TheBrokenWheel

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Session 10
Enter the Sons of Vaknama, A Night at the Arena

Date Played: June 29th, 2012 8pm-3am apx
In-World Date: I’ll have to find that freakin’ calendar.

This game was a lot of fun. It’s pretty incredible we were in such high spirits despite the storm taking out the power. The heat was oppressive (hottest day of the year so far at 100) and it was pitch black, but that didn’t stop 3.5 grown men from huddling around a single lit candle in the attic whilst sweating immensely and peeling off clothing. Sounds pretty manly, right? The power was out for the middle section of the game, probably about a third of it.

Summary (Submitted by Dave)
Having finally met with the apprenticed Adrugan paper-mage Nikon Reynaldus, the two Vaknamese adventurers, the holy farmer Oswell Finnigan and ex-captain Deren Ponretton, are finally able to continue on their quest to help Amol Barthas, a dwarf looking to build his clan among the surface-dwellers.

In search of a magicked, obsidian chest, the group of adventurers follow Nikon’s divinations to a warehouse within the Docks District of Sarem. It is here that the companions meet with a man called Dionasus.

  • Oswell stepped slowly into the dark warehouse, his armor clanking loudly with each step. As his eyes adjusted to his surroundings he spied the object of their search. A dark obsidian chest that oozed a vileness, leaving a poor taste in his mouth. The chest didn’t hold his attention long. Neither did the peculiar man sitting behind the chest, expectantly. It was the slew of bodies surrounding them.

Dionasus had been hiring people to open the chest, but with failed results. As the party pressed him to return the chest to them, he refused. Perhaps if they would help him with a task, he would be more willing to give up the object that they so sought. They discussed quietly among themselves their options, and seeing none, the companions turned to Dionasus, agreeing to do his bidding.

The Sons of Vaknama. A group intent on returning Sarem to the people of Vaknama, bent on removing the corrupt Government from power and on saving the homesteads and lifestyles of the Vaknamese citizens. With only one member, their odds of success were slim. Tasked with finding more to join this revolutionary cause; Oswell, Deren, and Nikon left the warehouse, following their first lead. A knowledgeable, Vaknamese, legal-consultant who was about to lose his own home to the corrupt Government. His name was Harbin.

Harbin’s house sat across the street from the Bubbling Hearth, the inn and current home of the 3 adventurers. They were greeted at the door by a skeptical and angry old man. Drawing a weapon on the heroes, he shouted at them to leave, that they have no right to his home. After calming him down, and entering his home, they explained that they had arrived to help him protect his abode, and would do everything they could to make sure it remains his. The group, along with Harbin, began to plan for a confrontation with the coming guards and search for legal loop holes in the repossession of his home.

The wait was not long. Three guards arrived at Harbin’s home and wasted no time. Threatening to arrest the three adventurers, despite their authoritative appearances of templar, military captain, and paper-mage, no words of wisdom or degree of stubbornness would set the guards aside. With Deren blocking the exit to the home and with Oswell unconvincingly trying to force the guards to put their weapons away, it took the resolve of the foreign Adrugan paper-mage to talk sense into everyone.

  • Nikon stood still, all eyes on him. His shouted exclamation of, “ENOUGH!”, still ringing in his ears, and the ears of everyone else in the room. He couldn’t understand how these men could fight among each other. They were all countrymen, brothers. Their own people, losing their homes, and instead of standing together to protect one another, they fought. He couldn’t understand the primitive savagery that ran through these Vaknamese. In Adruga, things were not like this. If Vaknama were not so stubborn, they would already be a part of his country, with nothing but a bright and hopeful future to look forward to. Instead they chose war. He felt the heat rising to his face. These men must see reason. With a deep breath, he summoned from the reservoir of calmness within himself and spoke.

The guards heeded the words of Nikon, and agreed to return with a superior. Much to the chagrin of the party, it was Councilor Bolton, who arrived. He was a man known for his stern attitude, and currently, his intense dislike of Oswell and Deren. Luckily, for the adventurers and Harbin, he was also a man of reason. After viewing legal documents showing Harbin to be the proprietary owner of his home, Councilor Bolton acquiesced and allowed him to keep his home, but not without a warning to the Nikon, Deren, and Oswell. “Don’t let me see you again.”

Having gained the aid of Harbin, the adventurers could finally relax a bit. They had another lead to follow, one that would bring them to an arena, but with hours to kill, they returned to their inn, looking to eat supper and prepare for the next day. When they entered the inn, the party saw the innkeeper Aaron and Deren’s newly made friend, an orc by the name of Ruka. While replenishing their energies, the party discussed ways in which they could help the two with their problems; Aaron’s missing leg and Ruka’s sick family. Oswell promised Aaron that if could obtain a scroll of regeneration, that he would be willing to help him recover his leg, and Deren swore to Ruka that come the morrow, him and his friends would join her on a trip to her village, to see what assistance they could offer her family.

Hours to pass still ahead of them, the party left the inn and made their way to the Market District of Sarem. They mailed letters to their friends and family, purchased goods to prepare for their trip to Ruka’s tribe, and obtained a wagon for a few days, to speed up their travel. Midnight drew closer, and the group was ready to follow their second lead given to them by Dionasus. They gathered their belongings and made their way to the arena.

The arena was a place where men, or women, of different races and sizes, would compete in non-lethal, unarmored matches of physical prowess. With hopes to win money, or join people to their causes, contestants would compete for the top spot in the match. The three adventurers, followed by Ruka, were here for a cause. To find as many interested souls, in taking back Sarem for the Sons of Vaknama.

  • The crowd was thick with people, shuffling and pushing into each other. Beads of sweat rolled down Deren’s forehead. The air was humid, made even worse by the tumult of the crowd. He was nervous, but with anticipation. It had been too long since he felt the thrill of recognition, since he was able to test himself against truly seasoned warriors of real talent. This arena brought back many memories. Deren turned around and saw his friends disappear behind a wave of noisy people. He was on his own now. He knew what he had to do. Deren approached the side of the ring and began to hoist himself onto the stage. Fires from braziers licked the air surrounding him. Deren closed his eyes and listened. Lost in the noise of the crowd, he heard a man call out, “Hey! You shouldn’t be up there!” Darren turned around and saw the man, trying to shout at him over all of the people. That was the man he needed to speak to.

Deren led his friends to a back room. Many warriors were back there, preparing themselves for the tournament. A man, who called himself Zatius, approached the party. He bonded their weapons and then registered them for the tournament. When all of the contestants were ready, and the time struck midnight, he brought out each contender, announcing them to the cheers of the crowd. The fights were about to begin.

The brawlers faced down the adventurers, and even though the non-physical Nikon predictably went down in the first round (not without landing a few good punches and nearly winning his own match), Oswell and Deren surpassed the expectations of the crowd and won in the preliminaries. When the primary matches began, Oswell and Deren were once again victorious, Oswell triumphing over Ruka, while Deren managed to win a fixed match against a cheating contender. In the semi-finals, the fight came down to Oswell versus Deren, the two Vaknamese companions.

  • Deren reeled from the shock of the blow and fell to his knees, gasping in pain and clutching his side. He stared up at Oswell, almost admiringly, but more amazement. He had seen Oswell fight before, but never like this. The man was soft, not weak, but peaceful and slow. Deren noticed that Oswell’s own face stared back at him in amazement. They had both entered the ring, expecting Deren to win, but for Oswell to take him down, without batting an eye or taking a single hit himself, it was more than unexpected. The crowds applause and cheers drowned out Oswell’s apologies. Deren winced, more from frustration than pain. He wouldn’t stand a chance in the finals.

Oswell, somehow managing to win over his more physically fit friend, placed into the finals, and almost as soon as the match began, it ended. The dwarf Oswell placed against was far superior in strength and fighting skill, and where Deren would have stood a chance, Oswell had none.

Even though the adventurers did not win the brawling tournament, they placed high, with Deren and Oswell obtaining second and third. Due to the speeches made simultaneously by OSwell and Deren after each brawl, the 3 heroes managed to recruit many men to the Sons of Vaknama. Content that they had accomplished all they could for the night, the friends decided to return back to their room at the Bubbling Hearth, with plans to travel to Ruka’s village the next morning.

Quests
In this section I’ll list a few things that are good to take notice or remember. Not all things listed here are OMG QUEST! Some things are just quirks, some are side-quests and some are shadows of the MAIN QUEST. Act on these things as your character would, these aren’t all plot hooks you need to feel obligated to jump on. If your character isn’t very observant, he probably won’t get a lot of the finer points here.

  • Sons of Vaknama: 104 people have been recruited to the Sons of Vaknama, though you don’t know that yet in-character. Dionasus may require you to recruit up to 200, as is your deal with him. In three days, he will try to open the chest once again. In a week, he will attempt to sell it again.
  • Ruka’s Tribe: The group is readying for a trip into the mountains. Deren knows, in a roundabout way, the duration and difficulty of the trip, but has not said anything about this. Ruka also hasn’t been consulted thoroughly. I highly recommend you chase this quest down, as it seems you all plan to, but I also recommend a small measure of information gathering first. You do have a guide with you, after all.
  • Barthas Clan: Once you get that chest, Amol can start getting his clan together. He still requires a clan-hold though, his current solution his business and small attached warehouse (not great). Keeps your eyes open. You hear there is a lot of real estate, after all. Even a house up for sale across the street from the Bubbling Hearth (there are houses for sale all up and down the average homes district). Another thing I’d like to point out that you all may not have noticed due to the duration between games is the change in
    Amol’s character. This is not a fluke on my part. For some reason, he is becoming more personable every time you see him. It may be worth notice.
  • The Bubbling Hearth: Aaron, the proprieter at the bubbling hearth, seems grimly determined and excited at the prospect of getting his leg back. He doesn’t give a second thought to trading his livelihood for it. He’s also displayed some odd behavior in acting very military towards a templar and having private conversations with Ruka.

Award Gems
By player request, rankings are public, as is discussion of them. Click the link to be taken to the wiki page if you have questions.

Jess
Acting 1/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 2/4, Total 2.5 gems

  • Acting: I could usually tell when in-character. A few times were questionable. Deren’s portrayal isn’t drastically different from yourself. Adequate 1/4.
  • Depth: Deren referenced his past, and showed a bit of his bigotry, though only mildly before being shushed by Os (Captains don’t get shushed). Good 2/4.
  • Participation: The occasional texting is forgiven, given their nature. Seeing you writing your speech frantically is pretty cool. It’s a shame you didn’t get to use it all. Hold on to it, you may not be done recruiting for Dionasus. It’s good to see you active at least a small amount at all parts of the game. You need to take the reigns from Dave though. Os isn’t the boss, and shouldn’t be leading every event. Good 2/4.

Sam
Acting 2/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 3/4, Total 3.5 gems

  • Acting: Sam has an accent. Praise Pelor! Last game it was heavy rusky. This time it’s a moderate rusky with some UK in the mix if I recall correctly. Both sound good. The changes are to be expected as you find what best fits, of course. Good 2/4
  • Depth: This is really the first game you had any opportunity to do anything. When characters first start they are at a bit of a disadvantage in all three categories, as they aren’t completely established yet. I take this into account. Despite this disadvantage you spoke to the watchmen and the audience of the arena from an Adrugan perspective and showed a real understanding of your place (or lack thereof) in the events within the city. You should expect a little bit of antagonization, considering your race (wow, recurring theme with Teal’c, but it two very different ways). Don’t worry too much if you feel like a fish out of water. Nikon has very good reason to follow these goons around. They wouldn’t have found the chest without him. He also has a huge role in the coming session or two, depending on if you catch the right place to use your spells. Wow. Off on a tangent. Good Depth 2/4.
  • Participation:
    The above mentioned new character and partially-disliked race disadvantages also apply to you getting a place to act in this game. This did limit you, but you didn’t let it stop you. You still were a part of events that you easily could have sat out of. I’m glad you joined the arena, even if you got a few bruises from it. Funny fact: the ground recruited 104 people (excluding Dionasus himself). Without you, it would be 99, and thus below the minimum required to possibly complete Dionasus’ quest. Considering how you pushed past those two disadvantages. . . Great participation 3/4.

Dave
Acting 3/4, Depth 2/4, Participation 3/4, Total 4 gems

  • Acting: Oh look everyone, Dave can act. Big deal. Go back to your film major, hippy! A very well defined voice, speech patterns and some minor gestures are GREAT 3/4.
  • Depth: I think I’m starting to see Os cracking under the pressure of leadership. In those terse negotiations with the watchmen Os seemed very stressed and unwilling to compromise (despite his deity’s principles of reason). That’s how I’m reading it at least. Will this be a continuing theme? Os showed a lot of investment in all events and became pretty emotional. I do have one gripe though. I feel you deflated an event that Jess could have utilized to build Deren up: the cheating competitor. When you pointed out OOC that he was cheating and that he should turn him in, it looked like Jess felt like he was just following orders and it wasn’t really his idea. It’s sort of like a spoiler. If Os were there (and feeling obnoxious) it would be understandable IC, otherwise I think such OOC comments are damaging. All things considered, good depth 2/4.
  • Participation: Leading the group around by the nose again, it seems. It’s great that you’re taking action. We do need to find a way to get the others to lead a bit more, so you can fall back into your adviser role. Os was very active in all events, and took a personal stake in them. Great 3/4.

Miscellaneous:

Here is the ideal formatting.

  • [Date Played: Date/Time]
  • [In-World Date: What days and approximate times it took place on the in-game calendar]
  • [Introduction and a few words about the game, mostly OOC commentary]
  • [Session Summary (as available)]
  • [In Game Concerns / Quest Tracking / Summary Commentary / Related]
  • [Award Gem Rankings]
  • [Misc]

As a player, you can modify just about anything. This includes characters, wiki pages and adventure log entries. So please, if you want to add content, do! For now it’s kind of free-form. If you want to write the summary, just say so, I’ve even left a placeholder in the session 10 entry. Don’t worry about screwing it up too much, the blog saves everything before and after the change, so I can just recover it. Remember the comments are there for discussion too. I’m currently going with Dave’s idea (that had no arguments) that you won’t get any gems until you post a comment.

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Session 11
Finding the Sweeping Illness

Date Played: July 8th, 2012 8pm-5am apx
In-World Date: Early Winter

That was quite a long game. It had its fun parts, but it also had parts where it drug on immensely slow. I apologize that puzzle was so ridiculously hard, but it is good you guys got it without me giving it away. If I had more time to plan it and personally play-test it I’d have made quite a few improvements.

Active Quests

  • VugDush’s Damage: Ruka’s people are very low in number, with many slat-houses standing empty. There are few women, and there is only one barely surviving teen; none younger than teen still live. The shaman is not responding. Rignar has taken over as the sole adviser of the tribe.
  • The Researcher: The group spent many hours deciphering cryptic short-hand. They learned quite a lot about the spread and varied intensities of the illness. They also learned the Ulmratian researcher has gone missing and was very devoted to helping the orcs.
  • The Shaman: Nikon managed to commune with the shaman by reading her thoughts. Through a cacophony of screams of the dead, he learned she is trapped in “the spirit realm” with all the other recently deceased. She urged him to find the answer and complete the Ulmratian’s research.
  • The Lost Tribe: The Blood Gulch tribe was found dead, but the party located the much-needed date of the first fallen baby in the journal of an adviser. One orc was found alive, the very large chieftain, but he had to be put down in self defense. The journal mentioned his psyche crumbled as the tribe did. Extinction.
  • Finding the Source: Combining the results of the last two quests revealed the supposed location of the “disease’s” origin. The group is well on their way entering a mysterious facility at the location marked on the map.
  • A Strange Magic: Oswell is becoming a bit paranoid about the return of dark magic. Nikon is skeptical at best. The shaman revealed to Nikon she believes some sort of magic is holding the spirits in the spirit realm from finding their place of rest, and keeping her trapped outside her body. Nikon mentions how a all-consuming unmoving cloud of magic permeates every inch of the land. When he was younger, Deren’s Mom told him that if he didn’t finish his chores the dark-mages would snatch him up and turn him into a mindless zombie! He was only 12. It might have messed him up.

Passive Quests

  • Sons of Vaknama: 104 people have been recruited to the Sons of Vaknama, though you don’t know that yet in-character. Dionasus may require you to recruit up to 200, as is your deal with him. In three days, he will try to open the chest once again. In a week, he will attempt to sell it again.
  • Barthas Clan: Once you get that chest, Amol can start getting his clan together. He still requires a clan-hold though, his current solution his business and small attached warehouse (not great). Keeps your eyes open. You hear there is a lot of real estate, after all. Even a house up for sale across the street from the Bubbling Hearth (there are houses for sale all up and down the average homes district). Another thing I’d like to point out that you all may not have noticed due to the duration between games is the change in
  • The Bubbling Hearth: Aaron, the proprieter at the bubbling hearth, seems grimly determined and excited at the prospect of getting his leg back. He doesn’t give a second thought to trading his livelihood for it. He’s also displayed some odd behavior in acting very military towards a templar and having private conversations with Ruka.

Summary: Submitted by Sam

The group stands outside the fight club ready to head to the Bubbling Hearth for the night. As Oswell & Deren finish writing up some letters, Ruka looks down at the hammer she’s holding realizing it isn’t hers she takes off back into the arena to return it. Moments later she returns and the group heads off.

As they walked Nikon takes the time to speak with Ruka seeing that he will have to accept her as part of the group. Nikon talks to Ruka while walking to the tavern about her town that they’re going to visit. Ruka talks about the terrain through the Splinters involves a lot of climbing, in some areas ten or so feet, in others as much as 75ft. Also that it should take about 6-7 hours to travel to her village.

Ruka then mentions that Os, Deren & Nikon should bring a tribute of metal weapons or tools to the village. Deren spoke with her about the type of metals that would be alright and Ruka said the ones like Nikon’s dagger, then she picked up some dirt to show the color of Vak metals and said that they are ok… that her clan will accept them. Hearing Ruka speak of her Orc clan reminded Nikon about his time working for his uncle Glycon,Nikon proceeded to ask “So Ruka what is the name of your clan or what is it that your call yourself other than Orc? My uncle told about the classes at the library that saying Orc is considered derogatory.” Ruka replied “We are called Gro’VugDush” The group began repeating her clans name several times trying to pronounce it right.

After some more talking between the party about their coming travels and how they felt they did at the fight club, the group arrived at the Bubbling Hearth around three in the morning. Once at their room Ruka showed the group her meteor and attempted to describe a weapon/tool they use but the group struggled to find out if she meant a scythe or a pickaxe. Oswell gets everyone to get relaxed and to stop talking, Os says _ “Get some rest guys so we could be off to Ruka’s village as soon as we all awaken”._

Everyone awakens around noon the next morning, Deren & Ruka decide to go and cancel the carriage that was ordered for today as well as gather some daggers for the tribute to pass the time while they wait on Os to finish his morning prayers & Nikon to get his head out of his book. After an hour or so passes the group meets up at the Bubbling Hearth to begin their journey.

Ruka informs the party that we’ll be leaving past the stone homes, as the party made their way threw town Nikon made one last stop and picked up some axe’s and a pickaxe in hopes a larger tribute would help keep them alive if their diplomacy failed.

They made their way to their first major obstacle, a 60ft wall. Ruka and Deren began climbing the wall with excitement as Nikon & Oswell stared up at them. Deren began to make a race out of it and Ruka accepted the challenge. The two were almost to the top when both lost their grips and footing then began to fall. Nikon ran forward and stood trembling underneath were the two would fall knowing that if he missed his them with his spell he’d be crushed. Os ran forward to grab Nikon and move him but he resisted with all his strength, the two came within inches of Nikon but he smacked them both on the back of their heads and they continued to fall but at and extremely slow pace. Nikon was furious with the two of them and warned them he could not save them again if they began to fall, Deren and Ruka just shrugged him off since they were not injured in the fall but did climb back up at a slower pace then before.

Once to the top Ruka tied off the rope and threw it down to Os and Nikon, after a moment deciding who should go next Os began to climb the wall he seemed to stall a couple of times but made it safely to the top. Nikon began to climb the wall and struggled to get a hold of the rope at first but began to climb. He made it almost half way up the rope and lost his grip and fell to the ground, after a moment he got up to try again but tripped and fell face first on the ground. Ruka seeing his clumsiness yelled down and told Nikon to wrap the rope around himself and they’d pull him up. Nikon grabbed the rope and tied it around himself, after he did Deren and Ruka started to pull Nikon up, but Ruka kept stepping on the rope so she decided to move out of Deren’s way since he was doing fine on his own.

Once Nikon made it to the top the group collected themselves and continued on their way. The group traveled into the night the had to push themselves to make it to Ruka’s Village.

Ruka brought the party to a river just down from the village, the party could see the lights up on the hill ahead and knew they were almost there. The river was moving rather quickly and the party began to make their way across the river, Nikon moved with a fair amount of ease across the river but Os lost his footing in the current and started to get swept down stream, Ruka quickly yelled out to Os “Don’t worry just swim across… Oh and do it before the waterfall”. With that in mind Os quickly swam across to the shore. Ruka assist Deren across the stream as he was having some trouble getting across. Once they were all across the river they waited a moment for Oswell to walk back up to the party.

Finally the party arrived at Ruka’s village, she made sure that Os & Nikon knew they needed to act as Deren’s advisers and as far as they were concerned Deren was their Chieftain. Once everyone understood their roles Ruka yelled up to her clan mates in Orc that she had arrived and had people here to help with the sickness. After a moment or so passed the party heard an Orc yelled down to Ruka and she told everyone it was okay to begin climbing. Deren & Ruka made it to the top quickly and without any trouble, then threw the rope down to Os and he began to climb. As Os started to climb Ruka and Deren began lifting him up, again Ruka began stepping on the rope so she moved out of the way. Once the rope came down again Nikon made no attempt to climb he just swallowed his pride and let them pull him up.

Ruka lead the party off to a large tent that had interlinking huts made sporadically around in and they seemed to form one large circle around it. Ruka pointed to the large tents entrance and said that her chieftain was in there.

Wasting no time the party made their way inside the tent and saw an orc that towered over them covered in scars of battles passed, he stood proudly yet intimidatingly over the party, he wore a mix of leather armor and plates of molded bone and a head band of steel, in his hand he held a large axe made of steel and its edges were razor sharp.

As we approached him he said quite abruptly “What are you here for?” in orcish. Ruka was quick to act as our translator though Os understood as he had ask his god Rao to give him ability to comprehend these people. Os acted quickly as Deren’s adviser and told him to say we are here to see what we can do to cure the sickness plaguing these people. Deren said to the orc “We are here to see the chieftain about if we can cure your people.” The orc looked down at Deren with disgust and said “Yes! What are you going to do here?” Ruka repeated back to Deren his words, but Deren in confusion made the same statement back to him. Ruka still adjusting to the Vak language repeated Deren without realizing Deren’s mistake.

The orc looked down sharply at Deren and asked him “Are you challenging me boy!?!? Do I not look strong enough to you? Are you trying to fight me?! Ruka repeated what her chieftain said back to Deren. Realizing who Deren was speaking to he told the chieftain he was sorry but before Deren could continue the Chieftain spoke out to the other orcs “This human says he’s sorry…” He looks back at Deren and tells him he should leave that there is no way someone as weak as him could help cure them. Deren spoke up and said “We could sav… We will save your people”. At this point nothing said by Os, Nikon or Deren could save Ruka’s Chieftains view.

As he went to walk away Ruka yelled in a demanding yet pleading voice, “They can save us on MY HONOR! Let them do it I give you my word I will leave if they fail.” The Chieftain called Ruka to her and demanded to speak with her in private.

As Ruka went to him an orc that was sitting in the room came up to Nikon, Os & Deren. “Come with me quickly! My name is Rignar, I am the sole adviser left to Kunak our Chieftain.” The group seemed stunned for a moment as the noticed this orc spoke Vak quite fluently. Rignar leads the group to a hut with a couple beds, some bookshelves and a table.

Os and Nikon each sit down to one side of Deren and begin talking to Deren to tell him what to ask Rignar but they are all stopped short as Rignar informs the party that they needn’t stand on ceremony on his part that the each could speak freely around him.

With that being said Os begins asking about the deaths that have befallen this village and Rignar states that it started around a little over a month ago and that they noticed the insects started to die first, then the creatures that lived off the insects until it final started to affect the babies followed by the teens and then the younger of the adults. Nikon got permission to start casting some spells, and began to see if he could fine any magical tools that could be causing this affect.

The moment Nikon casts his spell he becomes flash blinded by the shear magnitude of the magic aura surrounding Ruka’s village. Once Nikon’s eyes come back focus he tries to look around put sees only a fog that seems to not be moving and is hovering over the village.

Os, Deren & Nikon ask about if anything new was introduced into the village right before this all started but Rignar says the only new thing in town was the Ulmratian that came to the town a week ago trying to stop the disease himself but he ran off into the woods and never came back a couple of days ago and that he left all his papers and belonging behind, and that many other orc villages have been affected and some are no longer responding. Rignar also mentions that the village shaman is unresponsive and is trapped in meditation.

Os asks Rignar to take them to the shaman. Rignar agrees and leads the way which passes right passed Kunak sitting on his throne, the party continues passed without even glancing his way. Once inside the room Rignar explains that Brushnak their shaman tends to look around from time to time but has to be feed food sometimes with some assistance to get her to swallow. Os tries to check her health but she seems fine, Nikon has an idea of what he could do but informs Rignar he’d need time to prepare.

Nikon thinks more about the other affected villages and asks where they are but Rignar states quite abruptly that any information about other tribes you’d have to find on my own that no one is allowed to give out that information, but if you do come across that information to keep it to yourselves. After a few more minutes of talking Rignar leads the group off the the researchers tent, “You are more then welcome to go through his papers but good luck, I couldn’t read or make sense of any of it” says Rignar. Nikon and Deren begin scouring the papers looking for anything that looks important, while the two begin looking Oswell asks if he could see any of the sick orcs.

Rignar leads Os out of the room and to another hut were one laid unconscious. “This is our only sick clan member at the moment and he is also our youngest alive. What ever you can do for him please do.” states Rignar. Oswell looks over him thoroughly and can tell the boy is near death but has no signs of being diseased, ill, poisoned, cursed, or otherwise to explain him being so weak. Oswell does everything he can do for the boy to stabilize him for the night and then heads back to check on Nikon & Deren.

Oswell arrives back to see the two scouring over to pages they’ve uncovered that seem to be of some significance. Os then reminds the two they should rest that way we could think clearer in the morning and Nikon could help Brushnak. Deren rolls out his bedroll on the floor and Nikon takes the Ulmratian’s bed, Oswell decided he’d rather be near the sick orcs side in case he should get worse.

Some time after the sun rose the next day the party begins to awaken. Nikon proceeds to lay in bed and study for a bit after he awoke. Oswell gets up after his morning prays and checks on the sick orc only to find he is near death again even after all his work the night before. Oswell begins to pray over the orc again but he notices that his powers seem almost weaker, with his new information about the sickness Os checks back with the party.

Once back at the Ulmratian’s hut Os cast a few more miracles on the party to check if everyone was alright, but as he did Deren seems to notice that the warm energy he normally felt after Os would heal him seem to fade much sooner then it usually did. Os & Deren began to become suspicious and felt some kind of dark magic was at work, but Nikon just shrugged their concerns off as silly superstition. “Give me a break guys, what dark magic there use to be was all wiped out by the Retainers long ago. You can trust me, I come from a society built around magic. There is no such thing as dark magic.” Oswell’s opinion about dark magic being at play was unchanged by Nikon’s argument. Os knew the only thing other than dark magic that could cause his abilities to feel weaker would be that his god was starting to ignore him, and Os knew his god would not just write him off so quickly.

After the group studied and attempted to decipher some more they received two visitors out of the blue. The first wore a blend of armor linked together and they all seemed to be pretty worn, the orc stepped forward and introduced himself as Erilg Gro’VugDush. “I am the messenger here in our village, if you should need anything just ask. Also let me introduce Row Gro’VugDush he is our town weapons expert. He wanted to stop by and thank you for the tribute, that they are all in great condition and if you had not made your selves look like fools he’d open trade with you” said Erilg. The group thanked Row for coming to see them, Erilg lets the party know that if they all come back after the new year and Row would welcome them as the villages new chieftain and would trade with them but they must wait till after the new year.

After the two orcs leave the party spends a little more time trying to decipher the researchers notes but without much success. They know the man needed something from the Valley, another orc village in the Splinters but don’t know what the item is. Only that results are missing which leave a whole in the formula the man was working on. Later the group discovers the “Valley” is called Blood Gulch loosely translated into Vak. Nikon decides it time to get more information and asks to see the shaman hopeing his powers give him some added insight today. The group heads of to the Brushnak’s room and find Rignar preparing a meal for her. Nikon asks if its ok for him to cast some of his powers on her and Rignar agrees.

After a few minutes Nikon releases his spells upon her and as he turns to focus on her Nikon is overwhelmed by the voices that seem to be pouring out of her mind. He struggles to make sense of all the noise, sounds of babies and small children crying in fear, other orcs screaming out “Why?”, “am I trapped?”, “What is this??”.

Nikon yells out to the shaman “Can you hear me? What is happening, why are there so many voices?” In that moment the shamans eyes turn and lock onto Nikon, focused on his every word. “Human?” Brushnak says. Nikon moves a bit closer waiting to see if its the shaman he hears. “Can you hear me?” Brusknak says, her eyes not breaking contact with Nikon. Nikon yells out to her “YES!? I can hear you, what is happening? Are you trapped in the shadow realm?” Deren & Rignar watch Nikon wondering what is happening and if he is truly speaking with the shaman. A few moments pass and Nikon turns back to the group, Nikon tells Rignar to get Ruka and tell her they must leave at once for Blood Gulch. Nikon tells Deren & Rignar the shaman has confirmed the Ulmratians death, that he to is trapped. Rignar informs Nikon and Deren he will fetch Ruka at once and if the chieftain will not grant her leave that she will sneak down and meet the group just outside the Blood Gulch territory. Nikon and Deren rush back to Oswell at the researchers hut.

Nikon starts grabbing his things ready to leave for Blood Gulch. “Come on Os we have to move it?! If we don’t find the thing the researcher needed we cannot stop this sickness” Nikon says hysterically. Oswell starts trying to calm Nikon down but he is in a frenzy after talking with the shaman. Finally after five minutes or so Os gets Nikon to shut up for a minute and explains to him they cannot leave until they know what it is they need for Blood Gulch or they will never find it, Nikon then begins to see the wisdom of what Os means and knows a blind search will not be very productive.

The group continues scour the papers looking for what it was the researcher needed. After very several hours of meticulous searching they realize he needed the date that the babies of their tribe began to die and from that they could extrapolate the source of the sickness. Just as they realize what it is they need Nikon panics and remembers that Ruka never came to the hut after Rignar went to get her and thinks she ran ahead already.

The group gathers the papers they’ve deciphered and their gear and head out of the tent in search of Ruka only to find her sitting just outside at a campfire. Nikon in his excitement to see she is ok ran up to her to hug her seeing she was ok but Ruka shoved him to the ground not realizing what he was doing. Nikon just laid on the ground in disbelief for a moment as Os and Deren spoke to Ruka about where they had to go. The group asked Erigl If he would lead them to Blood Gulch but he grabbed Ruka and ran off to a hut with her as soon as they asked.

After the group stood there for a moment wondering if they did something wrong Ruka exited the hut and yelled for them to come over. The party entered and Erigl said “she’s really subtle isn’t she…” Erigl agreed to lead the party but the moment they reach the border of the other clans territory he was leaving. Ruka told the group that she knew where to go and that Erigl did not need to come all that way just to head back here. The party agreed and left the village immediately, once outside Nikon pulled out four scrolls from his backpack and began summoning a horse from each scroll.

After a minute or so passed they party mounted their horses and began to ride towards Blood Gulch as fast as they could. They made much distance while they had the horses but after an hour they returned for where they came and the group continued on foot.

As they traveled Nikon saw something low to the ground off the trail from them but Ruka said it was to dark to ignore it and move on. A little later the party came again on a shadowy figure in the dark, upon closer inspection they saw it was an orc standing in front of a tree with an axe inbedded into it. Os examined the orc to see that he was dead and was covered in some kind of preservative. Concerned that this orc died from the sickness where he stood the group continued to the village. As they continued and were almost at village they saw more shadowy figures in the trees above them and they appeared to have bows drawn back at them. Ruka yelled up to them in orc but they did not move or reply to her, Os even tossed up a small stone in the trees where they were but nothing happened.

They continued on towards the village and once they reached the outside of the chieftains tent Deren yelled up trying to see if anyone would reply. A moment passed and an orc came out to them, he was the fattest orc any of the had seen standing before them wearing a metal crown around his head just as Kunak did. He wore a small amount of leather armor and carried a large pickhammer bigger than any they had seen before.

He pointed his pick at Deren and yell to him, “I’am Gubdish Chieftain of this village! What are you doing here human!” The group tried to advise Deren on what to say as Ruka translated. Deren looked at the large orc and said they were here in search of the date the babies started dieing in his village, that they needed it to find where the sickness was coming from. Gubdish glared down at Deren stating, “Leave here human! There is nothing wrong with my people. They aren’t sick!” Deren looked at the large orc unamused and said, “Your are lieing, tell us the date so we can help your people!”

In that moment the large orc lifted his pick into the air and took a swing at Deren for calling him a liar. Os seeing he was attacking threw his shield in the way and deflected the blow. The group realized they were in for a fight now and began moving back attempting to deflect his attacks, Oswell grabbed hold of his holy symbol and it began to glow as he cried out “Drop your weapon!” All of the sudden the crown around the chieftain’s head began to turn red as if were becoming fiery hot. Gubdish was thrown into a rage that this human was trying to force him to drop his weapon and Gubdish turned his attention to Oswell and swung violently at him. Os began a guarded retreat trying to keep his deadly blows from hitting him.

Ruka began fire shot after shot but could not seem to hit him, he was moving to quickly after Os. Nikon began to panic firing any spell he had at the large orc but they did not even seem to slow him down.

Deren charged after the orc dealing blow after blow trying to bring him down but to no avail.

Nikon yelled for everyone one to get a far away from the orc as possible, Ruka tried to run pass to get a better angle but as she did Gubdish took a swing at her and got in the leg. Os quickly lead him away from the rest of the party and Nikon grabbed one of his scrolls and began chanting as fast as he could and as he spoke the last word he shoot a large ball of fire from his fingertips towards the orc. The orc immediately dove to the ground away from the fireball completely avoiding the flames. Oswell could not get far enough back and was burnt by Nikon’s callously careless attempt to one-up the orc in a single blow. Managing to hurt none save his friend, Nikon took a cautious step back from the fight.

The orc again pursued Os again, the orc was starting to waiver in his attacks in his last effort he charged Deren quickly and swung at him, but Deren swung back and Gubdish fell to the ground instantly. Os made a quick attempt to stabilize him before it was to late but Gubdish had died immediately after hitting the ground. The group began to look around and saw he had lost much blood in the battle and never gave up till death took him.

Ruka began bandaging up the orc to make him atleast look presentable to his people if any were still alive, and as she did Nikon attempted to study the crown he wore feeling it was still warm he had concerns it might have been cursed. Deren & Oswell searched the chieftains tent and some of the other huts but found no one alive, only orcs that seemed to be preserved in time doing everyday chores.

Os found an orc that appeared to be the adviser to the chieftain frozen in place looking over a journal of some kind. Oswell gently removed the book from the orcs hand and started looking through it for any information about the sickness, after a few minutes he located an entry that had the date of the death of the first baby taken by the sickness. Through some more entries Oswell discovers that this advisor seemed to be the one who was trying to hold the village together so he takes the crown from Nikon and placed it upon the orcs head to signify that he was a better leader. Ruka seemed a little off set by this but did nothing to correct the matter.

Nikon and Ruka carried Gubdish to the throne and sat him back on it before they left. Nikon entered the new information about the babies Os collected and began to extrapolate to coordinates that the mystical fog affecting everyone was coming from. “I found it, we almost passed it on our way here. I would say its about three miles away” Nikon said.

The group gathered their things continued their treck back threw the Splinters. After a while they come to where they believe it to be and they begin the spread out looking for anything out of the ordinary.

After searching for a few minutes they find a small inlet barely big enough for one person to fit through at a time. The group slowly moves through one at a time and discovers it leads into small valley.

Once inside fearing more confrontation Nikon casts a spell on himself causing it to appear like there are five of himself. Oswell already suspecting dark magic at play becomes very cautious of Nikon and seems more concerned by Nikon’s current state then relaxed about it. The group sees ahead of them pairs of pillars moving in a line towards a large rock wall and as the pillars ascend the see they lead to a door a little over one hundred feet into the air. As the group begins to think of ways to climb up to the door Nikon takes off towards the pillars thinking that there must be some magic to them that will carry the group up.

As he approached a small ramp appears connecting the first set of pillars up it does n continue beyond that. Os points out that a pillar on one side is missing the top stone, it seemed to somehow have fallen off and was laying on the ground. Nikon got excited as he realized they might find more ahead and knew his talents might become quite handy.

The group got together and began to lift the stone but once off the ground the they could not seem to get it high enough to set back on the pillar. After a moment or so the group loses their grip and the stone drops to the ground, Nikon acted as quickly as he could and slapped the stone causing it to fall very slowly so no one got hurt. Deren, Os & Ruka grabbed the stone as it was slowly falling to try and lift it back up quickly but were unsuccessful. Nikon began looking for hooks to climb or some other way to get to the door while the others continued to try and replace the stone on the pillar.

The three made several attempts to replace the stone until about their tenth time the got it on the pillar. Nikon heard the sound of the stone sliding onto the other and came running to the stairs in excitement. The moment he saw the whole ramp was present he took off to the top in excitement. Oswell began to yell at him to slow down there could be a trap and that he could fall and die but Nikon shrugged Os off as being overly paranoid. Deren and Ruka passed Os walking up to the top and once they reached the door with Nikon they all began to push the stone door open.

Os saw what they were doing as he reached the top of the ramp and started to charg the door to give them a boost but just as Os reached the door he forgot to put his hands up to brace the door and slammed his face right into it. The others stared at him for a moment in disbelief at what he had just done doing everything not to laugh at him. Despite his brief moment of stupidity, he managed to unhinge the door from it’s stuck shut position to slightly open.

After a moment to regain some feeling in his face Os and the rest of the party began to push the door open. After they got the door opened the party slowly moved into the room, Os held his holy symbol in his hand and cast a light so illuminate the room. Os came up to a wall covered in Vak writing, Os told everyone that it more or less said to please ring the bell and someone will be with you shortly otherwise the security features would take care of anyone going where they do not belong. About this time Nikon cast four lights and spread them out into the room to help illuminate it better, and hearing what Os said Nikon realized he could ward an area to make the sound of a small bell if anyone would cross into the area. The party back away for a moment while Nikon prepared and once he cast it Deren entered the field causing the sound of a bell to ring through the place.

Several moments passed and they are not sure if the traps have been disengaged so the group heads towards the next room. Nikon notices the next rooms floor tiles seem to be conveniently placed. He then casts a detection spell and starts to see a pattern of magical aura surrounding them, but before he says where to step Os takes a step on the first tile to test the odds if it being a trap. Nikon yells to him to back up but its to late as a green ball of goo flies at him. Os quickly dodges it and side steps to the next tile to avoid it only to have another fly at him and it makes contact with his armor and begins to burn its way through. Os quickly starts trying to put it out but to no avail, finally he summons several gallons of water to cover his chest but just as he does the goo vanishes and Oswell becomes drenched. Nikon speaks up to everyone and says, “I see a path I believe to be safe, step only where I tell you to….”

Deren begins his trek across the tiles and makes it all the way to the end without incident but the final tile transports him back to the beginning again. Ruka & Os were following right behind Deren and Nikon tells them to jump the last tile but Ruka & Os seem confused by what Nikon is telling them and begin stepping across the final few tiles randomly. Ruka quickly ducks out of the way as two green darts fly towards her, but Os isnt as lucky and is hit. Again his armor begins to burn and after a moment the goo dissappears again. Nikon and Deren cross the tiles without incident. _


END SESSION 11***

Player Critique:

Dave 3 gems

  • Acting: As is typical, great job acting. The finer things, like your reaction to smacking your face of a door, add a lot to immersion in my opinion. A very established voice and polite manner is also great. At one point you were being slightly rude to Sam OOC by saying “give me that”, but then realized you should ask for it IC and said in Os’ voice “Could you please hand me the map, Nikon?” This is awesome and hilarious. Great! 1.5 gems
  • Participation: I understand you didn’t want to showboat this game. In the beginning, you were far too quiet. After we ate, you seemed to speak up quite a lot like your normal self, without becoming the center of attention. Adequate .5 gems
  • Depth: We didn’t get to learn a whole lot about Os this game, but we shouldn’t expect to every game. It is interesting how he tried to diffuse a situation or two with humor, and tried to be friendly with Deren (sadly, with no result). Camping out next to the sick orc teen despite being needed on the paperwork was an indication of character priority. Good 1 gems

Sam 3.5 gems (winner)

  • Acting: Only once or twice was I unsure if you were using your Nikon voice and IC. Overall, it’s getting very easy to rely on you to be very in-character when interacting with others. Also the added excitement in the detect shaman thoughts scene was a nice touch. For the future, I’d recommend thinking about what effects your character and how that could change the way you portray him, or to take advantage of acting out Nikon’s reactions to these effects. A good example would be showing that Nikon is tired during a long day’s travels, or when Os’ panicked yelling at the group and beating at his chest when the trap went off on him. Good 1 gem.
  • Participation: You were right on top of things most of the game. I would even wager you were the one most immersed in that horribly designed puzzle. Great 1.5 gems
  • Depth: Nikon seems to have a slight arrogance about him in certain situations; that is awesome. Also the snide remark toward Deren (sadly, with no result) showed some racial tensions. Not a lot of instances of depth, but the few that did occur were great. Good 1 gem.

Jess 0 gems.

  • Acting: I couldn’t tell if you were in character, bro-ski. At a few points, even you didn’t know. Bad 0 gems.
  • Participation: You rose to very few occasions this game. In many situations that were almost tailored for your response, you chose silence, or to remain OOC. Bad 0 gems.
  • Depth: I feel I didn’t get to see much of Deren at all this game, let alone his depth.
    I understand the puzzle may have been a bit alienating for you, but it shouldn’t have been. I understand it was too long and drawn out, but there were many attempts afterwords to do things. I know things weren’t ideal this game, but I don’t get why you didn’t really try. Bad 0 gems.
    Sorry Jess. I don’t want to seem overly harsh. I’ll see what I can do to help you enjoy the game more and get more involved.

Miscellaneous:

  • You’re getting close to something. I hope you guys bring your foresight next game.
  • Next game should be Monday, if there are no complaints against.
  • The character tab has been updated with the new relevant NPCs. I’d recommend taking a glance.
  • In Blood Gulch a huge, insane green man rides warthogs all day and kills anyone he comes in contact with. He then does strange things to their bodies.
View
Session 12
A Ritual and Jelly

Date Played: July 18th, 2012 8pm-4am apx
In-World Date: Winter 19th – 20th, 998 (calendar now up)

A fun game. Though a few elements were frustrating and didn’t run as smoothly as intended.

Active Quests

  • The Researcher (complete): There was no sign of him anywhere, and you’ve done all you could with his data.
  • The Shaman/ The Tribes: Status unknown.
  • Finding the Source (complete): It is shut down.
  • A Strange Magic: Evidence is growing. Os believes he has physical evidence. If he’s correct, the implications are startling, to say the least. This is very powerful information.

Passive Quests

  • Barthas/Bubbling Hearth/Sons of Vaknama: No updates.

Summary: Written by Dave (be prepared guys, this is long)

The adventurers entered the cavernous room nervously. Having already conquered one deadly trap, they remained wary of what might lay ahead. The archway to the door spelt out in bold Vaknamese lettering, a warning about proceeding, but the party continued anyways, curious to the nature of the Vaknamese influence in such ancient and magical ruins.

A large stone door lay at their feet, as still and lifeless as stone typically is. Beyond the door was a statue, large, standing tall, and made of brass. Along the base of the statue was more of the out of place Vaknamese script. The Adrugan paper-mage Nikon stepped forward and began examining the statue, curious of it’s purpose, whilst the brave orc Ruka and Vaknamese captain, Deren, checked the walls along the room. A thin sheathe of dust trailed the walls, leaving marks where Deren brushed it. A thought occurred to him. It was strange how the walls remain coated with age and grime, yet the ground which they walked upon was smooth and clean, shining as if recently brushed and waxed marble.

As his companions went about, making important notations, the holy man Oswell, feeling a bit out of his depth and a tad useless, picked the nearest room to explore. He took no more than one step before he found himself face to face with a wall of translucent jelly. Before he was able to call out to his friends for assistance, the jelly coalesced around him. Oswell was submerged in a terrifying substance, one which began to quickly burn and eat away at his clothing and skin.

SCHLICK

Deren heard a strange noise and turned his head quickly. He counted his friends, Ruka and Nikon. That’s two. Where had Oswell gone? Deren called out, but no reply returned. Worry mounted in his mind and Deren placed his hand on his weapon’s hilt. It reassured him in a way that no soothing words ever could. Cold. Hard. Steel. Deren approached the doorway where he had last seen his buddy Os. The room was dark. The light that had shown from Oswell’s hand, the miracle he had cast in his God’s name, was nowhere to be seen. As Deren tentatively called out for his friend again, he saw it. A strange gelatinous creature. It loomed before him, strange and alien. Inside the beast was Os. A look of frozen horror etched onto his face. Deren tried to withdraw his mighty earthbreaker, but the creature came down upon him. A scream of horror left his mouth, but no sound was made.

Os and Deren, both swallowed up by a gelatinous blob, could only watch in paralyzed fear as their remaining friends battled the creature, destroying it and rescuing them from a slow and painful digestive death. The party debated how to travel onward, and settled on in line and in pairs, never one person going off on their own.

At their feet, the remains of the blob revealed a pile of metal scraps. Digging through the scraps, the party found various knick knacks; such as polished silverware and tools, but more importantly, some strange vials, which Nikon quickly confiscated, claiming they possess some important magical prominence. After filling their bags with new objects of desire, the group continued making their way through the strange and ancient dungeon.

Along the way, they excavated more rooms and fought more of the strange gelatinous creatures, meanwhile gathering more vials of the odd magical substances and other knick knacks.

The group found themselves in a new hallway. Deren leading them, and Oswell remaining tentatively behind, watching the party’s back while remaining cautious of the strange creatures and magical occurrences. As Deren rounded the corner of the hall, his foot sank in the ground, onto a pressure plate. Oswell remaining far enough back, managed to stop himself in time, but both Nikon and Ruka, traveling in between their companions felt the ground give way beneath them as they plummeted into a dark pit. Water began to rise swiftly, and Deren, panicked for his friends safety, began to hammer away with Oswell’s mace (due to an injure from fighting so many strange creatures) at the bars which kept their friends trapped beneath them.

Oswell, sure that he could find a switch to release their friends and save them from an impending death, began to ran down the halls, quickly ducking into rooms, trying to see if he could find any switches. Though he found no switches, he did manage to attract the attention of a new gelatinous monster. Running away from the creature, Os rushed to Deren’s side, and continued to help him bash away at the bars trapping their friends. Soon enough, the two managed to break open the bars, just as Nikon and Ruka found themselves submerged. Wasting no time, Nikon forced his way through the small opening and to safety. Ruka wasn’t so lucky. Struggling, she managed to impale herself on the jagged edges of the broken bars, blocking her exit. As she made a second attempt at escape, the gelatinous creature attacked her as it found it’s own way into the water. Ruka finally freed herself, although her injuries were grave.

The party made their way away from the trap, Oswell and Ruka both paralyzed from the gelatinous beast and being dragged by Nikon and Deren. They entered the last remaining room at the end of the hallway and found themselves at the crest of what they were searching for. As Oswell and Ruka came to, Deren and Nikon found themselves drawn to a large glowing apparatus in the center of the room. The strange device, which Nikon quickly deduced was the source of all of their problems, consisted of many small circles surrounding a much larger source circle. He wasted no time deciphering the magically potent apparatus.

A blinding light seared his eyes, causing him to curse and mumble under his breath. Nikon tried to rub the spots from his eyesight, but failed. As his vision cleared, he stared aghast at the strange apparatus. Magic oozed from it, viciously and painfully. The feeling made him sick to his stomach, but perhaps it was something more. He approached the device cautiously. More Vaknamese script. He had always considered to be a land of savages, void of magic, but this… this was strange. Even more strange than this vile and undecipherable magic. Did Vaknama have some magical prowess after all? Or was there something more going on here? His fingers traced the script again. Vaknamese…

As Nikon lost himself in the magical puzzle, the remaining party members were somewhat surprised. Even they noticed the Vaknamese writing. It had been all over this ancient dungeon, but now it was even surrounding the source of the magical ailment. Knowing it best to leave Nikon to concentrate in peace, the party began to explore the rest of the room. Deren found himself near a strange table with a map on it. Oswell joined him after realizing that his God’s divinity was almost completely diminished and that he was otherwise useless.

Deren’s hand reached down gingerly and wiped away a thick coating of dust. Not enough. He leaned down in front of the table and blew hard, his breath a wave of force, clearing the table of it’s age. As the dust settled away from it’s contents, Deren’s mind began to work. A map. An old map. He heard Oswell speak up. At least 200 years old. Maybe older. Much older, Deren thought. The map was of a battle in a war, an old war, one that he had never heard of. But… the map was strange. He recognized instantly the Vaknamese troops… but he also recognized signs for altitude surrounding the figures. Perhaps someone was playing around with the map, but if he was reading it correctly, and he was sure was, the map indicated that the Vaknamese troops were… were flying. Even more strange was the odds of the fight. A small number of Vaknamese troops were attacking a large number of other troops. A much larger number. Deren knew that if this maneuver, ignoring the altitude, was made today, the Vaknamese soldiers would be slaughtered in moments. He shot a confused glance over to Oswell. Oswell suggested that the figures being attacked by the Vaknamese were Ugovans, a race of humans popular in Vaknama myth, but there weren’t any recorded wars about Vaknama and Ugova. Ugova was known for it’s control of magic, and Vaknama had none. Deren wasn’t sure if he was buying Oswell’s suggestion, but then again, Oswell didn’t know how to read maps properly anyways. He returned his attention back to the map… he wasn’t sure why, but he had a feeling there was more to it than meets the eye…

Soon, Nikon found himself stumped. He couldn’t make anymore progress and was most assuredly stuck. He and Ruka both coughed, they knew for certain now that the illness that was ravaging the orcs, and that will soon affect Sarem, had now affected them as well. There wasn’t much time left. Oswell made his way over, but Nikon, unsure of Oswell and Deren’s ability to understand the complex puzzle, didn’t think it pertinent to share the little he had so far figured out. Oswell, impatient and worried about how much time before others and they themselves died from the magical sickness, decided to take action.

Enough of the arguing and speculation! The deaths of countless people; orc, human, dwarf, all of the people within Sarem! There was enough bickering and confusion! Enough indecision and disarray! Oswell fumed angrily. He was always the voice of reason, but it is impossible to be so when lives are at stake and people are too bigoted to open their mouths and share what they know. Oswell shouted at Nikon, demanding to know why the magical device was still on? Nikon pointed at a glowing circle, stammering out an excuse about it being broken, but Oswell didn’t pay heed. There was no time. Too much had passed and too little had been done. He stepped forward into the circle of light and was immediately blinded by a flash of light. He saw nothing for a moment. Did he do it? Did he stop the device? His eyes fluttered open and he found himself across the room. His friends gathered around him. He tried to speak to them, but they hushed him hurriedly and sat him up. Oswell stared at them in bewilderment. They look worried. He followed their gaze, drawing his eye to his left leg… or… well… where his left leg used to be.

Oswell patched his leg up. He was in a state of shock, but he had seen his share of serious injuries before, and despite his pain and upset nature, now was not the time to dwell on the injury. He had made a foolish mistake. Not only had he injured himself gravely, but the device was still churning out dark magic. Nikon turned his attention back to studying the device and the Vaknamese writing surrounding it. Deren began to search among a shelf with Ruka for any sort of information. After a brief search, and after Ruka’s and Nikon’s condition worsened considerably, the two found a book, which they believed might be related to the maintenance of the machine. They brought the new information to Nikon, who began to feverishly dismantle the apparatus. There was one problem. It required a live human to sacrifice themselves in order to finally shut it down. Oswell and Deren both tried to volunteer themselves, but after a bit of arguing, Ruka was already making her way to the circle that Nikon was gesturing towards. It was up to her to save her people and her family. There was no time to waste arguing over it.

Another flash of light and Ruka was gone. Oswell felt her presence dissipate. She had passed on. He informed the others, and they all turned their attention to the device. The lights began to power done, and then everything shone dull. Nikon announced that the magic was dying out, and that the machine was no longer active. They had done it, but at the cost of Ruka’s life.

As Nikon looked over the device and tried to make sure it could never work again, Deren and Os made their way into another room. They found a lever and a chest. Pulling the lever opened a hidden wall before them, towards the entrance to the dungeon. A quick escape. Opening the chest revealed a number of wands. Oswell recognized some vague arcane writings on 2 of the wands, but on one, he sensed something different. He knew this wand. It was a divine rod.. but there was something wrong with it. He channeled positive energy through his magic, but this… was different. It channeled something strange. Negative energy. It was strangely reminiscent of his own magic, but just being held in his hand, Oswell felt a tinge of disgust. He resolved himself to return to the wand to the priests of his order.

Nikon stared at the trap, dumbfounded. He read over the Vaknamese script, again and again. Ruka never came back through. Now as he looked over it, she shouldn’t have died. He glanced at the device’s engine, as it was winding down. Was she… still alive? Was Oswell wrong? Nikon decided to take a big risk. He turned the machine back on. Working the complex arcane controls of the devices, and ignoring the shouts of Oswell and Deren as they emerged from the other room, Nikon concentrated his energies on trying to find Ruka, and draw her from the energies. And just like that, she was back. Nikon shouted in relief and wasted no time shutting the machine back off. He had drawn Ruka back to the world of living.

With Ruka back, and the strange device finally shut down, the group had succeeded in their mission. Well… sort of. Ruke, though seemingly breathing, seemed vacant. Non-existent. Her eyes almost lifeless, dull. He movements staggered, and only really directed by the one who had brought her back from death. Unsure of how to heal her, the group agreed to try to find her help. Now that the threat was stopped though, it was time for them to return with the vegetable Ruka, back to her home. Back to her tribe.

As they made their way back, many questions surfaced their minds. Why was this strange device activated and who activated it to begin with? Why was such a magically potent device found within Vaknama’s territory, and why was so much magical script written in the magically vacant Vaknamese language? How old was this place, and what was up with that strange map that Deren had found? And, even more importantly, where had Ruka’s mind gone and was she lost forever?

Award Gem Critiques
I’m not so sure about critiques this time. Feel free to contest my opinions.

Dave: 2.5 gems.

  • Acting: You were still very much Os, though perhaps not as much as some other games. A solid portrayal. Good. 2/4 or 1 gem.
  • Depth: I’m not sure there were that many opportunities to show depth. When faced with the magic circle, Os’ previous fear of magic vanished suddenly. His trying to raise Deren’s spirits over Ruka was good, as was his concern for her. His attempt to sacrifice himself was noble also, and in accordance with his god perhaps, though I wonder if he worried for his family. Overall, good. 2/4 or 1 gem.
  • Participation: You were very on top of things, and certainly the most active for the majority of the game. Unfortunately, you appeared over-active and panicky when Os should have taken a calm, advisory role. Running up and down the halls looking for a release lever and continuously questioning Nikon as his life drained away didn’t quite make sense to me. Neither did suddenly thinking that stepping on things makes them better. Was something making you feel impatient? The good balanced with the bad makes adequate. 1/4, or .5 gems.

Sam: 1.5 gems

  • Acting: I didn’t see much attempt at Nikon’s accent that was prevalent in previous games. I could generally tell when you were in character, but it wasn’t very immersive. Adequate, 1/4 or .5 gems.
  • Depth: I feel like there were quite a few missed opportunities, considering all the mage-like things going on. Next to nothing was brought up on things that I thought would have Nikon quite excited. A good portion of this dungeon was designed with him in mind. Adequate, 1/4 or .5 gems.
  • Participation: You were active, particularly in the combating of the jellies and management of the secret doors. Not much attempt was made at story or RP related thing. Your character was mostly reactionary to those things. Adequate, 1/4 or .5 gems.

Jess: 1 gem

  • Acting: You didn’t try to portray Deren much at all. Though you did a passable job of keeping things in-character, most of the time. Adequate, 1/4 or .5 gems.
  • Depth: Deren made no effort to show any sort of character leading up to the ritual room. When he did finally arrive there, he half-heartedly told Ruka to wait. When pressed, he was shown not to really mean to sacrifice himself instead. It seemed that Deren cared for Ruka, and thought he had a better chance of surviving, but something still stopped him. I think that something may have been OOC inspired. But I can’t blame someone too much for self-preservation. Though his “I’ll follow” mode wasn’t adding much to the setting. Poor. 0/4.
  • Participation: You did step forward a bit more than last time. Still not incredibly a lot, but an imporvment. Adequate 1/4 or .5 gems.

Miscellaneous

This game was pretty bumpy. A significant amount of being OOC, among other problems, make this game a bit less than it could have been. I put a lot of planning into this place, and smoothed over all the encounters so they fit in well. Regardless, almost all of the fluff elements were ignored, and it seemed like some of the encounters were perceived as annoying obstacles instead of adventures. I made few errors in running this game and supplied plenty, I believe, but I don’t think there was a lot of immersion. At times it felt more like a video game with controllers than an PnP RPG. Despite this, there were good moments. I think we need to take measures to see that almost all interaction remains in character, and combat is ran as smoothly as possible by knowing what to do on your turn when it comes around and knowing exactly what you are doing.

  • Example: I’m casting spell X, the opponent must roll a reflex save of DC y. It’s 4d6 on a failure, or half on a success. I’m within range.
  • Example 2: I’m going to draw my hammer as a move action, dropping my axe, then take a 5 foot step to be within reach and swing with my +6 to hit, which gives me a 16, which is a hit, and my damage is 14.
    Both examples took under 10 seconds, and required no sheet or book checking when the turn was active.
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Session 13
The End

Date Played: August 2nd – 3rd, 2012. 6:30 pm to 11 pm. Also planning after until 1am.
In-World Date: Winter 20th, 998 (calendar)

The three heroes’ story comes to a close. Their actions have changed the fate of Vaknama, but for the better or worse, and how much?

You’re probably wondering how you faired overall. Here’s the significant impacts you had on the future of the setting. I’ll rate the impacts from minor to huge. Minor/Significant/Major/HUGE. I call them quests, but by no means did I intend for you to succeed at them all, or follow each one. I list only the ones you showed direct interest in or directly interacted with. “Success” is loosely defined by what the group wanted. The next group may hate the things Os Deren and Nikon did.

Completed Quests

  • Stopped the Leaking Ritual (Major): Ruined multiple peoples’ plans. Saved 90% of the remaining orcs. Ruka is happy, though she can’t show it.
  • Destroying the Ritual (Significant): Ruined Clyde’s plans and set him back very far.
  • Barthas Clan Rose to Surface (Major): A new player is on the field: a bunch of honor-hungry dwarves. A force to be reckoned with.
  • The Sons of Vaknama (Significant): With a competent leader, the disenfranchised of Sarem are directing their hate at Esbern and the council, not the dwarves and orcs. This also aids the Barthas clan. Who knows what the rebelling may lead to.
  • Oswell’s Duty (Minor): Oswell did what his church asked of him, and has very valuable information. Perhaps he can retire back to his family now.
  • Aiding Beauty and Theln (Minor): You made a NulSeran and his woman happy.

Failed Quests

  • Nikon’s Promotion / Deren’s Honor (Minor): They aren’t dead, but they are definitely disadvantaged. It’s unlikely when/if they do return to the normal world, their goals with be the same.
  • Meril, potentially a powerful ally, was wrongly accused and put to death. (Minor)

Missed Quests

  • Kill Clyde Faskeda (Huge)
  • Darius continues his survival competitions (Major)
  • The Assassin (Minor)

If I’m missing any, please say so.

Summary (By Jess)

Nikon opened the door, leaving the dungeon. With Oss slung around Deren’s shoulder and Nikon leading the mentally disabled Ruka. They all walked down the ramp to the grass. After bickering for 5 minutes about what they should do, they all decided to rest outside of the dungeon. Just before drifting asleep Deren had a epiphany. He remembered the stories his mother would tell him about the dark magic that used to lurk in the shadows of Vaknama. He thought this dungeon being so old that the ritual may have been powered by dark magic. Oss agreed that that was a possibility but they were just wives’ tales. Nikon wouldn’t wake up he seemed very held back about this topic. They all went back to sleep.

Deren woke up. He peeled his eyes open to see an orc, huddled over Ruka and checking her vitals. Deren decided to just act like he was still asleep and let everything work itself out. Deren was still tired though, so he accidentally yawned. The orc whipped around.

The orc approached Deren and introduced himself as cro, an orc from the northern tribe, ocean’s watch. He explained that they were having similar problems to VugDush and surrounding tribes, except they had stalled their “disease spreading machine”.

Deren walked over to checked Ruka’s vitals and was surprised to see she had no pulse and her eyes were fixated on nothing, Deren assumed the worse until Ruka moved her eyes towards him. Relieved Deren returned to his friends and his new acquaintance, cro. Cro introduced himself to Oss and Nikon. Nikon began going deep into study, Oss began praying for Rao’s gifts. Deren and cro consulted more about Cro’s tribe, cro exclaimed that the sickness wasn’t very far off and that he just came down here to see if we knew any information that could help his tribe. Os left his prayer and Nikon stopped studying. After bickering for another 5 minutes, Deren and Os decided to go in with Nikon, since they didn’t quite trust Cro yet. The journey to the secret passage wall went easy and smooth.

When Deren heard Os’ request, he thought he must surely be kidding. Then again, he didn’t know much about Os’ “gifts”, so he picked the overweight Oss up and hesitantly began grinding and pushing Oss against the stone wall. Deren felt terrible for doing this and also slightly enjoyable. Eventually Os sunk through the wall. In amazement Deren watched as the wall opened up. He walked into the crypt, unsure if he’d ever leave again.

In amazement cro said “how did you do that?!” Os explained that the switch opened up a passage in the wall. Enthusiastically cro began playing with the lever and broke the lever off. Os and Deren fruitlessly tried to fix it but it was jammed. They then left the small passage, into the room with multiple circles of the ritual. Nikon began to explain thei purposes to Cro.

Ruka sat in the corner of the room gazing at the center circle of the ritual. Os sat down next to the coat rack and began rummaging through the pockets and examining the fine material. Deren was searching the book shelf and found that there are hidden phials under the notch on the shelves. After a while of explaining, Cro told Os that he would have to see it activated to fully understand how to turn it off. Nikon told him that would be extremely dangerous and that they would need some Arcanum to jump start it, but the phials would do. So Cro began assisting Deren in finding phials on the book shelf.

Eventually Cro began insisting that he and Deren should go to other rooms to look for more phials, Deren agreed and they started venturing down the hall to the next room over which is humongous, Deren forgetting that he couldn’t see without the assistance of his magic friends. He ran back and got Os’s help by placing a gift from rao on his hand, illuminating the darkness.

Deren ran back to Cro, cro said “i think there may be one in there.” Deren was not intimidated as he walked in searching for any bookshelves, crates or large blobs.

All of the sudden everything was silent. No foot steps, no birds chirping, not even breathing. Deren whipped around to run but Cro put his finger up to his mouth and directed Deren to keep moving. Suddenly a large rock beast appeared in front of Deren. Deren turned around and signaled for Cro to sprint out the door but Cro just stood there. A large beast of pure gears and metal appeared behind Cro. Deren realized this was the same beast that struck the deal with Clyde Faskeda. Deren had a sudden moment of clarity, Cro wasn’t who he claimed to be. He didn’t accidentally break the lever. He wanted there to be no escape.

At the wave of a hand Cro made the man of gears disappear. Deren began to sprint for the door, but Cro and his stone man were not long behind. When Deren ran out to the hallway he found himself unable to beckon for help. The large stone behemoth hit Deren in the leg, crippling it and the bone was sticking out from his calf. Deren slipped into unconsciousness.

Nikon was tweaking with the fuel section of the ritual when he seen something moving in the hallway out of his peripheral vision. Assuming that it was just Deren and Cro coming back he said “How much could you find?”. They didn’t respond so Nikon turned and saw Deren getting dragged down the hall. He sprung up and said “Os! Deren’s in trouble!” Not feeling like wasting time, Nikon ran over and slung Os over his shoulder and shuffled quickly out into the hall. In the hall there was blood everywhere and some wreckage. Nikon shouted “Where is Deren?!” Cro exclaimed that Deren had been taken away by a blob. Nikon was still very skeptical, because blobs don’t leave blood or cause wreckage. It seems that Cro was holding something back.

Os slung himself around Cro’s shoulder so he could look down into the water-trap for Deren. To Os’ surprise Cro let go and Os plummeted into the water. Os slipped between the bars and fell deep into the trap. Nikon yelled at Cro, “What do you think you’re doing?!” Cro retorted in a voice completely unfamiliar and definitely not Orc “I have one of your friends drowning and the other bleeding out, if you want them saved then you must work on the ritual.” Nikon was baffled and said “who are you?” Cro responded “that’s not important, now work on the ritual.” Nikon didn’t hesitate, Cro had him under his thumb, he couldn’t do anything. He tossed crow a rope and walked back inside and began working on the machine.

Cro threw down a rope into the trap and after a seconds of Os being submerged. Os, after only minorly scraping himself as he was pulled out of the trap, said “What happened, mate? I thought you had a hold of me.” Cro went back to his Orcish tone and said “Oh sorry I dropped you, Nikon is inside working on the ritual.” “Okay I’ll just keep looking for Deren.” Os suggested.

Os began searching around for Deren or any clues of where he may be. He did a long, slow circuit around the room. At the end of his walk, he bumped into something on the ground he couldn’t see. He kneeled down and heard breathing. Os stuck his hand forward and felt something, like a person but there was no one there. Os suspiciously said “Deren, is that you?” Os then called forth the power of his deity to heal that which he couldn’t see.

Deren woke up. Os was standing next to him and the first words Deren spit out were “Cro is a traitor.” Os assumed he was delirious until Cro came over and wasn’t speaking in an average Orc’s accent. “Just calm down, if your friend works on the ritual fine we can all walk out of here like nothing happened.” Os was completely shocked and exclaimed “Why are you doing this?!” Cro explained that the ritual granted undending life, and as a secondary effect will heal any wounds a person recieves.

Deren tried to get up and pulverize Cro but he was too injured and Os wouldn’t let him. So they all walked back in the ritual room.

Ruka sat in the corner and idly watched as Cro forced Deren to get into the machine. Deren went through and came out completely healed, but completely gone mentally. Cro pointed at a wall, and Deren walked obediantly over and stood patiently.

Nikon, after threats of combat, went through and met the same fate as Deren.

When finally it was Os’ turn, he ripped out the wand they had found and aimed it at the machine and fired. Not much really happened, besides Cro’s amusement. Then Os crawled over to the ritual, while Cro was chuckling with pity. Ruka wished she could help but she was in the back of the carriage and someone else was driving. She had no control.
Os was lost in what to do. Too weak to fight Cro, and with no other other options at his disposal, he prepared himself to die. When Os reached directly outside the ritual, he was struck with an idea. He cast a spell, instantly melting into the stone beside the machine. As he sunk, he tossed his now stone backpack into the lines of the ritual, hoping that maybe he can use himself to at least destroy this vile machine. The major lines of the circles were severed with his actions.

The ground shook violently. A blinding light and fire erupted in all directions.

Pieces of the ritual and the temple itself were scattered miles around.

Os laid under a pile of what seemed to be rocks and waited to hear footsteps. Then there was a booming yell “Where the hells is he?! When I find him I will kill him!” OS decided it would be best to stay hidden for now. After laying under the rocks for a bit there was another voice, it was familiar and it said “Hello Is there anybody out there?”. Os assumed that it was just Cro trying to trick him again so he stayed where he was. After a bit he heard the sounds of spells being cast and then the galloping of horses. He decided it was safe to stand up. There was carnage all around him for as far as the eye could see. Bits of rock still raining down from the sky, he was no longer underground in the dungeon. He immediately began searching for his comerades. He found legs of a pale man and an arm of a Vacnamese man. More searching only revealed a gray-green orc hand. He had killed his friends, in destroying the machine, but in doing so, perhaps have saved them from a far worse fate.

Os decided there was nothing more to do here and thought out his escape plan. he was going to return to the The Bubbling Hearth, spend the adamantium to get his leg back and help retrieve Aaron’s, but most importantly warn his church of the possible storm of dark magic that is spreading. Finally, he’d go home to his family and tell them about his adventure with his friends Deren, Nikon and Teal’K. Os turned his back on the ruins, unsure of what the future would hold, but determined to not let his friend’s deaths be in vain.*

Somewhere, not far away, a man rode on a horse. His disguise of orc skin fading away. Beside him rode the remains of an Adrugan wizard, Vaknamese warrior, and an Orc survivor. Though their bodies were mangled and missing various pieces, their eyes were alive, and somewhere, deep inside their heads, they screamed.

Award Gem Critiques

I think everyone did really good this game. Everyone beat their average scores too!

Jess (2.5 gems)

  • Acting: Thank you for making effort to remain in character. I could usually tell when you were IC, I think it was because you had a minor gruff inflection in your voice. Also when Deren was injured and felt betrayed I think I heard real emotion. Your miming when in the silent area was also nice, though I’m not sure if you were just being silly, as you too often are. I’ll give it to ya. Good 2/4. One gem.
  • Depth: Deren was aggressive to Crow, despite being woefully injured, but he wasn’t dumb enough to attack without Os. On the other hand, he made no attempt to leave the circle when placed into it. Was this surrender? I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here, considering you are showing much more depth than you have the past few games. Good. 2/4. A gem.
  • Participation: You were more active this game at certain parts. At other parts, someone literally had to yell your name to pull you from texting. Adequate 1/4. Half of a gem.

Sam (3 gems)

  • Acting: The accent returns, or at least it did 15 minutes into the game. Good. 2/4. A gem.
  • Depth: Nikon showed a bit of grit, but decided to lay down and be a slave to Crow instead of stand up and fight. This performance seemed quite similar to Deren’s. Good. 2/4. A gem.
  • Participation: Nikon was definitely leading things this game, or at least was leading where Crow pointed. He sought the opinions of his friends too, and in a reasonable time. Good 2/4. A gem.

Dave (4.5 gems) (Fixed, thanks Sam)

  • Acting: A well defined voice and emotional spectrum. Os is a real boy, all right. Also you played ignorant of Crow’s intentions so well. Great. 3/4. One and a half gems.
  • Depth: Os was the one person not to buckle under Crow’s orders. He sooner would die than allow this man to spread his dark magic. Fortunately, he survived his noble self sacrifice. Amazing. 4/4. 2 gems.
  • Participation: Oswell did everything I thought he should have, and more. Though you has an instance or three or bringing things up OOC that are potentially damaging to IC. You did catch yourself once. Hah! Good with the bad, I’d say. . . Good 2/4. A gem.

Miscellaneous

New characters are in the works, as is a section of the story arc. Every time there is a TPK, I think I will progress the story one season, so the new date will be Spring 20th. Please text me any ideas you have about characters. I’m trying to work out a way everyone can get what they want and the story still be coherent. What I’m trying to untangle right now is. . .
Jess wants to play a paladin stationed in Sarem, holy quest type.
Dave wants to play a rogue running from his homeland, and searching for answers for his studies.
Sam wants to play a cleric. Though I’m not sure if dwarf, Vak or Nul. Also not sure if he would worship a chaos deity like Ralishaz or a more traditional deity like Moradin.
Linking these three may be a challenge.
The sooner we do, the sooner I can get a story arc planned.

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