Crooked House

Session 2
The Search for Weltheran Continues

Black Dagger, Makeda, and Rykbar continued on their quest to find the missing miller, missing miller, Weltheran. They leave the High Road and head into the dark forest. An overturn cart and dead oxen was found surrounded by carrion birds. The birds attacked after a croaked warning by the leader.

Mary and James-the-Angry stumbled upon this scene and decided to help. After some trials and an almost pecked out eye, the birds were destroyed. The two groups decided to join forces for the time being, and continued to search for Weltheran. After some adventures in the woods, Welteran’s tracks entered a fairy ring and the party stepped through in pursuit.

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Session 1

Rykbar and Makeda are working for cloth merchant Ricardo, on the way to visit trade fairs in the Burgundy Kindgoms. While on the road they are attacked by bandits.

Black Dagger, a ranger who had been tracking the bandits, sees the attack and decides to help. The bandits are routed, but ? is wounded in the attack. The PCs journey to a nearby village to find a place for ? to recover. While in X, they learn that the local miller has disappeared while journeying to town to buy more grain. They are convinced by the villagers, after much difficulty, to help locate the missing miller, and hopefully the critical seed grain that the village needs. They journey north to town to try find the miller, and spot tracks and cart marks heading off towards the dark forest. Also seen are ravens flying overhead.

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Session 3
Weltheran is Found! Let's visit Guise!

The players started the session by finding Weltheran in the Fairy world. Despite Rykbar behaving badly at the Fairy Queen’s feast, Crystambula was still kind to them. The Players managed to convince Weltheran to go home to his family, and the Queen gave the Illuminator of Erinkos to Mary Silfot, and told her the location of the lost sword of Nikolas the Lich Slayer. The Queen also gave Makeda Stoneheart a scroll to “find a familiar friend.”

The players returned Weltheran to his village, Makeda cast the scroll and got a hawk for a familiar, and Mary used Mad Maximus’s rod of divination to find the Ruby of Chartik. It gave them a riddle to seek out magic user working for the Duke of Guise.

The players journeyed to Guise, but were ambushed along the way by bandits, who demanded the return of certain rubies from Black Dagger. A fight ensued and the attackers were slain, but immediately after a cloaked figure on horseback shouted threats and then rode off. The encounter did leave the party marginally better of financially than before, due to the chain mail the attackers wore.

The players journeyed to Guise and stabled in the Inn of the Black Sheep after giving their heavy arms to the guards at the gate. Rykbar made a good impression with his music, James and Mary scoped for information on the court magicians, and Black Dagger got his daggers sharpened. Mary and James scoped out the Learned Corner of town, and after talking to ???? the Diviner, found out that Fizboth the Fabulous was not only widely feared and despised, but also probably the person they needed to talk to.

The next day the whole party visited, and after some political theater struck a deal with Fizboth – the players would retrieve the Ruby of Chartik, they would share the map with Fizboth, and the Illuminator of Erinkos would be left in trust with ???? the Diviner during their journey.
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After the session 2 players – Rykbar and Mary were able to level up.

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Session 4
travel to the dungeon

Fizboth sent his apprentice, Michelle (sp?) to guide the characters to ______ to find the Chartick Ruby. After an uneventful journey, Michelle led them to the castle. An elaborate ruse was successfully used to lure and ambush the orc guards.

After raising the portcullis, the players started to explore the dungeon that is the entrance to the fortress. The players had several set backs (don’t disturb the water!), but emerged relatively unscathed.

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Session 5
should we put the key in the key-hole?

It was decided that three of the players, Makeda Stoneheart, BlackDagger, and Ryktbat Svanstone should gaurd the entrance to the fortress, lest other orc parties ambush them. The remaining characters (Breca Wahrhaft, Mary Silfot, James the Angry half-elf, and Michelle the beefy mage, continued exploring the dungeon. They happened upon an orc living quarters and were ambushed by several females. After this encounter and avoiding several trapped doors, the characters journeyed deeper into the dungeon to a natural cave section. They found a chained bear and decided to leave well enough alone.

They then found a series of formerly well appointed rooms off the cave, in what appeared to be a former spa. They were ambushed by a strange creature pretending to be a diamond in a reflecting pool, found some strange gold coins hidden in old bath towels, and then were caught in the power of a strange broach on a pedestal. Most of the characters wished not to endure the painful laughing spells, but James the angry needed a good laugh and finally managed to take the broach.

They then found a secret room with several key holes. After a good deal of arguing, they put the key in the hole and found a strange sword appeared. When Breca tried to grab the sword, and stout warrior emerged from a painting on the wall. The players managed to deal massive damage to the warrior, who seemed unfazed. After 5 minutes of intense fighting the illusion disappeared and the players were left with the sword.

Realizing they needed the help of their companions, they ventured up to the surface. Along the way they found a statue with a drawer that was unlocked by the strange gold coins. In the drawer was a spell book. They also found the grizzly sight of some freshly decapitated soldiers in another room.

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Session 6
a rude awakening

The players who were exploring the dungeon in the last session found those who were guarding the entrance. The players explored some passages that had not been explored before. Upon entering one room they found a dwarf who was chained up named Sage. Sage had been kidnapped by 2,000 (or was it 10,000?) orcs. Sage elected to continue exploring with the others.

The players broke into a group of orcs playing cards. The players prevailed. After exploring a side room James and Breca Wahrhaft fell into an oil pit. Fortunately the torch that was to ignite the oil failed to light due to old age.

Realizing they were in bad shape, the players found a previously explored room to rest. However, the orcs that inhabit the fortress of Nekoloti had sent out a search party, presumably after finding the player’s earlier handywork. The orcs detected the players in the room and busted down the door. Two orc archers shot into the room and were followed by a large orc sargent with a great sword. The players attacked, but James, Breca, and Sage feel asleep due to a orc wizard. James was nearly slain by the orc sargent, but Makeda Stoneheart stepped into the breach just in time.

The fight continued and was made worse by an orc shaman. After a fierce battle the players prevailed, but not before the orc wizard and another orc fled. The players gave chase, but were unable to successfully pursue the the fleeing orcs.

The party decided to find another room to rest in.

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Session 7
long long ago in a room not so far away

The intrepid band of warriors continued their quest for the Chartik Ruby in the not so abondoned fortress in the wilds of the Core Lands. After some resting and wandering about, they band finally found their way out of the castle dongeon and into the light o the castle via a rope latter. They distrubed a crystal warrior in an old magical lab and a large shape changing cat – who may or may not have been friendly. (there was much dispute, but in the end Makeda decided to attack!). They were then attacked by enchanted furniture in one room and some fine scrolls in silver cases in another.

At last they stumbled on Calamantus, the necromancer whose fortress this was and who Fizboth said had the Ruby. While some party members tried to parley, they righteous Breca Wahrhaft stuck withour mercy. Two heavily armed dwarves and a female cleric popped out of a hidden door. Yet, while a band of unarmed school children have sometimes proven challenging for this bunch, this cabal of evil proved no match. The necromancers evil spells were no match for Breca’s hot steel sword. The dwarves also feel quickly in the onslaught. It looked as though the cleric would also fall, but she broke free, purused down the corridors by the Sage (his bravery will never be forgotten, except by this DM). He threw dagger after dagger, and just as it seemed the cleric would fall, she jumped through a window and using some mysterious power floated towards the ground and made a get away.

After recovering from the fight, the players made an uneasy truce with the orcs, whose former master could no longer pay their wages. The players agreed not to slay the orcs if the orcs showed them the location of the Ruby.

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Session 8
...and we thought it was such a good plan

The massive DemonBreun had been staking out the Fortress of Nekoloti after hearing from his fellow “city gaurd” that the place was not only crawling with undead, but that a necromancer had taken up residence. After two days of careful but uneventful observation, DemonBreun knew something was afoot when a woman smashed through a a high window only to float down to earth, all the while dogging arrows from the fortress. Investigating, he found a company of heroes had already slain the necromancer. They joined company, realizing that their goals were in sync.

The orcs, who the party had managed to maintain an easy truce with, showed them the “haunted” room with the ruby. Breka detected the presence of evil, and the players were warned about “death and un-death” when Mary approached the ruby on a pedestal. A trap was unfortunalty missed, and Breka and Michelle got splashed with acid when the ruby was removed. Not only that, 4 zombies sprung our of niches in the wall. One nearly bit Breka’s arm off, but Sage managed to turn the foul creates.

After getting the Chartik Ruby, the players left the Fortress (after some tense moments with the orcs). It was at this point that Michelle has a confession – he was quite sure that Fizboth was going to double-cross the party. He told them of a small magical metal bird that he was supposed to release after they left the Fortress. The players hatched a plan to wait until they were within sight of Guise before releasing the bird.

On the way back, they ran into some unsavory characters along the way claiming to be part of the “Black Hand”, who has some type of beef with Black Dagger.

Once in sight of the City of Guise, the players let go of the bird. A short while later, they saw Krok, Fizboth’s valet and a person with some skill with a blade, depart the city on horse back. They took it as a sign that Fizboth did indeed plan to double cross them. At this point, an elaborate plan was hatched, whereby Mary would sneak in to his house and paralyze Fizboth. The rest of the players would be waiting outside in case anything went wrong. And boy oh boy, did things go wrong.

Sage and Demonbreun had their weapons confiscated upon entering the city. Breka, coming separately with black dagger turned on his charm to avoid a similar fate, while Michelle clumsily bribed a guard. Later that night they managed to avoid the patrols enough to rendezvous in the alley behind Fizboth’s manse. Mary, however, found all the doors trapped with traps she couldn’t quite figure out. Climbing to the second floor, she couldn’t get the window open. Breka’s righteous furry for vengeance (too righteous?) was impatient, so he knocked down the garden door. Demonbreun at the did the same for the front door. They rushed in and Michelle gave the servents a , “we’re taking down Fizboth…you’re either with us or against us!” They fled. Breka and Demonbraun rushed upstairs to find Fizboth out of bed and ready for a fight. Breka was vampiric touch’ed by a spectral hand, but gave Fizboth back a smack with the sword. Fizboth’s contagion was not able to infect the paladin. Demonbreun, fighting with the unfamiliar long sword lent to him by Michelle, was ineffective. Yet, Breka’s sword and Michelle’s magic missles made Fizboth think of escape. First he started blinking around the room, then into mid-air above the garden. He landed on an unsuspecting Black Dagger, then demension-door’ed away to safety just as Mary and Demonbreun came crashing through the second floor windows after him.

In the meantime, Fizboth’s other apprentice (besides Michelle) had joined the battle, faithful to his master. Seeing his master flee and his enemies multiply, he evoked a massive fireball at his feet – killing himself and nearly killing Michelle.

James, Ryktbar, and Black Dagger rushed in to save Michelle and the others. The latter two searched Fizboth’s now on-fire house while everyone else scattered. Breka tried to intercept the city guard while James and Sage carried Michelle the other way to the temple. Mary and Demonbreun, who had been trying to follow Fizboth, got scarce real quick. Black Dagger and Ryktbar spent another round searching through the fire for the Illuminator.

So, to recap, Fizboth is still alive, the players don’t have the Illuminator, Michelle is nearly on his death bed, Breka is looking to get arrested, and the whole town is crawling with the Duke’s soldiers. Oh well…it seemed like such a good plan.

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Session 9
He'll recieve a fair trial and then be executed...

The flock was scattered and in trouble! Will the Holy Sword of Nikolas the Lich Slayer ever be found?!

Breca Wahrhaft had been disarmed and captured. James the Angry Half-Elf, Sage, and Michelle had fled to the Temple of Saint Fin. There they found a good hearted soul in Friar Jean-Pierre. Jean-Pierre sheltered them and healed their wounds. Meanwhile, Ryktbat Svanstone and BlackDagger fled Fizboth’s burning house without finding the Illuminator of Kos and caught up with Demonbreun and Mary Silfot. They all headed back to the Inn of the Black Sheep, where the kindy inn-keeper Frank did not rat them out the City Gaurd.

The next morning, a mysterious vaguely elven woman met Breca and offered to defend him before the Duke of Guise. But, it was not looking good. The other party members we told of the trial, either from Friar Jean-Pierre or from Frank. Frank also passed along a rumor about an approaching army.

The trial began in the town square, and it was not good for Breca. Fizboth and his servants all testified as to the murderous intent of the players. But, then an army was spotted coming over the hill and the whole town was thrown into chaos (and one poor city gaurd was thrown over the wall). Guise parlayed with the Duke of Macon, who had a sizable mercenary army with him. Guise turned to Fizboth for help in driving off this opposing army. Fizboth, however, quickly sized up the odds and decided to abscond from town under the pretense of “going back to the keep to fetch some magical instruments” to drive the army away.

Unfortunately for Fizboth, only 2 soldiers, but all pc’s (except Breca, who was still in the klink) followed and ambushed him. Ryktbat, in particular, cut down two of the keep’s gaurds who were standing in the way (alignment issue?). But, this gave Fizboth just enough time to get to his lab. Despite several magic missles, he dimension door-ed away just before the players could cut him down. The PC’s ransacked his lab, then got Breca out of the hoosegow. The only thing left was to search for the Illuminator. They searched the keep after Breca told them that the Duke’s gaurd had found it in the rubble of Fizboth’s house. On the way to the Duke’s private office, they found his family. The Duchess of Guise offered Ryktbat a nice flute after he threatened to kill her (definite alignment problem). They found both the Illuminator and a great quantity of gold, which Breca insisted they not take (as an LG character might).

After seeing the side gate heavily guarded, the PCs decided to climb the back wall while the City Gaurd was busy with the invading army. Ryktbat scaled the rear wall, threw down a rope, and the party got out of Dodge, Ruby, Illuminator, and all. The quest is saved!

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Session 10 - On the road again
Please come talk to my associates...

After escaping the volitile situation in Guise, the characters were not only in-tact, but in possession of both the Ruby and the Illuninator. They put the two together and saw the map of the entire world for the first time. Off to the west, beoynd the Goblin Islands, lie the Hidden Islands. There the Holy Sword of Nicholas the Lich Slayer must be, according to the Fairy Queen.

So, off the party headed to the capital Par, then to the port city of Marsy. On the road one night, while sleeping, the party was attached by a hoard of skeletons commanded by two witches, one of whom looked familiar. They had a strange symbol on their outfits. The party managed to destroy the skeletons, but not before the two witches jumped off a cliff and then cast feather fall to escape. THe one witch looked quite similar to the female cleric who escaped in the same manner during the fight in the ruins of Nekeloti.

Further on down the road they were attacked again by two ogers who were under the control of Fizboth. Fizboth launched a fireball just before departing.

But, the PCs finally made it to the capital and found some slightly unreputable characters to trade their accumulated look for some magical weapons. Trades were made, but the criminal underground offered money for Black Dagger’s head. The PCs declined.

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