Location: the Laekenala Jungles of Halganath
Date: Trilan 27thth of 1333 Avard
The group slept through the night, taking turns at watch until the morning light. At dawn, they began to plan.
The goblin Olgleth drew them a map of his village – or what was left of it. He showed them how it was along the river, on stilts, built over the water-filled ruins of an old human civilization. There was a fence-wall of woven osage, with great flowers along it. He drew the small fields that went out from the fence-wall to the edges of the jungle. And he drew the old human well that the goblins ignored, filled in as it was with thorny plants that kept even curious goblin children away.
Olgleth gave them what information he could, but he would not go back. His mate, his children, were all dead. Perhaps he alone out of all of his village lived, and so he would move on. He knew of other goblin villages like his, and he would go find one.
The group moved out. They moved cautiously, but quickly, the elven ranger Valanthe helping them make swift time. Despite being from an alien realm known as the Fey Wilds, the plants and the paths of the jungle spoke to her in a language she understood. She found them the swiftest paths and the safest routes.
The human woman Karvana was native to the jungles they moved through, but her specialty lay more in the primal magics. She was a specialist in drawing upon those primal powers and unleashing them. Their plan of attack relied on her. Karvana would use her powers to draw upon the spirits of wolves and give them flesh, and then unleash them upon their foes.
The half-orc called Urza worked similarly, drawing upon the ancient primal powers. She would be the group's backup, either to summon more wolves or to draw upon Nature in other ways. More than likely, her task would be to bolster her sister.
The half-orc Ghorza was paladin of the Barith, Lord of Harvests, God of Plants. Ghorza, astride her huge lizard Muk, would be the tip of their spear. Her thick chitin armor and her axe would, the group hoped, be enough to draw out their foe.
From the shadows of the jungle would Valanthe fire her bow, aided by her sprite scout called Poppy. The two of them would try to find the bowman in the jungle that had decimated Olgleth's people – and then put arrows into their foe.
Poppy, a capable scout, turned invisible and went to surveil the enemy while the group waited deeper in the jungle. When Poppy returned, she added detail to Olgleth's map – and added trouble, too. There was a herd of vicious warhorses within the village, likely how the humans traveled. There was also a pack of terror birds, many with saddles.
Worse, rain began to fall in buckets, limiting visibility severely. They could wait out the rain, or use it to their advantage. They chose to strike as quickly as possible, before another dread magic was released by their foe.
It has often been said that no battle plan survives encounter with the enemy. Urza very nearly climbed the same tree as the foe's bowman – who turned out to be a high elf with a longbow. The high elf alerted their foe, fired an arrow into Urza, and then swung out on a vine and across the fence-wall to safety.
Ghorza rushed forward on Muk while Karvana brought her wolves to bear. The wolves rushed forward toward the gate into the village, only to be met with fierce war horses and the terror birds, all of them responding to the commands of a near giant. A half-orc well over seven feet tall commanded the beasts. About him was an aura of a bear even larger than him. The aura glowed faintly, as though it was a spirit to guide him.
Ghorza and Karvana fought bravely alongside the wolves, and the tide seemed evenly matched, for a moment.
A human woman clad all in steel, wielding two longswords, strode into the battle. One of her longswords ignited in fire. The other became encased in frost. She single-handedly began to turn the tide against the group.
Worse, the high elven archer climbed atop one of the goblin houses on stilts, and began to fire through the rain, over the fence-wall, and into the group.
Valanthe sent Poppy ahead to find their real foe, while she concentrated on the foe clad in terrifying armor. To a fey, vulnerable to iron, an opponent clad toe to crown in steel was so fearsome that no arrow could go elsewhere. The lady in iron had to fall.
The half-orc clad in the spirit of a bear went toe-to-toe with Ghorza, his eyes narrowing in recognition that she, too, was a half-orc.
The druids called upon the primal powers, and turned the ground itself into a field of razor sharp leaf blades. The blades sliced open horse bellies and killed terror birds, and wounded the steel-clad woman and the giant half-orc.
Poppy spied their true foe. He was clad in blue dragon-scale, and carried a massive shield and an iron mace that smoked. The iron mace undid several primal powers of the group, turning the tide away from the druids and to his side. He called out to his allies, “Remember the tide!”
Valanthe redoubled her efforts, helped by Karvana, and the woman clad in steel went down.
Then the man in blue dragon-scale moved the river.
The river surged over its banks and under the goblin homes on stilts. It was channeled by the fence-wall until it erupted through the gate in a wall that swept almost everything before it.
The man stood in the river as it flowed past him, and then he turned, slowly striding through the current as though he were made of stone, or rooted into the earth.
The river swept out two enormous flowers, each larger than a man. The flowers were growing even as they watched. They were undead flowers, great tortured plants that would feast upon flesh to satisfy their insatiable hunger.
Most of the wolves had already been turned to mist in their defeat. What few were left were swept away in a blast of primal power from the water.
The terror birds, and the few remaining horses, too, were swept away. The field of bladed leaves faded beneath the river onslaught.
With the high elven ranger unconscious, and the woman in steel dead, there was only the man in blue dragon-scale left – and the half-orc barbarian.
Ghorza lifted her axe high to strike him, and he caught her wrist, looking at her forearms. She bore the holbraces of a paladin. He recognized her as a paladin of Barith. He could not harm her.
The barbarian helped them turn the tide. He did not want to betray the man in blue dragon-scale, whom he called Alvaise, but he wanted to know why a paladin of Barith was in opposition to Alvaise – for Alvaise was a priest of Barith.
Who was right?
Valanthe, Karvana, and Urza pushed hard against the current, avoiding the undead plants as best they could.
The battle moved inside the village, where they all focused on stopping Alvaise from getting to the well.
At the precipice of the well, as the river water swirled around them, they had their showdown.
Alvaise was choked to unconsciousness by the barbarian, called Norn. Norn told them that his tribe had been wiped out by Alvaise and his Inquisition. Alvaise had said they had too much demon and dragon blood within them. Norn had been spared, for he had none of the arcane blood within him. Norn had been swayed by the charismatic Alvaise, and been told the truth of the gods. The gods had spoken as one, that all of the mages must be silent, or the Dark God would return.
Ghorza pointed out that the Dark God had already returned, and been defeated! The Inquisition was wrong to continue to persecute the arcane.
Norn filled the group in on what Alvaise was doing. He had found ancient Karatikan weapons that could turn primal power into arcane – and arcane power into primal. Alvaise was still learning to unlock the weapons, but he hoped to link them to the Towers. In doing so, he sought to convert all arcane power across the world into primal energy. It would wipe out all arcane blood lines; it would kill all the dragons; it would remove all arcane magics.
The group decided to bring Alvais – and the two Karatikan weapons he had – to the dragons. They would seal his fate.
Valanthe hoped to meet the dragons, and perhaps find a way to return to the Fey Wilds.
Karvana would accompany the two half-orc sisters back to the dragons, as well, to learn more about the Karatikan weapons and perhaps find a way to prevent others from following in Alvaise's footsteps.
DM's Notes: I'd been in California for a few weeks, and it had put this campaign on hold. The kids were chomping at the bit to both finish it, and get back to their other characters from the other campaign. Even though the battle seemed short in story form, it took long, long hours in the real world. When it was over, though, I hope they had a good time. This is the first story line they've ever completed for me, and I'm quite proud of them. They worked together as a team, helped one another where they could, and still had room to role play and have fun.
None to date.