This was the first session of a new campaign set in the Vaaran Kingdoms.
Gaius: A Ronian-blooded aristocrat
Uloff: A Gru Trader
Dreckergael: A human hunter who casts spells randomly when
Garoff: A Gru Bounty Hunter
Told to contact his uncle, Hamil Kar-Harba the brother of
the King, at the Four Taverns in the town of Shahr-Tel, Gaius went there with
three companions: Dreckergael, Garoff and Uloff. Upon arriving in Shar-Tel, Dreckergael
noticed a hooded dwarf following them. He dipped around a corner and waited
taking the man by surprise. Dreckergael tried to grab the dwarf but missed, so
his opponent stabbed him. Because this caused two wounds, Dreckergael (who has
a Flaw called Subconscious Caster) transformed into a bird and flew away.
Seeing Dreckergael’s belongings had fallen to the ground the dwarf picked those
up. He also raved in the streets about demonic sorcery and the rest of the
party went to the Four Taverns Inn. They took a table and found the food quite
expensive. They also spotted the dwarf enter and order some drinks.
An Ogre eventually came to the table and told them to come
with him to Hamil Kar-Harba’s quarters. They followed and there Hamil asked
them to perform a service for them. He promised 400 Silver each and more if
they completed their task. He explained his need:
Hamil desired the Pillar of Druba, an ancient relic from
nearby Nong Sai ruins said to contain the last words of the Ogre King Dosikan.
However the ruins are vast, part of a great ancient city called Tongasha.
Finding the pillar without knowing its location is nearly impossible. As luck
would have it, Hamil heard through one of his men that Darios Tyrna Maorides (A
Castle Lord) had recently abducted and imprisoned an elf named Mangrai, who
lived in the final days of Nong Sai and was also the royal architect.
Hamil asked the party to rescue Mangrai and convince him to
show them the the way to the pillar. If they returned with the Pillar of Druba
he promised 4,000 silver.
Before leaving Garoff asked Hamil to detain the dwarf for
them so they could retrieve Dreckergael’s belongings. The ogre went downstairs
and brought the dwarf back unconscious. When Dreckergael returned they
interrogated the dwarf and learned he was an agent of Drecker’s enemy Goresios
Maorides (another Castle Lord). They threatened him and seemed to secure a
promise for more information about Goresios down the road.
After leaving the Inn the party went to Tyrna Hauch and its
village, Glaver. There they met the Eparkos and Gaius said he was there to
inspect defenses on behalf of the king. Because he is the nephew of the King’s
brother, it was convincing enough to get him an audience with Darios Tyrna. But
first they stayed the night in the home of the Eparkos. Because he is more at home
in the open air, Uloff stayed outside and heard a horrible sound coming from
the castle during the night. Like a great bull howling.
In the morning they convinced Darios Tyrna they were simply
inspecting on behalf of the king. Because Darios considers himself incredibly
loyal to house Hanno, he accommodated them and freely told them that he had
Mangrai imprisoned in a nearby tower. He even gave them access to the tower and
allowed them to speak with Mangrai.
In the course of their investigation the party learned that
Darios Tyrna was obsessed with Nong Sai and trying to find the Pillar of Drabu
himself. However he wanted it for sentimental reasons, remembering his mother
tell stories about it as a child. He purchased Mangrai from a Caelan senatorial
family who fled their homeland because of the civil war. Darios Tyrna found
Mangrai difficult and couldn’t get much information from him. He took what
little details he was able to extract and ventured to the Tongasha ruins. While
there something happened and Darios (who they discovered was also a Sertori)
overused his magic and turned into a Minotaur. The sounds at night were from
him changing form. Investigating further they learned that many villagers had
gone missing recently and that Darios’ master builder had been scorched by the
Researching Minotaurs, the party decided that Darios needed
to be killed. They went through many possible methods but settled on talking
Mangrai into showing them the way to the pillar and convincing Darios to go
with them. To do this they promised Mangrai to return him to Caelum and he
agreed. Darios was so enthused that they found the pillar’s location he happily
went with them.
The trip was largely uneventful thanks to the party having
three hunters in the group. They made their way to Tongasha but happened upon
some tar pits before reaching their destination. There they formed a trap upon
the pits, concealing them with branches and foliage. Then Giaus cast the
Pestilent Smile of Tiresias on Darios. This served two purposes. First it would
cause unnatural euphoria making any minotaur transformations unlikely (as those
were apparently triggered by anger). It also allowed them to lead Darios into
the trap fairly easily. Because he was under the influence of the spell, when
he fell into the tar pit Darius was oddly at ease and calmly suggested his
friends give him a hand. They let him sink and left the area immediately.