Rotkind

Friends, New and Old
The Party is split, and Battenberg hangs in the balance

Main Party

The party encountered a barbarian named Hogarth along the trail they had been following and had a lovely fight with some trolls and other beasties. Once the fight was over, Hogarth explained that he was searching for members of his tribe who had been brutally kidnapped, and the trail led him to this general area. The party decided that the kidnappers were probably the same cult they were searching for, and Hogarth joins the party. Further up the trail, the party found some cave entrances. After a little light scouting, they discovered these to be the cult’s hidden lair. They also overheard the cultists discuss how the last of the “sacrifices” will arrive soon. Plan B decided to invade caves and rescue the kidnapped prisoners before anything untoward can happen to them.

Zigmund

While the party traveled north into the mountains, Zigmund arranged a meeting with Monica Meyer, Plan B’s main contact in the local thieves guild. After explaining his plan and reasons for doing so, Monica decides that his goals align closely enough with hers to loan her support. To this end, she assigns Zigmund three retainers: Tiny, her goliath bodyguard, a jumpy little fellow simply called “Ty-Bop”, and a slicked back consilieri from Sans Marche named “Jaques DuBanane". Jaques helped Zigmund to acquire appropriate clothes and gave him advice on correct Sans Marche comportment, then the quartet entered Schloss Südliche to meet with Lady Graf. Lady Graf was less then pleased to find strangers wandering around her mansion, but willing enough to listen to Zigmunds proposition. After some further prevarication, he is able to get Graf to admit that she has an “arrangement” of some kind with a local criminal interest.
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Excerpts from Brigg's Journal -- 1/16/12 - Through the Gauntlet and Back

… only after returning to human form did I come to realize how truly dangerous this cursed armor actually was. It was an utterly foolish thing to do, putting this gauntlet on! But still, what’s done is done, I suppose. For now, I must take comfort in what General Allegre told me before returning to the physical realm.

“The burden you carry will be removed.”

The statement sounds a little too vague and ominous for my tastes. I guess I don’t have much choice but to trust his word. That, and he conveyed to me that the aforementioned statement won’t take place until a after set of tasks is completed. The only problem is that he never told me what they were! How in Rotkind am I supposed to receive that information? Will the consciousness trapped in the gauntlet reach out to me somehow? This whole situation is uncomfortable. What if I lose myself in the middle of battle? How could my companions trust me if they knew, at any moment, I could be taken over like some puppet?

The sooner I get this gauntlet off the better…

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Psychic Spelunking
What could possibly go wrong?

After returning home from the wilderness, the party finds that Edward Zug has left them a note asking them to get in touch at their next convenience. After spending a night on the town, during which the party learn that there have been several strange disappearances, they meet up with Zug.
Zug informs them that he has devised a way for the party to psychically enter the gauntlet, which might let them find out what’s going on inside the gauntlet. The ritual, which he calls the “Rite of Psychic Binding” involves having them tell each other a secret while handing around an extensible chain.
Inside the gauntlet, they find themselves in a vast library. After fumbling around for a while, the party manages to orient itself, and heads down the aisle marked “history” hoping to find some clues…

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Into the woods

Quick sum up of previous sessions. After defeating the dragon, the party learned of the whereabouts of its horde- only to discover that most of it had already been been pilfered by ghost pirates. The party stopped the pirates in time to rescue some of the loot, and the mysterious black pearl, which their mysterious letter writer had advised them to claim.
Along the road home, the party encountered Pink Butterfly, a childhood friend and sometimes sweetheart of Redbear. She tells them that the condition of Redbears parents has deteriorated, and begs him to return with her to his village. Redbear and the party take a Way through the feywild, with a brief stop to fight owlbears.

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Dragon Slayers
Where the Party Kills a Dragon

Once again, the odds stacked against us seemed daunting. The task laid before us, defeating a full-grown adult dragon, seemed better fit for a trained army than a group of adventurers as inexperienced as we were. How could we expect to last more than a couple minutes in battle with the ancient beast?

I knew that the reasonable thing to do was to leave the group and let them see to this impossible task themselves. This was not my fight. The dragon was not after me. In fact, it was probable that the dragon was not even aware of my existence or travels with this group, but I owed them an unspoken debt for their assistance in defeating Delita, the individual responsible for the death of my parents. And so, against my better judgment, I stayed to fight the creature that would certainly kill us.

Attempting to reason with the dragon failed, as we knew it would. The dragon offered to let us live a little while longer if we fetched it an especially large diamond from a city, but we knew that would only delay what was inevitable. This group is not one to back down from any challenge laid before it. Although this often gets them into trouble, I admire their determination. I wonder if knowledge of this diamond will come in handy later on.

With diplomacy no longer an option, we executed our plan. Our goal was to incite the dragon to attack, to charge forward with reckless abandon at its seemingly helpless prey. We hurled insults, but to little effect. Some of our jabs were so poorly crafted the dragon did not even seem to notice we were addressing it, or possibly did not understand our meaning. We toiled on this way until our wizard remembered an ancient curse demeaning enough to anger any dragon. I didn’t fully understand its meaning, but it had the desired effect on the dragon.

We presented little threat to a dragon, so it charged into the cave with the goal of removing our internal organs in a means certainly not approved by the Battenberg Medical Association. At exactly the right moment, we signaled the dwarves to set off the explosives planted at the entrance to the mine. The plan worked! The explosives detonated and dropped tons of rock down upon the charging creature. The dwarves performed their trade expertly, and most of the glory for this victory must be credited to their engineering.

When the dust settled, the dragon was trapped beneath the rubble, only its head and neck sticking out. It was clearly wounded, blood forming a pool beneath its head and seeping from under the fallen rock. The dragon lunged and thrashed beneath the rock, trying to free itself and kill those responsible for causing it pain. Its breathing seemed labored from the tons of rock trapping it to the floor of the cave.

The elf ate one of the magic wafers that were in his possession, and suddenly his already keen elven eyes were granted a sight that was clearly magical. (I’m still not clear on where these wafers came from, but I don’t buy his explanation of, “They just appeared in my pack.”) He fired two shots from his bow, each hitting one of the dragon’s eyes and effectively blinding the creature. Its weakened state allowed our fighter and warden to move in close where they would be most effective, while the rest of us remained out of the reach of the dragon’s jaws and fired spells and arrows at its weakened form.

The dragon continued to struggle, not willing to give up. Just when it seemed the wyrm would break free of the rock that held it, the minotaur struck a blow from which the dragon would not recover. It finally stopped thrashing and its head and neck crashed to the ground.

Once the battle was over, I felt surprisingly good. My body and mind felt stronger and more resilient than ever before. In addition, I believe I am ready to make practical application of the skill I have been practicing. If successful, this new skill will allow me to rewrite the memory of anyone we encounter. I am looking forward to putting it to use.

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Is this the end?

Tomorrow could be the last day of my life, so I am writing this journal with the hope that if for some reason we fail at defeating this dragon (yes, I said Dragon! This one has it out for us since we apparently killed her child….who knew?) then perhaps someone will find this and continue on my quest to discover what’s causing the sickness in my homeland. I really hope that our plan to subdue the beast by collapsing the roof on it will be enough to hold it so we can finish the job. It’s child whom we had slain was no spring chicken (though oddly enough it looked like a giant chicken) and took all of our skills in order to defeat it. I fear we are well overmatched in this battle, and will need to rely heavily on our wits in order to pull through this one.
Our plan is rather simple, lure the dragon into the entrance of the dwarven mines, then when she’s far enough in, ignite the explosives that the dwarves have set (and I double-checked, and a damn good thing I did too…greedy dwarf would’ve messed up the whole plan just to save some treasures he had in his room above the entrance) and hope that the weight of the rocks on top of the dragon are enough to subdue her. This will hopefully give us a chance to try and reason with the beast (resaon with a dragon, I can’t believe we’re even considering it…), and if not, at least daze it enough so that we can get our best shots in before it can attack us. This may sound odd to those of you who have not encountered one of these in their adventures, but I have come across a magical wafer that upon ingesting it fills me with a confidence and strength I never knew I had. It feels as though I cannot miss! I’m not entirely sure where it came from either. I simply awoke one day and there were two of them in my traveling pack. I wasn’t sure what they were at first, but something inside of me spoke to me and told me they were safe and that they were only to be used in the direst of situations. It’s almost as if they were gifts from Melora herself. Hopefully I won’t have to use it tomorrow, but I’ll have it ready in any case.
Well, I should get some rest, though I don’t feel much like resting. I don’t even feel like having a glass of ale to calm my nerves. If you are reading this journal, than we have failed.

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Defeating the Dragon
T Minus 24 Hours...

We’ve finally made it to the city of Bryce, Rhen and Eldeth’s home town. Honestly, I never thought I’d be back here. Not after what happened between me and Rhen’s brother Delgal. Thankfully, despite what happened, he promised to keep my relationship with Rhen a secret. But I guess it doesn’t matter now. The cat’s out of the bag.

Anyway, the dragon; there’s a dragon in town. Big Momma. We killed its son, and now it’s taken Eldeth’s oldest. It’s most likely way beyond us. We’ve been trying to formulate a plan, but we’re having a difficult time of it. Some of us think we can trap the dragon in a mine cave-in. The dwarves, of course, aren’t too happy about that. Negotiating with it seems slim. Situation’s kind of hopeless. Though, I need to be confident for everyone else’s sake. We’ll prevail. We always have.

We have to.

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Let me explain*
*No, there is too much; Let me sum up.

The party filled in Monica with what they learned. She was particularly interested in the ledger they found in the office at the warehouse. They also met with the half-orc mage named Edward Zug, who agreed to help them in exchange for some money. The party woke up the next morning to a bad hang-over and a mysterious note. The note asked them to find a certain helmet, and warns them not to wear it.
They went to the [[Bell & Whistle | Bell and Whistle Inn]], where they lay a trap for Dajani’s boss, Delita. At her meeting with Trall, he warned her of the party’s involvement, and she immediately exited the inn. The party pursued her, and finally catches her in a clearing along with a group of cultists who were transporting the very helm the party had been asked to find by the mysterious note-writer.
After soundly thrashing her, Delita melted into the ground. She is probably dead.

The party met up with Zhu in the woods, and very shortly thereafter were attacked by Ettercaps & Spiders. They survived and eventually triumphed.

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Rescue
It wasn't the cloak

The party takes a short breather after finishing up in the warehouse and then heads out the back door to confront Dajani. After a difficult fight, involving invisibility, teleporting, and a large tapestry, the party is victorious, and locks a disrobed Danjani in the cage in which he had kept Wren. The party interrogates him, and learns that his contact at the Bell & Whistle is named Delita – a name from Zigmund’s past. Before they can get much more information from him, he laughs & disappears – proving that it wasn’t the cloak which let him teleport. The party discuss what to do next, and then search the warehouse, where they find several nice objects, including a talking spear named Shivli. Shivli was apparently once a white dragon before having her personality imprinted upon the spear. She reformed herself into a longsword in order to be more useful to the party.

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Warehouse

Well, here I am again, this time stuck in a warehouse with my traveling companions trying to find the cranky old dwarf’s daughter. Foolish girl went and got herself into trouble by being where she shouldn’t have been. Sure I probably should have told her to just wait in the room until we got back, but she looked so depressed just sitting there, and she should be old enough to take care of herself. At least there didn’t look to be any blood from the spot where she was dragged away from, I’m pretty sure she’s still alright (she better be, Eldeth looked quite pissed when I told her the news, and I fear there may be some bloodshed if we don’t find Rhen soon). I’m surprised we’ve made it this far to be honest. These buffoons are so loud a blind, deaf mute would know we were coming. “Let’s just bust down the main door, that’ll surprise them!”, fools…luckily at least one of them has the brains to try and be somewhat sneaky. That’d be my drinking buddy, Brigg (can’t handle his ale very well, but he’s got good intentions. Hopefully his affection for Rhen doesn’t cloud his judgment and get him in trouble before we can rescue her). He managed to sneak along the alleyway with me and helped me get on the roof unnoticed. There I was able to pick off my targets with ease and didn’t get too hurt in the process (though I suppose I could have fared even better had I not had a nice helping of ale at the ball and was too drunk to move out of the way of those fools with the sling shots). Anyway, we managed to clear the front area of this warehouse, and my companions are taking a short rest before we press on. Once rested myself, I will scout on ahead and see if I can see anything suspicious. If only this damn headache would go away. Damn cheap ale they were serving at that ballroom. They must have kept the good stuff for their guests, I hope so anyway, as the crap that I found in the kitchen tasted like 12 year old skunk piss. Good thing I always bring a little with me for times like this. Perhaps a little drink would help take the edge off. Gulp…ahh, that’s better. Time for a quick rest now….ZzzzZzzz

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