Session One Hundred and Fifty-Six Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 156, October 18 2023



We continue at 8:00PM on the 12th of Anurilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party having seized control of the Gilded Gusset and sacrificed twenty of the crew to resurrect Prixithalma (again). A further five of the sailors were then killed to animate seven of their comrades to act as undead crew. With the addition of the gnomish ranger Glompus Mossrock, the group now settles in to sit at anchor overnight before attempting to head up the Khelrun River in the morning to investigate an ancient dwarven fortress. They hope to find some means there of managing the mosntrosity haunting the ruins of Feldmark, although Glompus's knowledge of the area suggests they may find other horrors upriver. Will the party be able to successfully navigate to the ancient ruin? Is there something there that can aid them in Feldmark? What awaits them in this forgotten dwarven khel? Find out next time; or not.

Larry's Summary

Kauri casts fly and flies up and uses the scepter to heal out of range of the fear effect.

We set watches while we overnight on the Gilded Gusset before trying to find the river towards the ancient Khel in the morning in the light of day.

Druul tries to show Felix the ship on their watch.

Thorfus watches the horizon and listens with his telescope. Renthark checks out the ship without touching anything.

On Velkin and Peronelle's watch, Peronelle asks about what happened to the others in stasis like she was?

Lambertus and Glompus have the final watch.

Lambertus goes on about the gods are a lie and Glompus is concerned about the planes of the afterlife might also be a lie.

Lambertus suggest talking to Kauri about the afterlife of dragons. At least some sort of afterlife comforts Glompus.

Goes on about the plan of the DVLs to kill all the world to power their journey to another plane.

Glompus feels less bad about raising Prix.

The gods area lie and morality doesn't matter.

Lambertus goes to get a drink, asks if Glompus wants anything. Glompus suggests drinking to dead gods and living friends.

Lambertus shares the bottle with Glompus and asks Glompus about home. Gnome villages north of the city.

The next morning we prepare to get under way.

Druul plans to be relatively close to shore, but not in shallows. He uses the new fancy compass from the captain.

Thorfus heads to the wheel.

Druul tries to convince Thorfus to take the bow to watch. Thorfus relents and takes up watch with his blessed spyglass in the bow.

Druul gives Glompus captain Chen's spyglass as Glompus volunteered to take watch and heads to the crow's nest.

Undead weigh anchor and hoist the sail.

Velkin finds charts in lieutenant's chamber that include Crescent Isle and includes sand bars, etc.

Glompus alerts us to the mouth of the Khelrun river.

We move closer and try to decide what to do. The river is not deep enough for the ship to get very far.

We think it is two days travel through fairly flat land, then another day to day and a half heading into mountains covered in jungle.

We are supposed to meet the Bronze Wizard at the mouth of the Khel Run river.

The ship needs at least ten feet to be safe.

We decide to send an advanced party to take soundings. Glompus, Ranthark, and Velkin row ahead to take soundings towards the middle of the river. Thorfus watches/listens and Druul steers. The undead weigh anchor, ready to drop it. The sails are just slightly raised and heavily reefed.

There are some cultivated fields either side of the river. The farthest farms associated with Feldmark and are looking a bit wild. There is the occasional farmhouse and a mill not far up the river.

Thorfus scans the buildings and listens. Just the wheel at the mill. Clouds are gathering and threaten rain in the afternoon.

Glompus tries fishing on the river as they go but no bites.

The morning is uneventful and we make it past the mill. There is the occasional dock with a small boat tied up.

It is definitely getting shallower. The sea is now out of sight of the boat.

A few drops of rain at midday. The river is starting to narrow. The last sounding is just under 12 feet.

Velkin notices that one farmhouse is closer to the river with three good sized birds. Dark colored, almost raven like, but are pretty good sized for ravens. Long beaks and more legs than expected, with 4 legs. Velkin tells Thorus to take a look. They have a few extra legs.

Glompus knows that extra legged birds is not a good thing.

This is a few days away from where Glompus expected to see.

The birds launch into the sky and are hard to track as they are grey-black like the clouds. They start to circle the longboat.

The longboat turns around and the birds start to dive.

The ship is a couple rounds from shooting distance and a couple more rounds from the long boat.

Thorfus bellows "Stop" in ancient dwarven to see if it does anything to help. It echoes off the shore, but doesn't seem to alter their coarse.

Velkin is braced for charge and hits, the same one Glompus grazed with his sling. Renthark takes a big swing and misses.

Velkin hears the birds discuss another attack to lay eggs. They decide to grapple.

Velkin warns the party.

All three descend on Glompus, but only two hit, but they grapple Glompus.

Velkin misses as does Renthark.

One bird impales Glompus.

The ship is now in range.

The birds release Glompus and try to fly away. Glompus goes over the gunwale.

Thorfus grazes the seriously wounded bird.

Renthark grapples the bird the punctured Glompus, Velkin joins in, and they keep hold of it.

Velkin says to the bird, "So how long until your eggs hatch and we kill you." The bird thrashes and tries to keep an eye on Velkin.

All with a bow shoot the wounded one and it manages to limp away out of range.

The now bound bird is glaring at Velkin.

Glompus swims to the ship to get aid from Lambertus and Felix.

The bird says it is too late for your friend. Nothing can save him.

Thorfus suggests using the bird's blood to cure disease on Glompus.

Velkin does the cuts for Felix to cast cure disease.

Glompus feels something, but some sort of goo flows out of the wound where the bird injected its eggs like a pustule.

Velkin points at the goo, see, now what do you have to say for yourself?

The bird starts twisting and thrashing, but fails to get at Velkin.

The bird squawks to Velkin - You killed the children!

We use it's blood to cure serious wounds on Glompus. Glompus is fully healed.

Again, cure serious on Renthark. He is mostly healed.

Glompus dissects the bird and finds a tube from the beak to a sack in its midsection.

Velkin cuts off a leg and tastes it. It is a normal bird.

He starts to eat it, and when Glompus comments that there must not be much wood in the underdark. Velkin sets down the chewed drumstick and says, fire, good, cook.

Velkin then asks Glompus to remove the proboscis and egg sack. The egg sack might start to rot soon and the proboscis might last longer.

The rain is picking up.

There is enough space so that the ship can ride at anchor mid river.

Felix gets the cooking gear out to cook the bird.

We discuss whether to take the longboat.

Glompus points out that there are a disproportionate number of creatures that are amphibious.

The longboat will be faster coming downstream. We also need to cross a fork, unless we take the South bank of the river.

The ship is not visible from the sea.

There is a rowboat at a farmer's dock. It would hold 5 of us. The river is 30 to 40 yards wide.

The undead can carry the longboat.

We top off to at least a week's worth of rations each, Renthark and Peronelle take extra weeks rations.

Velkin takes food to Prixithalma. We're going to an ancient dwarven ruin. She asks, "So we're leaving the ship."

Velkin seeks some clothes in the captain's quarters and finds extra clothes.

If you're going to an ancient dwarven fortress, my odds are 50/50 based on our track record.

I need a few days to a week. I don't know, I've never heard of my kind coming back this often. If we survive this, I'll write up something.

She comes up on deck and we fill her in on recent history.

Thorfus suggests letting her get more rest and leaving in the morning, then she can ride in the longboat as the zombies portage it.

If I can be carried, I should be fine.

We leave a note on the mast saying that we'll be back.

We cross over with the longboat with Kauri and the zombies and Thorfus and Renthark row over. We drop off Kauri and the zombies, then come back for the rest. Velkin keeps an eye out on the crow's nest.

We toss 200 feet of rope in the longboat.

We row back for the others.

It is now about 2:00 PM when the zombies lift the boat to shore with Prixithalma climbing in.

Prix turns Velkin invisible and slumps down into the seat. Velkin gives her the roc feather cloak to help keep dry.

Glompus riding Snuffles sneaks ahead and forages enough food for 5 people.

Kauri and Velkin watch for alchemical plants.

Velkin will peek into houses we come near to and Thorfus will look to the left of the house when Velkin is investigating as he will speak from there.

It is raining a bit, being cold and uncomfortable.

The few houses are abandoned and the fields are wild. There are a group of domestic cattle left to wander the fields.

Velkin, standing behind Glompus, tells the cows to stay near the house and we'll bring some grain. Are you the farmer there?

We head to a farmhouse to bed down for the night.

There is a barn so Kauri has the boat carried to the barn to hold the boat and keep it dry and we all sleep.

Velkin searches the house.

There is a stocked root cellar, so with Glompus' foraging we avoid using any of our carried rations.

We set the usual watches through the night.

Druul uses the scepter to talk to a bird. The bird does not trust him, thinks he is one of the cursed.

Druul asks if the bird knows where the cursed are coming from. Yes to up the river, no to a building.

Thorfus hears the same weird noises that Druul found. Barks, giggling, and many strange sounds.

Velkin comforts Peronelle saying that most cannot last more than a few days without water and a few weeks without food. Velkin listens and hears the same weird night sounds. Then he some sort of faint rumbly noise from the ground. Putting his ear to the ground, there is something moving through the ground below. It might be something small that is close.

Velkin tries to locate it and finds it near where the zombies set the boat. Pushing some hay aside, it seems to be just below where he is listening.

Velkin says, "Hey, you in the ground." The sound goes still. I hear ya, I'm just curious, what are you.

There is another little sound and the ground is moving and a little hole opens up with little paws digging away the dirt.

The hole opens up and the paws disappear below ground. Velkin asks if it's hungry, and a snout with bucktooth teeth stick out of the hole as is snuffles about.

Velkin rolls a finger over to it. It snuffles some more, grabs the finger with its teeth and disappears into the hole.

Velkin asks if it can talk to him, but there is no reply.

Glompus's Letter

Hey there Spud,

Grandpappy found some new friends! After Snuffles and me got done finding as many refugees from Feldmark as we could, we headed up the coast to find a boat. These folks picked us up on their ship, the Gilded Gusset. They're real weirdos. One of them fed Snuffles a finger, and then they sacrificed a bunch of pirates to resurrect a dragon who doesn't look at all like a dragon. But they seem like they're pretty focused on saving the world, and more importantly they're doing a whole lot of real dangerous stuff, so I may get to see you a good bit sooner than I thought!

On that note, I took watch on our new boat with this friar-looking fellow named Lambertus. He told me all about how the gods were a lie, which seemed a peculiar notion coming from a cleric. Doesn't seem a bad sort though. He told me a bit about his home, and how he might like a quiet place to settle down after all this, just like we had. I was a bit down when he said the gods were a lie. Thought I might never get to see you again. But then he told me there are all these other planes, and they did bring the maybe-a-dragon lady's soul back from somewhere, so I'm trying to be positive. I'm going to write these letters so I can tell you all about my adventures next time I see you. You know you're grandpappy's memory, every since I turned 400 it's just all holed-up cheese between my ears. I'd feel bad if anything happened to Snuffles though. Maybe these folks will take care of him when something happens to me. Just got to teach them what a proper dog treat is.

We got to the Khelrun River, that big one north of home, a bit after morning. I took watch while we were sailing. One of my new friends, Druul, gave me a spyglass to use as the lookout, which had just wonderful craftsmanship, you would have loved to play with it. We're heading up it to try to find some weird ruins or another that they know about. They think they might be near that strange cave all the sad mutated animals come out of. Me and two of my other new friends, Velkin and Renthark (Velkin's the one who fed Snuffles a finger), headed up in a smaller boat to make sure we could get the big one as far as we could, while another friend, Thorfus, scouted out on the shore. Everything north of Feldmark looks like it's growing wild since the monster came. All the farmsteads we passed that the nice folks used to live at were abandoned. I tried catching fish, but turns out I'm not so good at it. Velkin said I might need to try a different bait, I'll keep an eye out for something in the forest.

Later in the day we got attacked by some weird birds with too many legs. We managed to capture one and drive the others away. The birds almost sent me to see you straight off, but Lambertus, and the other cleric Felix, got all the eggs the bird laid in me out. Snuffles wasn't sure what was going on at first. I was afraid he'd try to snap at them for working on me, but after he figured out they were just trying to help me he gave Felix one of his big old nuzzles. Your grandpappy managed to modify the bird's egg injector into a weapon, so hopefully that'll make up for how useless I was in the fight. We cooked up the rest of the bird, and would you believe it tasted a heck of a lot better than it looked? Spiced up nice it wasn't half bad.

We left the big boat with the maybe-a-dragon lady (I really gotta figure out what's going on there) and headed up the river. We found some old orchards and some cows at one of the farmsteads, but we were full up on bird so we let them be. Velkin can apparently talk to animals (even more than the critters we can talk to), but he's usually invisible, so he used me as a ventriloquist dummy to talk to them. My moos are a little rusty, but I think he asked them to hang around till we get back.

We camped down in the farmhouse for the night. Aside from the part where I almost had baby birds and the human sacrifices, it's been a good couple of days. I didn't realize how lonely I'd gotten just me and Snuffles in the woods since we lost you. And these folks seem like they're on a high stakes, high danger mission, so maybe I'll get to see you sooner than I would if I just lived out the rest of my days all peacefully and boring, and do some good while I'm at it. I hope it's sooner, rather than later, I miss you Spud, but it'd be a waste not to try as hard as I can to help my new friends out with their mission. Hopefully, wherever you are, you can forgive grandpappy for the delay. I'll add another letter tomorrow.

Love, Grandpappy Glompus