Birthright: Rise of the Kingmakers

Session 24: A Pig in a Poke

August 9-10, 561 H.C.

Present: Brian, Dave, Jess, Ken, Ron. Absent: none!

Current Goal: capture and hold a fort in the Esmersdan province of Kiergard until the Prince’s men can arrive to reinforce it (approximately August 17).

Last Session Recap: Explored the tower, finding a chest with various magic items: a “mushroom gun” (shoots harmful spores), a ring to help sense ley lines, and a wand of stone-to-mud. Released the human and goblin captives, and lured the “guard bear” out of the entrance pit. Through a secret door in the pit a staircase led to a chest protected by toxic mushrooms. Dealt with the shrooms, chest contained a letter, platinum bars, and dozens of silver spider pendants (which might be enchanted). Chased after goblin prisoner in the Dark Roads, but turned back after hearing sounds of a goblin army approaching. Letter unclear on who was buying and who was selling. Next day, a wizard came through the pass, guarded by knights wearing the Gorgon’s symbol. Jenneken, disguised as an orog, convinced them to move along without incident.

Online roleplay recap: Down at the fae ring Vendar met a strange girl causing trouble in the camp. Nick was secretly confronted by the many-voiced sorceress who told him to meet by the pond in the village outside the fort. That night, an elven enchantress (spectacularly) appeared there, and used the pond to create a scrying portal. She summoned a huge boar at the fae ring gate – an awnshegh known as The Boar of Thuringode. There it ravaged the gathered Gorgon’s troops and destroyed the portal. The enchantress (The Autumn Queen?) offered to answer a single question from each of the group. From Vendar, she noted that the group (working for “The Gorgon’s Wife”?!) had been doing much to help the “ongoing struggle”. The elf girl let slip that “Auntie Dorotea” (The Gorgon’s Wife) used the dog and puppies that the group delivered at Coyote Point to help summon The Boar. From Nick, she explained that the many-voiced woman (The Gorgon’s Wife) had been “harassing” Nick in order to help him get stronger. From Jenneken, she explained that Nick’s parents were unknown, the boy having been “rescued” by thugs in Mhowe from his “Shadow World guardian”. From Almira, the queen noted that the events unfolding were part of a larger conflict, a struggle for power.

Game date: August 9, 561 (Brecht)

The elven queen’s men set up for an evening meal some distance from the pond. The water was still acting as a scrying portal to the battle around the fae ring.

Vendar chatted with the “little girl” for a while. He learned that the queen and The Gorgon’s Wife had been planning this event for some time, but that the queen was upset because “one of the bad guys” wasn’t at the fae circle. She wasn’t sure who he was, but knew he lived underground.

Off to one side, the group discussed what had happened and what to do next. After coming to few conclusions, Vendar wandered over to the queen’s “feast” and helped himself (much to this companion’s dismay). Eventually, Johan and Nick joined also. Almira returned to the fort, and Jenneken continued to watch the confrontation through the scrying pond.

Vendar told the queen about the spider pendants, and went the fort to get them from Almira’s magic box. When she saw the spider things, the queen shouted and her guards immediately drew their weapons on the companions present. “Where did you get these!?” she demanded. Vendar explained about the guarded chest and the escaped goblin that went down into the Dark Roads. At this, the queen stormed over to The Gorgon’s Wife, cast a spell to awaken her, and they began arguing in elvish. Johan could catch enough to realize that Dorotea (The Gorgon’s Wife) had not told the queen about the spiders.

The queen and Dorotea confirmed that the spiders are similar to the beetles they encountered on Caelcorwynn Island. That The Eyeless One was willing to pay so much – or distribute them – was very concerning.

After asking about the fate of the orog’s prisoners, The Gorgon’s Wife went and found the bodies and animated several of them so she could ask them questions. (Almira could barely contain her contempt at this use of necromancy.) Johan caught enough to estimate that the goblins sent both the platinum and the spiders to the humans, and the money was to be used to “spread them out”. Dorotea then animated the orog captain’s body. After the interrogation, she then explained that The Eyeless One had intended to send the money and “amulets” (spiders) across the major cities in Massenmarch and Kiergard to create a massive army of undead. Further concerning was news that The Eyeless One managed to resist The Gorgon’s summons to be at the fae circle.

At a simple comment from Nick, The Gorgon’s Wife confirmed that Prince Renerik worked for her.

Dorotea then asked if the group would be willing to go into the Dark Roads to find the locations where The Eyeless One was organizing. She said there should be a fortress where The Eyeless One used as a central base, and also a temple to Azrai. The alterative to this search was to stay and wait for the Prince’s men came to relieve them, as per their original contract.

The group retired to the fort discussed their options, with most being concerned about the dangers of the Dark Road. (While talking, Johan pointed out that They Eyeless One was one of The Gorgon’s children.) Overall, the risks seemed great either way: getting lost, captured, or worse down in the dark roads, or waiting for agents of The Eyeless One to arrive looking for an explanation why his plans hadn’t been put in motion.

The little girl came to the fort door and offered enchanted “dark flame” torches that provided their owner the ability to see in the dark, even though they provided no visible light. She said the group could have them if they agreed to go into the Dark Roads. This seemed enough to convince everyone to take a chance on the mission from The Gorgon’s Wife.

Game date: August 10, 561 (Brecht)

In the morning, the group told The Gorgon’s Wife they had decided to search for The Eyeless One’s fortress and temple. As offered, she provided a case of supplies for exploring underground (details hand-waved).

Preparing to descend into the dark, Almira used her ghost spell to become incorporeal, and Jenneken took the guise of a big, threatening goblin. Everyone was sure to have an Eyeless One medallion, as taken from the orogs that were guarding the fortress.
At first the group followed the same path as when they were pursuing the escaped goblin. At a fork Nick determined a different path was actually more frequently traveled, so they veered that way.

Continuing to follow the more frequently traveled passageways, the tunnel was found to be filled with the choking fungus, and a locked wooden gate. Almira used her portal spell to get the group past the mushrooms and barrier.

A bit further down was a hut built on the side of the passageway, with an orog sentry inside. Jenneken confronted the guard in her big goblin form, completely fooling the sentry. While she spoke to him, the others snuck past.

After passing by another locked gate and stretch of the choking mushrooms, the group could hear activity and voices ahead. Goblin-Jenneken approached to find a ledge overlooking a large cavern below. There were goblins in chains being bullied by orogs. The goblins were quarrying stone blocks and hauling them away for some unknown purpose.
One of the orog guards spotted goblin-Jenneken, and shouted for her to surrender. “Fleeing” back to the group, the guard appeared only to be quickly knocked out by the flat of Nick’s axe. Jenneken changed to look like the orog guard, and Nick donned the rain cloak from the fort. Orog-Jenneken led fake-prisoner Nick down into the pit, where he jumped one of the guards and flattened him. Lion-Vendar charged into the room, tackling the other orog guard to the ground. Ghost-Almira entered the room, throwing the goblin slaves into hysterics.
After Nick ran over to knock unconscious the other orog, Jenneken reverted to her big goblin disguise, complete with shiny armor severed orog heads on her belt. (“I am Targ from Blarg on a holy quest!”) The slaves quickly bowed to this powerful leader and his loyal, if unusual, companions.

Checking the passageways leading from the pit, one passageway was found to have been blocked. A small trickle of water was coming through the blocks. The group quickly determined that the lower cavern area could be flooded, with a pier available from the ledge where the group entered.

Goblin-Jenneken asked the slaves about what was happening, and they explained a large goblin city was being surrounded by orogs that were attacking them. The orogs were also working to dig out a hidden temple, using goblin slaves to perform manual labor and as sacrifices in horrible rituals. A few of the goblins had gone to the surface to seek help, but they didn’t return.

Another passageway led from the cave, and the slaves said it led to a large orog fortress. The group was hopeful that was one of the structures The Gorgon’s Wife was looking for. They then asked about the blocked passageway, and the slaves said that the water there would flood the pit a few feet deep, but could drain down a hole that was presently blocked.
After some discussion, the group decided they needed to continue on rather than escorting the goblins back to their city. The goblins went back the way the group had come, readying themselves to confront the lone orog guard, bolstered by the weapons taken from their former captors.

After releasing the waters to flood the cavern, the group turned to question the captured orog slavers.

See the MAP tab for Johan’s map of the Dark Road

Each member gains 6 Character points for an exceptional BSOLRP!
Each member gains 5 Character points!

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ronald_t_m

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