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Game Session Recaps
Since abandoning the unsuccessful Journals, I have decided that I would use my gaming notes to provide a highlight reel of our group's adventures.  This may help my fellows remember our place in the game now that we have transitioned to an every other week schedule.

Highlights of Episode One
Erath, - Melwid 4-5th, CY1031

Through various means of travel six strangers came to Solare, the capitol of Sedaria.  A human priestess from Onastia, a human guardsman from Errod, a human sorcerer from Endel, plus a Dwarven bard from the same land, and from the south there was a Human soldier from Mandagar, and a subtle Elven male (with nefarious skills) from mysterious Shandeer.  Wolf of Errod knew both Blaylocke the bard, and Jolrael the Endelian sailor before hand, through brief encounters.  Blaylocke had the luck to know Jolly well as he often traveled by ship.  Enkili and Riardon met in Talmain and journeyed together by ship and land to the northern nations.  Only Leiya of Onastia had no constant company in her travels, though she did meet Enkili in Solare’s magnificent library days after she introduced herself to the nunnery of Melwen.

Although they had all come for their own reasons, they all noticed that a public play, “The Lion Of The Ancients” was going to be performed on the 4th day of the month Melwid.  Those actors held a great amount of local renown, so much so that the locals just had to share their excitement with foreigners.  So, again each of them had their own reasons, the six strangers made their way to the show.  Blaylocke, Jolrael, and Leiya came on their own, scoping out their individual places behind the screen of nobles and idle rich.  Wolf was acting as a diplomatic bodyguard, protecting his client as they watched the show.  Rodor the rogue and Enkili circulated through the crowd scoping out marks to be pick pocketed, but the play sucked them in.

As advertised the actors were excellent and had the crowed hooked all the way up to the rising action of the story, where the plots wove together to show the direction the conflict would take.  At that moment, from the stage, a fireball burst out, immolating the actors and the front ranks of the well to do audience.  Wolf was caught in the fire and almost died from the inferno.  Jolrael was burned but shielded by a fat patron of the arts, his first instinct was to rise and bring aid to those who were hurt.  Blaylocke was just outside of the blast zone so avoided harm, he too scrambled to aid the injured.  Leiya was the first to her feet, her healing spells and medicinal skills saved scores of lives.

Riardon, whose child name is Rodor, dove away from the spell attack and saw a red devil creature scuttle away from the play across the roof of a nearby building.  His finger drew Enkili’s gaze.  The Mandagan man was no healer, but chasing down assassins felt like the right thing to do, Riardon was forced to follow when his human friend set off in pursuit.  The Elf tumbled over objects in the alley as Enkili vaulted or plowed through the flotsam to gain ground on a Tiefling male running just ahead of them.

Enkili caught up with the Tiefling and tried to grab and detain the red skinned, tailed miscreant.  The soldier missed his grab, but the man with fiendish ancestry turned and tried to gut the Mandagan with a short sword.  Riardon placed two well aimed arrows in the villain, which gave Enkili a chance to draw Dandân Va Panjay, the giant sword he had inherited from his father, and cut the Tiefling down.  City watch fell upon the two southerners preventing them from looting the dead being.  They were questioned and then sent home… which was the shabby dockside inn, The Rusty Bedpan.

Unbeknownst to each other, Jolrael, Blaylocke and a healed Wolf also were staying at The Rusty Bedpan.  In the morning the six “heroes” found official looking summonses addressed to them.  The address was to a mansion like house of learning.  Inside they were met by a man named Wellborn Huxley, a wizard at the upper end of the hierarchy at Wizard’s Peak.  After exposing that he knew too much about the heroes, Wellborn offered the six the opportunity to do odd jobs for Wizard’s Peak.

They were offered gold, magic, and/or knowledge as the various forms of payment they could receive.  Their first job would pay them 75 gold and a minor potion of healing to discover why the dead in Valgren’s graveyard were so restless; a local catacomb dedicated to the god Gurthen.  They were given the night to think the offer over.  Only Leiya and Enkili did not seem enamored of the monetary reward, she due to the frugality of her faith, he because of his high station in life.  They all returned the next day, though Leiya still expressed doubts as to her suitability for such adventurous endeavors.

Highlights of Episode Two
Erath, - Melwid 6-7th, CY1031

Before Wellborn could congratulate them, much less greet them, Enkili asked if he or Wizard’s Peak had ever heard of a man tall Mandagan great sword that had the symbol of seven winged bulls on it, each bull had a full moon cradled between its horns and each moon a pentagram.  The mage claimed ignorance then introduced them to Groundskeeper Cassyt, an acolyte of Gurthen.  She would be their guide through Valgren’s catacombs.  They made it clear to the heroes that Cassyt would not help them with anything except leading them through the benighted depth of the graveyard.

Through a recently reconstructed mausoleum, they found their way down into the catacombs, the first room they came across held a winch and pulley system that was little more than a dumbwaiter to lower the dead into the lower depths of the catacomb system.  The next room had a bone pit with a narrow ledge that led to another room, Wolf, Enkili, and Riardon used their athletic/acrobatic training to cross the pit, while Blaylocke, Jolly, Leiya and Cassyt remained behind.  The fighting men and rogue found three recently dug up corpses laying in a gnawed upon heap.  When they moved to investigate these corpses three ghouls burst out of the dark and assailed them.

Jolrael, Leiya, and Blaylocke made the treacherous route around the pit and came running.  They added sling stones, spells, and bard song to the arrow fire of Riardon.  Wolf and Enkili plied their swords and managed to not be paralyzed by the undead’s touch. 

Highlights of Episode Three
Erath, - Melwid 7th, CY1031

After seeking loot and secret doors (unsuccessfully), the party skirted the pit of bones and rejoined Cassyt, whom some in the party maligned for not defending their gods turf.  Our heroes next came across a flight of rickety stairs leading down to a landing, then descended around a corner with more worm eaten stairs.  Anchoring each other with rope, they made it down both flights without mishap.  They were greeted by a medium sized statue of a four armed goddess that had insectoid features, an object that did not belong in the catacombs.

Beyond the statue was the catacombs “sun room”, a place that Gurthen’s followers used to kill vampires centuries ago.  There were dead thieves there along with their rope.  Six zombies fast walked into the room and beset the party before they could loot the fallen of their ropes and other gear.  After a desperate fight where Enkili loaned Blaylocke his short bow and arrows, they learned that it took massive amounts of damage to render zombies inert.  They had to rest an hour after this fight in order to tend their wounds and catch their breaths.  The dead robbers had four hemp ropes, one grappling hook, a bag of ball bearings, and two thieves tool kits.  It was determined that the would be robbers were victims of the undead rather than the motive for their rising.

Highlights of Episode four
Erath, - Melwid 7th, CY1031

in a room just South of the “sun room” was an obelisk inscribed with celestial writing, which they could identify but not read.  This room had not been ransacked of corpses as many other places had been.  Down another flight of rickety steps Riardon thought he had detected some form of trap, but drawing upon the Dwarven bard’s native knowledge of stonework, it was determined that two different craftsmen had worked upon the stairs.

After negotiating that set of treacherous steps they found a room where the dead were plastered into the walls as friezes in some form of macabre scenes.  Half way across this chilling room animated skeletons dropped upon them from the ceiling.  Again they were set upon by an even half dozen undead, and prevailed only by taking injury.  Leiya used her healer’s kit upon almost everyone but Cassyt.

Down another flight of steps was a room where bones were stacked along the wall, but upon shelves above those remains were skulls neatly lined up.  In an old script written on the walls the party determined that they could each ask the dead a question.  One by one they made a query and were answered by myriad voices that mostly admitted they did not know.  Enkili found the skull of Al’marihm of the Sacred Oasis who begged him to be returned home.

After receiving mostly disappointing answers to their questions the party moved on.  Riardon had to pick the lock to a side room wherein they found the bones of a dead noble who had a floating crown and other vestiges of great magic to her.  It all turned out to be stage magic and showmanship for a dead woman.  Cassyt locked this shrine of vanity up after we left.  They came across another room where the dead were posed in parodies of living scenes.

Beyond, the group found an intersection to the west while their hallway continued on southward.  Curiosity drew them west.  They found a room with zombies, though one kobold was sighted.  Instead of spilling into the room where the undead could attack them all in great number, they drew the undead into the bent and curved hall where they could outnumber the zombies in attacks.  The zombies resiliency was easier to overcome when the entire party could strike at them with missiles or melee weapons as a pack.  Still the fighters took great damage holding their line, and they begged for a rest when the fight seemed to end.

Highlights of Episode Five
Erath, - Melwid 7th, CY1031

Jolrael, who had noticed that no kobolds had been part of the attack scouted ahead.  He found trouble immediately, even as his friends were trying to figure out the best place to take a break.  The rest of the party learned of his deed when he detonated a spell that caused the wall and ceiling to collapse upon him.  The racket drew the party back down the bottle necked hall into the room where they had met the zombies.

Three Kobolds were ranged around the downed sorcerer, and it was due to the rapid approach of Jolrael’s friends that he not only lived, but was healed enough to rejoined the fight.  Gathering together in a northern entry into that room, the kobolds taunted the heroes and plied their slings.  As the group closed upon the half dog half dragon humanoids a human in fell religious robes burst through the kobolds with a scimitar, when that priest was cut down a fighting man in plate armor entered the room and began to drop the party one by one, his prowess was that great.

Through luck, and some skilled shots from Riardon and Enkili, two kobolds and that doughty fighter were slain.  The remaining kobold and a few other people escaped through a tunnel the kobolds had dug, though they dropped some papers and maps in their haste to escape.  The party gained a map to “Darsta”, which had been the reason they had infiltrated the catacombs.  They also left behind a fancy writing kit, 8 platinum pieces, 20 gold, 10 electrum pieces, and 50 coins of silver in a locked box.  On top of that the kobolds and priest yielded 10 gold crowns more, a healing salve, a tinderbox, a fancy hairbrush, bashed up plate armor, a scimitar and a great sword as loot.  As a bonus from Wellborn, he granted each party member the aforementioned droughts of healing.

Highlights of Episode Six
Erath, - Melwid 16th, CY1031

After training the group came together to share the spoils from solving the undead problem in Valgren’s graveyard.  Then they voted on whether they should remain banded together or not.  The most reluctant member of their crew, Leiya remained only because her Melwenite sisterhood had tasked her with finding out why the symbol of a chain bound winged heart was showing up where many children had gone missing.

Also, the proprietor of the Rusty Bedpan had been marked for death by a band of fifteen ruffians known as The Skulkers.  Borman (the Bedpan’s owner), had asked Blaylocke for their help in keeping him alive.  As they were deciding how best to deal with these situations a note was delivered to Enkili and Riardon.  Evidently the father of the slain Tiefling was upset at them, claiming they had killed an innocent man, and stating that revenge would be had.

Researchers from Wizard’s Peak, from Wellborn Huxley, had discovered that there was a scrying device in the ruins of “Darsta”.  Enkili was told that he would be able to find clues to the whereabouts of his family’s lost heirloom.

Highlights of Episode Seven
Erath, - Melwid 16th, CY1031

Unable to choose a course of action, due to lacking knowledge on any of their immediate choices, they decided that they each need to go on fact finding missions through out Solare.  Leiya poked around regions where her chained heart symbol had shown up, trying to find a lead on the missing children.  A homeless woman filled her in on an old group of slavers who use the chained heart symbol to intimidate whole societies.

Riardon and Blaylocke attempted to contact the underground powers of the city to learn about the chained heart symbol and The Skulkers.  Their efforts turned up little so they approached Wellborn in his scholarly abode.  The representative of Wizard’s Peak, also, could not provide any information on either avenue of research.

Wolf and Enkili sought out the city watch to make their inquiries.  Upset over the Tiefling’s note the Mandagan asked after the investigation into the attack on the play, and found out that the gendarmes had concluded it a shut and done case, Baredal Mourgan (the Tiefling) was the guilty party; as was every Tiefling just for existing.  Playing at being an envoy from Al Madii, Enkili shamed them into putting forth further effort.  He explained that the cities elite had been attacked at the play, and those who lost loved ones would bear powerful grudges if answers were not found.  Wolf found out that The Skulkers could be found in Suther’s Alley; behind the Rusty Bedpan.

Making the assumption that the chained heart symbol and the tales of missing children was the act of slavers, Jolrael decides to investigate the docks.  After many conversations he stumbles across The Torrent, a ship and crew that were the actual slavers Leiya was after.  Or so it seemed.  They watched the Sorcerer as he ambled on his way back to The Rusty Bedpan.

Before the party could assemble and disclose their knowledge, Blaylocke had to perform his brand of music to earn his stay at the Rusty Bedpan.  He and Jolly thrilled the super time crowd.  Before that Enkili had an encounter in Suther’s Alley with a pair of glowing red eyes that vanished before he could close.  When the musical set was done they all tried to speak at once, but as they imparted their news they were disturbed by a scream from the kitchen.  Borman’s daughter, who worked at The Rust Bedpan, had been taken by men sporting tattoos with the chained heart with wings, bound by chains!

Highlights of Episode Eight
Erath, - Melwid 16-17th, CY1031

Learning that the girl had been hustled off down Suther’s Alley they party set off at a charge in the hopes of cutting off the slavers before they made their escape.  At a ‘T’ intersection they were set upon by four Skulker’s and their wererat lieutenant.  They attacked with crossbows from the rooftops, completely surprising the heroes.  After taking a good amount of damage, they all figured out their individual routes up to the roof tops, and took the battle to the Skulkers.  Killing three of the regular Skulkers, and charming another, their boss, Boscar shifted to full rat shape and escaped.

They barely had time to loot the dead before Jolly summoned the watch (who were at The Rusty Bedpan at the time).  They had to answer a series of questions before they were allowed to go after the abducted girl.  Noting signs that the nearby sewer grate was often used (but not that night) they headed for the docks where The Torrent was moored.  In a dark alley overlooking the river, the crew took a short break while arguing how best to get on board that slaver ship.

Highlights of Episode Nine
Erath, - Melwid 17th, CY1031

No consensus could be made concerning their choice of approaching The Torrent, seven crossbow armed sailors stalked her deck and all their choices had big holes.  Finally, Blaylocke started to change into a disguise right in the middle of the trail.  He instructed Enkili and Wolf to act as his guards who were to have custody of Riardon and Jolrael, who were to act as recently purchased slaves.  Leiya was supposed to act as the bards assistant writing the “noble’s” thoughts down as they walked.

Disguised as a disgruntled noble customer who wished to exchange two defective slaves for better owned help, they demanded an immediate exchange from the crew.  The crew let the adventurer’s aboard just to toy with them, but found out that they had bitten off more than they could chew.  The Slaver crew proved a tough nut to crack and it was through Jolly’s magic that they intimidated the survivors to flee their own ship.

Jolrael and Enkili volunteered to remain on deck to raise anchor, remove the gangplank, then threaten the mooring lines.  That left the rest of the party to go below to search for slaves.  The ship proved to have four decks.  Just as the chained and penned children were found, the Torrent's crew returned from the city with reinforcements.  Riardon and Blaylocke raced to free each individual as Wolf searched for keys and information.  Leiya found an oil barrel to use as a weapon even as Enkili and Jolly sawed at the mooring lines of the ship.  The slavers manned little fishing boats moored to the dock to come after The Torrent.

Ushering the children to the top deck took time, and despite heroic efforts from Jolrael and Enkili, the slavers began to swarm up grappling ropes to gain the deck of their own ship.  Using her oil to craft flaming crossbow bolts, Leiya charged up to the deck to shoot one of the boats that held kegs labeled as oil; she missed.  Rodor joined her along the railing as Enkili and Jolrael were being cut to ribbons; the rogues burning arrow flew true.  The keg of oil proved to be something else, that alchemical something exploded taking half the dock and part of the ship with it.  Jolrael was nearly killed in the blast.

With the ship sinking the crew abandoned their attempt to retake The Torrent.  They dove back into the water just as the children made it onto the deck.  Replacing the gangplank the adventurers attempted to herd the kids to safety, but with the sinking vessel going down so rapidly, most of those kids panicked and jumped overboard.  Most of the party crossed over and tossed found ropes to haul the kids out of the water, and Enkili roped the dock so he could swim to the dock carrying children.  Even though most of the kids could not swim every one was nonetheless saved.

Highlights of Episode ten
Erath, - Melwid 17th, CY1031

Guiding the children along, the party noticed several slavers working with the local city watch as they slipped up the trail away from the docks; confirming their suspicions that the guards were in the pay of the slavers.  Being stealthy they remanded most of the kids to the clergy of Melwen, then rested for eight hours.

When the heroes rose mid morning, Riardon found a visitor waiting for him.  This messenger from the criminal underground claimed that they had stomped out the last of the slavers, but the party had to kill the last witnesses to the slavers endeavors; the Skulkers who had been in the Chained Heart’s employ.  Though most of the group disliked the “leave no survivor’s” mandate, they still agreed to enter the sewers to search out the ruffians.  Before they set off on that task they tried to warn the city watch and Wellborn of the corrupt guards along the docks.  The papers recovered from the Torrent were not sufficient to be proof of the guards and a certain magistrates wrong doing.  They were gifted with silvered weapons though, Wizard’s Peak did not like the idea of lycanthropes owning Solare’s drainage system.

After entering the sewers they found a blood trail from the sniper Blaylocke had charmed the night before, that lead them to a stair.  At the bottom of the stair was a west side door, with another west side door up top, the tunnel continued but turned west after both rooms.  Storming the first room resulted in a sprung ambush.  Three Skulkers and a new wererat tried to cut the heroes down with crossbow fire.  The party’s fighters raged through the rank and file with abandon.  Reinforcements came from the back of the room, from a series of tunnels that would prove to connect with the door at the top of the stairs. One party member recieved a bite from the highly infectious rodent lycanthropes.

The groups violence cowed the new Skulker’s and their lieutenant, they all ran to get help pursued by all but Jolrael and Riardon.  Those two suspected that the Skulkers would use the upstairs door and tunnel to sneak out or flank the heroes, they went to stymie those plans.  After leading the bulk of the party to two other wererat lieutenants, the Skulker’s turned back to engage the party.  Boscar and the last pure human Skulker chose to flee rather than face Riardon and Jolly….


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