Session 7

June 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Special thanks go to Jesse H. for writing this fantastic recap of our Clayfinder (Pathfinder) session.

When the curtain rose, it found our heroes trudging back across hill and dale in peculiar mixed company.  On one side was Crix and the simple villagers of Qunso’s village.  On the other side were the armed and armored forces of the seraphim Takeo.  Our heroes found themselves mingling amongst gods and men, chatting about theology, history, and the advancement of human civilization.  Crix explained all that had taken place in the village since they had left to retrieve the sword five years earlier.  He told of the advancements in hygiene and construction that had taken place from the mixing of soldiers from the Kingdom of Nara, Takeo’s influence, and the people of the beach village.  They no long, for instance, routinely shat in the river upstream of their water source, and many diseases had been eradicated.  Crix told how a hillside keep had been built, how fortified walls had been constructed, and how most of the townsfolk had converted to worshiping Takeo as their deity.  If fact, as it turned out, the soldiers who returned from the Kingdom of Nara decided to name the small beach village Derriksburg in honor of their presumably lost prince.  Silas found the entire journey’s conversation painfully tedious.

When they finally arrived, they found Derriksburg bustling with growth and activity.  Quickly the party splintered to follow their own interests.  For Qunso, that meant finding his Mother-Wife and having a conversation with her about Quatra and just who his own father might be.  For Silas, that meant wandering off into the seedier construction area of town and drinking amidst the surly teamsters and hired hands building the new buildings.  Pitwick went bonkers.  With so much growth and so many years having passed since they were last in town, he ran from person to person collecting stories and personal histories of every incident anyone felt like recounting.  Runebeard set off to drink himself into a state of blissful thankfulness to Tanna.  The rest of the heroes accompanied Takeo and Lady Claudia and ventured up to the keep on the hill.  Kasyc and Carix grumbled along the way at the rise of imperialism within the little town and lamented its loss of independence to Nara’s colonialism.  Prince Derrik walked along contentedly with Lady Claudia, chatting with her about his home kingdom and asking her questions about the distant lands of Xander.  Little Paw, with Brother tailing behind obediently, walked along on the arm of Lord Takeo.  To all those observing, there seemed to be a spark of chemistry between the two, as evidenced in no small part by Lord Takeo’s slight – yet frequent – nose bleeds.

That night, a great feast was held at the keep.  Lord Takeo sat with Prince Derrik on one hand and Little Paw on the other.  There was drinking and laughter, musicians played throughout the night.  Just before dessert, Qunso trudged into the hall looking glum.

“How did your talk with your Mother-Wife go?” the Prince asked.

“Well…” Qunso smirked, “My mother is dying.  I’m adopted.  And I don’t know who my father is.”

The musicians stopped playing, the mirth died, and an awkward silence filled the banquet hall.

“However!” continued Qunso with a clap of his albino hands, “I’m in the mood to get really drunk!”  And all of the merrymaking resumed.  For hours more, the party members feasted and drank.  Runebeard began the evening complaining that human ale was weaker than water.  By the end of the evening he had to be dragged to his room, as even a trickle of water can eventually wear away a mountain.  As the evening drew to a conclusion, Takeo stood to his feet.

“You must all excuse me.  I’m going to retire for the night and, before I do so, I have promised Little Paw a night walk through our delightful Gardens of S’ecks.”  There was much drunken snickering as Takeo’s nose bled.  “Before I do so, I should like to speak with The Prince.”  The Prince and Takeo excused themselves to a side antechamber for a while.  When they returned, Takeo and Little Paw wandered out into the night air while Prince Derrik regained his seat beside Lady Claudia.  He seemed preoccupied and his gaze often slipped into a thousand yard stare of distant contemplation.  Eventually, everyone retired for the night.

In the morning, the party members found their way back to the banquet hall.  There they found Takeo hosting an enormous breakfast laid out before them with every kind of breakfast meat, bread, and fruit imaginable.  Everyone seemed fairly well rested.  Runebeard was noticeably grumpy and mumbled to his companions around a hangover.

“Bacon?” Qunso asked, as he offered the plate to Little Paw who was once again seated at Takeo’s right hand.

“No thank you,” she politely declined.

Qunso smirked to himself and muttered “Yeah, she doesn’t want any bacon because she got plenty of meat last night.”

Breakfast continued amid pleasant conversation until a noise disturbed them all.  Clanking his way through the castle hallways, one of Takeo’s armored soldiers burst into the banquet hall.  He wore the same heraldry of Castien that the rest of the soldiers wore, but his armor was conspicuously bloody and battered.

“Lord Takeo!” he shouted.  “My apologies for the interruption, my Lord, but they have decided to make their move.”  The two spoke very briefly together.  Then Takeo rose to address the table.  His expression was grave.

“I have a request.  I would like to hire you, call upon you… entreat you, even, to defend a city near and dear to me.  And to the Prince,” he added looking pointedly at Prince Derrik.

“Let’s call it ‘hire’ then, given the three choices,” Silas said flatly.

Takeo proceeded to inform the heroes that the Prince’s home kingdom of Nara was under attack by The Fallen.  Instantly the Prince rose to his feet and pledged his support in defending the side of righteousness and his home kingdom.  The others, however, looked unconvinced.  Questions began to fly around the table from many mouths simultaneously.  Where had this soldier come from?  How did he get to Derriksburg so quickly?  How could they possibly make it back to Nara in time to help anyone?  Would Takeo be accompanying them?  As the questions continued, the Prince clearly grew more and more perturbed.  Eventually he banged his hand loudly on the table.

“How is it possible that you people can have dined and broken bread with actual gods and still not understand that these are winged magical beings capable of greater feats than we are used to?  Clearly there is more they can do than we can imagine!” he shouted.

“Yeah, okay.  Now, true.” Kasyc acquiesced.  “But – and I mean this with no disrespect – but you know, there’s still the issue of Silas’ questions.”

“What questions?”

Silas’ face was still flat and unmoved.  “What’s my fee?”

The Prince sighed.  “Whatever you ask.  I’ll pay you personally from my own coffers.”

Silas thought for a moment.  “Do you have any property?”

“Yes.”

“That you can spare?”

“Yes.  In fact,” the Prince said and began to frantically look around the room.  In a flash, he ran to a decorative suit of armor, grabbed the sword from its gauntletted hands, and then ran back to Silas.  Without missing a beat, he tapped Silas once on either shoulder and then tossed the sword onto the middle of the table.  “There.  I now proclaim you to be a Knight Protector of the Kingdom of Nara, complete with all of the property and rights that go along with the title.”

“Okay,” Silas said impassively.  “I’m in.”

Takeo explained how he would take the magical sword they had recently recovered and move it to a more secure location while he would also use a tremendous amount of his power to transport the heroes back to Nara.  The heroes quickly retrieved their belongings from their rooms and regrouped in the banquet hall.  Immediately the room grew to a blinding white light.

When the light passed, the heroes found themselves standing outside in the middle of a seaside town.  The air was full of salt and the acrid bite of burning wood.  The town was under attack and the buildings before them were caved in and aflame.  The Prince informed them that they were in the town of South Derriksville, a port city on the southern tip of the Kingdom of Nara.  Down the nearby alley, they could hear sounds slithering around corners.  There was an evil laughter followed by the clang of steel on steel.  This was followed by more evil laughter.  Near their feet, the heroes found the ugly green corpses of dead goblins.  They were sliced and bleeding a foul-smelling orange ichor.  Runebeard, Pitwick, Little Paw and Brother were all noticeably absent, although it wasn’t long before the group could hear the sound of a distant hurdy-gurdy grinding up somewhere in the nearby streets.

Without warning, a small goblin wandered haplessly around the corner and found himself staring at the heroes.  Quickly, the Prince removed a scroll from his pack, broke the wax seal on it, and read a light incantation that blessed the heroes and made them feel stronger.  Kasyc wasted no time in running headlong to meet it with steel.  “Goblin!” he yelled as he sliced the beast in half.  As he stood at the corner of the intersection, he continued his yell.  “…s!  Goblinsss.  As in, plural!”  Then, without any explanation, he crumpled unconscious to the ground.  As if intent only on proving his point, a mob of green uglies rounded the corner, stepping over the unconscious Kasyc.  As he passed, one of the larger goblins took a moment to bend down and fart in Kasyc’s face.  The monsters all laughed, as did Silas.

Carix was quick to point at Qunso with an incantation on his lips, and instantly Qunso began to grow once more into the much-larger Qunszilla.  The heroes felt cocky in their abilites, but things quickly didn’t go as they expected.  Arrows flew far afield of their targets.  Qunszilla stomped up to the goblin mob but swung wide with his sword, hitting only the nearby buildings.  The Prince fired a blast of lightning at the monsters only to have it fizzle out harmlessly in midair.  With his bow drawn, Carix managed to pierce one of the small goblins.  Unfortunately, a mysterious robed woman stepped around the corner and answered Carix’s arrow with a blast of searing flame that badly burned the Prince.  Meanwhile two of the larger ax-wielding goblins double-teamed Qunso, slashing him viciously in the process, and the albino giant fell to the ground unconscious.  Reeling from his wounds, the Prince called out to Takeo and summoned forth a burst of warm healing energy that not only revitalized him but brought Qunso back to consciousness.  All the while, Kasyc lay on the ground snoring.

Trusting in his bow, Carix once again took aim and fired at one of the smaller goblins.  The arrow flew straight and true and the goblin exploded into a rain of leaves and berries only to then become fleshy disgustingness again once it hit the ground, just as the group had experienced in the depths of the Inverted Temple.  Unfortunately, Carix’s arrow shot was again answered with another blast of flame from the female magician.  As before, the ray of flame splashed across the Prince and burned him severely, worse this time than perviously.  He fell wincing to one knee and again was forced to call upon Takeo for a healing burst of courage.  In a full repeat of previous events, Qunszilla was chopped by a goblin ax and fell unconscious once more.  Silas found himself deftly trading blows with an ax-wielding goblin.  Each landed blows in a blinding dance of steel.  For a third time, the robed woman blasted Prince Derrik with a wave of scorching flame.  The Prince barely managed to eek out a pained prayer to Takeo through gritted teeth, but he was gravely injured and seemed to be nearing the limits of his tolerance for pain.

As the curtain fell for the evening, things looked grim for our splintered group of heroes…