Rashemen and Beyond (Session 7 / Session 2 with a Lemming as DM)

Another week was over and finally we met again to continue where we last stopped.

After our last session, we ended right in front of an iron golem, Enelya (the as stubborn as impatient barbarian woman) applied the Oil of War to the huge construct who slowly rose to even larger size and asked in the slow and grumbling language of earth elementals for their concern in this part of the world. Having Whurynia, the  cleric of Moradin taken care of this, the golem soon stepped aside and gave way to the stairway down, leading to a larger hall with a distinctive black-slowly bubbling pool on one side and an old, red carpet on the floor leading to a double-throne on the other side. Only a few moments later the whole room was transformed when the scarred warrioress Enelya stepped onto the carpet, the whole area was lightened by a good dozen of torches, lit by a mage’s hand or (more likely) by and ancient spell that still was lasting in the old halls down here. The atmosphere turned creepy for but a moment when a translucent, white/grey shade of a dwarf appeared to reveal a most ancient dialect of sorts, that was only thanks to Daec’s and Whurynia’s expertise in the dwarven tongue and ancients dialects of it to be understood (ok, admitted Daec had some magical help, but the ghost was really hard to understand…)

The ancestral dwarven spirit offered a reserved greeting and obviously was still a bit of tired from ages of waiting, sleeping and being chained to this existence, his mood lightening up when everyone offered an understanding of sorts why they were here and what they wanted to achieve. His prophecy seemingly was closing to a fulfillment of sorts if these adventurers would manage to destroy what his old (and long, long dead) companions had driven away from this land. It was the old tale of the red dragon and the white dragon that had tried decades ago to seize than land of Rashemen and failed only due to their weak bonds between themselves and the cominbed efforts of all powers in Rashemen. But after so many years some things have changed, it was unclear what to expect, after the party had found the red-white dragon cloaks back in the woods where one of the old ones had died. Rreliah Bärenvater (Bearfather) had no answers to these things, yet. With the help of Daec he invited the heroes to a hearty meal, the air filled with music and pleasant smells, pleasant enough to even to ignore Enelya’s stench, who herself emptied all of the Jhuild on the table, finding herself in a delirium within moments. Lysalis the beautiful half-elven maid listened half-heartedly to Daec’s and Whurynia’s stories, giving the old ghost more than just a basic impression of what was at stake and who the chances for success were.

It was then, that he offered little advice to a secured brass bottle which he gave to the young dwarven. It was not too obvious by then that Rreliah Bärenvater had no real idea what he gave to Whurynia, only what his old companion had told him, “be careful not to ask for help but demand help…” – it did not take long that the priestess of Moradin and the priest of Deneir unstopped the bottle and both immediately found themselves drawn into a semiplane of evil machinations. An efreet, an old and powerful fire-genie appeared before them and immediately started working to trick them into releasing him. With hardly more than a command to grant them help of sorts, Whurynia became a little tripped in a play of words by the genie. When she sealed the bottle again, condemning the efreet to another uncertain time of imprisonment she clearly heard an echoing curse in his head after closing it…

When they demanded help, it was more of a in itation of two other players who joined us for this sunday’s game and this was the immediate resolution of the wish asked of the efreet. All of a sudden both the roguish halfling Sanchy Driebusch and the more silent wilderness-mage Livia stood inmidst the party. Both were not entirely new to at least Daec and Enelia, but they were hardly prepared for their uncommon entrance to the scene… With the necessity of the actions to be taken at least laid out in terms before them, it seemed to me as Dungeon Master at least like this. Secondly they had two questions answered which were taken as wishes (I admit, that was rather harsh by my own judgement, but necessary to press the action a little faster onwards.) First they asked what is needed to satisfy the wishes of a sultan in the city of brass – and second where they find something suitable. The efreets answer to the first question was more or less “a treasure” of this world. And his second that he is particularly fond of elemental hearts of fire and ice. This was something entirely new to Daec and Whurynia alike and without Livia’s expertise on these, most special places, it might have ended as a question still to be answered. Those places are indeed special places where the most pure and intense concentrations of the elements are found.

In general I have to admit, our communication style and etiquette left a little room for improvement. With six players + dm we concluded at the end of the session to focus on etiquette “listen when anyone else speaks”. Therefore more than one tidbit of information was lost on the way of player to dungeon master yesterday…

Nevertheless, with the help of Rreliah and ancient equipment of long dead companions of his, the party was reequipped with several items that might prove useful in the coming adventure. (Depending on which route they will take and which foci they will set). When Rreliah mentioned a Sultan of the City of Brass, and a furious plane of existence inmidst of flames and heat, they came up with the option to seek for a lost set of rings to protect them from the planar dangers and started soon after scrying the box of rings – only to find the whole party heading towards the west – towards a camp of mercenaries at the foot of the Threespire-castle in Narfell.

Heading west towards the end of the swampy area turned out to be quicker during day but quite dangerous at nights, even though Lysalis has a good reputation for her watchfulness during nights and Daec himself still reading close to midnight, a trio of Chuuls, giant crablike abberations surprised the experienced sentries and managed to take out Daec by their paralytic tentacles within a few moments.  In this regard it was beautiful to watch the lack of coordination during a night-time attack, I for my part forgot completely to integrate the DARKNESS that was all too obvious into the atmosphere, nonetheless it turned out to be a challenging though not overwhelming encounter. Mere minutes later the former peaceful resting place was turned into a acrid fish smelling chitinous carapace strewn mark and together they searched another resting place in which they had to fight a bunch of dire rats but otherwise had a few hours of rest to recover from the strain of the last day and those nasty surprises… Almost all of them, with the ongoing journey outside of the swamp area, Whurynia felt weaker and sickly (she contracted a fever from the fight against the dire rats), only hours later lying weak at a newly built camp, but the additional rest was appreciated by more than just Whurynia. Only hours earlier Enelya and Whurynia sent two Hobgoblin scouts, which were mistaken for orcs in Enelya’s rage, into the next world. It was then, that they found two golden rings with skulls on it. The gold of the rings had turned black on the fingers of the hobgoblins. It was curiousity that lead Daec to study them in detail, it was a fascination for the powerful abjuration that obviously was able to employ some antimagic field with the right trigger. It was Enelya who found this rather interesting and volunteered to take one of the rings, only to recognize moments after that it was nigh impossible to remove it from her finger afterwards.

In the coming rest it was a sudden appearance of the second black ring on Lysalis’ finger, causing a lot of troublesome action and discussion before any breakfast. When the group finally decided to convince a sailing boat with quite a lot of gauge, it was time to introduce them to captain Faeltrag and his crew and a few merchants who were travelling towards north-west and for a few goldpieces extra would take the detour…

And this is where I’m looking forward to next monday when we find out what they do if they arrive the western coast of the lake – if they manage to arrive there.

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