Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Last couple sessions of our Runelord's Campaign

Having fought and destroyed the Kudra War Chieftain, Ripnugget, and his bards and champions in the ramshackle halls of Thistletop, our courageous band of adventurers move deeper into the dungeon passages below. It's not long at all before their unique searching style brings them once more into contact with the foe. As the group is busy smashing open multiple doors at once, Arufadion is surprised by an enormous Bugbear in the harem quarters of the now deceased Kudra King.

Between mostly the Bugbear - who must be the wandering monster Bruthazmus, and to a lesser extent three enraged Kudra wives, the group has a tough time of it. Bruthazmus seems especially pleased to deal blows against the Syvani in the party, and Tacoriel and Arufadion feel the sting of his enormous flail many times. But when he takes one of Belgrimner's spiritual hammers to the face, the hairy Bruthazmus seems to know that he is outmatched. In a desperate sprint, he runs past the group, through the halls and toward - something... aid perhaps?

Even Hoof, who had taken time out of the fight to murder caged Kudralings, gives chase now, dealing blows to the Bugbear's armored back and drawing more of his blood, but they are unable to stop him before he crashes through the doors of the demon temple, and into the midst of his allies.

The tainted Aasimar, Nualia stands at the foot of a tall, glowing statue of the Demon Queen, her Yeth Hound at her side. Also present are Suto the traitorous Durin brother of Ariana, and a mysterious dark skinned woman in the robes of a priestess or mage. 

Hot on the Bugbear's heels. Arufadion plants his glowing sword into Bruthazmus' back as he reaches his mistress, ending the Beastly bugbear once and for all. As Hoof and Tacoriel join the Paladin, Cthulio and Belgrimner take a moment to free their long lost companion, the Druidess Cascade, from her jail cell, along with her wolf companion, Fox, before joining their brothers in the foul temple beyond.

Suddenly, two more Yeth hounds appear from the shadows of the ceiling, treading air like earth. As Nualia summons and suffuses herself with demonic power, Arufadion calls forth the Golden light of the his own Gods, protecting his companions from the fear that threatens to make them all run in terror.

Fortified thusly, Hoof lays into the hounds with his great axe but is answered with snarling fangs and deep, tearing bites. Spells are thrown by Nualia and the mysterious wizardess, but Arufadion's protections turn the evil magic aside. Belgrimner adds his healing aura, bolstering his wounded friends as Suto and Tacoriel engage in a dance of blades. The small, dashing form of Cthulio is hard to keep track of, darting in and out of combat and harrying Nualia and hound alike. Cascade and Fox add spear and tooth to the fray, laying into flying hellhounds with natural purpose.

Then Nualia pulls her serrated sword and with one quick stroke cuts Hoof down. Her strangely calm demeanor only flickers with pleasure briefly, but the hounds bay in delight, and Hoof's companions cry out. It seems things may end in ruin, but the warriors of the Golden Court rally. The Durin warpriest sends another healing wave, and Arufadion pushes forward and lays healing hand on Hoof's bleeding form.

As hounds press in, Hoof surges to his feet, rage long held in check now bursting forth as he cuts a vicious line across Nualia's scarred belly. Taco begins to gain the upper hand against Suto when the wizardess shatters his fine blade into shards and he is pressed back by the grinning Durin Rogue.

The heroes are not yet victorious, but the battle seems to be shifting in their favor. Will Yeth Hounds and demonic forces prevail? Or will GOOD (that whole goblin baby thing aside) win in the end?

... Stay Tuned!

____________________________________________________

NEXT SESSION.

As we rejoin our heroes, like Arufadion's magic blade, the battle is in full swing, and curving in favor of good. Taking sword to demon flesh, Arufadion steps in and cleaves a swath through the Yeth hounds, followed quickly by Hoof's axe in an opposite and equal splash of gore. Tacoriel rallies in spite of his lack of blade, bringing claws and spells to bear. Cthulio darts in and out around Nualia, stabbing where he can and just keeping out of reach, and Cascade and Faux harry the hounds with spear and fang while Belgrimner's healing magic is all that keeps friends from perishing in the fray.

But evil is not through! With a surge, the dastardly rogue, Suto, cuts Tac again and again as the Syvani tries to bring his sorcery to the fore. The Yeth hounds, bloodied but not yet vanquished, rip into Hoof, trying with desperation to protect their evil mistress, and managing to bring Hoof to the ground again and again. Nualia wastes no time in taking advantage, plunging her glowing blade into and through the barbarian's arm. The dark wizardess tries again and again to effect someone - ANYONE, with her spells, and is finally rewarded for her efforts as Cthulio is burned by an acid orb.

Then one and another of the three Yeth are cut down by the combined might of paladin and barbarian, falling from their unnatural perch in the air to land as so much dead, tainted meat at the toes of their mistress.

With the odds now in the group's favor, they press the attack. In response, Suto backs away, joining Nualia and the wizardess, who sends a fan of flames into the hero's ranks. It turns out to be the last actions she ever takes, as Taco rushes forward and buries his draconian claws in the woman's stomach!

Nualia and her last hound fight like, well, demons, and her wicked bastard sword and the hell hound's teeth cut vicious wounds in Hoof, Arufadion and Cthulio, but paladin and priestly magic are up to the task of healing and despite her best efforts, she can't bring a hero down for long.

Suto begins to look worried.

And at last, Nualia is brought low with a well timed stroke of Arufadion's longsword. As her head topples from her graceful shoulders, red lightning plays around the edges of the wound. Hoof spins and cleaves the Yeth's head, cutting off it's eerie and mournful howl. As the sounds of combat die, Suto throws down his blade and backs away, raising his hands in surrender.

The heroes have won.

In the aftermath of the battle, Suto is well tied and secured to a pillar of the demonic temple as Arufadion checks the body of Nualia, assuring that threat is permanently ended. The traitor tells them that they have defeated all of Nualia's henchmen, with the exception of a mercenary named Orik, who probably fled, since he hasn't showed up by now. Unsure whether to believe him, but detecting no lies, they begin to explore the closest rooms.

They find a war room of sorts, where all the major planning of Nualia's goblin raids happened, and a combination study and archeological headquarters, with various ancient scrolls, shovels, picks and digging supplies.

Deciding on a night's rest, everyone settles in for sleep, taking a three on/three off watch rotation in the temple.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Aeranos Pathfinder

Well, I have officially moved and am finely settled in enought to start roleplaying again. As such I've gotten together with a new group and have introduced them to the world of Aeranos, sort of.
For one or two important reasons, I am using the D20 / Pathfinder version of my Aeranos ruleset instead of my system. The first reason being player familiarity; the players are all used to, and comfortable with Pathfinder. Secondly, Two of my players are younger (elementary and middle school) and I want them to have something they can share with their friends, with some hope that they can find friends who already know the Pathfinder system.
Last night was our first get-together. Most of the night was utilized to make a party of characters, and what a both balanced but funky group it is...
Brady, our host, is playing Hoof the Half-Orc "beer"barian. Yes, you heard that right, and he is a monster worthy of a place in the manual.
Brady's son Oliver (age 9) is playing Tacoriel (sp?) the Elven fighter, who uses a two handed sword thank you very much.
Levi is playing Fynykys the Human wizard. An old man come late to the career of adventurer.
Chad is playing Bellgrimmner the Dwarven Cleric. Yes, he's a dwarf's dwarf, with all the proper facial hair and hatreds that go with it.
Liam is playing Kathulio the Halfling Rogue, who's rapier is truly pointy and dangerous!
Personalities still need to be brought out of these heroes, but the Gods expect great things from them!
For the short remainder of the night, we went through a quick mock battle, showing the newer players  the ropes, and letting them take out some classic murder hobo vengeance on poor defenseless monsters. Considering the way they mopped the dungeon floor with three goblins, one skeleton and an ogre, their team's effectiveness is not in question.
Next time we will get started with the adventure proper, which by request, is going to be a fairly standard dungeon romp I think.
Stay tuned!
Old D20 PDF of Aeranos (some of this is out-of-date)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Adventures of Golgen and Nim - 01

My son (age 11) and daughter (age 9) had their first adventure in Aeranos today. Since they both had lots of fun, I'd call it a success. Though I tried for a straight up dungeon delve, they were having none of it, Between diplomacy with the enemy and caring for their henchmen, they managed to blow most of the hack and slash stereotypes I expected. It was really cool to see.

The Characters
Golgen Zeron Beclonzy: Oroka Warrior. Third son of the Chieftain of the Horselords of the Oras-fel plains. Strong, loyal, not incredibly intelligent, but excellent with the warhammer and shield.

Nimphzahla Mizma Salzim: Faelinarie Druidess. Young forest sprite of the Greenwood. Carefree, loyal, out to experience life while protecting the natural realms.

The Adventure
I borrowed this little gem of an adventure from Dyson's Adventure Blog, pretty much as written. (warning to my regular players: leave this site alone! I might be using Dyson's maps a lot. Great stuff!)

Anyway it has to do with a band of Kudra Raiders and a hidden horror at the bottom of an old ruin in a forest gully. Golg and Nim scouted out the gully with two of Golg's henchmen, Bangel and Regul, twin Oroka warriors. They made their way through the ruins, fighting Kudra along the way, but then Regul took a serious wound beyond Nim's ability to heal.

Finishing the battle, they managed to capture the last Kudra combatant. It turned out there was no question of continuing the mission. Regul was badly injured. They left the gully and took their injured, and their prisoner back to the village.

When interrogated, the Kudra promised to take them back to the gully in the morning and treat with his leader, Moluk, for the release of their prisoners, who were taken in the latest raid.

That night, an assassin entered the village and put a poison dart in the Kudra's neck. Nim was summoned and used her magic to neutralize the poison and save the Kudra's life. In gratitude, the enemy, who gave his name as Grayfeather, told Golg and Nim what was really going on.

Apparently the Kudra brigands were really being led by a mysterious, dark robed wizard who was keeping some kind of a horrible creature in the ruins. The prisoners were to feed the creature, and the Kudra were all serving the Master out of fear. In exchange for this information, they let Grayfeather go, and made a friend from an enemy.

Returning in the morning with a dozen warriors, they made their way deeper into the ruins. Nim was briefly captured, but managed to free herself with a clever use of the Levitation spell (proving that spell useful to even winged creatures in a bind). They routed the Kudra and rescued the prisoners.

The evil wizard waited for the unsuspecting heroes to release his creature, which they did. Unfortunately for him, the heroes than proceeded to run away. The evil creature, a horrible demonic ooze then stuck around the ruins long enough to eat the wizard and the remaining hidden Kudra, before making its way outside.

They valiantly tried to put some arrows into it, but when that proved unsuccessful, they showed great wisdom in running back to the village to warn everyone of the horror they unwittingly released.

And so ended the not-so-typical dungeon delve.

Congratulations to Liam and Rowen on achieving a great, ambiguously happy ending to their first adventure, with plenty of oozy reasons to continue adventuring next time.



The Ooze on the Loose

Thursday, November 14, 2013

You can check out the rough, first draft, in progress story here.

Grayforge Isle

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Grayforge Isle

The ongoing adventures of the Order of the Swan are taking a slightly different Bloggish form. My newest Aeranos project is a illustrated, journal-style novella of the adventure. As such, it's a heck of a lot throw into a blog.

The illustrations are a work in progress, and I will throw in some samples as the adventure proceeds. I have the first part of the story written (first draft) and here is a link.

Part 1 (Rough) 

These are the short-hand notes of the second and third parts, which will probably only make any sense to my players, but until I get the rest written, is all I have to show.

Part 2
Discussed sneaking in. Causing a distraction. How to escape with 17 weak and wounded Dinari.
Discussed another recon by Taen.
Discussed finding and talking to the Silverbelly Golem. How do we find him?
Yank! anchor chain. He has found the ship. Pulling it down... one armed!
Cloudwalk. Taen investigates.
Conversation. Stirred the nest. Kudra angry. Wants to make a deal. Meet on the shore.
Rabbit/Cloudwalk/Fly
Hokbeuli's story. Crab God senses all. Took my arm. Help retrieve friends in exchange for help retrieving hammer. "The story" Can't harm kudra. Taen: Drag ship. Khabsha: Cloudwalk to avoid detection. Blood magic prevents detection. Disturb treasure bring CrabGod and Kudra. Hokbeuli strikes, retrieves Dinari. Exchange.
Kudra coming. Hide in water behind rock.
Back on ship. Discuss plan. Make deal. Will MacGowen give up the hammer? Gail doesn't know. Not his call. Look over notes on Angvar's barrow. Discuss poem. Red Witch? Blood sorcery? Too bad Cinder's not here. Send Taen to agree and retrieve a piece of Silverbelly unknown for scrying purposes. How will we get the anchor chain to him? Should work, as long as the weather is good...
Cut to morning. Raging storm. hail, sleet, winds. DO WE PROCEED? We must.
Engineering scene. lower the ship. reel the anchor chain. apply shorter chain. Khabsha nearly slips.
Silverbelly takes chain. Disappears into water. Can he hold the ship? Yes. At least no kudra patrols.
2 candles later. Close call. Get to northern tip of Island.
Cloudpack. Cloudwalk. Silverbelly leaves anchored. Heads to village to wait.
Slog through mist. In danger of being pushed off of island. Tired.
Reach dolmen. All growth ceases. Khabsha senses. Blood drenched stones. Test. no damage.
Move on to huge, perfect structure. massive dome.
Lightning strike. shaken. Deaf. Split up. Khabsha and Taen find "entrance" Slab. Dolmens.
More blood and old runes. Others find nothing til they meet up from other side.
Check slab. Huge. Immovable. Engraving. Understanding spell. "Ye who disturb the dead, suffer the curse of living death"
more blood and ethereal ice. The cold of death seen with spell. Taen sees Athelbran in lightning on barrow. Bone white skin. Fearful. Spells waver.
spread out around door. No way in. Khabsha "climbs" Graham touches earth... no crabgod. must be within boundary.
Khabsha finds small hole. Taen might fit. Taen won't go. work at hole with hammer. "someone watching" feeling. Enough breaks to possibly get Rowen through. Go to top. Feeling stronger. pulled off? by Red Witch.
Graham and Rowen check out hole. Do we go back?
Must go on. Rowen strips out of armor. throws in light stone. Hawkwing silent. ties rope. Enters head first. Scary moment. not stuck. drops into pillared chamber. reeks of death.
exits: hole in floor. narrow arch to north and south. puddle.
Thru arch: chain diagonal. more pillars. another archway to south, another hole in floor. Taen stays right on Rowen. ancient warrior corpses. falling apart.
Outside, rain intensifies.
 
Part 3
explore pits.
find Blood Chamber door. symbol. Maybe later.
Back the other way. Explore beginning of Gloomrot Hall. Light extinguished. see blades. hmm.
Go back to hole. explain choices.
Taen attacked by Bone Golem. minor wound.
Rowen joins attack. Golem flees down gloomrot hall.
Back to Blood Chamber door. Open.
A few steps in. Taen realizes poison herbs. Step back.
Too late. Rowen sneezes. Poisoned. Eyes, nose throat. Regeneration helps. Pureblood spell.
This place sucks. Discuss leaving. Why would someone create a deathtrap grave?
There were arcane symbols on the wall of blood chamber. Taen can search it without stirring up. Mask.
Capstone. arcane symbols. sketched by Taen. Shown to Rowen. Astrological symbols.
Pull chain. reveal starlight window. Hidden on outside by glamour.
Coordinate outside. Khabsha breaks it with hammer. Lower down inside. Gang's all together.
Graham finds some old scrolls. too brittle. dangerous herbs. get out of room.
Gloomrot hall.... discuss options. Spend a candle searching for hidden passages. fine tooth comb. no luck.
Khabsha: Stoneskin. Greater Radiance. eats magic. careful walk through maze.
This place sucks.
Robed dead. more pits. What are these for? Paintings on walls. Beornian daily life. hunting hounds. ships.
Downstairs. Warrior Room. shields, spears. Cold Iron door, much like front door. Reverse passage. lets check that out.
Warrior barracks. storage rooms. Paintings. Warriors "valhalla". Searching.
Graham sees Rowen out of corner of eye. Asks question. Not Rowen, actually Athelbran. Scares Graham into pit. Quick thinking. Jam halberd into walls. Slow descent. oomph.
Bone Golems attack. 4 in pit. 5 in room. Blades not as effective. minor wounds Taen and Rowen not as effective. Graham smashing left and right. Khabsha's hammer good.
Destroyed. Nicks in halberd.
Search storage area. unopened barrels. No exit. Search pit for secret passage. no luck. Have to try cold door.
This place sucks.
Cold door. Pushed open. Extravagant hall. Death magic. Rowen peeks. Sees bodies to left, statue of king to right. Sloping passage. Strange eyes. Paralyzed. Pulled back into room by Graham.
eyes moving, body cold and lifeless. Worry. Discuss. no pulse. Slowly revived. Dangerous statue. what to do? tie rope. send someone else out. hmmm.
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Well of Dunbolten - An Aeranos Encounter

PCs
Rowen, Khabsha and Taen

Graham is away with Gowen and Trenton on a trip into the fringes of the Winter Wood. Cinder is on semi-permanent sabbatical in Heljin's Tower and Fathak is likewise permanently engaged on the high seas.

While attending a small political dinner with the King and several Chieftains and Trade leaders, a messenger arrives from the small village of Dunbolten, one days ride to the west of the city.


The Message and the Story:
The people of the Fomish village of Dunbolten have lost three children over the last several months. The first they thought simply wandered too far into the woods, but when a second and third disappeared, the last from his own bed and with signs of a struggle, they knew a predator stalked them.

Being the good, tax paying Fommish that they are, they sent for the king's soldiers to help them in their time of need. A Knight of Culan arrived with a hand of soldiers. They searched the woods and the moors, and questioned the villagers. Just when they seemed to be at a loss, one of the villagers made a gruesome discovery while bringing water from the village well.

The bloody finger was that of the last child gone missing. Horrified by the find, and anxious to find the thing responsible, the Culanian Knight took his men into the dark hole after the unknown terror. That was four days ago. No sound nor sign has been heard from the well.

Fearing the worst, the village elder had the well covered and chained, and now leaves a villager on guard for signs of the Knight's return or the creature itself.

The three agree to ride with the messenger back to Dunbolten and investigate the well. At a stop along the way, the messenger introduces himself as Marduk. He tells them that he is the Uncle to the little boy who was last taken, Jenner. He asks about their past experiences, and pleads with them to get his nephew back.

Once in the village, they are led to the village elder, Headman Monmont, who explains what has transpired. Rowen asks for something personal of Jenner's. Marduk hurries to get the boy's mother Arelina, who brings a locket of hair. With everyone looking on, Rowen employs a bit of her new magic, a scrying spell.

The spell goes well, and Rowen sees a strange sight. Her perspective appears to be from the eyes of the child. She can see a hazy view of a cavern, but dark spots mar the view. These abnormalities of sight seem to come from the child, not the scrying. There are liquid-like gurglings and when the child's hand briefly comes into view, Rowen can see trails of tiny bubbles. Though she watches for a few minutes, nothing else becomes apparent.

After explaining her vision the mother and villagers present are greatly relieved. Without further delay, the three adventurers prepare for their trip down the well.

Armor bundled separately, and with plenty of rope ready, they pull the stones from atop the planks boarding the well. Taen does some initial recon, flying down into the well to the water level and finding no signs. Taking the plunge, she goes below, and with the help of one of Rowen's light stones, soon finds a hole in the wall of the well that appears to lead away into further submerged caverns.

With Taen continuing to lead the way, and Rowen and Khabsha following her rope tied form, they make their way through a short but harrowing tunnel. They surface in a large, natural looking cavern. Investigation reveals the only further exits being through another submerged section. In this cavern they find many footprints in the mud, showing signs that Sir Beregrd and his men at least came this way, and made it this far.

It's at this point that Rowen's sword, Hawkwing, gives it by now familiar warning of demonic presence, but unlike in the past, this warning is fleeting and inconsistent. The blade sets to vibrating and then suddenly cuts out, only to start up again a few moments later.

With little else to go on, they once again send Taen at the end her rope, into the water. The first underwater passage she checks ends in a muddy, rocky dead end, almost in more ways than one. A huge, demonic fish with a mouthful of razor teeth snaps at Taen as she desperately evades. Her tugging on the rope causes Khabsha and Rowen to pull her backwards with great force. Banged and beaten, but at least not eaten, Taen is pulled from the water. All three see the large, twelve foot pike lunge briefly from the water before disappearing back into the depths.

When calmed once more, the three decide there's nothing much for it but to wade in and take care of the menace. Tossing some light stones into the water to give them warning, they go waist deep in the water as Taen hovers just below the low ceiling. Soon enough they are attacked by the wily devil fish. Through teamwork, some close calls and Hawkwing's warnings they manage to smash and stab the fish until the water is stained black and three of the beasts are destroyed.

Cutting open the largest of the beasts, a fish fifteen feet in length, they find the gruesome remains of a man, along with a small light gem. With no further sign of fish, they explore the other passages and soon find a deeper tunnel where the ripped remains of chain mail, along with a broken sword and discarded helmet bear proof of at least one of the knight's end.

Like before the passage rises back into an air filled cavern, but the this time the craggy room has occupants. As the three pull themselves up from the water, they are faced with three undead soldiers, one of which is headless. As the creature's attack, one of the ones with a head speaks in a croaking voice, "Turn back or the children DIE Now..."

Needless to say, the heroes do not heed the warning, knowing that any chance the children have rests in a quick dispatching of these things. With sword, hammer and bow, Rowen, Khabsha and Taen finish off the walking remains of the last rescue party.

There is only one exit from the chamber. Just a short way through the passage they find a crumbled set of large, rune engraved stones leaning against each other. The only way to proceed is to step through them. A test of the magic, reveals the way to be some sort of planar passage, not unlike the pond before the Shadow Tower. Like that way, this seems to lead to Cairn Nan Arq, the Shadow realm.

With a weary sigh, they choose to proceed, having learned through experience that demons seem to prefer the Shadow realm to their own. Unfortunately, they are not long in this new tunnel before they come to another portal much like the first.

Two such planar shifts so close to one another is a new thing. Carefully, they probe the new gateway, wary of a trap. Through investigation, they learn that anything placed through the gate loses its magical properties. Knowing something nasty waits beyond, the two Wicala's are loath to lose the magical advantage, but again, they aren't spoiled for choice.

The fact that the undead minions spoke of the children, leads them to believe that whatever holds the children knows of their coming. There is no going back for reinforcements, even if there were reinforcements to be had. Even now, the creature responsible could be killing his victims, if indeed they weren't already long dead.

So, wasting no time, they prepared what offense and defense was left to them, armor and sword, bow and hammer, lit fitful torches and stepped through this second portal into who knew what realm to face who knew what challenge.

Stepping through and to the side, to make room for the others, they were faced with a jagged, bone filled cavern. More importantly to the two priestess's, they were not only cut off from their magic, but were totally and utterly cut off from their Gods, so isolated from their identity, that each could only just keep themselves from falling to the ground, leaving only Taen to face the ten foot, reptilian monstrosity's opening attack.

And face it she did. While her arrow found it's mark, the beast was barely distracted. It's counter strike came in the form of a pair of clawed hands powered by long, strong arms. The beasts tail lashed out and Rowen jumped clear, crashing through the dry bones on the floor. As she circled it, testing it's speed with Hawkwings still keen edge, Khabsha brandished her hammer and took the creature in its side, caving ribs and bursting armored skin.

Even this powerful blow barely seemed to hamper the creature. Indeed, Taen's arrow wound and Rowen's cuts disappeared only moments after they were given, and the creature's ribs seem to crackle and reform as the three heroes watched and circled. Then Khabsha took a glancing blow from one of its claws and felt the acidic burn of demonic poison.

As Rowen dashed in to save her friend, and Taen circled above it's head, Khabsha fought off the poison. When it turned again, she let loose a terrible Oroka cry and rushed in, hammer raised high. The weapon crashed once into the creature's high head. She spun and brought it down again, this time finding the beasts knee and bringing it crashing low. Once more her hammer found its mark, this time it's hook smashing through the creature's chest and finding the vital organs within. With a jerk of her corded arms there came a popping and grinding, and with it, a dwindling struggle from the demon. The three fighters surrounded the downed demon and hacked and slew until little remained of the giant beast.

In the aftermath, the heroes found the remains of Sir Beregrd and three pale sacks of liquid suspended from the ceiling. Within the sacks were the three missing children. All had some form of cord attached to their necks, and two appeared to still be moving, if sluggishly.

Rowen experimentally put a small hole in one of the sacks. The liquid that squirted out hissed and spit as it hit the floor. With a gloved finger she plugged it. From this the three deduced that whatever demonic acid was within, only burned when it touched air. Together they devised a plan to roll the sacks carefully through the passage and into the water.

It was difficult and grueling work, but they managed it, and a candle later, they had rescued and revived two of the three children. After bringing them back to the surface, along with Sir Beregrd's shield and the creature's head, they were greeted with a hero's welcome, cheers from the villagers and hugs from grateful families.

Beregrd's shield and the head of the demon were sent to his Chieftain with a letter explaining the deed. Rowen, Khabsha and Taen rested in Dunbolten, after staying for a celebratory feast. They then returned to Kaergot to report their deeds.



Between Adventures


Time has passed in the Kingdom of Fom. The heroes of the Order of the Swan, having saved the princess and earned the respect of King Ironcrown and his court, have stayed on a while in the Kingdom. As the season changes, each has spent their time in differing ways, enjoying a well earned rest after the trials of the Shadow Tower.

Lady Rowen, with the help of the Queen and the Tuath of Birchwood Hall, has continued to firm up the new found good feelings between the Syvani and the people of the Kingdom. She has divided her time between diplomatic duties and study and prayer, learning new spells and practicing old ones, and attending feasts and telling bardic tales of the Swan's exploits.

Graham has found himself elevated from "ex" criminal to titled knight of the Kingdom. Sir Graham has wasted little time in wooing the prettiest of the eligible ladies of Kaergot while also spending time with Tristan and Redknife, honing his fighting skills. As reward for his part in saving Princess Iala, the king gifted him with a very fine Halberd, of the finest Durin make. He has yet to name the blade but is already learning it has more properties than simply to cut.

Lord Cinder, having already made good connections with the Mage Tower in the North, and fearing that an extended stay would sorely test his lackluster diplomatic skills, left Kaergot while the wishes were still warm. He continues his magical studies in Heljin's tower under the tutelage of the arch-mages there.

Fathak D'Burjinn crafted his fame and renown into a commission in the Fommish navy, finally finding his way back into a captaincy on a fine vessel, running protection for merchant ships while acting under a letter of marquee and hunting down pirates. It's anyone's guess how long the rogue can stay on the fair side of the law, but for now, life is good.

The Faelinarie, Taen, contributed greatly in cleaning out the city of the spies and cultists of the Web Mistress. In partial conjunction with the city guard and the less reputable guilds, she used her considerable roguish talents to ferret out the worst of the demonic influence. While she knows better than most that such a chore is never finished, that doesn't stop her from trying. Besides, having tasted the life of adventure, she's just not ready to return to her tranquil forest home.

Khabsha has been content to follow Rowen and the other Swans. Like Rowen, she has attended the feasts and banquets, and like her Wicalic sister, she has taken the time to study her shamanic abilities. Perhaps more than the others, Khabsha feels that her time with the Swans is a calling. She does what is necessary to prepare for the trials ahead, including practicing her martial skills.