Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ivarkian Campaign Episode 4 - The goddess "Snooty-kins".

Moscato suggests that we leave Taraza behind, but the Ogre disagrees.

The party asks Taraza where the monument is. Taraza asks the Ogre something and he points north.

Baretta asks for a description. The Ogre says that no one has seen it in several hundred years. But we will know it as things there both die and live simultaneously. Taraza indicates thats we must amuse the guardian. The party asks for more information. Uguri leaves without answering.

The party departs. They travel for the better part of a day. The party follows the path the Gnolls would take. The path appears to be heavily travelled. Eventually, the party comes to the first major signs of water - a lake that feeds the river going east. They see a large fairey.

They use it to cross the lake without incident.

They continue on, and find a large field where they camp. First night passes uneventfully.

Two days later, they come to a valley where there is a large wall surrounded by huts. It is very quiet. There is no evidence of working hearths. They soak a shirt in fabric which Baretta uses to cover her mouth before scouting. Moscato looks through his spyglass and sees a few small gnollish figures but mainly women and children.

Baretta heads down and the smell of death is overwhelming. She sees 4 long rows of bodies covered with sheets and skins and anything else. The town is very quiet and the few gnolls she encounters are laconic and dazed, but do not seem to have noticed her.

She attempts to inspect the bodies. She witnesses a gnoll bringing a small body out and leave it amongst the dead. She returns to the group.

She reports that the plague appears to have killed most of the town. They decide to bypass the town and continue on.

A couple days later, they run across villages in similar states. While travelling the party speculates that Ogres may be immune to the plague as various areas around the villages are sharpshooters.

The party makes camp and sets watches: Moscato, then Baretta and Taraza, then Chet. Taraza and Barretta talk. Taraza indicates the mural is dangerous as it is a window from another times of  things "better left forgotten". There was a time before the human empire when "They" were watching. Baretta suspects that "They" were something of an apocalyptic nature such as a dragon or dragons. Baretta notes that during the conversation, Taraza refers to Timeran as "The Mindbender". During the war with the elves there was a "weapon" the elves used called "the Mindbenders" who were spellcasters. Baretta notes that Timeran is human. Taraza suspects that Timeran's mentor was an elf. Baretta suspects Taraza can read her thoughts, but Taraza indicates that she is very good at reading people. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.

The next day they travel. Moscato spies something off in the distance. It appears to be ruins of some type. They head to the ruins and scout the area. The ruins seem to be granite. Baretta asks Taraza if these ruins are what they are looking for. Taraza indicates that it isn't, but is nonetheless important.

There is creation text upon the ruins. Taraza and the party read the ruins. She tells the party the information they have learned could cause gods to mark them for death.

Taraza and Beretta hear a sound. A LARGE group Gnolls attack. While at first the battle seems difficult, 3 heavily armored Gnolls appear to assist, scaring off the gnolls. Baretta turns and see the gnolls who assisted.

The gnolls tell them that while they are not friends, they are not enemies. Baretta notes her wounds are healing and the forest is especially lush. They approach the shrine.The soil oddly seems dry and dead and littered with bones and corpses. Upon stepping on the soil, they start taking damage. They back up and heal immediately.

The gnolls give them healing potions. They RUN. Once they reach the inside of the shrine, they stop taking damage. Party quaffs healing potions. The party searches and finds the staff - a long staff with scales, on one side a skeleton and the other side overgrown plants. A large stag walks up behind the party. The stag talks to them. Taraza notes the stag is the guardian of life and plagues. They ask if they can have the staff. The stag suggests a proposal.

The stag takes human form, but one hand is a skeleton. "I think if you can take it then take it."

The Staff turns into a dire owlbear and jumps upon the deadly soil. It starts flying when Chet "commands" it to "Stop". Baretta runs and tries to grab it and misses. The party attempts to attack but fails. The owlbear hits Baretta and combat begins.

The battle is very difficult, but the party barely defeats the fiendish owlbear. The stag being is about to congratulate the party when suddenly a ring comes off of his finger and he falls into the negative energy zone and dies. Taraza has his ring.

Taraza tells them to let the Jarl know that expansion to the west will be unchecked for now.

The party returns to one of the plagued villages. They arrive at the home of one of the gnolls who'd saved them. His family is dead. Chet attempts to use the staff of healing on one of the dead gnolls. He brings an infant gnoll back to life. Chet heals every gnoll village on the way back. They note that Zora are in each city they pass through.

They return to Ugiri and the goblin warrior. Chet returns the staff to Ugiri and hands them the missing sealed box. The goblin with Ugiri says, "There was a time before the empire, an old time. A time of the paladin city and the paladin king. The mural that you discovered is the only known picture found in 6 millenia of the paladin king. Ugiri doesn't know much of him, but that Zora fear his name because of the power he wielded across the world."

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