Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blood, Gold, and Lizards - Friday Group - Session 3

Felix Lutsk – male Human “acquisitioner”
Hugo Underwood – male Wood Elf shaman
Albrecht Artyom – male Human Grey Wizard
Fritz Schmidt – male Human scout
Alset Alokin – male High Elf mage

Penrith the Steeplejack (Sergeant)
Lukyan the Fat
Fredek the Hare

Felix, recently returned from his sojourn to Lucan’s Clock (having received word that the heat had died down), told many stories about how different things are over in the Sartosan colony.  He now has a healthy respect for orcs and the lizardfolk, having seen examples of them in action.

The group of adventurers that comprised F&A Holdings decided they wanted some more information about the areas outside of New Zwicke.  To secure this information, they individually scouted the town for rumors.  The most intriguing rumors they heard suggested that there was something up in the area known as the Dark of the Woods, that the lizardfolk avoided, but no one knew what.  The group decided that that was not a strong enough lead to investigate and instead decided to finish their investigations of the Wedge Wood.

Before heading out of New Zwicke, the group tracked down and hired Penrith the Steeplejack and his two companions-in-arms, Fredek the Hare and Lukyan the Fat.  The three had just about blown through their share of the last outing and were very willing to sign on for the same rate as before: 5s a day or a full share if there was any fighting.

Starting in the morning, the group road the Estini road north(-ish) out of town for two hours and then cut east towards Wedge Wood.  An hour later they were in the Wedge Wood, looking for the tower they had previously discovered.  Felix’s map was not as accurate as he had hoped it would be, but after wandering for nearly an hour Fritz took a look at the map and was able to get them to the correct place.

The tower was still buried under trees and other plant growth.  The path they had hacked to the entrance to the tower was covered again with heavy new growth, despite it having been less than a month since their last visit.  They started hacking through the plant growth again, clearing a path to the entrance to the tower.  Fritz took this time to set out surveying markers around the tower as the first step towards claiming ownership of it.  Hugo noticed the horses were nervous and used his Beast Speak power to ask them why they were nervous.  The horses only said “something big is here” and asked for some oats.  By this time the entrance to the tower was clear and the group moved in.  The interior was exactly as they had left it: dry with a slight coating of dust.  Despite there being no door covering the entrance, there was no plant growth intruding from the outside.  The adventurers also checked the dust for footprints and found there were no extra footprints in the dust beyond the ones they had left before.

They made their way back up to the third floor and found that the moss once again covered all surfaces except the statue.  Alset cast a new spell he had learned, one that allowed him to see the winds of magic and analyze them.  He found the room was awash in green magic, emanating from the statue and flowing out through the missing wall section (see the previous expedition for details of the room). [http://bugbearsforbreakfast.blogspot.com/2013/06/bg-friday-group-session-1.html]  Comparing to their map of the areas around New Zwicke, the adventurers are able to determine that the flow of energies follow the centerline of the Wedge Wood in a roughly northeasterly direction.

Albrecht realized that his newly developed Mage Sight had been indicating that while the third floor was awash in green magical energies, the first and second floor were a different magic.  The group retreated back down to the second floor and Alset was able to determine that the energies on the lower two floors were High Magic (suggesting High Elves) and maintaining the environment and keeping the green out.  Alset and Albrecht investigated the summoning circle found in the hidden chamber last time.  It was not active but could still be used.  That room also contained residues on the walls and floors that could only be described as “magical splatter” and reminiscent of Dark Magic (which suggested Dark Elves).  Somewhat mystified, the group returned to the entry rooms on the first floor to camp and give some thought to their next actions.

During the night, an assassin vine moved through the area.  Hugo and Fredek notice it, but decide to let it pass as it just seems to be moving through the area.  Hugo does mention it to Fritz and Penrith when he wakes them for the last watch.

In the morning, the group decamps, having decided to explore the Wedge Wood more before tampering with the statue in the tower.  Over the next several hours the group finds evidence of boars (or something very like boars) living in the forest and an abandoned (and extremely well hidden) elven camp.  By the end of the day they had finished searching about a third of the Wedge Wood and made camp.  During the night, a large shambling mass of plant-life with a vaguely humanoid shape attacked the campsite.  Hugo noticed its approach early and awoke the group prior to its attack.  Even so, the fight was tense if short.  Felix was the first to approach the creature and was nearly felled by its held attack.  This prompted Penrith and his men to step up and physically haul Felix out of danger, forming an impromptu bucket line as they passed the barely conscious man to the back of the group.  After that, Fritz got a good shot in on the creature, stunning it.  This allowed Penrith and his men to quickly and safely chop the creature down to a pile of mulch.  Fritz took the time afterwards to cut out the fibrous heart of the creature, believing that it might be worth something back in town.

The next morning, the group resumed their exploration of the woods.  About mid-morning they come across an elf hanging from his neck on the southern edge of the woods.  Hugo recognized him as Pepin, another Wood Elf who lived here in the Wedge Wood.  Pepin had been clearly killed by violence elsewhere and hung here after his death.  There were some bloody writing on his body, but the handwriting was so bad it was illegible.  Fritz and Hugo searched the ground around the area and found signs indicating that orcs had been in the area and were likely responsible.  This was slightly unusual as there were no orcs tribes known to be in the area.  Later in the day, after losing an hour to heavy rains, the group found a dead orc on the northern border of the woods with three elven arrows sticking out of its back.  It was unclear as to whether or not the orc had been killed before or after Pepin died.  They rolled the body and found a pouch of Old World coins attached to its belt.  After another couple of hours exploring, the group camped again.  The night passed quietly.

The next day they reach the eastern edge of the Wedge Wood.  While exploring the corner of the wood, Albrecht spots a tower on a single hill out on the plains to the southeast.  After some discussion, the adventures decide to finish exploring the Wedge Wood first, then look into the tower.  Exploring the length of the eastern edge of the woods, they determine that the edge is a straight line.  Reaching the northeastern corner of the woods, they spot another tower on a hill out on the plains.  The line formed by the edge of the Wedge Woods runs perfectly between the two towers.

The adventurers begin to suspect that there is more to the Wedge Wood than they originally suspected.  They speculate much as to its shape and form the opinion that there may be another tower near the “point” of the woods that forms the northern boundary to the forest.  They head north onto the plains to get closer to the second tower they have discovered.  They spot some unusual, lizard-like herd beasts grazing on the plains, but have no idea what they are.  Not wanting any trouble or to get too close to the tower while they are tired, the group sets up camp on the plains for the night.

The next morning the group carefully approaches the tower on the lone hill.  It appears to be three stories tall, but has a smooth stone surface with no windows.  Once they get up on the hill, they see two things: there is no door to the tower, but there is an orc camp about 3-4 miles west of them.  Using the company spyglass, they scope out the orc camp.  They can see three large square tents set up and (what they assume are) some orcs walking around the camp.  Initially they were not certain if it was orcs, but Alset spots a banner flying from one of the tents that clearly has orc glyphs on it.  The number of tents suggests 10 or more orcs, which out numbers the adventuring party, so the adventurers decide to avoid the orcs and not pick a fight.

Albrecht teleports to the top of the tower and nearly falls in, all the way to the bottom – the tower is hollow.  Alset casts his magic seeing spell and determines that the magic in the area is sourced from under the hill, not in the tower.  Additionally, he can now see two lines of magical power emanating from the hill.  One line runs roughly SE, but the other line is a surprise.  Instead of running WSW and forming the northern barrier of the Wedge Wood, it goes NE!  [RETCON: There is a third line running due east.]  Alset also notices that there is a cave entrance concealed by magic nearby, leading down into the hill.

After some discussion and checking their rations, the group decides that they do not have enough supplies with them to pursue their investigation of the tower right now.  Now is the time to return back to town (especially as they do not know what the orcs are up to.  They mount up and ride along the northern edge of the Wedge Wood, doing their best to not be noticed by the orcs.  Once they make it to the Estini Road, they ride hard and arrive at New Zwicke at dusk, just before the town gates are being closed for the night.

End of Session

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