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TOPIC: Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D

Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 9 months 20 hours ago #3609

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Session Three

With the bitter taste of defeat stuck between their teeth, the heroes skulk out of Fairville before the sun has fully risen. The Imperial Capital is still many miles distant and the party will be on the road for several more weeks before they arrive at their destination. Aeneas grows lonesome and – shunning the company of his fellow travellers - summons a pigeon with which to converse. Unmoved by Aeneas’ sorrowful gaze, the pigeon turns its beak on the barbarian and flies off without a word. Kyan is incensed! Nobody treats his meat shield like that and flaps away with it! The young sorcerer fires a ray of frost from his magical horn and freezes the bird into a block of solid ice.

Several days into their journey, the heroes discover that they have suddenly and inexplicably run out of rations. Fortunately, the aptly-named town of Plot Hook is conveniently close by! Unfortunately, it is currently under siege by an army of skeletons! The local militia is being overwhelmed, but the tide turns in favour of the living when the heroes step into the fray. Rishekk is very impressed with himself after he catches an arrow out of the air. He doesn’t throw it back because he is conserving his chi points for a rainy day. The muddled mayor mistakes this bedraggled band of starving vagrants for the actual heroes he ordered to deal with the bony menace and points them in the direction of the old cemetery east of town.

The party break into the old chapel and practically trip over the secret passage into the crypt. Kyan is crippled by pain as the crystal growing within his body resonates with another crystal somewhere up ahead. Glim takes the lead and disables a couple of spear traps on route to the next skeleton fight. Soon, the heroes reach a spacious burial chamber and confront an evil old man who is unhappy that the heroes have interrupted all the evil. Kyan cries out as he spots one of his childhood friends sprawled on the stone altar. Is this evil old man trying to continue the work of the warlock who once held Kyan and his chums prisoner? The heroes attack, taking out the four robed cultists between them and the altar. The evil old man decides that enough is enough and summons lightning to strike down the impertinent adventurers before they get any closer. Glim is injured and Kyan is killed. Killed dead! Aeneas chops the wicked old bastard in half before he can pull any more murderous rabbits out of his nefarious hat.

The surviving heroes bury Kyan in the woods outside town and everyone utters a few words of remembrance. The young sorcerer’s adventure ends here, but the quest for the crystals is just beginning!
Last Edit: 9 months 9 hours ago by mikeawmids.
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Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 8 months 4 weeks ago #3611

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Well done mike. +1 inspiration with new character
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Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 8 months 4 weeks ago #3612

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Cole Hart. Human Ranger (Monster Hunter archetype)
"Cole Hart by name. Cold heart by nature."
Infamous bounty hunter of all things monstrous. When something goes bump in the night, Cole Hart bumps back. Took the job to defend town from skeletons as it coincided with his own investigation into a series of attacks by crystal-tainted monsters. Wields twin hand crossbows.

Session 3.5 Interlude

Torch light danced in the pooled blood spreading across the floor of the burial chamber as Cole Hart emerged from the darkness. Skirting the pile of robed corpses in the centre of the room, the monster hunter approached the altar and knelt before it, as though in prayer. Hart inhaled deeply through his nose, noting the tell-tale tang of crystal essence lingering in the dank air. He was too late. His quarry had been here, but was gone now. No matter. He couldn't have gone far. The bodies littering the crypt had not been lying there long. Hart stood, adjusted his spectacles and surveyed the scene for clues.

He would find his target yet.

He always did.
Last Edit: 8 months 4 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 8 months 3 weeks ago #3615

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Session Four

The heroes return to the tavern in Plot Hook to raise a glass in memory of their fallen comrade. The skeletons plaguing the town collapsed into a lifeless jumble of bones when the dark crystalmancer fell and the townsfolk are all terribly grateful. The heroes are deep in their cups when Sabbath Black blearily notices the bartender is gesturing to him urgently from the back room. Sabbath joins the bartender and learns that an intense and hooded stranger has been asking questions about a kid with a crystal horn. A cry from upstairs draws the heroes from their impromptu wake and they rush upstairs to the room where they left young Steve, the kid they rescued from the haunted chapel. An intense and hooded stranger looms over the child’s bed, aiming twin crossbows at the child’s head. Rishekk dives forward and catches the first crossbolt out of the air before it finds its mark, while Sabbath grapples with the assassin, causing his second shot to fly off target. The heroes step back, confident that the mystery man will have to spend the next full round reloading his weapons – but the assassin has invested in the Crossbow Expert feat and gets to ignore the loading condition! He immediately resumes his attempted murder! Rishekk expends chi to knock the stranger prone and Sabbath summons a fiery blade that he holds against the man’s throat until he surrenders.

Glim ties the stranger’s hands and the party commence interrogation. The man introduces himself as Cole Hart, a monster hunter tracking a dark crystalmancer from the Imperial City. Hart is adamant that anyone contaminated with faux crystal is doomed to transform into a murderous abomination and that killing them in their frail human form is an act of mercy. The heroes are far from convinced, but this cold-blooded killer seems to have his heart in the right place, so they invite him to join them on their loosely defined quest to find the lost crystals.

Cole Hart the monster hunter joins the party!

The next morning, the party continue south toward the Imperial City. They are gifted a cart and a horse to pull it by the grateful mayor of Plot Hook. The horse is a cross-eyed and ill-tempered brute; Sabbath call him Gimili. There is a distant rumble of falling masonry as the fourth wall collapses. Don’t worry, we still have three more! Several days into their journey, the party are ambushed by bandits possessed of an inflexible and ultimately fatal approach toward haggling over questionable tolls. As the bodies cool by the roadside, the party deliberate over the large tree that the bandits have used to block the road. Aeneas tries to move the tree, it is too heavy. Aeneas tries to lift the cart, it is too heavy. Sabbath transforms into a bear and tries to rend the tree with his mighty claws, it is too thick. Glim grabs his flint and tinder and tries to burn the tree; it is inflammable. The party take a step back and deliberate further; they suspect they might be looking at a plot tree and make plans to abandon the cart and continue afoot. Suddenly, a disembodied voice on the wind whispers that the heroes should cooperate to overcome this obstacle. Working together, the party tries to move the tree. The tree is moved! The heroes learn an important lesson about teamwork. Maybe.

Eventually, the heroes reach the gates of the Imperial City, an intimidating sprawl of civilization spread across three tiers, each one raised higher than the last, enabling the nobles to literally look down on the people beneath them. Each tier is divided by a towering wall; the gates between districts are guarded by armoured soldiers. When the party attempt to enter the city, one of these grunts demands that they immediately come up with a group name for their fellowship. ‘Five Men and a Child’ is gaining traction until Sabbath suggests ‘The Fallen Tree’, in a wry nod to the recent team-building debacle.

The heroes secure lodging at the least awful hotel in the lower tier before reuniting Steve with the rest of Kyan’s old gang of crystal-tainted urchins. The children are gladdened to see Steve safe and saddened to learn of Kyan’s death. They cannot help the heroes bypass the wall into the middle tier of the city. Nobody in the lower tier has heard of a wizard called Imesh, but the heroes do bump into a scholar called Leonine Rann, whose life’s work has been studying the same lost crystals that the party seek! What a fortuitous coincidence! Also, Rann knows precisely where the first crystal can be found! The Fallen Tree cannot believe their luck!

Just as the story gets going, the party decide to derail it by drawing cards from the Deck of Many Things until the campaign implodes. Aeneas draws first and summons a grim spectre of death determined to suck his yummy life essence from its fleshy vessel. The barbarian sends the creature packing and reaches for another card. Aeneas immediately gains a level! Emboldened by Aeneas’s good fortune, Rishekk draws a card. He immediately loses a level and is forced to draw again. He draws the Void and his soul is torn from his body. Hart steps over the monk’s shriveled husk to draw two cards; The Comet & the Vizier. The first lets the monster hunter gain a level if he triumphs over the next combat encounter without any back-up from the rest of the party. The second lets him ask the universe (GM) any question and guarantees an honest answer.

Hart asks a question. The universe answers and then immediately swears him to secrecy because the answer would break the game.

Sabbath draws a card that lets him rewrite history and immediately uses it to reverse everything that happened in the last paragraph.

Rann reveals that the first crystal lies far to the north, beyond the town of Bleakburg. The heroes decide to travel by ship and book passage about the Squalleater, helmed by the unfortunately named Captain Frone Ovrrbord.
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 8 months 2 weeks ago #3627

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Session Five

The party enjoy an uneventful cruise aboard the Squalleater, which ends abruptly as they reach the town of Ravenwatch and notice it is on fire. Sabbath climbs the rigging and studies the scene. Captain Frone offers Sabbath his telescope but the druid waves him away, his half-elven eyes are keen enough already. Sabbath observes that a rowdy band of orcs are plundering the town. Captain Frone refuses to moor at Ravenwatch lest the orcs swarm his ship, but he does permit the party to borrow a jolly boat and row to shore.

There is not a guard in sight, but a massively burly warrior is single-handedly holding back the green tide. He is wielding an enormous great-axe and the pile of dismembered orcs at his feet is testimony to his skill. A stylized stag has been crudely tattooed across the warrior’s broad back and Aeneas does a double take as he recognises it as the mark of his former tribe. But wait…! They all died… didn’t they? Numeracy was never Aeneas’ strong suit and he never actually stopped to count the bodies. The realization makes him… ANGRY! Aeneas rages and charges into the fray to fight alongside this ghost from his past.

A huge orc with biceps bulging like slabs of ham challenges the axe-wielding stranger and drives a spear through the man’s chest! The warrior falls, clutching what must surely be a mortal wound. Aeneas catches his first good look at the man’s face and gasps – it is the face of his father, Toria!

“I thought you were dead!” they both exclaim, at exactly the same time – then the elder warrior coughs up a lungful of blood and expires.

Aeneas snatches up his father’s axe and buries the blade in the big orc’s skull.

“I have avenged you, father!” he bellows.

“It’s ok Aeneas, I made my death saves!” Toria says, “I’m going to need that sweet axe back, son.”

A merry bonfire is lit from the corpses of the slain and the townsfolk dance around it. The heroes retire to the tavern for a long rest. Aeneas spends the evening catching up with his old man. Toria is proud of the manly man his son has grown into and gives him his axe, explaining that the weapon will gain awesome new abilities as Aeneas levels up.

Meanwhile, Sabbath decides that it has been altogether too long since the last side-mission and insists that the party abandon the quest for the crystal and instead visit a tree on the other side of the continent. It’s a druid thing, don’t ask. The rest of the party agree, on the condition that he does not draw any more cards from the deck of many things (and stops offering cards to minor NPCs).

The heroes hitch Gimili to their wagon and set out for the east! A feeling of dread settles upon the fellowship as they enter the forest where Sabbath’s tree-friend grows. Suddenly, everyone is covered with spider goo! The heroes fight the spiders and forge on through the foliage. The party reach the base of a towering tree. A sick-looking young woman is growing out of the trunk. Sabbath rushes to her side. Then a couple of bearded devils drop out of the branches to fuck shit up. The heroes defeat the demons and gain a level, huzzah!
Last Edit: 8 months 2 weeks ago by mikeawmids.
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Rotation 1 - The Crystals of Ero' Annelin D&D 8 months 1 week ago #3639

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Session Six

While Glim scrapes the devil blood off his blades, Sabbath converses with the woman in the tree. Her name is Brigentia and she is the goddess of this forest, tasked with preventing precisely the kind of satanic incursion that she completely failed to prevent. Luckily for her, the Fallen Tree gang were in the neighborhood! As a token of her gratitude, the goddess upgrades Sabbath’s druidic focus and grants Glim a sweet bow crafted from a branch of her own heart-tree. Brigentia also points the gnomish rogue in the direction of some particularly poisonous fungi. Glim is overjoyed and fills his pockets with horrible mushrooms.

Having saved the forest from the devils that plagued it, the heroes are keen to get back to the Quest for the Crystal(s). Brigentia opens a portal between Dura and another forest far to the north. Stepping through the portal, the party emerge from the trunk of a tree near the edge of Sumrandum Village. The heroes make a beeline for the pub and ask for directions to the nearest temple. The locals shrug helplessly, but suggest that the Old Forest is lovely this time of year.

The locals neglect to mention that to reach the Old Forest, the party must cross a mucky swamp. The wheels of their wagon sink into the mud and the heroes are forced to abandon it to the mire. The sun begins to set on the swamp and Aeneas leads the fellowship to an exposed camping site with absolutely no natural defences on any side. Nobody is surprised when their camp is assaulted in the middle of the night.

A pack of seven dire wolves pounce upon the sleeping heroes! Rishekk is ravaged by fang and claw and crawls away to drink a healing potion. Sabbath wild-shapes into an eighth dire wolf and joins the fray as a wild card. Glim and Cole hold the pack at bay with a hail of arrows (both characters took the Sharpshooter feat at level 4 and do staggering amounts of damage – when they actually hit), while Aeneas hacks several wolves apart with his ancestral dragon axe.

The next day, the heroes reach the edge of the Old Forest. The atmosphere beneath the dark canopy is somehow more oppressive than the forest of Dura. They soon come upon a stone gate, sealed and unresponsive to force. Any attempt to breach the portal results in a stone fist emerging from the door to smack the would-be intruder upside the head. After experimenting with every code and passphrase they can imagine, Aeneas finally triggers a response by simply asking nicely. In this instance, ‘please’ really was the magic word. The door grinds open, revealing steps down into the dark.

The party descend into a large, subterranean foyer, the ceiling held aloft by crumbling stone columns. Torchlight illuminates a huge mural covering one entire wall of the chamber. It depicts four human heroes confronting a hooded necromancer and his army of skeletons. Four black crystals are shown hovering around the necromancer’s head. Could these be the titular crystals of Ero’Annelin?

The party delve further into the dusty mausoleum and find a smaller crypt containing four stone sarcophagi. As soon as the heroes start messing with the lids, all four pop open, disgorging a wave of bones that quickly piece themselves together into four humanoid skeletons and two larger minotaur skeletons. The heroes defeat the tomb guardians, although Sabbath drifts within a single HP of perma-death.
Last Edit: 8 months 1 week ago by mikeawmids.
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Steboacha - Thu 17 Oct - 19:58

Sorry, I'm not going to make it tonight. I'm not feeling up to it.

rhodsey - Thu 17 Oct - 09:10

Hi Expanse peeps think I will miss tonight as well. Been ropey all week (hence no write up yet) and an early night will help.

Sant - Thu 17 Oct - 07:05

Sorry guys. Not going be there tonight.

Steboacha - Thu 10 Oct - 19:20

Running a bit late sorry.

Timbo - Thu 10 Oct - 10:17

Hi guys. I've got a bug, so not going to be able to make it tonight.

Steboacha - Thu 3 Oct - 20:25

Sorry gonna be after 9 now.

Steboacha - Thu 3 Oct - 19:42

Running late, hope to make around 8:30.

Richie Rich - Thu 3 Oct - 19:28

Hi guys - still stuck at work I’m afraid (frown face) so won’t get there tonight

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