Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2/7 Actual Play: Southember

Some additions this session!

Sambrielle the Halfling Warlord, played by Jes
Zamir the Genasi Swordmage, played by Chris

This is in addition to our usual crowd:

Therryk played by Jay
Arlarond played by Dan
Lucan played by Colin
Ana played by Colin (Chelsea had something *better* than gaming)
Jesse ran again...

We picked up where we left off last time, having stripped the bodies of anything useful. We were told by Troap to remain where we were until noon. There was some paranoia about a probable attack, but we elected to wait, and give him the benefit of the doubt.

At around noontime a goblin with a hand mirror approached us. When he entered the glade, lightning struck from the mirror to his face, and we saw Troap's face appear over the original goblin's. He told us that we might have some success talking with the gnolls. They are slavers, primarily, and are upset that orcs keep killing what they see as potential slaves. He gave us a claw to show to the gnolls, and the goblin fell to the ground, dead.

We decided to heed his advice, and Scrag leads us to the gnoll encampment. As expected, the gnolls were mistrustful of our intentions at first, but when we showed them the claw they took us to see a leader.

Troap had arranged help for us, two valuable slaves. We are introduced to Sambrielle the halfling warlord and Zamir the genasi swordmage. Sambrielle was part of a unit of guards from fallcrest in the area, and did not think any of her companions had survived. Zamir was a wandering sage, exploring the Fens when he was captured to be sold. While it is understood that we do not intend to keep them in slavery, in order to not upset our hosts, we kept up the illusion that they were our slaves.

We were led to an island of forest in the midst of the gnoll camp. Under the boughs of a large tree a tent had been erected. Inside the tent were the leaders of the gnolls. Much about the nature of the legion is clarified at this point, and we took time to draw out a flowchart in parchment in an attempt to understand the power structures.

Despite our relatively warm welcome, the gnolls were not as willing as the goblins to desert the legion. The told us of the gnome revolt. Some time in the recent past, the gnomes had revolted, believing that the others of the legion would join them when they broke away. Instead, they were slaughtered and the survivors split up as slaves for the remaining factions. The gnolls did not want this to happen to them, understandably.

In an attempt to 'talk shop' with the gnoll slavers, Therryk inadvertently learns of some Eladrin slaves here, in the gnoll camp. The gnolls were holding six Eladrin, one of them a powerful fighter. We negotiated a price for them, and purchased the Eladrin (and one Kobold). We had no real leads on where we should go next, so we felt like this was a good opportunity to return these Eladrin to their home. In order to control them, the gnolls had put their eyes out, and we led the crippled men and women to their home.

The eladrin city, Southember was a shadow of it's former glory. As we approached we saw the ruined fortifications that did not fade into the Feywild with the rest of the city. Even though the swamp had not yet managed to erase the beauty of nature from the city proper, it was abandoned and the outer parts had fallen into disuse and disrepair. We were allowed to speak with Kerlos, and brought into the center of Southember.

They were happy that we had brought their people back, but somewhat disturbed that we had bought them as slaves, giving the gnolls more gold to use in their war effort. The whole approach we were using, of attempting to break the Legion from within, was derided by the Eladrin that we spoke with. They counted 60 of their people missing or killed so far. The efforts to translate the Orcish Prophesy had not been tremendously successful, but there was some talk of a Therming Stone, an artifact supposedly kept in the South, and what we could to to derail the plans of the Red Champion.

We did share what we knew of the power situation with them, and offered our help in protecting the city. Kerlos had a job for us right away, luckily, and the next morning we left in a wagon for an Eladrin outpost. Many of the supply trains had been lost recently, and in attempt to draw the ambushers out we were posing as a lone supply wagon traveling to an outlying hold of the Eladrin.

We got within about 15 feet of the gate when we were ambushed by orcs. As often happens, we got strung out early and spent the fight trying to get back together:

The post-it represents our wagon with all non-eladrin or elf looking folk hiding under the silk canopy (only Eladrin. . .). As soon as the trap is sprung Lucan and Ana charge forward, and Sambrielle climbs up on the wall. The other two defenders are still waiting in the wagon.

With us strung out like that the two Hobgoblins fighting Ana shout the signal and slam the gate shut. From it's recess in the wall it slides out and crushes her against the opposite wall. Sambrielle leaps down to protect her friend, and the rest of the party is not far behind. Therryk clambers over the wall and leaps down with an attack to help protect Ana. Zamir places his mark on the other one, preparing to teleport through when he can.
Lucan struggles to get over the wall, but eventually the three defenders get into play and keep the heat off of Ana, allowing her to be pulled from danger. The Orc caster who was on the roof of the building disappears inside, and then appears at a window cursing us constantly with an armor debuff. Another group of orcs charges from the building and engages us. By now we have marginal control of the battle, and Arlarond is able to conjure a huge storm of Ice over the orcs, marked by the blue corners.
The new orcs are not minions like the earlier ones, and do not go down easily. The two hobgoblins (Soldiers) have high enough AC and low enough to hit that Therryk and Zamir spend several rounds whiffing back and forth with them. In that time Lucan dances through the orcs, stabbing with his trident and marking most of them. In a rush to get at Arlarond, who is laying down copious amount of damage, they provoke attack after attack, and only one manages to get through. He gets over the wall and goes after the caster.

The orcs begin to fall, and one of the hobgoblins finally goes down, leaving Lucan free to charge into the building at the caster.

Arlarond manages to finish off the orc in his face, and the final hobgoblin drops, leaving the orc in the window facing all of us alone. He is forced from the window by Lucan, but manages to grab the windowsill on his way out. Lucan stabs his trident into his hand and into the wood below it, pinning him there. Zamir's sword flashes with lightning and the caster is forcibly yanked down and across the battlefield to his feet...


This is what I get for waiting too long to do this. 11 days and spotty notes means that much of this may not be exact or as detailed as it could be. We did not play last week due to the Valentine's Day conflict.

I abbreviated a lengthy amount of conversing at the gnoll camp. We went back and forth and over things multiple times, and came away with the sketch I posted here. It may be illegible due to it's rushed nature and cruddy picture, so I'll attempt interpretation:
11 o'clock - Splinterpaw Gnolls, slavers and members of the Legion of the Chimera.
12 o'clock - Gnomes, former members of the Legion of the Chimera and now slaves primarily held by the gnolls.
10 o'clock - Your guess is as good as mine...
8 o'clock - White Hills Goblins, led by Troap, and current members of the Legion of the Chimera
6 o'clock - Lizardfolk, members of the Legion of the Chimera, their numbers and affiliations are unknown.
5 o'clock - Children of the Five - Kobolds, members of the Legion of the Chimera and loyal to the orcs and their cause.
3 o'clock - Bloodspear Orcs - led by the Chunagarat (Red Champion in Orcish), the core of the Legion of the Chimera, they number at least 200.
Center - Drow - members of the legion of the Chimera, their numbers and affiliations are unknown.
2 o'clock - Your guess is as good as mine...
There are other goblin tribes, the total number of goblins is around 400, and the remaining allies number between 500-1000. That is a grand total of 1,100-1,600 in their army.
There was also some discussion about why Therryk wanted to buy a slave. I really tried to approach his alignment from his past as a ne'er-do-well, and as a Paladin of the god of civilization. From *his* prospective, slaves are a necissary evil. For most humanoids slavery is a way of life, and he has no problem as long as it benefits his God's ultimate goals.

So he bought a Kobold slave. Nominally to gather info, but also because of a bit of roleplaying. Plus, we now have one more on our list of replacement PC's:
The Graygrinder children
A sailor on the Dragon's Bane
Unnamed Kobold

And I do love Kobolds so. The next session should be on the 28th, this week I am running a one-shot low magic first level game with some of the preview classes available. Hopefully it goes well...



Jay said...

Formatting was retarded the first few times I submitted this, I guess refresh it if it still looks odd.


Jay said...

For posterity's sake I'll post an update to the handwrtiting investigations.

Drow is not on there, the thing that starts with D is a goblin tribe.

10 o'clock is the Mudrake Goblins.
2 o'clock represents the Shamans in the Orc tribe.