Characters: Iana Baton, Griffyn, Duet Alexander, Aurian Stef, Mayre Stoutheart, Bram, Wogren Duval, Quentin, Bartok, Weka
This is a collaborative synopsis of the 07 August 2008 game in the Oceania campaign of the Daleth world.
It is around 2:00 in the morning and the party has just finished fighting trolls that attacked them from the surrounding swamp. After starting a fire and burning the bodies and healing, they settle down to rest from the battle and catch some sleep in what remains of the night.
Just before dawn, Bram wakes to roll over and stop a tree root from digging into his back and overhears Wilrow talking with Qweldrik:
Qweldrik: "What do you think father will say if we find him and you are here?"
Wilrow : "I'm sure he will be happy to see us."
Qweldrik: "After what he said the last time he saw us?!"
Wilrow : "Err, well, I'm sure he will be happy to be rescued by you."
Qweldrik: "You remember what he said, don't you?"
Wilrow : "Sure, um, well, I better go check on the fire."
Morning comes with a blanket of mist and earthy smell of decay from the swamp mixed with the acrid smoke from the dying pyre. The sun rises behind a low cloud deck painting the scene in shades of gray. Lingering in camp till about 10:00 to let the spell casters recover their powers from the night's battle, the party is just getting ready to continue their journey east when Weka comes running into camp.
She says that late in the day the party left, she discovers something odd on the ship. While retrieving some spare rope from the hold for a rigging that needed repair, she found a small chest hidden inside the coil of rope. Inside the chest was a small silver horn with what looks like a strange Elven script on it, a silver ball with the same kind of runes on it, a funny looking gray Elfstone, and a tiny scrap of parchment with the following written in modern Elven that said:
"Change of plans - wait until you are sure the elder is dead before finishing the younger. Bring back the item if it is found otherwise make sure the ship is lost at sea."
Thinking that the items were important, she left the ship well before dawn to try and catch up with you.
Wogren casts ''Detect Magic'' but is almost blinded by the brightness of the Elfstones on each of the party members. Wilrow offers to take the stones out of camp so the spell will work better. Then Wogren and Bram are able to make out that the mirror has enchantment on it, the horn conjuration, and the ball necromancy.
The Elfstone effect also bothers Mayre who remembers that it was rather strange how her sword glowed when she attacked the trolls but she hadn't noticed that they were evil. She does another Detect Evil but finds nothing in the area.
Traveling on, they party finds a small hut at the end of the trail. The hut is nestled beside a high cliff with waterfall. The water from the falls forms a small pool that flows away as stream to the southwest. The hut has a thatch roof and a single door facing south.
The instant Gryffin opens the door, the party hears an ominous "boom, boom, boom" coming from around the hut. Drawing their weapons, they party moves toward the sound only to be confronted with a 12' tall walking metal monster!
Wogren summons a Hippogriff that attacks the monster while Bram casts Mage Armor. Mayre moves up and takes a crushing blow from metal man. Quentin's arrows bounce off the creature's metal skin as Duet casts Inspire Courage to rally her friends.
Gryffin tries to stun the creature but his blows bounce off. When Wogren casts Magic Missile he is surprised to see the energy bolts suck into the chest of the creature with no ill effect. A little unsure, Bram casts Lightning Bolt which does seem to hurt the creature. Mayre swings but misses and is hit again as the backs up. Noting the creature's slow reflexes, Aurian swings wide around the creature to flank it as Clovis moves up to engage the monster. The creature then points at Wogren and fires his own Magic Missiles back at Wogren! This time Quentin's arrows fly true and the creature jerks as 2 arrows find their mark. Duet does a Detect Magic in the surrounding area to see if there is some controller around.
Again Gryffin's blows bounce off the creature so Wogren aims a fireball spell from the wand high above the creature to avoid the elf in the blast. The fireball goes off but is sucked into the metal giant. Wogren runs screaming from the area heading toward the river. Clovis move in close and his sword bites into the creature's belly. Bram still wary about using magic drinks a potion and them promptly projectile vomits a flame ball at the creature singing the metal. Mayre heads toward Wogren as Aurian hits the creatures back. Iana also hits the creature with her Spiritual Hammer. The metal man then shoots the fireball directly at Bram who takes the full blunt of the spell. Iana and Clovis also feel the heat of the fireball. Quentin tries his sword but his swing was off balance and misses. Not sensing any controlling magic, Duet grabs her crossbow and moves to get a good shot.
Gryffin runs up the rocky slope next to the monster and dives at it but is deflected onto the burning roof of the cottage as Clovis swings true and brings the creature to the ground. From the burning roof, Gryffin is heard saying "I did it! I did it!"
After putting out the fire, they examine the hut and find that it is the living quarters of Pelor. Noticing that there does not seem to be any large supplies of food, the party figures out that there must be some storeroom nearby. Aurian notices fresh huge footprints leading into the water so she yells "Follow Me" and wades into the pool and through the waterfall.
Behind the waterfall, there is a passageway leading to a heavy locked door. Having searched the hut and not found a key, Iana realized that the metal man had not been searched. Clovis manages to find a key in a compartment in the side of the beast and brings the key the Aurian.
Open the door, they find a hallway leading north and south. Both ends of the corridor have doors. Checking north first, they find a storeroom containing crates, barrels, and sacks scattered around the room. The open contains hold food (flour, cheese, smoked and salted meat, spices, salt, dried fruit and herbs), household supplies (candles, rope, oil, wicks, pots and pans), and equipment (axes, saws, shovels, hammers and nails). There is no dust in the room and there is an ever-burning touch on the wall inside the door. There is also a doorway in the east wall.
Turning back south, the party opens the other door in the main corridor to find a large room containing a pool of water. There is a walkway around the pool and a small island in the center. The water is murky and to wide too jump across. Bram casts Arcane Eye and notices what might be a trapdoor in the floor of the island. Using a combination of fly and levitate spells, Bram, Aurian and Weka pass over the water and to the island. They find a ladder leading down under the trap door leading to a passageway leading east. Not having the full party or much time before the spells wear out, they return to the party.
Going back to the storeroom, they open the other door and find an archive or library. The room is full of books and scrolls. There is dust on the floor and it does not look like there has been anybody in the room for a long time. Do magic is detected in the room.
As they are heading back toward the room with the lake, Gryffin feels a gentle gust of wind brush his hair and stops to examine the wall. With skilled elven hands, he quickly figures out where to push and a secret door swings open.
The party beings to carefully move into the room when a curtain on the opposite wall opens and 4 minotaurs rush in. As the battle begins to rage, Iana pulls out the sliver mirror and notices she can see the minotaurs in the mirror. She says "stop" and all 4 minotaurs halt their attack and snap to attention facing her. She asks them to take her to the elf, hoping to find Qweldrik's father. One of the minotaurs leads her into the next room where there is the decaying body of an elf is lying along one wall. There is also a table holding the largest pearl the party has ever seen.
Bram tells Qweldrik that there is a body in the next room and asks if he could identify his father. Wilrow offers his support to Qweldrik as they move into the next room. It is Myrden, his father. There is an awkward silence as Qweldrik looks upon the remains of his father. Slowly the conversations resumes with discussion about what to do with the pearl. It has no guard but they are not sure what to do.
Qweldrik then turns and faces the party with an odd expression on his face. "I think I need to stay and protect it. If I had not brought you all here to find my father, the guard would still be in place. Can I hold that mirror, Iana?"
Taking the mirror and looking deeply into it, the minotaurs snap to attention in a way that is fundamental different from their obedience to Iana. "I think was meant to do this . . . as was my father. Only he came too late to learn from the old keeper what to do and was defeated by the guards. He heard the call but resisted too long."
Ignoring the stunned looks on the party's faces, Qweldrik turns and looks into the pearl. The pearl begins to glow and illuminates Qweldrik's features. He then whirls and points at Wilrow and bellows "Imposter!"
The next few seconds are a flurry of action. Wilrow's features blur and suddenly a dark elf is standing in his place. The elf draws a nasty looking dagger and lunges toward Qweldrik. Gryffin flips the dagger out of the Elf's hand with a Sai and catches it in mid-air. Changing tack, the dark elf yells out a strange word causing a small explosion in Aurian's backpack as the silver ball punches its way out. In mid-air 8 legs unfold and it lands nimbly on the ground and begins to streak toward Qweldrik. As it passes Aurian make a lucky swing where her sword sending the spider against the wall where it shatters.
Iana casts a protective aura around Qweldkik as the rest of the party manages to take the dark elf down. Binding him with rope and shoving a gag in his mouth, they revive the elf for questioning. Bram picks up the elf's dagger and holds it at his throat. "Don't do anything or I might slip with this. I want to ask you some questions."
Before Bram can react, the elf lunges forward onto the dagger causing it to cut into his neck. Cursing, Bram throws down the dagger as Iana cast Slow Poison on the elf. She also casts a spell that lets her know if the elf is lying.
Returning to the elf, Bram says, "We can make this easy or hard. She can keep you alive and in pain or let you go at any time. We just have 2 questions: What did you do with Wilrow and who do you work for?"
"I killed him," says the elf. "I killed him, and that young council page, and that beach comber with the ferret, and more that I can't remember. That is what I do and I'm good at it."
"As for my employer, I've never met him or her. I get notes brought to me by a bird. If I need to send a note, I go to a certain tree and tie a note to a bird and then go to another tree to wait for a reply."
"You know, in a way I did succeed. He'll never be seen from again, so my employer will get the desired result."
As he talks, Iana continues to tend to the elf. She attempts to cure the poison using her healing ability but is not sure if she picked the right antidote. Only time will tell.
Bram suggests that Qweldrik should decide what to do with him. Qweldrik says that they have a place to keep him safe whether he lives or dies. He nods at two of the minotaurs and they drag the elf away. The others gently lift the remains of Qweldrik's father and begin the long journey back to the grave site. After a short ceremony, the remains are buried in the next row of graves of the keepers.
Qweldrik writes the equivalent of a will that leaves all of his privileges of linage, office, or inheritance to Weka, his cousin. Not knowing if his uncle is involved, he thought it was better to not let his uncle benefit from Qweldrik's disappearance. He also gives the party instructions on how to sail back to the mainland and bids them fare well.
The party returns to Elftown and deals with the remains of Wilrow that were discovered shortly after the party had left for their journey. It is reported that Qweldrik was lost in the journey and Weka takes his place on the council. Weka's father offers to assist her in any way he can and expresses remorse at the loss of Qweldrik. He arranges transport for the party to Lynd.
Evening finds the party arriving in Lynd leaving the elf ship to find lodging for the night. Their journey ends as the year ends -- only Tia knows what the New Year holds.