Within are to be writ the tales of daring and adventure of those who have placed themselves on the path of glory. Share your exploits with other Castlers & Crusaders!
Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:52 am
Raben Halboeze den Angeist - Raven Halfevil – glanced down at the motley crew of misfits he found himself a member of … How fitting, An erinyes born son of a knight –teflingesk with minuscule horns, easily hidden, and without a tail unlike most teiflings, but with dark blue on blue eyes, and skin that can look coppery when in the sun both of which betray his infernal parentage – A Paladin of the ‘dead’ goddess Nusemnee and the live goddess Avandra, a noble paladin with burgeoning rogue skills. Yes a misfit himself.
The rest of the group walking or riding, as finances allowed, was made up of a sickly white - lispy and strange – teifling with magical powers, a half orc barbarian, a gnome druid (with the habit of kicking other’s shins – because he can’t reach any higher) , a copper dragon born with magics, a half-elf, and 2 others.
The travel into the Barony of Harkenwold had been uneventful thus far. However, travel in Nentir Vale was always dangerous.
Raben riding at the head of the motley band, keeping watch, spied a column of smoke ahead and to the left of the King’s Road … a debate started among the 8 misfits about it being a dangerous world, not our problem nor concern, back and forth, … Raben rolled his blue-on-blue eyes and spurred his horse forward. Soon enough the group was following.
The deil blooded paladin slid off his horse and drew his bow, notching an arrow, as a farm house came into view. A house with 2 out buildings – one ablaze – and a short 4 ft wall surrounding it all. 4 brigands with wolves surrounding the house yelling at the hapless occupants about taxes, payment, and an older lady yelling back from the house about thieves brigands robbers and murderers.
Raben Halboeze smiled as he called forth a booming voice overhead of the brigands thundered “STOP” .
The brigands, startled, turned and looked at the group approaching from the south. However, overconfident in their might, they yelled at the group to move along, that this was iron circle business, and it would be best if they passed on by.
The devil blooded paladin jogged toward the gate, and let loose the arrow, sticking deep into the brigand’s chest. Then the chaos of the battle ensued … a divine bolt struck the injured brigand, sleep descended on another, a crossbow bolt struck a 3 rd, wolves charged and surrounded the dragon born arcanest.
The booming voice overhead the brigands thundered “surrender”
Raben charged into the farm hold’s yard, to get within feet of the last standing brigand, who turned to flee, and received a deep gash from the paladin’s saber. Tsetseg the lady barbarian sprinted after the running brigand, as a crossbow bold zipped passed and stuck harmlessly into the grass. Magics and fire rained on the wolves, dispatching them quickly.
The paladin lifted his bow took careful aim and loosed a second arrow …. Biting deep into the back of the brigand, and dropping him in his tracks. “Mistress Tsetseg, I thought I would save you the effort of chasing after him”
In the background, …. The gnome yet again kicked someone’s shin.
The older half-elf farm mistress stepped for the farm house, and soon enough the party heard about ‘The Iron Circle’, their night time raid and coup of the duke, his confinement in his own donjon, and that there are others in the valley ready to rebel against the army of brigands now controlling … .
Awaking and questioning the lone surviving brigand of the ‘Iron Circle taxing party’ got them more information. Several hundred strong, mostly human, taxing and squeezing the local peasants for every gold silver and copper coin, and taking slaves for “entertainment”, (and not just dancing gnomes).
After the party got as much information as possible, Raben Halboeze den Angeist , the Paladin of the ‘dead’ goddess Nusemnee , goddess of redemption, offered the brigand a choice, prove himself worthy of redemption, aid the group, and do not betray them, or meet his fate quickly easily now. But if he sought redemption, but then betrayed the party, he would receive his due punishment in the physical world and in the afterlife.
The devil blooded paladin momentarily hoped for the brigand to attempt to betray them, but push down the dark desire.
The group traveled to the druid Reithann’s grove, and found the aged druidess that tended the woods, the standing stone, and surrounding grove. She informed the group that if those in the valley all banded together, they would possible be able to over throw the Iron Circle. Unfortunately, as of late, the residents were fractured and forced to look for their own specific interests .
Once such group, Tor’s clan, could provide over a score of stout men to the cause, but were currently busied and beset by a band of bullywugs. The toadmen had wrested control of the western end of the valley, and the bank of the river, from the clan holding. They also pressured the clan men along the river throughout the clan holding. It was rumored the toadmen had claimed a cave on a hill overlooking the river as their strong hold.
If Tor’s Clan could receive aid in clearing their clan hold of the toadmen, they, along with the motley band, could then further aid other groups of rebels and begin the dominos falling to rid the Harkenwold of Nazin Redthorn and the tyranny of his Iron Circle ….
Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:32 pm
Nice write up Les. Be sure to post it on Epic Words in the Journal section.
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:25 am
Rigon wrote:Nice write up Les. Be sure to post it on Epic Words in the Journal section.
Just went there to post it and saw you beat me to posting it. Thanks!
Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:51 am
Rigon wrote:Nice write up Les. Be sure to post it on Epic Words in the Journal section.
Just went there to post it and saw you beat me to posting it. Thanks!
Thu Dec 20, 2018 4:01 am
I would prefer not to be called a ne'er-do-well.
Lurker, you are most welcome to refer to yourself thusly.
Call me . . ambitious, delligent, enterprising or industrious, if you will.
Thu Dec 20, 2018 2:18 pm
I would prefer not to be called a ne'er-do-well.
Lurker, you are most welcome to refer to yourself thusly.
Call me . . ambitious, delligent, enterprising or industrious, if you will.
Who you trying to fool, you old reprobate?
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:18 am
I would prefer not to be called a ne'er-do-well.
Lurker, you are most welcome to refer to yourself thusly.
Call me . . ambitious, delligent, enterprising or industrious, if you will.
Well, you are know by the company you keep ... so what does that say about you, me, and all us round about here ?
Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:33 pm
Raben Halboeze den Angeist and the rest of the band completed the trek through the grass lands to Tor’s holding, either riding, walking, or being carried as the gnome was so that his short legs and short strides did not slow the party, without incident. Traveling through the grass covered trackless wilds kept them well away from the eyes of any ‘Iron Circle’ patrols.
Raben slid from his horse’s saddle and smiled. With little difficulty the group convinced the leader of the Tor clan to support the effort to rid the Barony of Harkenwold of the ‘Iron Circle’, as long as the band of adventures could clear the area of the annoying toad-men that harassed the inhabitants of the Tor’s holdings.
The afternoon was completed with a discussion on how best to go to the toad-men’s’ holding (a cave in the side of a hill with a water fall spilling from the mouth). Travel down the river – the easiest way to find the cave, but the more dangerous in that the party would travel along the river and in the marsh lands the toad men hunted. A trip that would endanger the group at every step. Or, travel through the woods to the north of the area and then turn back to the river to approach the cave from the woods. Riskier in possibly being lost in the woods and being more difficult to find the cave from the north. However, the toad-men were not known to hunt or patrol the wood lands, so other than random denizens of the woods, a safer path.
Eventually the group chose the 2nd path, and settled to rest, and assist the residents of Tors Thorp in their nightly guarding and watching for dangers from the river, woods, and the ????, and to keep watch on Ichabod, the captured brigand and once member of the iron circle.
But before the sun set,Brohem the gnome druid wandered off into the surrounding fields, looking for an animal alley to help the party … a raven, a hawk, a crow, something to be an extra pair of eyes to watch and give warning to dangers around or ahead. Raben, watching and ready in case something more dangerous than a fowl answered the druids calls. Soon enough, a raven hopped from a nearby tree and landed next to the gnome. The Carrion bird squawking, and the gnome using his druid abilities and powers to reply.
As the sun set Brohem, his new found feathered friend, and Raben- the devil blooded paladin/thief -returned to the safety of the wooden palisaded thorp.
After an uneventful evening, the party gathered at sun rise readying to start the hunt for the toad-men’s cave.
“So, it is agreed, we are traveling through the woods to approach the cave from that direction” Raben started. “I know I have no woodland skills, but does any of the rest of us 8 have wood craft, tracking, or the like?”
The paladin/thief looked across the faces of the party member. Purposely looking over the gnome druid at first.
The diminutive druid started by saying “I do. … Hey I do, …. Me, I DO!” then raising a hand, the both and waiving, and finally hopping up and down to get the attention of the devil blooded knight.
“Oh, my short friend, you do, don’t you” Raben gave an impish half smile. Then gently pushed the gnome forward with his foot.
“I guess you need to lead the party. Remember we travel west in the woods for 3 or 4 miles and then turn south to the river. The cave is in hills overlooking the bend in the river. Try to keep us on the correct path and not wandering around the woods for a day”
Raben took a second to give Ichabod a stern look and remind him of his offered redemption and the consequences of betrayal.
The gnome gulped and turned white at the thought of being in the front of the 8 adventures. Then dutifully turned and lead the group out of Tor’s Thorp. The gnome’s new found raven companion squawked and took flight. Circling around the group and flying ahead to the woods. Keeping an eye out for dangers and a safe sure path into the woods.
After a few hours, without losing their way in the dark old forest, the group stood at the edge of the woods. On a hill top looking down at the long slow bend in the river.
Raben smiled down at the gnome who after a moment of pride at his job well done, scurried back to the middle of the party to be more safe and surrounded by big folk.
Soon enough, someone found the stream and the waterfall out of a cave mouth.
As the party approached the cave the saw a 10 foot tall sheer rock face of the hill with the cave mourn and water fall well outside of their reach.
Raben hurried to the base of the cliff below the cave mouth, checked his shied and saber to make sure they were secure. Then braced his back against the cold moss covered rock.
“Tsetseg, I’ll be the ladder, you go up and check the mouth of the cave”
The female half orc barbarian, looked a bit confused and annoyed at the thought, but quickly enough was climbing, up the rock using the devil blooded as a ladder .
Once she was up one after another the rest of the group headed to the paladin thief. Easily enough, Raben tossed the gnome druid up to the mouth cave to save a little time
A look of concern crossed Raben’s face. He expected the half orc barbarian and one or 2 others to go up using him as a ladder, but then one of them to tie off a rope so he could join them before the mouth of the cave became too crowded. However, one after another, the party members just kept coming to clamber up the cliff with the paladin/thief’s help.
Then from in the depths of the cave, the unmistakable sound of combat. Yells and battle cries, croaks and splashes spear on armor, teeth and claw on shield, and the groans of the injured.
Anuxus, the dragon blooded sorcerer, still safely on the ground at the base of the cliff sent a bolt of magical fire into the cave overhead.
Raben finished assisting one more parry member up into the cave mouth and growled at Ichabod – who appeared to be ready to turn and run – “Up, you too. Time to start your redemption” and grabbed the brigand and forced him up the moss covered cliff face.
As Raben climbed up the cliff, and Anuxus, the dragon blooded, fired another bolt up at the melee, the sound of metal striking metal rang from the mouth of the cave.
Raben glanced up to see Ichabod attacking the armored back of Esmer, the angel blooded priest of the storms. Cursing as he climbed “So be it, redemption is spurned. Your fait is sealed and your doom sure now”
Once atop the cliff and in the mouth of the cave, Raben ignored Ichabod to lift his bow and fire an arrow into the gloom of the cave at one of the many toad men. . However, Esmer did not ignore the traitor and one final smashing blow made good of the devil blooded’ s oath. Ichabod fell limp down the face of the cliff, head smashed and his soul fleeting to its doom.
Inside the cave, chaos! 2 of the party down, Tsetseg, the female half-orc barbarian, surrounded by toad-men and some other flittering winged attackers, the gnome druid calling forth a thorn covered vine whip to smash one then another of the flying blood drinkers.
Raben rushed forth and raised his shield to swat away one of the winged bat … mosquitos … a stinge . And then fend off a spear thrust of a toad man. However, he did not yet draw his saber. He reached down and call forth the divine powers and give some healing aid to one of the fallen companions.
More fighting and yelling as the paladin thief hurried to the edge of the stream to aid the other fallen companion – this one easily recognizable by his sickly pale skinned, Weevilthorn the Pungent the dempn blooded warlock a quick dunk into the muddy stream water (to help the smell) and then more healing to awaken the teifling warlock. Who, as soon as he was awaked, grabbed the devil blooded paladin, kissed him, and then sent forth a magic bolt at an attacking toad-man.
The party, now all up on their feet and in the fray, soon made short work of the toad-men and the flittering stinges, with Tsetseg’s axe felling one after another of leaping frog brutes.
The party paused to catch their breath as the female half-orc barbarian felled the last of the remaining toad men, and a few of the 8 began to search the bodies – finding a satchel with some gold and silver coins. As the party pilfered the corpses, Raben leaned against a column/wall of moist living stone and watched the darkness deeper in the cave.
Further back, a white mound of bones … not a mound, a skull huge … a dragon skull.
From behind Raben, someone taking watch at the other side of the wall, yelled “There to the back of the cave” and a crossbow bolt shot back into the gloom.
Raben , followed by Esmer, and eventually Tsetseg charged back further into the cave. More toad-men. More fighting.
Raben’s shield and armor stopped spear thrust and maw bight time and time again, but his saber was less effective than Tsetseg’s mighty axe in felling the toad-men.
From behind the party, Anuxus, the dragon blooded sorcerer yelled out “Watch out here, there are oozes coming from this side of the cave. A booming thunder clap echoed through the cave as the 2 oozes were attacked and pushed back by one of the sorcerers, druids, or mages of the party.
Someone sent forth a wave of fire to wash across the toad-men, then another send forth magical sleep to drop1, 2 , and a 3rd of the toad men.
One then another, and finally all the standing toad-men were cut down. Then Raben went to the remaining 3 injured, sleeping toads and quietly, carefully, efficiently, dispatched them.
Soon enough the 2 oozes were destroyed, and the cave was checked for additional dangers.
Once it was safe, the bodies were gathered to gather, the are searched for loot and valuables, and a pool in the back of the cave was found full of developing toad-me eggs.
Raben began to dispatch the eggs, but Anuxus yelled that they would make an exultant breakfast . Raben grimaced at the thought … fish eggs, yes … but slimy toad eggs … no. Only a dragon blooded or maybe an orc blooded would consider them good for a meal
The dragon blooded sorcerer grabbed a few of the eggs to snack on as Raben destroyed the rest.
A fire was lit in the center of the cave, so all could set and take a rest and the loot could be inspected
One of the magic wielders verified a bag, a scroll and a potion were magic, the rest was valuable but mundane.
Then they set back to recover a little from the fray, and to prepare to go back to Tor’s holdings, and then to what task was nest in clearing the Barony of Harkenwold of the ‘Iron Circle’
Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:55 pm
21 Jan recap
Raben Halboeze den Angeist grimaced at the sight of the dragon blooded sorcerer as he finished his snack on the toad-men eggs. Anuxus smilled at the paladithief and gulped down the last toad-man egg, relishing the discomfort showing on the devil blooded’s face.
Looking around the now peace filled cave, and cleaning the toad icor off his saber, seeing all the different members of the motley band - Most bruised and battered, some having been injured to the door-step of death in the preceding fights … “I think it would now be a good time to rest”.
The group continued on doing the little chores and tasks they need to do, and rested, recovering from the fight. After a moment, and taking a few drinks from the water skin, Raben the devil blooded grabbed a few pieces of dried meat and headed to the mouth of the cave.
Setting quietly hidden in the shadows, the devil blooded paladin/thief rested and watched. After an hour, maybe a little longer, … there through the marsh and grass, movement. Eventually Rabin Was able to see those approaching. 3 more toad-men, one larger than any of the ones fought so far – has to be the leader, one of them with a hobbit child bound and leashed, and 2 more giant frogs, both as large as a man.
The toad men and frog approached the path to the cave, and then hesitated, croaking a few time, and then began to approach the cave cautiously – throwing down the leash and allowing the hobbit boy to tiredly stumble off back into the brush.
Raben hissed back into the cave “Be ready, more toad-men and their pet frogs are approaching” and drew his bow and notched an arrow.
The rest of the band moved forward and found places to prepare for the fight, readying spells, prayers, and weapons as they preferred.
The toad men leaped up the 10 foot cliff and landed on the ledge of the cave mouth. Arrow, bolt, and magical fire shot from the shadow of the cave – mostly missing – as the toad-men threw their own javelins at the few targets they saw – one hitting the female half-orc barbarian.
Then the 2 large frogs leaped up the cliff and over the toad men, landing deeper into the cave. One landing nearly on top of the devil blooded paladin. Both frogs attacked, one attempting to grab the barbarian, and missing, the other knocking back the paladin’s shield and clamping down painfully on his chest. The frog then overbearing the devil paladin and drug him to the cave floor.
Raben, as he fell, glanced back into the cave to see Weevilthorn retreat further back into the dark gloom of the cave …”My friend, you are going the wrong way … the fight is he…” he couldn’t finish the sentence before the frog clamped down painfully and cut off the paladin’s mocking statement
The melee continued with the chaotic swirl of combat as the dragon blooded sorcerer released his spell, and sleep descended on one of the toad men, then again on both frogs.
Raben devil blooded fought his way free of the frog’s gaping maw and stabbed down, severely injuring, but awakening, the frog. One of the toad-men remaining among the living and awake, kicked out at the slumbering toad-man chieftain – awakening him too.
Weevilthorn, the pale demon blooded warlock hissed out a curse from his dark patron as a chilling phantasmal hand floated between Tsetseg and Raben and snuffed out the last ember of the frog’s life. The orc-blooded barbarian and the devil-blooded paladin/thief stepped forward to engage the 3 standing toad-men. And from in the cave another spell was cast. The 3 toad-men crumpled to the cave floor, asleep again, and for one last time.
After the toad men and the remaining slumbering frog were dispatched, the the devil blooded clambered down the cliff face and began to search for the leashed Halfling boy. Soon enough the paladin/thief was able to find the exhausted child.
A young boy, member of the reed-foot clan – a group of Halflings that make their living on the river traveling up and down the river in their sturdy flat bottom boats.
By the time the paladin/thief returned with the boy, the group had finished searching the bodies – finding more coins and a flawed gem – and butchering the 2 frogs for the frog legs (the meat was bigger than Brohem the gnome druid) . The loot – that wasn’t pocketed by any of the party members – went into the magic bag of holding tied to the paladin/thief’s belt. Then after a discussion, they agreed to take the boy back to his clan.
After a few miles walk along the river bank the party arrived, returned the boy, and talked to the Halflings – who knew of the bandits of the iron circle, and had been assisting the burgeoning rebellion by transporting people weapons and supplies along the river on their boats. They offered food and shelter for the night and easy travel up river to the path back to Tor’s hold.
After a good night’s rest, and arriving back at Tors hold, the motley band of misfits and ne’er-do-wells informed the members of Tor’s hold of the successful raid on the toad-men cave and that there may be a few toad-men stragglers in the area, but for the most part the cave and surrounding area was cleared of the interlopers. Tor thanked the group and promised to make good on their offer to assist the rest of the valley in their rebellion against the brigands of the Iron Circle.
Raben retrieved his horse and the group headed to Albridge hoping to meet Dar Gremath -the leader of the rebellion. As the group approached the village, Raben slid form his saddle and carefully loosened one of his horse’s shoes – giving a good excuse to ask for the village’s stable master (and the leader of the rebellion).
An hour or 2 later, after talking with Dar Gremath and getting a general idea of what would be most helpful for the group to do to assist the rebellion, the party headed out of the village, Raben, the devil blooded paladin thief - riding his newly shod horse, and with Brohem’s pet raven circling ahead keeping watch out on the road ahead and the grasslands around the path.
The Iron Circle was due to send a wagon from the villages at the east of the Harkenwold Valley to Albridge, it should arrive sometime tomorrow mid-morning, early afternoon-meal . Dar Gremath thought it was time to attack it and rob the brigands of the Iron Circle, and begin to become more of a thorn in their side.
The odd band of adventures road and walked for a few miles up the path until they were at a spot that should be a good location for an ambush. An area with rock outcroppings, trees brush and an ancient stone circle.
Raben road through the area and check to make sure it would suffice. Yes, enough cover, rock to protection, a good enough site to ambush a few ill prepared brigands. Soon enough a plan was cobbled together. The devil blooded paladin thief would stay in the open, to slow and stop the wagon train, … nothing out of the ordinary, a lost noble asking for assistance, … Then after the wagons roll to a halt, from behind rock, stone and tree, a barrage of spells – sleep first to drop some of the brigands, then other more offensive spells, to further injure and soften the standing brigands. Then arrow and bolt, and the devil blooded paladin/thief and Tsetseg the orc blooded female barbarian would join the fray with saber and axe.
Over the evening, as the group settled into a cold overnight camp, Raben and Weevilthorn easily slipped into their long running conversation/debate – old ancient forgotten gods of wrath and ruin, versus new powers of redemption hope, fear and servitude vs gladness of service.
The next day as the sun arose, the party spread out and prepared for the ambush. Then set to the task of waiting …
Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:35 am
18 Feb recap
Raben Halboeze took one last look at the companions, hiding behind rock, bush, tree, and standing stone. The ambush was as prepared as possible as the small group could make it. He turned to his horse, loosened the lead strap from the bit and adjusted his bow and made sure an arrow was easily at hand. Then waited
Soon enough a wagon was seen in the distance, slowly it neared as the draft horse plodded along.
Eventually bodies could be made out … a large horse …. 1 ... 2 ... no 3 guards walking, a driver and someone setting next to the ridder, … something walking in front of the horse … a dog.
The guards look like ruffians, as expected, the one setting next to the driver had a sur-coat on … dark red with a black circle, fringed in god – this is new . The dog …. 2 headed, glowing red angry eyes … this is nothing good.
As the group approached the ambush, and were within ear shot of Raben, the devil blooded paladin began to talk, spinning a story of being a lost noble, horse mishap, etc.
However, as he talked the 2 headed dog stopped … growled … looking back and forth … at the companions hidden off the road.
The paladin thief continued to talk, but was cut short as the red-coated rider stopped the wagon and yelled a warning
“You and your friend better clear out, or you will regret …”
The devil blooded paladin grinned, turned back to his horse and smoothly turned back to the approaching brigands, arrow notched and ready to lose, but the dragon blooded sorcerer was even faster.
Sleep descended on the red-coated rider, Raben's arrow flew toward the demon dog – but barely grazed it – and the melee was joined. Axe, spell, magical fire, and cross bow bolt rained down on the brigands. The dog turned and charged toward the orc-blooded barbarian, twin jaws snapping – but missing.
As the paladin/thief charged forward and loosed another arrow – missing the mark – the fight continued. This time at least one of the dog’s jaws clamping down on the barbarian’s exposed green tinted flesh.
Before the dog could try and bite for a 5th & 6th time Tsetseg delivered a blow with her bloodied axe and Raben stabbed down with his saber and extinguished the demon dog’s angry glowing red eyes.
As the fight drew to a close, Raben jumped onto the wagon, tied the hands and feet of the driver and the red-coated rider – both of who fell to magical sleep in the fight – as the party began to search the bodies of the fallen brigands.
The deil blooded paladin/thief searched the red-coated brigand and found a key on a cord around his neck, along with chain mail – the best armor seen thus far being worn by any member of the Iron Circle – Raben thinks to himself ‘officer or at least sergeant of the band, or at least someone special and of some importance’ as he strips off the armor and weapons and reties his hands and feet.
Soon a chest is found in the wagon, locked. Raben bends down and expect the chest and the lock to make sure they are not trapped. Then taking the key, unlocks the chest. A pile of gold and silver … ‘Iron Circle taxes and tributes I’m sure’ Raben mumbles to himself
Shaking the wagon driver awake … “You have 2 choices, repent, or pay for your misdeeds” the devil blooded paladin growls to the brigand.
The brigand gulps and choses repentance, and is told to begin to dig 4 graves … the brigand complaining of the difficulty of task given … ‘The road to redemption is not easy and requires toil and effort’ Raben coldly states in reply the brigand’s protests
The paladin/thief wakes the once red-coated brigand and stands him on the side of the road, looking at the bodies of the fallen brigands and the one sullenly digging the graves for his once-companions.
“Leadership comes with a price … you have 2 choices confess or pay for you misdeeds” the devil blooded begins
“Misdeeds … what misdeed I’ve done nothing wrong” The paladin hold up his and with a single finger up and shakes his head sadly
“No, no lies, leadership comes with a price … you have 2 choices confess or pay for you misdeeds”
The standing brigand smirks “I’ve done nothing wrong I’m part of the black circle trading company”
The paladin’s voice, magically enhanced, booms over head of the brigand “Lie” as the paladin shakes his head no and raises a 2nd finger.
“Again, you have 2 choices, chose carefully” the devil blooded paladin continues.
The brigand again speaks of ‘Black Circle traders’ but the paladin’s saber stabs out, snake quick, cutting into the source of the lies.
The travelers around the paladin, as they are finishing looting the bodies of the fallen brigands and inventorying the contents of wagon, look around in surprise shock, and some possible revulsion, and the body slumps to the ground dead and slides off the saber’s sharp blade.
Raben turns toward the wide eyed brigand scraping in the dirt and gives a sad half smile.
Weevilthorn, the demon blooded occultist, steps next to the shocked brigand and begins to whisper soothing friendly words into his ear, words of comfort, words of magic … the brigand relaxes smiles and begins to talk with his new friend and confident
As the brigand talked and talked, divulging his and his companions’ guilt, how those that wear red in the Iron Circle as acolytes with magical powers and are given responsibilities, on and on and on .
Raben Halboeze, ignoring the whispered complaints by the others, of the execution of the red coated brigand, smiles at the pale blooded warlock, as he walks by to … “You have to remind me you have that ability next time. I forget you have it, and it is very useful”
The group decides it is best to burn the brigands bodies instead of taking the time to bury them – magical fire will make quick work of it – and packs all the weapons armor and trinkets into the wagon.
As the party rides off with the smoke rising in the distance, the magical beguilement wears off the brigand who suddenly curses at his weak will …
Raben rides ahead of the group 200 to 300 yards keeping a look out for Iron Circle patrols or other brigands.
Halting a few miles out of ‘Albrige’ and hiding the wagon and prisoner in a cluster of woods, Raben and Saphrax the half elf cleric continue on into town.
Stopping and talking with Dar Gremath the message is passed that the ambush was successful, that the brigands were killed, except for the one prisoner, and where the wagon was hidden, loot, weapons, and supplies there.
Dar Gremath , defacto leader of the rag tag rebels of Harkenwold Barony, lets them know that they can keep the gold for their troubles, his men would go retrieve the wagon, the surviving brigand, the weapons and supplies – those not needed by any of the party – and the wagon would have to find its way into the river after sunset. Also, the inn was a reliable place to stay, but not to talk around the inn keep or any of his staff. He was not a friend of the ‘Iron Circle’ but he was a horrid gossip and would not be able to keep any whispered secrets he heard.
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:11 am
Raben Halboeze den Angeist - Raven Halfevil sat back in the comfort of Albridge’s only inn sharing the table with Saphrax, the elf-blooded cleric of the Lord of Storms. Some small talk, a beer, a plate of food, waiting for the rest of the group of reprobate to make their way into the village and to the inn.
Eventually the rest arrived and told, in whispered voices, that Dar Gremath’s compatriots – faces hidden under cloak hoods and behind scarves, arrived at the riverside tree … , took the captured wagon and supplies. They also gladly took the captured Iron Circle thug – and smirked at the offer of Weielthorn’s magical assistance in integrating the captive. Then the group settled for a restful evening in relative comfort.
The next morning, just after sunrise, the devil-blooded paladin/thief made his way back to Dar Gremath’s livery – again under the pretense of purchasing a new horse – and discussed the next task for the group to undertake to assist the Harkenwold rebels.
Again, cause issues and difficulties to the iron Circle brigands in order to draw Nazin Redthorn and his thug followers out of the town of Harken and the safety of the duke’s castle. This time in the area around the village Dardun. However, the defacto leader of the village – Lady Madera Lirr Half-elf elder of the Lirr family and owner of the region’s most prosperous orchard and cider fermenter – was less than supportive of the open rebellion proposed by Dar Gremath. She had no love for the Iron Circle, but did not wish to risk her beloved village to the destruction like the village Marl.
The rest of the day the group of ne'er-do-wells carefully traveled through the rolling grasslands of the valley and looped around to the east side of village to the Lirr family hold – and avoid any Iron Circle soldiers barracked in the village. The travel was uneventful, with Raben riding ahead, along with Brohem who used his raven as an additional sentry. Well uneventful except for Brohem’s kick to Raben’s shin when he said not to worry, if need be if a troop of Iron Circle thugs stumbled onto the group, he would hide the gnome in his saddlebag and avoid any undue suspicion
That evening Saphrax and Gwyndalf made their way into the Lirr orchard – being elf-blooded themselves like Lady Madera Lirr and hoping that would smooth the introduction – and talked to her about the ‘party of adventures’ needing a place to rest, and their focus of hindering the Iron Circle in the region.
She smiled at the ‘party of adventures’ and commented “2 is not much of a part” then requested the rest come into the orchard so she could see and talk to them all. Brohem’s raven, who had been watching from a nearby apple tree, returned to the group to let them know that it was safe to approach and the lady required it.
Soon enough, the rest of the group made their way to the orchard and introduced themselves and began to argue for support for the rebellion. Again, she pointed to the destroyed village of Marl as a reason to not openly rebel. In the debate, Raben promised they would always be careful and avoid any undue troubles – a good argument . However, lady Lirr glared disdain at the Devil-blooded Paladin/thief’s impishly innocent smile at the words ‘undue’. Eventually, she agreed to support the rebellion, but only if the Woodsinger elves of the Harken woods agreed to support the rebellion themselves. She also allowed the group to rest overnight in a barn loft before traveling across the eastern grassland to the edge of the Harken forest.
The net day the party traveled, again careful to avoid any Iron Circle patrols and undue problems. Without issue the group made it to the thick woods and began the travels through the woods in search of the elves. Once entering the woods Brohem the gnome druid careful approached woodland deer and confirmed the elves tended to haunt the deep woods south-west by west of their location. The group shifted their rout toward the area the deer pointed them toward.
The group traveled the rest of the day, finding tracks here and there of dire wolves bears and other large animals along with other more common woodland creatures. However, nothing dangerous was spotted, no Iron Circle patrols were crossed, no elves were found.
As night approached the group prepared for a cold camp, bed rolls laid out , rations were eaten, and a watch set.
Around midnight, with Raben and Tsetseg watching the nigh dark gloom of the woods, the devil blooded paladin/thief noticed movement in the deep woods … a wolf, … no bigger … a bear … not the right movement … something large, dangerous, stalking … hunting.
A hissed warning and tossed stick at the dragon blooded sorcerer was the warning he could give. Then a bow loosed a well-aimed arrow … that did less damage than expected.
The paladin/thief stalked through the woods behind the beast, the orc-blooded barbarian charged forward slashed with axe – and missed – and the paladin/thief stabbed and hit, again doing less damage than expected.
The fray was joined … spells, crossbow bolts, axe , saber … fang claw, blood
The devil blooded paladin/thief taking slash and bite time and again. Chain and shield blocking some, but not all. However, time and again the saber bit, and bit deep – it should have dropped the beast, would have dropped an experienced hardened fighter, but not the beast. The orc-blooded s axe bit its fair share too but again did less damage than expected. Saphrax’s god granted prayers and the others’ sorcery , when it struck home, did damage the beast significantly.
Then as the fight began to swing in favor of the group, a black nebulous doorway opened and the beast vanished …
The group readied for its return, searched for it but nothing.
Raben, devil blooded paladin/thief, thanked the elf-blooded cleric for the significant healing he needed after the fight - but was thankful that one he had been hit by the beast. As he went back into the dark woods to resume his watch, he listened to the others of the group discussing the fight before they returned to rest, comparing notes on what the beast was. The more magically inclined of the group that had more knowledge regarding magical beast finally decided it was more than likely a Barghest, a demon-wolf from the dark planes. The paladin/thief shrugged, not knowing what it was, but knowing it had resisted his arrows and saber slashes.
Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:17 am
March and April recaps
Raben let out a long slow breath and collapsed to his knees. Leaning against the wall to keep from toppling over. Sliding to the floor to rest. Acidic ozone air filled the Devil-blooded paladin’s nostrils. His muscles still twitched from the recent magically created lightning strikes that had nearly killed him.
The events of the last few days swirled in his exhausted mind.
After fighting the demon wolf … it seemed like months had passed not days since the fight in the dark woods … it was easy enough to be found by the elves.
That meeting went well enough, but resulted in the elves only agreeing to help those in the valley rid the area of the thieves and thugs of the ‘Iron Circle’ if someone from the valley showed they were willing to risk life and limb to assist the elven clan first. As the woods were short of any inhabitants of the Harkenwold valley, it fell to the motley group present to perform the required task and risk life and limb (yet again)
Go to a magical standing stone circle, be transported to an undead mage’s (and longtime nemesis of the local elves) layer. Send the skeletal mage back to death. Kill any goblin allies of the mage in the area.
The circle was easy enough to find, but goblins and large spiders were in the area. That fight was easy enough – little risk of life or limb in that skirmish (though at least one of the group was spider bit and momentarily poisoned)
Teleporting to the mage’s layer, again easy (with a drop of dragon’s blood provided by the elves).
However, stepping out of the teleporting circle ended in standing in a room full of goblins and 2 caged wargs. That fight was significantly more difficult than the earlier fight with the goblins and spiders. In the fray multiple of the group were injured but were healed enough to remain in the fight.
Somehow in the fight TseTseg saved one of the wargs and tempted it into becoming a pet/alley of the orc-blooded barbarian (though the paladin/thief had trouble imagining a wolf the size of a horse and a tendency to bit off people’s arms or heads as a pet – though as a product of and follower of redemption himself, he hoped the barbarian was able to temper the warg’s evil tendencies and tame it at least a little)
After the fight, the paladin/thief stumbled onto a magical trap, a necromantic barrier, the further injured him. Though looting the undead mage’s sleeping room was worth the injury
Then …. The mage with his magical summoned lightning bolts …. The first strike caught the devil blooded paladin/thief and 2 others of the group in a cluster. The strike nearly killed all 3 at once. In a split second of blue crackling power the fight became very dangerous. The chance for loss of life and limb was fulfilled!
For a time the undead mage and the group played cat and mouse – magically throwing doors open, closing them, harrying each other, but to no avail. Finally, the paladin had a plan
3 of the group nearly dead (and the cleric out of magical healing) an assault on the mage was too risky at this time. However, if given enough time to take a small rest, get a breather, and prepare properly, they could have a chance
“Close and lock the doors. Bar them ! Keep the thing locked in the spider web filled room for now”
The group slammed the doors shut, drug table to brace the doors, spiked them with jagged rusty goblin weapons.
For a few minutes the group rested. But not long enough. Another magical lightning bolt blasted through one of the doors and scattered the tables braced against it in a cloud of smoking wooden splinters. The paladin/thief was quick enough to avoid most of the damage from the explosion.
A spider blooded humanoid, an Ettercap, rushed through the opening of the blasted door and sunk its teeth into one of the group.
Quick thinking of one of the spell slingers illuminated the skeletal mage, hiding in the shadows clinging to the ceiling of the underground chamber, making it easier to hit.
The battle was joined again.
Weavilthorn called forth dark demonic voices to assail the Ettercap, and chase it from the fight. The rest of the group focused on the glitter glowing mage. Spell, arrow, bolt and javelin flew into the darkened room. Some finding their mark of the glowing spell caster, others missing. Answered by the undead mage’s spells. However, struggling against overwhelming numbers, the undead mage was finally torn apart by the bombardment of spell after spell.
The devil blooded paladin, feeing the tides turn in the favor of the group, rushed into the spider web filled room. Knowing the Ettercap had the advantage, the paladin paused. Then, with an imp smile tossed a torch into the mass of webs.
The webs burst into flame and the fire quickly spread. Soon enough the Ettercap had no web covered hiding place and had to attempt a dash for safety. A run that brought him into the awaiting party’s arrows bolts and spells. Moments later the spider-blooded creature fell dead.
The fight was over, and the devil-blooded paladin/thief felt weight of the pain and injuries of the fight press down on him.
A locked door still to be opened … but the cool wall, the soot covered floor, called. Rest beckoned the bruised and battered Raben Halboeze den Angeist - Raven Halfevil
Can't believe it had been so long since my last update. sorry.
Finally had a breather at work this week so tried to catch everything up
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:40 pm
27 May recap
The devil blooded paladin/thief fell asleep instantly. His body bruised and battered and electric singed. However, his rest was not long lived. Soon enough, the remainder of the party that was not as grievously injured were up and ready to finish exploring the corrupted elfish holdfast.
After only a short rest, with a groggy mind and sore body, Raben fumbled his attempt to unlock the remaining door. With a sigh of exasperation, the paladin thief call out to Tse-Tseg for help. Where nimble fingers failed, 2 strong backs may succeed.
The orc-blooded barbarian and the devil blooded paladin, with some effort, heaved open the closed and locked stone door … only to find a caved in tunnel. Raben carefully checked for traps and hidden doors, compartments or the like in the 10 feet or so of the tunnel that was rubble free. After the paladin thief finished the search, Tse-Tseg strode forward and began poking the rubble with the shaft of her axe …”You can’t be too careful” … “This could be an illusion that hides the rest of the tunnel”
Raben couldn’t argue with the barbarian’s logic so leaned against the wall waiting to see … the clunk of the axe handle on the stone and earth answered the question. No illusion, only rubble and wasted effort in prying open the door.
The paladin thief went to work harvesting claw bone and fang from the dragon skeleton, carefully placing them in the party’s bag of holding he carried, as the rest of the party searched and researched the undead mage’s layer. As Raben pried at a dragon tooth, he heard the clank of traps being reset … “Everyone be careful! The pit traps at the doors are probably now set and ready” … A sheepish look from TseTseg as she pushed the lever back down and re safetied the traps.
Nothing else of interest was found in the party’s search. No spell book no research notes no additional hidden rooms or niches.
Weavilthorn & the other spell casters discussed what they had seen and eventually decided the type of magic the undead spell slinger had uses more than likely did not need a spell book, and possibly he was only beginning to attempt and reanimate the dragon bones, so he did not have any notes.
Rabe sighed again as he stopped searching a 3rd time to find the non-existent books and notes they had assumed were in the layer … more wasted time and effort – time he could have used resting and healing.
The group gathered around the transportation circle, most weary of Tse-Tseg and her new warg pet, and the group was sent back to the spider infested ruins.
With no trouble the group returned to the elf encampment and told the wild elf tribal leader of their success in dealing with the goblins and the undead mage. The elf leader smiled and complemented the group. She promised to aid the Harkin… with 50 bowmen and what other assistance she could afford to offer. However, she warned the group her scouts had seen iron circle thugs and troops beginning to mass at Ha… and it appeared they were preparing to march in a few days.
Raben sighed again … the much needed rest would more than likely not come soon.
As if his dark thoughts were an ill omen, a Halfling lass rode into the camp.
A hurried story that word was spreading that the Iron Circle was preparing to march on Albridge and all able bodied fighters were to converge on . She also said that Dar Gremath himself had ask all riders and scouts to find the group of adventures and request they return to Albridge as fast as possible in order to assist in preparation of the defense of the town . The Halfling, along with an elf runner, left to return to Dardun. Before she left, she warned the road around Albridge were heavily guarded and patrolled. She had had to ride N to Dardun and around to the elf woods to avoid the patrols. That the group would need to travel fast but avoided the easy path and roads watched by the Iron Circle thugs.
Raben resolutely resynced the saddle on his riding horse … no, rest would not soon come … As he mounted the horse the rest of the group grumbled about needing rest … Now they want a good rest … not back in the layer where the devil-blooded was so easily asleep …
“We can rest after we get into Albridge it will be better to head there now, tired and battered as we all are, and avoid the Iron Circle patrols arriving before the town is cut off, than it will be to rest here and rush to the town but arrive to late or be caught as the patrols and Iron Circle thugs fill the area surrounding the rebel’s free town “
The group mumbled and muttered as they left the comforts of the elf encampment, but traveled quickly out of the woods. Heading NW to the ruins of the burned town, a victim of the Iron Circle brutes and then circling around to the woods along the bank of the river. They arrived late in the night and made their way to the Albridge Inn (which was now the command of the Harken rebels.
Still no time for rest. The factions of different groups in the valley mumbled and argued. Squabbling about small items and resisting … leadership … Raben stepped in to try and calm the problems, but his own exhaustion and aching body caused him to fail to sway any of the various factional leaders. Luckily … stepped in and was able to clean up the mess left by the devil-blooded paladin thief. Soon the different groups were willing to work together and set aside their old grudges.
As the various leaders gathered around the map of the area and began to hammer out a passable plan of battel, … listened carefully. As the leaders spoke and debated orders of battle and strategies, the paladin thief remembered stories his father and other noble relatives told of historic battles, what had worked and what set into motion failure on the battlefield ….
Despite his earlier failure at being able to bring together the different groups, Raben was able to sound in on the battle planning and improve the ideas of the group, assisting in making a more solid, but still risky and dangerous, battel plan.
Finally, much needed rest.
The next day as the Iron Circle thugs and brigands traveled toward …. , the final preparations for the coming battel were maid.
… walked through the camp, offering aid and comfort with a devine word prayers for the worried militia. Raben, and seeing his efforts step beside the cleric of … and gave assisted in the blessing. As the elf blooded cleric, and the devil blooded paladin/thief made their way through the rebel camp, ….
Soon enough, the scouts began to arrive giving the number movement and layout of the Iron Circle forces … Over 1000 men, mixed arms and armor, some mere thuggish rabble, others more sturdy appearing troops. They were some 3 hours away ….
Raben seeing that the biggest flaw was the bridge would be the bottle neck if the rebels had to abandon the South side of the river, yes the haling’s had their barges, but that still endangered the wings of the rebel militia. “If we tie ropes together and string them across the river there at the southern bend of the river and here at this farm house to the north, then both the left and right wings will have a means to cross the river more easily than swimming unaided. It is not the best option, but it is better than risking drowning” … nodded and multiple farm lads ran off to gather ropes and begin to tie together and run the safety line across the river.
After a few more hours, but not long enough for all the last minute preparations, the Iron circle arrived and spread out to push the rebel farmers, hunters, and other Harkenfolk into the river.
Before Raben and the rest of the group turned to go to support the N wing – the place looking like the hardest to defend in the onset of the battel - Dar Gremath called out “Despite everything, the bridge is the final point of defense that we have to hold as long as we can. I want your group to hold it until we can retreat across it or destroy it if it comes to that”
The devil blooded paladin thief grimly nodded, as he and his companions – odd as they were he thought as he looked at the group – a gnome druid (whose raven took to the sky to be eyes for the group above the swirl of combat) ; a orc-blooded barbarian who had an adopted warg as a pet; a demon blooded sorcery of an old dammed power; and 2 elf blooded adventures (one a cleric of ??? and the other a ???) and finally a dragon touched sorcery ,,, such and odd group fate had drawn together.
Soon enough the two forces collided and blood spilled. As the paladin thief expected, a group of Iron Circle thugs pushed through the gap in the N wing. The group of adventures set their defense in a small farmstead – with the Paladin Thief hidden in the tree limbs outside the farmstead. 12 thugs with an Iron Circle captain and a 2 headed death dog trotted toward the farm. Then seeing the defenders they rushed forward.
Tsetseg and her warg crouched behind the stone wall for cover from any Iron Circle arrows or bolts as the thugs rushed forward. Weevilthrn was first to act, encharming one of the tugs and convincing her that the other Iron Circle thugs were her enemy and she needed to hold the gate to the farmstead as long as possible.
As the thugs finished their charge, …. Let forth a spray of fire which engulfed 3 or 4 of the thugs. Someone else cast a shattering spell and dropped more of the thugs and injured the leader and the death dog.
The encharmed Iron Circle thug turned unexpectedly and slashed at one of her previous cohorts. However the Iron Circle captain quickly realized that she was enspelled so he easily cut her down, after the arrow shot form … missed its mark.
TseTseg traded blows with the 2 headed death dog, but she did not injure it enough to drop it. A fiery bold sot across the farm yard dropping one of the 2 thugs attempting to flank around the group. The 2nd thug seeing almost all of the other thugs dead or dying, turned to flee.
The captain and the death dog also seeing they were the last standing, and that they had done little damage to the group, turned to run, but an arrow from Raben dropped the dog. However, the paladin thief shooting from the tree limbs was not fast enough to notch another arrow to try and drop the captain before he made it to cover.
The group rallied together at the farm house to survey the battle, but before the gnome’s pet raven could take flight a rider galloped to the back fence of the farmstead … “There in the center, you are needed they are surrounding that farm”
The group looked, Iron circle thugs, scouts, and other creatures were burning farmsteads and dispatching Harken militia injured soldiers scattered on the battlefield.
As the group rushed forward, the paladin thief noticed something odd … flying scaled creatures, whipping stinging tales, noxious fumes and smoke wisping off their bodies … at 60 feet the group was close enough for the paladin to know “those 3, they are fiends. I’m not sure what kind, but at the least they will be resistant to fire”
As they closed the gap, they also saw another individual, wearing the cloaks and robe of an Iron Circle acolyte, yelling orders to the troops in the area, and gleefully slitting throat of injured Harken militia along with the 3 flying fiends.
Tse-Tseg shot an arrow at the acolyte, as Raben shot at a scout tossing a torch onto a nearby farmhouse. The arrow struck, but the scout didn’t fall … they are sturdier than the other tugs. The paladin thief stepped behind a tree for cover from the arrows of the scots’ long bows
The rest of the group rushed forwards with more spells and arrow and bolts flew.
Weavelthorn was slow to avoid the stinger tale of the imp and was nearly dropped by the stinger and the poison from the annoying little fiend. … Tse-Tseg rushed to attack the imp, and … rushed to give divine healing, before it could attack the critically injured demon blooded sorcerer.
More arrows and spells flew and the acolyte, all the imps, and all but one of the scouts fell or fled.
Raben had seen where the last scout took cover behind a tree … “you are hiding, doing what I’m doing … where are you” bow and arrow out and ready … “well there is one way to find something hidden in a tree”
The Paladin thief trotted out to the tree the scout had last been hidden in. Scanning for movement, and expected an arrow (and hoping to be able to fore back and force the hidden scout out of hiding).
As the devil blooded approached the tree, the scout swung out from behind the trunk slashing with a short sword. A slash easily turned aside by the paladin’s armor.
The paladin thief smiled at the surprised scout “Sometimes it is better to simply just not take the bait when it is dangled in front of your nose” as TseTseg rushed toward the unsuspecting scout’s back. The orc-blooded barbarian’s axe struck so hard it cleaved the scout and pinned her to the tree trunk she had moments ago been hiding behind.
The orc-blooded barbarian reached out and carefully took the long bow from the dead scout’s lifeless hand, and unclasp the quiver from around her waist “I have wanted a long bow for so long” Tse-Tseg couldn’t hid the gleeful smile at getting a new more powerful bow and 15 arrows. A new toy that will be handy in the rest of the battle !
The devil blooded paladin smiled as he felt the holy power surge in him. He felt a nearness to Nusemnee – Horned Daughter – Goddess of Heroism and Redemption and Avandra – goddess of change, luck, trade, and travel. That he had never felt before. The tie was weak but there. He knew the divine powers he gave homage to would answer at least minor prayers from him. He felt greater vitality flow through his recently bruised battered and lightning struck body. Like Tse-Tseg’s new bow the prayers and strength will be needful in the rest of the battle !
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