Session One Hundred and Sixty-Seven Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)

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Session 167, January 24 2024



We continue at 12:10AM on the 19th of Anurilden ( on the Apocalypse Clock) with the party having just crossed the ford near the Khelrun river mill after defeating a group of slaad. The group still has plentry of time to complete their downriver journey to meet the Bronze Wizard at the coast before continuing on toward Feldmark. In addition, the party might also have the option now of traveling to the astral plane using the staff recovered from the green slaad. Perhaps there are allies against the DVLs to be found there among Renthark's people? Will they risk a trip into the unknown to find out? Can they finish their current quests before getting distracted? Find out next time; or not.

Larry's Summary

We have crossed the river at the ford.

Kauri casts control weather to bring rain to put out the fire in the burning crops.

In about 30 minutes the fire is out.

We then identify the staff.

    • It is a Staff of Astral Travel for traveling to the Astral Plane.**
  • It is a permanent magic item, with no charges.
  • Kauri also determines that it is target locked.
  • The portal it opens leads to a particular place on the astral plane. * The portal lasts a maximum of 1 turn, or can be closed earlier.
  • It is reciprocal so it can reverse. It is origin point locked.

Renthark is not dissuaded when the working of the staff is explained. He says it is fitting to get home by wading through the blood of our enemies.

Renthark carries the staff as most of the party are fully laden.

Glompus does not detect any signs of other slaad.

We then plan to travel South for about an hour to establish a camp. We reach a farm in about 40 minutes.

Normal watch order is kept and we rest for a full 8 hours.

Night passes uneventfully.

The next morning, Velkin goes to the roof of the barn to see whether he can see the river and locate a boat.

Velkin spots a dock, but can't tell if there is a boat tied to it.

In midafternoon we come across a trail of smashed down stalks. It is kind of slimy and cuts across our path. Signs that some of the crops have been nibbled on. It would probably be a pretty large mouth. Not something with particularly large teeth. Taking a bite out of multiple stalks.

The slime is not necessarily sticky, but is very slippery. It isn't flammable. Druul collects some on bolts. Velkin collects a vial of the goo.

We keep going past the slime trail and reach our ship near evening and see the Bronze Wizard moored next to it, with Nigel Arkenstone shouting for us.

The Oswithans are on deck.

Velkin makes himself visible to greet the boat Nigel uses to join us.

Nigel says, "You're alive! and there's more of you." Looking at Glompus and Snuffles.

Would one of you be the totem or cure for giant undead monsters?


Velkin says not much good luck.

We arrived on the 18th and we decided to go upstream and round your ship.

By the way, your friends, the ones from down South have been really anxious.

I think we should have a quick talk before going back. He has the mix of humans and dwarves who rowed them over stay while Nigel goes aside to speak with us.

Nigel tells us he has a message for us.

We had a bit of a problem. Something surprising, perhaps disasterous happened at Dun Khel. They are fine, but a little freaked out. They want answers about what happened. When four dragons take off out of there, people get a bit antsy.

That is actually why I left early. Ithirialma and Philomanthraxus and two others the showed up and somehow got into Dun Khel. Both of them were kind of creepy in their own way. He holds out a couple of letters, and also has a glass globe filled with some kind of liquid floating in it.

This one is from Ithirialma, and this is from one from another one.

    • Ithirialma's letter:**

``` “I have been patient and explained in detail the necessity of unlocking the secrets of the Elemental Plane of Time in order to undo the destruction caused by the DVL invasion. Azrael accepts my arguments as incontrovertible, as he should. However, I hesitate to place all the worlds hopes in his hands given … his complicated past with solving problems of this magnitude. You know where we have gone and how to create a map to follow us there. I truly hope you decide to follow and assist in saving the world and magic. If not, good luck to you – hopefully we will soon never have met.”

Ithirialma ```

Nigel tells us that one was with this thing.

That letter is from Azrael, it is addressed to Prix and we hand it to her.

    • I'll read it out loud, I'm sure it is something stupid:**

``` “Prix, My Only Match and One Love: I hope the Starchy Boyz succeed and you have a chance to read this even if it ultimately won’t matter. You were right about everything – about us, about this world, about magic. I was wrong to undermine your plan and betray you. I know this now and – with Itherialma’s help – I am going to undo all the damage my stubbornness has caused. Magic will have been destroyed, you will never be imprisoned, and everything will be as it should between us again and forever. We will never get home, but we will rule over this lesser world and this time there will be no resentment, no magic, that can topple our eternal empire and unblemished love. I look forward to having always been with you very soon. – Azrael” ```

Prix starts describing others to Nigel to see who is traveling with Azrael. Finally a tall, thin, cadaverous fellow - Nixomanthus.

Prix says, Azrael impetuous and stupid, and paranoid. He would leave bits of himself in other places and Nixomanthus raised him, or they both retreated.

They both decided that saving isn't enough, they will try to mess with causality.

Prix hands the letter over as she shakes her head.

The four of them transformed right there in Dun Khel and flew out of there. The king had a lot of questions for me, but I had no answers. These things were left behind, so I grabbed them without saying anything.

So there might be some questions when we eventually get back to Dun Khel.

Glompus asked if Nigel knows how the gnomes are and if any made it.

There is a gnome on Nigel's ship named Kaius.

Nigel hands over the orb to Velkin. It looks like there is a bit of stone in it bobbing around in a piece of the broken god stone. Kauri sees a glow to the entire sphere. It is kind of colorless, maybe gray.

Nigel said that Ithirialma had one of these when she transformed and left.

Caspar is still working on the sword engraving.

Alician disappeared. Nigel isn't sure is she is there either.

Nigel urges us to get back to the ship because there was a giant snail whose head was like a bunch of flails.

We go to our ship so we have plenty of cargo space in case we have need of it.

Buzz is still in the hold, inert.

We take Buzz out of power saving mode and offer him the battery from Thorfus' stun stick.

There are a few faint flutters of his wings.

Buzz notices the battery and takes it with his mouth mandibles and swallows it.

He starts to perk up a bit and wings buzz more energetically and gets his legs under him.

Velkin asks him in wasp how he feels. He asks for more.

Glompus offers the battery from Renthark's stun stick. He is then very up, bouncing on his legs.

We check the panel to view his power levels, he is still pretty low, less than 15%.

Kauri wants to hang onto his stun stick, and Thorfus advised hanging onto the battery for the rifle.

Velkin mentions the power station but it is in danger of exploding. Thorfus suggested that buzz go and only go far enough to feed since it is close to over charging.

Velkin suggests putting Lambertus' wooden holy symbol and a note since the monkey's have Lambertus' memories.

Velkin asks for Lambertus' wooden holy symbol.

We write a note telling the monkeys that Buzz is our friend and let him feed, and if you can get some stun sticks, send the batteries with him as snacks.

Buzz heads up river, planning to meet up with us before we leave, or to wait for us.

Velkin is saddened thinking that Buzz will become like Ajax....

Nigel sent over the other sailors as we dealt with Buzz and were amazed at Buzz flying off.

This did not ease their trepidation they had with us.

Glompus is pretty sure that Kaius Dunkrinkel is the boy who Glompus' helped his family escape to Dun Khel.

Dozens made it. The dwarves gave them a whole section since their khel has gotten smaller. It's tough the food rations are not very good.

Glompus says he has money to help them buy food. It is being restricted by the King. Glompus says that they can use it to by other supplies. I think my share is 500 platinum pieces.

My father talks directly to the Lord Marshall, the king, you know dwarves are weird about that stuff.

Druul plants the three saplings with the healing blooms, then plays a bit to see a bit of growth in them. They take root and get fuller and thicker looking.

Velkin works with Renthark, Peronelle, Felix on sign language and Lambertus joins in too.

Thorfus participates too.

Kauri examines the globe. It does look like a piece of the godstone. Philomanthraxus probably used some of his fire to help shape it. (The question is whether they also have one with a godstone, or took the generic one with nanocarbon they were supposed to make for us.)

It is supposed to draw the user towards the location where the other dimensions are stitched onto this dimension. It should somehow prompt the user in a direction.

Kauri stands still and concentrates to see if he can determine if the stone moves or the mercury pools. The stone floats over and bumps against one side of the orb.

Kauri turns to see if the stone moves like a compass. It does indeed to this.

This is generally Northwards, back towards Curmidden.

Velkin asks if the sailors can make a Velkin sized suit our of the ones we brought back. 3 are for Thorfus, Glompus, and Prix, leaving 5 suits.

One of the humans among the sailor Nigel sent over to see if he could make a Velkin sized suit out of 2 or 3 other suits. By the time we get to Feldmark.

Is it waterproof? I can do my best to mimic the seams. Velkin asks about using tar to help seal it.

He lets Velkin hang onto the helmet piece and the neck area.

Velkin gives him a couple of gold pieces. Velkin tells the watch captain that he has commandeered the sailor for a project.

There is a bit of a kerfuffle when they go through the sail inventory and it is quite stained. This is a backup, a sail of last resort. We pass it off as the odd behavior of orcs.

We keep normal watches and seek a full night's rest.

Druul sets up some crates at the bow to create statues to represent the four mothers.

Velkin sees a bird off to the Southeast is a bird. It is very large and coming in our direction. It could be a bird, bat, dragon, or other. Velkin gets Prix and it is much closer. Prix says that isn't a dragon. It is a lizard. Peronelle rings the alarm bell.

It has about a 30 foot wingspan and is sailing towards us.

Velkin asks Prix to make him invisible.

It does not look like anything we have seen before. It has a head with a very sharp beak, only two legs, and is lizard-like. (Thorfus fought a wyven in the 1st campaign. It is NOT a wyvern.)

The creature folds its winds and dive-bombs the deck of the Bronze Wizard and kills a sailor. It is on its feet on the deck.

Velkin shadowsteps over and backstabs the creature killing it.

They have a quick ceremony for Jonas then they butcher the creature for its meat.

The rest of the evening is uneventful.

Glompus's Letter

Hey there Spud,

Exciting news today! But I should start at the beginning and not get ahead of myself, a whole lot happened. After the slaad fight, Kauri was able to summon some rain to put out the fires in the fields. Seems like we're going to be heading back to Dun'Khel in the near future, and they're running a bit low on supplies, so we wanted to make sure none of the crops burned unnecessarily.

Kauri was also able to investigate the staff we found more that can take us to the Astral Plane. Turns out it's locked to a specific spot, probably where all the slaad live. We're leaving that one as a solid plan B (or maybe F or G).

We kept going for a bit after that, and then stopped for a bit at a barn to sleep. We debriefed from the fight a bit before bed, and Snuffles got a wrench for being a hard worker. Lambertus and I were on watch together again, and I found out he likes to journal too! He's going to start asking the others about their memories of him so he can try to learn more about who he was, which I think is a swell idea.

We packed up camp in the morning and kept heading east through the fields. I found some delicious corn as a snack, but unfortunately only one cob so the others couldn't try it too. Maybe will find more, there are a lot of crops left thankfully. We did come across a patch of crops that got chewed on by something that was big and excreeted slime. I investigated around and it looked like the slime came from two directions. I think it was two big snails that were... giving each other a big hug because they hadn't seen each other in a while.

We made it back to our ship, the Gilded Gusset, that afternoon, and the Bronze Wizard was already there. I met the captain, Nigel Arkenstone (the others already knew him). He had come early with a messages for us from Prix's mate and another dragon. They apparently caused a big stir in Dun'Khel with some of their dragon friends. I didn't entirely understand all the details, but from what I gathered they're going to try to go back to the elemental plane of time and undo a bunch of the stuff that led us to this particular pickle. It seems like that's so far back all of the ripples would be not so good though.

I also asked Nigel if any of the other gnomes made it to Dun'Khel. He said yes (that's the exciting news I mentioned) and one is on his crew! Young gnome by the name of Kaius Dunkrinkle. I don't know if you ever met him, but I tried my best to help his family escape, so I'm glad they made it.

Nigel loaned us a few sailors to help us get our ship ship-shape (get it?!). Kaius was one of them, which was nice because I got a chance to talk to him. He said the gnomes have a whole neighborhood in Dun'Khel, and they've got a council of elders set up and everyting (his dad is one of them), which is nice. Not sure how many of the other rangers made it, but if innocent gnomes made it out that's what's important. They're getting short on food though, and there's none to buy, so hopefully we'll find a decent supply around Feldmark. It's been a problem for all of Dun'Khel apparently. I also told him Prixithalma was a dragon and we'd just fought interdimensional frogs, so I think he thinks I'm senile.

Nigel's sailors helped us sweep our boat to make sure everything was safe. We used some of the batteries we got from the stun sticks to recharge Buzz, the group's mechanical wasp. I hadn't seen him working before, and he's really cool. The batteries only got him a little bit of power back, so we sent him back to Gharaz'Kel with one of Lambertus's holy symbols and a note for the monkeys to keep him safe.

Before bed, Velkin did some work on sign language with me, Renthark, Peronell, Felix, and Lambertus. The sailors found a sail we used to... actually, never mind that, story for another time. We went to sleep, but got woken up by a pteranodon attack. We dispatched it pretty easilly, and most everyone went back to bed. I'm writing this after I helped cut up lizard steaks for breakfast in the morning. You would have liked them I think. They look tasty. Miss you Spud.

Love, Grandpappy Glompus 20th of Anurilden