed to be a shape changer of some sort. The fake hastel is captured by the dwarves but manages to suicide while he's in custody.
  • Questioning Hagel, they determine that the switch likely took place at an inn just outside of shinar. The PC's head back towards Shinar, stopping at Dre's and Oran's tower to pick up their package. They investigate at the inn, find a muddy bootprint outside of Hastel's room that hasn't washed away in weather yet, a description of a inn resident that matches the description of the imposter (who dissapeared while Hastel was at the inn) and evidence of some dark ritual magic that was performed a few hundred yards outside of the inn, and a small wooded clearing. In addition, they found the impression of the front cover of a book on the waxy surface of a woden desk in the imposters room. Further investigation in shanar led to the discovery that the book in question was a book of dark magic rituals - written in Abyssal (the language of demons).
  • The package from Dre and Oran, is a small, seciure chest with arcane runes of protection and a solid lock, which is to be delivered to one Chancellor Warwick who is staying at the Stag and Castle Inn off of the Garden square in Nolton. After a brief sea voyage, the PC's arrive in Nolton, visit the inn and make contact with the Chancellor, who pays them a rather significant sum of money (900gp) for delivering the chest to him. Aeldirck feels a groqwing sense of unease when dealing with the man however. Who appears to be pretending to be a noble, but shows some mannerisms of speech and ettiquette that seem very much out of place. and sends Rendrill to follow the man after the deal is done.
  • Rendrill follows the Chancellor to a fishing shack near the docks where the chest is passed off once again. The receiver is a grizzled man, who assures the "Chancellor" that the package will be leaving for the Empire.
  • Rendrill reports his findings to Aeldrick and Minos and together they decide that this bears looking in to. They try to get some information about Dre and Oran, but are told that the best place to get information about dragons is from a dragon. There just so happens to be a Dragon who sometimes resides in Nolton. Gasparion - who's a longtime friend of the Royal family.
  • The party goes off to find Gasparian, in the north side of town in a massive tower, 80 feet to a side and over 180 feet high. At the main entrance to the tower the are met by a mechanical construct/golem who attempts to dismiss them, but eventually takes a message in to Gaspar, who allows the PC's entrance.
  • The PC's are overcome by fear as they see that the massive tower is a single giant room with ledges and aprches, and see Gaspar decend in his natural form as a huge red dragon. The ask about Dre and Oran the dragons that have recently arrived in Prolia, and are answered with a single phrase. "There are no Dragons in Prolia."
  • Stunned, the PC's realise that they may be being duped by the "Dragons" and race back to the docks where they break into the fishing shack, subdue the grizzed man, and recover the box.
  • They open the chest, suffering the magic protections and discover that inside the chest is a leather bound book, written in infernal (the language of devils). Heading off to their local arcane sage, they get the translation of the book, which is a detailed reconstruction of their adventures in Yuri's doom, including diagrams of the ritual circle where the druids are trapped in time and research about the origins of Yuri's ritual and possible means of disrupting the magic. The book is addressed to somebody called "My Prince".
  • The PC's decided to head back to Derros and confront the "Dragons" about their treachery.
That was the end of the session. The characters advanced to level 6. The next game to pick up this story line will be in January.

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