AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

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AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

Post by Fortesque » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:56 pm

A Matter of Diplomacy
Time: 2018-06-05@23:59 GMT
GM: Fortesque (Whyr'wyndyl)
Circle: 3
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Dubhan, 1400 legend, 370 silver, 3 TIPs
Durgin, 1400 legend, 370 silver, 3 TIPs
Blaethynn, 1400 legend, 370 silver, 3 TIPs
Jik'escala, 1400 legend, 370 silver, 3 TIPs

Downtime Actions Available:
Blaethynn: Forge Weapon + Karma (Rank 4, Step 15)
Blaethynn: Item History + Karma (Rank 3, step 14)
Blaethynn: Craftsman + 2 Karma (Rank 3, Step 18)
Blaethynn: Alchemy + Karma - 3 for kit (Rank 2, step 10) Booster potion, Kelix's poultice
Dubhan: Alchemy Step 7, Booster Potions (Per 7 + Alchemy 3 - Kit 3)
Dubhan: Research Step 21 (Per 7 + Research 4 + Speed Read 6 + Karma 4) or 24 if the Library Fee is covered
Durgin: Item History 11 + karma.
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
Kaer Ogden has been contacted and requested to send Diplomatic Entourage to Throal.
A Crystalline Entity was slain.
Rikund, Ork Nethermancer of Kaer Ogden was liberated from the Entity's control.
Alsya, Human Troubadour of Kaer Ogden received a favorable letter of recommendation from the PCs.

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Re: AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

Post by ottdmk » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:05 pm

From the journals of Dubhan Goronich:

Several weeks ago I and a few companions successfully rescued the Questor of Upendal Hystina from a Tower she found in the Wilderness. Accounts of this, and of the journey of both parties to the Tower, were recorded with the Great Library.

Amongst the reports of Hystina's expedition were signs of heretofore unknown civilization along the way. The Library put out a call for adventurers to investigate these signs. I reunited with Durgin and Blaethynn, whom had accompanied me on the quest to save the Questor. We were joined by Jik'escala, a T'Skrang Swordmistress of great ability that I knew from previous adventures.

For most of our journey we were able to travel by ship, which was a pleasant change from the overland slogging that has accompanied every other one of my travels (although there was that time I was able to return to Throal by airship, which was lovely.)

After journeying quite a ways we began our exploration of the wilderness. It was uneventful until we came across a ruined tower with a large crystal growing in it. My Astral Sight enabled me to determine that it was more creature then crystal. It began to talk to us, mentally. This was quite disturbing. Before we knew it, Jik'escala had her arms replaced by crystal constructs in the blink of an eye.

During this time, Durgin discovered a human nearby whose name we learned was Alysa. Before he could learn much more from her, matters escalated.

The entity (for, as we determined later, it was one of the Horrors called crystal entities) became more insistent on "helping" us. We retreated from the tower, and then Blaethynn decided to force the matter. He threatened the entity directly in an attempt to force it to heal Jik'escala. The entity responded by filling Blaethynn's body with crystalline spears. Jik'escala attempted to help, but was unsuccessful. A retreat was called, but I felt I could attempt to do more.

Hidden behind a wall, my Astral Sense spell allowed me to maintain contact with the entity and I attempted to combat it. Alas, it could do the same and my body was pierced by the spears. I joined my colleagues.

We attempted to rest and heal, but were hindered by the cursed nature of the spears. Blaethynn, despite his pain, was able to suppress the curse long enough for us to heal somewhat. In the meantime, we spoke with Alysa and discovered she was from an unknown Kaer and was an explorer on behalf of her people. Her party had gone missing, and she feared they had succumbed to the entity.

Prepared for a fight, we investigated a cave where Alysa felt her party had gone. We discovered four of the five dead, and the last almost mad. To my amazement, the four dead had died deliberately in an act of sacrificial magic. They created charms of the crystal invading their bodies that would help us in our struggle. Realizing we did not have enough time to seek help, we formulated a battle plan and elected to attack.

To my pleasant surprise, the attack went as planned. The immobile nature of our opponent helped greatly. Between my magics and the marital might of my colleagues (aided by a judicious use of the Iron Hand spell) we were able to destroy the (admittedly minor) Horror before it could do much more harm. With it dead, its alterations were reversed. We returned to Throal with news of Alsya's home of Kaer Ogden. Ogden will hopefully open diplomatic ties to Throal in the near future.

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Re: AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

Post by Reyntrannin » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:41 pm

Selections from the personal correspondence of Blaethynn:

[Excerpted from a lengthy letter to his sister]...

I know that you have been following the finding of new kaers closely while trying to find a place to settle, so I should tell you of my latest adventure.

After we had assisted Hystina on her mission from Upandal, Merrox, Master of Records in the Great Library, asked for a group of adventurers to follow up on one of the sightings mentioned in her letters. I passed the request on to a few of the Adepts I have been meeting, and we approached him to complete his mission. Along with me were Durgin the Troubadour and his trusty mount Fortalice, Dubhan, a Wizard of great skill, and a Swordmaster I’ve recently become acquainted with named Jik’escala.
Merrox gave us a very brief description of what he was looking for (a sighting of some kind of party by the Scout that accompanied Hystina indicated an uncontacted civilization somewhere east of the Serpent River), and after securing supplies and transportation, off we went on a T’Skrang riverboat.

It should be noted that T’Skrang enjoy their drink (really enjoy their drink), and, due to their camaraderie, I do not actually recall much of the trip along the water. Fortunately, the trip was uneventful, and we arrived at our landing site near where the Scout reported seeing some kind of exploration party.

We began traveling east, looking for any signs that would let us make contact. Our first day we sighted an Ogre in the distance, but when we approached, he picked up a bag of whatever he had been digging up and the tree he seemed to be using as a staff, then ran off with great haste. We called after him, but did not pursue him.

Not long afterward, we made camp for the night. It was in the small hours of the morning when I noticed a slowly pulsing glow coming from some distance away. I alerted my comrades to it, and we decided to see where it came from the following morning. As the sun came up, the glow lessened, but we followed the direction of it until we found some ruins.

The source of the glow turned out to be a living crystal formation growing in the base of a ruined tower. It did not appear to be part of the tower’s construction, but had clearly been growing there for some time, as it was now taller than most Namegivers. We carefully approached and examined it, but neither Dubhan nor I could discern any kind of taint or Horror corruption. Jik’escala suddenly exclaimed that it was a ‘wishing stone’ and was speaking to her. We continued trying to puzzle out this mystery, with a few others of us receiving cryptic messages asking us to make a wish, but all of us declined the offer. In the meantime, Durgin was checking out the area around the tower and noticed someone watching us from a distance. I saw him start moving off, and, worried that he might find trouble, I followed after and called to him, only to discover that he had found a Human with a nocked bow.

After some quick talking on Durgin’s part, the woman calmed down enough to give us her name (Alsya) why she was here. It seems she was part of a team sent out by her kaer (which had been opened for some time), but that the rest of her party had entered a nearby cave and not returned. She seemed sincere, but naturally we felt we should treat her with caution, as we had no proof of her story.
While we were talking, Jik’escala came up in a bit of a state. Her arms had suddenly been augmented by crystal growths which she said she had not asked for. She was not in pain, but her fear of what had happened to her was very evident, although she did an admirable job of controlling herself. The more of her story I heard, the more I began to feel that the crystal, while not appearing to be tainted, must house some kind of malevolent entity, so I quietly went back to the tower ruins.

Approaching the crystal creature, I ordered it to change Jik’escala back, but got no response. This is when my impetuousness showed itself (you used to say that one day it would be the death of me, I begin to think you were right). I took out one of my forge hammers, and went close to the crystal with a simple threat to destroy it if it did not restore my friend. I should have realized that if it could change one’s body without pain, it could also use this ability to harm. I have never felt pain like that in entire life. I think I screamed, but everything quickly went black.
I came to some distance away, near the cave that Alysa’s allies had disappeared into. I was told that we had retreated here after having been handily routed by the creature’s magic. We eventually decided to back track about an hour’s distance to try and heal ourselves, as all of us but Jik’escala had been sorely wounded and were very weak. The wounds themselves were strange and looked as if they had been caused by crystals being formed from inside our bodies and then striking outward.

The next morning, although we felt that our strength had been recovered, our wounds had not begun to heal, and the crystals were still there, as if they had been anchored to our bones. Dubhan took a closer look at these injuries and saw that they had been inflicted as some kind of curse. Upon hearing this, I began focusing on my newest talent and, after a bit of effort, was able to break the curse on my Wounds and cause the crystals to disintegrate. I repeated this process on my friends, and almost as soon as the crystals went away, their healing magics were able to begin the process of closing their Wounds.

We decided that Jik’escala’s condition was too grave for us to simply rest and try to recover, so we returned to the area of the ruins and began exploring the cave. I should note that, despite our mistrust of her, Alsya had been allowed to accompany us both to the camp and now to the cave. It was here that we found what had become of her party. On a raised section of the floor, four of her friends were lying dead, with crystal growths much like the transformation Jik’escala was undergoing. The fifth member of her band, an Ork Nethermancer called Rikund, was also in the midst of this terrible transformation, but still lived.

Although he was clearly delirious with pain and terror, we understood that his friends has sacrificed themselves in a blood ritual to create charms to defeat the spirit that was inflicting the condition. Knowing that we were running out of time, we divided up the charms and took the battle to the crystal. Alsya, despite not being armed with these protections, chose to charge with us, and she and I were the first to encounter the creature again. I attempted to occupy it’s attention while my friends closed in, but was unable to cause any damage, but Alsya was able to damage it slightly with her throwing axes. Once the others came in, the fight did not last very long at all. First Jik’escala, whose strength was magnified by both the creature’s magics and the charm she wore, struck a mighty blow with her sword, cracking and shattering crystals with every swing. Dubhan also gave the entity a terrible blow with his magics, which were likewise reinforced by the charm he carried. However, all was over once Durgin came in. Heedless of the terrain and risk, he charged full force into the midst of the crystal, deftly inserting his lance deep into the center of the mass. Although he force of his charge and Fortalice’s feet did shatter the corporeal form of the entity, Durgin himself was catapulted from his saddle and thrown forward, smashing crystals with his body and almost succeeding in landing on his feet.

We bound what injuries were received (Jik’escala was badly hurt when the crystals implanted in her exploded, but she was able to recuperate well enough) and went to check on Rikund. He was alive, but badly hurt. While waiting for him to recover enough to return to his kaer with Alsya, we were able to learn more of their story.

There were from a kaer called Ogden, which had opened some time ago and been sending out small parties of Adepts, one party at a time only, to try and scout the area around for safe havens. She would not give us the location of her kaer, claiming that the decision to make contact was her elders’ decision to make, which was fair enough. They had contact with another group from Throal previously, a Warrior who appeared to have gone rogue and killed a number of their citizens before he was run off, but what she had seen today convinced her that there was good still to be found in making contact with Throal. She agreed to recommend that her kaer send a diplomatic mission to Throal to sort matters out, but it seems that this was her first mission outside the kaer, and she feared that, without something to show for it, she would be sidelined to only serve internally, never seeing the outside again.

After some discussion amongst ourselves, we agreed to send a letter with Alsya, requesting that she be part of any diplomatic mission they send to Throal, due to the courage and tenacity she showed both in assisting us and in never abandoning her allies.
We left her to return to her home, while we also began the weary journey back to our ship and Throal, there to report to Merrox what we found.
Please keep an ear to the ground for when Kaer Ogden sends its diplomats. I think Alsya, not to mention any others who accompany her, would be well served if perhaps some friendly scholars (or maybe a certain apprentice cartographer?) were to approach them and show them that we aren’t all like that Crimson Branch Warrior.


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Re: AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

Post by etherial » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:51 am

From the Journal of Jik'escala, T'Skrang Swordswoman Extraordinaire:

2 Sollus, 1423 T.H.
The Great Library has hired us to investigate signs of Civilization on the Eastern Shore of the Mid-Reach found by a previous adventuring party. We were able to book passage on the X'Egirathla II and I look forward to several days of idleness and bathing onboard.

6 Sollus
My Niall has dropped us off on the shore and is continuing on to Syrtis for trade. Dubhan has quite the hangover from all the "forced" drinking he participated in on the trip.

8 Sollus
Having cut a swath through the jungle, we arrived at a glowing orange crystal sitting in the base of a ruined tower. We believed it might be a shard of a Kaer Crystal and approached cautiously. At first it appeared friendly, claiming to be a wish-granting crystal. I was lured in closer by its charming humming, otherwise I would have recognized it immediately as a Crystal Entity.

We tried to speak with it, to learn the history of the Kaers nearby, but it kept offering me more and more (and creepier and creepier) enhancements. In the vicinity was a Human Troubadour of Kaer Ogden Named Alsya, the last of her adventuring party.

To my horror, the entity bathed me in its strange orange light and crystal began to grow in my arms, doubling my Strength. Blaethynn and I charged to attack it, but it smote him in a single round and I sounded the retreat. The shards that struck Blaethynn refused to leave and he was cursed with unceasing pain, but his knowledge of Curses proved sufficient and he was able to remove them. The Horror's grip on me, however, was too strong.

We fled into the nearby woods to recover, but the Horror's influence on me continued. It whispered in my ear and grew crystals in my eyes to replace my natural vision with its lies. I knew I did not have long for the world and sought to regain my honor. There was a cave where Alsya had tracked her friends, and she believed that they had succumbed to the Horror's influence as well. If we could vanquish them before the Horror truly had control over me, perhaps that would be enough.

9 Sollus
We enter the cave. With any luck, we'll be able to destroy the minions of that horrible thing before I join them. The thought of what happens next, however, does not please me.

9 Sollus (continued)
Within the cave, we found the rest of Alsya's companions. Dead on the floor were four former Adepts, deformed as I was by the Crystal Entity's "gifts". Pacing above them was a gaunt Ork, a Nethermancer Named Rikund. Rikund barely held any grip on his sanity, but relayed the story of how his friends took their own lives to prevent the Crystal Entity from enslaving them, imbuing their "enhancements" with a Dying Act that would allow us to spend their life energy defeating the thing.

We formed a line and charged the damned thing, Blaethynn and Alsya carving a path for us. Empowered by the Dying Act of Ogden's adventurers, I cleaved a hunk off of it with Honorable Defender. Dubhan and Durgin expended their charms as well, rivening the thing and causing its glow to cease forever. The crystals within me broke up, causing great pain but mercifully relieving me of the Entity's enhancements without destroying my arms or my vision.

We sent a report to Alsya's superiors with her and set course back home to Throal.

Blaethynn, male Windling Weaponsmith
Dubhan Goronich, male Dwarf Wizard
Durgin Trotter, male Dwarf Troubadour
Jik'escala, female T'Skrang Swordmaster

Alsya, female Human Troubadour
Rikund, male ork Nethermancer

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Re: AAR: A Matter of Diplomacy

Post by BattleChad » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:05 am

The Great Library of Throal thanks Dubhan, Blaethynn, and Jik'escala for their contributions.

Journal Rewards: 70 Legend Points and 92 silver