The Dying Lands

Plots and Counterplots
Session 03: Plots and Counterplots

Quick Summary
Jonn Pieter, after several days trapped in a storage room, finally manages to saw his way out and escape. Meanwhile, Drakot receives a challenge from an enemy lizardman and travels off to defend his honor. During this time, S’rathaad meets Alyssa, a Guard who knew Jeral. She gives him a gift and asks him to assassinate a High Guard. On his way back to the caves, he finds Thurkear, who just disrupted a nest of spiders. They kill three spiders, and then met Qingron, who had just climbed his way out of a cave in. Brandis was apparently trapped somewhere within. They explored, looking for Brandis for a while, before encounter a strange green spider creature which none were able to identify. Eventually, they were met by Krynt, a Guard friendly with Thurkear, who seemed to distrust S’rathaad. Later, while Krynt and Thurkear were alone Krynt asked Thurkear to kill S’rathaad.

The three then traveled to some mines, where they encountered a swarm of spiderlings and a spitting spider. They then encountered Alyssa, and negotiated. S’rathaad agreed to kill the Captain of the West, but in exchange for the freedom of several Stoneclaws. They then ventured to the specialist district, before arriving at the district of the West Guard.

Detailed Summary
Jonn Pieter finally managed to saw his way through a wall with a serrated implement he found in a chest. After exiting the building, he was able to creep stealthily away. However, he almost ran into another Guard, before finally there was an explosion and Guards were running everywhere. Some followed Jonn, and one caught him, but he was able to bloody his nose and escape into the night.

Meanwhile, S’rathaad meets a lizardman named Mat’rathar, who he recognized as a member of the Stoneclaw tribe. Mat’rathar brings the unfortunate news that many Stoneclaws were captured. S’rathaad is very disappointed by the failings of his tribe. Around this time, Thurkear, while exploring some caves, comes across a huge cavern covered with spider webs. He also sees an ominous, dark shape in the center. He lights the webs on fire, causing many spiderlings to run around, and three follow him out.

S’rathaad is called by a female member of the Guard. She claims she is a friend of Jeral, and after some discussion, convinces S’rathaad to come back to her house. At Alyssa’s house, S’rathaad meets Rogath, another member of the Guard. They give S’rathaad an Eversmoking Flask, claiming it is from Jeral. They then ask S’rathaad to assassinate the Captain of the Western Guard, a man known as Vantajar. S’rathaad agrees to possibly try, and then leaves.

While Thurkear and S’rathaad are out exploring, Qingron is playing his guitar and Brandis is snacking on some snake jerkey. A rumbling starts, and rocks begin to fall. Brandis is able to stay ahead of the rocks, but runs into a dead end and is trapped. Qingron is grievously injured, but is able to crawl out.

After escaping the spiderlings, Thurkear and S’rathaad encounter Qingron. The three begin to search for Brandis. As they explore, they encounter a strange greenish creature which they slay with ease. Eventually, they hear three people. These three people turn out to be three Guards, one of which is a friend of Thurkear’s, Krynt. There are also two females, one of which, it is later discovered, is named Artana.

Krynt wants to talk to Thurkear, and so they travel back to Krynt’s house (which is connected to the caves). Krynt refuses to allow S’rathaad to come, but S’rathaad follows anyways. In the house, Krynt has a simple request. S’rathaad must be killed before anything else can happen. Thurkear says he will. However, as Krynt opens the door to have them leave, S’rathaad is caught listening. Krynt tells Thurkear he expects S’rathaad’s head in 24 hours, and Thurkear and Qingron tumble away with S’rathaad.

The three travel, and eventually reach an area actively being mined, before they are assaulted by spiderling and a poison-spitting spider. In the middle of the fight, Alyssa arrives, after the spiders are killed. The three talk to Alyssa. Alyssa knows of the conversation with Krynt. She then explains the situation:

  1. Krynt wants S’rathaad dead in 24 hours.
  2. Krynt knows S’rathaad is trying to kill Vantajar.
  3. If you bring another dead lizardman to Krynt, and Vantajar is killed later, he will be extremely suspicious.
    Therefore, you must kill Vantajar within 24 hours, and then find a suitable lizardman to substitute as S’rathaad.

S’rathaad agrees to do the task, but only if Alyssa agrees to release captive Stoneclaw lizardmen. The two make a deal, and the three travel to a specialty district. Here, they buy a magic rod, a hand crossbow, and a longbow, before finally setting off and arriving at the gate of the district of the Western Guard.

It is early in the morning, around 2 am, and the wall is patrolled by Guards.

Notes

  • In the time between this session and the second session, Thurkear researched and created an arcane familiar. A familiar named Falcy, Falcy is a Falcon with several quirks.
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Miracle District
Session 02: Miracle District

Quick Summary
Three characters, Qingron Cadhir, Brandis Regdar, and Drakot, now outlaws, escaped from a prison with the help of their two allies, Thurkear Arcaniss and S’rathaad. They killed six guards, and escaped from the rest. Eventually, their way into some of Thurkear’s caves, and made their way back to Master Theon. Master Theon told them of several places in which to gain food, including a “Miracle District.” The four heroes (for S’rathaad was now following them in hiding) made their way to the district and gave Brandis, in the form of a pony, to some guards. After Brandis failed to escape, they got into a fight, and dispatched fifteen guards, as well as driving away Gryphero Targana. They also captured several animals and gained the equivalent of close to one hundred rations.

Detailed Summary
After Brandis has previously taken the form of a snake to slither through the bars of his cell, he returned to human form and began fighting the two Guards that were in the halls. Unfortunately, Drakot and Qingron were still trapped inside the cell, and were only able to occasionally jab at the Guards as the fight raged. Meanwhile, Thurkear and S’rathaad were able to figure out what was happening inside, and so began to distract the Guards outside. They were eventually able to lure away and kill two Guards.

Meanwhile, inside the prison, Thurkear was nearly killed in snake form and was knocked unconscious, losing the tip of his tail. Drakot was then able to grab him, and Qingron and Drakot successfully escaped with him. Once outside, they ran from the Guards, S’rathaad made it onto the roofs, and Thurkear and Qingron escaped down allies. Eventually, after several close encounters they were able to rejoin one another. They found their way to some caves and slept, regaining much needed strength.

The next day, they traveled through caves and found their way into an old barn with plenty of hay. They realized that S’rathaad was missing, though they thought that they had just seen him. They didn’t have much time to ponder this as a farmer walked in, he allowed them to leave, but gave them no food.

After talking to Master Theon, they learned of several ways to gain food, such as a migration of large animals in a week, as well as a meeting of black market merchants. After some deliberation, they decided on heading to a “Miracle District” where it was rumored there was plenty of food. There plan was to send in Brandis as a pony, then have him turn into a snake and escape.

After being turned away the first day by a guard outside the district, they return early the next day to execute their plan.

The plan had two main flaws. First, the food was a trap, it was illusory. Second, Brandis was not able to escape. Thurkear argued with a guard, and eventually Qingron dressed a Guard also argued, they were admitted, and then Gryphero attempted to kill them.

A fight broke out, but it was easily won by the characters. S’rathaad broke through the roof and helped Brandis escape. In the end, they captured a horse, a bear, several snakes, and an owlbear. They slaughtered these animals and feasted, returning to Master Theon’s house, as S’rathaad once again slipped into shadows.

Notes

  • Several rounds passed during which Drakot and Qingron could have escaped, but decided not to search one Guard’s body for keys because they saw them on the other one. Finally, after numerous hints from the Dungeon Master, they searched the body and were able to join the fight.
  • Brandis permanently lost his two smallest toes on each foot as the tip of his tail was chopped off in snake form. I forgot to mention this during the session.
  • Several districts were mentioned including the Capital District, a prison district, numerous residential districts, and the “Miracle District”
  • The characters met Rosalyn Oakenheart, who claimed she and 8 or 9 others were planning to kill Kan, they called themselves the Rainfall (Drakot and Qingron each gave her one gold coin, Thurkear gave her a copper)
  • Over the course of the session, the players met several Guards and civilians whom they killed, characters not killed include: a farmer with a barn that has an entrance into the caves, Rosalyn Oakenheart (see above), Gryphero Targana, and of course Master Theon.
  • Krynt Falck, a friend of Thurkear’s was also mentioned
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Sunset
Session 01: Sunset

Quick Summary
Five Eastern Guardsmen were interrupted while playing Three Dragon Ante by a lizardman and six humans. The lizardman demanded payment in the name of Kan, and when refused, attacked the five Eastern Guardsmen. Almost all were killed, although the Guardsmen killed the lizardman in the process. Only Jonn Pieter escaped alive. Meanwhile, in another part of town, five hungry people were gathered together by Master Theon. They made a plan to steal food from a banquet at sunset, but unfortunately it went wrong. They were chased away, and eventually caught by eight Guardsmen who were able to capture three of them, Qingron, Drakot, and Brandis. Thurkear and S’rathaad escaped, and followed the guards to the prison that the other three were taken to.

Detailed Summary
In Athrandro Kan, five Eastern Guardsmen met together after a day of doing their duties. As they usually did, Regdar Goldvein, Bradburn Johnson, Alek Darksun, Brandis Darksun and Jonn Pieter sat down and played several rounds of Three Dragon Ante. In the middle of a round, they were interrupted by a large, brutish lizardman. He requested all of their valuables in the name of Kan, and when they refused he attacked, along with six men he had brought along. After killing the lizardman things went bad for the Guards. Bradburn was killed, and when Regdar and Alek both fell unconcious, Brandis agreed to their terms, and went to fetch his valuables, only to return to find Alek dead. Brandis was knocked unconscious, and likely killed. Jonn Pieter was able to hide in a backroom, and heard only a man say “If Kan finds out what we are planning, he will not be pleased.”

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, five men, (two lizardmen and three humans,) were brought together by Master Theon. Master Theon told them of a banquet served for the high ranking Guardsmen, and how the food there could easily last months. After a long while planning, they set out, waiting for over an hour, they finally knocked out a Guard at the kitchen door and dressed up Qingron Cadhir in his uniform. Followed by Drakot, (a lizardman masquerading as a slave,) Qingron entered the kitchen and told the Guards inside that they were dismissed. When one Guard remained unconvinced, partly because of Drakot’s poor portrayal of a slave, Qingron drew his blade and attacked him with the hilt. Unfortunately, he was not able to knock the wind out of him, and the Guard was able to call for help. Soon, Guards came charging in, but were distracted when Thurkear Arcaniss caused a bright flash in the door to the outside.

The Guards left Qingron and Drakot alone and ran outside to investigate. Catching Thurkear, they threw him to the ground, but he was saved when Drakot came bolting out with the food. Knocking the Guards away, the three made a run for it, while their companion Brandis morphed into a cheetah and sprinted ahead. Meanwhile, their fifth companion, S’rathaad, darted into a side alley and ran along side streets.

Unfortunately, Qingron, Drakot, and Thurkear were caught, and faced eight Guards in the street. Even with the help of S’rathaad and Brandis, the Guards did not fall quickly enough, and when Drakot was close to death, and Brandis unconscious as well, Qingron surrendered. Thurkear and S’rathaad escaped, and followed the three to the prison where they were taken. After the three regained their strength, Brandis changed into a large snake and slid through the bars, morphing into a dragon hatchling as he prepared to kill the Guard in the hallway.

Notes

  • Originally, Brandis’ player named Brandis, Benn; however, his name was later changed to Brandis, any mention of Benn should be reported so that it can be updated to Brandis
  • A series of events, including a failed bluff check by Drakot, the decision of Qingron to attempt to knock out a Guardsman with the hilt of his sword and a subsequent failed roll, along with the failure of three out of five attempts to run away resulted in the characters being attacked by more Guardsmen then they could handle
  • For the purposes of role-playing and story, Benn was permitted to use his wild shape ability to transform into any other “medium” sized creatures
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