Monday, June 28, 2010

A Story of an Epic Battle

The old man looks into the crystal ball on his table, searching. He had felt the waves of power that shook the pillars of the universe.
While the focus of the crystal ball is flying quickly through the planes in search for the source he tries to stay calm. A clash of powers of such magnitude has effects that can shake the planes and change worlds.
Flying through the space between the planes, the circular focus just had spotted the island floating in empty space. Even in his long life, he had never heard of such a place.
Moving the focus closer, he can make out details but no inhabitants.
The center of the plane is illuminated by invisible light sources giving the island the look of an arena.

A sudden burst of primal power fills the air. His focus started blurring as the primal forces bend the universe around them. To one end of the arena, the earth cracked and four shapes are forming out of energy emanating from the earth itself. He contiunues looking at the shapes that slowly materialise and suddenly jumps up to search frantically through his library. He had seen the creatures before. A shudder runs down his spine. There is the tome he was searching for and opening it in the middle he can see the drawing.
He looks at the focus again. No doubt. He can see the four creatures now clearly as the fog around them slowly fads.

The slim figure of Pestilence the female shaman in the middle, tendriled by ever moving branches. Next to her Death, a massive barbarian wielding an equally massive fullblade. War to his left, a dark druid holding a staff made of bones of his emenies and finally Famine, a powerful earth warden that draws his power directly from the ground he is standing on .

The four harbringers of the apocaplypse are standing there now. Waiting.
He thinks to himself for whom or what are they waiting?
He turns the focus to follow their stares towards the other end of the illuminated center.
Emerging from a gout of fire and brimstone, four dark figures appear.
Their sneering but noble bearing, horns and tails mark them to be very different to the shabby looking Humans.

Without pause, they rush north toward the nearest solid cover.
It would seem they were cowardly if not for the devilish laughter emanating from their cruel mouths.

Peeking over the ruined stonewall they assess their opponents…

Four verses four…

Voland whispers to his fellow Tieflings, ‘This should be fun!’
Azazel, Mastema and Belial laugh in response.

On the other end the group representing the primal powers look at each other in surprise. Pestilence, who seems to be the leader of the group, looks at the opponents vanishing behind the wall and says with disgust in her voice
"Don't underestimate them just yet. But don't fear them either! We control the land they are walking on and the air they are breathing."

Death, Famine and War moving already towards the crumbly wall near them to take cover, Pestilence gracefully started follwoing them not taking her eye of the wall the creatures hid behind.

"Oh elder spirits guiding us, give us the power to correct this piteous mistake of the great mother!"

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Fistful of Gold

After off-loading the children at the local orphanage, Vogir makes his way back to Baron Redcloak’s fortified residence.
He’s not allowed direct access to the so-called Baron, but instead is seen by one of his many aids.
Vogir tells the shrivelled man the tale of what happened and is surprised by the man’s total acceptance of Vogir’s version of events.
The man’s lack if interest doesn’t surprise him though.
Baron Redcloak had little interest in the fate of the farmers and less in the fate of the mercenaries hired to solve the problem.
Despite listening to the whole story, ‘Goblins’ is all that the scribe writes on the file.
Taking the money back to the others, Vogir hands out the second payment…
Ghanash: 10gp
Daelagor: 10gp
Zahig: 10gp
Bayern: 10gp
He even gives the Dragon born Argent: 10gp from his own share.

“You earned it. I did what I did for the people of Highmarsh. Not for the Dragon dictator’s gold."

Also if we divide up the treasure found…
100g Gold Pieces' worth of portable wealth.
= 16gp 6sp 6cp each.

Vogir's Tactics to a T

Scott recently sent me a picture of a T-shirt explaining the rules of 4th Edition.
I amended it to show how I plan to play.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shades of the Past

Vogir shrugs off his heavy shield and left-handedly picks up a cutlass to match the one in his right.
His now dead Grandfather had taught him to use the bow and sword when he was just a boy but despite his natural ability, had never encouraged him to use two blades simultaneously.
‘A longbow is the best friend you can have. It’s powerful, accurate and doesn’t place you in danger. A scimitar, no matter how skilfully used will always put you within a sword thrust of your enemy’.
Shaking his head, Vogir twists the blades through the air.
The bow is a useful tool but can often be a liability in close quarters…
Smiling, Vogir remembers his Grandfather’s opinion regarding ‘Close quarters’.
Still, he isn’t his Grandfather and has to find his own path and make his own choices.
Surely it’d be better to strike more often then cower behind a shield?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't let your head get in the way

He looked at the shuriken again that he had pulled out of the wall in the warehouse. He still could not believe that he had missed an unsuspecting, stationary target. He could hear the laughter of Dar'goch, his weapons teacher, in his head. He had trained Daelagor for years on all throwing weapons. Daelagor could hit running targets while jumping off trees in his training lessons, but by the beauty of Tiandra, he had missed a simple standing human. He could hear the encouragements of his brother who was never good at ranged weapons but an expert with spears and had always envied him for his talent to kill over distance. But this hadn't been training and Dar'goch was right when he said that only true masters live long enough to make it into songs that are sung at the table of kings!

Daelagor was sitting on the tree stump weighing the shuriken in his flat hand. It almost felt like a natural extension of his arm. He closed his eyes and without warning jumped up, did a somersault backwards, landed sideways, ... and along his stretched arm, watched the shuriken fly past the target he had carved into a nearby tree and hit a tree in the distance.
The surprised face of Argent, who stood frozen still with his head exactly between the hand and the target, slowly turned into the direction of Daelagor and then towards the tree with a cross on its trunk and two shuriken sticking near its center point. It slowly seemed to dawn on him that he just almost took a shuriken to his face. He looked back at Daelagor who straightened up "Apologies Argent, I should have warned you that I'm training. You should never walk in between me and my targets or you might lose your head. Fortunately your's was big enough to be spotted in time." The Dragonborn looked at him still not sure what to reply, but then started laughing, gave Daelagor a pat on the back which almost made him tumble over and went towards Ghanash. Walking into the forest to recover his weapon, Daelagor's eyes followed Argent.

He still couldn't make sense of the two Dragonborn. Both of them almost got themselves killed again on the ship by running straight into the opponents and although Daelagor respected their audacity, he also considered them improvident. But he could not disregard the speed in which they took down their opponents. There was no elegance in their movements, no stylishness in their attacks, but he could not deny their effectiveness. His own attacks were swift, well placed and, apart from the embarrassing throw, most accurate and even though Dar'goch would have been proud to watch his student, it took Daelagor too long to disable his enemies. Style and grace are skills to strive for but are not the most efficient tools in a real battle.

He might have to consider augmenting his arsenal with weapons that dealt more damage at the cost of elegance. Dar'goch had always insisted that he was especially good with a longsword and had forced him to train hours and hours sparring with his brother. He had always considered a longsword too unwieldy for his fighting style but it might be just what he needs to give him more options. He might be able to find a blacksmith of acceptable quality in Highmarsh. Unfortunately he won't be able to find quality as sold by the Eladrin masters in Senaliesse, but some of the dwarfs might know how to produce a worthy weapon!

Glory to Kord Everlasting!

A mighty fortress is our Kord,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of enemies prevailing;
For still our pressing foes
Doth seek to work us woes;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On Fissa is not his equal.

Egil's voice sang out clearly across the battlefield as the throng of goblins surrounded him, their axes and spears clattering on his raised shield. Striding forward, slashing and stabbing with his sword, he finally reached his fallen companion. Nashox was lying face down, his helmet split open by a blow from the hulking orc warrior in front.

Why was he even here? While Kord was everywhere battle was fought, being a chaplain to a bunch of mercenaries who hired on with every petty noble who fancied himself a military commander only to be massacred by properly organised and well-led foes was getting a bit old hat. The opportunities for feats of bravery were always welcome, but it was wasted here, always rectifying mistakes, always managing nothing but mitigating the losses brought on by the stupidity of their employer.

Egil surged forward towards the orc warrior, sword raised to strike, his voice booming out another prayer to his vengeful god:

All praise to Thee, eternal Kord,
Who, wields a sharp and bloody sword,
Dost take the battle for Thy throne,
While struggle and wars are Thine alone.
For Kord!

The blow struck true, the orc reeled back in panic at the sudden ferocity of Egil's attack. The power of Egil's prayer reached Nashox ears, and he came to, dragging himself back from danger and behind Egil.

Egil pulled Nashox with him as they retreated from the battle. Nashox was gravely wounded, the hobgoblin's arm hung limply at his side, unusable.

The battle was lost, even a fool could see that. Still the chinless wonder leading them from the rear, insisted that his hired men press on to certain death. Egil snarled in disgust, and then turned away, where was the glory in dying for a spoiled noble fighting his elder brother over the inheritance rights of a single grazing field for his fat cattle? Not even a battlethirsty god like Kord approved of this madness.

Nashox wounds would take weeks to heal, even with his ministrations. Supporting his hobgoblin comrade, Egil limped away from battle. He remembered Nashox talking about a brother having work as a guard in Lakeport, only a couple of days journey away, perhaps he could leave his friend off there and strike out on his own?

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Shipping Forecast

As the hamster man splashes lifelessly into the river. Bayern moves to assess the wounds of the child. The child seems to have escaped serious injury from the party's assault, but the the collar around his neck is more problematic. Sharp needles extend from the collar into the child's flesh, and using his healing arts, Bayern realises that they push all the way into the child's spine. The craftmanship in creating the collar is exquisite, a combination of magic and medicine he has never seen before. The only thing he could compare it to would be some of the weapons he has seen deployed by the insane cousins of the dwarves, the Derro. Still, with the help of Bahamut, he manages to remove the collar and prevent further injury to the child.

The rest of the party cheerfully release the children, a quick search through the boat reveals 100g Gold Pieces' worth of portable wealth. Also, it seems that one of the component parts for the hamster's weapon harness was a Staff of the War Mage +1.

Also of interest is the Diligent Misfortune's rather odd propulsion system. Unfortunately, the party has some difficulty deciphering the rather strange and complicated control system.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back in the temple.

The party surveyed the carnage of the last battle. The goblins and their black-clad leader had stood no chance against their perfectly crafted ambush. Searching through the dead bodies for clues to the whereabouts of the other children that have been taken, Zahig senses strong necrotic energies emanating from her armour, also the pair of daggers in her belt seem to be enchanted as well.

((The armour is Deathcut Leather armour +1, while the daggers are Duelist's daggers+1 ))

Going through her pouch, Zahig also finds a letter, the hand-writing neat and meticulous.


I trust that all is well. We have moved the Diligent Misfortune away from Lakeport, however, I will be at the usual place to meet you in the town proper. According to Skreek, the three children we obtained in our last raid will complete his shipment. Make sure that they are well-fed and properly cared for, as Skreek's clients need them alive and healthy for their purposes.

Until we meet,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The view from Lakeport

+When is she due to return?+

Shathys slowly turned away from the view of the sun setting over Lakeport. While his skin was not suited for the brightness of the sun, the dazzling array of colours that it brought, was a sensation to be savoured. That it could turn even such a wretched shanty-town as Lakeport into such a spectacle, would never cease to amaze him. The sting of its burn, well, that could only serve to remind him of his continued existence.

-Don't worry, Lord Skreek, my Katryn has never failed to deliver on a deal, yet. She will be back at the usual time, with the last batch of cargo, and then we can go on our way .

Shathys turned to the shadows that enveloped his employer. While he was aware that the other creatures in its employ would not look directly at Lord Skreek out of respect, he couldn't care less. He was not of this place, and would not bow to their ridiculous superstitions. Lord Skreek seemed like a creature of flesh and blood, no matter how unsettling his voice could seem.

+I hope so, Shathys. My associates will be pleased with these children. The method of the mad Pandit has been unlocked, and we can now rule in the open.+

Shathys waited for a second before answering letting the melodic sound of Skreek's voice die away before he broke the silence again.

-I am happy to be of service My Lord. We hope that on your return to New Seawell, you will recommend our services to your peers. I suspect that your people will continue to have a need of trustworthy mercenaries in the foreseeable future, particularly those with a modicum of discretion...

Shathys felt the hairs at the back of his neck stand up as he heard the giggle from the shadows.

+We have rewarded you in accordance with our contract, Shathys. I do not require your presence at the moment. Go to the kobolds and make sure that they have fed the human children. We will await the return of your mate.+

Shathys obeyed instantly, turning and reaching for the ladder before he even realised what he was doing. If only Katryn was here, he should have gone with her to the temple to pick up the last children. He thought back to their parting only a few hours ago. She had laughed at him when he suggested he return with her, told him that his worrying was unbecoming one of the chosen, but he had seen the dark tendrils of the world of shadow enveloping her as she strode into the swamp.

He shrugged, climbing the ladder. No matter what happened, there would only be two outcomes, either she survived, strengthened by the dangers she faced, or she died, allowing him the luxury of exquisite grief. It was all just an experience, in the end.