Getting the band back together
Reuniting some old friends and some new companions on an unwelcome mission. A hundred years have passed since the previous campaign. This was the inaugural session for the new campaign, held on my birthday.
Characters: Mud, Enkirash, Obsidia, Genesa
Mud is lost in the woods after the failure of his experimental wings. He sees Snatchers nearby so he is being extra sneaky, which for Mud is not very sneaky at all. He is in a very dark and desolate part of the woods and has the feeling no-one has been here for a long, long time. He comes across an ice sculpture of an elf woman, which is not unusual, broken ice sculptures are scattered around the woods and elsewhere, but they are all broken, sometimes down to just the sculture’s feet. This is the first time he’s seen one that is completely whole and the sculpture looks so lifelike. He can see the fear in her eyes as she throws up her hands to ward off something only she can see. She looks so cold.
Mud isn’t cold, he’s been tramping around in the woods with all his gadget materials in his cloak of warmth and he’s sweating, so he takes off the cloak, throws it over the statue’s head, and begins gathering sticks for a fire. Fortunately, the Snatchers are moving off and aren’t very suspicious this deep in the woods. Behind him he hears a sudden intake of breath and a voice say softly, “help.”
The last thing Enkirash remembers is confronting the Mad Queen, desperate to stop her after discovering her plan to drain all power from this world so she could invade Faerie to defeat her sister. But she was not strong enough and now she is so cold down to her bones, there is something wet and soggy over her face, and she can’t move her arms or legs. She shakes her head, and the wet (but warm) cloth falls from her face. She can see a strange looking dwarf, his many pockets and pouches bulging with gears, tools, bits of glass and metal and other oddments. His back is to her as he gathers sticks and she takes her first breath and whispers, “help.”
Mud turns and realizes Enkirash is not a statue, but a frozen elf and he helps her to thaw until she can move, and loans her his cloak of warmth. He is lost, but Enkirash knows where she is and how to get back to the town that mysteriously popped up near Orintheldir Manor, so she leads the way, even though the trails seem to have all changed and even the trees are different than she remembers. As they get close, Mud realizes where they are and exclaims, “oh, we’re back at Weaseling!”
And indeed, where Enkirash remembers a fake town thrown together in days by orc slaves and populated by soldiers, there is now a real town, populated mainly by orcs and elves, who appear to be living together peacefully. In the town square there is a statue to “Clovis, Hero of the Battle of Weaseling.” Mud has a friend in town named Obsidia, even odder than he is, a Salamander from far to the west, who could usually be found at the Battered Wombat Inn, so they headed there, only to find it full of soldiers and Hilvy, Champion of the Mad Queen. In addition to Obsidia, Hilvy had a prisoner tied and gagged securely, lying on the floor of the inn, an elvish woman Enkirash recognized as Genesa.
The companions, or prisoners, are being given a mission that is almost certain death as “leniency” by the Mad Queen: to venture into the underworld and bring back to her the Mask of Pain, a powerful artifact that, when worn, causes debilitating pain to whomever the wearer gazes upon. They are instructed to bring it back, and that returning from the underworld without it will cause Hilvy to kill everyone they love.
As Hilvy and the soldiers escort them to the ghost town of what used to be Skagway, where the entrance to the underworld is, she tells them bitterly about her life and duties as the Champion of Selene. “The things she’s made me do would curdle your blood,” she says, “and in fact, curdling blood is a thing I can do now.” As she says this, three owlbears attack from the woods. She cuts two down effortlessly and just stares at the third, which falls over dead. She cuts it open to reveal that indeed its blood has curdled.
The entrance to the underworld is a round pit covered by both an iron grate and a huge stone that can only be opened from above. In the pit is a shaft about 15’ across that appears to have been chewed into the stone, straight down, with rough handholds leading down into the darkness. After the grate is locked over their heads and the stone rolled into place, Obsidia summons some darts of fire to light the way and they climb down and down for a thousand feet into the earth until the come to a small round room with a floor of sand and pebbles. Two dead soldiers lie here, one with its head bashed in, one with its throat ripped out, both wearing the Mad Queen’s livery. The players liberate crossbows and shortswords fromt the corpses, along with a few coins and a sketchy map.
- Bloodbats & Genesa’s parkour
- Dead giant
- Beetle ghosts
- Tunnel with door guarded by minotaurs
- Have to leave their weapons to pass into the Protectorate
- Looking for the city of Styx on the river Jarl, much deeper in the underworld
- Passing through the door there are stairs down and a passage straight ahead
We forgot to give experience at the end of the night, so we can start with that next time.