Kensing

Clearing the Mine and Rescuing Corwin

After defeating the guards outside of the mine, the party calls one of the workers over to discuss the situation. The man’s name is Vareth and after thanking everyone, he explains that there are still some mine bosses inside, but the main muscle is already defeated. Also, Corwin Flase, the previous captain of the guard in Arness, has been sent to work the mine in a recently reopened mine shaft. Vareth tells the party that the people assigned to work in that shaft have vanished, and only the biggest troublemakers get sent to work there.

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Return to Arness

After taking the two orphans to meet with Freka, the clan heads to Arness via the feather spell. Soldiers look suspiciously at the party as they walk through the gates; Smoth immediately hides his scabbard. A mace-wielding soldier asks the group’s business in being there in a very rude fashion. Eventually, he lets the party pass and they head to the temple of Boccob.

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Tragedy in Nent
Harcourt gets the better of Heironeous

With Spring beginning, the former conscripts recruited by the party had plenty to do in tending to the crops and helping make Cranford more defensible. At this point, the adventurers had a couple of options. They could further investigate the rumors of the ruined tower to the north. This could provide a defensible base of operations for the planned resistance. But based on the rumors Smoth heard, it seemed a little too risky at the moment. Another option was to try to find some willing orphans to take back to Freka where they would learn the ways of the druids. Hopefully it wouldn’t take too long and it was something that needed to be done, so the party agreed to pursue this course.

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Drafting an army

The party learned of a group of officers in Harcourt’s army, who came to town and were collecting conscripts from the various towns. They discussed for a good while about what their plans were in terms of a resistance against Duke Harcourt, with them not really deciding what the best course of action would be. Ultimately they decided that the soldiers should be disposed of, and the conscripts freed of their duties. They attempted to wait along the path out of town for them, but they did not leave that day. Smoth attempted to force the brand to work on the two hooded figures in the inn of the group, but nothing happened. They decided to follow along behind once they did finally leave town, and did so.

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Crafting Items, and Connecting with the Past

After Defeating the Naga the party returns to the city, the last ingredient needed for crafting Gloves of Dexterity aquired.

The party returns to the leatherworker and manges to sell the entire Naga’s body for 300 gold, as it is in perfect condition. While there Keldon decides to purchase his own set of gloves for a lesser version of the Gloves of Dexterity than Fin and Smoth are having crafted.

With all the shopping and gathering business concluded, Asherok teleports us back to her house in the small village, and there in the basement Smoth and Asherok begin to work on the 3 pairs of gloves that are needed. During this time the rest of the party takes a long needed rest, except for Findail who spends every available moment scrying on the far away jungle. Eventually he starts asking Keldon to view the jungle with him, so that they might teleport there.

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Shopping and Racist Gnomes

Keldon awaken his senses to realize more potential that was previously un-tapped, after spending time meditating and praying to Lirr. He then casts slay living into his ring, which seeps into his ring in the form of a black cloud. Smoth then slips the ring on his finger.

Ashaurok takes the clan shopping for various items via teleportation. They teleport into a cold, walled city that is much more metropolitan than the ones they had recently visited. Ashaurok takes the group to a gnome alchemy shop where they sell their items with ease. Finn then has his gloves embroidered with the outlines of various animals that inhabit nature. Smoth has a wolf-head embroidered on his gloves. While the gnome is willing to provide the gloves, he says that he will need poison from a Naga. Knowing full well that Nagas tend to live in evil underground places, they decide to seek out some sea caves.

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A New Path
The Party takes a new course of action and visits an old friend

Based on the outcome of the battle with the giants, the party decided to change their course of action. Since the Giants were too powerful for the party and the Giant Cleric was their only lead, they decided to abandon curing Duke Killingsworth for now. Having been in the northern part of the island of Kensing for some time now, the party decided to head back south towards Nent and check on their interests there. They also discussed the fact that causing a bit of trouble for Duke Harcourt while they were in the area would not be such a bad thing. But first, the party needed to go back to Istivin to pick up the magic items they ordered earlier. The only problem with this though was that the Istivin city guard would be on the lookout for all six of them. This ended up not being too much of a problem because Smoth had a completely new body, so no one would be able to recognize him. Fin decided to go along, pretending to be Smoth’s pet. He flew over and perched on Smoth’s shoulder and they were on their way. The rest of the party waited just inside the forest North of Istivin.

When Smoth and Fin approached the gates of the city of Istivin, they immediately noticed the wanted poster nailed to the guardhouse. The main reward was for Capt. Belaine, being charged with treason. Smoth, Fin, Shun, and Keldon were only mentioned as a footnote with a supplemental reward. Smoth and Fin continued into town, slightly disappointed that they were not worth a higher reward. They went to the magic item dealer’s shop, and since they had their tokens given to them when they placed the order, they picked up their items without any problems. Before they left town, they also purchased five horses so every member of the party would have his own horse.

On the way out of town, Smoth and Fin dropped by Algorthas the Seer’s house on the way to meet back up with the rest of the party. Both the gate and the front door were locked, but Smoth picked both of them. The house was very cold with no signs of any activity in some time. But they could tell that someone had been there since their last visit because the body of the servant boy was gone. Smoth searched the library and found two books on animals that seemed interesting. Fin used Detect Magic and found a faint magic glow from a glass lens on one of the sage’s desks. He took the lens to identify later on.

After meeting up with the rest of the party, they rode south towards the village of Cranford. There they planned to visit Smoth’s teacher, Ashaurok. The weather was cold and snowy and the road deserted. They passed through a number of villages on the way, but almost all of them had been at least partially destroyed by giants. One village they passed through was in very bad shape, so Fin suggested they stop and help out a bit. He used his druidic magic to restore the wooden palisades and some of the buildings. He also magically softened the ground around the outside of the palisades to make it harder for attackers to walk through. While there, the party meet a ranger named Awcer, who was in charge of the defenses of the town, which the party learned was called Belvoran.

Some of the townsfolk sought spiritual counsel with Keldon and Shun. Smoth showed the children some magic and tried to teach them some, but they soon became afraid or disinterested. This caused Smoth to declare that he wanted to start a system of schools throughout Kensing to teach the magical arts to children who would otherwise not have access to such teachings. Keldon thought this was an excellent idea and pledged his full support in the endeavor. Keldon’s deity, Lirr, looks favorably upon those who further the teachings of magic and knowledge in general. After hearing this, Smoth seemed a little more interested in the teachings of Lirr.

By the time they got to Cranford, the weather had cleared and the sun was shinning. They went straight to Ashaurok’s hut and inside they found their old friend Solist sitting in a chair staring at the wall. Ashaurok was glad to see them and after her and Smoth caught up a bit (especially about Smoth’s latest reincarnation experience), they began to discuss more serious matters. Ashaurok took out the branding iron the party had found earlier and said she had tried to destroy it, but couldn’t. She also explained how she discovered that the brand was still having a controlling effect on the people it had marked even though she now possessed it instead of Harcourt. She also mentions that Nent is aggressively conscripting fighters and mages. Because of this, most of the towns and villages, including Cranford, are not pleased with Harcourt’s rule. With this advantage, the party decides to create dissension within the ranks of the newly conscripted armies, starting with the soldiers assigned to the small villages and hamlets in the countryside of Nent.


Experience

Roleplaying story award – 750xp each

Took the lead on bolstering the defenses of Belvoran – 200xp for Fin

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Giant Ambush
in which there is a turnabout

The party is still in the forest after interrogating and killing a giant to learn the location of the giant’s cave. They identified a few items after resting for the night, including a very flexible suit of black chain mail, which Smoth took, and aided his tumbling ability. They also identified a short bow, which seemed to contain a large amount of malice for giants, which Smoth also decided to put to use. In the morning they tracked down the cave, and waited outside for any giants to wander out.

After a few hours, a single giant came outside the cave, to obey nature’s call, and our heroes decided to pounce. Smoth snuck up behind with it with the giant-bane bow, while Fin perched in the treetops nearby as a dire eagle. They hit the unsuspecting beast with a 1-2 punch of a barbed arrow to his side, and a flamestrike. However, it was not enough to down it, and it charged, howling, after Smoth as he beat a hasty retreat. An entangling did not slow it down much, while Smoth’s further arrows failed to hit their mark. Keldon and Shun closed the distance from where they waited, but none paid much attention to the unidentified spells they heard in the distance. This was to their folly, as two more giants ran up at incredible speed, surrounding the grounded heroes. Fin tried to befuddle the giants with a cloud of fog, but was interrupted by a huge lightning bolt striking him from an invisible enemy. Smoth pulled out his smoking bottle in order to facilitate their escape, and Keldon was able to elude the deadly circle unharmed, but Smoth was not quick enough to escape. The two hastened giants surrounded him and beat him mercilessly, a blur of motion from two tree trunk sized clubs. He was only conscious for perhaps a split second before his entire ribcage was crushed, his skull battered against the ground and split open.

The melee turned into a morass of confusion as the giants ran around in the fog trying to locate their enemies, and the party tried to both elude them, eliminate the one extremely damaged original target giant, and remove Smoth’s body from the field.

Once the party returned to their base camp with the still bundled Duke, and Blaine, they set about to reincarnate Smoth. Smoth had already been reincarnated once before, and was very interested in experiencing new races. He was kind of annoyed before, however, that he was reincarnated as a human.

For this ceremony, Fin crafted a body out of the surrounding snow, and as Blaine muttered about the unholiness of reincarnations in general, Smoth’s body drifted back from the upper planes to inhabit the vessel, and it was gradually transformed into an elf.


Experience

Good planning for the giant ambush – Story award – 500xp each

Jordan: This is applied after your reincarnation.

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An Unexpected Fight
Could a Goblin Take Down a Giant?

After the battle with the ogres, the party decided to head towards the caves previously occupied by the ogres and currently occupied by giants. As the party traveled along the path in the forest, some of the party members heard a commotion up ahead. Being in eagle form and able to investigate without being noticed, Fin along with his eagle companion Acer took to the air to find out what was going on. They discovered a small band of goblins fighting two hill giants. The leader of the goblins rode a worg and the arrows from his bow seemed like the only weapon that was able to affect the giants. He was able to get off plenty of good shots that weakened the giants, but his luck ran out as one of the large rocks thrown by a hill giant hit him square in the chest and knocked him off his mount. It didn’t take very long before his head was smashed by one of the giants. Without their leader, the goblin band soon became a non-issue to the giants because at this time, Fin and Acer decided to attack from the air.

Their initial attack disabled one of the giants and Fin initiated a grapple to hold him while Acer handled the remaining giant. Seeing that he was outnumbered, the mobile giant turned and started to run away. As Acer pursued, the giant periodically turned and attempted an attack with his club. The first few times he missed, but on one of his turnarounds he slammed his club directly into Acer’s head, giving him critical injuries. The giant then pressed the attack by following up with another swing of his oversized club. This second hit killed Acer. Hearing Acer’s dying call, Fin released his hold on his giant to pursue the Acer’s killer. By this time, the rest of the party had arrived and subdued the giant Fin left.

Enraged, Fin flew at high speeds and soon caught up with the fleeing giant. Fin attacked the giant and killed him. Not satisfied, Fin severed the giant’s spinal cord with his beak and removed the head from the giant’s lifeless body. Fin returned to the party with Acer and began to build a funeral pyre. During the ceremony, Fin swears an oath to take revenge upon the giants in this area, declaring that Acer did not die in vain. Sunn then led Fin in a prayer to St. Cuthbert to aid him in carrying out his oath.

The first step in fulfilling Fin’s oath was to question the surviving giant about his tribe and their hideout in the cave. After a few hand gestures and incantations, Keldon laid his hand on Fin’s shoulder. The magical energy transferred to Fin gave him the power to temporarily speak and understand any language, including Giant. Fin then questioned the giant but didn’t find out much. The giant was reluctant to give out information and what he did say could not be taken as being completely true. He did go into some detail about the giants’ current feud with the local goblin tribe. Realizing that he had gotten all of the information that he could out of the giant and deciding that it wasn’t satisfactory, Fin asked Smoth if he wanted to deal the death blow with his dagger. Smoth obliged and the party then searched the dead for treasure. The goblin that was riding the worg had a very nice short bow and a black chain shirt. The bow was of great interest to the party after seeing a single goblin almost slay a giant with it. But since no one had any spells prepared to identify it, they’d have to wait until they rested. By this time it was getting close to dawn, so the party (really just Keldon and Smoth, due to lack of sustenance rings) needed to rest anyway.


Experience

Defeated 2 giants – CR 8
8 2400xp
9 1800xp
10 1500xp
XP / person:
8 600xp
9 450xp
10 375xp
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Ogre Surprise
Too many ogres

The party members interrogate the ogre who was captured during an ambush. After tying his hands and feet, they take turns intimidating and chatting him up. Finally, he gives a little information, the name of the leader of his tribe, Yarnat. Yarnat had given instructions to ambush travelers on the roads, which they had been doing for a while. Telling more, the ogre speaks about having to leave his favorite cave after giants took it over, but he hadn’t heard anything specific about Ilkaris. When asked about what sorts of giants inhabit the mountains, he explains that the population is mostly hill giants, with scattered frost. Mustering up some bravery, he refuses to reveal any more information about Yarnat or the giants, so after repeated warnings Smoth Harkshire slits his throat, sacrificing the ogre’s life to power his magical poisonous dagger.

While conferring on what to do next, Keldon sits down and identifies some red velvet boots that had been sitting in the bag of holding for while, and Smoth carves out an ogre tooth for his collection.

After a short discussion, the party decides to go after the ogres and try to take them out, because they are still a danger to the people in the area. Fin takes to the skies in eagle form to scout around and look for ogres, finding several in a camp with some crude, poorly constructed teepees.

Having two poison charged items, his dagger and spell-storing javelin, Smoth casts invisibility on himslef and sneaks into the camp. Keldon and Fin wait anxiously, waiting for the telltale sounds of commotion before attacking.

Smoth searches around between the tents, and begins counting adversaries: six ogres in the camp, one patrolling, one asleep, and then two of them having a conference of some sort in a large tent. The two in the tent are dressed differently than the others. One wears normal ogre garb, but has a massive axe with him, while the other wears a cape, chain mail, and sits with a broad sword across its knees. Smoth tries to keep investigating tents, but the female in mail hears him, and defensively casts a sleep spell on the area where she hears the noise, but Smoth easily resists it. However, within seconds she raises the alarm, and Smoth is forced to move to the outside of the camp as ogres begin spilling out of the tents.

Smoth tried to run back to Keldon (while still invisible) to give him some warning as to the numbers they were facing. Fin meanwhile, sees the commotion from his vantage point in the sky and decides to attack. Tucking his wings and going into a steep dive, Fin drops several hundred feet in only seconds. Without giving warning, he attacks the large ogre wielding the massive axe. In short order, Fin is surrounded, but acting quickly, he retreats back into the air and drops a flame strike on several of the ogres, killing them.

Combat rages on, with javelins thrown by ogres, searing light shooting out from Keldon’s outstretched finger, and a cone of cold from the suddenly un-invisible, flying ogre mage. Smoth, still invisible, intently scans the ogre mage, finding a weak spot to attack, only to have her turn invisibile again.

Rushing into melee, Keldon and Shun find the ogres to be strong opponents. Using some nearby trees as a wall, the two fight back to back, preventing the ogres from flanking from too many directions. Still, blow after blow rains down, nearly killing both of them.

Deciding that he can no longer stay out of the fight, Smoth, still invisible, creeps up behind the axe-wielder. Appearing suddenly with electricity crackling across his outstretched fingers, Smoth delivers a shocking grasp directly to the back of the ogre’s knee in a crippling sneak attack. Staggered, the ogre stumbles around the battlefield . Any strain on his part will surely cause him to collapse, yet he knows that when the fatigue from his rage takes its toll, he will die anyway.

Fin manages to summon 2 unicorns which run in and heal Shun and Keldon enough to survive. Taking a chance, Keldon spends precious time radiating a healing aura, in which their cures are maximally effective. Seizing the moment, Fin and Shun cast maximized cure spells and heal their most grevious wounds. Realizing the fight was lost, the ogre mage flees while invisible. Finn wild shapes into a giant bat and uses his echo-location to try to locate him, but finds nothing. Strange…

After the fight, they examine the surrounding carnage and reflect on just how lucky they are to have survived. Having faced death on many occasions, and sometimes losing, they decide to be more cautious in the future.

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