This session happened Friday, February 11, 2011, and was the only session I ran this past weekend. There was no game on February 4th.
Su Bel (human cleric)
– Dame Yasha of Bereste (Su Bel’s human cavalier cohort)
Sal Ty (elf wizard)
– Maenwen (Sal’s human wizard cohort)
Mog the Doomed (half-orc barbarian)
Tycho von Helmont (elf alchemist)
Agnes Sunbeard (dwarf rogue)
Thorngrim (half-orc sorcerer)
– Kainen (Thorngrim’s human fighter cohort)
Note: the list of player characters is in player sitting order, from my left and then clockwise around the table.
Having settled on a plan for expanding Drop-off Tower into Drop-off Keep, Agnes and Thorngrim each put down 2,500 gold marks to start actual construction of the walls. A respectable dwarven firm (Torut Torarr and Family) was selected to oversee the work and a crew of workers hired from the Iron Keep started clearing and leveling where the walls will go while orders for stone were placed with the quarries in the Iron Hills.
In addition to the start of construction, Sal picked up a co-artificer by the name of Maenwyn. Sal had sent posters to several centers of learning back across the ocean looking for someone willing to join him in the south and assist him. In addition to being skilled in the creation of magic items, Maenwyn had expertise in running a business, something Sal planned on putting to use in the future when he establishes a learning academy. [This is something I, as the DM, am very excited by.]
Having codified the various maps in their possession (the Table map from Spider’s Bar, a treasure map on an ivory tusk, a treasure map on a dragon scale, and the floor-covering map from one of the tombs at the Terrace of Fallen Horses) into a single map, the adventurers decided to investigate what appeared to be the location of a mine. Packing supplies and using the mount spell (except Dame Yasha who brought her mount Lakshmi), the adventurers rode south on Three Peaks Road.
Turning off the road prior to entering the mountains themselves, the adventurers attempted to circle the mountains to the east. They found a long line of cliffs to the east and south of the mountains, in the hills. They followed the cliff edge around, discovering an immense river gorge south of Three Peaks, beyond which they could barely detect the high mountains their map showed. [Note: there was an odd symbol on their map, which the could not figure out and I did not explain. When they arrived here, they realized it was marking an immense canyon flanked by miles-wide plateau steps. Think the Grand Canyon, but not as quite deep or as long.]
Not wanting to deal with the river gorge, the adventurers followed the cliff face west until it ended and then skirted the western edges of the river canyon. Camping on the edges of the Sea of Grass to the southwest of the Three Peaks area, their evening rest was disturbed by a stampede of horses. Tycho and Thorngrim were on watch at the time and the rest of the group was up a rope trick, so Thorngrim used ghost sounds to imitate the roars of many dire lions, deflecting the stampede of horses.
The next day the adventurers crossed the wide river and started working their way up into the foothills of the mountains. Most of the day passed uneventfully, but as they were making camp, the adventurers were attacked by a flight of four griffins. This fight did not last long and dinner for the night was griffin steaks. In hindsight, that might not have been the best idea as later an adult red dragon showed up and demanded to know what they were doing in its mountains. After a quick consultation, the adventurers decided they did not want to fight the dragon. When the dragon demanded 100 gold pieces per person as tribute, the adventurers quickly paid. Somewhat satisfied by this, the dragon stated that the adventurers had "one week" and then flew off. It didn’t say one week to what and the adventurers were not willing to call the dragon back for clarification.
In the morning, the adventurers continued working their way into the mountains. Early in the afternoon they discovered a large plateau backed by tall mountains. On the southern edge, up next to a steep mountain face, were the ruins of a small keep. At the back of the keep they found the entrance to a mine, with rusted tracks leading into the darkness. The adventurers entered the mine and spent the rest of the afternoon searching the nearest tunnels.
Down one series of tunnels they discovered the mine still contained a workable vein of copper. They also found a deep shaft that led to deeper levels of the mine, but the lifts were long ago destroyed, so they postponed searching the deeper levels until later. Down a different set of tunnels they found the skeletal remains of a dead human with a fractured skull. The adventurers were coming to the conclusion that the mine had not been abandoned peaceably and returned to the first chamber to camp.
During the night, on second watch, Thorngrim and Maenwyn heard an eerie howl from deeper in the mine. Neither could identify the sound, but when Thorngrim replayed it for Sal (using ghost sounds), Sal and Su Bel identified it as the cry of a banshee! This led to a discussion as to which foe will be harder to face, the banshee or the dragon? It was decided that the banshee would be especially dangerous as most of the spellcasters were out of spells still and the camp was moved out into the ruins of the keep.
*End of session*
[Normally, I would not end a session with the adventurers in a locale, requiring them to return to a safe location or chance a roll on the table of Doom. However, it was getting late and the same set of players will be there on the 18th, so I let it go. Plus, I was tired and ready to end the session.]