Great-grandchild of the sister's gibbon's friend of the nephew of the Campaign that Would Not Die, now in 3.25e
Møøse Trained By: Hugh Foster

Smash and Grab

DM Comment: No Arthur or Loz, and Allan's technical issues with Roll20 on Windows XP meant that he didn't arrive til Ric finished work. Leaving half the party that was planning an attack at the end of last session! The original plan, therefore, had to be modified a bit.

The Hard, West of Arakhor, 26th September 2100, 21:27

Fifty orcs, plus a leader and an ogre, seemed a little ambitious for a small team of heroes; so with the aid of messages passed by the raven Spy, a new, slightly simpler plan was evolved; sneak up on the campfire from two sides and jump Redfinger before the orc force could arrive.

To the north, Baylock and Nazariel continued their stealthy approach, descending from their ridge and working towards the campsite, going to ground behind a large boulder just nicely within bowshot. To the south, Chambu Summoned a giant beetle and then - aware of his total inability to move stealthily - cast a Silence spell and brought his group forward under its' silken shroud.

The Blue Knife

He and Baggy launched themselves at the campfire, but the dwarf had forgotten the difference in their rates of travel. As he puffed along under the weight of his heay armour, Baggy charged ahead and exploded screaming the name of Bahamut out of the darkness and Silence into the circle of illumination around the campfire, her great sword trailing his symbol as she veered left and slashed at Redfinger, cutting a big piece out of his left shoulder.  Eyes wide, the renegade Watchman scrabbled inside his coat, whence a sudden blue radiance revealed his drawing of the Blue Knife itself. His eyes went very wide and he started to pull it from beneath his coat with renewed vigour. As he did, though, an arrow from Baylock's bow struck him in the back of the skull, the point appearing from between his eyes in front of the startled Baggy. He pitched forward onto his face and the dagger dropped into the grass, still glowing a faint blue.

Nazariel cast her Magic Missile, her increasing skill with the magic evident as two blazing darts of black-purple energy ripped forwards and struck home on one of Redfinger's thugs. This, added to the sight of their leader slain in a heartbeat, was too much for him, and he turned and fled out of the circle of firelight - inadvertently almost directly towards Nazariel and Baylock's position. The thug next to Redfinger turned with a snarl and locked blades with Baggy, while the third - across the campfire - leaped over it to come at her from the side. He tripped as he jumped, however, and went face-first down into the burning logs with a cry of pain.

Giant Bombadier Beetle

Chambu clattered out of the dark into the fight, and his beetle spat a gout of green acid across the fire at Baggy's opponent, eating through his armour and raising agonizing welts in his flesh. With a yell, he backed away and broke out of the fight, sprinting away south-west. As he did, the man in the fire surged up smouldering, and fled north-west, taking a deep wound from Baggy as he did so.

Baylock's Darkvision and the light of the moons gave him a perfect view of the oncoming thug. He took a few steps for a better aim, drew and loosed, and the man dropped into the grass. Baggy reached down, pulling out a sack, and tipped the Blue Knife into it without touching it with her skin. She pulled his weapons from him - then sprinted back to where Talian was keeping rearguard behind Chambu. It was their objective; lives would be saved if she made sure it was secure.

The man who'd fallen into the fire was running too fast for anyone to catch, but the beetle didn't have to; it simply scuttled after him at an angle until it was in range and then covered him with another blast of its' acid. He went down with a short, bubbling scream. Chambu also had a Spiritual Hammer running,  and the last thug found to his woe that you can't outrun one of those either. As it walloped him, an arrow from Talian caught him neatly and he fell.

TacMap as at Baggy's onslaught - click it for larger image!

The party were very aware of the oncoming orc force. Their action had taken only around five minutes, and they hoped that the sound they'd made was not enough to be audible over the very considerable noise of an armoured horde of orcs marching. Nonetheless, no-one wanted to take chances. Following Baggy, they re-grouped at Talian's position and headed off across the darkened landscape; all except Baylock. Cautious as ever, he took a few minutes to check their downed foes - none of whom were entirely dead - and relieve them of any remaining valuables, before setting off to catch up, confident he could outrun an armoured dwarf.

As they retreated, Spy spiralled out around their position, scouting ahead and behind, confirming that there were no orcs within half a mile of them.

The Hard, West of Arakhor, 27th September 2100, 08:00

As dawn broke, the party were very ready to stop for a rest. As they did, Nazariel sent Spy back a bit further, checking for the orcs. After some time, he found them in a spinney of trees, camped up and sheltering from the sun as best they could. Although some exceptional specimens could overcome it, orcs generally do not function at all well in daylight, and only extreme pressure will make them move or fight under the sun.

Once more, the party debated what to do with the Blue Knife. The idea of returning it to Magistrate Dalyn didn't even come up; after some thought, the suggestion of getting Calagainbor to look at it and possibly either take custody of it or destroy it seemed to find favour with everyone. Talian, in particular, regarded him as trustworthy simply because he was an elf.

Edge of The Hard, West of Arakhor, 28th September 2100, 16:36

By the end of the following day, they'd reached the edge of the Hard where they'd left the mudskippers. The burned splotch where Jarkko's boat had died was still there, as were their craft. The two boatmen, however, were not. The area around their campsite was marked with more huge amphibian prints and dried blood was still visible. Clearly, as well as the lethally poisonous tiny frogs, the Trakar was home to some very large and dangerous ones....

Chambu offered up prayers for their souls to the Dragon God.

Marshes, then Tzallis, 29th/30th September 2100

Over the next two days the party struggled and sweated to heave the 'skippers across the marshland. Somehow, it had been so much easier to do with the boatmen supervising and advising. Finally, weary and splattered in stinking mud, they reached the east bank of the river Gallowglass, and the moored pirate craft.

The single surviving boatman - Dorlak - was aghast to see that his fellows had not returned. "What happened?" he asked in a shaken voice. "They fell behind," said Baggy shortly. The man was a little consoled by the fact that he was now he owner of three mudskippers and custodian of the donated funds destined for the families of the dead boatmen. He seemed to be expecting some difficulty getting more boatmen to sign up with him however.

Leaving Herb and Zurran to guard the pirate boats, the party headed back to River Street, then cut off into the abandoned block containing the mage's tower. Whether they were now regarded as 'invited' or were simply expected, there was no repeat of the magical aversion they had suffered last time, and they were soon once more in the comfortable meeting-room they had visited before. Once again, the cloaked wizard greeted them calmly.


He looked along their numbers and lifted an eyebrow. "Have you sustained casualties?" he asked calmly. "Most of the boatmen died," said Baylock. Calagainbor shrugged in complete indifference to that, and changed the subject. "How went your quest?" he asked.

In answer, Baggy upended her sack onto the table, tipping the Blue Knife out. It fell with a heavy bang, like the closing of a tomb, and everyone stared at it for a moment as it lay glowing faintly, this thing that had already caused so much death and misery.  The mage examined it carefully, moving to look at it from several angles, then cast a spell that dribbled golden flecks of energy down onto it. "Very interesting," he said pensively. "This stirs a faint memory, of something I have read. I would like to do some research and track it down, because it may have some bearing on what is to be done with it. Certainly, it is a very dangerous thing. Dalyn is right to fear it falling into the wrong hands. There are some ... extraplanar entities ... who may provide more knowledge, if correctly induced."

"May we have a moment to discuss this?" asked Chambu. Calagainbor bowed his head slightly and withdrew to the window, looking out at the garden beyond. The party went into a huddle.

Baylock was against trusting the wizard with their prize - after all, if anyone was going to steal it, it was going to be him!. Talian and Chambu were inclined to agree, while Nazariel pointed out that, by all appearances, the chance of anyone managing to steal the Knife from Calagainbor seemed very slim. Of course, if things didn't work out, they themselves would struggle to recover it from him as well... Baggy said that she would be prepared to stay with the mage to protect their investment. This tipped the balance into agreement.

When the request to stay while the Knife was researched was made, Calagainbor considered for only a moment. "I will be pleased to have your company," he said politely. "My guest quarters are not luxurious but they should suffice." Baylock decided to chance his luck. "Will you Identify some items for us?" he asked. Calagainbor looked at him for a moment or two. "In exchange for temporary possession of the knife for research purposes," he said, "it sounds like a good bargain. Lay them on the table." Again, he extended a hand over the pile of weapons and gear, and let blue flecks of light trickle down over them. As it did, he named off what enchantments each carried.

Session Date: 10th November 2020; in Cyberspace!