Tempest Rising

Don't know much about history
or how Celeste got crabs

Naviga2.jpgFollowing the advice of their patron, our heroes went off in search of ‘Nana’ Derilaine to find out more about the Omaro family heirlooms they discovered.

On their way toward her shop, they were stopped on the edge of the high market by a procession of Aerinorn nobles, led by the worldwyrm banner of the crown prince. Choosing to wait it out, they watched as the group passed by. The procession was ended by the entourage of Bucas the Benighted, the tall, fully-veiled Valessan advisor (and creditor) to the young prince.

When they reached Nana’s normally quiet shop, they were surprised to see a frenzy of activity, with Nana presiding over a swarm of scribes preparing patents and proofs for the local nobility. Following a young page into the shop, they got the attention of its matronly proprietor.

When sage questioned their presence, Celeste mentioned the their findings and that got her attention. She directed them to a loft in the back of her shop for closer scrutiny.

Away for the hubbub, she told them that very few items from Omaro estate had appeared in town for a generation. The destruction by flooding was nearly complete, and few items from the family have been found abroad since them. As she pulled out reference material on the family, she noted a small portrait of Lady Synelle Omaro bore a striking resemblance to Celeste herself. And after explaining that some heraldic items have greater power to members (or sworn followers) of a family, they tested the shield on Celeste. A good feeling passed through the party when she bore it, and that feeling was not shared by Nana.

She told them that the only remaining member of the family in the region is Ardent Meliwass Omaro for the church of Aerin, but that few truly believed the claim. The keys to the estate, and the rights to the land, have not been claimed since the disaster of 60 years ago. But if items are coming to light, perhaps there are things afoot at Bar Amaro.

In the end, she purchased their family items outright, and the group left with substantially heavier purses. Saerin went to see the elven leatherworker Delduin Arithel, who deals with local fletchers, and purchased a compound bow from her. The others went back to see Ebn and Kallius purchased a couple spells from him.

omaro-shield.jpgCeleste showed the shield to him, which had no effect, and asked about the newcomer Bucas. He explained that his countryman believes in the ‘old faith’ of his people, and that is power it connected to the roots of the world. He added that he was going to do everything in his power to steer clear of the Valessan.

A the end of the day they retired to the Three Keys Inn for dinner, drinks and a good scrubbing. Patr gave them all the hospitality he could, and several part members joined his family sleeping in the loft above the stables. Celeste returned to her shrine and Dremahl slept in the workshop above the shrine to Nox.

The next morning they were called to the Oxenhold. Baron Eryse held court, with many newcomers (including Bucas) nearby the proceedings. After hearing their tale, and checking it against the testimony of Patr and two animal messengers sent from Bar Acero, Eryse cleared them of any culpability and sent a message to the Acero family in Cyr Regus (if they lived) that the party had dispatched a bandit group that had invaded their land.

Making a quick exit from that scene, they returned to the village. They decided that they were going to explore Bar Omaro. Their plan is to bring small river boats on a fishing vessel and travel upriver to the flooded estate. Celeste and Saerin went down to the dockside to find a ship to carry them, while Kallius works to copy the new spells into his spell book.

Meanwhile, Phaed is nowhere to be seen.

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Knight's Errands
Or Wheelin' and Dealin'

659972-bigthumbnail.jpg With their enemies defeated, our heroes took stock of their situation. They disarmed their three prisoners and took a quick inventory of the material they had retrieved from the bandits. Lord Patch was carrying a number of magical potions and was wearing an enchanted chain shirt under his motley. Most of the other items recovered were obviously from the Acero household, and the group decided it was the wisest course to return the bulk of it.

They turned the boat around and poled it — along with the floating circus wagon — back to Bar Acero. This process was slowed by large cat that had taken a fondness to the cart, and seemed reluctant to share. After kind words failed, Boomah tossed several small chunks of bear flesh toward the rear of the cart until the creature allowed the goblin to share the ride.

They made it back to the plantation by mid-afternoon. The gatehouse and most of the other buildings had been burned to the ground, and the fields beyond were blazing. The group decided to unload the cargo and leave it under a canvas near the docks.

They went to the well to get water to put out small remaining fires, and noted a crumpled shape at its bottom. Celest lowered down into the shaft and found an unconscious young woman have submerged in the murky water. She addressed the young maid’s major injuries and brought her back up.

Seeing her atop the well, Boomah shouted “pretty lady!!”, as he recognized her from his earlier visit to the bandit camp. When she awoke she was stunned to discover the goblin and slowly it dawned on her that she had been rescued. Her next concern was the safety Patr ren Acero and then any other members of the household.

Meanwhile, Saerin had taken up a post near the broken gate awaiting the Aerinorn noble party. It was not long after before two banner men came to a halt before him. He hailed them, and told the what had befallen the household. One returned to the main party to gather their leaders. Burke Bellik (nephew of Wytchport lord Eryse Bellikan) and a large shaven-headed warrior named Torvil Garra who acted like he was born in charge.

Once appraised of this situation, they rode down to the estate to ‘get to the bottom of this’. The groups were quickly separated and a contingent of nobleman (including a local Aerin priest named Borrt that Celest had dealt with before) interrogated them. Satisfied, and noting the returned valuables on the dock, they allowed the group to leave, but demanded they report to the Oxenhold for final judgement.

They traded some of the rescued rum for two weary donkeys, and made tracks back to town.

Two days of travel brought them back to Wytchport. Celest checked in with Telline and Boomah went to see Ebn. Their first stop was at the Three Keys Inn, to tell Patr that they had defeated the bard and left the estate in Aerinorn hands. He was very pleased, and when Celest passed him a token from the maid Anala, he was even more pleased — passing them a sizable garnet in gratitude. Then they f]]ocused on the important tasks of selling their loot and equipping themselves for the future.

Dremahl led a group to Brann Hall, where they exchanged their captured weapons and a few gemstones for items that better suited their purpose. Brann himself handled the weapons dealing, and parted with a few fine weapons for out heroes.

When they asked Ebn where best to sell some of the strange, old noble trapping they had recovered from the ettercaps in the dragon skull, he suggested local historian ‘Nana’ Bethel Darilaine. The group decided that she would their next appointment.

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Smokin' the Bear
or Rock the boat, baby

bear.jpg At first light our heroes struck out toward shore. Boomer asked Mina to summon a dolphin to give him a lift to shore, as the boat could not get closer than a 50 feet from the marshy coast. The Acero trio was going to drop off Kunola near the Aerinorn group before returning to Wytchport.

Soon after they made landfall, they noticed a thick line of smoke coming up from the direction of the Acero estate. They worried that this meant that the bandits had destroyed the place, but move on undeterred.

After an hour, they spotted two objects moving together up the estuary. Saerin scouted out a decent spot for an ambush and they lied in wait. As they approached, our heroes could make out a long boat and what looked to be a circus cart poling through the shallow water. Both vessels were overloaded with furniture and other large cargo.

Moving within range of attack, the group was startled by the growl of what could only be a bear from down the path. Boomer rushed off after, followed by Phaed, while the others moved in on the boats. Luix charged the lead boat with Saerin and Kallius supporting with missile fire. Celest summoned a dolphin and sent it against the floating cart, ramming the clumsy vessel and forcing those upon to drop their crossbows and hold on.

Boomer and Phaed were hiding in the marsh when the bear — along with a couple bandit and Lord Patch — charged and stumbled right on them. The sorceress ran for cover and sent rays of enfeeblement at the bear. Too close to escape, the goblin smashed boms against the raging creatures hide, setting both himself and his enemies ablaze.

Luix had gotten aboard the long boat and was cutting his way through its crewmen, and Dremahl had climbed up on his heels. Some of those from the cart had jumped off and moved toward the shore, but were intercepted by Kallius and a rain of arrows from Saerin.

Rolling in the muddy road to put out the fire, the bandit leader in gaudy motley vanished from site. He reappeared the next round behind the goblin, stabbing him deeply. Celest had moved up to the fray and channeled Methys’ grace to keep her allies in the fight.

One by one the bandits on the boats were being chopped down. One final bomb from Boomer stopped the bear from tearing through the party, allowing them to focus their attacks on the bard. Saerin dropped his bow and charged the enemy, bringing his greataxe down on the former freedom-fighter. After spells, bombs and flames, the man t=could not withstand the hit and dropped lifeless to the mud.

Celest called out to the three remaining bandits to surrender, and they immediately did so — tossing their weapons into the shallow water.

The group went into action gathering up the bodies and securing the two craft for a return trip to Bar Acero.

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From furry bedfellows to feathered boats
or Fun in the Fog

crypt-rats.png Evening settled on the ruined ferry station and our heroes set about making camp. The night came in hot and damp, with mists swirling about the marshy coast.

Late during the second watch, Boomer noted that the mists were thickening inside the building. He went to the others on guard, and Dremahl heard the sounds of footsteps in the marsh outside. Before the could react, the floors and walls of burned-out building started bubbling forth rats from every crevice.

Kallius, Phaed, and Saerin were caught off guard by the sudden onslaught and were overwhelmed by the beasts. Those that were close began to bash away at the swarming critters, and soon they were scattering back into the night.

Our heroes looked around for the source of these obviously magical attacks, and Kallius noted more unnatural mists down the shoreine. He moved toward them, and Saerin followed on the shore side. As the approached the strange fog, suddenly a ship appeared from out of nowhere.

51N9nWWahsL._SX300_.jpgThey closed through the fog, and tried to hail the figures on-board. They were rebuffed by the mysterious trio, and Kallius went back to gather the others while Saerin continued trying to get them to stop. A human woman seemed to be filling the sails by magical power, and two others menaced them with crossbows from behind the wales.

Meanwhile, Boomer had skirted around the fog and had decided to swim out toward the slow-moving vessel.

When Celest arrive she hailed the strangers in the name of Methys, and asked for help to defeat the bandits upstream. This slowed the vessel, and soon she had convinced them to stop. When told that they had fought those who held the manor, they asked if anyone was still alive. Boomer popped over the rail and said there was a pretty lady. After a brief shock, they hauled him aboard. Soon the entire party was on the swan-shaped ship.

The trio on board was Patr ren Acero (gatekeeper of the estate), his wife Mina and their cook Barlo. They had beach and his men into the estate under the guise of a traveling comedy troupe, and then the group turned on them. They beseeched the party to return to the estate and take down the bandits.

The group agreed, and they set to planning. They decided to land on the far side of the estate and try to sneak in from the landward side. They tried to rest in advance of a busy day tomorrow.

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Cut and Run
or the Better Part of Valor

MP-index.jpgBoomer had led a charge into the cane field and taken down one of the enemies, with Kallius close at his heels. The elf had also taken down a bandit with a color spray leaving only four visible enemies. Luix was moving in on the other flank and was closing fast.

The foemen dropped their crossbows, and swarmed around the party. Boomer and Kallius the larger group, and the goblin lit up the the area by tossing off a bomb and setting one of the bandits ablaze. Luix pounded on a lone enemy. The others moved up to engage, firing missiles as they closed.

PZO1107-OrcRaid.jpgIn the heat of combat, Kallius did not a shadowy figure approach from behind and soon found a blade buried deep in his back. Surrounded, he soon was taken down.

Celeste, Dremahl and Phaed had gotten closer and were able to add their spells to the fray. Both the elf and the goblin were overcome by enemies, but were quickly channeled back among the living. One by one the enemies fell, until the half-orc lisutenent had only one ally in the field.

Living the man alone, he tried to flee into the darkness — only to be followed by the fleet-footed, torch-wielding alchemist. Saerin and Kallius fired their bows and sent him tumbling dead into the cane.

The last bandit was overwhelmed by enemies and dropped by a well-placed dagger throne by Phaed.

As the group moved to heal their friends and search the fallen enemies, Kunola appeared from the shadows and said that more bandits were coming, and that they seemed to be led by a bear. They started to hear drum beats increasing in the distance, and quickly fled into the nearby bog.

When Kallius questioned leaving the woman that Boomer saw tied up in the tent, the goblin responded, “She’s dead. So sad.”

While they slogged into the marsh, they could hear a loud voice calling out to them to discuss the situation. They chose not to take the bait and pressed on into the wild.

With the sound of drums dogging their steps, the continues to follow the marshy coastline throughout the day. When Boomer went to scout out the inlet, he saw a longboat and four men searching the shore.

So they stayed hidden until late in the afternoon when they came upon the burned out Acero ferry house. They watched for a few minutes and saw nothing, so they quickly approached the ruined building. With Saerin and Kallius perched on the scorched roof beams, Boomer set about replacing his alchemical compounds. Whiel eh was doing this, Saerin spotted circling seagulls four miles down the coast. He assumed that his might indicate where the Aerinorn traveling group currently was.

Since no danger presented itself. The group decided to stay put and rest, not willing to face the nighttime dangers of the marsh bloodied and unprepared.

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Breakfast Interruptus

Boomer had gone down to see about ‘breakfast’, and the rest of our heroes were slowly moving toward breaking camp. To no one’s great surprise, there reverie was shaken by sounds of flames and screams from down the road.

They turned their attention to the two bandits that were set to watch over them, Saerin firing his bow and Luix crushing the other with his mighty flail. Dremahl moved down the road toward the sounds of chaos. Celeste and Phaed followed in his wake. The others moved to the sides of the road, creeping forward in the shadows.

Meanwhile, Boomer skipped along the edge of the bog toward his comrades. When he reached the road, he saw a group of bandits moving toward him. He scurried up a tree, dropping a vial of acid down when they got in range. They closed on him, and the groups collided on the side of the road.

Battle was joined, and the bandits were quickly outclassed. However, a line of additional enemies were spotted in the field to their left firing crossbows in the early morning light. Boomer again charged, using his swift movement to close the gap.

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Breaking Camp
or Rise and (moon) Shine

RAV_wartorch-goblin_87971.jpg After returning from their scouting, Boomer and Kunola shared what they saw. The ranger did not approve, but our heroes decided to approach the strangers under a flag of truce.

As they approached the gathering, they were accosted by three men from out of the brush — leveling crossbows at them. They demanded the group disarm and lie down on the road. By and large, the group did as they were told but the nervous warriors kept a distance and sent one of their number back to camp.

Soon after Dremahl and Kallius could see shadowy figures spreading out into the woods, but could determine exact where they were. After a few minutes, a quartet of strangers came up the road to meet them.

This group seemed to be led by a short, broad black-blooded man. He demanded to know why the group was here and what they wanted. Celeste explained that they were from Wytcvhport and in the wilds on ‘church business’. She added that a large group of old world Aerinorns had landed in the city and were foliowing not a day or two behind. He asked how they felt about the outlanders and she responded. "we’re out here, right.” This seem to calm him.

He offered to let them use the salve barracks for the evening, if they could come to terms. They suggested a trade with the military saddle reclaimed from the ettercaps, and he agreed. He added that his boss was engaged in a ‘sensitive’ business matter this evening, and they should not get curious.

The group returned to the barracks and made camp outside the low buildings. They found a disassembled guard tower, and when they tried to rise it they were yelled at to stop. So they did. From a rooftop, Boomer could see lights on the water coming toward the group, but could not make anything else out. So they rested.

In the pre-dawn haze, the goblin decided to do a little scouting. He found two guards around the barracks asleep, and left them be. He moved down to the complex, which showed signs of very recent vandalism. He avoided the attention of the few men that were standing about and went to one of three tents around the remains of the bonfire.

He peered in and found a handful of people sleeping on pallets, and human woman bound and beaten. He moved to the next tent, and when he opened the flap he was faced by the naked cheeks of a man pulling up his pants. Surprised, the man turned and the goblin tossed a bomb over his shoulder and set the inside ablaze.

Boomer ran, followed by the half-dressed bandit. Three of the folks outside were distracted by the spreading flames and did not notice the goblin scurrying through their camp. One did, and fired a crossbow bolt into him as he fled.

Empowered by his infusion, the little alchemist outpaced his pursuer and made for the tree line. Unfortunately, he came upon a drunken bandit returning a morning constitutional. The unarmed man quickly gained his wits, and tackled him.

Boomer smashed a bomb across his foe’s back, dousing them both in flames. The man screamed and slumped, while Boomer’s oft-scorched hide shook off the burns. He moved into the trees while shouts rose up from the now-wakened camp.

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Smoke and the Bandits
or a Furniture Fire Sale

14018782537228.jpgAfter discussing options, the group decided to split up and return to the Shadow Claws with the warning, and direct them back to Stormseeker. They brought the Aerinorn ranger with them. and were soon back at the marshy hiding place of the goblins.

Kunola kept busy sketching the goblin camp and their snake traps, and Boomer warned him not to steal the souls of his people with words.

It took some doing, but Boomer convinced Rokkemuk to return with them to the dragon skull. On the way back they found a strange cloth hanging in a tree, but no one could reach the spot to retrieve it.

Once reunited, the goblins rewarded out heroes and gave them leave to go. They gathered up their wounded comrades and made their way to the Acero family outpost. Crossing a river on a rickety bridge stalled them awhile, but by evening they had found the gate to Bar Acero.

The entry was in disrepair and the gate broken, so the party made a quiet approach. They first came upon a trio of goblin-sized slave barracks. There were signs of a struggle within, and the turniture had been stripped from the buildings

Farther in, they saw a large bonfire burning and a group of people gathered around. Kunola and Boomer crept closer and saw that it was a mix of human-size and smaller creatures, throwing furniture on the blaze and carousing.

Fearing discovery, they moved back to the group to discuss actions.

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Head games
or Goblins in my Noggin

blinkbox-dragon-skull-4_2_.jpgWe joined out heroes in mid-battle. Luix was locked in melee with a man-shaped spider and Phaed was being swarmed by thousands of smaller arachnids. She ran to escape their bites, and Boomer followed with a bomb — setting them aflame.

The strange horse form the pit was dragging Celeste toward a strange mist that was flowing from the largest bare rock. Luix crushed the large creature with his mighty flail and joined the group as they moved toward the mist. Arcane power shot out from within, and Phaed was knocked unconscious. Saerin and Kallius were monetarily shaken, but their elven immunities stopped the sleep spell from taking hold.

The group continued forward, led by the horse, and the sounds of fighting broke out in the mist. Boomer charged and found the horse locked in a fight with tow large spiders. Saerin and Luix were again attacked by webs from unseen creatures in the mist. Luix ducked by Saerin was trapped in place.

It took Celeste to free the ranger while the others continued moving forward. Another ettercap fell to their blades, and Boomer followed the eager horse up the rock into a small indentation. They found another strange spider-creature within, and attacked. Seeing itself outnumbered, the creature fled through a small opening in the rear of the cave. Boomer quickly slid after it.

Celeste followed, as did Saerin. Kallius stayed above to keep watch, while Luix and Phaed found an opening on the far side of the rock and slid down to join them.

In a long, low cave deep in the rock, they faced a large ettercap draped in bones, shiny objects and other totem items. Boomer lobbed his last bomb and set it ablaze, along with some of the adjacent webs.

In the spreading fire, they could see four large cocoons along the wall and some kind of alter stones at the far end. The spider shaman could not stand long against the combine efforts of our heroes, and was soon felled while Celeste moved to put out the fire.

Once the danger had passed, Phaed moved up to check out the alter stones. Unfortunataly, she overlooked a panel in the floor and was pierced by a spear that shot out from the wall.

Celeste started cutting on the cocoons to see what was within. She found two humans and two goblins — including one presumed to be the ‘beautiful bride’ Stormseeker. Casting a healing aura, all but one human regained consciousness.

Stormseeker briefly acknowledged them before swooning before the power of the ‘great lizard’ — rolling on the floor and hugging the stalagmites that ringed the end of the chamber. It was then that the group realized that they were in the mouth of a gigantic skull. Stormseeker claimed that its presence was still there, and when Kallius opened himself to it he nearly became physically ill.

The human turned out to be Kunola ren Vulpi, the game-keeper of one the outland lords. He was sent to trail-blaze for the hunting party, and his mount got caught in the ettercaps’ pitfall trap. He suggested the group rest and heal at the compound of the Acero family before returning to Wytchport.

The other human was a priest of Nox named Dremahl, who was ambushed by the spiders while traveling up-river on a missionary trip. He was very weak from poison, and could not answer much.

The group sent the last goblin off to tell Rokkemuk that his bride was found, but refused to leave her mighty lizard. Reconsidering, they decided it might be best if they went themselves. So they gathered up what they recovered from the spider’s cache — including potions, a divine scroll, a heavily decorated military saddle and an enchanted shield with the Omaro family crest — and moved off toward the goblins’ hiding place.

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Horseshoe Pit
And other sticky situations

ettercap_by_Geistig.jpgAfter agreeing to Rokkemuk’s terms, our heroes set out in search of the goblin chief’s beautiful bride. They found sign of the goblins’ passing fairly soon after returning to the road, and noted also that it seems liked the rider was following the same line. However, they were unable to determine who had passed first.

As the day went on it got cloudier and began to rain, obscuring the marsh in mists. That did not stop them from noticing an increase in webs hanging from the low brush. As they moved more cautiously, Celeste heard the sound of a creature in pain to the land-ward side of the road.

They followed a path toward the noise, and were rewarded by signs of the goblins on the trail. Just out of sight of the road they noted water swirling in the marshy ground, as if slowly draining off. Saerin cut a branch and poked at the area, pushing on some kind of cover and revealing a pit. Inside, a horse reared up and began thrashing in pain as the water drained down on it.

Saerin tried to approach the angry beast, but its violent response made him pull back. Slowly, After channeling her divine power to heal and soothe the animal, Celeste slowly approached the pit. The horse looked cagey and aggressive, bu took the apple that she toss into to the pit. Slowly it tired and eventually lied down. She slid into the pit, and splinted its broken leg. And healed its remaining wounds. After that it was much more receptive to her.

Firefighters-Rescue-Horse-Stuck-in-Natural-Sink-Hole.jpgAfter that, the party dug out the pit and lay down logs to help the creature out. Once freed, it started pulling down the trail away from the road. They followed its lead at as slow a pace as it would allow, and moved deeper into the marsh.

They came upon an area with large bare rocks breaking up the brushy swamp. The horse let out a fierce cry and tried to pull them faster. But as they came close to the largest of the bar rocks, a string of webs shot out from a tree at Luix, and he just barely tumbled free.

The group scattered for cover, and Saerin was stuck by another strew am of webbing from the brush. Another spider-like creature appeared behind a rocky outcropping, and a swarm of tiny spiders bubbled out of the brush at the group.Arrows and magic bolts were launched toward the enemy but none fell.

Saerin — stuck in webs — was covered in spiders and could feel their poison course through him. Boomer tossed a bomb at the mass to ’save’ him, burning the spiders, the webs and the ranger. Luix had worked his way around the rock and managed to bring his flail down on the strange spidery humanoid, crushing it.

Another swarm came surgin out of the far brush and overwhelmed Phaed, who managed to shake off the poisonous bites. Immune to her magic, she waved a torch to keep the creatures at bay.

As our heroes looked to press the fight to the remaining creature, a strange mist began to spread out from the opening at the top of the bare rock, boding ill for the immediate future.

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