Summary of Events So Far
This summary is out of character and intended to be brief, or at least as brief as can be expected from a description of an entire campaign. New players should be able to read it and get a rough orientation. Players should be able to use it to look up details they've forgotten. Text in italics is information not all characters might have.
This is a very short synopsis of the entire campaign
- PCs are crew aboard sailing ship trader Slope Runner. Some adventures happen on ship.
- Travelling short distances around a "demesne" is easy. Travelling between demesnes is difficult because of the slope, a supernatural current.
- While the ship is in port the PCs go on land expeditions and have adventures.
- Journey from Lasthope (isolated island microdemesnes, horrible theocracy) to Oxxten (subcontinental desmesnes)
- Defeat of mutiny led by a disgruntled disgraced senior clergy, we defeat it
- Almost get caught by the slope, almost starve, almost die of thirst, but find an island with edible crabs
- Merfolk attack us and we drive them off
- Roknar (kingdom, nasty religion, generally unpleasant)
- Authorities arrest some PCs and take guns belonging to Cynthia
- Ngwira steals the guns and caches them, but they disappear from the cache
- Cynthia tries to recover guns, is arrested and tortured to death
- Expedition to Chalion (more sympathetic kingdom, more tolerant religion, said to be cursed)
- Looking for a dragon but don't find it
- Saving some farmers from ogres
- Ngwira warns Chalion of impending Roknari attack
- Vane is lost, and Angelina transformed, by a fey
- Failing to cure a disease
- Escorting a Chalionese priest away from Roknari attackers
- Brajar (partially occupied by Roknar, blockaded by pirates)
- Fixing the Nighencrag wonder clock
- A misunderstanding with local resistance
- Barely victorious fighting through the pirate blockade
- Darthaca (civilised with aristocracy of horse warriors)
- Almost drowned and killed by traps and monsters in an elvish temple
- A bard contest
- Asking a shaman to remove Angelina's curse, requiring the theft of some horse hairs, eventually successful
- Aiding a city attacked by blood mages and scorpions, in which Julia-Gosel is killed and we are briefly imprisoned
- Running the pirate blockade again and again
- Background: The World of the Slope
- Prologue: Lasthope
- Chapter One: Journey from Lasthope to Oxxten, including the Makeltist mutiny
- Chapter Two: Journey from Lasthope to Oxxten, continued, including Crab Island
- Chapter Three: Neeki, including the pistol theft
- Chapter Four: To Almeda, including a battle with ogres, also the death of Cynthia
- Chapter Five: Into Chalion, including riding to warn the Chalionese the Roknari are coming
- Chapter Six: Chalion, an encounter with a fey, the loss of Vane and the transmogrification of Angelina
- Chapter Seven: Searching for and failing to help the afflicted of Svemunderkwm
- Chapter Eight: Return to Roknar
- Chapter Nine: Tyrinnec and Nighencrag in Brajar, including the fixing of the Wonder Clock and a misunderstanding with local rebels
- Chapter Ten: From Tyrinnec towards Darthaca, including fighting through the Forgehot pirates' blockade
- Chapter Eleven: Vanrorhemm in Darthaca
- Chapter Twelve: Experiments on the Temple of the Mad God outside Vanrorhemm
- Chapter Thirteen: Entering the underfloor space in the Temple of the Mad God and battling eels in the Toilet of the Elves
- Chapter Fourteen: Bat-eels and hook-swords on the rim of the Toilet of the Elves, and the escape of the unflushables.
- Chapter Fifteen: Nororich, negotiating the destruction of our spoils, and a bardic contest.
- Chapter Sixteen: A shamaness, an abortive attempt to steal horsehair, a battle with scorpions and incarceration by those we helped.
- Chapter Seventeen: Trial by truth spell, detransmogrification and battling a pirate fleet.
- The game is set in a world where a force of unknown but supernatural origin has caused a very strong current, known as The Slope.
- The atmosphere at sea level is denser than Earth's. (Presumably the partial pressure of oxygen is comparable.)
- The Slope flows west to east (top to bottom on the map above) among subcontinents, islands and archipelagos, occasionally stopping only for periods of days. Ships can in practice travel up-slope only during these pauses. Ships that fail to reach their destination are swept out into the empty ocean east of the setting where everyone dies.
- If you're very lucky you might manage to land on Lasthope, the last island before the empty ocean. Ten years ago this happened to an ocean-capable ship named Slope Runner, owned by a dwarf named Scriallig (was PC, now NPC).
- Unfortunately Lasthope's government is something like a mediaeval theocratic version of North Korea and routinely kills refugees it perceives to be useless or who "don't fit in".
- Lasthope has no use for Slope Runner, and might have destroyed it except that Scriallig and his crew defended it. But now a pause is coming. Rather than killing its latest batch of useless and dissidents it is stuffing them onto Slope Runner, along with any volunteers. We are ordered to found a colony somewhere and spread the state religion, the worship of Earwinashwail. This is controversial, some Lasthope theocrats think it's a bad idea.
- Dates are given in the local astrological calendar format year.month.day. There are 10 months in the year and 40 days per month, plus an extra day between Months 4 and 5 and two extra days between Months 9 and 10.
Before Departure From Lasthope
433.5.36 to 433.6.37
- Starting player characters are Angelina, Cynthia, Kai, Mort, Ngwira, Scriallig, Smiles and Vane.
- Scriallig appoints Captain Johnnen Embrar (NPC) who insists on an absolute authority that most people seem willing to give.
- There are (check) about 30 crew. The captain is unhappy with the general lack of skills.
- 100 passengers are brought aboard.
- Theocrats who disagree with the mission cut off food supplies to the crew. Diplomacy and Ngwira's agreement to sleep with an urpriest get the food flowing again.
- The crew votes to make for Oxxten, a large subcontinent NNW of Lasthope. (There was an alternative, the Iron Lords, but nobody liked it.) The probability of surviving this journey is maybe fifty percent.
- The Pause starts at midnight and Slope Runner departs immediately.
- The ship departs notionally empty of food. (A little got snuck in but not much.)
- Some things happened at departure time that mean Lasthope is not a place we want to go back to: an escaping slave swims out and is picked up, and Kai moons the assembled dignitaries of Lasthope.
From Lasthope to Oxxten: Part I
433.6.37 to 433.7.1
- Because we have a dark mage we travel a little faster than unassisted ships in the day and much faster at night or during an eclipse.
- We make good time to morning.
- There's an eclipse but it's annular so we don't have to be worried about lunar fey and demons and whatnot.
- The wind dies away and for a little while we're almost stopped. We aim for a storm and get some improvement.
The Makelt Mutiny
- A small group led by the disgraced Lasthope urpriest Makelt mutinies, demanding he be put in charge. They arm themselves with small knives, some of which have been envenomed by a Earwinashwail rite Makelt knows. They use a bench to try to smash through the hatch that leads onto the ship's deck.
- Lieutenant Sunk decides to let Makelt out onto the deck and throw him overboard. Kai baulks at obeying the order and a fight ensues in which the mutineers are defeated. Kai is severely poisoned but survives with the assistance of Smiles.
- After a trial led by Mort, the mutineers are hung and thrown overboard without even being eaten. There is talk of punishing Kai for insubordination, by execution or flogging, but nothing comes of it.
From Lasthope to Oxxten: Part II
433.7.1 to 433.7.6
- Fresh water is exhausted, nobody has eaten for days.
- The pause ends and the Slope resumes, not quite at full speed initially.
- Slope Runner comes to reefs that mark the beginning of a shallow area protected from the Slope. Crossing into this area she strikes a reef and is holed below the waterline. The hole is fothered to reduce leakage.
- The navigators conclude this is the large shallow area east of southern Oxxten.
433.7.1 to 433.7.6
- The ship comes to an island. The ship is careened to repair the damage.
- Fresh water is collected. Fish are caught, and half a dozen giant crabs are killed, to feed the starving.
- An expedition is sent to investigate the interior. It discovers a partially-buried obelisk with writing on its base that seems to stand on land that was once underwater. Cynthia and Angelina think it is merfolk magic.
- Mermen (later we are told they are from the Sharp Pink Coral faction) attack Slope Runner with poison darts, then attack the boats transporting crew and passengers from the beaches. They are driven back with only one man temporarily paralysed.
- A merman contacts Slope Runner, claiming to be from a different faction. He says the other mermen have a stronger blockade offshore. They are attacking partly because they, like all merfolk, believe having a lifeheart in a ship is morally wrong. Aside from a "trident of four tines", he claims the blockade has a wizard who can magically stop Slope Runner by animating reefs, break open her hull or fill her with water from a water elemental. He believes the party's destruction is inevitable but wants to maximise the casualties inflicted on the faction that has been attacking.
- There is some discussion of how these mermen might help the party, in return for metal weapons. We decline the mermen's proposal.
Escaping Crab Island, the Battle Against Sharp Pink Coral
433.7.1 to 433.7.6
- We run the blockade. An extended battle ensues, in which Slope Runner is struck three times by green slimes trying to eat through its caulking, has mermen try to bore through her hull, has a water elemental occupy much of its weather deck and is boarded by around three dozen merfolk. The mermen are thrown back with terrible losses. Five crew and volunteer passengers die (or are swept overboard and are presumed to have come to a bad end). Sixteen are more than trivially wounded including Smiles, Mort and Angelina. Slope Runner is in need of careening. Again.
- We outrun the surviving mermen and continue through the shallows toward the Oxxten mainland.
Jarn: Flotsam and Jetsam
433.7.6 to 433.7.?
- A chest is found floating and is rescued. It contains jewellery, a polished stick and a number of papers related to a small estate. The whole thing is given to Lt. Mipe because he spotted it first.
- We reach the village and port of Magery on the Oxxten coast. This is part of Jarn, westernmost principality of the Kingdom of Roknar. Some buildings are still smoking from a raid three days previous by five ships and 150 to 200 men, including at least one powerful dark mage. Most of the population was either killed in the fighting, raped and slaughtered or enslaved. A large wooden fort was slighted by dark magic then burnt. An enemy wizard or priest has a powerful spell that could cause wood to twist and shatter, which comprimised the defence. Food stores were pillaged and burnt. Survivors are utterly demoralized.
- Smiles adopts an orphan called Issta de Freejan.
- Working along the coast Slope Runner stops at various villages and drops off a few passengers that Embrar and/or Scriallig feel are noisome. The town of Jarnham gives you food supplies. Stone fortifications have been left alone, apparently they are not vulnerable to the dark mage's power. The largest town on this stretch of coast is Vishote.
433.7.? to 433.7.15
- We reach the city of Neeki, where Embrar declares the voyage over. He says that any passengers wishing to come further will have to start paying, and that he will be looking into options to make the ship financially viable.
- Angelina, Cynthia, Issta, Smiles and Vane go to a bar to have a drink. A patron recognises Vane's Forgehot accent, mugs him (literally) and there are calls for him to be lynched. Town guardsmen arrest Angelina, Cynthia and Vane.
- All except Vane are released but Cynthia's pistols, which are technologically more sophisticated than the firearms available in this part of Oxxten, are seized on the grounds gunpowder weapons are siege weapons and therefore illegal.
- Vane is investigated and released.
- Cynthia complains bitterly angry about losing the pistols and complains to no result.
- Ngwira enters the temple of the Brother, stealing Cynthia's pistols, a seal and some money. She caches it under a flower pot in a private garden and returns to the ship.
- The dedicant-commander boards and searches Slope Runner, with the limited cooperation of the harbour authorities. He finds nothing of importance.
- A group including all the PCs except Cynthia decides to investigate/hunt a dragon, which has been harassing villagers near the border with Chalion.
- Ngwira finds magic symbols painted on the walls around the area of her cache. She consults a wizard who says they don't seem dangerous.
- Ngwira goes to her cache several days later and finds it disturbed and empty.
From Neeki to Almeda, Including Some Ogre-Slaying and the Death of Cynthia
433.7.15 to 433.7.20
- Angelina, Issta, Mort, Ngwira, Smiles and Vane journey north to hunt dragons.
- Cynthia goes to complain to the Brother's men about her pistols, they try to detain her and she flees, leading to a chase through the streets, up and down the walls and across the rooftops of Neeki. She is at length run down, beaten unconscious, and taken to the temple of the Brother. Over the course of the next three days Cynthia is tortured to death.
- We (i.e. the main party: Issta, Mort, Ngwira, Smiles and Vane) meet Hawros, a charming elderly farmer and tall-story-teller. Smiles believes for mystic reasons that it is important Hawros accompany us. Hawros insists as a preconditon that we repair his roof.
- Angelina, unwilling to waste time on home renovation, goes on ahead. She reaches the thriving metropolis or hamlet (opinions vary) of Almeda. Entering the church of the Mother, she informs the priestess Maemaj that she has undergone an abrupt but heartfelt conversion to the Orthodox religion of the area, leaving Maemaj more confused than excited. Angelina goes to speak with the local blacksmith, to equally little effect.
- We spend two days repairing Hawros' roof, at Vane's expense.
- We pass through Oraeto?
- We meet and are accompanied by Elan, a bard-puppeteer who is down on his luck.
- We encounter two ogres stealing a sheep, the farmer is down and his sons are harrassing the ogres with stones. We kill the ogres with only a minor injury to Mort, and Smiles even saves the severely wounded farmer. Vane's system for lightproofing dark-enchanted sling stones proves impractical, and Ngwira's ineffective.
- Angelina meets Jemter, assistant to Almeda's headman, who has been collecting records of dragon attacks. Angelina is interrogated by the headman and almost arrested.
- Undaunted by a complete lack of relevant talents we backtrack the ogres, hoping to find their lair. After an hour we lose the trail, give up and continue to near Almeda, where we meet Angelina.
433.7.20 to 433.7.26
- We send Hawros and Elan in first, to sing our praises as fearless ogre slayers. This is highly successful and on arrival we are fêted. Smiles is given a freebie by the local prostitute.
- Ngwira commissions a lightproof cover from a seamstress, which proves ineffective.
Hamlets, Villages and Towns of Southern Chalion
433.7.25 to 433.7.26
- We cross the border into Chalion, and come to Sheeptown. We learn of local happenings and some basic geography.
- We move on to Jinjar, where an unusually short man (name?) is initially suspicious we are Quadrene border crossers, but eventually seems satisfied we are harmless. Little is known of the dragon, it is seen flying above them and may have killed some sheep but no one is sure. The local priestess of the bastard is friendly and seems interested in Ngwira but poor communications means nothing comes of it. We learn a lot about religion, local happenings, potential trade, etc.
- Ngwira approaches the local authorities and tells them about finding plans for an impending attack. They ask her to go with them to Udejji, supplying horses for the entire party.
- At Udejji Ngwira tells her story to more important people and is paid. We meet Maja the brothel madam and Courremj the merchant, "philanthropist and worm collector".
Hamlets, Villages, Towns and Magical Places of Southern Chalion
433.7.26 to 433.7.28
- We walk on to Bremm (where something happens?)
- We get a job guarding a caravan back to Udejji. The owner is irritating and the caravan slow.
- We walk on to Luyam who while neighbors with Svemunderkwm know basically nothing about them and recommend we don't go because of bad weather
- Walking to Svemunderkwm we find a mountain that affects Angelina's compass.
- Nearby is a pool with a beautiful nude woman we assume to be fey. She enchants(?) the male members of the party. Ngwira hits her twice with sling stones, causing seemingly minor injury. She hits Ngwira back with the same stones by unknown means (possibly telekinesis) and almost kills Ngwira. Angelica attacks the fey with swords, causing another seemingly minor injury. The fey transforms Angelina into a Thelonican and dives into the pool, taking Vane with her. Both of them disappear. Smiles bandages Ngwira. Ngwira is afflicted by a fae curse that makes everything tend to turn out badly for her, but none of the PCs know.
433.7.28 to 433.7.30
- We limp into Svemunderkwm after a brief encounter with an inhospitable farmer and his crossbow wielding wife.
- A swordsman, named Miguel but known as Ibra?, joins us.
- Three people are afflicted, they mechanically carry out tasks but have no personality to speak of.
- We encounter and are joined by Jervis Chambers, an unemployed servant.
- Several times we find long narrow footprints and the party sets off tracking them.
- Ngwira gives up through fatigue and a desire to heal her injuries.
- We (i.e. the party less Ngwira) find a hollow tree, and inside some kind of creature which we suspect is responsible for the affliction of Svemunderkwm. Hesitating to face such a threat one at a time in cramped conditions we back out of the tree. The gap in the tree disappears and we are unable to make any further progress.
- Returning to Svemunderkwm we find that the afflicted are dying and our name is mud.
Caskjotom and Its Hinterland
433.7.30 to 433.7.34
- We walk to Caskjotom, near a high pass into Roknar.
- Caskjotom is in turmoil: the town is evacuating in the face of Roknari "bandits" - irregular troops recruited from borderland civilians and motivated by plunder.
- We meet and join with Julia Gosel? and Argunt.
- The local head of the daughter's order (?) is particularly concerned for the local priest of the bastard, who faces death by torture if caught. She offers us $95 each if we will escort him to safety, which in our present penniless state is a lot.
- Accompanied by an aged priest and two assistants we trudge up into a box canyon. From time to time we see a group of 13 bandits, laden with loot, some wounded. We avoid contact. We sleep at a sheep shelter.
- Around this time Ibra goes climbing and suffers minor injuries from a fall.
- In the morning we walk back. We are told that all the bandits were slaughtered by the militia.
- We are paid, and shop for camping gear, supplies etc., largely among material looted from dead bandits.
Caskjotom to Neeki
433.7.30 to 433.7.34
- Angelina, Mort, Ngwira and Smiles receive a telepathic message to the effect that Slope Runner will depart from Neeki in one week, on 433.7.40.
- We cross over the border again and work our way toward Oraeto.
- Julia reveals she is a blood mage, Hawros denounces blood mages as a group and walks off toward his home.
- We mostly bypass Oraeto and walk to Neeki without incident.
Neeki to Tyrinnec
433.7.35 to 433.8.02
- The party are welcomed back to the crew of Slope Runner.
- Argunt and Julia are interviewed and given trainee positions on the crew. Julia proves to have special abilities useful in a lookout.
- Scriallig has sold shares to be able to buy a cargo and fit out Slope Runner. Gifeth has returned to the ship, inexplicably very wealthy, and purchased two (of forty) shares. Three other shares are sold to investors in Neeki. Scriallig retains the rest.
- Ngwira forms a syndicate which buys cargo to carry on Slope Runner, and calls it the Unsuccessful Dragon Hunters.
- Slope Runner sails on the 39th to the vicinity of Tyrinnec, a Brajar port occupied by Roknar and harrassed/blockaded by Forgehot pirates.
- We evade several pirates and enter the port. We see a captured ship being looted and the recently-captured fortress burning.
433.8.02 to 433.8.04
- A group of us go out drinking and witness a gang of Roknari soldiers demanding protection money from the owner, smashing his bar because he hasn't enough. A man who put his hand near his knife suffers a fatal crossbow bolt wound in the abdomen. Smiles is summoned from Slope Runner and performs a healing much more effective than he usually can. Onlookers decide he is a saint, but cool when he credits the Quadrene gods.
- Mort sees Gifeth selling jewelry and concludes he stole it. We investigate the jewelry ship but it has been looted and the owner has fled. There is some suspicion he might have done so somewhere there was dung.
- Ngwira sells most of her Dragon Hunters cargo at an excellent profit, by non-Gifeth standards.
- We meet Dun Kovic and Doll Gremij, friends from a short distance east (where Doll has land).
Tyrinnec to Nighencrag
433.8.04 to 433.8.07
- We pass several piles of dung, which we consider excavating for jewels, but reluctantly leave be.
- We are interrogated by a group of soldiers and armed civilians, led by a local lord's son Nemmon Usro. He takes us to his father's home, where we are asked for our story and after a short delay sent on our way. This is repeated with another local lord.
- We arrive in Nighencrag.
433.8.07 to 433.8.09
- The pride of Nighencrag is its Daraxus Wonder Clock. It includes a doom dial which is unfortunately presently defective. Brajar has been unlucky in recent times, and many people believe this is because the doom dial is stuck on "demons". There have been multiple attempts to fix the clock, all failures, many because the clock killed the mechanician attempting repair.
- The mystic powers of Julia and Smiles discover that there are two spirits in the clock, a water elemental in the pool at the top and a clock spirit, and that it is dangerous to enter the clock wearing clothes. The mechanical skills and mystical knack of Jervis find that the doom dial has been disengaged, which should have been visible to inspectors.
- Ngwira is elected group leader for expeditions off Slope Runner.
- We report these facts to Joem, a local authority. Ngwira asks for a written statement so she can be sure of getting paid, which causes enormous offense, and the party becomes unwelcome in Nighencrag. But Jervis smooths things over and we get $8,000 reward.
- Miguel-Ibra leaves the party and stays in Nighencrag, hoping to join a mercenary company.
- Joem enters the clock wearing clothes. Later we will hear he has been killed by the clock. Ngwira sends letters to other authorities so that knowledge of the clock's sabotage won't die with him.
Nighencrag to Tyrinnec
433.8.09 to 433.8.11
- We travel two days by raft as hired guards (the previous raft had been taken by pirates).
- We walk the rest of that day and half the next one to reach Tyrinnec and Slope Runner.
- Angelina vountarily gives up her position as first lieutenant to Peerage, on the grounds that as a Thelonican she finds it difficult to speak clearly enough to command. She takes the position of second lieutenant.
433.8.11 to 433.8.31
- We wait for favourable wind to allow us to run the Forgehot blockade.
- Trying to recruit fighters the PCs less Angelina visit a tavern where they are forced to dig ditches for their food. The local Roknari have decided not to destroy the place because then there'd be nothing left to drink. We're told good fighters can be found in a cloth warehouse and going there we stumble across the headquarters of a local anti-Roknar resistance group led by Doll (with Kovic as a lieutenant). Reasoning that anyone who moves cargo for the Roknari must be a Roknari stooge they attack us. We are easily captured, partly because we don't really fight back, and Jervis and Mort are injured (Jervis seriously) but Kovic helps persuade them of our friendliness and we take thirteen of them, led by Jorthrym, on board as passengers and extra fighters.
Tyrinnec to Darthaca
433.8.31 to 433.8.34
- We run the Forgehot blockade of Tyrinnec, and are intercepted by a smaller ship carrying 52+ pirates. They use weather magic to prevent our escape, attach via a ramp/corvus and swarm board. We have missile superiority, particularly due to the skills of the Brajaran archers, but the enemy are better equipped and their front ranks at least are very skilled. The battle appears lost but suddenly turns around and in the end we win with lots of wounds but only a few (three?) fatalities. However two of the dead are officers: Peerage and Sunk. Angelina therefore resumes her duties as first lieutenant by filling a dead man's shoes. Ngwira luckily kills a pirate leader with a single sling stone in the midst of his inspirational speech: this has a negative effect on pirate morale and lifts Ngwira's fae curse. Pirate losses are about thirty, including disabled pirates abandoned on our ship and killed in preference to capture. Also their ship catches on fire from a grenade that fell in their hold, but we depart before seeing the result of that.
433.8.34 to 433.8.34
- We evade the other pursuing ships and escape toward Darthaca.
- We sail into Vanrorhemm, a town and minor port. It's been starved of trade and is pleased to see us.
- Vanrorhemm laws do not use incarceration, preferring death, slavery and flogging.
433.8.34 to 433.8.36
- The locals prove very hospitable.
- We hear about a waterfall and an abandoned temple of a mad god, and hire a scholar to show us the temple.
- Captain Embrar asks us to be back by 433.8.39.
Tourist Attractions of the Hinterland of Vanrorhemm
433.8.36 to 433.8.37
- Accompanied by the scholar and various hoi polloi we walk to the waterfall gaze at it for a bit.
- Accompanied by the scholar and a few brave hoi polloi (the rest stop at the waterfall) we head for the temple.
- We meet a local Darthacan lord who levies an impromptu tax and tells us not to go to the temple because people who do sometimes threaten the peace.
- We meet a disturbed old man who says he went to the temple and it messed with his head.
- We ignore both warnings.
At the Temple of the Mad God
433.8.37 to 433.8.38
- There's a small temple standing on the flat and a large one built into a hillside, each is made of slanting pillars and seamless stone.
- We find a backpack in the large temple, containing
- a large rock
- a flyer for a labourers' fair, 12 km away last year
- stone spearheads from the Iron Lords lands
- a mercenary contract for fighting in eastern Chalion
- a bankbook from 70 years in the future
- a papyrus ordering an eviction
- a stained half of a report on someone's accomplishments
- We spend the night in the hope of being driven insane but our mental health proves obstinately resilient.
- Julia meditates and reports on various spirits. Smiles meditates and says we need a block and tackle.
- We don't want to go back to town for a block and tackle so we try to do without and achieve nothing. By now we have one brave hoi polloi with us.
- We go to a nearby farm and buy a block and tackle. Jervis goes back to buy other tools and is briefly missing. We find putting force on the pillars using the block and tackle causes the stone floor to bulge the way bricks don't. We also find points on the pillars that become indentations when we put poles on them. Continued experimentation over the next day eventually persuades the floor to flow aside, revealing a dark underfloor space.
- We have Julia meditate for clues before we enter the underfloor space in the temple. (Smiles' ability was not ready.)
- The bravest and most useful of the townsfolk following us around, the alcoholic Buzz, is inducted into the party.
Within the Temple of the Mad God
433.8.38 to elf time
(Time within the temple runs differently from outside.)
- Julia assumes the appearance of an elf. Or drops the spell that makes her look human.
- Julia takes a few blood donations, which she processes for blood magic purposes.
- There's a large space with multiple passages: some large enough to walk comfortably, some crouchable, some only crawlable. The floor is covered in reasonably fresh blood. Julia chooses not to process the blood for blood magic purposes, on the grounds that she doesn't know where it's been.
- We take the largest passage. There are numerous carvings illustrating an elven game, involving kidnapping humans, infecting them with parasites, sending them back to destroy their villages, sometimes killing villagers for killing the infected, depending on their relationship to the infected.
- A portcullis falls behind us, cutting off our retreat to the surface. We go on, down some stairs.
- Further down the passage are carvings showing a human army marching against the elves (though moving in the direction one elf is pointing). Every human has a sword and a round shield. After going down a long series of steps, some double sized humans are seen near the floor.
- A bell or gong is heard, and all of the small shields slide aside and water gushes out. The party flees down the stairs and see a closed portcullis before them.
- A torrent of water comes down the stairs, slamming us against the portcullis.
- Angelina, looking for a switch to turn off the water, fiddles with a larger carving. It opens. All of the large carving's shields open, shooting out a foul-smelling oily lubricant and many large eels.
- We manage to get the portcullis raised and are swept downstream.
- Red: Cobbled flat area around rim of room.
- Grey: Very smooth floor, but above water level.
- Blue: Water circling around well in center. As you get closer to the well of swords, the water gets deeper and moves faster.
- Black in center: Well of swords, a vertical drop.
- Black around edge: Walls.
- Three hex blue-grey box: Glass treasure chest.
- Black line near treasure chest: a big lever.
In the Elves' Toilet: The Eels
433.8.38 to elf time
- We find ourselves in a funnel-shaped whirlpool room. The water flows out the central funnel, which is lined with swords.
- The eels extrude poisonous spines, attach themselves to whomsoever they can, and bite. The entire party suffer wounds. All but Argunt (who wasn't seriously injured) are affected by the eel poison, which causes pain and hallucinations. The eels have a fondness for jumping down the throat of people who speak in their presence.
- Julia is made unconscious, by her magical exertions. She's also attacked by eels. One dies in her mouth and extrude spines through her cheeks. She is saved from drowning by Smiles but continues taking damage until the battle ends.
- Jervis is mortally wounded.
- Buzz almost loses consciousness due to his injuries and exhaustion.
- Most of the party's torches are extinguished, leaving the party in great danger of being unable to see (except for Julia). Jervis managed to keep a torch dry, then Angelina grabs it when he collapses.
- Most of the rim of the funnel is slippery, making it hard to leave the water.
- Julia throws a pine cone and it explodes creating a rough patch on the grey, dry area. It also creates a MH Sticky Floor spell. Argunt tries to jump out of the water, misses, but manages to grab the sticky patch with one hand and pull himself out. Most of the rest of the party either swim out onto the sticky patch or are hauled in on the rope by Argunt.
- Angelina assists Jervis out of the water, then swims out herself, not at the sticky patch.
- Much Healing is done, then the party huddles up for a four-hour hallucination rave party until the poison runs its course.
- On the rim is a glass case with several levers, which appears to be a logic puzzle, and another larger lever. Within the glass case are three compartments, containing:
- Four spell books, one each for Orthodox, Dark, Crystal and Blood magic
- Gold and jewels, worth at a minimum $90,0000 or so
- Adventuring equipment, glowing weapons and a map
On the Rim of the Elves' Toilet, Part I: The Calm
- We conclude that manipulating the smaller lever (and a crank on the box?) allows access to the treasures within.
- We decide the highest priority is the adventuring equipment, since it seems most likely to allow us to escape.
- Ngwira volunteers for the cranking job, saying she usually has a safe job at the back and really should take a share of the danger. She cranks the box into position, opens it and we distribute the contents.
- There are healing potions and we use several.
On the Rim of the Elves' Toilet, Part II: The Bat-Eels
- We crank the box to allow us to take the magic books.
- Buzz? hallucinates we will be attacked by flying bat-eel like things. Since Buzz is inebriated, his warning is ignored, including by Buzz.
- Five bat-eel creatures enter the room. They have spines like the water eels, and Ngwira speculates they are the next stage in the eel life cycle.
- Four of the bat-eels attack us, moving too fast for melee fighters to catch but vulnerable to melee attacks as they leave. They do an impressive amount of damage by thrusting their tail into a target, expanding it in the target and ripping it out. One stands back, apparently directing and perhaps also studying our responses.
- Jervis is mortally wounded (again). After the combat he will he saved by Smiles.
- Ngwira is about to be attacked but is saved by Angelina's claws, this eel will eventually be killed on the ground by Argunt.
- Buzz is about to be attacked from behind but the bat-eel is killed by an exploding blood magic bomb thrown by Julia?.
- The other two attacking bat-eels are killed by Ngwira's sling stones.
- The command bat-eel looks ready to impregnate Jervis with its ovipositor but is killed by a sling stone from Ngwira.
- We expend more healing potion.
On the Rim of the Elves' Toilet, Part III: The Travelling Hook-Swords
- We decide not to try for the third, purely financial treasure.
- We use the large lever on the box to stop the flow of water through the sluice.
- Magic hook-swords grow from the walls and floor and start pushing the party, except for Ngwira, toward the sluice and toilet. A small area, next to the box, is not affected. In mockery of Ngwira's reason for volunteering, she is the only one in this area.
- Julia casts an anti-magic blood magic spell and stops the hook-swords, at the cost of temporarily disabling herself with pain and sound sensitivity.
The Escape of the Unflushables
elf time to 433.8.40
- The sluice bottom is still slippery but Ngwira and Jervis are able to push against each other to gain friction off the sides. They rig a rope up the sluice and the rest of the party follows.
- Ngwira finds the pressure-sensitive stairs that triggered the water and the party bypasses them.
- Approaching the entrance chamber, certain marks made or observed by the party coming in can't be seen. Some investigation, use of the spy's ear horn and discovery by Mort reveal that the corridor walls have shifted, deceiving the party into walking away from the entrance and presumably toward a trap. We shift them back and make our way out of the temple, to find the scholar still waiting but thinking about leaving soon.
Return to Vanrorhemm, Sailing past Porortnth
433.8.40 to 433.9.4
- We walk back to Vamrorhemm. Along the way we regale villagers with stories of the elf temple, they are impressed.
- At Vanrorhemm we bum around for two days, waiting for Slope Runner to return from a trading trip to a local village.
- Porortnth has had little trade of late, and this has inspired its port officials to squeeze what remains with unreasonable duties. Slope Runner throws them off the ship and does not go into port.
433.9.5 to 433.9.15
- Nororich is more trade-friendly. It has an interesting tradition of "the extra", a portion of the dock that is legally on the ship side of the customs line. Lords are said to be touchier than in Vanrorhemm, and we're warned to take nothing ashore that could be considered smuggled cargo. It's something of a centre for magical industries. We're told someone is hiring mercenaries for an anti-bandit operation.
- An orthodox wizard from Nororich comes aboard to find and identify magic items captured in the battle against the pirates. Ngwira pays him to examine items from the elf temple as well. The items are auctioned off:
- Ngwira buys two healing potions, a freefall ring that partially protects against falls, and thief's gloves and boots that aid in climbing.
- Julia buys a golden armband that protects against inebriation and a yelling purse that shouts if someone tries to cut or pick it.
- Smiles buys two healing potions.
- Smiles goes to stay at a farm where he hoped to brew healing potions. He finds the farmwife dying, and manages to save her at some personal expense.
- Julia sends a letter to an association of gem wizards, telling them about the gem magic book recovered from the temple. Two gem wizards Roreff and Petror come in response. Roreff is a partner in a gem crafting business and Petror an employee brought for his negotiating skills. They want to buy the book so they can destroy it, since the spells within are all or mostly evil. (There's some discussion of the first one, which isn't obviously evil.) Julia favours selling the book to them for whatever they will pay. Ngwira thinks this tantamount to blackmail and says the party should destroy the book themselves, saying so to the mages and angering Julia. Roreff then offers to reward the party as a gratis payment. After a vote the party destroys the gem magic book and later visits the gem mage shop to receive presents almost certainly greatly in excess of what they would have asked in a haggle.
- Angelina receives a 5/1+1 and a 4/1-1 exploding gem, and a summon giant gem
- Argunt receives a ring of immunity to thrown spells.
- Buzz receives a fine stop arrow, low range dazzle gem and summon bear gem.
- Jervis receives a ring of blowing away two arrows and a 5 hex dragon gem.
- Julia receives a 7-point power stone.
- Mort receives a +2 dirk with partial immunity to drop weapon, a 6-hex shadow gem and a summon wolf gem.
- Ngwira receives a 2-point power stone, a potion of vitality and a 4-hex dragon illusion gem.
- Smiles receives a 3-point power stone and a 6-hex crystal cloud gem.
- We hang around in Nororich, passing up opportunities to serve as mercenaries or hunt bandits.
- Buzz, Jervis, Mort, Smiles and Issta clean out a farmer's barn for use by Smiles as a potion factory. Smiles (and Issta?) make potions.
- Ngwira sells the Unsuccessful Dragon Hunters cargo. She tries to get invited to good parties, with limited success.
- Julia hides away and does something mysterious and probably magical.
- Argunt and Buzz drink.
Torture and Other Entertainments
433.9.16 to 433.9.17?
- We seek out a wounded ex-adventurer who has an elf prisoner, who he allows customers to torture. After speaking with them both we conclude she is too dangerous to be allowed to escape, and vote to leave her be.
- Argunt goes back to Slope Runner.
Singing and Other Torments
433.9.17? to 433.9.19
- In the same town is a contest for bards. Ngwira is eliminated in the second round of the dancing. Jervis and Julia go through to the fifth round of the singing duets and I can't remember what happens then.
- Bards knocked out of the main contest humiliate themselves for money.
433.9.19 to 433.9.25-
- We (the party less Argunt) hire Nenrorra, an underemployed bard, as our guide to the chalk.
- In a tavern at the foot of the chalk we delay for half a day because it's raining heavily.
- A young horse lord wants to hear our stories of adventure and battle so we oblige. Ngwira drags him off to his townhouse for a quicky.
- We find the shaman living in a caravan keeping chickens and sheep. She tells us:
- Angelina's curse can be removed, with some risk of permanent personality change. But the spell requires five hairs from each of the mane and tail of a pure white horse (rare), taken without the knowledge or permission of the owner. Angelina is reluctant to steal and unsure if her transmogrification is even a curse, but eventually decides she wants the curse removed.
- Julia doesn't seem to have cast any of the curses.
- Buzz has been cursed with bloodlust, he takes great pleasure in killing an enemy. Removing the curse would be difficult and dangerous and the shaman is not keen on trying.
- Ngwira was cursed but it seems to have faded.
- The horse lords forbid taking firewood from living trees. Argunt does it anyway. (I'm not sure how Argunt came to be here but I guess he never left.)
- Nenrorra doesn't like all this talk of curses and leaves.
Horse Rustling: One Hair at a Time
433.9.25 to 433.9.26+
- We head a day north to Taboltror's hybrid fort-mansion or fort-manor, our best guess of the nearest horse lord stables with white (and possibly pure white) horses. (There was also a closer option but we suspected it only had dark horses, and there is another potential white horse stables another day north of Taboltror's.)
- Team Bard (Julia, Jervis and Angelina) goes inside the fort and performs for the local horse lords. They are too closely supervised to have any opportunity to spy, but they receive a generous tip ($150). The audience is struck by Jervis' similarity to someone called Firmt Telror, who is apparently good with horses.
- Team Scythe (Argunt, Buzz, Issta, Mort and Smiles) try to get work as day labourers. They are set to cutting grass for fodder outside the fort, and have little opportunity to spy.
- Team Lazybones (Ngwira) waits to see if everyone is arrested and needs rescuing.
- We repeated the grass cutting for a second day, but still no luck getting into the stables.
- We move to another stable a day away and meet a young horse lord with a horse that was not pure white. He tells us all the powerful lords and their nice horses are at a meeting somewhere. We lose hope of finding a horse at location 2
- After spending a pleasant night at an Inn run by lizardfolk, we turn back towards the ship.
Blood Mages on All Sides
433.9.? to 433.?.?
- Passing a town a few hours into the journey, we hear fighting and sprint toward it, joined against orders by one of two gate guards.
- Glowing red scorpions of variable size and frighteningly deadly venom are attacking the townsfolk. Julia, who has previously spoken of possessing a spell that does exactly this, declares them to be blood magic.
- Julia stops to process the blood of casualties while the guard is watching. A remark by the (as usual) inebriated Buzz confirms she is a blood mage. The guard concludes she must be part of the attacking force, and shouts for assistance.
- Julia throws an exploding pine cone at the guard, causing damage and entangling him. Ngwira confronts Julia, saying she won't permit Julia to kill the guard.
- Angelina announces, in simulated horror, that an elf has substituted herself for one of the party. Julia goes along with the changeling story, pretending to gloat, then runs off. Ngwira pretends to try to kill Julia with a sling stone (think this happened?).
- Ngwira and Jervis run off toward the sound of fighting.
- Angelina orders Buzz to kill the guard (who is still being treated by Smiles) with a shield rush en passant, hoping to eliminate the witness in a way that looks accidental and thus save Julia's cover. (This is my interpretation, the order had some ambiguity.) Buzz complies but the guard is only wounded and not killed.
- The streets are full of townspeople fighting and being killed by scorpions. Most of the group fights, Smiles and Issta heal, Gosel briefly appears and runs
- The blood mage, or at least one of her apprentices, flees through a door that is locked behind her.
- The party splits up into smaller groups
- Julia is still on her own, though from time to time she's seen by some of the rest of the party.
- Ngwira, Jervis and Argunt chase after the blood mage. They sees what looks like the blood mage but a sling bullet from Ngwira reveals it was an image.
- Buzz climbs a wall, hoping to see the fleeing blood mage, and shouts out navigational advice to those who wait for it.
- Angelina, Smiles, Mort, Argunt and Issta chase with the benefit of Buzz' advice, but don't find the blood mage.
- The town is sealed: the party is forced to stay.
- Ngwira is questioned. Assuming the authorities will have been told about the Julia incident, Ngwira gives a confused account, pretending not to know what was going on. This turns out to be an error because it seems they didn't know until then. (Speculation: Julia murdered the guard?) Ngwira, Jervis, and Angelina are incarcerated.
- A twentyish woman named Luna with blonde hair and a moon tattoo is hanging about and tries to question to Issta. Smiles intervenes and she begins talking to Smiles, saying that she's some kind of precog or astrologer.
No Honour Among Blood Mages
- The blood mage is traced to a home where he has killed several children for the purpose of processing their blood.
- A mixed force of guards, townsfolk and PCs surround the home. Julia-Gosel's voice is heard from inside, shouting
- Luna warns a guard that he will be killed by a friendly arrow (unless some change is made?).
- The home is assaulted.
- Buzz engages in climbing and heroic athletics.
- The guard is not killed by archers, perhaps because he listened to Luna's advice.
- The enemy blood mage is killed, and there is much rejoicing.
- Julia-Gosel's dead body is found within the home, her eyes burnt out by blood magic.
Confession is Good for the Soul
- A lord called Boonror arrives, with a recalcitrant priest Master Foror who possesses a lie detector rite.
- The Lord asks Angelina to summarise why we attacked the guard. Buzz, Smiles and Ngwira make supplementary statements.
- Foror and Boonror argue about what question to ask via Foror's rite, and implicitly what criterion to use for guilt or innocence. Foror wants something broad so the answer will imply the party is guilty. Boonror wants something narrow so he only needs to hang anyone if they definitely deserve it. Boonror asks something in-between. The answer is that the party is innocent of the crimes described. The party are released, Foror is punished for disobeying orders.
- Boonror returns to The Traveller’s Rest, the only inn in the town, followed perforce by the party.
Otter No More
433.9.28 to 433.10.1?
- At the Traveller's Rest Jervis enters the stables, finds a pure white horse (as well as two artificially-whitened and various non-white horses) and its attendants absent. He combs hairs from the tail and mane and bluffs his way past the attendants as though his presence is entirely legitimate.
- We head back to the shaman to get Angelina's curse removed, joined by Luna.
- On the way the weather turns nasty so we hire a cart. The carter is delighted to be overpaid. He's unhappy to discover we're visiting a shaman.
- The shaman removes Angelina's curse, restoring her to humanity.
Loading for Bear
433.10.1? to 434.1.10
- More trouble with weather but we reach Nororich where Slope Runner is where we left it. There is much celebration of Angelina's detransmogrification.
- Scriallig has been negotiating for trading rights, investment (unsuccessfully; the hope had been to make it possible to buy out the loathsome Roknari investors) and maps (successfully).
- Luna is sworn in as an able seaman, with vague promises of promotion to midshipman at some time in the future.
- We celebrate the New Year.
- The threat of pirate attack is rated "very likely" so we take on warriors:
- a young Horse Lord Dentrorm, his two archers and two other men at arms
- three experienced warriors named Slim Fillet, Nestrem, and Rollo "Eagle Eye"
- four archers with seamanship skills but no names
- six archers without seamanship skills or names
- A capable warrior "Killer" Windrow, accused of murder and apparently suffering from anti-social personality disorder, is left behind.
A Willing Foe, and Sea Room
434.1.11 to ?
- We head out early. Several smaller, slower, less well-protected ships wanted to sail in convoy with us but Slope Runner's leaders didn't see what they had to offer us.
- A group of one large fast and two smaller slower pirate ships tries to cut off our escape. We outrun the slower ones but the faster one tries to board.
- The pirates use a magically-tipped ballista bolt to start a pair of magical seven hex fires, though Scriallig disposes of one with a one-use magic rainstorm.
- Several people are wounded, mostly in the archery duel, notably Ngwira (almost killed) and Argunt. Mort and Luna receive minor injuries.
- Slope Runner flexes to stove in the pirate's hull amidships: a wounded archer falls overboard but is rescued.
- They grapple, but Slope Runner's flexure makes it hard for pirates to climb aboard, eventually ripping off the pirate's rail and escaping, towing the rail and half a dozen unlucky pirates behind her.
- The pirate ship sinks. Some unclear number of pirates are killed, including the half dozen who are pulled aboard and possibly all the others.
- Later we encounter an undersized pirate and amuse ourselves slaughtering its entire crew and incinerating it.
434.1.11 to 434.1.20+
- We enter the town of Limdoro, which like most of our ports has been starved for trade.
- The Rilleth family lost a son recently to a Forgehot raid. We visit them and tell them stories of our battles against the pirates. Privately, Buzz extracts a large donation. Ngwira says she thinks the money belongs to the crew as a whole but is outvoted.
- We investigate buying wooden necklaces but they've been stolen by a gang of toughs. Luna sees a necklace of the same kind on a woman.
- We hear the doom clock is killing people again.
- We attend a topless farce.
It's a Trap!
? to ?
- Slope Runner heads out and encounters a fleet of ten pirate ships. Captain Embrar calls for advice: the obvious options are heading west back to Limdoro and hoping the defences are strong enough to hold the fleet out, heading north and finding some port there, or heading east and trying to run the gauntlet. The Captain decides on the last option, and deliberately rams the largest enemy vessel. It appears the captain's motivation was to kill the pirates' wood-twisting dark mage.
- Slope Runner runs up on top of the enemy vessel's main deck. She is boarded through a hole in her bow, onto the port forecastle by climbers, over the starboard rail onto the main deck by a ramp and by a few supernatural jumpers. She is subject to various wood-twistings.
- A major enemy hero is taken down surprisingly quickly by the combined efforts of several PCs, including magical rites by Luna.
- Large parts of the forecastle are set on fire.
- With the assistance of a one-shot giant and a one-shot dragon, we are able to get the upper hand.
- The battle on the main deck is interrupted by a truce and negotiation: a hero wants to be allowed to withdraw and not get slaughtered, in return he offers to fight fires, but wants assurances that Angelina probably isn't able to give. This drags on. Eventually Luna volunteers to go with them as a hostage.
- Argunt goes berserk and charges onto the enemy ship, on defeating the enemies there he is able to return.
- Another ship approaches but the dragon sets fire to its topsails and Slope Runner is able to escape.
- We suffer two(?) dead. The pirates lose at least forty, including, we think, the wood-twisting mage. Slope Runner is, as is its wont, in severe need of careeening.
? to ?
- We sail to Magery: home town of Issta, but now alien to her. It's still in a bad way.
- Vishote is well-enough defended to protect us from pirates, and can repair Slope Runner.
- We sail on to Neeki, the port we hate above all others we have visited. Seph (short for Persephone) is a magician who has been forced to stay by the Roknari authorities due to her usefulness as a fire brigade. We take her aboard, along with her talking crow(?) and non-talking pig.
- We sail on to Yodrorboe, second largest city in Old Ibra, we're entertained and throw coins to acts we like.
- Current player characters and dependants are Angelina, Argunt, Buzz?, Jervis, Mort, Ngwira, Seph and Smiles.
- The party dependants are Issta, and arguably Seph's talking bird and Seph's pig.
- The party is in the city of Yodrorboe, in Old Ibra.
Last edit: "Update to Yodrorboe" by David Bofinger from 188.8.131.52 at August 23, 2020, at 10:22 AM (British Columbia Time?).