Thursday, March 6, 2014

Session Seventeen: Please Mace +2 Don't Hurt 'Em.

Guess what you're going to fight next week
The Cobalt Cavers finally decided to use ESP on the bandit they captured. Reading his mind, they discovered the location of the bandit camp. However, the bandits commanded a force of 250 men, far more than even the Doppelstompers could take on. So they make a note to come back when they have a larger force under their own command. They then travel back to Pechen.

Vasily decided it was time for him to have his own henchman, and so recruited Celebrian, a former Elven Courtier who left her homeland for reasons yet unknown. While there, Vasily runs into an old friend of his from his days with the Evertine Legion, Arik Pardemain. Arik mentions that the baron of Gdansk, Stephen, has been issuing bizarre edicts, such as a requirement that taxes be paid in beer. The party decides that this is worth looking into, and they make the trip up to Gdansk.

Gdansk is a medium town on the northwest border of Morachi. As such, it is home to a small orcish population who come to trade horses and livestock. In addition, a number of foreign born dwarves reside there. Recently there has been tension surrounding the temple to the orcish god Crom.

The party heads to a local bar to meet with Glenn Danzig, one of the sergeants for the Evertine Legion. He fills the party in on what's going on, and notes that people suspect a curse. Either Draco, the head of the baronial troops in town, or Crom and the orcs, are trying to undermine the baron's authority by stoking resentment against him. No sooner does Danzig mention this, but the town crier comes into the tavern announcing a ban on dwarves! Any dwarves found in the city will be stretched on the rack until they're a reasonable height.

Danzig says that the Legion is going to decamp outside of town and consider heading east. The party decides they are going to head to the baron's palace and ask him a few questions. On their way there, a man dressed like a barber intercepts them, and suggests they might find more interesting information at the barracks -- specifically, in Draco's chambers. The party goes to the barracks, but the guard there won't let them in, so they head to the palace. There the guard won't let them in either, but a well placed charm spell convinces him to guide them towards their true goal -- the temple of Crom.

They search the temple, sneaking in to the back chambers when no one is looking. In the suite of the mage Dervill they find two animated statues, which they kill before driving off the wizard after his polymorph fails. In the library the Cavers find the secret door which leads to the suite of Xanathon, Patriarch of Crom!

The battle is one sided. While the Cavers hit Xanathon plenty, none of their blows seem to have any effect. Wylith polymorphs into a gargoyle, but is still unable to do anything to the prelate. Xanathon isn't terribly effective with his mace, either, but when Vasily disarms him, he turns to his dark magic, annihilating a summoned hero with a finger of death. Seeing this death magic, the Cavers decide that discretion is the better part of valor, leaping through a large window to the street below, led by Xylith. As they flee, Xanathon laughs.

As the party regroups in a pub, the barber approaches them again. He reveals himself to be Eric Forsetti, high priest of Fayon in town. Discussing the situation with Vasily, they are stumped about what to do next. Forsetti says it looks like Xanathon has stored his life force somewhere outside of his body, but they can't figure out where until Vasily remembers a tapestry he liberated from Crom's temple! This tapestry just happens to have a map to a small shrine hidden well outside of town...