The Jade Regent

Another town, another bbq party
Johnny gets on his soap box

jade_regent_art_2.jpg

Another day, another village in search of Jiro the Hero and his band of Ronin. For the past several days the group had traveled south out of the forest and into the outskirts of Northern Minkai. The caravan stopped at hamlets, village, and towns. Like much of his life, he felt his current predicament a matter determined by the hand of fate, and his resolute belief in choice regarding how he would alter that course. The strong salt water air blasted him in the face, blowing his beard to the side as he moved through a throng of people surrounding the caravan. More had come to this town, they were making progress in their search and in their message. The sun hung low, hazy through a thick and gritty cloud of dust swept up from the town’s dirt road. He made his way up the steps of a small and awkward stage where local merchants or the town crier made use for weekly announcements. He sighs heavily, wondering if these people simply show up to listen, and then go back to the predictable and safety of anonymity in a country on the verge of a major transition. He craned his neck up looking back over the hundred or so people in attendance, mostly farmers, serfs, peasants… these people are not going to rise up. They already appear defeated. He could see the sense of loss in their eyes, the apathy and indifference showing from their body language and posture… but he and his friends had come so far. He would not turn away. He allowed the moment of weakness to pass over him, took a deep breath, and walked across the make shift stage to address the people.

My name is Sir Jonathan Winchester. Avenger in the service of Torm the almighty. Purple Dragon Knight to the shining city on a hill known as Suzail, in the Greatest Country of the West, Cormyr. Wielder of the angelic blade Merikel. And Sion to the house of Kaijitsu.

::The dwarf bends down and picks of a flag depicting a purple dragon over a field of silver::

AND THESE COLORS DON’T RUN.

::The dwarf takes a long moment as he slowly looks out at the crowd, a low murmur passed over it, with expressions ranging from genuine interest to total confusion::

We stand in the shadow of greater might. As the Jade Regent’s empire casts across the lives of every man, every woman, and every young-in; condemning ya’ll to a darkness of indentured servitude and ignorance. He elevates himself while ya’ll are forced to toil and suffer while any real alternative is kept from your knowing…such as the rightful heir Ameiko Kaijitsu. I know this man uses dishonorable tactics and sends others to kill for him, a cowards choice, while he sits upon a throne of gold. I know men such as these my entire adult life… those who seek to place a boot upon the throat of liberty, and I know that they will fall to the war cry of freedom!!

::The crowd begins to move about. Building momentum he raises his voice, continuing in his foreign southern cormyrian accent, using the language of the east via a magic spell.::

Oh, hell yeah!! It doesn’t matter what the Imperial Herald says, uh-uh, and it don’t matter none what the nobles have to say, or if all of Menkai decides that something wrong is something right. I hail from a nation that believes you stand up for what you believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. I believe you should have that same option. The Jade Regent intends to assume the throne permanently. Whether he feigns ignorance or outright ignores Ameiko’s claim for his own intentions a lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.

::The crowd erupts into moderate cheers and raised hands. The dwarf bounces on his heel’s briskly and moves from one side of the stage to the center and draws his sword from over his shoulder, a sound of broken glass mixed with a high pitched chime booms forth, simultaneously erupting into a bright white hot light emanating from the blade, casting a glow over the crowd::

When Lords, Samurai, and the Jade Regent himself tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole Empire… “No. You Move.”.

::Cheers and applause. He makes his way off strange and shakes hands with several people near the road were several members of the caravan are cooking, playing music instruments, and speaking with the locals::

All right, all right, all right!! Now let’s eat… (Points over to caravan) I want ya’ll to try some back home BBQ. Dinner is on us…My Brother makes a mean set of ribs, the sauce will knock you on yer ass. You had sweet tea? Not like how I make it now. Come on now! (Pronounced cum own)

we got enough for everyone.

::takes a long pause::

Uhh, nobody here any Ninja’s are ye? ::crickets:: Good. Lets eat!!bbq.jpg

View
The Hungry Storm: Across the Crown of the World
...or: The Caravaner's Guide to Off-Season Arctic Travel

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu/Amatatsu Ameiko – Human Aristocrat
Sandru “Whiskey” Vhiski – Human Caravan Master
Jack Burton – Human (Half-elf?) Caravan Master
Mogmurch – Goblin Rogue/Alchemist

These sessions took place over a course of seven months; from 15 Leaf-fall (October 15th) to 17 Melting (May 17th). In this time, the Wayward Sons and their caravan trekked from Kalsgard by way of the Cold Road to the Ice Rim Mountains. From there, they began their journey over the Crown of the World.

Across the Ice Rim Mountains, they experienced trouble from the hardy terrain; broken axles, landslides, and a creeping rot in their food stores. After 18 days in the pass, they made it to the Giant Downs of Urjuk. A voice in the wind warned them not to trespass, but the Sons pressed on. When the frost giant guardians of the Downs came upon them, they negotiated at first, but the prickly giants were not satisfied with the Sons offer for safe passage. The Sons prevailed, finding a map of the High Ice on the body of the giant’s leader.

After traveling on further, the skies darkened preternaturally, winds intensified, and soon a morozko (called a “hungry storm”) descended on the Sons caravan! They were driven east, toward the refuge of the Rimethirst Range. The Sons pressed their caravan at a grueling pace, enduring 32 hours of the storm’s fury! Once they were clear and the storm passed, the Sons took a day to rest and recover.

They pressed on further, to a place called Gaarjuk. From the mountains, a band of Ice Trolls had stalked them. Once they saw their opportunity, the trolls attacked, pressing the Sons near to their limits again. After the grueling battle with the Trolls, the Sons moved into a forest, for the village of Rimakak. They were running short of food, and needed to resupply.

When they arrived, they found the village all but deserted. A Qallupilluk, a strange fish-woman witch, lived in the village with her children. Johnny negotiated with her for fishing rights. Once a suitable offering of treasure was made, the Sons were free to salvage and fish enough to press on.

Out of the forest, they moved into more mountainous terrain. It was here that the caravan suffered another setback: An avalanche! The devastation from the snow-slide killed Vankor (Whiskey’s driver) and all of Jack’s men. Morokei, the blacksmith/enchanter was nearly killed, though Ashik saved him. As the Sons were gaining their feet, they were attacked by the creature which had caused the slide: an arctic chimera!

Despite being on their back-foot, they managed to bring down the creature and save what remained of their caravan. They dug out what they could, and rebuilt one wagon they lost from the pieces they could find. They set off again, with their spirits definitely muted. They were forced to more strictly ration their food, although Warlug was able to hunt for some food. He also managed to capture and break some reindeer to pull their remaining wagons.

They pressed on and found a small tribe: the Silver Martens. The tribesmen were willing to share food with them (though were not-specific as to it’s origins) that the party was all-too-happy to eat, having been on half rations. They traded for some more food and stayed the evening. With more friendly advise from the cannibal tribe, the Sons were told about the safest place to cross the frozen river ahead.

The next month went by uneventfully, from Deepwinter into The Claw (January to February) they traveled toward the High Ice and the village of Iqaliat, where Torstein was a tribe-friend to the Hearthmistress.

Once there, they found Iqaliat in a tense situation: The village had been attacked several times by a white dragon, Vegensundvaag. Once the Sons had managed to convince the people of the village that they meant well, despite the shaman’s belief the Sons would bring further misfortune, the Sons set off to hunt a dragon.

With help from a local Erutaki guide (who Johnny realized was possessed) the Sons found the lair of the dragon. Inside, the Sons battled with the creature. Despite the dragonfear’s hold on Warlug and Ashik, the rest of the Sons were able to bring down the cornered dragon. After the battle (and looting the hoard) they exorcised the quasit possessing their guide. The guide told them that the village shaman Tunuak was a disciple of Sithhud, a displaced demon prince of winter and storms. Upon returning to the village, they wasted no time confronting Tunuak.

Once he was slain, and with the testimony of their Erutaki guide, the Sons were hailed as heroes: both for slaying the dragon and revealing Tunuak’s treachery. A feast was held in their honor. However, once the Chief and Hearthmistress had a chance to examine the cave paintings in Tunuak’s secret chamber, they had bad news for the Sons: The hungry storm they encountered was one of many that had plagued the High Ice this season. In the past, such storms were rare occurrences, with as many as fifty or one hundred years passing between them. They had already seen several this season, and the cave paintings indicated that Sithhud was going to gain a foothold on the Prime Material. His disciple, Katiana, worked her vile sorcery from the Storm Tower at the Pole. With more and more hungry storms heading south, the Sons’ caravan would surely be caught up in one before it made it safely to Tian Xia. Further, the storms could continue further and further south, terrorizing all the villages of the arctic and maybe even into further civilized lands. Not to mention the devastation that a demon prince on the Material Plane could cause.

The Sons had little choice but to head to the Storm Tower and confront Katiana. Once they made it further north, now deep into the High Ice, they encountered armies of undead: Hoarfrost spirits, skeletons, and wights. They made it past and into the Storm Tower. Running through it’s guards and figuring out the strange, ancient machines, they found themselves at the top of the tower. Katiana and her undead minions were preparing to unleash another hungry storm. A protracted battle ensued, with the Sons pressed to new limits. Fighting off hordes of undead and dealing with the potent spellcasting of Katiana proved to be within their capabilities. Once they had defeated her, they dismantled the machinery as best they could and began to head south. South!

While the weather had cleared up, and most of the undead had scattered, one of Katiana’s other disciples remained alive. The cleric of Sithhud rallied undead into a small warband and chased the Sons. Torstein’s advice was to take shelter at Dead Man’s Dome. They made a mad dash to the fortifications that remained. There, they held back wave after wave of undead, fighting for hours in the frozen ruins of the fortress that once stood there. After a full night of fighting, they proved victorious, slaying the cleric and almost all of the undead.

The Sons made their way on the Road of Agenhei. They were received in the town of Ul-Angorn well, treated with a feast. They spent three days there, to rest and bolster the caravan’s moral. They were preparing to leave, speaking with the town’s Headman and chief business operator, when things devolved somewhat. Johnny took umbrage with the Headman’s political/economic rule of town and tried to pay with graffiti’d coins: he’d written something insulting to the Headman on some of the coins. When Johnny refused to pay with different coins, the Headman refused to accept any money and told them to be on their way. Words were exchanged and tempers flared. Townsfolk began throwing rocks at the Sons, telling them all to leave. After leaving, Johnny returned to speak with the town’s spiritual leader, a Druid, and offered a half-assed apology. The Druid said “thanks, but no thanks” and told them to be on their way.

Everyone has bad days, sometimes.

After a few more weeks traveling south toward the Wall of Heaven Mountains (the border to Tian Xia), the Sons were confused to find that a hungry storm blocked their path through the pass. This morozko was at least five times the size of the one they first encountered, and a fell feminine laugh could be heard on the wind. The storm was expanding rapidly, and seemed like it would overtake the caravan. Koya, however, remembered a legend of an underground city with a pilgrim’s path that came out on this side of the mountains: The Path of Spirits. With little else to go on, the Sons found their way their, navigating by the legend.

There, they entered the Necropolis. They spent three days navigating the outer paths to the city proper, seeing spirits both hostile and benign. Magical wards blocked their way through the city, which Jambro was able to handle with some degree of difficulty. After defeating the shades of former priests of the Fumiyoishi, the Sons recovered the Sword of the Nine RIngs, a potent weapon against spirits. They then found their way deeper in the Necropolis and into the territory of the Yetis. Bormung, the Yeti King, held court there. With the caravan following behind the Sons; guided by Torstein, Jack, Whiskey, and the others; the Yeti King bellowed in rage and ordered the Sons attacked! Simultaneously, the hidden places of the Necropolis emptied of Yeti warriors, who began to the attack the caravan! Intermixed with all of this, the Sons heard again the fell female laughter, and realized that Katiana was not truly defeated.

The Yeti battle-ragers proved dangerous in combat, forcing the Sons to fight conservatively as a unit. A summoned demon tried to take advantage of the Sons formation and attack their flank. The Sons gained relief from Jambro’s highly effective confusion spell against some of the reinforcements they might have faced. Mogmurch proved his worth in the battle, dropping at least one Yeti and charging headlong against their King!

As the battle began to tilt to their favor, the Sons pushed back against the Yeti King. Warlug severed the King’s hand, driving out the spirit of Katiana! Then, despite Katiana’s spirit taking to the air, Warlug was able to run and leap up after her, attacking with all his might and the dismissal magic of the Nine Ring sword! His blow struck true, forever destroying Katiana and her threat to bring Sithhud to the Prime Material. Once Katiana was defeated, the Yetis stopped their attack, looking to their King. He negotiated with the Sons, thanking them for banishing the spirit from him. He even allowed them to reconsecrate the alter to Fumiyoshi back to Selune. However, once they had spent the night to recover, he wanted them gone from his kingdom.

The Sons continued on the Path of Spirits, emerging on the other side of the Wall of Heaven Mountains and into Tian Xia! After seven months of grueling travel and facing numerous dangers at the Crown of the World, the Sons had succeeded in bringing Ameiko and the Amatatsu Seal to Tian Xia. Now, the Sons have to find their way to Minkai, avoid the Frozen Shadows, and see what must be done to depose the Jade Regent and prevent the permanent reign of the Five Storms Oni Clan!

View
Night of Frozen Shadows: Part Three (POST SCENE)
A few days after slaying Kimandatsu and Goti

Time reference – (One day after leaving the Viking city, heading back to the Ninja Fortress to pick up his friends and supplies at the fortress.)

::The Dwarven Avenger Jonathan sat on the side of the road were the Caravan was parked for the night. Listeing to the Caravans blacksmith talk as he pounded his new plate armor into a size that would fit, he realized he was thinking of his mentor Hector the lesser. He also realized he was ignoring the blacksmith::

Blacksmith- Hey? I boring you over here?

Jonathan- Ugh, No. Sorry.

Blacksmith- I said it must be one hell of a life doing what you all do. You are Paladin Right?

Jonathan- Im an Avenger. It’s complicated.

Blacksmith- That’s one hell of a life, I hear a lot about your hero types. That life must be like living in a whirlwind huh?

::Jonathan stared into the fire and thought on the past::

…The aging avenger stalked forward, head first, shoving past the Noble’s body guard who simultaneously found himself engaged with a young dwarf in Cormyrian armor. The older man, a human, rounded a long table shoving past men attempting to rise from their chairs, he stopped near the end slapping aside a knife strike and grabbing hold of the robbed man by his collar, yanking him from his seat. The sound of ripping silk was drowned out by a long wail of pain as he dug is thumb up and over the noble’s collar bone. The Waterdeep noble, attempting to regain his composure yelled in protest, but was only slammed into an expensive framed portrait over an ornately carved coffee table for his trouble. Looking into the old man’s face, his eyes narrowing as he stared intently, he stifled the obvious question as to why the older man was here. As if knowing what he was going to say first, the older and larger man squeezed harder for it.

Hector the lesser (HTL)- Yeah… (Wheezing), yeah, it was you all right. (With his free hand he slowly reached down into a small sack and withdrew a gem with a strange yellow stain, showing it to the noble)

Lord Oldermounger – (eye widening in terror) Look, I only make the devices for them. I normally don’t participate in the , ugh… (Wincing in pain) All right! I sent them to kill you. You wouldn’t hear reason!

HTL- Your assassin had a message for you after I took his sword thumb in lieu of his life. He swore an oath to take up farming. Said he didn’t want your payment either. (Places the stone in the Nobles pocket) He said you were going to get it worse than anyone for what you did to that Ship Captain.

eastwood.png

::The nobles eyes grow wide a second time, his stuttering interrupted by the sound of broken furniture and a sharp groan of protest followed by a half strangled scream…then silence. The old avenger turned to look over his should and saw the young dwarf, covered in blood from a gash across his forehead, and knife protruding from his left shoulder atop the body guard who’s head was grotesquely twisted in the opposite direction of his prostrate body. The younger dwarf, with a dumbfounded expression, slumped back into a bar stool staring at the dead man’s head with one eye squinting through the blood seeping down his face. Slowly he turned his attention back to the noble::

HTL- (grunting) I found what was left of her. The priests used your machine on her and a few others. Not that you give a damn. They told me what you gone and done… I believe em.

::the Noble attempted to protest and received a harsh glare::

HTL- “*Don’t*” L…I…E. (Gulping the Noble only squirmed) How you cut up her face, cut her eyes out, cut her fingers off, and… the rest of it. You know. You know, what’s coming now…

Lord Oldermounger- I am Lord Oldermounger! Son of Gond himself! Known before all men of Waterdeep for the study of crafty designs, and my fame goes up to the heavens! You will be cursed by the GODS! YOU HAVE NO…

::The young dwarf, pulling himself up by the bar with his good arm, could hear the noble man speaking in a hushed and frantic tone followed by a horrendous and prolonged scream. He noticed the other patrons of the establishment huddled in fear in the corner, behind tables and furniture, some staring on in horror at what was happening to the yelling man, one woman screamed, and ran from the room… staggering from the loss of blood and leaning against the bar, the dwarf turned his head away, as if it would shield him from the horrible screams for help coupled with the gurgling and sound of intermittent splattering sounds of something falling to the floor. Finally it stopped and the sound of the nobles body hit the floor like a lead weight. Looking at the wooden bar, the young dwarf could hear the scrapping sound of the older man’s boots as he limped over and sat next to him at the bar. Reaching over, with effort, he retrieved an overturned and half empty shot glass and poured himself a drink from a bottle that was left on the counter. Looking past the young dwarf who stood next to him at the man lying dead on the floor atop a mound of broken glass from a shattered table, he slowly turned his attention back to the dwarf at his side::

HTL- That the one killed your friend Yergey?

::nodding, the dwarf allowed himself to let go. His shoulder sagged and he buried his face atop his gauntlets. Sitting up straight the older man, stiffened, then sighed and nodded once, pouring another shot::

HTL- It’s a hell of a thing to do. Killing men. You take what he has and everything he will ever be.

Jonathan- He had it coming…

HTL- (staring off, his face softening. He slowly placed a hand on the dwarfs shoulder) We all have it coming, son.

::The older Avenger, sensing something, lurched from his chair and withdrew a glowing white blade as four men entered the large parlor room, dressed in city guard attire, the fourth man wearing a red cape and decorative armor slowly began to take in the entire room, mouth agape, he finally rested his gaze at HTL. Behind him two additional guards carried in a man appearing to have been run over by a wagon, his head wrapped in what appeared to be what’s left of his sleeve and his right arm dangled at his side. Looking around he slowly pointed forward at HTL with his left::

Unknown man: “It was him”. (almost a whimper)

Captain of the Guard- Hector! I thought you were dead. I heard a storm giant cracked your head open.

HTL- Hello Tully. Yeah, that what you heard? I thought I was dead too. It turns out I was just living in Amn.

Guard: (helping to put the injured man he carried into the room on the floor and turning to HTL in anger) You just kicked the shit out of an innocent man!

HTL- (sneering) Innocent? Innocent of what?

Jonathan- Actually it was me.

Guard-What!?

Jonathan- I busted his leg with a shovel. (glaring at the sitting man) because I couldn’t pull my hammer out of the owners head in time to see the job done before he crawled off…

Unknown man- (sitting up straight, favoring his arm and screaming hoarsely) You cowardly bastard! You killed my employer, an unarmed man!

Jonathan- Maybe he should have armed himself then!!! If he’s supporting human trafficking, and taken part in torturing my friend Yergey to death. (Forcefully spits at him)

Unknown man-(wiping saliva and blood out of his eye) Mother Fucker!!

Guard No 1.- He’s. He’s dead sir. (the sound of another guard retching near the noble’s body is heard in the background) He’s DEAD.

Captain of the Guard- (looking for himself) GODS! Hector… Do you know who this was?

HTL- I didn’t kill him out of meanness…

::shrugging, HTL turned to gather up his apprentice from the bar and started moving toward the door::

Captain of the guard- (spinning toward him) This man was the son of a council member! A Prominent family of influence. I can’t let this go.

HTL-(gravily voice) You may find his hard to believe. But, I’m not really interested in his family tree or what club his mom belongs to in the city…

Captain of the guard- GODS DAMIT, HOLD! You’re under arrest.

HTL- (holding up a mailed fist) The laws of God, are higher than the laws of man.

Captain of the Guard- What?

HTL-(turning to the Captain) You gotta know, as a Knight and Paladin I tell you true these men offenses were beyond a pardon. They tortured, murdered, mutilated…and did it all, not just for money and status, but also at the command and glory of an Evil God.

Captain of the Guard-That’s not my concern. By section 12 of the Code of the Waterdhaviean authority I…

HTL- IF you are NETURAL on situations of INJUSTICE, you have chosen the side of the OPPRESSOR.

Captain of the guard- Arrest them, take those men into…

HTL- “NO”. (Slamming his fist into his chest)

::The word carried with it a weight of a dragon on the minds of the men around them. The sound that emanated from the old Avenger was not human, and could not be described by those who heard it for they had never heard such an astonishing and yet terrifying sound in their lives. A circle of brilliant white glarring light flared around HTL gauntlets and exploded in an expanding circle around the entire room, engulfing its occupants. Their bodies crumpled to the floor, some dropping to their knees, tears streaming down their cheeks, sobbing uncontrollably as the noise turned to wails of anguish. The old Avenger turning on his heel, collecting his protégé, stepped over one of the guards at the entrance who professed his remorse::

Guard no. 2- I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for all I have done…please. Forgive. (hands covering his face)

::The two Avengers limped down the hall, arm in arm, out into the street where a small group of people had congregated to find out what had happened to call down the guards. Several men lay near the entrance, beaten badly or dead. The older man half dragged the dwarf to what appeared to be a high styled coach that had previously been owned by Lord Oldermounger. The coach tilted at an awkward angle, as it rested partially over the body of a half-elf who legs stuck out the side….::

HTL- I always wanted to ride in one of these.

Jonathan- I bet he got some gold in the back. A parting gift?

HTL-Well hell, after we get where were going we can just sell it. It’s not like we get any help from the church. Financing our little pursuits have left us in a bad way kid.

Jonathan-You’ll get no argument from me. Lets just get the hell out of here…(sleep took him)

::looking away from the flames, Jonathan looked over at the armorer who had just finished his armor, snapping himself back to the present.::

Blacksmith- That’s one hell of a life, I hear a lot about your hero types. That life must be like living in a whirlwind huh?

::Jonathan looked up at the blacksmith with dead eyes, a coldness in his voice::

Jonathan- When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.

::The two men sat in silence as the blacksmith hammer ringed out into the night::

View
Night of Frozen Shadows, Part Three...
...or: Fortune Favors the Prepared

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu/Amatatsu Ameiko – Human Aristocrat
Sandru “Whiskey” Vhiski – Human Caravan Master
Jack Burton – Human (Half-elf?) Caravan Master
Jorgan the Axe – Werebear Barbarian

This session took place over five days. The Sons began in Ravenscraeg, and after defeating Kimandatsu and the Frozen Shadows they returned to Kalsgard to conclude business in town and begin their cross-continental journey over the Crown of the World.

After their rest in the hidden dell of Ravenscraeg, the Sons continued their exploration of the fortress. They found that most the fortress had been left vacant. After casing the place out for valuables and useful items for their planned trip, they found themselves in an alchemical laboratory. Inside, they managed to disturb one of the resident arcanist’s experiments involving Hellwasps! While the hive-mind swarm tried to trick the Sons by puppeteering the corpse they were locked in with, the Sons realized that something was wrong immediately. While the fight was without peril, the Sons overcame the swarm of hellacious wasps.

Once clear of the wasp swarm, the Sons ventured deeper into Ravenscraeg. One of the party noticed a light coming from under a doorway, and they carefully investigated. They discovered a cistern, which contained a small underground stream that ran through the fortress. Quietly hidden on the roof of the cistern were a skulk of executioner’s hoods; nasty aberrations which wait to drop onto unsuspecting heads to smother their prey. With the danger mostly in their surprise factor, the creatures were dealt with easily enough.

Inside the cistern was the source of the light: A bright flame coming from down a narrow well. Looking down, they found the sword Suishen had wedged itself thirty feet down, to avoid being lost forever. The Sons had found Ameiko’s family sword!

Suishen.jpg

After some practical discussion of the logistics of greasing the kender, the sword was recovered and given to Ameiko.

Proceeding further, the Sons found themselves in the Frozen Shadow’s dojo, faced with several ninjas, a pair of trolls, and Jorgan the Axe. Warlug sensed that Jorgan’s heart wasn’t in the battle, challenging Jorgan in the name of Selune to back down from the fight. While Jorgan didn’t seem willing to help the Sons, between Warlug and Jambro’s diplomacy, the werebear assassin decided to stand away from the fight. Without the mighty werebear’s assistance, and facing the multiple sources of fire the Sons had, the trolls and ninja were outmatched and defeated.

jorgan.jpg

Once the battle was over, the Sons spoke with Jorgan. Though he was a killer-for-hire, he clearly had reservations about fighting alongside the Frozen Shadows any further. Despite his desire to help, however, he was still in the grip of a blood geas. Once the Sons realized Jorgan’s problem, Jambro dispelled the lethal contingency magic and Jorgan was free to work with the party in full capacity.

Jorgan was a man of the wild who ran afoul of a jarl of Kalsgard. Kimandatsu, in her guise as Thorborg Silverskorr, paid Jorgan’s weregild and accepted Jorgan’s work in exchange for his life. Though he had no reservations about the work he did for the Frozen Shadows, he did not like many of the creatures and people who worked with him, so was looking to escape the blood geas and the Frozen Shadows’ notice. He agreed to work with the Sons, offering them help and crucial advice and secrets of Ravenscraeg.

With Jorgan’s help, the Sons found their way into the second secret underground layer of the fortress, bypassed many of the magical traps and guardians, and found themselves outside Kimandatsu’s personal chambers. After preparing with their most potent spells and enchantments, the Sons entered Kimandatsu’s lair to end her influence in Kalsgard once and for all.

Inside, they found many enemies arrayed before them, ninjas and zombies mostly, along with Kimandatsu in her guise as Thorborg.

ThorborgBig.jpg

Thorborg tried her hand and tempting some of the Sons, offering Warlug a position as her new captain of the guard; telling Jambro that his sensual nature could be satisfied by working with the Shadows; trying to dissuade Johnny from taking up the cause of those who worship different gods from he. She tried a general appeal to the Sons as a whole, that Ameiko’s cause was hopeless and that they would find carrying her burdens worthless if they even made it to the other side of the world. In the end, however, the die had already been cast. When she realized that she wasn’t going to talk anyone out of fighting her, she turned invisible and her minion began to attack.

Despite the advantage of numbers, the Frozen Shadows found themselves overpowered by the spell-enhanced, concentrated attack of the Wayward Sons. Kimandatsu attempted to ambush the party, but found her leadership from the front to be a reckless and lethal mistake: In only a few seconds, the combined efforts of the Sons brought the oni down!

KimBig.jpg

While her minions and high-ranking companions fought on, without the strength of their leader, the Frozen Shadows officers realized they needed to escape if they wanted to live. Once the Sons had fought their way past the foot-troops, Johnny used his divine power to teleport up to the ledge from which Goti Runecaster was firing on them. Johnny took the half-troll sorcerer and dive bombed with him to the stone floor below! Goti’s friend Wodes, the blood-feather raven who had been spying on the party since they neared Kalsgard, tried to save the sorcerer’s life, but after Johnny’s spectacular attack, Warlug quickly followed up and finished off the downed and dazed sorcerer. Wodes tried to take down a member of the Sons, but then realized he was outclassed alone. He attempted to escape by magical means, but Jambro first countered his gaseous form spell, and (in a gory fashion) countered his meld to stone spell, which ultimately killed the raven druid.

While the battle was winding down, as Kryspin, Ameiko, and Jack finished off the remaining Frozen Shadows ninja, the dangerous assassin and ninja instructor Omoyani slipped away via invisibility and a hidden passage.

With the Frozen Shadows all but completely eliminated and Ameiko’s family sword recovered, all that remained was to find Torstein, the guide that the Sons hoped would take them over the Crown of the World. After looking around further, they did find him locked up in the dungeon beneath Kimandatsu’s lair. Guarding the dungeon was an intelligent winter wolf named Skygni. The wolf was captured and had been enduring Kimandatsu’s attempts to domesticate him to be a guard dog. He was pleased to learn of her death. While the animal was evil, the party agreed to allow him to travel with them until they reached the High Ice, where he would go his own way.

In the dungeon, they found Torstein. He was beaten, starved, and exhausted, but after some healing magic and rest, he was fine. He agreed to take the Sons on their trip over the Crown of the World.

torstein.jpg

For the next few days, the Sons attended to unfinished business in town. Johnny sent Kimandatsu’s head to King Blood-Eagle as a warning not to continue to work with demons. He then managed to get a total of ten-thousand gold invested in the Bone Quarter, through a combination of his own donation, Fynn’s investment, and a generous donation from King Blood-Eagle himself! Warlug and Whiskey made sure that the caravan was set to travel. Jambro attempted to track down Noriko, but found she had fled town, left along the Golden Way. While Noriko had escaped retribution for the time being, Jambro has a feeling that their paths will again cross!

Once all side business had been concluded, the Sons began their long trek from Kalsgard up the Cold Road toward the Ice Rim Mountains and the Crown of the World.

View
The Night of Frozen Shadows, Part Two: A Gathering of Shadows
...or: "You ain't gonna shit right for a month!"

This session took place over two days.

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger
Ameiko Kaijitsu/Amatatsu Ameiko – Human Aristocrat
Sandru “Whiskey” Vhiski – Human Caravan Master

Jambro’s tenday at the Lily Bloom Pleasure House was winding down. Despite his advances, the Lady Noriko continued to rebuff him. In fact, she was using suggestion spells and opium dosing to influence Jambro for unknown reasons. After “chasing the dragon” for nearly two weeks, Jambro was presented with Lady Noriko’s final suggestion spell: That he and his companions should bring themselves to the farmhold of Asvig Longthews, their trusted friend and ally. Jambro not only resisted the well-woven spell, he glimpsed Lady Noriko’s true form in his mind’s eye: that of a deadly Nogitsune, an oni in the guise of a fox-woman. Jambro was able to conceal that he knew what was happening, and got away from Noriko without a fight.

Meanwhile, at the caravan’s resting place in the Bone Quarter; Johnny, Ashik, Whiskey, and Ameiko were making plans for their rescue of Warlug. They suspected that the Frozen Shadow Ninja clan was working with Chieftain Asvig Longthews, perhaps Warlug was being held there. Further, Whiskey found out that no guides were available to take them along The Golden Way in Kalsgard, save perhaps one: Torstein Gormundr. Torstein’s sister told Whiskey that he was heading to Asvig’s farmstead to take work, but she had not heard from Torstein in days. She had been turned away with a beating when she went there to ask after him. The Sons decided then to head to the farmstead to rescue Warlug, and maybe this guide as well. As they were preparing to leave, Jambro rejoined them. He informed Johnny of the Lady Noriko being a shape-changing demon of some kind. With no time to waste, however, it was just one more problem to add to their list. They headed off toward Longthew’s farmstead.

farmstead.jpg

As the Sons were on their way to Longthews farmstead, Warlug awoke to the unpleasant sounds of two Viking warriors and the scullery maid having a toss on the table over his floorboard cell. He found himself bound securely, but began working to escape his bonds immediately. After several minutes, he freed himself from the ropes. Not sure exactly what was going on, but not wanting to stay to find out, Warlug made his move. Using his great strength, he shoved the table (and the Viking menage a trois) off the floor over him, and burst out from his holding cell. He got his feet under him and slugged it out with the Viking warriors. As the maid screamed out, the Viking warriors bellowed for support. Warlug knew that he had little time before he was overwhelmed. He grabbed one of the warrior’s axes and fought them, dispatching one before reinforcements arrived.

However, there were far more warriors there than he could handle alone. Men started to charge in, while others moved around the front of the stead. Warlug, using spells he still had prepared from before his capture, conjured a concealing mist he used to cover his escape. He ran out the back door into daylight, running past some of the stead’s defenses: The enchanted fence lines conjured leopards that began to chase Warlug down. Further, once he was clear of the mist, the Longthew’s men saw where he was. They gave chase, releasing hounds as well. He got a good lead on the men, but the animals were keeping pace with him well. He survived a hail of axes and spears thrown at him.

The leopards had caught up to him, the hounds were closing in, and twenty warriors were a spear-cast away. Just then, Johnny and the Wayward Sons arrived in view on the road. They saw the predicament Warlug was in and ran to his aid: Jambro unleashed a fireball at Longthew’s men, which nearly evened the odds for the Sons. Notes played by Ashik on Celdoriath’s Clarion bolstered their strength at arms. Johnny, Whiskey, and Ameiko ran in to help Warlug. It seemed that the tide of battle had turned almost to the point of routing Longthew’s men. However, it was then that Longthews and his wife, Helva, appeared; they began barking orders and reinforcing their fighter’s courage.

Asvig_Longthews.jpg helva.jpg

Helva began to cast battle magic of her own, her gaze setting Johnny on fire! She tried to inflict a disease on Jambro, but was unsuccessful. In return, Jambro took aim with a wand of scorching ray, striking the Rashemani-witch-woman squarely in the face with two bolts! The powerful evocation channeled through the wand was an overwhelming amount of power; Helva’s head was turned to ash, while the rest of her body fell. Asvig flew into a rage, seeing his wife killed, and in such a gruesome manner. The remaining battle was short and brutal. The Sons fought the raiders off and struck Chief Longthews a decapitating blow. Longthews’ men were killed, nearly to the man, though a few escaped into the woods. While Warlug’s blood was up, he considered sending the dogs after the men, but Johnny insisted they be let go, “The dogs might get hurt, we beat them already anyway.”

With the smell of blood and burnt flesh heavy in the air, the Wayward Sons moved into the Chieftain’s farmstead. Their they discovered that Warlug was the only prisoner who had still been there. The Sons began questioning Longthew’s thralls (servants) and discovered that, only hours before, Torstein Gormundr, the Sons’ possible guide, had been moved from Longthews’ farm. The reason Longthews had so many men at his farm was for a funeral feast. Longthews’ ring-giver, the man who made him a Chieftain, was a warrior of repute called Snorri Stone-Eye. Stone-Eye was dead, his funeral honors were intended to be carried out at dawn the next day. The thralls didn’t know where Torstein was, but they heard Longthews say “that Torstein would be joining Snorri soon”. Perhaps he was on this boat?

They also learned that the sword Suishen was stolen by Longthews and his men, though no longer in Longthews’ custody. It had been taken by the same Frozen Shadow Clan ninja who had dropped off Warlug and taken Torstein away. The thralls also confirmed that Longthews was responsible for the initial attack against the Sons at the Skalsbridge. Finally, they learned of the name Kimandatsu. Though the thralls knew no specifics of this person, one suspected that Kimandatsu was the leader of the Frozen Shadows.

Next, the Sons gathered up supplies and resources from the fallen and from Longthews’ stores on the farmstead. They took what they could manage then and went back to Kalsgard. Then, they decided to go back to get what else they could take with more wagons. When they returned, they saw that more revelers had arrived. The Rashemani were clearly disturbed to find their host and his followers dead, but were surprisingly calm when the Sons returned to finish pilfering the goods of Longthews. Their leader, Geir Skiglsen, negotiated with Johnny and Warlug. In Geir’s estimation, Longthews’ defeat to the Sons entitled the Sons to remuneration. Since Warlug was wearing Asvig Longthews’ platinum armband, Geir considered Warlug the rightful inheritor of Longthews’ land and holdings. He felt so confident about it that he offered the Sons a token of his support and an offer to purchase the lands from them.

After concluding that business, the Sons took their goods and caravan back to the Bone Quarter in Kalsgard. They began the task of planning their infiltration of Snorri Stone-Eye’s funeral ship. They decided that, rather than wait until early morning, they would sneak on immediately. Despite the presence of the ship’s honor guard, they managed to sneak on board. Ashik and Ameiko remained on the deck of the ship, while Johnny, Jambro, and Warlug went belowdeck to see what they could find.

viking-ship.jpg.jpg

Not too long after being on board, Ashik and Ameiko investigated the funeral pyre itself. They discovered that Snorri’s body was not on the pyre! Belowdeck, the party heard the rattling of chains through a thick mist which hung in the air inside the ship. They could see only a few feet, but were soon faced with a draugr; none other than Snorri Stone-Eye himself!

draugr.png

In the close confines of the ship, the Sons began fighting with the cold-infused undead. On the deck above, Ashik and Ameiko were soon attacked by ninjas of the Frozen Shadow Clan! The ninjas set the ship alight, using the funeral pyre that was already set. They also set the area in front of the boarding plank on fire.

burning_ship.jpg ninja_clan_returns.jpg

Belowdeck, the Sons made short work of Snorri Stone-Eye’s draugr. They quickly find that neither Torstein or Suishen is on the ship. Johnny did find an interesting helm, however, which he took.

cassissian.jpg

Now, hearing the clamor above deck, the rest of the Sons move to help Ameiko and Ashik. After an intense battle, during which Jambro managed to put out the fire with a conjured sleet storm, the Sons were now left to contend with Snorri’s honor guard. They were upset that the Sons had violated the sanctity of Snorri’s funeral service. However, since the boat was saved (and could be lit on fire at the appropriate time), the honor guard were content to accept a gold donation to consider the matter closed. After squaring up with them, the Wayward Sons headed back to the Bone Quarter once more.

Now, seemingly at a dead end, the Sons were unsure of where to go. However, Ashik looked into Snorri’s history and discovered that the jarl and raider had been selling his assets off before his death. He sold many of his assets, including his fortress called Ravenscraeg, to the Rimerunner’s Guild. With some further questioning, they find out its location. As they have little else to go on, they decide to investigate Ravenscraeg.

Hoping to make better time, the Sons attempt to acquire horses. After a lengthy conflict between the Cormyrian War-Wizard and “The Joe Pesci” horse, the Sons finally get under way. Nearly two days later, they’ve reached the end of the peninsula, where they can begin the hike up the stone steps to Ravenscraeg. They are soon discovered by Frozen Shadow ninja, who begin by using throwing stars and by sending their pet spider eater after the party. The Sons make their way up the steps in a hard fought battle, dealing with the horse-sized insect and the tengu ninja guarding the approach to the fortress. Eventually, they fought their way up to the large double doors at the main entrance to the fortress.

Once inside, they were first charged by Frozen Shadow thugs, who were then reinforced by more ninja. Additionally, swarms of ravens swept down at Warlug and Jambro. Both narrowly avoided losing their sight to the ravenous birds. The ninjas used poison darts and then began to close to melee. Jambro’s use of a thunderclap killed most of the ravens attacking him, scattered what few survived. Ameiko was able to use a similar spell to scatter the ravens trying to eat Warlug’s eyes. Ashik’s alternating use of hate-fueled spoken word and trumpeting bolstered his comrade’s skill at arms. Johnny was a nigh-invincible bulwark in the fight, turning aside dozens of strikes, shrugging off incredible damage. Warlug, once he was clear of the ravens, used his tremendous strength to fight toe-to-toe with the Tian Xia assassins. Throughout the battle, the ninjas used trickery and deadly martial arts to confound and chip away at the Wayward Sons.

As the Sons gained ground, Ameiko ran forward, fervent from the battle. She soon found herself cornered and was struck what should have been a mortal blow to the leg. However, while she was knocked unconscious, the blow seemed not to have hit so vital an area. Warlug, Johnny, and Ashik moved forward to cover her while Jambro continued to rain destructive magic on the Frozen Shadow. After rallying, the Sons were once again victorious. Jambro used his charm magic on one of the surviving thugs, who not only came under the effect of the spell, but was now permanently under the effect of the spell. Seeing Jambro as his best and truest friend, this thug of the Frozen Shadows (none other than Lamar Davis-Bacon!) started to tell them about some of the defenses in the base. He told them that Kimandatsu was the Frozen Shadows leader. He also knew of a safe place they might be able to safely rest and recover for a few hours.

Lamar.jpg

Though Lamar was helping them out, Johnny took offense with Lamar’s attitude. Lamar’s bravado didn’t set well with him, but once he started looking through the pockets of the other Frozen Shadow thugs, Johnny had seen all he could take. He wound up and gave Lamar a hard shot to the kidneys, knocking him out, “You should just cut his throat now and be done with it.” With that, the Sons went out a back door and found their way to a hidden dell, there to rest and prepare for their further incursion into Ravenscraeg.

Everyone should be 7th level when we start on Saturday.

View
Iriyama Noriko

::Jambro grasped Iriyama by her hair and pulled her close. Iriyama crumbled against yielding to his grasp as he pulled her close and kissed her deeply:: Woman I’m a winner tonight and this stack of gold coins and you are my prize…

::Iriyama smiled as she enjoyed his dominance and confidence:: Yes Master Grand Wizard. You honor me with your affection and I strive to please you always…

::Jambro eyes her as his instinctive paranoia questions her words…. He accepts them cautiously. Grasping her closely and giving her a deep kiss:: Aye we shall see lassie we shall see ::spanks her ass firmly and walks away::

View
Jambro's Jamboree

::The click click click of tiles echoed in the den of iniquity as Jambro downed another shot of Dwarven shine. He eyed the table as a sense of hyper clarity washed over him‚ Hanseath had blessed him surely. He knew each piece his opponents held. He knew who were weak and who he would eventually face at the end. He knew that he would win this tournament..

His demeanor never showed this. In fact his opponents all thought him so drunk that he was not a threat. Little did they know that in his hazy drunkenness their downfall was set.

It flowed as he had envisioned. The elf took out the other dwarf at the table that he knew he did not want to face and then the human went out and then the other human. Now it was time for the elf to go and he would have to face the old timer human that had shown skill and discipline. The elf had served his purpose. Jambro purposely added coin to the pot with a weak hand. Knowing the haughty elf would not resist the chance to take the remaining human and Jambro out. The elf took the bait and Jambro quickly folded out of the round. Leaving the human and elf to battle it out.. The elf lost the round and it Jambro and an old human. Jambro had been studying him the whole game and could sense the old timers fear and insecurity. Jambro knew if he played patience it would pay off. Several tiles and rounds passed. With the Human doing as Jambro predicted pushing at the slight sense of superiority..

Suddenly a tingle flurried in his head as he looked upon his new tiles. They were not so strong but he remembered an old friends sharing of wisdom and that along with his tingling gut decided to call the large bet by his opponent..

The tiles flipped and his heart raced. He hit a trifecta. Least he thought he did.. Heart racing he did not want to look at his tiles twice for fear of giving a tale so simply passed as did his opponent. The next turn came and he had hit quads.. least he thought he did. still not wanting to show weakness He calmly passed and sure enough his opponent pushed in all his coin.

Jambro paused and took a drink. Then he glanced at his tiles to make sure he had what he thought he had… Sure enough he had the nuts! and calmly called the bet…. coins counted Jambro had one gold coin extra… Tiles were flipped over and Jambro showed the Nut Quads which his opponent had a pocket pair of fours giving him a full boat but lost to Jambro’s Quads.. The final tile of the board played out giving another 4 and everyone gasped at fact if Jambro had not hit that quad on the turn he would have lost on the river with the a full house 4’s over 3’s …

Surrealness washed over everyone.. The old timer human shook Jambro’s hand giving respect as did Jambro… Almost 2500 gold coin was one… Jambro being a Dwaf’s Dwarf of course bought the tavern a round…

While people scrambled to take advantage of the hospitality Jambro slipped over to the bathroom to relieve himself and to cast from a prepared scroll bugmans mug.. A secret spell of Hanseath to cure the effects of drunkeness and hangovers..

Jambro says a prayer and thanks to Hanseath for his wisdom and guidance and returns to the party to start over his night of carousing‚ paying homage to Hanseath… :::

View
The Night of Frozen Shadows, Part One: Into the North
...or: Organized Chaos

This session took place over a month. Travel time to Kalsgard was 12 days, and the Wayward Sons have spent 18 days in Kalsgard so far. Autumn in the region around Brinewall was unseasonably cold, with snow already falling. Once the caravan traveled further north, temperatures climbed somewhat as the area around Kalsgard was having a late autumn heat-wave.

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger

The Wayward Sons and their caravan were in the Brinewall Castle courtyard. The Sons, along with Ameiko Kaijitsu (or Amatatsu Ameiko), had just experienced visions granted to them by the Amatatsu Seal, a powerful artifact discovered in the secret vault under Brinewall Castle. in their vision, they saw the Kaijitsu/Amatatsu family sword Suishen being sold to a Rashaman merchant years past. After discussing their plan with Ameiko, the Sons and the caravan decide that going back to Sandpoint would be too risky. With the Seal possibly being tracked by the Oni of the Five Storms, personally taking care of unfinished business in Sandpoint isn’t a viable option. Instead, the Sons decide to head straight for Kalsgard.

Three days into their travels, the caravan was beset by a storm. Wind, freezing rain, and snow began falling heavily. While Warlug was scouting ahead, he noticed four winged humanoids flying toward the caravan. As the flying figures neared them, the storm’s violence increased. The Sons were being attacked by Hala demons!

hala.jpg

With Warlug’s warning and Whiskey’s leadership, the caravans were circled up to protect the travelers from the aerial attack. The Halas called down hailstones first, then dove down to attack the Sons. The cover of the wagons protected them from the hailstones, which forced the Halas to more direct attacks. While Ameiko readied attacks against the Halas as they swept down, and Warlug and Johnny used their ranged weapons against the fiends, Mogmurch the goblin began throwing his bombs against the demons as they flew by. Unfortunately, the goblin’s aim was never true; his bombs started several small fires in the surrounding forest.

Mogmurch.jpg

As the Wayward Sons dug in their heels, their defensive tactics began to pay off. Kryspin was able to taunt a couple of the Halas. Johnny channeled divine authority to compel one to land in an advantageous position for the group. Warlug began using magical outsider bane arrows on the Halas. Ashik’s continued improvisational hate-fueled spoken word bolstered the group’s resolve. That is, until a Hala swept by and began to carry Ashik to the quickly spreading fire started by Mogmurch! Warlug boldly fired at the demon carrying Ashik toward the fire, only to strike Ashik instead! A prayer from Jambro mended some of Ashik’s hurt, while Kryspin taunted the Hala carrying Ashik. Ashik was dropped into the edge of the fire, but avoided the worst of it. “That’s not my fault, it’s how it goes!” being the oft-heard cry from Mogmurch’s hiding place under the supply wagon.

In spite of Mogmurch’s attempts to help, with the group now united in their defense, the Hala demons couldn’t stand up to them. The Sons defeated the Halas and recovered the covetous demons ill-gotten goods. Once they got the fire under control, they got back under way and on the trail.

They soon ran into a familiar face on the road: Jack Burton and the Porkchop Express. The Porkchop Express was heading toward Kalsgard, as well, laden with guns from the western dwarven clans for sale. Traveling with Jack was a wizard named Morokei. Jack and the Sons decided to travel together the rest of the way to Kalsgard.

Dragonborn.jpg

As the united caravan was drawing near to Kalsgard, they heard the sound of thunder over a nearby hill. The sound resolved into a rampage of rhinos! The caravan circled up and defended themselves as best they could from the power of the stampeding beasts. Once the animals had passed them by, the caravan was in need of serious repairs, which were tended to by Ashik’s mending spell, over the course of hours.

Two days outside of Kalsgard, the group noticed the ubiquitous ravens were flocking ever more closely. Jambro noticed a single raven, one as large as a small dog, with a single blood-red feather on its chest. Once noticed, the raven disappeared into the flock. Brevelek and Vankor both commented on the raven’s appearance as a bad omen.

That night, while camped at the crossing of the Skalsbridge, raiders dispatched from Kalsgard crept up to the camp in quieted boats. Despite their precaution, Ashik heard the noise of the raiders soon enough to give the Sons a few precious moments to prepare for the hostile’s arrival. Warlug prepared his bow, Johnny and Kryspin a defense, and Ashik began to invoke his performance. Jambro gave Kryspin night sight and then unleashed the first of several fireball spells at the raiders.

Even with the advantage of numbers, the Rashamani raiders were broken against the Wayward Sons. The Sons discovered that the fallen members of the raiding party each wore distinctive golden arm-rings: The rings each had the head of a lion on them. Further up-river, the Sons found the raider’s longboat, Aril’s Hammer. They briefly discussed keeping the longship, but decided (partly on Morokei’s advice) that the ship would be difficult to bring into Kalsgard and dangerous to try to sell, being that it belonged to someone. Johnny and the caravan members gathered the dead, put them on the longship, and set them off down-river in a blazing funeral pyre.

burning_ship.jpg

After resting for the night, and tending to Jack’s friend who had dropped from a grievous ax-blow, the Sons and Co. made the final push into Kalsgard. They found themselves in a metropolis, a bustling commercial hub on the shores of Lakes Ashane and Mulsantir. The Wayward Sons caravan, along with the Porkchop Express, found their way to the Bone Quarter. Johnny, disturbed at the hunger and despair symptomatic of the quarter’s poverty, immediately set out to start making deals to begin employing more people. Warlug began his own exploration of the city, heading toward the Jade Quarter. Ashik similarly began his own exploration. Jambro went out on a sales call, seeing how the peoples of Kalsgard took to dwarven ’shine. Kryspin went off investigating about the lion-headed arm bands. Mogmurch took it upon himself to help Jambro with his sales: he found a local Gnomish distillery, which produced a whiskey called Throatburn. Mogmurch attempted to set the building on fire, and was promptly seized by city guards.

Kalsgard.png

Kryspin and Ashik independently learned of Mogmurch’s arrest, both of whom went to take care of the problem, in their way. Kryspin was arrested while trying to break Mogmurch out. But as luck would have it, a guard had slipped Kryspin a key in the struggle. Clearing knowing that Kryspin had committed no crime, and that even Mogmurch surely was repentant for his attempted crime. The Kender monk had little problem getting the two of them out of prison. One holocaust cloak later, and they were quickly out of the Stone Quarter and found their way back to the Bone Quarter.

While this had been going on, Ashik had also learned that shadowy people about town had been asking questions about the Sons. He was unable to learn more tangible information than that, however. After going by the jail and finding Kryspin and Mogmurch both gone, he began to head back to the Inn the Sons were staying at. On his way there, he was attacked by a rooftop sniper! He was hit once, but quickly found his way into cover. After spending time evading the mysterious attacker and using magic to disguise himself, Ashik made his way back to Johnny.

Before Johnny was re-joined by his comrades, he was confronted by a drunken man. The man, Gorvald, claimed that his favorite hunting hound was poisoned by Johnny. He demanded payment and an apology. Johnny was able to calm the man down and get more information from him. Gorvald was told by a hooded stranger, but once confronted about the facts, realized he had no grounds to accuse Johnny of the crime. Gorvald apologized and offered a small payment for making such a claim without proper proof.

When they were all back at the Inn, they decided to go out and check on Warlug, who no one had seen since they had gotten to Kalsgard (a few days had passed at this point).

Warlug, meanwhile, saw that he was being shadowed. Warlug used his ranger skills to not just lose his shadow, but ambush it! He was face to face with a Tian boy, no older than 15, named Kei. kei.jpg

Kei freely admitted to having followed Warlug and other members of the Sons. He said that a hooded man was paying him 5 gold pieces a day to keep an eye on them and leave a short written report under a hiding place in the Jade Quarter. Warlug demanded Kei lead him there, which he did. Once there, they found the barrel Kei reported under moved, and they were leaving by means of an alley when they were jumped. Warlug and Kei immediately went back to back, as eight tattooed, club and knife wielding thugs meant to kill either or both of them. While he was heavily out-numbered, with Kei’s quick help (mostly by distracting a few of the thugs) Warlug was able to beat down the thugs through brute force. A captured thug revealed that they received their orders from a hooded man in a tea house, the Golden Leaves. Kei knew where that was, and lead him there.

Once inside, Warlug accepted the hospitality of the hosts. That turned out to be a mistake, however, as his tea was poisoned. Warlug began to sense something was amiss just as he lost consciousness.

Outside, Johnny, Kryspin, Ashik, and Mogmurch were on the run from the law from a second arson attempt. This time, Mogmurch set a ramen stand ablaze with a torch he managed to get his hot little hands on. While another intentional fire was possibly spreading, Ashik noticed men in black bodysuits dragging and unconscious Warlug into the back of a wagon. They charged in, fighting with the ninjas of the Frozen Shadow Clan.

ninja-clan-900.jpg

The ninjas were forced to retreat, but managed to get away with Warlug and they left no bodies behind in the smoke.

Once the Sons returned to the caravan, they put Mogmurch in a kennel with strict instructions to Whiskey to keep him out of trouble. Kryspin began chasing down another lead, trying to discover exactly where Warlug was being held. Johnny and Ashik went to go check on the sword _Suishen_’s location, to talk with Fynn Snaevald, who bought the sword nearly fifty years before.

fynn_snavald.jpg

After finding out that Fynn had been burglarized, with only Suishen missing, the Fynn and the Sons came to an agreement: If Suishen were recovered, it would almost certainly repay the blood vengeance owed Fynn. Since he cannot pursue his own ends in this, he would award the party with Suishen should they recover it in his name. They agreed to those terms, and Johnny and Ashik left after discovering the name of the man who sent the raiding party after them: Asvig Longthews. They also learned the general location of Asvig’s farmstead. They left, ready to meet up with Kryspin again, hopefully knowing where Warlug was being held, now.

Once they left, however, they were attacked by a ninja assassin! First, a trio of poison darts hit Ashik, then exploding shuriken briefly ignited Johnny. Once the duo got their bearings, they saw five ninjas hiding in the rafters of a nearby building’s overhang. The battle’s distance was closed up, as Johnny channeled his divine gifts to teleport the distance needed to close to melee. Ashik quickly moved up to back him up. After an intense fight and some serious prayer, they were able to weaken the assassin enough to put her to sleep. They bypassed the traps on her gear and took her bodysuit and weapons away. They burned a writ they found giving her emergency power to act signed by the King himself!

Simultaneously, Kryspin was in for a fight, as well. He was attacked by the same rooftop sniper that had attacked Ashik earlier. Kryspin closed the distance and began fighting her on the rooftop. Though she was a strong opponent, she sensed that Kryspin would take the fight. She took a moment that he offered her and the two spoke. In exchange for enough money to leave the city with, she told him that a man named Jorgan the Axe paid her to kill one or more members of Kryspin’s party. She agreed to take Kryspin’s money and leave town.

hekja.jpg

Johnny and Ashik took their downed opponent to the City Watch. She nearly escaped the bonds that Johnny had placed her in. She was arrested, but the Sons heard that she escaped jail that very night. Whether they may face her again seems a forgone conclusion, the only question is under what circumstances.

At this point, the Sons have spent a total of 18 days in Kalsgard. Warlug was kidnapped yesterday. Mogmurch is still a wanted fugitive from the law. The raiding party that attacked the Sons was sent by a chieftain named Asvig Longthews, who holds a farmstead a couple hours walk from Kalsgard. Suishen was taken, most likely by ninjas of the Frozen Shadow clan. You all know that the Frozen Shadows are a clan of assassins, thieves, and spies from Tian Xia. Also, you all realize that you haven’t seen Jambro for nearly a week and a half.

Jambro won nearly 2,500 gold pieces in a game of Tian Xia dominoes at that time. He’s been in the Lily Bloom Pleasure House the entire time, in various stages of intoxication, enjoying the company of Iriyama Noriko, a courtesan.

Iriyama-Noriko.jpg

View
Prelude to Campaign 2
Go along to get along

mostpeople.jpg

Timeline -2 months prior to the destruction of the Licktoad Tribe in Brinestump, the party was finishing out their last year living full time in the town of Sandpoint. The following is the recollection of Jonathan Courage Winchester, with helpful reminders from Kryspin Kwikstryke. Henceforth referred to as “quick” by Jonathan, aka Johnny, aka J. As these journal notes/memories/stories were often recounted after a night of drinking Jambro’s Dwarven moonshine.
With apologies to David Thorne for our R&D.

The following issue was hazily recalled after J and Quick (who shared adjoining rooms at the Dragon Inn, owned by Ameiko, and thus share the same view) sleep was disturbed when the house across the street from the INN had an enhanced ever burning torch installed near the front door, in full view of the Inns windows.

Attempting to be neighborly the Avenger placed a note in the “letter box” of the town Sage/Wizard/book binder. The note read as follows…

Dear neighbor,
We live in the second story of the INN right across the street. Due to your new torch that seems to have been created in Plane of Elemental Fire that is shining through our bedroom window like a small but intense sun, I have removed the torch from your front porch and placed it in your obscenely large letter box. (I guess im luck you are the town book binder in that regard. It actually fits. Wow)

Regards, Jonathan.

P.S. This was a quick last Night conversation between myself and my friend in the adjoining room through the wall.

Quick-OH MY GOD! Did a fireball go off!?

Me-No, it’s the wizard house. He has a new torch. Cocksucker!

(Ignore that last part about the Cocksucker) But I wanted to ensure you understood our pain.
-——————————-

(The following day Amekio gave Jonathan a letter delivered at the INN from the neighbor across the street)

Dear Jonathan,

I received your note but you can’t go onto other people’s property and take things, that’s trespassing. Our point of the town is located near the woods and entrance/exit of town. I installed that torch for security. It’s a safety issue. I can’t help it if some of the light goes across the road, close your curtains if it bothers you.

For your consideration,
Montel the Magnificent
-————————————————————————————
(Reply left in his letter box)

Hello Montel,

Thank you for your letter. While I accept that curtains are usually the key to community accord, in this instance they would need to be constructed of eight-inch-thick lead sheeting welded to the frame by half crazed gnomes with religious determination. Last night, with my curtains closed and bedside light off, I read a book. Wearing my helm. Under a blanket.

Though unconvinced that blinding local fauna is the best solution, I do understand the heightened need for security living in a wooded area so near to the edge of town. Having lived in Cormyr, I am unfamiliar with much of the local wildlife but I did see my first raccoon last week. I stepped outside to have a cigarette and the raccoon, sitting less than five feet away beside an up ended bin eating the remains of Ameiko’s Artisan Tuscan Salami Pizza, hissed at me. Surprised, I threw myself backwards, rolled several times toward the door, and sprang to my feet holding the INN’s welcome-mat over my head to appear taller. (I am a dwarf, in case you didn’t know that). After this display the Raccoon appeared bored and finally left. Which probably isn’t as exciting a story as it should be but this isn’t Waterdeep and I’m not Drizzt Du’ Urden.

(The remainder of the letter is written in the Kenders hand writing)

I did see a snake the other day though. I picked up a stick to poke it with which also turned out to be a snake. Jumping back in panic, I threw it away from me, but our dog and wolf thought I was playing fetch and I had to run and jump over a creek to get away.
As such, this weekend I intend to set up a canister of poisonous gas we found from a secluded cabin near the edge of the swamp last month after we maimed an evil sorcerer and confiscated his items.

There is in fact, a gnome who lives in town and I will be asking him about building an industrial fan so I can put it behind the canister. I can’t help it if some of the gas goes across the road.

Good night!
Kryspin Oh! and Jonathan, in the first part of the letter, he says bye too.
-———————————————————————————-
(Response from Montel)

Dear Jonathan and Kryspin,

Is that meant to be a threat? Put something up in your windows if you two don’t like the light, we lived here for 5 years before you Inn Dwellers took up residence in the neighborhood and got along perfectly with Sir Gaylord who lived in your room before you. We went to his BBQ’s and I loaned him our grass cutting machine to trim the hedges of your owners INN. We get along with all our neighbors. I don’t know what you people do in your own country but in this country we don’t go onto other people’s property and touch their stuff.

For your consideration,
Montel the Magnificent
-———————————————————————————————

Dear Montel,

In my country, torches that bright would be reserved for warning sailors of hazardous shoals. This is despite the fact that practically every living creature there an kill you outside the city, and we lived in a realm referred to as “The FORREST KINGDOM”. Perhaps you natives of Thesk think our primary spoken language is screaming.

I’m not surprised you get along well with all the other neighbors. If you put fifty Ogres with Down’s syndrome in a room there is going to be a lot of hugging.

And no, it was not a threat. My friend Kryspin was using an exaggerated response to an uncompromising stance. I was taught never to make a threat unless you are prepared to carry it out and I am not a fan of carrying anything when I’m not on a job. Even watching other people carrying things makes me uncomfortable. Mainly because of the possibility they may ask me to help. (I blame my human parents for this in raising me as such)

I did consider installing a torch as bright as yours, but this would require some form of carrying things, Arcane knowledge, and access to a powerful fire elemental capable of producing that amount of light. Perhaps even empowered with hell fire. I am told by my friend Ameiko the Inn keeper this would be very expensive. I can only speculate to what her reaction would be to the cost that would surely equal eight times the INN’s ANNUAL income, just for the purpose of retaliatory garden lighting.

It would be much cheaper to stand on the INN’s porch and throw rocks. I can’t help it if some of the rocks go across the road. You should probably put something up in your window. (I own a shield for instance)powerism2.jpg

Regards, Jonathan.
-—————————————————————————————————————
Dear Jonathan,

Did you take our torch again asshole? What part about not being allowed to go on our property don’t you get?

For your consideration, Montel the Magnificent
-————————————————————————————————————-

(In the Kenders handwriting)

Dear Montel,

No, I did not take the torch again. I DID relocate it again. Its current location may be discovered by deciphering the following set of clues to its whereabouts. Perhaps you could invite your friend Sir Gaylord over and treat it as a kind of treasure hunt:

1- It’s in the letterbox again.
2- Look in the letterbox.

As I realize this probably won’t narrow it down much for you, I will give you a third clue in the form of a riddle. (I like riddles!)

What burns with the light of a thousand suns and is in the letterbox?

BYE BYE!, Kryspin
-———————————————————————————————————————

Dear Kryspin and Jonathan,

I put a regular torch in so you can shut the fuck up now. Don’t send me any further letters. Cease all correspondence. Never trespass on my property again or I will notify the town Constable!

For your consideration, Montel the Magnificent
-————————————————————————————————————————

Dear Montel,

What if we have a BBQ and need to send you an invitation? Is it ok to send you a letter then?

Waiting patiently, Kryspin.
-—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Dear Kryspin,

No. It is NOT ok.

For your consideration, Montel the Magnificent
-————————————————————————————————————————

Dear Montel,

What if I need to borrow your grass cutter for the INN’s Hedge problem? I can’t invite people over for a BBQ and expect them to stand in long grass. Someone might be bitten by a snake the kender was telling you about.

It’s a safety issue.

Regards, Jonathan
-——————————————————————————————————————

Dear Jonathan,

FUCK OFF, BACK TO CORMYR!!!

Last letter received…

View
The Brinewall Legacy Conclusion: Legacy's Lure
...or: "How do you like me now?"

This session took place over 23 days; 7 days traveling from Karpad to Sandpoint, 14 days traveling to Brinewall Castle, and 2 days of exploration at the Castle.

Ashik Fawkes – Tiefling Bard
Jambro “Battlestout” Winchester – Dwarven Wizard/Priest
Johnny “Courage” Winchester – Dwarven Avenger
Kryspin Kwikstryke – Kender Monk
Warlug – Half-Orc Ranger

Once the Sons returned from Karpad to Sandpoint, they ensured that their caravan was geared up and ready to make the 500 mile trip to Brinewall Castle. The journey would take them north along the Lost Cost Road, through several villages, along the outskirts of the Forest of Lethyr, through the town of Roderic’s Cove, and then along the outer reaches of the Impiltur Nolands before reaching Brinewall. Jambro was sure to have an extra supply of his Dwarven ’shine for trade, while Johnny invested into some spices of (dubious) quality. Along the trip, however, both managed to turn a profit on the goods.

During the 14 day trip, the caravan traversed poor road and weather conditions, met a couple of other smaller caravans running quick routes before winter set in, and encountered goblin raiders. Once the caravan reached Roderic’s Cove, a large raiding party of goblins attacked the town while the Sons were getting ready to leave town. Due to the help the Sons provided, the losses to the people of Roderic’s Cove were spare.

As the journey was nearing Brinewall, the roads became more obviously disused. The chill that had been bracing when the caravan left Sandpoint became biting in Brinewall. The crew noticed that Ameiko was feeling poorly as they got near Brinewall. Once the caravan reached the overgrown trail that lead to Brinewall, Ameiko fell into a coma. Magical investigation revealed that a kami; a guardian spirit of objects, animals, or places; had possessed Ameiko. She was in good health, but unable to be roused (despite Kryspin’s multiple attempts to wake her with a kiss).

In her state, Ameiko seemed only capable of occasionally uttering cryptic phrases: “Beware the birds who wish to fly, but cannot,” “grandfather waits in the dark, but he knows not who he was…” Koya felt certain that whatever was causing Ameiko’s coma would be sorted out in Brinewall Castle. Koya, Lelu, and Whiskey would remain with the caravan and Ameiko, while the Wayward Sons would explore Brinewall Castle and report back.

They found little in the village, besides ruins, but they did find the remains of a glassblowing shop (similar to the Kaijitsu Glassworks in Sandpoint), a Rasheman longship, a cemetery, and the ruins of a temple to Selune. They found trinkets from the glassworks, the longship empty, and then investigated the cemetery. In the cemetery, they found a shrine that would bless water. They also met a cleric of Selune: Spivey, a fey who remained in Brinewall once she discovered the monsters hiding in Brinewall. Anyone who found their way to Brinewall unaware of them would be in grave danger. Spivey chose to remain to deter those who wouldn’t be able to handle the Castle and help those who might have a chance.

After receiving holy water and the promise of healing and safety, the group bade Spivey farewell for the time being to head to the castle.

The Sons found the Castle lightly guarded, relative to a castle. They fought their way past dire corby guards in the gatehouse and courtyard, first. Then they fought an ettercap and his pet spider.

corby.png

After that battle, the Sons found ogrekin lurking in a side yard. They managed to talk them out of a fight. The ogrekin wouldn’t fight against Brinewall’s residents, but they would leave the party in peace. They also showed the Sons a secret way into the Castle.

Once inside, the party found Buttersnips, a quickling taxidermist. The party quickly discovered the quickling had been capturing and preserving her victims, going through the taxidermy process while they were paralyzed by poison.

quickling.jpg

The party quickly seized Buttersnips. They decided that she was too dangerous to be allowed to live and put her to death.

They began to explore more of the castle, and were soon set upon by the castle’s ruler: Kikonu. He appeared to be a strange-looking Tian man, wielding a hand-scythe with a length of chain at its end. Along with his corby minions, they attacked the Sons. The battle ranged around the castle as Kikonu teleported about, rousing additional aide and trying to escape the Son’s wrath. More dire corbies, troglodytes, and even a giant water bug beset the Sons: Jambro was temporarily locked down by the mindless water bug. Kryspin remained in position to ensure that Kikonu would not escape the Castle. Warlug, Johnny, and Ashik pressed the fight directly. As the fight began to turn, Kikonu revealed that he was a yamabushi tengu, an oni from Tian Xia.

Tengu.jpg

Kikonu fought while his support was cut down. It was then that Warlug dealt him a blinding blow! Unable to see, the Tengu teleported away, to the top of the castle’s tower. After reforming, the Sons decided to pursue him past the haunt at the tower’s base. On the top floor, the Sons found a priestess of Pazuzu, a demon lord. They dispatched her after a vicious fight. Then they found Kikonu at the top of the tower, with his (former) ally, Zaiobe, a harpy oracle of Pazuzu. The Sons dispatched Kikonu, with Zaiobe shooting at Kikonu as well. She attempted to communicate with the Sons, given her lack of speech. She and the Sons had an altercation, which she tried to escape from. As she was flying away, however, Warlug managed to get into position and loose an expert shot from his bow! The shot struck true and downed the mysterious oracle.

With most of the Castle cleared, the Sons began securing their area: Johnny and the caravan crew cleared a path through the brush to allow the caravan into the castle courtyard. Another haunt was discovered, the wight of the Castle’s previous captain of the guard was found and defeated, as well as the tortured soul of a child who died in the original attack on Brinewall. With these dangers taken care of, the Sons rest for the night before heading into the sub-levels of Brinewall.

The next morning, they went deeper into Brinewall. They cleared more troglodytes from the basement, holdovers who hadn’t run out in the night. After the battle, they rescued a Rashemani woman, a raider who was captured by the residents after her party members were killed in the initial attack: Kelda Oxgutter. Kelda.jpg

She thanked the party, gathered her belongings, and accepted their offer to recover in the caravan. She agreed to work as a guard, hoping that the caravan would find its way back to Kalsgard, her home.

Finally, the Sons were ready to venture even deeper. They found a crypt, where they were visited by an aspect of Kelmvor. The party doubted its veracity, however, and were not lured by its promises of reward for clearing out the crypt. Ashik saw that the ground at the end of the crypt was illusory. It was, in fact, a sheer drop of fifty feet! Worse yet, in the dark of the cave, lurked Nindinzego, the Bastard of Brinewall!

bastard_of_brinewall.jpg

The half-fiend, a twisted mutant of the seed of Pazuzu, had laid claim to Brinewall and its secrets. Living in the darkness beneath Brinewall, he awaited further visions from his absentee father, acting on equal parts faith and madness. Nindinzego aided Kikonu, to what end neither knew, nor were the Sons able to discover it. The battle with the Bastard of Brinewall was short and brutal; Warlug and Ashik both dealt Nindinzego terrible wounds with their bows, while the rest of the Sons provided support and their strength of arms and magic, as well. Despite its terrible power, the Sons strong offensive were too much for Nindinzego to withstand. The Bastard of Brinewall died swiftly.

Plagued by no further hostiles, the Wayward Sons found their way to the secret vault of Brinewall. This last room was guarded by none other than the wraith of Rokuro Kaijitsu, Ameiko’s grandfather. The party invoked the family name, which set the wraith at peace, imparting these last words, “Take the Seal away from here…take it to my child…who is no longer safe…I am no longer worth of guarding it.” With the secret vault’s location pointed out, and with the keys discovered on Nindinzego and Kikonu’s bodies, the Sons finally found the Legacy of Brinewall: three darkwood chests of Tian origin. Inside, they found a magical warding box and the Amatatsu Seal, the potent artifact that acts as protector and symbol of the Amatatsu family’s divine right to rule Minkai, Ameiko’s motherland.

Upon exposing the Amatatsu Seal from the warding box, the kami that had possessed Ameiko immediately returned to the Seal. Ashik, Jambro, Johnny, Kryspin, Warlug, and Ameiko each had shared visions: Fiends with burning eyes and tusks, emerging from a storm to descend upon Tian peoples. Another showed the Emperor Shigure of Minkai murdered by his friend, a man who transformed into an oni wearing jade armor. Yet another showed a young Tian man selling the heirloom Suishen, a powerful sword of the Amatatsu line, to a Rashamani merchant.

When the visions subsided, the Sons feel the mantle of destiny settle upon their shoulders: They have each been chosen as scions of the Amatatsu family, charged with the worth of the line, and the right to rule Minkai. They know that Ameiko is the rightful heir to the rule of Minkai, that Suishen can impart further knowledge of the family and be found in Kalsgard, and they know that the Seal’s power can be traced by the Oni of the Five Storms.

Knowing what they know, and after talking with Ameiko, the Sons decide that going back to Sandpoint would be too dangerous. So, they instead decide to proceed directly to Kalsgard from Brinewall with the provisions they already have. They seek to recover the family sword Suishen, prepare their caravan for the long journey along the Golden Way, and find a guide who can lead them along it.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.