S&S – The days slip by tranquilly

11 August, 2012

DP:
Jarrod – Havok, half-orc barbarian
Tim – Mork, half-orc fighter
Andrew – Vorok, tiefling rogue
Doug – Aliza, female human sorcerer
Paul – “Salty” Bob, human cleric of Besmara
and
Keegan, DM.

Arr well. Where was I?

After the storm, we proceeded along quietly enough. Most of the crew thought well of us, saving onty Mr Plug, Mr Scourge, and their four cronies. A few days in we hove to off a reef. Mr Plug ordered us: “Capt’n wants crabs. You lot go get some!”

We were given pots to put the crabs in, and Mr Plug was gracious enough to allow us an empty barrel which we tied a rope around. I asked it for Aliza, really, as she couldn’t swim to save herself and she was going to be no help at all. It was to be the five of us and another lad who would also be no help. [don’t have my notes here]. He would keep watch.

The pots were filling nicely, when the lad calls out “Reefclaw! Them is good eatin, them is!” Two reefclaws, there were. Horrific monsters near the size of a rowboat, covered with poisonous spines. And we fighting them in water, without our armour. The lads got stuck in. One of the ‘claws attacked Aliza and injured her badly and one attacked one of the orc lads. Aliza struck ’em with magic, she did, and the lads with daggers. And what a melee it was! Blood flowing, flesh flying – it was all I could do to keep them all alive with The Power.

Reefclaws are actually size S. But you pay an old man for fish stories, this is what you get.

Well, we took one of them down – Havok grabbing it before it sank beyond reach – and then the other. Our pots full, we swam back to the Wormwood.

And drew the attention of Capt’n Harrigan. Pleased, he was. “Reefclaw!”, he said, “Excellent! Come to my cabin later!”. Arr. Not necessarily a good thing, to draw the attention of the captain. But he were in an expansive mood that evening, and gave us a brace of healing potions out of his personal stock.

Two potions of cure mod. We gave them to the half orcs, who get banged p enough to make use of them. We could have had other rewards, but I’ve taken it that the negotiations about what occured out-of-game. Wouldn’t have been a good idea for our characters to have dickered with Capt’n Harrigan.

So, all was smooth sailing aboard the Wormwood. Or should have been. But that evening Mr Scourge drags Vorok into the crews quarters, and a sorry-looking sight he was. He’d been snooping about the armoury and had taken a poisoned harpoon to the gut for his trouble. I healed him up as best I could, but he was clapped in irons and thrown into the hold. They’d keelhaul him in a week.


A few days more, and an officer we hadn’t met yet comes by. “Time to turn you into pirates!”, she said. Turns out that piratin’ is mainly about boardin’. She had the four of us out on a jolly boat trying to grapple the Wormwood and then shimmying up the line over the rail. While being pelted with rotten vegetables, I might add. The girl and I made the cast but didn’t manage the climb, although Aliza did make a very creditable effort. The two orc lads, though – Havok and Mork – no problem at all.

Next morning, Mork is called belowdecks. A few minutes later, we hear a scream. Vorok. We run to help, but Mr Scourge and Mr Plug are blocking the way. Aliza flings a spell their way, and thank Besmara the two of them are stunned. We run in, and what do we see but two of their crew of four fighting Mork and Vorok all chained up an covered in blood, steaming icicles (did I mention he were demonblood?). We attack ’em, the four of us and the quartermaster (a half-orc lass who was sweet on Mork, I think). In the melee, the two bastards with the daggers accidentally and completely unintentionally have their heads crushed by barrels which they have pulled down onto themselves.

Now, I should mention that there were a stern prohibition about killin’ each other on Captn Harrigan’s Wormwood. We were questioned by the priestess – Besmara bless’er! – who got to the truth of the matter and with her word and the quartermaster’s, well, there were not much Mr Plug and Mr Scourge could say.

Yeah, we totally gakked those two. Keegan had to retcon fast to stop the campaign going off the rails at that point, as attacking Plug and Scourge was a mutiny in itself. But the quatermaster is sleeping with Mork and the priestess was on our side from day one, so that’s good enough if you squint your eyes and look at it sideways. And that’s two less bad guys to worry about. 🙂 Fortuitous that the Colour Spray worked, eh?

And then, they day before Vorok’s keelhaulin’ it’s “Ship Ahoy!”. We chased her down for three days, milad, under sun and stars – all hands and full sail. But Captain Harrigan and the Wormwood were her match, and finally we had her to rights and would be boarding in a few hours. They released Vorok and sent as many of us as they could to the racks for some rest. He’s fight with the rest of us in the morn, and either die fighting or be forgiven his indiscretion at the armoury.

Not exactly three days and nights, if you get my drift, but yes. Next session: boarding! We are level 2.

GG4 – Crime Empire

7 August, 2012

With luck, the state of our criminal empire is avilable at paulmurray.id.au

So anyway. Lorne takes off ter the reaches wiv arf of the crew – mainly the arf wot is a bit more experienced at fings – an leaves me in charge.

Me? Well – it is a bit of a surprise. But ‘e wants me ter run fings, expand a bit. An surprisingly, I can read, write and figure. Learned ‘ow to when I wos a kid, coming as I do from a mercantile background. We goes ter the mud caves looking for some likely lads, but they is all beggars. There was one kid named “Hansel” organising fings, so we ‘ired ‘im and two of is mates named Gretel an Spike. Put em up in a cobbler’s.

So me and ooever is left is dahn the pub, talkin shit, wotsername is very keen on ‘aving a griffin taxi service, but I feels it is too much like real work. Anyway, one of them monks wot we gave ter the Sand King walks up wiv our monthly cut. 220 gold, thank yer very much. A bit embarrasing that the Sand King is doing business while we ‘ave basically done fuck all. But the payment gives us a bit ‘o motivation, innit?

We decides that we needs ter keep this money separate, and wot wiv this ‘an that, and considerin’ ow Lorne doesn’t want the wrong sorts of people at ‘is ‘ouse (already lost that battle, if yer arst me), we decides that we is going to rent some legit premises in The Bazzar, wot is right next door. The premises in The Bazar is firty gold a month. We decided something low-key wot didn’t attract too many customers would be a good idea, so we ave a legit business – a “You Stow It”, and a business account wiv the dwarves – wiv a chequeing facility. Mum always said that if yer appears ter be running a legit business and pays yer taxes, the King turns a blind eye.

You may ask wot is the use of opening a business when ‘ouse Kundarrak alredy does the same fing much better than we ever could. Well – that’s the beauty ovvit. We don’t want average geezers comin’ in the door, wastin’ our time. Anyone wants something stowed at u-stow-it instead of taking it dahn ter Daggerwatch, maybe they ‘ave other business we can ‘elp them wiv, like.

Now, wot is we going ter call ourselves? I still like “Rob’s Recovery Service”, ’cause it was nice an ambiguous. So in memory of that, we all agreed to call our slightly extralegal business “The Service”, wiv the motto “We’re Here to Help (ourselves to your shit)!”

Naah, there is already several groups workin in the city. They is:

The Boromir Clan
‘Alflings. Very big, very old, very important. Actually got a seat on the council, so blurs the line a bit between legit and not. If we gets big, and are very lucky, we’ll eventually be payin’ them directly. Takin them over? Dan’t make me larf. They mainly runs top tier and important bits of lower Sharn.

‘Ouse Tarkanan
Blokes wiv aberrant dragon marks. Not a real ‘ouse – they just call ’emselves that ter piss off the dragonmarked ‘ouses. They run most of the middle wards, wot is where we is. They mainly do theft and murder. Clean, like. In an out.

The Tyrants
Changelings. They do vice, o course. They also is a bit telepathic, so they do blackmail an shit. I’m guessing drugs an poisons, too, cos drugs ‘an vice go tergether like two fings wot is commonly found in close association.

Darsk
Big lads from Droaam. Large-scale violence. Protection. They run The Cogs and the lower wards. I’ll bet no-one works on the docks wivout their say-so. At a guess, when yer dock at Sharn, yer pays yer protection ter the King and yer protection ter Darsk. They’ll take payment in goods, I’m guessing, so they’ll ‘ave warehouses an shit, and big lads ter shift it. I’m lookin’ forward ter cutting inter their business. It’ll get tasty.

An then there’s all the small groups not worf mentioning,m like the Sand King ‘an us.

Andrew is running a bit of a game-within-the-game to play out building a criminal empire. It works a bit like Risk. You have “coves”, which are just minions, and “made men”, which are special units. It takes 10 coves to run a district. Each month you get an action, although Andrew is doing two a month to speed things up. An action is recruitment, burglary, running a hit, or raiding someone else’s territory. You assign people and some coves, and roll the dice.

So, wiv our name an everyfink, we go recuiting. We find some coves around the district, but we is looking for made men. One is a entertainer wot wants 50 gold a month ter keep people entertained. One is a priest wot wants 75. He’d come in handy if we wos moving inter Hope’s Peak, but we is staying away for the upper level fer now. But we finds a bloke calls ‘imself “The Junkman” – very good ear fer gossip. And a bloke calls ‘imsef “The Charlatan”, ‘oo seems a very ‘andy bloke in general. ‘An six fingers comes alon fer the ride, too.

So. We get the Junkman ter ‘elp wiv recruiting, organise a raid on The Bazzar wiv The Chrlatan, and get Six Finger ter do a spot ‘o burglary in Storm’old. The raid goes sweet as: we ‘arf control the Bazzar now. But the burglary runs inter a spot of bad luck an Six Fingers gets blinded an imprisoned fer six months.

So, what next? I’m thinking o breakin Six Fingers out, cos I is sentimental. It will also send a bit of a message. Dahn’t know if he’ll be much use, but we can put ‘im up an feed ‘im. Good for morale.

Early days.


Kingmaker – A New Hope

5 August, 2012

We are dead. We are entombed. I … desire to continue my travels. I am … disappointed so soon to be enclosed. So soon to be forgotten for another age.

We are exhumed. Less than a season has passed. They perform strange magics, unknown to me. She – she lives! And yet not. She is changed. Daughter of Verdant, what have you done? What bargains have you made?

I was bound to the world-tree hand and foot. Below me all the worlds that were, or might have been. Above all the futures that might yet come to pass, each leaf a future, each seed a life, each root and bough a path that might be. I hung suspended awaiting my judgment, patient as the all the rest of the dead.

But I had made preparations in life, or perhaps my family had. The priest came to me, the envoy of Zon-Kuthon, in the place that is no place. He called me by my secret name, which I will not repeat, and asked “Seldryn Verdant, would you that I free you to return to the world? Your friends have made a way, should you wish it.” I remembered my bargain, my deal, my contingency. I remembered my death – careless, unnecessary. My life less than half done. I remembered my family, and Fredonia. I replied “Oh yes! I was not nearly finished!”

“Then brace yourself”, he replied.

He drew a heavy dagger. He plunged it into my chest.

I went to another place. I was tested. I was put to inquiry. I was judged. I do not know with what conclusion.

I woke in an inner chamber of Fort Tuskwater: Jope, Rainor, Klael and the priest surrounding me, Thought and Memory on my finger. Around us the implements and marks of necromancy. “It is done”, said the priest. “You have 50 days to discharge your Geas.

To my other scars, now, is added a death-wound over my heart.

Dave went all-out to impress on us that in his universe, being resurrected is a big deal. It was atmospheric, creepy, and you kinda had to be there. Switch was given a couple of moral dilemmas and chose a neutral and then a good path. I’m not sure I played it right – but what’s done is done. Perhaps she is swinging towards good from hanging around all these good people.

It was also a major deal for Klael, our paladin. He is having to Atone for his involvement, and is temporarily nerfed. Sorry about that, Scott, but thanks.

The reason for all this, BTW, is that my replacement character Zack Jackson kinda sucked. Bard with the “Archaeologist” template. He had some very cool shit but just could not accomplish anything in combat. And the other characters basically didn’t like the annoying little tit.

I was concerned that Dave would nerf Switch to the point that it was pointless actually coming back. But he has avoided doing that – she still has Thought and Memory and even the permanent Arcane Sight. Rather that taking stuff away, he has added stuff.

I’ll have to alter Switch’s voice a bit, I think. Spending a few weeks dead alters your outlook on life. I don’t think she can be the silly teenager that she was. Oh, and there’s the other thing. But I’ll have her pick up the story.

Michael,

I don’t know what to tell you. I was resurrected on Friday. I was not going to write you, thinking that everyone would be better off not knowing. But it’s not going to remain a big secret for long. Yes, I have bargained with Zon-Kuthon for a continuance of this life. I do not know, yet, what price I will pay.

My companions did it – giving up some of their blood. Even the knight of Iomedae. And they accepted a Geas, to retrieve the capstone of some monolith and hand it over to a scholar to the north. Klael asked his god if such an act were evil in itself, and it is not. But the resurrection itself was, and he is paying a price for that.

I do not think that I am exactly alive, anymore. I no longer feel the cold, and the world seems to move slowly.

Since my return, my magic had been coming to me with difficulty, I was worn out all the time. We traveled to the south, to the henge where this capstone is located. We fought some giants, defeating them easily. I went to check one for valuables and, and found myself eating the blood on my fingers. I then drank warm blood from it, and felt revivified.

I have not told my companions this. I was invisible at the time, and took some of the blood in a water flask (I wonder if I can get Morgana to do me a water skin with a Gentle Repose on it?). I don’t think I shall be able to conceal this for long – Rainor has eyes like a hawk, and Rainen a wolf’s nose. I don’t feel undead, but then again: what would being undead feel like? I’m afraid to ask Klael to test me.

I returned because I had not finished my task of redeeming the dishonour to the family of my actions, because I wanted to continue to help with Freedonia, and because I am still young. I’m not sure, now, that it was the right thing to do. But I have made my choices. And I’m committed now, to the people who gave me their blood to bring me back from the dead. If that means that I serve the heirs of Jope for as long ans they and I endure, then so be it.

I may never come home.

Yup. By the looks of things, Switch has to swig fresh blood occasionally. I don’t know what template Dave has applied to her, and I would rather find out as we go along, you know? More fun that way. She’s a level down, naturally. I won’t play her as an emo misery-guts the whole time, though. That would be a drag. We are all looking forward to game.