The Plaguelands

Session 9 - The Tomb (part 3)

Kassan’s speech

Thank you for defeating Asar. I have much to tell you – it is only right you should know the truth and history of Kassen. Over 200 years ago, Asar was a dear friend and we fought side by side along with Irimine. We came across a horde of magical treasure, greater than any mortal could handle. We took as much as we could carry and locked the treasure away. To protect against theft and madness of those who gazed on the treasure, we each took part of the key, which was split in three, forming an amulet for each of us. The treasure safely locked away, I founded Kassen with my proceeds and wealth, attempting to tame a small piece of the Fangwood. Kassen thrived, and grew but we were raided, not unusual in the depths of the wood, but these continued until we had to act. I lead a party and we tracked the raiders to base outside of Kassen. Many townsfolk had been killed so we confronted the bandits, when I discovered to my disgust and amazement that Asar the group. He appeared driven by greed and he craved my amulet. I held my own and managed to kill him but I was mortally wounded in return. My friends helped to carry me to Kassen where I died two days later – my body was interred with the body of the townsfolk and Asar. Unfortunately, someone clearly disturbed Asar’s body and he has risen. Please retrieve the amulet as the wealth it guards is too much to handle. Should the key fall into wrong hands, then much will be lost.

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Session 7 - The Tomb (part 1)

Reese thinks that things are getting a little strange. “Let’s get this over with” he says as he approaches the tomb door and waves to the others to follow, but his progress is stopped immediately by a closed door.

After expertly opening the door, Reese is overcome by a horrid stench. Poor Firth begins to vomit. “There’s recent dead among the ancient in there.” says Slayrin, also recognizing the unmistakable smell. Reese steels himself and enters the room to find several bodies strewn across a 40×40 room with an exit on either side. Now, in addition to his sense of smell, his hearing is now attacked as he hears wailing coming from the hallway to the left. As the rest of the party enters the room, Reese notices that the walls are painted with the story of the first king. As he tries to decipher the images, the dead begin to rise and attack. But by now, Firth has regained his composure and quickly makes them dead again.

Following the path to the right, away from the wailing, Reese, Slayrin, Firth, and Chessex travel down a short hallway to a room with a fountain. Marc has stayed behind to guard the exit. As they enter the room, a hidden slab of stone descends into the hallway behind them. It’s a trap! Marc is on his own on the other side. Looking around the room, the party notices two additional exits, but both are locked. “Hmmm, there must be a way out of here” Reese thinks to himself. And sure enough, as he glances into the pool where the fountain empties, he sees that the bottom is covered in keys. The bottom, however, is at least 100 feet down. Only an expert swimmer could swim down, get a key, and return alive. Luckily, Reese is such a swimmer. With Slayrin detecting the correct key magically, Reese is able to retrieve the correct one. Chilled from the swim, Reese warms himself with a slug of brandy while the others clear the hallway and reunite with Marc.

The group is also able to open one of the other doors. Beyond is a hallway ending in another door, but is lined with alcoves filled with statues holding raised swords. Reese carefully makes his way down the hall, but accidentally triggers another trap. The swords come swooping down into the hallway. Reese drops. Slayrin drops. Firth almost drops. Chessex quickly picks them back up.

Their wounds barely healed, they proceed beyond the door to find a large statue holding two shields. One shield has the word “Family”, the other “Home”. Intrigued, Reese gets close; too close. The statue animates and attacks. Swinging the large tower shields around like two giant scythes, the party is chopped down like dry wheat at harvest. Reese is first to fall and feels his soul leaving. Then Firth. Then Marc. Slayrin’s spells are ineffective. Luckily, Chessex is able to pull Reese back from the light and get Firth and Marc back on their feet. The party retreats back down the hall barely escaping with their lives.
They decide that this way is impassible, so they go back to the entrance and try the other hallway where the wails are coming from. Progressing through a small maze filled with pit traps, the group eventually comes across a defiled temple. Upon investigation, they are attacked by an unseen assailant. Chessex is able to call upon the power of his deity and dispatch the shadow. Nothing but his prayers seemed to affect it. The party gives a sigh of relief and Reese vows to convert when they get back. Searching around, they find another key. Perhaps, this key will fit the locked door in the fountain room? “Perhaps”, Reese thinks. “Perhaps.” But knowing his luck, he thinks that they are due for a rematch with the two-shielded statue.

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Session 6 – Slaryin’s Slayers

This is how Reese remembers it.

While enjoying a relaxing breakfast with a strong cup of tea, Reese’s calm morning was broken by a wail from the chef of the Broken Tusk. “My Kita, My Kita. You found him.” she called out as she pointed toward Reese.

Albeit somewhat bewildered, Reese nevertheless thought he recognized the name. Ah yes, it was the name inscribed on the dog collar that he now wore around his neck, found in the wizard’s tower the previous day. “Damn”, he thought. “She’s gonna think I killed her dog.” He glanced around nervously and noticed everyone in the Inn was now looking at him and his companions. By now the chef had reached the table. “Tell me.” she said grabbing Reese’s shirt. “Where is he? Tell me!”

“Where’s who?” Reese feigned ignorance.

“Kita. Kita. That’s his collar you’re wearing. Have you seen him?” she asked hopefully.

“Oh.” said Reese, taking off the collar. “I just found it. In the wizard’s tower.” He had told the tale of the wizard’s tower the night before. The chef stood quietly for a moment or two, staring into Reese’s eyes, then turned and started to walk back to the kitchen.

“Wait.” said Reese. “Here.” He held out the collar. “I’m sorry. He must have been a great dog.” The chef just nodded as she took the collar, and went back to the kitchen.

As things returned to normal, Reese took a sip of tea and hears Slaryin whisper to the table. “We can’t stay here much longer. I think we are wearing out our welcome.” Reese notices Slaryin’s quick glance toward Gwen, and a disgruntled look from One Tusk.

Marc notices as well, and gets up to try talk to Gwen. “Now what the hell is he up to” thinks Reese. “Is Marc moving in?” The last thing he wants is a messy quarrel over a girl. At least Chessex and the young kid, Firth look alright. The kid can fight. Might be good to have him around.

Reese turns his attention back to his breakfast, which is starting to cool. Just then a courier comes in carrying a box and approaches the table. “Melora! Not another one of those.” he thinks and begins to get up from the table. “I’m not opening it.” he says.

“Give it here. I’ll open it.” Marc says, apparently a bit miffed after being rebuffed by Gwen. Reese slips the courier a silver while backing away. Inside, however, is some tea and a note from the Archmage Wortham thanking Reese and the group for saving the city. Reese quickly calls for some hot water. He thinks that he should probably write back to the Archmage at some point. Maybe tomorrow.

While Reese finally gets some time to relax, Marc and Slaryin decide to train, and Firth, for some odd reason, has decided to tour the stables. But Firth is wiser than he looks, as he comes back with some information! Tomorrow, there will be a tournament in honor of the founding of the city. A group of heroes will be selected to travel to the tomb of the city’s founder, about a day and a half travel, to light a lantern from the everburing flame in the tomb and then return back. Easy enough, and if successful, Reese won’t have to buy a drink in this town ever again.

But, the group will need a sponsor in order to enter. Marc suggests the Archmage. Reese and Marc then go back to the Archmage, under the premise to thank him for the tea. Reese convinces him to back the group in the contest as well as to make sure that the group is chosen as the group to retrieve the flame from amongst all the entries. They also learn that acolytes under the Archmage have gone ahead to the tomb to set up traps and illusions to test the chosen group, but have not returned. While conversing with the Archmage, Reese notices that Marc and the Archmage briefly speak to each other in a foreign tongue. When Reese inquires, Marc says that the Archmage knew his grandfather. Reese guesses that Marc must be from the far east. He briefly wonders what brought him here. But just briefly.

With selection assured in tomorrow’s contest and knowing that the challenges that they will be facing are illusionary, Reese becomes confident in success and thinks it would be mildly humorous to keep that information to themselves. Reese and Marc agree not to tell the others.

After returning to the inn with a letter of support from the Archmage, the group decides upon “The Heroes of Korvosa” as the group’s name. Slaryin takes the letter and goes to city hall to register. Somehow, “The Heroes of Korvosa” became “Slaryin’s Slayers” on the registration sheet, so when “Slaryin’s Slayers” was called out as the chosen group the following morning, Reese was briefly confused. But just briefly. Firth moreso.

After getting that all sussed out and explained, Reese and the rest of the group was given a lovely speech and an even lovelier parade out of the city. Women coming up to kiss Reese, people throwing flowers, children with stars in their eyes. Yes, if he played this right, Reese could have a comfortable stay in Korvosa.

The first part of the journey was uneventful. Marc told a bardic tale along the way. But then they ran into an ambush. The first Orc got the jump on the party and charged forward and felled Reese with a mighty blow. With Reese down, the fight was touch and go, but Firth was able to withstand the onslaught and turn the tide. After dispatching the Orcs, their lifeless bodies dissolved into the air. An illusion! Firth is confused, and to tell the truth, Reese is as well. But just briefly. Though that axe felt pretty real. Marc lets the rest of the party in on the fact that the Archmage told him and Reese that they would only be fighting illusions on this trip.

The party continues for a bit longer, expertly guided through the wild by Reese, and then sets camp for the evening. The howling of wolves is heard in the distance, and one even approaches the camp, but Reese is able to scare it away.

Not good enough however, as it left to get friends. On Chessex’s watch, Reese woke up to find 3 wolves ripping Chessex to bits. The party jumped into action and narrowly saved Chessex’s life.

The next morning, after a cup of tea, the journey continues. They make their way to the shore of a lake where they spot a dead body. From all appearances it does not look like one of the Archmage’s acolytes. It has strange bite marks all over it, but the animal could not be identified. Continuing on, the group arrives at the valley of kings at last. They scramble down the side, some more successfully than others, and approach the door to the tomb. However, they are overcome by the stench from 3 decaying horses that are outside the door. Reese and Firth investigate but are unable to discover any useful information, and then burn the bodies.

Reese thinks that things are getting a little strange. “Let’s get this over with” he says as he approaches the tomb door and waves to the others to follow.

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Session 4 - The Contagion

In outline form as best as my memory serves me.

  • Everyone witnessed the arrival of a portal and the rescuing of three childred by three heroic adventurers. The Three Hero’s all appear to quickly assend into the heavens after their brave deeds.
  • A couple of days later, the boy who had visited the party members offering to sell them the locked box, stumbles towards the Broken Tusk Inn with box in hand, only to fall to his death in the street consumed by the contents of the box….appearing of flameing “ambers”. The ambers spread in a plume of ash all those walking the street near by, including Gwenneth on her way to the tavern.
  • The characters learn at the mage shop, and Mage Tower, that the box was the work of a powerful Necromancer who created these boxes as a tool to spread death and kill all who come into contact with the “ambers” inside, which may easily be spead in the plumes of smoke that occur as it consumes it’s victim.
  • The powerful Necromancer was defeated long ago, and any possible solution to ending the plague boxes would reside at what remains at his old ruined tower. Wards were placed preventing anyone of great power from entering, thus the characters elect to attempt to find
    anything of value at the old tower.
  • On the Fifth level of the tower, after conquering a variety or reptilian beasts (which where untamable by the Ranger) a Tome is retrieved.
  • The characters are teleported back to the Mage tower, where one wizard alone (so not to curupt the others) studies its contents and casts spells to summon all the “ashes” return onto him. Once this is achieved the other spell casters turn on him to destroy what is left of the contagion, as well as the wizard in the process (whom was surely corrupted with the new knowledge that he gained) and the sole carrier of the contagion. Thus saving the townsfolk from genocide or being infested by the Plague that was surly to follow.
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Session 3 - Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

My memory has faded a bit. Please feel free to augment or change.

After spending the rest of the evening celebrating the demise of Lamm, Reese and Krieg retire to their room. After a brief discussion, Reese wins the cot and promptly falls asleep. Krieg grumbles but eventually decides to sleep on the floor in front of the door. Meanwhile, Slayrin escorts Gwen home. Near dawn, Reese and Krieg’s window is forced open. Reese quickly wakes up, but is quickly knocked unconscious from a blow from the intruder. Krieg fights valiantly, but the intruder is joined by the large half-Orc from the other night and in the end is overmatched.

Awoken in the next room, Firth, investigates the commotion and confronts the intruder and the half-Orc. He too is overmatched and elects to retreat. As more people are woken up, the intruder and the half-Orc escape back out the window. A Halfling Cleric, Chessex, who is staying in a room on the third floor heals any wounded and revives Reese. It is too late, however, to save Kreig.

By this time Slayrin has returned. Reese and Slayrin discuss what to do, and come to the conclusion that they need to take out the remnants of the Lamm gang once and for all. They enlist the help of Firth, the Halfling Cleric Chessex, and another patron of the Inn, Marc.

They move in on Lamm’s old house where the Elf has now assumed leadership. Things go well and they dispatch a couple thugs quickly. Seeing the gang decimated, one of the gang runs for it and jumps into the water and disappears. Reese and Slayrin jump in after him. Reese comes up for air, and Marc takes a shot at him! But luckily it misses. Reese and Slayrin have found an underwater sewer pipe that the gang member must have used. They take a deep breath and start to swim up the pipe.

On land, the rest of the party has now moved on to clear the rest of Lamm’s old hideout. They struggle with the door which has been barred, but eventually get it down and start to explore the basement.

Reese and Slayrin eventually pop out into an underground cave and dispatch the fleeing gang member. They find a door, but are unable to open it, and return back to the surface and meet up with the party in the basement.

There, they manage to trip a trap, but none of them are mortally wounded, and eventually find a hidden key with a note.

They return to the Inn to rest and heal. The Lamm gang shouldn’t bother them or anyone anymore. Strangely, though, a kid approaches the party and offers an exchange. For 40 gold, he will give us the box that fits the key. Most of the party is in favor of the offer, but Reese feels that it is a bit too steep. Not wanting to haggle, the kid leaves once Reese refuses to pay 40 gold. Later, Reese relents and asks Broken Tusk to send word out to the kid, that they will pay the 40 gold.

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