AAR: Parched Pursuit

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AAR: Parched Pursuit

Post by Fortesque » Wed May 30, 2018 5:30 am

Parched Pursuit
Time: 2018-05-30@23:59 GMT
GM: Fortesque (Whyr'wyndyl)
Circle: 7
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Ceadda: 13,000 LP, 1700 silver, 3 TIP
Romari: 13,000 LP, 1700 silver, 3 TIP
Varis: 13,000 LP, 1700 silver, 3 TIP
Thane: 13,000 LP, 1700 silver, 3 TIP

Downtime Actions Available:
Romari: Alchemy 7 (Rank 3; Booster Potion, Kelia’s Antidote, Kelix's Poultice)
Romari: Map Making 8 (Rank 1)
Romari: Item History 15 (Rank 4)
Romari: Research 28 (Rank 7, +3 for 20 sp)
Varis: Item History: Step 16 (Rank 4)
Varis: Research: Step 24 (Rank 3) (requires 20 silver for Library)
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
Parched is Destroyed.
The Parched Gargoyle construct was dismantled and scattered.
Two controlled Greater Rockworms were killed, one escaped - free willed.
Five controlled Gargoyles fled - free willed.

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Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: AAR: Parched Pursuit

Post by ChrisDDickey » Wed May 30, 2018 11:18 am

From the journal of Thane Cawdor

Our first expedition to the plains of Merrak a while ago had ended in a draw at best. We discovered and almost slew the Wormskull Parched, but it wormed away at the last minute. At the time we had to content ourselves with having slain some of it's Rockworm servitors. Romari was in no way content with this situation and organized a rematch. Ceadda, Veris and myself gladly volunteered to accompany him.

We started out with a round of research in Throal. The others attempted to research Wormskulls in general or Partched in particular. Knowing that it liked to enslave Rockworms as servants, I tried to research them in the hope that knowing more about them would give us some insight into the being controlling them. Romari and Veris had some success in their research, but Ceadda and myself are not bookish types and our efforts were less than successful, I learned little more about Rockworms than I already knew through my lore and having fought them the one time. We left the library knowing very little more than we knew before, that Parched seemed to be attempting to turn a large section of the plains into a desert for it's own fiendish purposes. Our research did tell us that we probably did not need to spend our time searching certain section of the plains, but our area of inquiry was still quite huge. We resigned ourselves to physically searching the plains of Marrak in hopes of finding more signs.

It took us only a few days to come upon a kerfuffle. There was a large hole in the ground, and the sounds of fighting within. We decided to investigate, and soon found ourselves battling 3 Rockworms, and as soon as they had been eliminated, a Skeorx. Due to the buffs of our spellcasters we took little damage other than strain. The rockworms were all branded with a symbol, and the Skeorx had a scale bearing the same symbol caught in it's teeth. That night around the campfire we discussed the meaning of the symbol. I attempted to recall any legends about heroes that might have encountered the distinctive shape, but though I at times felt that some knowledge might be there, I could not recall it until Ramori cast "Evolved Consciousness" upon me and I recalled a fragment of a pre-scourge legend that mentions some heroes encountering this symbol in a certain time and place. With these and other clues the others recalled, we narrowed our search area a great deal. Romari started the long process of casting an Item History upon the scale.

Searching that area we came upon an Ork, whom we later learned was Yawngatch Ironblood. a Scout of the 6th circle. He was unconscious and near death. Our physician determined that he had been skin shifted, probably several times, and had 9 wounds! We managed to awaken him, but he was delirious and not fully coherent from the pain of his wounds. He said he was with a party looking for the ruins of Merrak, but that they had been attacked by Parched. He told us that the horror was so arrogant in his power that he boasted of using his own True Name. He also warned us that Parched had control of a half dozen Gargoyles.

At first we resolved to carry Yawngatch back to the encampment he was from, but in the morning he was worse and Romari whispered to us that it looked like he was depatterning, or that maybe some outside force was changing his pattern, and turning him into some sort of bio-bomb that would explode when he died, doing much corruption to everybody nearby. We discussed it among ourselves, and decided that the thing to do was to tell him the truth. We also resolved to cast Evolved Consciousness upon him so that he would be lucid enough to overcome the pain of his wounds enough to describe where he and his party were set upon by the horror.

This was the morning that Romari was able to finally complete the week long Item History test upon the scale we had retrieved, this, plus what Yawngatch was able to tell us finally gave us the last clues we needed to locate Parched, We carried Yawngatch with us upon a stretcher to where we hopped to confront Parched. The hope was that if we could destroy Parched soon enough, then there was a chance that his pattern might recover.

We caught sight of Parched before he spotted us. Or rather we caught sight of a huge rockworm at a very great distance, and stealthily crept somewhat closer until from a middle distance we could see that Parched was with the rockworm and seemed to be commanding it to re-route a river. The rockworm seemed to be much bigger than the 6 rockworms we had previously fought, and we decided it might be a Greater Rockworm. We looked over the terrain, and decided that we did not have time to try to approach all the way hidden. We decided to approach as far as we safely could and look the situation over from there. Once in place, in addition to the Rockworm and Parched that we had already spotted, we also spotted a 2nd Rockworm, plus 2 Gargoyles. This looked like a very tough fight. We discussed trying to sneak closer, but I urged to throw caution to the wind. We were unlikely to be successful in our sneaking, and I saw little reason to waste the effort making the attempt. I suggested that instead of moving slowly, we should charge while they were still unaware of us. We could cover as much ground with one fast charge as with 4 slow sneaks.

We refreshed our chain cast spells so they would be of maximum duration, I activated my Attack of the Stripes, and we all charged. Romari started pulling threads to Rampage. I had suggested during planning that he cast it before we charged, but he wanted to wait since it causes some strain. I figured if it was going to do the strain every round for the duration of the spell anyway, we might as well have it from the beginning of the combat until the end rather than have the spell lasting past the end of the combat, (and as a Sky Raider, I knew I am immune to that strain, and it turns out that ceadda was planning to use a spell that made him immune also), but let the matter drop. As a result, Ceadda and I did not have Rampage for our first attacks, and had to delay our 2nd attacks until he had the spell up. He almost did not get it up, as a 3rd Greater Rockworm, that we had not detected attacked him before he had it cast. I really wish we had him casting other spells during that early chaotic half minute.

As I mentioned, there was a 3rd Rockworm that we had not seen. Also it turns out that it was not only the "foreman" rockworm that was a greater rockworm, all three of them were! In addition to the 2 gargoyles that we had spotted, there were 4 more that we had not! (Yawngatch had warned us that there were 6, but we had dared hope that he was ether wrong, or that some had been sent away on other errands) One of the gargoyles had been turned into a horror construct and was even more dangerous than normal! Thus the fight was at least twice, and probably three times as tough as we had expected. I mean three greater rockworms are much, much more deadly than one greater rockworm and one "normal" one. By the time the last of the gargoyles reveled themselves my heart was in my boots and I was convinced we were all going to die.

Ceadda got within throwing range of the horror, but did not quite hit with lighting. The horror came up to him, used a few horror powers, and retreated into Astral Space just before I attempted to jump the river to engage it. Ceadda squared off against two gargoyles, and I against the first Rockworm. Another Rockworm came at the spellcasters, and like I said, attacked Romari several times even before he got his first (desperately needed buff) off. Fortunately when the horror retreated to Astral space, one of the Greater Rockworms and some of the Gargoyles managed to shake off it's control, and they buggered off. I was very happy to see that.

I put a few good bashes upon the Rockworm I was fighting, but it put a very good bash upon me, knocking me down. Ceadda had both Rampage and Mantel of the Fire marauder cast upon him, and was doing fantastic amounts of damage. He took down the Gargoyle construct, and came over and finished off the Rockworm I had bashed a few times. Parched crossed over to where the spellcasters were being mobbed by a Rockworm and 2 or 3 Gargoyles. It did not attack at first, but did use some of it's powers. Then it made it's fatal mistake and reappeared on this plain to do a skin shift upon Veris (who went down, very close to death). Ceadda used his remarkable speed to run over and attacked it several times, killing the thing in two flurries of blows, before the thing had a chance to respond or flee.

With the horror controlling them dead, the others all ran away, except for the other Rockworm which we also slew. We made sure to dismember the corpses and kill every worm and maggot that composed the horror.

Unfortunately, Yawngatch's repatterning had completed during the fight, and he was messily dead when we returned to him. The whole area was corrupted for yards around and spreading. The grass was dying. Varris used fireballs to mitigate the purely physical corruption but they tell me that the Astral is a mess right there. We returned to the encampment to report our success and the death of Yawngatch Ironblood and his companions. It was a mixed celebration and wake.

Drinks are on me Friends! I have trained up to 7th circle! I have learned Down Strike which will do wonders for the amount of damage I can do, I must get myself a magical weapon so I can do even more! I plan on soon learning Sprint which will increase my mobility even more!

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Re: AAR: Parched Pursuit

Post by Dougansf » Wed May 30, 2018 5:29 pm

A wormskull calling itself Parched has ambitions and personal goals that conflict with Romari's peace of mind. Hunters/Trackers needed to seek and destroy this Horror...or at the very least, identify and interrupt its power base.

It was terrorizing Rockworms and making them dig tunnels to drain the water from the Southern Marrek valley. Uses Terror, and has contingency self healing.

We start in Throal to do research into Parched and the area. Varis researches the area in the Great Library (-20 silver, 3 successes). Romari researches as well (2 successes).

We start searching around the Marrek Valley, I summon an Earth elemental to help, and we find some rockworm tunnels. There’s the sound of some combat down below. We prepare and drop down into the tunnel. We hear the noise from the Northeast and head that way. Romari and I use Astral Sense to find where the Rockworms are, and start heading towards the closest one. We all attack the first one, and kill it, as two others start approaching. After we kill the second one, a Skeorix comes running around the corner behind me. Astral Sense makes me aware of it, so it’s ambush is ruined and it fails to do any damage. It’s roar was very unsettling though. Ceadda runs over and kills it before it can make another attempt. Thane kills the last Rockworm. Romari finds a leather thong on the Skeorix’s teeth, it has a medallion with a crude symbol that we also find burned into the heads of the Rockworms. We figure the medallion is Parched symbol.

We head out and start researching again. Romari uses Item History on the medallion. He casts Evolved Consciousness on us to improve our memory, and we make some progress, but fail to find Parched. Instead we find an unconscious ork lying among rockworm tunnels. He seems to be poisoned by something, been Skin Shifted. He’s been abused by magical powers. He’s an adept. I treats his poison and then cast Water Spear into him to heal him back onto his feet.

Over a Heated meal, he Names himself Yawngatch Ironblood. He’s been searching out of Marek with his team (they’re all dead). Captain told them to stop the search. He found some of the ruins, but so did Parched. Parched is preventing them from finding the ruins, outlying border keep. He’s made the Rockworms into Constructs, and working on 6 Gargoyles as well.

We start heading for the encampment, and the orks health gets worse. His pattern seems to be getting worse. He seems to be depatterning, or repatterning into something else. We talk him into coming with us to help find Parched, hopefully killing him, and curing his affliction.

We track across the valley, and find a riverbed that has been dried, but is still flowing. We spot Parched with a Greater Rockworm, instructing it to do something to the river. It looks like Parched is nearly done so we move quickly to attack.

Ceadda runs in on Parched, and bursts into flames. Parched causes Ceadda fear, and then flees into the Astral. Thane closes on the greater rockworm, cracking it’s shell. I find Parched in the Astral and Target him, hitting him with a Desperate Mind Dagger. The Greater Rockworm fails to harm Thane. The gargoyles come out of hiding, and one attacks Ceadda, while two approach me.

Another gargoyle approaches Ceadda, seems to be corrupted by Parched. One of the Gargoyles jumps on me, and knocks me down. Parched closes on me but fails to Terrorize me. Romari casts Rampage on Ceadda and Thane, and they rip into their opponents. Ceadda drops the corrupted gargoyle. A Rockworm and a Gargoyle break Parched mind control and leave the area.

Ceadda moves in behind the Worm on Thane, and kills it. Parched materializes, and uses Skin Shift on me. Thanks to Wood Skin, I'm still conscious enough to put a Wood Spear into his face. The gargoyle hit me again, and I went under.

From what I'm told, at this point Ceadda runs up to Parched and stabs him multiple times, until he is dead. His control breaks, and most of the creatures run. Ceadda and Thane need to keep fighting due to spells, so kill another rockworm that can’t flee fast enough.

A while later I wake up, and we see to everyones wounds. Heading back to where we left Ironblood, we find him dead, and his body has decomposed rapidly, and the grass nearby has started to wither. I cast Fireball to burn the area clean. We head back to his encampment to report on Ironblood and his teams death, but also about the death of Parched. It's a bittersweet welcome.

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Re: AAR: Parched Pursuit

Post by BattleChad » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:36 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Thane and Varis for their contributions.

Journal Rewards: 650 Legend Points and 425 Silver