Session Five Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 5, July 29 2020
The party prepares to depart the hidden grotto where they discovered an exiled Montoan shaman and her altar for practicing blood magic. It is the morning of the 6th of Tenrilden ...
Session 5, July 29, 2020
Morning of 6th of Tenrildon, we leave the sanctuary to the old ways of the Montoans. Not quite off the side of the mountain, we see someone in flashy dress, most notably a large yellow hat sitting on a rock in the rain. More odd is that they are in a bubble of sunshine and dryness in the rain through which we travel. They sit unmoving.
We left the bulk of the party and Rallion approached down the path and Laris and Bavmorda flanked the figure. Rallion offered greeting, to which he was greeted by name by the figure hiding beneath their cloak, they hood up, even with the hat. They were an unnamed emissary from some DVL that opposes Asmodeus and wishes to acquire our pledge of loyalty in return for the return of our magic, via the DVL way of enslaved DVLs powering devices and spells. This is one of the many factions from the City of Brass. At some unknown time, the emissary will return and offer us a contract like the one we submitted to in freeing the DVLs. Asmodeus plans to destroy our world in fire, and us along with it. We can save our lives while the rest burns.
Once we got some distance between us, we asked Kauri to question Tik Tok if Asmodeus destroying the world by fire was the apocalypse. Tik Tok groused about being in the chest and alluded to not wanting to be forgotten for millennia in a sock drawer like Kalgun. Tik Tok said we had to tell him the date to count down to. (Comet, Asteroid, eclipse, or other astrological phenomena???) Tik Tok didn't know what was going on in the City of Brass but offered to go check, pointing out how he could leave the clock whenever he wanted, while looking at it longingly.
We finally reach the trees of the jungle and find an area that was cleared roughly as a crude search for firewood by chopping trees. Vikram scouted ahead and it is a group of 30 orcs, creatures we had never interacted with. Since there were 30 of them, we decided to avoid them but followed the rail they made to help us make better time. The next day, they had not moved on, and most were asleep, so we went around them.
Along the way Vikram was scouting and spotted some DVLs enjoying the feast off a large lizard, we assume is a Hadrosaur (duck-billed dinosaur). We avoided them also.
Nearing the end of our journey we came upon a wild boar, sow, and piglets and solved our food problem and looked forward to a feast in Montoa.
Vikram again scouted ahead to Montoa and was to meet us. At two hour away from Montoa, Vikram had not met us, so we decided to circle around and investigate Montoa with the armed and armored among the party, plus Alea. The others stayed to guard the rest. The village was destroyed and crops raised. Bodies were still hanging from trees. Only two buildings seemed left. We saw about ten men on patrol. We decided to wait for nightfall to rush in and take care of them.
Session 5, July 29 2020
Rallion leads the party and refugees westward into the rainy morning. Rallion and Bavmorda forage as they trek. They meet the Messenger sitting in a 6’ diameter circle where the rain does not fall and the sun shines upon it’s grey cloaked shoulders. Addressing Rallion by name, the Messenger offers an alliance with an anonymous rival of Asmodeus in exchange for enchantments, spellcasting and escape from Media to the City of Brass after an impending conflagration threatening our world. It refuses to demonstrate or illustrate its or its client's ability to bestow said gifts or to identify itself or its benefactor. Rallion doesn’t commit and leaves the messenger by continue on our trek west to Montoa.
Kauri consults Tik Tok. He explains everyone contends against Asmodeus and that no two rivals are strong enough to challenge him. Tik Tok lamely offers to leave his clock and survey other DVLs but it’s obvious to Kauri he has no intention to follow through.
After the trail descends below the tree line, into jungle, the party discovers a clearing of wantonly felled trees obviously ransacked for fire wood but done antithetical to environmental conservation. The path of destruction offers a quicker route which the party follows until pitching camp. During their watch, Laris and Vikram patrol along our path and discover a camp of 30 orcs.
On the morning of the 6th, Rallion leads the party around the slumbering Orc camp while Vikram invisibly monitors the Orcs. We are now travelling cross country directly for Montao. Laris tasks Vikram to investigate plumes of smoke to the north. He reports a gaggle of DVLs massacring a nest of duck billed dinosaurs. We trudge along keeping westerly straight for Montoa.
When Alea confirms we are two hours away from Montao, Vikram is sent ahead to investigate the village remains. He fails to report back to Laris. An hour away from Montoa, Alea agrees that she, Peronell and Bavmordo with a little help from the roadies should investigate Monoa before escorting all the refugees home. She suggests approaching Montoa from the west via wooded foot paths. The party splits between two parallel paths to keep each in view. As we approach we see some ten souls patrolling about the village center scanning the surrounding jungle. Alea and Rallion agree the occupiers are Shemites that deserve iron edged justice, now.
Emmisaries, Orcs, Lizards and Boars OH MY!
...and where the Hell did Vikram get off to?
Tenrilden 6 Escorting the Montoans Day 2. AM Rain, Rain go away!
A peculiar figure with a bright, yellow sombrero and a cloak keeping his features covered, is sitting ahead of us, waiting. He is surrounded by a dry, non-rain soaked area around him that makes me want to sidle up next to him…. However, I think that might be unwise. Might be worth it though. This jungle trekking is about tiresome.
Rallion approaches while Bavmorda and I take our usual flanking positions in our usual sneaky way. I think she took her bells and trinkets off. The being greets Rallion by name and without introduction, describes itself as an emissary for an opponent of Asmodeus. It offers to return our magical powers via DVL enslavement, in return for our loyalty. It offers escape to the City of Brass when Asmodeus destroys Media in conflagration. The Emissary does not give any proof of any of his claims nor the ability to follow through on the promises he’s making. He does not identify this benefactor. Rallion defers and the Emissary says another will make his offer again at some point the future.
Kauri speaks with TickTock and other than groaning about being stuck in a sock drawer again, and making known he can leave anytime he wants to find out about when the apocalypse is coming... yeah right, he’s addicted to his clock. Addict’s are fairly predictable, made quite a lot of coin from them over the years. He ain’t going nowhere. Just as Kauri surmised. Addict may be too strong a word, but it amounts to the same thing.
Later in the day: We enter the jungle proper and man is it thick. We find quite an area that’s been decimated and half picked for what we surmise is firewood. The ‘gathering’ area is wide, and inefficient. Whatever large group of creatures are moving through the forest, it clears our way for a time. Unless we catch up with them…
We follow the trail until time to camp. Rallion has determined that they’re humanoid, and wearing boots similar to what the pirates wear. Vikram and I scout via our new harness system after nightfall and find a raucous group of about 30 creatures roughly dressed with smushed, piggish faces, there are a couple bigger tougher ones. They’re armed with axes mainly, no obvious missile weapons. They’re lousy with bonfires, and a party atmosphere about ½ mile ahead of us… Their watches are distracted by the entertainment. Orcs, I’d never seen an full on orc before. Can’t say I care to again.
We return to camp and pass the rest of the night uneventfully.
Tenrilden 7 AM Is that sunshine I see, or am I hallucinating. I guess I COULD see it if it weren’t for the canopy.
Vikram runs a quick scout of the orc camp, they’re sleeping in and the watch they have appears more alert. We debate and decide it’s not worth attacking their camp given the numbers and start the day’s travel more directly toward the ruined Montoan village, our paths diverging. Vikram scouts high ahead and invisible, I flank Rallion and we move along.
Rallion and Bavmorda forage
Midafternoon: Vikram returns from a monitoring foray on the orcs and says they’re more into the night scene than early morning risers. A while later we hear a quite the commotion from what sounds like a lot of carrion birds. Vikram scouts it and it seems a group of DVL’s took down a rather huge lizard with a face like a duck (What?!?) and are feasting on it’s remains and it’s eggs. We stay on task and continue on our way.
Evening: Vikram says that distinctive fashions are a ‘thing’ in the City of Brass and if he was there he could help ID at least the faction of the being we encountered.
Watches pass uneventfully.
Tenrilden 8 AM
Alea says we’ve made good time, having a boost from our friendly neighborhood orcs in clearing part of the way. According to her, we should arrive late afternoon/evening to their village.
Midday We take down a group of wild boar. Adding a boar, sow and 3 piglets to augment Rallion and Bavmorda’s foraging. Alia and Keliha don’t give much credence to any martial ability shown by males, however Bavmorda is a paragon with Peronell a close second!
Afternoon: Vikram scouts ahead to see what may be happening in the village. We get about an hour out and he has not returned.
There are various approaches to the settlement. One, the main path we’re on coming in from the south and a well traveled northeastern path leading to the lake. There are a number of hunting trails as well.
It’s decided that a scouting party will go and see what’s about. We follow Alia and Keliha’s suggestion of a western approach via parallel hunting paths instead of down the main road with Alea guiding.
Most of the village is razed excepting a few central buildings. Bodies of some of the villagers (Leaders?) are on large stakes. There’s less than 10 milling around with an unknown number in the buildings. There are no obvious pirates, they’re carrying spears, and look like native islanders. Shemites.
The Montoan warriors are ready to retake their village. We’re going to wait until dark and kill the shit outta some Shemites.
Vikram has yet to return. Concerning. I trust his instincts, so if he’s not here there’s either a good reason for him not to be. Or he’s in trouble. The latter we can’t do much about until we have actionable intel. The former, I’d be thankful for. I really hope it’s the former.