Gritty Realism

Session 29
Spires of Toulouse

The party had begun to settle into their keep, Pete has begun giving fighting lessons to the city’s youth, and begun to give charitable donations to the city’s orphanages. Garridan has set up his laboratory and begun work on creating a Philosopher’s stone now he has the facilities. Damian has summoned a pixie to help him gather information in the city. Corran has made the Keep’s great tower begin to look ready for formal visitors.

The party are joined by a newly inducted Queensman who proved himself in the recent events. He was instructed to introduce himself to the party and aid them as best he can as a fellow Queensmen. He introduces himself as Azrael, a Cleric of the light.

The Keep Steward, Stewart, announces the Keep has a guest and assembles them in the hall below Garridan’s workshop in the central keep. Dieter Klemperer welcomes the party to the city and thanks them for their efforts, but unfortunately has further concerns in regards to artefacts of the fallen, or one specific artefact; the Dagger of Yul K’Chaum. Dieter informs the party he is somewhat of a psychic, and advises the Celestial Order, an independent group of knights who are loyal to the citizens before the crown or church. Unfortunately Konrad Messner the leader of the Order believes that Dieter’s visions are tainted by the fallen and does not trust them. Dieter urges the party to investigate as he is worried that the recent events may have triggered something latent in the dagger that currently resides in the Celestial Order’s vault, which could have disastrous consequences.

Dieter advises them to talk to Konrad Messner, and Lord Frederick, supplying letters of introduction for each.

The party visit Lord Frederick, who meets them in the Gorgon. He thanks them for their service to the city and promises to help in any way he is able. He explains to the party that his charitable works give him certain benefits, such as free access to many restricted areas so he may congratulate soldiers, knights and guards; he also performs many ceremonies, events and ensures compensation for wounded and fallen heroes.

Lord Frederick doesn’t believe he is able to offer direct assistance currently, but does advise the party to speak to: Guillaume Deschamps, who is an adventurer of sorts, Theodora Pferig, a retired witch hunter and Maximilian Saer, a businessman and Elizabeth Baern, a noble woman.

The party decide to speak to Theodora, who welcomes the party to her modest home. She advises the party to the best of her ability in regards to Maximilian and Elizabeth as she knows them reasonably well, although she doesn’t like them particularly much. She advises the party on a course of action to destroy the dagger, and rumours she has heard in regards to it.

The party visit Guillaume, whose keep is being reclaimed by nature. He sits in his unkempt garden clearing with the party and explains to them that he has seen the dagger once, and it’s wielder was almost lost to it’s bloodlust. Guillaume advises the party he knows of a ritual that could destroy the dagger, but it involves binding the dagger’s demon to a mortal host and then destroying the host, so a willing sacrifice is required and it’s a steep price to pay but will guarantee destruction of the dagger.

The party decide to split, with Theodore, Corran and Azrael visit Elizabeth, and following Theodora’s advice they act extremely politely, humble and lather her with compliments. She is soon convinced that her guests are the right sort of nobles and advises them on all the gossip she is privvy to. She also recommends they seek the aid of Gabrielle Marsner who is apparently a spellcaster of some mild renown, but Elizabeth feels she hasn’t really proven herself yet.

Meanwhile Pete, Ivellious and Damien visit Maximilian at his offices. They note all his employees are female and young, and remember Theodora advising them of his many affairs but do not mention it to him. He tells them truthfully he aids Lord Frederick mostly in buying and selling of various thing, such as art, weapons, furnishings and the like, but also in shipping and caravans. Upon request he gives Damien the details of his (young/female) interior designer.

Upon leaving the offices they are attacked by an Assassin, with a crossbow bolt that shatters Damien’s knee, severing his left leg from there down. Ivellious is able to stabilise him and by casting Hold Person on the Assassin, Pete has enough time to scale the 50ft building and bring the assassin down to ground level (the quick way). They discover the prisoner’s purple hand tattoo and make the connection.

They return to the keep to rest and interrogate their prisoner.

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Session 28
Up to us..

Narris and Dain enter the city via the sewers in search of the rest of the party. in a not so subtle disguise they wander the warrens and encounter church soldiers storming several locations, fearful of what this could mean they evade them and end up lost in the warren of darkened alleyways. Set upon by footpads the two brutally put them down even going so far as to executing the injured leader after he could no longer fight. This commotion brought the nearby church soldiers into contact with them, fleeing the scene they stumbled lost for some time, the bloodstained and crazed looking individuals did not get accosted again. After several hours they escaped the Warren and were stopped by someone claiming their friends where with the Inquisition, would they kindly come along. The two accepted this and followed the man to the seat of Holy Power within the Kingdom…

Meanwhile several hours earlier freshly broken out of jail and unsure what path to take the rest of the party had decided to follow a map they had acquired some time ago from one of Ozymandias’s men with several locations marked on it that corresponded with the street names overheard in the mercenary camp. They came across a rather inept group of cultists at the first location, and through a bit of luck and intimidation managed to convince the cultists they were from the ‘Masters’ and that they were required to perform a self sacrifice that night in honour of the Fallen. Getting out and realising that a blood sacrifice to the fallen could have dire consequences the party decided to throw themselves on the mercy of the inquisition, a group well known for their tolerance of heresy and those who have conversed with demons.

THe party went to the Great Cathedral and showed the coin they received from Quintus Auries They were invited in and after starting their story asked to wait. The next man to enter the room was none other than High Lord Solaris himself. He had already had some suspicions of the Queensguard and the rise of cults within the city and gave the party a chance to prove themselves. Subjected to the Soul fire each of the party is faced with a choice of a sword book or lantern and a scene to go to, a demon corrupting a child, a Queen cowering under the threat of a demon or the laughing shadows. Each choice made several of the party proved themselves worthy as members of the Inqusition. Vouched for by Quintus Auries they set about making plans.

It is at this point that the others arrive, Dain and Narris, both of who are subjected to the soul fire, this cleanses Dain of his cursed Tiara but leaves his soul somewhat scarred. The party also meet the party of adventurers they have heard reference to over the last few days. Led by Petes son Nathan and with the Slayer they had previously met it also contained Jerrick the Pauper a cleric of some kind, Vivienna a ranger and Happy the halfling bard.

High Lord Solaris advises he cannot directly interfere with the queens court or he risks civil war. The party speak to Princess Illyana who is in the cathedral and she heads to the palace to try and warn her mother and promises to return in the morning. THe Inquisition leads troops out to clean up the cults marked on the map, but Quintus Auries thinks this is a feint and the real attack will come from within the palace itself.

The following morning the princess does not return, with a crowd led by fanatical heretics gathering outside and running out of time the party is left with no choice but to storm the palace and try a direct rescue.

Rushing the gates the Queensguard lower their spears ready to defend the palace, seconds before impact a disheveled armour clad and bloodied princess arrives and commands them to let the parties in and defend against the heretics outside. She advises that she had confronted the guard and nearly a third had turned, running battles through the palace had left the place near deserted and everywhere the party looks are fallen members of the court and Guard. She leads the party to the Rose Courtyard and Inner Sanctum. Guarded by 12 heretical guard the party attack and easily overwhelm them.

A sickening smell can be sensed in the air and a strange quiet until in a storm of buzzing and noise the corpses of the guard explode oin showers of gore to reveal a dozen demons, four Hezrou Demon warriors and 8 dretches. a hard fight ensues as they try to combat the demons, Narris falls and two Fey warriors appear one from the Summer Court and one form the Winter Court.

Finally felling the last of the demons a shudder runs through the palace and from behind them comes a bellowing, a Balor bursts into the courtyard. Nathan turns to Pete and orders his father to leave and rescue the Queen, Nathan’s party, the princess and the Fey turn to face this devastating threat and the party, some against their preferred choice, turn away and head into the Inner sanctum.

In the Inner Sanctum they come face to Face with the Heretical Queensguard captain, the confessor and Krah-Zee Ivan who holds a sword to the Queens throat.
The Captain challenges Corran and is cut down with ease, though the final blow was pulled so he could be tried after. The Confessor Reveals himself as Belial, a clearly mad angel who seems to have his own agenda. THe party put everything into taking him down but he escapes leaving just Krah-zee, scared that he cannot face the party in his demonhost Kraziel finally reveals himself in his true form. A Demon Prime of terrifying power. Corran braves the gaze of the Demon and grabd the Queen pulling her free whilst the rest of the party unload into him with magic and attacks, the magical attacks are reflected in a spray hurting many of the casters but Pete manages to grab the Demon for a second or two before being flung free.

At this point with all hope seemingly lost a chill breeze is felt adn Queen Mab steps out of the ether, she laughs at the Demon and calls him by his true name Kraziel and binds him. She thanks her Winter Knight for his actions allowed her to directly intervene and she then banishes Kraziel and dissapears.

Running back to the Courtyard Pete sees Nathan behead the Balor, Vivienne and the Summer Fey have both fallen and the rest other than the Princess are badly injured. The PRincess then heads of to round up the remaining Guard and help defend against the fanatics outside.

The Queen is thankful to the party and gives them the Queens blessing which heals their wounds (Mechanically it also reverts the rest times to classic as opposed to gritty for the party). They are offered a place within her newly formed Queensguard and given a keep within the city from which to rest and recuperate before beginning their missions for her…

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Session 27
Wanted Men

After resting and helping rebuild Silverbell the party set off on the final leg to the Capital, accompanied by Theodore Lamsay who intends to carry word to the Queen personally and hunt down those responsible for the devastation wrought on his home.

Several days from the Capital the party come across a small fey child on the roadside, he delivers a message to Damian Smith from the Winter Fey Queen asking that he save the Lady of Roses, a quick discussion with the nobles in the party reveals the Lady of Roses is none other than The Rose Queen.

Fearful of a plot on her life the party continue quickly on toward the Capital. Reaching a nameless hamlet with a tavern they called the Outside Inn they encounter a heavily armed group of knights accompanied by a confessor priest leaving in a hurry. Inside the tavern is a small band of mercenaries who after overhearing Pete talking of his son invite the party to meet with them the following morning for a job.

Suspicious of the mercenaries Damien and Garridan sneak up on their camp during the night and overhear discussion in an unearthly language unable to recognise the language they still manage to use a spell to comprehend it and overhear nothing particularly suspicious although a reference is made to three days to complete and several locations within the capital.

Whilst they are doing this an assassin makes an attempt on Corrans life very nearly ending his quest to reclaim his ancestral home. the fallout of the attack is Theo turning blue from wild magic and the Inn nearly burning down.

The following morning the group meets the mercenaries. Pete recognises the 15 riders as raiders form the plains well known for their warlike nature and mercenary proclivities. The three Kingdom men leading the group, two are normal whilst one is crazed looking, he speaks with two very different tones, one very chatty and friendly to his men, the other very authoritative. He tells the party that he has been hired to deal with a Criminal problem and he has an agent in the city who he wants the group to deliver a package to, and then capture four Crime Lords for interrogation.

The Party tentatively accept and take the sealed pouch, it cannot be opened by any of the party, and make their way to the city. Arriving the city is in lockdown under martial law. A group of gypsies spot Garridans wagon and invite their ‘Cousin’ to sit with them. They advise that the city went into lockdown the day before when the Queensguard captain arrived with news of the plot on the Queen. The description matches exactly that of the armoured knights the party had seen at the tavern speaking to the mercenaries.

The party leave the wagon with the gypsies and try to enter the city on foot. Stopped at the gates by the Queensguard captain they are immediately arrested and the pouch opened by the captain to reveal ‘Plans’ to kill the Queen. Framed for the murder and given no chance to plea the group are thrown in Jail.

Whilst deciding what to do The Mercenary identifying himself as Krah-Zee Ivan enters the cell addressed as a Queensguard, he reveals he is an emissary for the Fallen and offers the party unlimited power if they swear to the Fallen and kill the queen. The party refuse, Krah-Zee laughs and leaves, no guards reappear so the party escape and send word back to those outside the city of the danger, wanted posters are everywhere and look like they have been for some time…

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Session 26
Out of the frying pan and into the fire... elemental

The party continued exploring by heading North. They had a plan to spring open a hidden door shoot a fireball in and close the door behind them. The party had just killed the group and made a lot of noise so the enemy behind the door was ready for them. When the door was opened a small bell range and 2 spiked chains were flung through the door grabbing Corren and Theodore and dragging them into the middle of the room. Inside the room the party battled 2 Hobgoblin Captains and several Hobgoblins. After a long fought battle the party killed off the hobgoblins and suffered no casualties.

In the next room Garridon found the battle plans left by the Hobgoblins and a map of the Northern Blue Mountains with forts crossed out. Also a small elephant statue. All around were large footprints and drag marks, in the room were a pair of large double doors that led to a very unstable recently dug tunnel that was much wider than the rest of the tunnels and seemed to go deeper.
The next room Dain could hear goblins laughing, in the room was a large group of goblins laughing around a pit. Without hesitation Theodore launches a fireball into the room instantly killing all but one goblin (the goblin captain). Sadly the fireball also killed the miners being kept captive in the pit, their screams could be heard by all members of the party. Pete ran into the room and tackled the Captain killing him instantly.

The final room was the treasure storage room, inside they found a large collection of belongings stolen by the Hobgoblins. Once they were in the room the not so secret door burst open and 3 ogres attacked them. The party fought and killed 2 ogres, the final ogre beg for mercy (which Garridan tried to give him by putting him to sleep), but Neris and Ivellious decided to kill him.

While looting the room the party heard a large explosion coming from somewhere outside the mine towards the town the tremors could still be felt several minutes after. The party ran towards the outside…

Outside the party encountered a strange elf bladesinger dressed in a red tiger pelt and armed with scimitars. He has bright red hair and a strange twitch, he looks insane. Half the town is blaze, the strange elf blames the party for the fire and tells them it’s because they have upset ‘the master’ (highly implying Ozymadias). By helping ‘that traitor bitch necromancer’ and killing Esmeralda. He does thank them for giving them Frank at least. He warns them that by interfering, more innocent people will die.

In the town the party battle a fire elemental that is attacking the noble’s house. Guards are currently fighting it, but slowly loosing because they kept being set ablaze. The party, with a little help from the town, slay the elemental which vanishes after defeat.
A guard appears and takes the party to the concert hall where Martial Lansay and his party of guards have been slain, they have all been cut all across their bodies and Martial has been decapitated. Theodore’s brother, Pierre, is now the Lord of Silverbell and asks for the help of the party to help repair and rebuild the town. Theodore promises to track down who did this to his father and vows revenge.

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Session 25
It's dangerous to go alone! Take my son...

The party spoke to Lord Martial Lamsey, who asked for help clearing the mines. He would lead his men and clear the western mine, his oldest son would clear the Eastern mine, and the party would clear the Northern Mine with his youngest son Therodore and a miner guide called Bill. The mines have been overtaken by hobgoblins due to their abandonment because of Esmerelda.

The party delved into the depths with Bill leading the way.
Bill leads the party to a strange area of the mine that seems to have been reinforced. He triggers a trap and is decapitated. Ivellious revivifies bill, reattaching the head. Pete looks at his arm stump and then at the cleric and sighs.

The party explores this holdout they find a hobgoblin asleep and Norris tries to execute it like a child with cerebral palsy. Another (hobgoblin was in the shitter) sees the commotion and runs, Garridan made it sleep, Norris again tries to hack at it as if his swords had the consistency of wet flannel. Then a third hobgoblin (carrying a mop and bucket) sees and makes a run for it. Dain covers his mouth with a pillow and he dies screaming. The party then found themselves in a strange locked room with a dirt flooring. They were ambushed by 3 Ankhegs that have been locked away and starved. The party then fought a small party of Hobgoblins lead by a Captin.

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Session 24
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal

The party decided to scout out the concert hall before the concert. Inside they found esmeldra waiting for them. The party fought a mob of commoners, Esm√©ralda’s 2 bodyguards (who turned out to be monks in her employment) and then herself. After a long fight the party defeated her, as she burst into flame Frank stole the orb and legged it.
Outside the concert hall the noble Martial Lamsay was waiting for them with his guards. After the party explained what happened he thanked them and asked them to go to his manor in the morning to meeting him.

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Session 23
The 'City' of Silverbell

The party leaves the temple and reunites with the party that was guarding the entrance. After explaining the situation with the baby the party leave and continue to head down the road towards the capital.

It’s not long til they spot a giant bird of prey circling above them in the air, it then approaches them with speed. The party allow the giant owl to land, which transforms into Vonda Starag. Vonda Starag shows concern that John Shepherd is missing and a new member has joined. After questioning Narris she explains that the party has to be more careful in the future and that only together will they be successful in stopping Ozymadias and the other evils that are to come.

The Vision
She then held out a seed that sprouted into a vine that went to each party member. These vines touched each person’s heads and showed them a vision of the past. They saw Balador Reinnman (Tall, strong, imposing man, with shoulder length blonde hair and pink pupils), Vonda Starag (a beautiful women with long black hair and bright green eyes wearing a black owl feather cloak), Zacharias Leonhardt, a dwarf with a shaven head with 2 hand axes and a man with a bag of books on his back. Different members of the party notice different things in this old group of heroes. The heroes are staring towards a black tower castle, Vonda’s voice informs the party that this place was called Shelly’s Fort.

She shows the party how an evil had taken over their land with the use of white orbs. The orb holders would exchange life for power and with that power inflict pain on the land. The heroes tracked down each orb carrier by decoding coded messages, the party’s wizard Olatrix was the man who cracked the code. After finding and interrogating the orb carriers one by one the final one (older then the rest and half her body decayed from the orb) freely revealed that it was Lord Ozymadias who was behind it all.

Lord Ozymandias reigned from Shelly’s Fort and was generally liked by the townsfolk. They had no reason to be suspicious of him until they found the truth. Inside the fort the heroes found devices, contraptions and monstrosities that were too grim to show. They finally confronted Lord Ozymandias (a pale tall man with long black hair, dark brown eyes and a pointy nose), they defeated him, but not without losses of their own. Olatrix and the dwarf died in the battle. Balador then destroyed all evidence of Ozymandias existing, ending his blood line. He then placed his warhammer in Balador’s Castle and never wielded it again. The orbs were placed into hiding and were not supposed to be uncovered.

The Quest
Vonda explains to the party that who ever this copy cat of Lord Ozymandias is he seems to be doing the same as the previous and the party must hunt down and stop the orb carriers. She gives Garridan Crowley some coded papers left by Olatrix and goes to talk with Corran Cousland alone. She warns Corran that Frank Carlson is wearing the symbol of Ozymandias and not to be trusted. She then gives him a seed in an envelope, she explains that this seed if planted will form a bond with a plant in Balador’s Castle allowing them to teleport between places. It is single use but when planted with last X amount of time.

Garridan glances over the coded papers and quickly works out one of the words that is mentioned often in his previous coded papers ‘SilverBell’. Most of the party know the town of Silverbell as the last large town before the capital. That the town gets its name from its silver mines and large church. The town is run by the Lansay family who are extremely proud of their fortune and have built the town to show this. The town has a large church, concert hall, taverns, etc. The town is a week and halfs travel away, southwest down the main road for around a week then to turn north when you reach the famous inn The Rich Man’s Fortune.

The Rich Man’s Fortune
The party comes across the inn and it seems to have been burnt to the ground. The exterior walls remain but not much else. Ivellious the Wanderer and Pete Farrier manage to find well hidden tracks around the inn of what appears to be Hobgoblins. Inside the inn Franks finds that the inn was burnt from the outside, that touches were thrown onto the roof. Norris and Corran find a skellington in the kitchen, they are then approached by a ghost of a naked female covered in horrendous burns from head to toe. The ghosts asks them if they are the help sent from Silverbell, when they said no the ghost asks for help and to get revenge on those who abandoned them before disappearing.

The Road to Silverbell
The road to the north is dusty and bare with little cover around, apart from occasional hills and rocks. On the first day they come across a destroyed Wagon. The wagon has been stripped bare and Ivellious manages to find tracks again that have been hidden. During the night the party keep watch and don’t light fires.

The Second day the party comes across a small destroyed church/chapel. Inside they find small amounts of blood and outside they find a banner with a red fist clenching a heart trampled into the dirt.

The third day they are ambushed by a small group of Hobgoblins (1 captain and 3 soldiers). After fighting them off the party head quickly towards Silverbell, in the distance behind them they see smoke, Norris wonders if this is the church they encountered from the day before.

Silverbell
Surrounding the walls of Silverbell litter fresh graves with small stones placed over each. Occasionally in the middle of each grave yard stands a military looking banner (a large silver bell). The walls of Silverbell look damaged from a recent attack. After knocking at the gate the party is let in…

Inside the town seems full of life, with people smiling, laughing, talking and joy filling the air. The guard at the gate welcomes the party to the city of Silverbell. Answers some questions, gives them a map and sends them on to the Harpy’s Head (an inn commonly used by tourists). As the party walk through the streets they see posers for the ‘wonderful, amazing Esm√©ralda’ what appears to be a beautiful women playing a violin. Once the party arrived in the Harpy’s Head they met a familiar ‘acquaintance’…

The only sane man in Silverbell
Phillipe Descartes jumps up from his table where he was playing cards and gathers the party at his table. Although some are wary to join him at first, but after he gives Frank the 3 Platinum pieces he stole before he convinces them to join. While acting happy, friendly and dealing out cards his tone of voice changes as he explains he needs help. He explains that in the corner of the room sits a Goliath, one of 2 brother bodyguards of Esmeralda. If the party agree to assist him escaping the inn he will tell the party what’s going on in the town.
A waiter approached the table offering the party drinks and Norris asks if he could pour a drink on the Goliath. The waiter becomes very agitated at this request and is about to shout and warn the Goliath when he is ‘stealthily’ knocked out and put under the table by Pete.
After some convincing the party agree to help him. He explains that where ever Esmeralda goes people become deluded and happy, Phillipe has been following her for a few months as the people in the towns she visits become very easy punters. But she must of found him out and sent her body guard on him, he looks generally worried and explains that these body guards are not like your normal goons and to be careful of them. He continues to explain that the towns she takes over slowly fall into destruction from the outside.
Norris has the idea of creating an Invisible servant to help distract, but it would take him 10 minutes to do. So he goes to the bathroom to begin his ritual. After 4 minutes the Goliath becomes suspicious and is about to confront the table when Pete intervenes and challenges him to an arm wrestling contest. He accepts only after being intimidated by Pete and quickly defeats him. During this time Phillipe has vanished. Angry that he lost his target the Goliath leaves, the way he moves is much quicker and more graceful than what you would expect an 8ft broad man to move. On the table is 7 tickets to Esmeralda’s show that evening at 8pm and several members of the party feel their pockets are lighter…

  • Corran – Lost 350g
  • Frank – Lost 10pp
  • Pete – His Guild pass + tools for colouring/creating
  • Ivellious – The Key to Zachias house

Frank’s Dilemma
The party decides to scope out the concert hall. After going in the front entrance they find another Goliath standing in the foyer. The party then head to a side entrance where Frank disguises himself as the goliath in the bar. The guards allow him entrance through the side door without a problem, Frank then headed to back stage where he see’s Esmeralda’s room. As he approaches to listen in the door swings open. “Paavu! Where have you been come and join me”. Once Frank joins her in her room she quickly reveals she knows it’s Frank by calling him ‘Frankie Darling’. The first thing Frank notices is the beauty of Esmeralda and the smoothness of her words, he quickly falls under her charm.

She explains that he is the chosen one of Ozymandias and he has unlimited power at his fingertips if he takes up the orb for himself, she shows him her orb floating around her and with a click of her fingers it vanishes. Frank agrees to do this and she sends him on his way. Outside the concert hall Frank meets with the party and takes them back to the wagon where the orb is, after thinking for a while he explains to the party what Esmeralda told him. The party then starts to come up with a plan on how to deal with an evil bard, her Goliath bodyguards and a possibly traitorous rogue.

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Session 22
Unexpected Allies

The group continues on the road south-west, only to find themselves face to face with Queen Mab of the Fey Winter court. She summons her Knight to her and they talk in private, however Garridan is able to understand the conversation through lip reading.

As quickly as Mab appeared she vanishes, so too does part of the day and several hours seem to have passed in an instant. The party carry with renewed pace, eager to reach the next town before nightfall. Figures are spotted in the treeline as suddenly the caravan is engulfed in silence and the group attacked by 4 mysterious figures. Unable to use verbal magic, they quickly dispatch of 2 of the culprits whilst the other 2 vanish. On their person is a note; “Find Ezekiel’s skull. Destroy the meddler”14e9f323bc677c1fe8d1918aa321b3cf.jpg

With night cast approaching, the party seek refuge in a cave. As they set up camp the bodies of the 2 other monks hit the ground from a great height. The necromancer they had inadvertently helped in Rurikstown appears before them, again asking for assistance. Initially skeptical, the party eventually agree to help this woman, now known as Armisael, as she attempts to gain power with a ritual to create an army of undead that could stand against the Fallen’s army without risk of dying to the plague, and without the living needing to fight and die themselves. Armisael also reveals how she had influenced the group over the last few months, subtly orchestrating events so that the party would discover more about the Fallen and their schemes. Before she leaves she offers each person their own reward telepathically, before asking for the magical Orb for part of the ritual. She then departs, given instructions to the party and where to find her tomorrow after a rest.

The next morning the team reach the entrance to the ritual site, some form of church deep within a mountain. Armisael explains that she will be vulnerable during the ritual and the fallen will send their foul minions to stop or corrupt it. The party set-up numerous defenses and Armisael begins the ritual using Ezekiel’s skull and the orb of Ozymendas. A mighty horde descend upon them, however the party expertly defend the position; Pete takes on a horde single-handily, throwing many into the oblivsion below, Frank’s aim with the bow is true, Damien intentionally provokes attacks allowing his defensive magic to harm enemies, Ivelious uses his holy spells to beat the waves back whilst Garridan uses his alchemical genius to bring a mighty pillar upon the enemy. He also manages to punch a demon to death. Only 3 creatures manage to reach the circle, however the ritual does not seem to stop.
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As the last enemy falls to a heap, the group breathe a sigh of relief. It is short lived however, as a mighty roar is heard. tumblr_inline_npirpde12T1tu9l0v_540.png

The Barlgura immediately assaults after smashing through the portcullis. The party respond well and Pete even manages to grapple the large beast for some time. After taking lots of damage the monstrosity disappears, only to reappear several feet higher where he launches himself at the scaffolding Frank has climbed. Frantically lashing out, the Barlgura kicks Pete off the edge of the walkway and to certain doom. Without anyone realizing , Armisael has completed the ritual and uses her new increased power to return Pete to the ledge, before quickly pummeling the Balgura’s head repeatedly against the thick stone wall, ending it’s rampage. Armisael seems melancholy, and swiftly thanks the party before vanishing. Within the ritual circle is the skull, orb, the promised rewards to the party and an unexpected item: A small grey-haired baby, motionless and silent. Ivelious immediately attempts to heal the baby, and is rewarded for his efforts by the loud crying of an infant. Looking at this child Garridan immediately understands it to be his. His memory of a night of passion (that he was not in control of) with Armisael on their last encounter returns to him…..

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Session 21
Death by Chocolate

The party interrupted the Cult of Ryle the Unclean‘s ritual sacrifice and won a hard fought battle against the cult. The fight was brutal, with Pete losing his left arm in a devastating blow from a Lollipop Knight and the rest of the party being held together by Ivellious’ healing. Damian collected the priest’s staff.

The party entered an inner sanctum with a buffet of treats which they suspected were more sinister than appearances, and a candy, soda and sprinkle shower which they did not want to use to “clean off” in. They climbed into the oversized dumbwaiter and descended into the depths of High Faroth. In the depths they came face to face with the giant chocolate baby, whose stench permeated the hallucination that had kept them from seeing and smelling the worst of their environment so far. Ryle the Unclean was before them, laying in his own filth, trash and refuse he mistook “Noris” for a follower, and demanded his offerings be hastily brought to him.

The Party attacked Ryle, taking advantage of any moment, however slight. Ivellious played his pipes and summoned forth giant rats as a distraction, and the party assaulted Ryle despite the stench hampering their movements. Corran showed his resolve where despite being effected by Ryle’s blight on the senses he delivered a mighty smite that rocked the demon to it’s core. Despite the demon being able to send a few of the party tumbling into unconsciousness with a single mighty blow, including Corran, he was ultimately overwhelmed and collapsed, melting away into a puddle as he was banished from the mortal realm.

The party were able to escape through a refuse chute that Ryle was using to pollute the world and from there they journeyed back to Frampt where they were hailed as heroes… smelly, disgusting heroes and the townspeople washed them for three hours straight before the smell began to dissipate. The party have accepted the Mayor’s offer to stay and rest for the week and the Church Task Force seems to be recovering.

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Session 20
The Rocky Road

The party reaches Frampt, a small but diverse Hamlet at the base of High Faroth. The town is rumoured to be plague-ridden but the inhabitants seem healthy enough although extremely depressed. For the last few months people have been abducted from their town and never seen again. A small church task-force has investigated the issue and been mostly killed or incapacitated by what seems a lethal combination of disease. The church archivist, Gertrude, seems to believe a Demon has been brought into the world within the mountain. Garridan supplies the party with a hallucinogenic after realising that the Church task force was overwhelmed by the sight and smell of their disgusting opponents.
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The party travel up the Chocolate, Marshmallow and Biscuit trail, fight off the Frozen Yogurt Barbarian and Pretzel Hounds, make their way through the cornucopia of giant desserts, and navigate through the trapped caramel caverns avoiding the rock candy bugs only to come across a ritual chamber, with Gingerbread Knights and a Lollypop Priest.

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