The Dying Oak

The link, a chink, two men in the drink!

The link, a chink, two men in the drink!

Our heroes were tasked with collecting some money for Amos so that he might pay the ransom of his brother

In this exciting episode our heroes were asked to collect some money for Amos so that he might pay the ransom of his brother. Tasked with three collections, the party set off to see a man named Schaffmore! A merchant of fine, although somewhat gaudy hats – get more, at schaffmore as they say. Having given him the ol’ stink eye, he proclaimed that he hadn’t the money – the quick thinking Fish devised a plan of advertising and promotion, spreading the word of Schaffmore throughout the city so that his business would improve enough to pay them. Whilst they waited for the fruit of their labor the party ventured off to see the second collection in the 4th circle. They travelled to an old, seemingly abandoned tanning warehouse in search of a man a man known as Cronus. They were greeted with hostility (once they found someone to be greeted by) and soon found themselves in a standoff with Cronus. With a quick perception check Fish spied the crossbow strapped to the bottom of Cronus’s desk. Fish was quick to act as the trigger was pulled, a bolt flew into Possum, and a sword flew into Cronus. The battle (as most of the others had been) was short but sweet, and thus the looting began. They searched the room and found a hidden compartment in the desk, stashed in which were two beautiful gems and a little gold. A quick appraisal by Possum left the party searching for an upmarket jeweller. Off to the first circle we go!

Julius the jeweller, a fitting name, was a man whom the party made quick relations with. He relieved them of the stones, and burdened them with two thousand gold (how unfortunate). They left him with the promise of meeting at The Club a week later, but now they had the third collection to attend to. Albert Sestin was the man they were after- they’d never heard of him but boy oh boy did he have a nice house. The first circle is reserved for these richy types, as, it is the circle that the palace and other official buildings are in. Not to get too sidetracked, the party approached the mansion of Sestin and were greeted by a guard who said they’d been expected. The party somewhat confused but playing it cool head up to the house, knocking thrice on the double oak doors a well dressed butler handed them a note and bid his farewell – promptly closing the door in their face. The note spoke of Eagle Eyes, 7th Stars and a Mr Slim, he apparently had the key to a chest filled with their reward, it also mentioned something about the body of Daniel Trask. The party, always keen for some loot, and glad to have more evidence in their case headed-off in search of this Mr Slim, the holder of the key – but first was the matter of the 7th start. They quickly deciphered that this was another name for Solarius, and that there was a tavern named after the star in the third circle. Away they went and after a bit of hocus pocus from Dylon found the barman to be a somewhat amicable chap who let them into Mr Eagle Eye’s room.

The door was locked so they broke in, naturally, and lo and behold there was a chest with a fairly substantial arcane lock on it. They took the chest and Fish had his dragon stay behind as a scout to see the supposed killer of Daniel. They waited in a room across the hall. Later that night they heard a scream, the dragon alerted them that someone was in the room and they dashed in to find a black clothed figure leaping from the window. Fish leaped elegantly from the tavern to the next roof, * Possum* however, had to be thrown across. Dylon assailed the figure with magic missiles and sleep. Fish notching an arrow caught the figure in the shoulder, but the figure pressed on. Taking but a moment to fire two poisoned bolts from inside his cloak. He jumped from the roof and into a crowd, Fish jumped from the roof, completely mistimed it and found himself hanging on to a gutter for dear life. The party pulled him up but had lost their mark!

The next night the party went forth the the black market in the fourth circle in search of Mr Eagle Eye. They had gathered some information a little earlier and found out that Eagle Eye was a Drow, and that the night market was where most of the shady characters throughout the city met. The night didn’t bring much except for a few stares, so the party abandoned the search and went fourth to their third collection the next day. Ithicus the money lender told them of a debt owed by Mr Slim – crime lord extraordinaire – but insisted that this money would never be returned. He mentioned that a certain individual by the name of Karlstrom had recently fallen from grace with the thieves guild and thus may be able to help gain entry to their establishment on Pig Skin Lane.

There were a few minor events that happened between the party gaining entry to the thieves guild, mostly Dylon charming the pants of people including nosey old women. However, I will jump to the gory bits and to the final segment of our session.

So there the party are, waiting in the underground hideout of the Thieves Guild, sitting before the guilds second in command who asks the party to relinquish the box of money that they acquired from Mr Eagle Eye’s room. The party not only refuses to play ball, but Fish begins to threaten the man – this doesn’t go so well and the hostilities increase. His unwavering heroism forces him to draw his great sword and begin hacking mightily at the second, Possum attempts to talk his way out of it despite the obvious battle taking place, and Dylon is working out how to escape.

A bell is rung and ten thieves emerge from a secret door and begin firing bolts all over the joint. Fish continues to hack at the man who eventually falls, however, Fish is pummelled by bolts and falls down in an agonising and quite dead heap.
That leaves two. Well, Possum and Dylon were already in the next room combating one or two thieves but there were a room full of others from whence they came. Quick thinking Possum drew forth an acid and melted the door lock preventing their imminent death. The two of them dashed upstairs and into daylight, but the sound of crashing doors didn’t inspire much confidence as ten thieves poured up the staircase and chased them through the streets.

Possum being but a wee man took his chances by throwing bombs around the place to get everyones attention in the hope he wouldn’t be killed. This didn’t work however, and he was struck down by a barrage of arrows. Dylon however, ran like the wind and after minutes of hot pursuit found himself in the third circle, his assailants still on his tail. I would like to say that this ended happily, but this is hardcore fantasy. Dylon was shot many, many times and did fall below the icy threshold of zero. But the town guard had seen it happen and chased the thieves away while one of them attended Dylon.

A week later Dylon awoke with no disguise, hauled up in a cell with two unlikely companions, awaiting trial for the murder of Daniel Trask. He had found himself in the Chink, while his two friends were floating down the drink, and all because of a deadly link.

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Land Ahoy! It be Ragnarok

For many days and nights our noble adventurers travelled the sea. They battled the wind and waves, and at one point an escaped bear, but finally they have arrived at their destination. Ragnarok, that frozen land of mystery and intrigue, and the supposed resting place of their first item of power. They arrived at the dock in Amos’s somewhat beaten up ship, and were soon checked in and given the usual speech at Ragnarok’s customs, traditions, people, and festivals – a presentation which the party found somewhat boring, but they were made to endure it anyway! After this short episode Amos had asked the party to track down his brother and let him know that he was in town, they were instructed to go to the cartographer’s guild where they would find Daniel (the brother).

The adventures then, with a little bit of metagaming, decided that they would seek out the brother at this lovely guild and were greeted in a somewhat exuberant fashion by Chancellor Johns, a fairly excitable character wearing a three piece suit who just thought the world of all of them, and of their remarkable homeland of Crasp. He was sorry to say that he hadn’t seen Daniel in a time, and called in Daniel’s good friend Albert Simmins. Whilst they were waiting for this man, Possum couldn’t help but bring up the “watch” that Johns was currently looking at. He was somewhat fascinated by its ability to tell the time, Fish was less impressed saying that the stars worked just fine. Alas, Simmins walked in just the conversation began, and asked what the matter was. He seemed a little shaky at the mention of Daniel, and the party, with some swift sense motive rolls were less than impressed with his stories. They did however, procure Daniel’s address and said they would go and have a look for him – after they scoured the library that is.

But it was getting late, and the party had some shopping to do, so they hit the merchants, then found the tavern that Amos had suggested they visit The Speckled Hen. The party ate and drank, and paid, a strange concept given their recent promotion to the title of Hero, but mostly they waited till later to go and see Daniel. At close to nine o’clock they departed and headed off to see the gentleman in question. Having obtained a map of Duelest (the capital city of the region) they surmised that they could take a shortcut through some alleys. Not such a good idea in a big city. Within a few minutes of being down an alley they were ambushed by three not so very nice people. The battle was long and difficult, with much poisoning and some sneak attacks. All in all the party didn’t role very well, but still somehow managed to escape with only a few severed arteries and a little loot of course. Despite these injuries they ventured on and arrived at Daniel’s street, found his house – locked of course – and proceeded to form a plan.

possum took a stroll up the street and counted the houses on the way, then he turned and went down the alley that ran along the back of the street. Repeating the process he arrived at what he thought was the back of Daniel’s house, he looked around and saw a wagon down the street, and estimated that he had about three minutes. He had a go at the lock, no chance, so he moved back around and the party had another think. They noticed a window at the front, and thought that with a little acid they could burn away the wood, remove the glass, and gain entry to find Daniel. After some gentle persuasion the group decided not to try this while there were people around and so they went off for a drink. Fish decided to become the bouncer, he kicked a few people out, looked around for some evil folk, and kicked them out too. He inadvertently kicked Dylon out as well – he was just enjoying a quiet drink, he pleaded. But where was Possum he was brewing acid in a room upstairs. It was getting pretty late and the crew were getting tired, Fish procured some crazy spirit and was perked up significantly.

The party then retuned to Daniels house, and with a little acid, a little magic, a quick reflex check, and with a final tumble inside the group found themselves in the house. Possum also found out that the house was trapped – most unpleasant! They then searched the place from top to bottom, and used a little potion to help them find some hidden doors. They found evidence that Daniel was to leave for the Western regions, but also found his gear. They also found a ransom note – this seemed to add up – and they discovered a missing watch with the initials A.S on it. Having discovered Daniel’s secret study, and taken what was in it, the party decided to rest. After all, even adventurers need a little rest. Fish awoke early to enquire about some Ranger stuff, the other two slept, and slept well. They then decided to go back to Daniel’s secret study; they had discovered a cracked wall down there and wanted to inspect it closer. Possum being trained in the ways of engineering, smashed the wall and the party discovered a horrible horde of diseased, dog sized rats. They slew them all but contracted a horrible disease. They also found out that the burrow connected them to the landlady’s house, and they found a stash of loot. Unfortunately for fish he had a sudden moral awakening when overhearing that Daniel owed money for rent, so he had to give his share of it away.

The next day saw the party awake with blistered skin and dizziness. Unhappy, the party sought out a healer. One known as Xavier arrived, he looked pretty normal, and cured them. The payment was to be passed onto Amos – who happened to arrive a few hours later – incredibly pissed off and brandishing a sword. He claimed they had taken his brother, taking out a wanted poster and showing it to them. They were indeed all illustrated on there, and they had a bounty of 1000 gold pieces, really, really bad news. But they managed to talk some sense into good, old Amos, and so he accepted their help to find his brother. Now they are going to the address found on the bounty note, who knows what will happen next.

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The Story Begins!

Ah, being a hero has its advantages the party have found out. Free booze, free food, free accommodation, and for some, free women! Our noble Fish enjoyed a tasty meal at a reasonable bar with some new found friends which they insisted on buying, but was generous enough to pay for their drinks – which the barkeep insisted on paying for. Dylan did not go for meagre, but rather he enjoyed the finest luxuries at The Peak (perhaps the most notable restaurant in Domenicus) where he charmed – quite literally – the Maître’D and found himself in a private booth with some lovely ladies and an inexhaustible amount of Elfish wine – he later found himself in a paddock with the largest of said females, but counted himself lucky as he still had wine enough to drink through the pain. The Brother Jupiter and our Scandinavian friend Henrick did nothing worth mentioning, or perhaps they didn’t want to mention what they did, either way, they seemed fairly happy. Nevertheless, there was one amongst our heroes who did not enjoy the spoils of heroism! Possum instead found himself in a moral quandary, and thus sought solace at The Temple of All Gods where upon receiving some divine reckoning, promptly crept into the most disreputable, but empty bar, bought himself a hay stack, and went to bed without any joy at all – except of course for a little night-cap of some of the worst liquid he’d ever drunk in his life (but not the worst, that was, well, perhaps another time).

The next day was rather nice, Fish thought, as he ate his hero’s breakfast. However, a young girl who came careering in sobbing and wailing like a banshee soon changed that. She told an epic tale of woe, about an abusive father, and her kidnapped brother – something about gambling debts, something about drinking; it was all rather hard to follow. Regardless, Fish being Fish, while at the same time being a hero meant that he had little choice but to pursue the young girl and find out the whole story. She led him to The Broken Oak, a rather nice family bar, which he found out was shut. Rather odd, this is prime drinking time, he thought aloud. Speaking of which, he heard faint whispering inside – also odd for a place that is meant to be shut. So, he sent his little Pseudo dragon on a little errand to find out what was happening – the dragon was somewhat reticent at first, but was soon coaxed with the promise of pork and chive sausages. The beastie found a little perch close to the window and relayed something about a small child, and some laughing men, and returned to his sack – happily munching on said food items. Fish knocked on the door, it didn’t open, so he went around the back to a window. He spoke briefly to the occupants, who were less than pleased about his presence, and was told to come back later.

Meanwhile, Possum began his return to the main part of the city and happened upon young Dylan, still asleep in the field beside the (lady?), Possum awoke him gently with a “Dylan is that f#$%*#g you!?” followed by a short kick, a grunt, and the waking of said hero. They started again towards the town and found Fish standing outside a bar looking rather thoughtful. He explained to them what had happened, and then the doors opened. A few dice were rolled, and a spell was cast and eventually they found out about the boy and his “father” and managed to get the key from the bar-keep. They went upstairs, got into the room (despite it being blocked by a devilish chair) and saw a gagged boy and a man jumping out of a window. Possum threw a bomb, Fish threw a spear, and Dylan threw a spell. But they didn’t manage to catch him. Fish then took the boy to his sister and went to visit their abusive and alcoholic step-father, whom he promptly punched in the face and delivered the two orphans to Brother Jupiter who then put them into a training scheme which hadn’t previously existed.

Dylan and Possum however, followed the culprit who had rolled from the roof, tumbled, and then ran into the wilderness. Possum used his survival skill – having now replaced track – to try and find the bastard. Instead, they got mildly lost and subsequently wasted an hour and a half re-finding the tracks. Once they did, they left a marker for the others, and headed off into the wildness after the man. They found him, and killed him – he was basically dead anyway so there isn’t much need to tell it in detail, but he was cut up pretty bad… but suddenly, three howls caught their attention mid-looting. Savage dogs came out from the forest, baring teeth. But what was that? The sound of hoofs roared through the forest as our paladin Fish charged in from the forest at a most opportune moment, hacking a slashing at the beasts. Dylan and Possum weren’t going to let him take all the glory though, and so more bombs, and more spells were thrown, beasties were exploded, and dogs put to sleep.

The three trekked back to The Broken Oak to “explore” the room, particularly a chest which they had seen – that definitely needed to be “examined” further. After having collected their booty, the hero’s returned to their taverns and drank the night away.

So, what about this adventure that they’re meant to be on? Well, the very next day our heroes were called into the chamber of the council. They were told of six items of power that had to be collected and returned to crasp, so that a ritual might be performed in order protect the tree and quell the mountain. The council weren’t really of use though, as they didn’t know where these items might be. One of the council mentioned the druid Thyquin, the mayor did not appreciate this, and clutching his gold chain tightly, told them to ignore the ramblings of the crazy old coock! Shortly after they were dismissed, the general taking them to the training grounds to be given packs of goodies which would be of some use, and told them to head to the docks. As they were about to head off, a young woman dressed in furs and foliage came running across the grounds and asked the heroes to follow her. The party was a little cautious – quite rightly so – but Dylan seeing a scantily clad woman calling him into the forest thought it was a pretty good idea to go. And off they went, jogging – no wait, I meant briskly walking – through the terrain for many, many hours, until finally the smell of porridge drew them to an opening. Fish did not want to go in, Dylan bluffed him into it, and then Brother Jupiter called his bluff, it led to much debate as Possum decided to walk forth into the fray. He was the first to see the four posted structure, simple but elegant, perched at the edge of the cliff. A large eagle was spotted circling around, it began to descend, landing in front of Fish, it was a bloody big eagle, but it then began to morph, arms shrinking and legs and torso extending, until finally the druid Thyquin stood before them.

After a fairly smug laugh, he told them of the pirate Amos Trask, and their trip to Ragnarok. He told them of the Fang – their first item – and where they might start looking for it. And in the end he gave them his most prized possession, the petal from the beetle nut flower – said to bring the fallen back from the dead. He offered for them to stay, as they were tired and hungry, and so they did, eating their fill and sleeping on bearskin rugs by the fire. The next morning they began their journey down to the port city Tillious. The journey was long and treacherous. They were set upon by some greedy Gnolls whom they finished off rather quicker than I thought they would, but they didn’t come out unscathed. Some healing was finally needed, and so Brother Jupiter prayed to his god and healed their wounds. They continued on until they reached the port city, the night was cold, dark and stormy – Fish was awfully quiet as memories from that fateful night returned to him. They stopped at a bar to ask after Trask, and were told that he was about to set sail. They ran to the docks and found the man being accosted by three other sailors. Possum started to work out a plan involving exploding the wharf – Fish was less than impressed, but Possum told him about his knowledge engineering. Regardless, a battle commenced which lasted a single round, finishing with Amos cutting someone in half. The party mentioned Thyquin and a free journey, Amos mentioned the price, the party mentioned free, Amos mentioned the price, the party mentioned free, and finally Amos mentioned free but with work. Everyone seemed happy except for Possum but that’s because he was jealous of someone else’s knowledge check. And so the party left the island of Crasp, and headed for the frozen wastelands of Ragnarok, and so the story begins!

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A Chance Meeting

A chance meeting in The Battered Hen, one of the “nicer” establishments in Domenicus Mountain, led three unlikely travellers to band together in the face of a crazed woman, screaming something about chickens and Kobolds. Most everybody with any sense immediately turned away, however, Dylan (a crazy knuckle-kissing, smooth talking, arm-wrestling Irishman) Henrik (a large, lute wielding Scandinavian fellow) and the Blessed Brother Jupiter (more frog than man, and more cleric than most frogs) being adventurers all thought it would be a grand idea to follow this twisted sister and recover her stolen chickens from said beasties. For payment they were promised a bag of tea.

And thus they set off into the wilderness, travelling for hours deeper and deeper into the forest and undergrowth that skirts Domenicus Mountain Town until finally Henrik’s keen ears heard a rustling up ahead. His eyes were not however, quick enough, and a stone was launched from a sling, striking him with deadly force between his eyes. The combat that in sued between our three hero’s and the Kobolds was over fairly quickly. Dylan, wielding the powerful sleep spell floored his opponents quickly, leaving Brother Jupiter and Henrik to quickly disembowel them – the sight of which led to one of the Kobolds fleeing in terror. Yet, the hero’s did not escape unharmed… Brother Jupiter stepped into a primitive claw trap, the pitiful spikes however snapped when meeting with his rubber skin, and Dylan was the victim of a savage attack – quite nearly killing the poor man. But, being heroes, they continued, tracking the sound of clucking chickens, and the final Kobold. They followed the sound to an abandoned mine at the bottom of which sat a Kobold child and the missing chickens. Having dodged the traps that lined the floor, the party walked down into the cavity, the foolish Kobold child tried to surprise them, and Dylan (well to be kind, he did roll very well) unfortunately killed it instead of suppressing it.

Once at the bottom of the cavern, the party also discovered a hole in the roof, leading to another cavern. A light infused rock was then thrown into the space, and was promptly thrown back – much to their surprise, and then came the cursing. Oh what cursing these ears have never heard, as a small, angry Irishmen by the name of Possum Jenkins emerged from the hole to the disturbing site of three men, holding a large quantity of sleeping chickens, standing next to a dead Kobold child. He was most upset. But, he did however, decide to join them back to town so that he may chastise the twisted sister – a lady whom he had had some sort of relations with in the past.

That night, having returned the chickens and taken their tea (which they discovered to be a magical remedy for enduring the elements) they returned to The Battered Hen and Henrik told the most amazing story of they adventure, the lute twanged beautifully, and the crowd roared with excitement. The barkeep gave them free lodging, and the final hero approached them.Fish Mannsonürin (a man raised by elves, and wielding a most spectacular blade) approaches the party with arms laden with beer. He is of course greeted well, and thus he sits with them and they begin to talk the night away. But where did they go from here you ask? Well, a part of the story that has been left out so far is the Tournament.

For weeks there have been fliers floating around Crasp talking about some Tournament and heroes, no one really knows anything, but these five travellers are dying to find out. So the next few days saw the adventurers honing their skills at the training ground and observing all around them until finally the morning came! They all lined up, though some were there at a more eager time than others, and the announcement was made by the mayor that the town was in crises, and that he needed heroes to help him. Trials had been set up to test each ability, and the contestants had to pick their best two to compete with. There was some breaking of boards, some sneaking, some charming, a little hide and seek, and a memory game that bored the hell out of the far too intelligent Possum Jenkin’s. There was also a remarkable display of kindness shown by Fish, which meant that Henrik could continue to the end. Having all succeeded with the trials the party was required to perform one last task – a gladiatorial combat against other likely heroes. Some of the battles were over much faster than others, and some unseen forces kept the heroes alive and healthy despite devastating blows, and badly thrown bombs…. there was one notable combat however, that everyone seemed to remember being amazing, despite being boring as anything, but Henrik had told them how good it really was, so it must have been, right?

And so, five brave heroes took their bows in front of the council and the rest of the arena, and were told to join the council the next day. And that is where we left it.

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Crasp - An introduction

CRASP

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Your Journey begins here in your homeland of Crasp, a small mountainous island in the eastern reaches of central Bas-Tyra. The central and lower parts to the south-west of the island are covered by a light and mountainous pine forest, with some denser forests areas in the southern parts of the island, and the areas around Lake Crok and its river systems. These river systems connect to the ocean and so are often used by the smaller villages as a means of trading amongst themselves and travelling into the ocean for larger fish.

Lake Crok is occupied by the port of Tillious, a small trading port that brings resources from the surrounding islands and on occasion from the larger continents of the world. The port of Tillious because of their intercontinental connection, often does trade with the largest town on the island, the town of Dommenicus mountain. This is the town that you are now in.

The town of Dommenicus mountain is a small but welcoming community, those who travel from afar find the people here earner to provide for them, and in most cases want the new arrivals to stay. The actual population of the town is roughly 10,000 though this is stretched around the majority of the peak, so the larger outposts are somewhat less occupied. Perhaps it should be mentioned now that Dommenicus is not intact a mountain but an ancient volcano. It has been dormant for thousands of years though recently people have grown weary as there have been vibrations and rumblings that have started to worry them. Atop of this volcano stands the most notable feature of the island, the great Dommenicus Oak.Burned olive tree

This is a sacred and unique tree, it does not feed upon the earth as all others do, but rather draws its strength from the fire of the mountain itself. Its leaves glow a brilliant red that illuminate the night sky, its trunk too hot to touch, provides warmth at a hundred feet. It is believed, and truthfully so, that as long as the tree remains in bloom then the power of Dommenicus will be sapped, and the town – as well as the island – will remain safe. However, in the previous months the brilliance of its leaves has declined, and some have even begun to fall from its branches. If it was to fade entirely, it can only mean that Dommenicus would once again awaken.

As you can imagine, with Dommenicus mountain being virtually in the centre of the island, the town is not the easiest place to reach. A solid week or two is needed to reach the port of Tillious, and thus the town has always made do with the resources at hand. The housing is not lavish, but rather homely, with most places made from stone and wood, their interiors filled with lavish furs from the wildlife, but not much else in terms of creature comforts. Though this does not seem to bother its inhabitants, after all, you are one of them and you don’t seem that worried. It does however mean that commodities like steel and iron are harder to come by, and thus reserved for the richer and more eminent figures of the town. But don’t dismay, as there is never a shortage of wood. This is often a phrase that is thrown around, and one that is taken literally. Many of the houses are towering structures of several storeys and numerous rooms – scantily outfitted as they are.

But enough said already. Enter the world and see it for yourself. Welcome home adventurers.

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