In this thread, we continue our journey in which our party (yet unnamed), embarks on an epic quest to thwart the assault of the Red Hand army on Elsir Vale, racing to prepare for the assault before the might horde ends the world as they know it.
The game is a long-term d&d campaign that run on the 3.5e system. It is mostly played on this board, with partial support on discord. General details of the campaign can be found here: >>132102 →
Now, the party left off at the end of the evacuation of Drellin's Ferry, the townsfolk fleeing ahead of the advance of the horde. The Red Hand forces are mighty, and the party has been able to accomplish little to hinder the army, although the vengeful fury of a certain giant and his granddaughters may have bought the villagers some time, as distant sounds of thunder echo from the hills.
In part one, the party learned some vital information, from the the Wyrmlord Koth's notes, map, and conversations with many characters along the way >The Red Hand horde means business. If it is going to be stopped, that will have to be at Brindol, the only place in Elsir Vale with a standing army large enough and the fortifications necessary to have a chance against such a large force. >Monsters are blocking the roads to the north, blocking any chance of reinforcements for Brindol >One of the leaders of the Red Hand is in the ruined city of Rhest. >The horde is going to steamroll the towns east of Drellin’s Ferry and keep going. >A powerful wizard named Cromar is retired in the Blackfens A partial archive of Part I can be found here: >>133942 →
Henry approaches the rugged looking character and sets a bottle of rum down in front of him while uncorking another for himself. “What’s your story, stranger? You look like you’ve walked down some hard roads.”
>>140404 Still the lowest one, as that is enough to put Aral at full HP. Assuming we got to that part already: You get a "Thank you, cleric" from him, but that is about it. No hellos or pleasantries. It seems he's about to just get up and leave without any further word. Fucking unbelievable. As he turns, he stops mid-motion, absent-mindedly trying to wipe away at a patch of blood on his cloak, before realizing it's not about to come out anytime soon.
>>140429 You make your way to the merchant's council gathering. It's a large but shabby building, a foul smell emanating from the general area. The building is visibly lit, but sparsely, as if by someone who cared more about saving oil than common sense. In front of the building, you see an angry-looking woman, somewhere in her mid twenties, clad in chain mail, with an absurdly long scroll in her hands rolling across the floor. She appears to be giving a severe tongue-lashing to two very tired looking guards. As you approach you hear "What do you mean 'the forum is closed'?! It's supposed to be an emergency meeting, and by order of the founding guild doctrine, all emergency council meetings are to be made open to the public. I demand to see your manager!" >"Ma'am. We're sorry, but we have orders." "I'm not going anywhere until I find out what happened to the public's donations!" >>140432 I have been operating under the assumption of it.
>>140443 With a check like that, you easily recognize her holy symbol as that of St. Cuthbert: God of Truth, Wisdom, Law, Justice, and Common Sense. You recognize it so easily because you saw the church of St. Cuthbert when you passed through Denovar. From this, you can assume that this is indeed the local crusading cleric named Leille that the (((merchants))) have been whining about recently. She looks quite angry. The guards look frustrated, tired and vaguely frightened by the persistent woman, who is still reading down along her comically long scroll.
>>140449 The woman pauses her rant as you approach. She speaks politely, her demeanor turning on a dime. "Greetings, Sir. I am Leille (lol, i forgot her surname), Knight of the Cudgel."
The guards seem still frustrated, but mostly just tired. >"I'm sorry, but we've got orders not to let anyone in while the council is meeting. Try again tomorrow." "This is ludicrous! Just what are they doing in there that has to be kept secret?!"
>>140451 (towards Leille) "Artorias Greenmarsch, cleric of the Platinum Dragon." (towards guards) "I refuse to believe whatever's going on in there is more important than the goblin army that currently has dragons in its employ currently coming this way, so if you'll let us in to properly explain this fact, then I won't try to drag you out to be used as meatshields." Diplomacy if necessary: [1d20+11 = 21] Intimidation if somehow diplomacy fails: [1d20+2 = 14]
>>140453 One of the guards sighs, visibly giving up to the fact that his job will probably be gone in a couple days anyway. >"The council is inside dividing liquid assets for the town. They insisted not to let anyone in." "Liquid assets? You mean the gold that Brother Derny donated to the poor yesterday as the refugees from Ferry were passing through? So that's what this is all about. I'll have a word with Mr. Goldberg if he thinks he can get away with lining his pockets again." >[audible groans] >"Ma'am, we have orders-." >"We [i]had[i/] orders." The other guard says, as he picks up his satchel and promptly walks off into town. The first guard stares after him for a few seconds before deciding that dealing with this lady is above his paygrade and follows suit.
>>140453 The priestess seems satisfied that she's been able to get in through technically-legal means. She looks towards Artorias. "Thankyou for that." she says, not specifying what for "I think I can handle things from here on out. The council can be a stubborn bunch, but they're quick to turn to putty up close." she continues, brandishing her light mace in one hand as she enters the building.
Nimon Gap is 25-30 miles away. One day's travel at the speed of Artorias's Horse. Nimon Gap: A tiny hamlet located at the place where the Dawn Way descends out of the Nimon Hills, Nimon Gap grew up around a large walled inn known as the Cross-Eyed Beholder. The folk of Nimon Gap grow apples, pears, and chestnuts in orchards sheltered below the hills, while shepherds and goatherds keep their livestock in the heights.
236 gold pieces 1 Lapis Lazuli 1 Onyx Iron Samurai Mask (70 gp) Electrum Cloth Vest (1800 gp) Silk Hunter's Cap trimmed with Sable (70 gp) And the biggest Blue Diamond you've ever seen in your life.
14 cure light wounds potions +1 Dragonfang Heavy Pick +1 Banded Mail Masterwork Hide Armor, Dragonskin 10 dragonsbreath arrows (kept forgetting to use those) 5 fancy arrows made of what appears to be ice(?) on the Red Leader Silver Unholy Symbol of Tiamat
Okay, I guess I'd better get this going. I'm not really prepared today though, so it might be unproductive and cringe.
Now to see how long it took you guys to get to Brindol, and if any villages have been burned in the meantime... >totally forgot to DM Jorr's sidequest Whatever. Jorr, assuming Artorias spent one of his remaining spell slots to heal him at the end of that encounter, eventually tells the party that he's been searching for family members that left a small home on the outskirts of Terrelton. He suspects that some of them might have joined the caravan to Brindol, but isn't sure how they stayed ahead of the party so far. It's also why he's been so anxious lately.
Btw, what we learned last session, to get it through your thick PC skulls: >in wake of the horde, hobgoblins have been raiding the countryside with increasing boldness and frequency, attacking merchants and refugees alike >The Red Hand is not to be underestimated, for their ranks hold powerful combatants >NPCs with x4 Crit modifiers and PCs below lvl 8 don't mix well... >Red Hand regulars tend to scram when their leaders are killed (so focus fire) >Warbands in the Red Hand sometimes include priests of the Devil Tiamat
What we gained: >More loot than this encounter really deserved for its CR >1 prisoner: a low-level sunscorched hobgoblin Cleric of Tiamat >muh glory >misc stuff that wasn't even mentioned in the lootpile (leather armor, longswords, longbows, arrows, stone unholy symbols, dirty clothes) What we lost: >1 Party Member: Henry Hamfist (revival pending) >some hit points >some spell slots >Jorr's dignity as a competent archer
Okay, you guys reach Brindol early in the morning of Day 13. I kind of regret glossing over Talar, but I'm going to have to cut down on the number of encounters if this game is ever going to be finished in a PbP medium.
>>140873 Unless you plan on doing something retarded, a Red Hand prisoner is reasonable. Here's the game map, with marked dots, because a little bit of metagaming doesn't hurt anybody. >>140874 Sorry, still skipping reading what it's like when you arrive in Brindol... And finding my notes for the NPCs.
The cathedral of Pelor is easy enough to find, being a large, fancy building with lots of windows letting the light in. You would get there taking 10 on a Gather Information check, when I'm ready.
Okay, this session isn't going anywhere until well-after i read Part 4, re-write it to fit in Part 2, and plan notes accordingly... It's kind of SOL at this point. Sorry, I really wasn't prepared today.
Going back, the party would have tried to interrogate the snarling goblin thy captured before reaching Brindol, because he would have been a pain and a half to transport.
At first, the hobgoblin was completely hostile at the sight of the Platinum Helm, but after a 27 diplomacy check his attitude has improved to Indifferent, and he merely glares at Aral and Chad.
>>140879 "Alright buddy, I get that you don't like me and I sure as shit don't like you. However, I've already helped you out by not letting you die to a few dogs and some other monster, so how about you help me out in return? Do a good enough job and I'll even let you go."
>>140881 "Okay, then tell me what I want to know and I'll gladly let you go back to getting mauled by animals. Otherwise, you're being dragged with me until you give in even if you're kicking and screaming the whole way. As for what I want, it's information. What are your goals in all this?"
>>140883 >>140882 The goblin cackles even louder, sounding like a turkey as he gobbles curses in his own language "Gobgobgobgobgob! Bold of you to assume I fear death. Better to die at the hands of the enemy than be sacrificed on the altar of Tiamat." >What are your goals in all this? "Your Doom!" he hisses, before falling back into gobbling laughter “You may have won today, stupid humans, but our day is coming! The Red Hand will destroy you all!" "[Gobgobgobgobgobgobgobgobgob!]" "The human river-town has already fallen. And soon the town of walls shall meet the day of ruin!"
>>140887 "Let me be more specific. I got the whole 'death and destruction' idea from you sending out a massive wave of goblins. What I want to know is what else specifically you hope to accomplish with all this, because I refuse to believe that a horde of you greenies would mass up to this size for purely shits and giggles, as much as that would fit your kind. Are you trying to summon Tiamat, or something else entirely?"
>>140889 "Thanks for nothing, there. Next question, what kind of numbers are we up against? I don't care if you give me some rough estimate with one real number and a bunch of zeros or an exat headcount of all of you, but some noghing answer like 'a lot' or 'enough to drown you fuckers in' will just result in me asking until I get that real answer.
>>140893 Int check in place of untrained Knowledge (Religion) (or planes, or whatever applies) How the fuck does summoning a god even work? Would it be an avatar or something? Can Aral even guess at it? [1d20+5 = 19] Also to determine whether he even understands how bad this even is, if nothing else.
>>140897 I don't know if you put points into knowledge religion (but I mean, you are a cleric, so you have it as a class skill) But if nothing else, the aid another is like: Roll the same skill, if it's higher than 10, then you get to add a +2 to the other player's roll. You might be better off to just roll your own tho.
>>140894 The goblin, possessing high Wisdom but rather low Int, is glad to continue berating your with unintelligoble slurs and let info about the Red Hand slip as he continues to threaten you with Doom He gobbles in laughter "Gobgobgobgobgobgob! You have no hope! There are too many of us! Thousands of us march from the human river town as we speak! The giant-ones have joined us, and dragons soar overhead. Saarvith readies to end the swamp elves, and soon even the Lion King will follow us! Gobgobgobgobgob!" the goblin divulges, stupidly >>140896 >>140899 Summoning a monster is one thing, summoning a god is another. Sustaining a god on the prime material plane permanently is unheard of, but would be apocalyptic if it occurred. In any case, it would involve the powers of a mighty spellcaster, and a sacrifice of great value. It would be a truly apocalyptic event, were it to unfold.
The hobgoblin cultist suddenly looks nervous, as if he's said too much. "B-but, he isn't doing anything important there. Who is Saarvith anyway?" >>140906 Elsir Vale is home to a powerful lich, commonly known as The Ghostlord, who resides in an ancient temple devoted to lions. The Ghostlord is only spoken of in legend, but his power is said to be unmatched.
>>140907 "Nice try, faggot. Anything else you'd like to share with us, since I'm sure you now realize that you can't dig yourself any deeper, or would you rather take it up with your countrymen the next time we see them?"
>>140909 "She may await you, but first you gotta check back in with her gatekeepers. So, would you rather be executed for treason because you were a dumbass, or because you actually committed treason?"
>>140915 Sorry, not high enough to get plot relevant info. The DM says with a sigh of relief. However, you do know that "The Lion King" is another name given to a horrible monster that haunts the Thornwastes. It is a region that no other druids in the vale dare approach. >>140917 Roll a Dexterity (pissing) check, add your base attack bonus. Horse form gives a +4 racial bonus.
>>140917 >>140918 Fair enough. I tell the gobbo "Then I guess you're dying a dumbass." and put him back wherever he was while we were transporting him while we were between towns. As for what to do next, why don't we take all this info over to Pelor's bros and see if they can help us out with any of it, assuming >>140920 somehow turns up nothing
>>140920 [Sighs] I really shouldn't be telling you this before part 2 even begins, but I already spoiled in in that ghost-nonsense encounter, so...
The Druids of the Tiri Kitor are old enough to have told you about something called a "Blighter" a wicked ex-druid who has turned against the natural order. The Ghostlord, or "Lion King", is one such Druid, a mage of unmatched power who haunts the Thornwastes. >>140922 (dubs) The Cleric is completely covers in piss. He REEEEEEEEEs a mighty REEEEEEEEEEEEEE as Jorr's dogs join the party.
What we learned today: >The Red Hand are fanatical followers of the devil Tiamat >The horde has already begun marching from Drellin's Ferry >The unknown lord of the horde has ambitions that surpass the conquest of Brindol >Red Hand veterans and cultists fear not death, for they mean that deserting means sacrifice on the altar of Tiamat >Int is a dump stat for Clerics >Elves in trouble >McGuffin in the Blackfens(?!) >The "Lion King", a monster of unmatched power, may join the fray >>140926 Now I read this book and do some work for class registration.
Okay, as I mentioned earlier in the server, I've taken the liberty to do a bit of retconning to the session two weeks ago. It was my mistake to replace a lvl 4 low-op Fighter with a lvl 4 high-op Warblade with a x4 crit modifier. >muf favored weapon of Tiamat Because of that I derailed the game and created the "revive Henry" sidequest that forces the party to go to Brindol.
So, with that being said. >A magical golden elephant (see: Hollyphant) flies by and revives Henry immediately after he dies >Henry remains lvl 6 because reasons >Dumbo is immediately torn apart by randomly-spawning demons >the demons are promptly smited by a randomly-teleporting Paladin on a Door Crusade casting Door To Great Evil: >http://dnd.arkalseif.info/spells/ghostwalk--94/door-to-great-evil--1384/index.html#:~:text=Door%20to%20great%20evil%20guarantees,with%20a%20way%20to%20return >Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Film promptly teleports away on his prismatic dyke horse, to do important paladin stuff elsewhere >An Ethereal Filcher pops in from the Astral Plane and steals the +1 Dragonfang Heavy pick and the priceless blue diamond from Jorr's Bag >"REEEEEEEE! Dagnabbit! Bloody, plowin' Filchers!" >A random Hobgoblin Bladebearer charges out of the woods and attacks the party >She is immediately shot to death by Jorr, who got a sneak attack, and finished off by his dogs >She Drops two identical +1 Dragoncraft clawed gauntlets (spiked gauntlets, but slashing), and two more potions of Enlarge Person (the party has 3 now). >An Invisible, flying Wizard helpfully tells Aral that the Ice arrows he found were actually made of Stygian Ice >John J. Abrams, said Wizard, accidentally steps on a planar manifest zone, and enjoys an all expense paid vacation to the 5th layer of Baator, only to return when his player is able to commit to playing consistently
I know it's gay, but this will make it more enjoyable for everyone.
And so, the party leaves off on day 12, having just finished interrogating the Piss Goblin. It is no longer necessary to go to Brindol to revive Henry, but you may if you wish to. You could also see what Norro Wiston said about Cromar being in danger in the Blackfens. Or check out the blockades on the Rhest Trail that the lion lady mentioned, in that area. Or see what this "Saarvith" guy is planning in the Blackfens to unleash on the elves there.
I turned time back to day 12 because stuff happens in-game regardless of whether or not the PCs move to the next milestone. Also because I don't think anybody absorbed that you could get to both the blackfens and the Rhest Trail via the Elsir River.
After you get to the next milestone (It's in the Blackfens), I will raise the entire party to lvl 7, and switch the game back to XP based leveling.
>>141443 Ah, heheh.. Good choice. No railroading here...
So, you can either go by boat, or head up the Rhest Trail North of Talar. At this point, I'm situating you guys around Talar, so it'd be quicker on horseback.
You can do any essential shopping in Talar before you move to the Rhest trail. All mundane provisions are available, and low-cost magic items can be found as the merchants dump their stocks for shekels.
>>141446 yeah, I'm bringing him with us. He may yet prove useful in other ways, anyway. Also, I'd like to note that in case any more gobbos show up, I have my helmet put away so that they don't immediately try to focus me down for being the ultimate heretic or something.
>>141448 Jorr has him tied up and gagged, and he can't cast anything without his unholy symbol. You could feasibly drag him there, but you don't really sense anything else useful from him. Only drawback on my part is occasionally having to roleplay him. >>141447 Got it.
Now, does anybody have something they want to buy or sell in Talar?
>>141450 As i said in the server, mundane provisions are available, including special materials, and low-cost magic items are available (feather tokens, potions, weapon augmentation crystals, scrolls, etc). As the merchants dump their stocks for shekels in wake of the coming horde.
>>141457 question, if we sell off all the garbo we've collected so far and sold it all, how much dosh would we each get from it? Because if I can get around 200 gp, then I'll buy a lesser crystal of life drinking, and if not, then I'll just get a least one
>>141451 I would like to inform you that the piss goblin was wearing a decent suit of +1 banded mail, before Jorr looted him. If you want to sell your old armor, that's can be done. >>141458 It depends on what you sell and were you sell it, but magic item often sell for half their market price.
>>141460 I guess I'm taking the hobgobbo's armor and ditching my old suit. Also, is there anything that would indicate to me where would be the best place to sell off our collective loot so as to get the biggest pile to distribute?
>>141465 Please discuss it with the party. I think there's quite a bit of unclaimed loot in the inventory channel.
In game, you would be aware that the Red Hand Horde is going to trample town after town in the coming days. Chances to buy and sell items will be increasingly scarce, and resource management will make the difference between winning and losing.
>>141471 I would like to give Henry's player a chance to claim some of those before final decisions are made.
Fyi, if you don't intend to buy something with the funds, the gems and art items are worth carrying around because they're effectively lighter weight currency. You should be factoring the weight of gold and silver into your carrying capacity. >50 pieces = 1 pound of metal Art items also count as masterwork tools for whatever skill you can justify them relating to.
The scale mail sells for 25 gp. Add that money to your sheet.
>>141473 fair enough, I'll add the +25 gp to my stash, hold off on selling anything until we can sort out the inventory management, and probably have to wait until next week to actually see if I can purchase what I want to or not
>>141481 A lesser Crystal Of life drinking only heals 30 hp a day. You might be better off buying potions of lesser vigor, a healing belt, or just casting spells. A lesser augmentation crystal can only be equipped to a weapon of +1 quality. You would need acquire a +1 Mace or other weapon to attach it to, unless you intend to attatch it to your horned helmet.
>>141492 Then I guess I'll just buy a belt of healing, claim that masterwork mace in >>141492 and then promptly sell it off too since it's functionally identical to my current mace from what I can tell.
>>141488 based digits >A lesser augmentation crystal can only be equipped to a weapon of +1 quality So, assuming it would work with my +1 composite longbow (or +1 blade), how much would a Lesser Crystal of Energy Assault cost with the merchants fleeing and all that?
>>141494 The healing belt is a good items. Between two of those and your spontaneous channeling, the party should have more than enough healing. The healing belt is a common enough item to be found. You can buy it for 750 gp, which is also the cost of a wand of lesser vigor or cure light wounds. >>141497 A lesser augmentation crystal of energy assault is going to cost you 3000 gp. You conveniently find a merchant who has one.
>>141506 >Star Ruby Right. I was under the impression someone else took it, to be honest. But double checking it, it seems nobody did. (Someone absolutely should have.) So, if this is right, then I use my gold and the ruby to buy a lesser augmentation crystal of energy assault (electricity), sell the spare chain shirt, leaving me with 565 gp + whatever the mithral chain shirt sells for. This remaining gold is now available for anyone to augment their shopping needs, as according to my own logic encountering that specific loot pile, the ruby is technically common party loot. So feel free to claim it for a purchase now if you're just short of moneys to get something. >>141507>>141493 (Otherwise I'll split it up once we're done with shopping and inventory stuff.)
>>141512 I took the blue star sapphire from that encounter. In the server I said I would like to sell that and one of the +1 elven blades. You answered I get a 1000 gp for those. If we are indeed talking about the chimera loot, and the 1000 gp is accurate for selling those 2, then just ignore my previous post, as I has no access to the ruby.
Okay, after the party did their business in Talar, they would go north past Witchcross towards where they were told the Blockade should be.
As the evening of day 15 closes in, I'm giving Aral's player a chance to scout ahead. >Up ahead, a crude, 10 ft high palisade of logs has been been erected across the road, extending forty feet to either side and completely blocking all passage. A squat, 20 ft watchtower looms in the middle of the palisade. You catch a glimpse of movement up in the tower, and spy a hobgoblin archer leaning against a post with his chin on his chest. So yes. There is indeed a blockade on Rhest Trail, just before the Blackfens.
>dicerolls Aral hears the sounds of hobgoblins boasting about battle, and boredom of being left out of the killing down south. He also hears the sounds of what you can only assume to be a couple large (not huge) giants snoring.