Noon of the 28th of Sad, Second Day of the Freeze, 1331 Avard.
The party returned to the Dellistar, still tied to the hawsers at the sea-side docks in Teras. The question became a matter of choice – going after the Falling Water, or going to Chasadan. Word on the streets indicated that the captain of the Falling Water was a man named Bantham, with a mohawk of strawberry red hair – and a sweet disposition. The Falling Water was apparently bound for Firland, according to the harbormaster. Grania, whom they had picked up as a mercenary in Firland, knew that there were no cobble-stoned homes in Firland.
Meredith had already assumed the party was going to Chasadan, and had left word with the drow enclave in Teras that Xennith should meet the party there in Chasadan. That seemed to tip the balance in favor of voyaging east, to the crusader-held lands of the Janis Plains – and Chasadan. They let Captain Nallya know of their plans, and made preparations to leave, the Dellistar's ranks having been refilled by sailors eager to earn more pay there in Teras.
A dense fog slowed their voyage, and Captain Nallya was loathe to travel too quickly at night, particularly near the coast. The loss of Killik seemed to hit her hard during such times, as the tomanth had been a good crewman and a valuable member of the family, able to swim ahead and speed their journey through safer waters.
After four days travel, they made the port of Chasadan, a city of some two thousand souls. The port city was the administrative hub of the Janis Plains, and all the crusaders that had defected from Kur Maeth. Some trade still went on with Kur Maeth, despite Rakore's technical war with that city-state of the Inquisition. Most of the sea-going traffic in Chasadan, though, was food and grain going out, and lumber and raw materials going in.
Several inquiries about drow in the city let the party know that only one drow was ever seen in Chasadan, and she was a merchant for the drow duchy, bringing in aronawa – or arrow wood, for use in making arrows and bolt shafts. The harbormaster was able to confirm for Johannes that the Falling Water was based there, and had not been into port in over a week – her last destination being Teras. Lo-Kag and Meredith were able to find out that Captain Bantham Ghond of the Falling Waters had a wife and children there in Chasadan. They were also able to determine that the only mage in the area was a Master Heinz, up the river in Fasra.
A Sholin worker on the docks remembered the nice Captain Bantham and the Falling Waters, and remembered unloading a number of chests some five weeks back or more. He thought the chests were going upriver – to Fasra.
The party visited with Captain Bantham's wife and family, and made polite inquiries concerning a lost chest that may have mistakenly been sent with a shipment some weeks past. Missus Ghond was able to confirm that the shipment went upriver, and was sent to Master Heinz, the mage. Master Heinz was a youngish mage, with long dark hair and scars all over his face – fitting the description of Toirin. 'Heinz' had been in place for at least six months up in Fasra.
Further inquiries at the only tavern in Chasadan, the Scarlet Armor, helped put more and more of the pieces together. The chest that must have held Master Horbe after his kidnapping from Mad Dog Island, had to have passed through Chasadan four to five weeks prior, and then been shipped up to Toirin in Fasra. Toirin had been playing at being 'Master Heinz' for at least six months, and so far as everyone in town knew, was the only mage in the duchy, assigned there by Lok Magius itself.
The party felt exposed. The Dellistar was watched for by Toirin's spies and agents. So, they concocted a different plan. Rather than go directly to Fasra, they decided to spread rumors of more important things they had to do elsewhere, and wanted to leave on the morning tide. They then proceeded to procure mounts for the whole party, and one extra – for a guide they hired there in Chasadan. The guide would meet them in the morning at the docks, before setting sail.
The plan was to leave town, sail west for awhile, and then put in ashore. The guide could take them well around Chasadan and on in to Fasra, unobserved and unseen by Toirin's many supposed spies.
That evening, the undead struck. A poltergeist managed to throw Lo-Kag through the petty mess' door and into the galley, after attempting to use Grania's blanket to strangle her with. Up on deck, a phantom warrior of some sort created havoc to diver the party's attention. The party was able to fight back and then destroy both of the incorporeal ghosts, but not without losses. Anna – the slave girl to Prince Ihoaea, had been killed by the phantom warrior.
The party set sail in the morning with one Navit Flintspark aboard. The dwarf was a bastard, and never said what clan he had come from, under the geas of a bastard who takes a fresh name. Navit was familiar enough with the local area, and willing to sail for mere silvers, apparently down on his luck.
Anna's body was put to sea some distance out from Chasadan. The authorities in Chasadan had been concerned with the ordeal, but accepted Prior Johannes' word. The city itself was warded and consecrated against the undead – but not so for ships visiting the city. Rumors of undead in the outlying farms had been chalked up to orcs dressed as the undead, but the senior chaplain in Chasadan felt that, perhaps, the outlying farms were, indeed, being hit by the undead. The paladins available in Chasadan were dispatched to the outlying areas, to investigate.
The party went ashore without any trouble, though the water was cold and the wind colder. They mounted up, and moved inland for half a day, before sunset overtook them. Navit managed to find them a good camp site, nestled inside a small loop of a stream with good running water. The short-grassed prairie offered good visibility in every direction, with a small forest between them and Fasra, which they would make the next day. Other than a wagon trail, they had seen no other sign of people.
A small spring bubbled out of the side bank of the stream, feeding into it, and the water was quite delicious. Johannes declared the water to have medicinal properties, though good only from the source.
Early the next morning, before the twilight was even visible, Johannes and Navit had the last shift. The grass was heavily frosted, and so Johannes heard the skittering of ice, like a bad wind, off in the distance.
A battle line of the undead attacked the party. Johannes' sunrod illuminated a row of skeletal archers, whose huge shields had enormous tines in the base. Those tines were driven into the ground, providing the archers with cover, as they fired into the party. The skeletal remains of a paladin of Yatindar entered the fray, with two zombies flanking him – zombies whose guts and dried skin and muscle moved of their own, flaying and attacking and seeking to burrow into anyone or anything that came near.
The archers targeted Johannes, turning him into a pincushion. His armor protected him from the worst of the shots, but the arrows were not of wood – but of necrotic energy, sapping his strength and killing his skin and tissues, shot by shot. The fallen paladin of Yatindar was a blur of rusty blades risen from the earth, and he very nearly finished Johannes off, before Grania could rush in to defend him. Meredith called upon her powers over the arcane, her bardic abilities confusing the undead warrior, leading it to attack one of the lashing zombies, instead. Lo-Kag assisted in finishing off the paladin, before rushing the line of archers. Falkrin assisted, blasting them with witchfire, while Grania finished off the final lasher zombie.
And then the battle was over.
Navit hollered from near the fire, a haunch of turkey in his hand, that it was a good fight to watch.
They quickly searched the bodies for some clue of where they had come from, but that a paladin of Yatindar's body could be so desecrated sent chills down Johannes' spine. The broken blades of the paladin were collected up, each hilt being an indicator of who the wielder might have once been.
Very early morning of 7th of Dasad, 1331 Avard.
Each player received 1250 experience points for playing.
Johannes Whermak: 18805 XP (9th level)
Grania: 18755 XP (9th level)
Meredith: 14250 XP (8th level)
Lo-Kag: 13250 XP (8th level). (level up!)
Falkrin: 12250 XP (7th level).
The following notes represent the 'behind the scenes' and 'post op' actions of the players and the Dungeon Master.
We met at John and Jalinda's on the 30th of September, 2009, and were able to jump into the campaign fairly quickly. It was good to see Glen, again, too, though he didn't participate in the campaign, but helped watch over the kids for a bit.
Woo level up!
Kag is going to get a little stronger in his sleep.
also, Joe, I found this just farting around and thought it might add something since we're in the area and have a priest of Arpelos with us… http://sisterworlds.com/doku.php?id=gaeleth:people:lorvaden_degrance&s
Joe: Given how many inconsistencies there are in Lorvaden Degrance's profile, I think we can rule him out for the moment. Good catch, though, Ross. I'll leave Lorvaden's profile alone for a moment, but it needs some tweaking – and leads up to making a Chasadan entry, too.
Oh, something I just remembered… we still have the necromantic ebonite skull thingy… I forgot to put that down on the inventory list in the handy haversack… Also, I need to find time to come over to update kag so we can print out the new sheet.
Hey - I didn't assume we were going to Chasadan! That was the plan when I talked to the drow!
Good recap. I need to update Meredith. She played as level 7 and was level 8.