We find our PC’s in their camp, a day out of town from Oakway; a short period of downtime, small shopping errands and other minor items taken care of off-server, in a new discord chat we opened to organize ourselves in.
The group is destined for the Southwest of Oakway, to the marshland bordering the Dwarven Kingdom. There at the Crawling Keep, they seek the Elven demon cultists who prey on the countryside and assault it’s innocents. With them dealt with, a deal with the Southlanders can be met, their trust assured.
Gray looks around, trying to tell if it’s somewhere they had camped after leaving Oakway. It feels like a year ago or more
(GM To Gray): Your first ever campsite. You’re sure of it. Aachen stayed in the tree watching over you all.
Gray chuckles at the memory. “That’s right.. we stayed here. He spent time in that tree, watching for danger.” He says thoughtfully. The beast relaxing a touch at the added familiarity.
Ken (GM): [map magic]
Ken (GM) Night pulls close and the darkness reigns supreme, Your fire dwindles low as the heat of the night returns
Doc: >map magic
Syviis: wooshing encounter music
Ken (GM): sad GM face
am I that tranparent?
Fiss: [Nah, we’re just all vets of gaming]
Doc: Only if pretending to be sad isn’t a bluff
Syviis sleeps soundly, not dreaming of tentacles. Not at all. Not even one.
Ken (GM) there is a noise like tearing fabric and splashes of water, and then a smell hits you of blood and vomit! Shouting voices and Memory cawing in alarm rouse you from whatever rest you were having!
Joush M.: Goddamn dwarves and their nightmares
Syviis opens her eyes with a sigh
Ken (GM) two men, sloshing wet and retching, have landed on your cart! The horse screams and kicks! A hole in the air above them wavers back and forth, swirling like a red pool upside down in the air. Things swim on the surface of that crimson tide…
Gray swears passionately at the goddamn portal disgorging soaked brigands on their goddamn cart
Gray: rolling 3d6 vs 15 to resist Berserk (Battle Rage) (1+3+6)= 10
Gray: rolling 1d6 + 7 for Initiative (Basic Speed 6, Combat Reflexes +1 or +2 if Leader)(1)+7= 8
Ken (GM): Gray rises to the challenge instantly!
Roderick reaches for his sword and stands as quickly as he can
P.P. A.: >portal appears and spits enemies at us
Suðri Skornbrekker: rolling 1d6+5.5+1(3)+5.5+1= 9.5
Syviis: rolling 1d6 + 7(2)+7= 9
Roderick: rolling 1d6+5.75+1(4)+5.75+1= 10.75
Syviis is still half dreaming but manages to find her bow, arrows and the staff still tucked away in her pack with ease, though only the first two are any immediate concern
Ken (GM): Roderick rises to meet the challenge first! Unarmored, but armed!
(To Roderick): You seem to have drawn the fae blade…
Ken (GM): Roderick!
Joush M.: Try not to burn the cart. It’s loaded with boom
Doc: (standing and sword drawn?)
Ken (GM): [Ah yeah, I am assuming a round of “I get up with my hand-reachable weapon] so the second after THAT, whatcha doin?
Roderick points his sword at the brigands and yells. “Identify yourselves!”
Joush M.: [Blight, I think I have to drive down to the airport. I have to leave you all to finish this without me for this week. Thank you very much for the game Ken. I’ll try to read the logs back later tonight]
Ken (GM): [ no worries Joush; safe drive!]
Doc: Wait maneuver, stab ‘im in the giblets if he moves funny
Ken (GM): gotcha
Doc: (are their giblets exposed or do they have armor?)
Ken (GM): [they seem to be in blood soaked robes and such. Leather arm guards, high boots. Nice shirts despite the gore]
Bomrek takes aim with his gun, waits on your lead
Suðri Skornbrekker grabbed his musket, and spends a turn propping it up on his bardiche so he can take aim next turn.
Ken (GM): thanks to your perk that means youre already Aiming!
Syviis is useless and a sitting duck in her tent. She carefully opens the slit and peers around, full defense mode, trying to figure out what’s going on… magical-vision active of course
[I don’t know where the tent flap is….so…use your judgement?]
(To Syviis): Magic Sight; that’s a portal to The Darkness, and they’re both Mages.
(From Syviis): so….pretty bright out for nighttime?
Ken (GM): [looks good; you’re up and armed.]
[oh, and as Fiss rightly notes, The portal is casting red light. Illuminating like day in your clearing, from the red glow]
[otherwise its a clear green-moonlit night, -5 darkness]
Doc: oh uh, I guess Rod would have moved out of his tent if that was necessary
Gray roars and draws his blade, the brass leaping to green flames!
Ken (GM) The men are bewildered, and seem terrified! They scramble upright in the cart, slipping on the blood “Close it! close it already Rolf!” one of them shouts to the other!The one man slaps back his hood on his robe, flinging blood everywhere in an arc, and waves his arms; magic lines appear encircling his wrists as they move
(To Syviis): Magic Sight That is gate-magic, hes working somethign about the gate, probably trying to close it
Ken (GM): Rod!
Roderick: (To GM) rolling 3d6 vs Thaumatology 12 to possibly know wtf (3+5+3) = 11
(To Roderick): Certainly some sort of Gate. Your senses prove that much. He’s working some sort of power to close it, maybe? It’s slipshod, and he’s losing power everywhere, but he’s making the motions of someone doing elaborate steps of advanced travel spells(which you know of, academically)
(From Roderick): My instincts tell me that it might be better to let him close the blood portal
(To Roderick): powerful instincts 🙂
Roderick takes a step closer and repeats his command, but does not seem especially interested in keeping the terrifying blood portal from closing
Bomrek: “What in the Allfather is that mess of magic?!” he yells, his big gun levelled at the men
Ken (GM): Suðri!
Syviis: [Syviis turns to Bomrek and answers his question: “The fantasy world’s slightly worse version of Uber.]
Ken (GM): [oh lawd]
Syviis: [Well, it’s got about the same level of bodily fluids you have to wade through…but Magical Portal doesn’t take Bitcoin or Interac]
Suðri has an aim, brace, and such. Wat do?
Ken (GM): [upper dude with the mark is the one waving his hands about]
P.P. A.: the one on the right?
Ken (GM): ja
Suðri Skornbrekker aims his gun at the man on the right, suspiciously as he is waving his arms about. “Stop moving your arms, or I shoot!” he shouts at them.
P.P. A.:[ he already forgot Bomrek’s lesson of “shoot first, ask questions later”]
Ken (GM): haha
Syviis is firmly confident that she can make guy waving his arms around trying to close the portal stop and pay attention.
Can she do a pulled shot to the leather arm-guard? honestly not sure how ranged pulled shots work, or if they’re even possible with a Composite bow
Ken (GM): as in, shoot him through the sleeve, without blowing up the arm?
Syviis: That might work. “Aiming for clothing” No lightning magic… I think we ruled that had to hit the target to get the Stunning effect.
Ken (GM): [does some GM maths] right, call it -8
Syviis: Target is 15.
Ken (GM): [good lord]
Syviis: rolling 3d6(4+5+6)= 15
Ken (GM): sweet jesus!
Syviis lets loose an arrow that weaves through the mage’s robes, almost nudging his arm out of the way, like an agressive ‘excuse me, Sir….’
Ken (GM) the shot zips out from syviis and snatches the man’s sleeve, lodging in the fabric somewhere. He yelps in surprise, and halts his movements. The magic continues to glow from his hands, like neon red beams up and down his arms. He appears to just now notice you all “Fuck me….” he says” We landed right on top of them!”
Syviis: “Did you not hear the good Sir? Speak!”
Gray growls and stomps up, sword drawn, threatening “WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” ANIMAL ROAR “Stand down!”
Syviis: [yeah, that works better, lol]
Ken (GM) the men cower from Gray’s voice, and drip red as they flinch away “This isnt happening! this isnt happening!” The one on the left seems to panic. He looks young. His eyes are wide open.
The other man beaming with magic speaks slowly, so not to alarm anyone”I am Rolf, High Wizard. And there has been a terrible mistake…”
Ken (GM): Rod!
Syviis admittedly isn’t familiar with the Human’s magical hierarchy and looks to the rest of the party.
Doc: (Any idea how to close the portal myself if it comes to that?)
Ken (GM): [not your forte, but usually an overload can break ’em easy enough]
Roderick continues pointing his sword at them, letting them speak but ready to run either of them through
Ken (GM): [or you cut off the connection to it’s opener]
Bomrek grimaces, and aims
P.P. A.: hm
Suðri Skornbrekker aims still, read to shoot ‘Rolf’ if he doesn’t stop waving his arm around by the time his turn comes around. “Cease all magic! Who else is coming? Why are you here?” he shouts at them in a loud, angry voice.
P.P. A.: [too bad you can’t “put down that magic” like you could a gun]
Ken (GM): Syviis!
Syviis: reloadan and aim at mage! In the Elvish: [“You sound like you’ve made a big mistake. Take care not to make it worse. You are yet still alive.“]
Gray narrows his eyes, ready to fell men like timber
Rolf: “the portal is under control but I dont know for how long!…I need to close it” he emphasises the last few words
Roderick: “Let him close it, unless you want to get closer to what’s on the other end.”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “…portals really are better of closed, yeah…”
Suðri ponders from behind his sights.
Syviis tries to memorize the magical auras and feedback she sees
Rolf immediately resumes his movements, sweeping his arms in wide, languid motions. The other man sits, wide eyed, rocking a bit, looking down at himself. He doesn’t even notice the weapons leveled at him
Ken (GM) a few tense seconds pass; Rolf finishes his movements, and the red swirl of bloody gore slips out of our world through a crack in the corner of your eye…(the movement unsettlingly familiar to the Gates back at the Dreugar keep)
The night is awash again in dim green light, and Rolf breathes heavily, under your gaze of gun and steel. “There was….something….on the other side” he says between gasps. He seems exhausted
(GM To Syviis): He used likely his entire available reservoir of power to close the gate. It fought him in the end; it didn’t want to close
Syviis watches, taking a few steps back…melee is for non-elves
Roderick: “And now there’s something on this side. Explain.”
Rolf: “Right! Shit!” he remembers himself, sees all the angry faces, looks down at his robes and sticks his arms out to his side “I surrender! The High Wizard of Greyhold wishes to parley with The South!” Rolf grins, or grimaces. Hes very, very red, and looks very, very tired.
Roderick does not grin or lower his weapon. “To what end does he wish to parley?”
Rolf: “Well, if this was any indication” he waggles his hands above him, where the portal was “I’m not sure Jadeite is on the level with us about the comings and goings of the Powers That Be, anymore”
Ken (GM) the young man beside Rolf continues to rock back and forth, staring faraway, muttering quietly to himself. He seems broken.
Rolf: “Not so sure I want to end up like poor Simon here. Gibbering was never my style”
Suðri Skornbrekker: “Whence do you come—that is, what lay behind that portal?”
Rolf: “A fine question! Grayhold, bright and beautiful!” he smiles broadly “My home no longer, as i am surely now a wanted man by the High Lord himself. Wanker” he mutters the last word “I fled the city to seek you out!” Simon was our tracker and…well, the rest of them didn’t follow us…”
Rolf immediaately vomits “Oh gods! The rest of them!… It was the rest of them…! That’s where…all that blood came…” Rolf falls over, fainting
Syviis lowers her bow.
Suðri Skornbrekker ‘s face grows pale as he realises what happened to these two men, and he stops aiming at them. “Portals…” he utters to himself, bitterly
Roderick follows suit
Gray catches the falling man, and sets him down gently “that smell is certainly human blood. Very sweet”
Syviis: “I had thought perhaps the bloody portal was a particularly unsavory travelling method….I didn’t realize…”
Suðri Skornbrekker shakes his head, he considers some comments, but they would be but talk for the sake of talking.
Ken (GM): [probably a good note to leave us on then :D]
Bomrek: “Oh shite, theres blood all over my powder kegs…”
Syviis walks over to the cart, and…gets more Last Rite’s practice, this time not in a hurry.
Roderick isn’t sure whether he’s more disgusted by what has happened or that he’s getting used to it.
P.P. A.: by the end of this campaign Syviis will be a pro priestess
Ken (GM): I like to think of it as “Did I need to roll a fright check versus what happened?”
Syviis: The correct answer to Roderick is “Yes”
Ken (GM): right, certainly 4 points each for y’all though, I’m sad Kev missed this.
And Joush missed the direct reveal
P.P. A.: I think the dorves’ sanity is protected by their prejudice. They don’t overthink these matters deeply: if it’s magic, it’s probably evil and horrible, and the details of how and in which way it is evil and horrible as secondary
Doc: that actually probably helps
P.P. A.: pre-jaded, basically
Ken (GM): hipster safe “I hated magic before it drove men mad”
Fiss: Alrighty folks, have a good evenin.
P.P. A.: Later \o
P.P. A.: thanks for the session
Fiss: \o yus, good stuff
P.P. A.: great atmospheric descriptions, as always
Doc: Yep, great atmosphere every time
Ken (GM): >so much atmosphere
Doc: so much atmosphere I can literally breathe