From the Journal of Quinn and Alexi Goldenscale
I teleport the entire group back to Hargoth and immediately I see something is wrong from the forlorn looks the guards are giving us. We finally find out that somehow Karnak has died…. (GM: He’s dead Jim…) How is that possible, I examined the necrotic injury and I knew that it would take a couple of weeks before it would reach dangerous levels! Caleb is also distressed and immediately heads off. We all follow and head through the infirmary and continue down to the Morgue. On the way through the infirmary I notice that Marcus is awake and sitting up. I greet him surprisingly and tell him I will come back.
We head down and under a sheet is unfortunately the body of Karnak. Sensing that something changed with the necrotic wound he had received from the short sword, I try to detect for any residue necrotic energy. It seems that it did not dissipate when the body died and instead was spreading over his entire body in what I assumed could have eventually raised him as some undead being. (GM: Correct) Expecting only remnants of the power I’m instead hit with a massive backlash. (GM:pwned!!!) The necrotic presence had grown greatly. The power pushes me back and I would have landed hard (GM: on your a$$) if Lon hadn’t caught me. Weakened from the attack I manage to mutter that ‘something is wrong, and the necrotic energy is still in him and it’s growing.’
I felt a great sadness come over me when the guards at the garrison said Karnak had died. First because we had lost an ally, but mostly because we had lost another companion to the forces of evil and I felt some of that burden. And then I felt anger… Alexi was right though, Karnak’s wounds were NOT that bad and he should have lived! Caleb did not understand it either for he had personally treated his wounds and KNEW we had time to save him. All I knew was that I had to go see the body with my own eyes and lead a pray vigil to a fallen companion.
We arrived and the infirmary and headed down to the morgue for that was where they had taken Karnak’s body. We entered and lying on a cold stone slab with a sheet across him was Karnak. I walked over and pulled back the sheet and was horrified by what I saw; Karnak’s face was twisted into a horrible expression and it did not look like he had died peacefully in his sleep.
But like all things the Dark Queen or her minions touch, the death of Karnak was a trap set for us. Alexi had used his magical ability to sense that something was wrong and Caleb believed that the body had moved a fraction. All I knew was that when Alexi collapsed mumbling ‘something was wrong’ and pointing towards Karnak I knew I had to act, as I thought Karnak was alive and that he was being controlled like Lazarus was! It was time to destroy the evil in him once and for all.
‘PALADINE!’, I screamed as I placed my left hand on the face of Karnak and held aloft the Dragonlance with the other and prayed, willed the affliction to BE GONE! A light of purest white came down from the heavens and engulfed myself and Karnak and then the room (and later I found out the whole infirmary building). In my effort to banish the evil and ‘otherness’, I was successful! (GM: Praise Jesus!!!) The BODY of Karnak had been cleansed; but I also knew at that exact moment that I had to make a choice. Karnak was dead. He was no longer there… unless… I concentrated my will and prayed to Paladine once more, calling upon the Gods of Light to help me restore Karnak. My prayers were answered.
To the amazement of all, Karnak got up from the stone, turned and knelt before me and offered his life to me. ‘Serve Paladine and you serve me’, I responded. Karnak is like the phoenix – he has died and been reborn, shedding forever the vestments of evil for his heart is pure for he can HOLD the Dragonlance. I too am different – Paladine is with me for I know I can give blessings on others and heal their wounds thanks to the power of Paladine. (GM: both Quinn and Karnak have taken the next step on their paths)
Quinn did the most unexpected action at that point and started calling on Paladine and attempted I don’t know what but almost like the exorcism that he did to Lazarus.
I don’t fully understand what happened but there was a giant beam of light that extended from his body that spread across the whole of Karnak’s body and then expanded out (like one of my fireballs) and suddenly the room stills.
Quinn looks jubilant and suddenly Karnak opens his eyes and sits up. The scars (from his many battles) have been erased and he no longer contains any necrotic presence at all. (GM: he is as smooth as a babys ……..)
The weakened state that I was in was completely erased by Quinn’s ‘raise dead’. Karnak gets off the table and kneels at Quinn’s feet and pledges his loyalty to Quinn and Paladine. It would seem he’s had a conversion of faith because he is suddenly like a different person. One of Caleb’s acolytes comes forward with Karnak’s clothes but he says that he wants them burned as he wishes to shed himself of his former life that contained great evil. Quinn gives him his Dragonlance to hold and he accepts the weapon and raises it shouting Paladine’s name. The Dragonlance even glows slightly and both Quinn and Caleb take up the chant shouting Paladine and Mishkal. Caleb then decides to have an impromptu service.
The blessing of Paladine has touched everyone in the infirmary. Those that might die will now recover! Those that were with fever of broken bones are mended. Only those whose lives have been full have risen to be with the Gods. This is a glorious day! Though Caleb really needs to work on his speeches… (GM: yes much sucking)
Having seen enough religious experiences for one day I leave and head up to the infirmary to talk with Marcus.
Of all the divine magic I have seen performed this truly was the most majestic. What Quinn did was what I had read that Knights of Sword could do way before the cataclysm and the rise of the Kingpriest. There were rumours that true good clerics back then could perform resurrections but even the mages (and most of their records that survived the cataclysm showed no evidence of that ability. If I had not seen it done with my own eyes I would not have believed.
As I head up into the infirmary I look around at the patients. It seems that they were all affected by Quinn’s channelling down in the morgue, Marcus is even standing up as I approach him. I ask him about what happened and he said there was a brief light from below and suddenly he felt refreshed.
I ask him about what happened with the Irda and he tells me that Lazarus interviewed him but since then the Irda had died during the interrogation. After purposes telling Lazarus not to do that I’m instantly suspicious. I’m going to have to grab Quinn after they have finished their religious orgy downstairs and get him to come with me to see him. I ask about what the Irda did and asked of him. Marcus explains that he had been preparing to shut-up his shop one day when the (dead) Irda woman came in and captured him. They then tortured him for information about his contacts inside and outside the tower. They also questioned him about me. SIGH (GM: Alexi is such a celebrity)
It’s interesting to see which parts of the Dragonarmy want us dead. The warriors focus on Quinn while the magic users focus on me, it’s an interesting paradigm. Perhaps it breaks down to the basic contest of contenting against your equal. (GM: this is quite a good observation… and so far it is mostly true)
I was extremely glad that Marcus has recovered from the attack its people like him that get little recognition but that have aided us so much that it really make the difference in this war. (GM: cant discount the “little people”)
I ask him about what he will do next and he tells me that he has been summoned to the tower to report to Justarius. I offer him passage on my teleport as I want to check on Ladonna’s progress with the retrieving the dragon eggs. He accepts my offer and I told him I would come and get him when I leave (within the next day).
I also warn Marcus to probably leave the infirmary now as I can hear footsteps coming from the stairwell that leads to the Morgue. He inquires why and I explain that Quinn has cleansed Karnak and managed to raise him in full health. He stares at me and then the group as they walk into the infirmary with Karnak holding Quinn’s Dragonlance like a banner and he looks shocked. (GM: stunned mullet comes to mind)
Instead of following my advice he gets sucked in with the rest of the populous in the infirmary that surround Quinn & Karnak. Sensing that they won’t stop from surrounding him (and seeing that 1st Squad was actually having trouble keeping them away) I use the gem and convince Quinn that he should address the masses so that they don’t cause any injury in this ‘riot’. He agrees and motions for silence so that he can address them. Deciding to have some fun I use my prestidigitation to make his armour shine. Quinn addresses the people and thanks them for their support in Paladine and the Gods and asks them to return to their tasks as we are still at war. The way they all left with adorning faced lemmings makes me sigh but at least we have the support of the city if we require their aid at a later date. (GM: Quinn secretly loves it)
Stepping out on to court yard around the infirmary I see there are people everywhere and they all want to be next to me and feel the blessing of the gods. Alexi was right for me to speak to the crowd. The situation could have turned into a riot and there would have been deaths. Instead I held up my hand and the people went quiet. ‘The blessing of Paladine and the Gods of good is upon you all. Please, return to your duties as we all serve the gods in our own way. We still have a war to win. Praise be to Paladine!’ Luckily it worked and disaster was averted. Karnak continued to carry the Dragonlance aloft, held high like a flag and as a symbol of all we hold dear.
I approach Quinn and explain we have to talk to Lazarus. Karnak is going to get changed, Caleb is going to stay in the infirmary and Lon (having enough of humans for a while) heads off to ‘commune with nature’ in solitude. Nessie comes with us. We head up to Lazarus’s tower first but are told he’s not here. Sensing that if she is still alive she would be kept in the dungeon we head off. On the way to Lazarus, Quinn told me that he now has the power to heal…. WTF (He explains that he is still a squire on his quest to become a knight this is just a small gift from Paladine). After getting past the guards (which includes a pathfinder & flamboyant mercenary) we are escorted into the dungeon where Lazarus is standing looking out a window while I see two scribes writing information down on scrolls. He explains that the death ‘rumour’ was just a ruse for extra protection and Quinn expresses his sympathy for the death of the pathfinder. (Well that is something I didn’t know that the ‘pathfinder’ was actually an agent of Lazarus). (GM: well duh!!) He explains that the Irda has blocks in her mind similar to Castor and that he could break her but she would die in the process. I ask for some time with her and he allows us through the door to her cell.
Inside is a main in black robes (Not a high sorcery mage) who has a large bandage around his eyes (He’s blind). He’s just sitting there on a stool facing the woman. We approach her and she’s awake. She’s been bound on a chair with the anti-magic bracers. Surrounding the chair is an inscribed circle and candles all lit. This must be what they are using to contain her power with the anti-magic device destroyed. Her body language/pose is strong and she gives nothing away (she will be tough to crack, but hopefully she can be provoked like Castor).
She does not respond to my initial questions but Quinn finally hits a nerve when he mentions Vingarrd Keep. She shows surprised but quickly reverts back to her bored expression. Taking extreme measures I use the hood of disguise (taken from her sister’s dead body) and transform myself into her sister. She doesn’t like that. (GM: not at all)
I then force the issue by asking if I use the friendship bracelet I wonder who the two people I would summon here. That instantly gets a reaction. Mentioning the bracelet has her worried the most. She is scared of the possibility of using it and summoning those two people here. (GM: you realise she is scared, more so than upset you found out… could be an important distension)
Sensing she is revealing too much she attempts to break free. This is confirmed by the black robed figure who it seems she is fighting against. “She’s attempting to break free again”. Quinn is contemplating nudging her with the Dragonlance to break her concentration, (GM: I think Quinn is thinking something a little more forceful than a nudge) I instead look and see if I can aid the man who is holding her. I sense that he is a sorcerer and he is also using wild mage to contain her. Quinn proceeds with nudging her but it seems to have no effect. (In fact 3 candles go out and she seems to be winning). Having a flash of an idea I get out the Wild Mage Wand of Conjuring and give it to the sorcerer in the hope that he can channel its power. (GM: that was unexpected) Not expecting it to work so well he takes the wand and instantly looks revitalised and powerful. (GM: rolling natural 20 will do that) He steps forward (with no vision he steps between us) and proceeds to place his hand on her head and commands her to tell him her secrets. She screams and it looks like that power boost from the wand ensures the sorcerer’s supremacy and he mentally connects with both Quinn & I and we are able to ask her a few questions in which she is forced to answer.
Q: Who do the two pearls link too?
A: I find out that the pearls are linked to two men. Verrayo & Ror. They are two of Arakises’s chosen (advisors).
Q: Why are you here?
A: To kill the mage Alex,
A: Udoonin fears his power
Q: Is Udoonin alive?
A: He is beyond death (GM: and pissed off looking for a piece!!!)
Q: Why are you working with the Dragon Army
A: Honour demands Service
Q: Do you know Jark the Ogre Magi
Q: When did you last speak with him?
A: 5 Nights ago
Quinn asks the next question
Q: How did you get the knights to charge at Vingarrd
A: We get no answer and she seems to be resisting
I ask the question a different way hoping to bypass her block
Q: How does Edwin and his family fit into your scheme?
A: I was a servant of Lord Edwin Garth of the Vale at Vingarrd
Q: Is Edwin’s father complicit in the attack?
Q: What would it take for you to agree to testify this information?
A: Again no answer and she manages to break the mind contact.
I was hoping for a different answer when Alexi asked the question of the Irda’s role at Vingarrd Keep. Edwin’s father complicit in the attack by sending the Knights to their doom; there will be a reckoning at Whitestone, I fear. It is good to have the names of the two chosen servants of Arakiss that the pearls are connected to. This will help us at some point I am sure. And then there is the traitor Ogre Mage, Jark at the Tower of High Sorcery. Alexi and I should march in there and capture him; (GM: yes please try that approach.. that would be fun to GM..hehehe) Stupid mages and their idiot laws. Unfortunately my mind keeps wondering to the Knights and the actions of some of those in charge… it will get worse before it gets better. I need to find a temple of Paladine in the city (if there is one) and mediate with prayer for a while.
I was not particularly surprised that she has blocks in her mind, especially after finding out she has had dealings with Udoonin. We got some extremely useful information from her however. The knowledge that Edwin’s father was complicit was probably the most disturbing. I know Quinn was raised to revere the knights and having seen father in action even I considered them one of the embodiment of good in the world, but the Master of Justice working with the dragonarmy, it’s almost hard to believe. Jark, that bloody ogre magi, I’m going to have to plan how I’m going to handle that. Perhaps a large argument in the dining room where there are plenty of witnesses. The council knew that he was dealing with the Irda so the charge of wild magic won’t have any consequences but perhaps bringing his liaisons to light might be appropriate. (GM: well. Alexi is already considered a “black robe” stone cold killer!)
She is unconscious and the sorcerer is greatly weakened, we help him back to his seat (he dropped the wand and I gathered it back up again).
We head out and report the information we have gathered from her to Lazarus. I mention the names Verrayo & Ror and he says that he doesn’t recognise although I’m not so sure. (GM: with Laz, can you really be sure of anything??) The thing he can’t hide is his shock of the possibility of Udoonin still being able to interact with the dragonarmy. (GM: yes … very true you have got him there) There is talk of his essence being stored somewhere and even the horrible thought of his spirit being implanted into a body (whether willing or not). Disturbing to say the least. We discuss the situation with Edwin and his father and what evidence would we need to get him removed as the Master of Justice (There are not a lot of options unfortunately) I know Quinn is uncomfortable with what may lay ahead and eventually the decision to stop/allow Edwin to come on the journey to Sancrist is left to me.
Quinn heads off and I go and see Edwin as I think it’s time he and I discussed a few things.
I arrive at Edwin’s chamber and it seems he is worried for his life as there is a guard outside. Amused at the guards annoyance at this assignment I am invited inside after making my presence known. He enquiries as to why I am here and show him the letter from his father address to him. He is visible upset and I explain that traitors within the city had been using mail to pass messages to spies and that every piece of mail has been examined. I draw his attention to the contents in the mail particularly his father’s mention of ‘dirty’ on the Goldenscale name and reinforce that even I know that is not standard knight protocol. I also tell him that the Irda woman was able to be interrogated before she died. I explain that he has been cleared and that she duped him for his access to the keep, unfortunately it was not the same for his father. I explain that she was a servant to his father at Vingarrd and that he was the one who ordered the knights to ride out to their death. He’s complicit. He immediately tries to defend his father and once again point to the letter as evidence of his father’s corruption. I tell him that Quinn hasn’t seen the letter and that I have no intention of telling him of its presence. He seems visibly relieved at that (I’m sure being challenged by a squire and losing a second time would be disastrous for him). (GM: safe bet there) I remind him that I believe everyone deserves a second chance and he will have to consider which side he will stand with – His father or the knighthood when the time comes. (GM:Alexi was laying it on thick… diplomacy FTW!)
I also bring his attention to the dragon orb mentioned in the letter and reinforce in him the disastrous consequences if anyone at the Whitestone council even used the device. He makes a quip at me asking does that include myself and I cryptically reply that ‘this isn’t the dragon orb I am destined to use’. (GM: these are not the droids you are looking for…) He looks slightly puzzled at that and I leave.
I feel like I have made some progress with him but we will have to see.
Out of all the situations I’m dealing with this is probably the most unusual. The knighthood is definitely not my forte but frankly Quinn is a political lamb to the slaughter at the moment (GM: seems everyone can see it but him… not uncommon with people that hold themselves to lofty standards) and I need him concentrated on keeping everyone focused on the matter at hand, rather than shattered his optimistic view of trusting in ‘Paladine’ to set the course. (GM: Alexi.. trying to be the power behind the throne….) Of course Edwin was shocked his mail was read but I think my explanation of all mail being examined for traitor messages mollified him a bit. (GM: it did) Seeing it plain in black and white that his father was going to blandly abuse use his political favours to discredit the Goldenscale family I think was a big wake up call. I know he sent a letter that contained something similar but I believe that was just a knee-jerk reaction to see Quinn after so long. Embellishing the Irda’s information was helpful too. Confirming his mistreatment and then shoving it back on his father I hope has helped us. He definitely has a choice to make and I would not deny him the chance to redeem himself at Sancrist. I guess we will see. I still have several contingencies if things go bad.
I enquiry of the Steward (must as him his name!) (GM: crap.. better make one up) about if there are any Temples to the Gods of Good, Paladine in particular, in the city. He says he will get some people to go through the Sage’s library of maps and get back to me. I thank him for his trouble and head to the Blacksmith to first see how my shield is going and to drop off my armour for repair. The shield is finished and he has done a magnificent job – it is truly a masterful item. I then give him my armour and he gets to work on it straight away. I tell him it can wait but he will not hear of it. I head back to the garrison to go over my gear and relax but soon realise word of what happened at the infirmary has started to spread around the city. Best to keep a low profile for a bit. (GM: pleaaasse!!! as if you could)
As the trip to Sancrist looms soon I am worried that members of our party are not so entrenched in the idea of going. I bring both Lon & Caleb aside individually and ask for their help as we will need them both if we are going to be successful. They both agree: Caleb – ‘It is my destiny’, Lon – ‘Where else would I go’. That seemed easier than I expected but I don’t think they completely understand the political ‘mine-field’ we are heading into but oh well.
Part of my plan to make sure the black robes are following through on the Good Dragon Egg collection involves making them think that Nessie is the Good Dragon emissary here to keep track of the progress. I explain the idea to her and she seems sceptical and wants Quinn’s approval. We find Quinn and I explain that when we finally contact the Good Dragons and they find out that the Evil dragon broke their pledge they are going to be incredibly pissed and especially when they find out about the Corrupt Dragon Egg ritual. It would be good if we reminded the black robes that their cooperation in this matter would be ideal. When I explain it that way they both agree. (I also bribe Nessie with a free meal of her choice and the deal is made!!).
Nessie and I head off to Marcus’ shop and he’s waiting outside. Also here is Lon…. Oh no he’s on to me!! When I query his interest in the trip he says that I need protecting….. Preparing to disprove his assumption I instead (roll a 1) agree with him and we all head off the tower. (GM: such a noob!)
You’d almost think I had a wicked moustache and sneaky grin for all the trust that everyone has in my actions. I don’t just come up with these random ideas, I use my superior intellect and use the most appropriate tool for the job. Nessie’s presence cannot be underestimated. (GM: actually for what you are trying to do, I’d say she is key) She is the only good dragon that we are aware of. Her presence in the tower and at Whitestone must not be low-key, she must be flaunted. (GM: like Quinn in a city!!) Her political capital must be utilised. Fine so I eventually had to break down my plan for her and Quinn and of course they agreed with me. The black robes need to show their commitment to make amends for their atrocious behaviour. I took a great risk with making that deal with Ladonna and I need to make sure that Erik and she are following through on their part of the deal.
Arriving in the teleporting room I check with the white robe apprentice if Erik or LaDonna are here. It turns out all the black robes gathered and left on a mission (to get the eggs, zzz waiting a week to go). They seemed to have gathered every black robe in the tower and called in most of their battle mages. I also managed to find out that Justarius went as the red robe representative – extremely interesting….Well it seems my trip here was a bust so I show Lon & Nessie to the dining room where they both very much enjoy the meal. (Lon has fish, Nessie has Haunch of Beef, a Haunch of Lamb, Haunch of Pork and some chicken!). Looking around to see if there is anyone here and I notice Gwarvel is here (fuck..). I head over and he greets me in the only way he can (GM: like an ass!) ….we jib at each other and I manage to find out that Jark has gone too… I ask him about Udoonin and if he knew if he had a daughter and explain that LaDonna might have this information and he doesn’t appreciate being my messenger. Changing tact I ask him if he has ever heard of Bloodwitches. He instantly goes pale (even more so for an elf) and he asks why. I tell him that considering he is an elf perhaps he knew something about the elven bloodwitches, (oh that’s right I’ve shoved his elven superiority right back at him), he is flustered and gets up to leave. (GM: Alexi put him back in his box) As he goes I say ‘perhaps you will be able to ask Ladonna that question at some point’. He’s too upset to rebuttal and just say that he’ll look into it. (Bazinga that shizzle) (GM: right on!)
Having no luck with my investigation with Erik or Ladonna I head off to see Marcus. He has been giving one of the guest rooms (it’s quite nice!). We discuss the situation and he says that he will remain here awaiting Justarius’s return. I ask if he is willing to allow me access to his shop while he’s gone and he graciously agrees to give me the password to his arcane lock (Loren). Wishing him well I head off to see Lon & Nessie. Having some free time I go and identify Lon’s mana-mithril bow for him. It’s a Lighting Strike Bow +3, one of the few times I’ve seen his eyes light up when I explained what it does
I also took the opportunity to try and channel into the moonstone orb for a memory of Castor & the ‘apprentice’, unfortunately for me I now cannot remove the ghastly memory I saw. I saw (a younger) Castor and the woman engaged in intercourse both of which were speaking arcane. In my peripheral vision I could see Udoonin watching (GM: he likes to watch!!). So he’s the mastermind of this awful ritual. I’d hate to think what they were doing but I’m not going to wade through this memory to find out and bounce out quickly.
Leaving the room I was using to examine the moonstone surprisingly I see Rasmus in the hallway. He greets me and I ask about his search for the eggs and (he seems happy to discuss it openly) he regrets to tell me that he has lost the trail. He makes the mistake of commenting ‘isn’t it unfortunately that Timothy’s master wouldn’t keep the eggs safe’. (WHUPUS IS TIMOTHY’S MASTER DUN DUN DUNNNN). (GM: I hate ones!) He realises his mistake and asks for my discretion. I ask if he has news from Timothy and he tells me that he’s still hunting around in Neraka. That is quite a dangerous place to go I comment and he says that it is important part of the mission. I ask if he knows how many caches there are and he says he thinks there is five. I make my opinion of their actions known and he delivers the same ‘ends justify the means speech as well’, I tell him I’m not convinced and he tells me that I will learn that once I fall off my pedestal things are a lot different. Lighting up the mood I tell him that I’ll simply use a levitation spell. (GM: actually was quite funny!) He laughs and the tension is broken. I repeat the offer that my brother and I are more than willing to assist if he discovers any caches and he thanks us. He heads off.
The disappointment at finding the black robes were all gone to collect the eggs was definitely the low point of the journey but that encounter with Gwarvel was well worth the trip. Lord your elven superiority over me, bitch please….how an annoying individual like him managed to make it onto white council of seven is beyond me but at least I have some ammunition on him. (GM: maybe because he is a powerful mofo)
Seeing Rasmus was a surprised and his openness to talk was even more interesting. When he voiced the ‘company line – ends justify the means’ I would have not expected anything less from a red robe but I’m pretty sure secretly he was happy it was me that saved him and not the other scenario.
Whupus is Timothy’s master, well was that surprising but when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. The reason Timothy gained access to the tower in the first place and Whupus’ reactions to everything he has done. This will be something new to ponder.
I teleport the three of us back and we check in on Quinn. It seems since his ‘baptismal’ moment he seems quite eager to locate a temple of Paladine in the area.
This is indeed an opportunity we cannot pass up. The River of Healing was the site father was looking for all those years ago! We do have a better idea of how to get there as we are pretty sure we know that the part behind the monastery will lead there. The other Temple to Paladine, Wings, on the coast is closer but the river of Healing was important to Father so we will go to Korval first, (GM: yeah!!! finally!!!) visiting the library there for more accurate information, before continuing towards the monastery. Alexi is pleased with this plan as he wants to go to the library at Korval anyway. Of course this is where we will find out just how truthful Castor and the Journal are…
I get the Lieutenant to organised 1st squad, plus making sure we have enough rations for a week journey and we plan to leave the next morning. I advise the Steward and he says he will inform the Lord and Lazarus of our departure. I pick up my armour later that night (the Blacksmith is a man of much talent) and give my spare set of scale and the bastard sword to Karnak, blessing them and hoping they will serve him well. Karnak arrives and I am amazed by what I see. He has taken his pledge to me seriously. He is wearing a tabard of the Goldenscale Family over his armour. (Gm: he certtinally looks different, more sure of himself, more stern, more serious)
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, we are off, with 8 members of 1st squad, the Lieutenant Richard Day, Myself, Alexi, Caleb (and his 4 acolytes) Tiny, Karnak and the swashbuckler from earlier, Taal. Lon left an hour earlier and is scouting well ahead while Nessie is flying overhead but once we are outside the city limits she starts to hunt. On the trip one thing is obvious, the Lieutenant and Karnak do not see eye to eye. I will have to do something about it but they make work it out themselves.
One of the keep scholars consulted some old maps and found two locations nearby. There’s one near the River of Healing in the mountains to the west as well as one north of the city. Although the one north of the city is closer, Quinn remembers a mention of the River of Healing in his father’s journal. Perhaps that was what he was actually trying to find!! I mention that the fake letter (if it had intended for us to head there) wanted us to go to Korval and use their library. (GM: don’t discount this) (Being the knowledge buff that I am, I convince them we should head to Korval otherwise us searching for the River of Healing blindly would be a waste). Having a week to go before we must return to head to Sancrist, Quinn is eager to head off and races off with the Lieutenant to organize the troops/supplies for our journey.
Taking the last free moment I’ll have I go and check if Marcus has any interesting rituals in his shop I can learn before we go. I learn Tenser’s Floating Disk ritual before turning into the night (I know Quinn will want to leave early tomorrow). (Other rituals I wish to learn at another date: ‘Detect Object’, ‘Detect Secret Door’, ‘Silence’),
Getting up in the morning I head out and see what Quinn has decided to go with.
I’m pretty sure even I couldn’t hide my curiosity and blatant leading of Quinn to decide to go to Korval and then onto the mysterious River of Healing Paladine Temple. Ever since I heard that Korval City contained a library that housed many of the books removed from the ruined city before it was abandoned, I have been eager to investigate it. It is of course a scholar’s dream! (GM: oh yes!)
We are a party of 21:
Quinn, Alexi, Caleb, Karnak (Warlord – who is now an official part of our group), Lon, Nessie, Richard (1st Squad Lieutenant), Tiny, Taal (The Mercenary guard in the dungeon – He’s Lazarus’ representative), 5x Caleb’s acolytes, 6x 1st Squad.
I give Taal a rough time hoping to rough him up but I’m pretty sure Lazarus has already told him about my ways. He eventually throws me a bone and says Lazarus is after something and he (Taal) knows an entrance to the library. I’m sold and am nicer to him on the trip (He also flatters Quinn and I both lolz).
We are travelling to Korval and one of the things I notice is that Karnak and Richard are butting heads. (Both thing their Quinn’s #1 man). I motion Quinn aside to sort it out and he tries but I think he personally likes the attention (sigh). (GM: he loves it!)
Lon has been out scouting and he flashes (with a mirror!!) when we are about 1 mile from the city. Richard and Karnak start arguing about what Lon’s signal mention and eventually I cast the ‘sending’ ritual and ask Lon: ‘They are both noobs!!, Korval is under attack, Goblins and Worgs’. I tell the others and Caleb asks where they could have come from. Having a chance to look at the map before we left I said it’s probably from Draco Citadel. Karnak agrees and explains that the Dragon Army made trades with them for food/gold etc, and eventually they were going to come here and both groups take the city but because of Hargoth holding that plan never came ahead. Their leader is a goblin king called Grug. Its approaching winter and they probably don’t have enough supplies to last hence this attack on Korval.
I recommend that I head down there and blast us a way into the city but Quinn doesn’t want to announce our (my) presence just yet. He sets up a trap and Lon and some of 1st Squad act as hunters and draw most of the worgs riding around the city (15) to us over the ridge so that we are not seen by the army.
We annihilate them (including a leader with a flaming sword) and as the last few are trying escape I sleep the furthest away and cast a wall of fire to block the rest. Caleb drags the sleeping worg and goblin to us and we survey the under siege city. There is a command tent on the other side of the city and luckily for us they didn’t notice our strike.
Ok so perhaps my plan of just going in and wiping out the enemy force was not the best idea but when do I ever get to do any practical training. It’s always detecting magic this, identify magical item that. This will be interesting to see Quinn in battle as this is his first ‘army’ sized leadership task. He certainly seems to be following in our father’s footsteps.
Taal happened to make an interesting point before we arrived to find the city under sieged. We were an army force from Hargoth coming unannounced to a separate individual city state (that from what I understand doesn’t have the best relationship with their larger neighbour). If we save this city from the goblin army we will have generated much goodwill and we will be able to proceed unimpeded. 6 ½ days until we are due back in Hargoth to catch the boat to Sancrist. We have limited time and cannot waste any of it.
The ambush worked out almost perfectly. We are unsure if Caleb was seen walking up and dragging the warg and goblin back over the rise. Time will tell, though of more immediate concern is what it is Nessie is hunting that she deems is ‘dangerous’. With the attacking forces cavalry dealt with, we will have a bit easy time and we currently still have surprise on our side. I am glad we did not attack as a full frontal assault! Now to assist Nessie…
From the Journal of Karnak:
I have been reborn!! All my life I have been searching for something….. but not knowing what that something was…. I now know… Paladine has spoken to me, through he true servant Lord Quinn. I now know what I must do. I must take up Lord Quinn’s mantle as my own and serve him to wipe out the evil, and bring peace to the galaxy… er land.
From the Journal of Edwin:
Quinn’s brother has brought me much to ponder (GM: this is our other daughter.. Dotties sister) I must see father as soon as the ship docks at Sancrist Isle. we have much to discuss…