AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

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AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by ender3rd » Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:38 am

Searchin’ for the heart of the stone
Time: 2018-08-02@23:30GMT
GM: Ender3rd
Circle: 8.
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Thane 3 TIPs, 19,000 Legend, 2100 Silver 1/2 price PER training. 1/2 price wealthy travelers garb and a bunch of courtiers garb
Ceadda: 19,000, 3TIP, 2100sp
Romari: 3 TIPs, 19,000 Legend, 2100 Silver
Gronk Longtusk: 3 TIPs, 19,000 Legend, 2100 Silver
Varis: 19,000 LP, 1475 Silver, 3 TIP Forge Armor 12 & 13

Downtime Actions Available:
Character Name: [Talent] [Step] ([Rank]) ([Further Details])
Gronk: Forge Weapon: Step 9 (Rank 1)
Romari: Item History 20 (Rank 5)
Romari: Research 32 (Rank 9)
Varis: Item History: Step 16 (Rank 4)
Varis: Research: Step 22 (Rank 4)
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
A Greater Gharmek was killed, but the Mournguard bodyguards remained and the tunnel system and possible kaer went unexplored.

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by Dougansf » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:39 pm

From the Travel Journal of Varis

The Throalic military has reached out to us to hunt down a Horror that was discovered by a team of Novice Adepts recently. They're willing to divert a trading air ship to drop us off nearby. I've read the journals, and recount some details to the group. Namegivers controlled by medallions, Falsemen building a wall in a crevasse for a nameless master.

We sail down to (43:15), just past Borgans Rest. They tell us they'll be back tomorrow to pick us up.

We enter the crevasse and fly past the makeshift wall. I take the time to juggle my matrixes to accomodate my new Death Rain and Cloud Summon spells. Based on the reports, I'm expecting a large force to contend with.

We find a homestead being built by a single farmer. Romari detects others inside with Astral Sense. The elf greets us, and tells us that he’s from a nearby kaer. Romari learns a new language to speak to him. We trade greeting rituals and then head for the kaer.

We find a village that is fairly new, but has no defenses. There are many people in the houses, but there seems to be a man made of steel in charge. He’s speaking this other language, and Romari translates for us. A child is scolded harshly in the street, looking for his parents that were disobedient and “sent away” due to the trial (according to the Mayor). It looked like the child was about to be beaten, so I go up to comfort the child, and it hugs me very tightly. Romari noticed that suddenly had a spell on me that was hurting me slowly. Romari dispels it.

Suddenly, 3 Black Mantis leap out of buildings and ambush Ceadda, the child tries to Constrict Romari’s Heart while another Mantis grapples Romari. Thane leaps and hits the Mantis holding Ceadda, freeing him. Gronk shoots the Mantis holding Romari. The child tries to claw and Constrict my Heart, but fails. I fly up and prepare Death Rain. Mayor Steel runs across to attack Ceadda.

Ceadda kills a Mantis and grievously injures the Steel Man. Two Mantis climb up buildings to leap up to attack me, one grabs me and brings the both of us crashing to the ground. The child fails to hit me again. Gronk and Romari attack the Mantis on top of me. Thane leaps down upon it, killing it and freeing me. I unleash Death Rain upon the town. The Horrors and Constructs reel, but the townsfolk scream and head for cover in their leaky huts.

Eventually the last Mantis knocks me out. I'm told the child tries to fly away, but Gronk shoots it out of the sky. Ceadda kills the Mantis and the Steelman.

The Death Rain scares all the villagers inside, and they are panicking. They briefly try to form a mob against us, but think better of it, and scatter. Humans, Elves, Dwarfs mixed, around 100. We heal up and search the area.

We find an elven child at the brink of death, my Water spear has no effect. Ceadda uses a Last Chance Salve on it, and it does not recover. It keeps crying and rotting. We tell Ceadda to put it down, as it’s died 3 times. Thane searches the mayor's house, finds some papers which Romari memorizes to learn later. Gronk finds a tunnel under one house. We spend some more time searching, while I adjust my matrixes, then head down the tunnel.

Thane heads down first, spotting traps that were meant to kill Horrors. We may be in the entrance to the kaer. We pass several traps, none of them spring. We come to a crossroads and a suit of platemail challenges us. Gronk tries to talk to it in this new language, but it charges us anyway, along with another from around the corner.

Gronk gets bashed around a bit before Thane and Ceadda rush to save him, blocking the corridor as well. Ceadda and Thane trade hits with the 2 suits of Armor, while Gronk, Romari, and Varis try in vain to assist. We all focus fire on the one on our left. Suddenly a Gharmek crawls through the wall and ambushes Thane, allowing two other suits of armor to come through the tunnel to attack Ceadda. Ceadda falls.

While the Horrors concentrates on Thane, Thane and Gronk hit the Gharmek hard, knocking it unconscious. I cast Water Spear on Gronk and Thane to keep them going. One of the armors shakes the Gharmek back awake. Gronk puts another arrow into it, and Romari’s Mind Dagger finishes it off. The armor do not collapse, and try to take revenge on Romari. We order a retreat, and Thane grabs Ceadda’s corpse. Ceadda’s Death Cheat goes off and he’s able to walk out with us.

There's more down there. We didn't learn much. Those papers turned out to be useless. We need to free these people of the horrors.

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:59 pm

The Throlic military asked us to check out reports of probable horror activity a few days south of Borgin's Rest. We were flown there on House Garson's newest airship, and picked back up a day and a half later.

We were dropped just outside of a newly constructed wall, which we used spells to fly over. There was no sign of anybody working on, or patrolling the wall. A short way inside we found a new farm and farmhouse. Romari uses magic to learn his language and talks to him. He has never heard of "the book of tomorrow". After we got back home, Romari finds that the new language he now Speaks and Reads is Throlic!

We encounter and enter a village. It looks very new and temporary, just crude shacks thrown up while more permanent structures are constructed. Even though the structures are new, the area has has time to become well corrupted. There are about 100 Humans, Dwarves, Elves, and I think some Orcs. There is a great big metal man standing in the center of the village. The calls himself the Mayor. I could not understand what he was saying, except for the parts Romari translated. At one time everybody was looking at and speaking (in the language I do not understand) to a small boy. Veris leans down to hug the boy, and started to wheeze a little, Romari, who's eyes had that unfocused look they often get when he is trying to peer into Astral Space gave Veris a funny look, and then his left hand gives that funny little wave that it does when he Dispels Magic. I don't know what the spell was, but the child and the mayor both looked upset, and then several great big Black Mantis's jumped us. Literally, they great leaped at us from all over.

Things got real busy right then. Ceadda was grappled almost instantly, but I jumped over to that one and pulled him out. I wanted to attack the steelman, but it seems like with every blow there was somebody new to rescue from the mantis's. At one point Mantis's leap up at Veris, who was flying really high and smash him to the ground. I killed that one, and Veris tried to struggle up, but was unable and instead completed his horrible spell while still pinned under the body of the mantis. It was the first time I had ever seen his Death Rain spell, and I don't think I ever want to see it again, certainly not in a village of namegivers! It was horrible, a rain of acid fell, eating flesh wherever it touched. It even ate through the thin roofs of the village huts. The townspeople suffered horribly, those that ran into huts and found the damaged roofs leaking had to run through the rain to the edge of the village to escape. Almost all of them were hideously burned, and some died. I am not certain how much it affected the Mantis's, they certainly keened as if it affected them somewhat. The rain seemed to do little but etch the steelmans surface and his face remained impassive. At last the last foe is vanquished, including that strange child that was keeping several of the others quite occupied, and at one point was flying, so I guess it was not really namegiver child at all.

We looked upon the ruins of the new village, and the mob of villages beyond. I wanted to apologize to them, and question them about the goings on here. The Mayor, the Child, the Black Mantis's. What other horrors might be here. But they did not want to talk to any of us, and ran away whenever one of us approached. And nobody but Romari could understand them anyway.

We heard the pitious cries of a baby in the ruins of a hut. It was horribly acid burned. Veris tried to heal it, but it died. Ceadda tried a last chance salve, but the poor thing was beyond all help. Our hearts cried out at the pathos of it. Then the tiny corpse rotted in seconds before our eyes and yet starts crying again, and our hearts break some more. At length we force ourselves to leave it and begin searching the ruins of the village. I start at the nicest house in town, which turns out to have belonged to the Mayor. I find some papers that I entrust to Romari. We finish the search having found only one more thing of interest. A tunnel leading down. We do our final healing and other preparations, and head down.

The tunnel twists, and while we don't detect any traps, my danger sense allows me to leap out of the way of two of them. There are one or two other areas that I suspect might have traps and so we avoid stepping in those areas. Then we see a figure in the dimness ahead. It seems to be a suit of armor, to all appearances empty except for some glowing read eyes. Gronk and I are standing in a chokepoint, so I stay were I was until Ceadda can move up and Gronk move back. He was apparently pretty beat up. The two in front of us concentrate all their blows upon Ceadda. Suddenly a Garmek tunnels in behind us! It leads two more MornGuards! The MornGuards continue to beat Ceadda into unconsciousness, and then brutally continue beating him until dead. Then one of them drags him over next to the Garmek! There was something about the businesslike way they did this that made me think having Ceadda's dead body next to the Garmek was going to be a "bad thing". We all focused our fire on the Garmek and got it killed before it could do anything unspeakable to Ceadda's corpse.

With the Garmek down, I Picked up Ceadda and we quickly formed a line at the next chokepoint. Me and Romari (of the marvelous armor) in the front. I think we probably could have taken at least 2 of them out, and MIGHT have taken all 4. But with the Garmek dead, our primary objective was accomplished. We decided to pull out and leave finishing up the Mornguards for another day.

We ought to think of what to do about the poor villagers. Hopefully the Gahmek was the big baddy, and removing it will improve their situation. But they probably need other aid pretty desperately as well. Killing the horrors was the best thing we could have done for them. but that Deaths Rain upon them and their village was not good.
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by BattleChad » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:51 pm

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

Journal Rewards: 950 Legend Points and 525 Silver

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by BattleChad » Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Some apparently important people in Throal put out a notice that they'd like something smashed or broken away to the Southwest, so I signed up. I met with Gronk, Varis, Romari, and Thane aboard an airship that was being diverted to drop us off close to where we needed to go.

We set down and proceded onward toward our destination, making our way into some kind of trench or valley. Coming across a wall, with the help of Varis we didn't even need to climb it, and instead simply flew over and into the area beyond. Soon after, we discover a modest homestead with some livestock. Notably, some really unusual cows. I was a little distracted by the cows, Romari had a conversation with the elf that seemed to be settling the area. They spoke in some other language, I couldn't really tell what, but I was kind of distracted by those cows. Anyway, they talked for a while, Romari occasionally translating, before we made our way onward.

Not long after, we entered a small, ramshackle village that looked like it been set up quickly with less than desirable materials. Almost immediately we encountered a huge man made entirely of metal. Evidently he was the mayor of the small settlement, and told us as much, still speaking in that same language that only Romari seemed to know.

While they're talking, a small child runs into the street, and is reprimanded by the metallic mayor. Varis attempts to give succor, and embraced the child in an attempt to comfort him. Next thin I know, we're being swarmed by a group of large, black insect-like creatures. Catching me off guard, they were able to inflict a serious amount of damage before I was able to gain my footing, thanks in no small part to Thane assisting me in breaking free from their grasp. Once I found my stride and set to work, they were relatively easy to deal with, and soon I found myself face to face with the Steel. I guess he wasn't as tough as he looked, because in moments he was dead at my feet. I think that makes me the mayor now. I'll have to remember to double-check with Romari.

While all that's going on, Gronk, Romari and Varis are dealing with child, who in the meantime has transformed into a horrible creature only vaguely resembling a child at all. But they are successful in their attempts, and we soon stand alone in a deserted street. In a town where all the inhabitants are running for their lives or screaming in agony, as the Death Rain spell that Varis was able to set off during the fight does its work.

What happened immediately following this battle I’d rather not talk about. It still gives me chills to even think on, so you’d be better asking one of my companions if you want the full story. Suffice it to say, we soon found an entrance that lead underground, and with time playing some factor in our mission here, we continued on with only a minimal amount of time spent tending to our wounds.

Not long after our descent, we were stopped by what looked like a living suit of plate armor. After some pointless talk, it engaged us in battle, while another similar entity emerged from the shadows to join its brethren. Thane and I attempted to hold the line and block the passage in an attempt to keep the spellcasters and Archer at the range they were most comfortable with.

But it soon became clear that this was not going to be an easy fight. These armored entities were incredibly skilled combatants, making it very difficultnto inflict any kind of meaningful damage, while they themselves were more than capable of doing damage to us.

To make matters worse, the wall to our left some crumbled as a Gharmek tunneled its way into our midst, allowing two more of the Armored constructs into our ranks. I fought as fiercely as I could, but with my already existing injuries, I was unable to hold and soon fell under their merciless barrage of attacks. I am told that my companions fought bravely and slew the Gharmek, but were forced to retreat before finishing off the rest of the enemies. Thane was kind enough to haul my senseless body up from underground, so I now live to fight another day.

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by etherial » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:36 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Ceadda for his contribution.

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by etherial » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:04 am

From the journal of Gronk Longtusk

15 Rua, 1424 T.H.
A group of Novice Adepts have identified an earthwork allegedly being raised by a Horror. His Majesty's Corps of Engineers has asked us to check it out and ensure that all Horror activity has ceased. We'll be dropped into the area by an Airship as it's passing by and then reconnoiter with it again tomorrow. The others think this is to try to trick the Horror into thinking that nobody's investigating it, but my gut says that the Dwarves are just trying to make sure none of them are in any danger.

17 Rua
Our Airship has departed Borgan's Rest en route to the earthwork. It is a valley that is being walled off by bricks of clay created from loose baskets with moistened dirt within. It could become a formidable wall if we allow it to continue.

18 Rua
With utmost care, I snuck on ahead to guard my allies as they explored the lost valley. First we arrived at a small homestead under construction by a single Elf. He greets Romari warmly in a language none of us recognize, but Romari and I quickly decipher the words and understand it to be the Theran tongue - not often heard in this part of Barsaive. He is also unfamiliar with our greeting ritual. Art is performed by all sides and he informs us that he was unaware there were other survivors nearby. Very strange as we are well within Throal's pre-Scourge sphere of influence.

Beyond was a village, built like those pre-Scourge towns I've read about that had no defensive measures in their periphery. We are able to walk right in and speak to some manner of Construct made of Steel that claimed to be its Mayor. A small child appeared and began pleading with the "Mayor", and right before I concluded we had to interfere, the child revealed itself to be a Construct as well, unleashing its tendrils on Varis and trying to siphon his lifefore.

As I unslung my bow and prepared to unload on the creature, some gigantic preying mantises appeared, coated in black ichor, ambushing my allies. Ceadda was seized and his attacker tried to bite his head off. Varis was likewise brought down, but was able to cast his Death Rain spell before being knocked out. This was...not the best plan. The acid rain killed the mantises, sure, but it began to melt the entire village. Including the villagers. The cries of the children certainly made me question whether Varis were Horror-marked.

We began to explore the ruined village and found a half-dead infant. We tried to apply healing aids to it, but it blew away to dust in our hands. Everyone in the village was a Construct. As the search went on, I found a tunnel in one of the houses. I couldn't make out any of the tracks, but it was clear there was a large number of the villagers had gone down there. Down into the tunnel we went. Thane kept running off ahead triggering traps. I would've preferred to find them myself, but at least he found them all.

A turn in the tunnel opened into a crossroads, which made for a nice little kill zone. A sole figure stood in the center of the crossroads, so I went to parlay. It charged. Ceadda and Thane moved forward to form a line, which was a very smart move since the figure had friends. The four of them were like ambulatory suits of plate mail, empowered by Corruption itself. They were tough opponents and threatened to overwhelm us when their master, a Gharmek of Unusual Size, burst through the wall into our midst and they started pouring in to flank us. Fortunately the master proved weaker than the servants and with us focusing fire on it, the Gharmek went down.

That move was not without cost, however. Ceadda had ceased to move and the Constructs were still quite far from being defeated, so we sounded the retreat. Romari and Thane holding the line in the retreat and we made it out of the tunnel with our skins intact.

19 Rua
Having properly revived Ceadda, we are picked up by the Dwarves and report in.

Ceadda, male Human Warrior
Gronk Longtusk, male Ork Archer/Liberator
Romari Savre, male Elf Wizard
Thane Cawdor, male Troll Sky Raider

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Re: AAR Searchin’ for the heart of the stone

Post by BattleChad » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:42 am

The Great Library of Throal thanks Gronk for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 950 Legend Points and 525 Silver