Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Blood, Gold, and Lizards: Saturday Group - Session 1
Warren - Marcus of the Shield
Kasey - Quetzal of the Jicarilla Tribes
John - Zoglug Ironhide
Rhytch - Jacien Ghel-Aurum
Amy - Belladonna "Frongle" Leagallow
After picking up a few rumors and pieces of information and consulting the only map of the area, the group of adventurers decided to investigate the Valley of the Landsharks and the original colony site.
They hiked through the hills west to a point overlooking a portion of the Valley, north of the fork but south of the original colony. They set up camp in the hills on a bluff overlooking the valley and set the first watches.
Watches are 3 hours each with a 1.5 hour overlap
At dusk, Quetzal spotted a dragon heading in their general direction and alerted the rest of the group. Looking around for a hiding spot, they realize their vantage point was rather exposed - great for looking out on things, bad for hiding. Frongle suspected there was a cave at the base of the cliff, but could not verify that as that area was now in shadow. The best hiding space they could work out was letting lines down the bluff and hiding there, hoping the dragon doesn't see them. Luckily, the dragon, a young one, was apparently concentrating on the valley for hunting and missed seeing them. It flew over the center of the valley and then flew south, following the course of the valley.
An hour later, a herd of giant lizard-like creatures moved down the valley, finishing a stampede. The PCs suspect that the creatures are reacting to dragon attack.
Near dawn, Marcus spotted some humanoids moving to attack the herd of beasts in the valley. He heard them attack and probably kill one of the beasts (now stampeding back up the valley). After a while, he observed them moving back to the cliff face, but it was dark and he lost track of them...until he spotted them climbing the cliff towards him. He went and woke Zoglug and the two return to the cliff edge, just as the trolls reach the lip. The fighting that starts quickly wakes the rest of the group.
During the ensuing fight, Zoglug was seriously injured and only the approaching dawn drove off the trolls (the Players spent a token to escape the encounter). The trolls went back down the cliff and apparently into a cave at the foot of the bluff. Frongle was right about there being a cave there.
The next day the group headed north and investigated the ruins of the original settlement at the mouth of the valley. There was clear sign that landsharks attacked the village - wandering furrows, floors burst up from below, and the like. Zoglug, investigating for loot, found a pair of saddlebags containing 400 pieces of silver.
The group then pressed up the valley, following the western edge (in case they needed to scramble up some stones to avoid any landsharks). When they reached a point overlooking the fork in the valley, they decided to follow the western branch. At the end of the day, they made camp on the north face of the canyon. Before the sun sets, a patrol of lizardfolk was observed moving along the next hill north, heading west to east. The group decided to let them go by. During the evening, a landshark attack on a herd of beasts in the valley was observed by those on watch, disabusing the theory that landsharks are day-time only creatures.
In the morning, the group decided to track down the lizardfolk patrol to establish contact. After 3 hours of following the tracks, the group found the patrol's campsite, but no patrol. Until the patrol popped up over some nearby hill crests, javelins in hand. Quetzal talks with them for a while in their native tongue. Their leader is named Tsankth. These lizardfolk are not from this area, but are "looking to see what there is to see". (They are more a ruddy brown color whereas Quetzal and her tribe are emerald green.) Quetzal warned them of the trolls to the north and that there are more mammals (humans) in a village to the east-northeast. Tsankth mentioned there are ruins at the end of the valley, but warned that the largest of the "Teeth-from-the-Ground" are found there. Quetzal asked if Tsankth has seen a mammal with only nine fingers and the rest stained with ink. Tsankth thought on it and then answered he had not. He then thanked Quetzal for the information she had provided and the groups parted ways amicably. Quetzal summarized what she and Tsankth discussed for the rest of the adventuring group, leaving out the part about the human she is hunting.
The group headed back west for an hour and then thoroughly explored their vicinity (spent a token to explore the hex). They found an abandoned troll cave and a really good cave for them to camp in. The only issue with the cave was that the back was covered in a yellow mold that Frongle identified as dangerous. She recommended simply burning it, but Jacien the wizard has a "better" idea. He started tapping the walls to check for structural integrity and measuring out "blast radius". He then spread some oil (supplied by Frongle) around the mold and prepared to throw an explosive spell into the cave. The rest of the group rapidly vacated the cave, being careful to move off to the side so they were not in the blast they expect to burst from the cave mouth. Jacien threw the spell and the results were...not impressive (the player rolled absolutely minimal damage). However, the spell did burn out the mold (thanks to the oil). Underneath where the mold had been was a very blackened skeleton wearing burned armor and a scorched backpack, with a blackened sword to its side.
Frongle checked things out for safety while Jacien checked for magic. The sword detected as magical and was set aside. Inside the backpack was a black stone egg the size of a man's fist, a scroll tube, a group of river stones with strange runes carved on them, and a small bag of coins. The stone egg detected as magical and was set aside with sword. The scroll case was not magical, but Jacien pulled it aside with the sword and the stone egg. Jacien then set to analyzing the magical items to determine what they do.
The sword has two winds attached to it, grey and silver. The grey magic provides the ability to turn the holder invisible four times a day for a minute each time. The silver magic is obscured and seems to need a key to activate. This appears to be a terribly complex High Magic effect which Jacien could not puzzle out.
The stone egg seems to be a receiving point for a scrying spell of some sort. Frongle immediately wrapped it up in a leather sack and Jacien made plans to wrap it in lead, later.
The glyphs on the river stones do not match any know script, but Quetzal seemed to think they looked similar to some of the writing forms her people use. The stones were put away until better information is at hand.
Frongle opened the scroll case and found a poisoned needle the hard way, suffering some minor CON damage before Marcus was able to use his healing knowledge to bleed out the remaining poison. He then healed the damage done to her in the process of saving her life. Inside the now safe scroll tube were three pages of parchment covered in coded text. The letters are in the style of the Old World, but none present knew how to decrypt the code. The pages were put away for later inspection.
The bag of coins turned out to be thirty pieces of gold, not coins - actual pieces of gold.
After a quiet night, the group headed further west, tracking the path of the valley but staying in the hills. This slowed down movement but kept the adventurers feeling safe. They occasionally saw small herds in the valley of two types of beasts: one with the tall narrow crest they had seen recently and another type with large armored plates along its backs and spikes on their tails. The second type they had heard of from rumors in Lucan's Clock. The spikes on the tail are called the Thagomizer by the colonists, named in honor of the late Thag Simmons. Near the end of the day the group crossed the valley and saw some mountains in the distance. They camped and set watches again.
After another quiet night, the group continued hiking further to the southwest. Other than the surprising length of the valley, not much of interest was seen and they camped again. Late in the night, the camp was attacked by what Quetzal later identifies as a kroxigor - a large perpetually angry race that are used as heavy shock troops in lizardfolk armies. As this one was attacking the camp, she was not concerned that it was killed by the other adventurers. In the morning, when there was light, the group saw that the kroxigor was a deep green color, indicating it was from a much wetter clime than the dry hills the group is traveling in. This was curious, but there was nothing else to go on, so they just made a note of it.
The group took stock of their supplies and decided it was time to return to Lucan's Clock. In order to speed up their return, they moved through the valley instead of the hills. This sped up their movement significantly. They were not able to find a really good spot for a camp in the hills at the end of the day and settled for one that provided some cover and a good line of retreat, even if the site was not very defensible. This turned out to be wise as a dragon approached their campsite during the night. The group used the quick escape and got out of the area as the dragon thrashed their campsite.
Starting to run low on food, the group pushed on, using the valley as much as possible for speed and the hills to cut corners on the twisting path of the valley. Within a day from the town, they ran into Tsankth's patrol again. The patrol had apparently scouted out the human settlement and was now returning home. Pleasantries were exchanged between Tsankth and Quetzal and both groups continued on their ways.
The next day the slightly bedraggled and very hungry adventurers made it back into Lucan's Clock. They posted a warning about the dragon or dragons they saw to the west/southwest and called it a day.
*End of Session*