Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Rebellion Arc - 05: One the Road Again

In which a ghost town and the meteoric curiosities associated with it are discovered.

16th of Fourthmonth, 9995 DK
The day was spent travelling south while suffering through a persistent, but refreshing, rainstorm. The group once more took their rest in a traveler's roost and John and Xein began their antics for the evening. John successfully loaded his steam rifle with most of Xein's gear and fired it up into the night air. Xein spent most of his watch picking through the surrounding scrub grass collecting his equipment. 

17th of Fourthmonth, 9995 DK
Upon waking, the group continued following the highway south and reached the outskirts of Tolon a few hours after noon. As they rode closer to the city they discovered the potato fields surrounding the city empty of workers and looking as if they hadn't been tended to in some time. Based on this information, the group elected to approach the city cautiously. They grew more cautious when they found the piggery untended as well and discovered that someone had been disposing of body parts and clothing by feeding the pigs with it, D'alton was extremely unnerved by the situation. Once the group entered the town proper, they found it completely deserted and most of the buildings boarded up or sealed from the inside as if to prevent someone from entering. The group investigated the mayorial residence and warden's office in an attempt to locate dispatches or missives that might indicate what had happened to the town, but there was nothing. The warden's office looked like someone had taken him by force, but everywhere else in the area looked as if people had simply disappeared or fled in the midst of whatever they had been doing at the time. 

Being rather stumped, the group decided to loot the local, and conveniently labeled, general store so that they could resupply and get the Hell out of the ghost town (although no tumbleweeds were in evidence). They found the establishment sealed in some sorcerous manner that they could not force open. As they were doing so they heard yelling nearby and found a Fell Human woman of the city running towards them quite frantically. She explained that her name was Eliza and that the city had been raided by infiltrators from the Fell Peaks and that the citizens still living had taken refuge in secret mine tunnels and sealed up the general store and other affluent establishments to keep the infiltrators from having the run of the place. She also mentioned that she was being chased, this seemed to be true because six infiltrators suddenly leapt from the top of the general store and ambushed the group, albeit poorly and ineffectively (one infiltrator broke an ankle when he fell off the roof). 

Once her "pursuers" were dealt with, Eliza agreed that it was probably a good idea for the group to get out of Tolon and that she would happily head back to the mine and find out the ritual chant to unlock the general store for the group as payment for "saving" her life. Eliza told them to take cover in the partially sealed Red Pheasant inn across the street and she would return the following day. After stabling their horses, Spineplate allowed everyone to climb on top of his shoulders so they could reach the second story window and enter the tavern through it after John blew out the boards with his steam rifle. 

Inside the tavern the group discovered some empty rooms, personal belongings, and the smell of decomposition. On the first floor they found dead men that looked like some sort of explosion or sorcerous discharge had burned them to death, one appeared to be one of Walthuler's postmen with a satchel full of burnt missives. The group looted the place, did a bit of fortifying and settled in for the evening. During the first watch the group was roused by the sounds of their horses dying, and Kethranmeer banging a part of himself against himself. Everyone leapt into motion and exited the tavern to protect their faithful steeds, Manwathiel literally jumped out of a window and over the roof of the stable to save her pony. Infiltrators were once more dispatched successfully, but only Manwatheil's pony was saved. The group returned to the Red Pheasant and attempted to rest for the rest of the evening.

18th of Fourthmonth, 9995 DK
The following morning, the group was greeted by Eliza at the now open front door of the Red Pheasant, she then let them into the general store where they resupplied and she essentially told them to get going while the going was good. Kethranmeer disagreed, citing the fact that their horses were dead and the infiltrators had made it personal by attempting to kill them twice and strand them in Tolon. He hungered for vengeance. 

The group left Eliza in the city and journeyed to the quarry to see what was going on there and if they might be able to extract some vengeance from any Fell Peaks commandos hanging out there. They did find an encampment of Fell Humans once they reached the quarry at nightfall, but found that there was some manner of sorcery in place the dulled sounds and blurred vision. As they entered the quarry they also noticed a meteor shower in the sky. Once the group crossed through the barrier they found sorcerers engaging in some manner of ritual over an asteroid or meteor or whatever you might call it, it was discovered by the group that sympathetic sorcery was being used on the meteor to affect another similar type of rock somewhere. They also found soldiers executing the citizens of Tolon with grenades and shotguns while they scrambled to escape the pit that would be their tomb. It was soon discovered that Eliza was directing the sorcerous activities and that she had worn a dress because her lower limbs were a mass of tentacles that sprouted bony growths, D'alton also noticed that she wore a black iron bracelet that glowed green intermittently. Kethranmeer became enraged when he saw one of the soldiers drop a grenade into the pit and turn a collection of citizens to pink mist, he charged across the field of battle, his spikes springing out of his body, and slammed into the soldier. The soldier fell into the pit and his allies immediately ganged up on Kethranmeer while everyone else just kind of hung back. Kethranmeer was resilient though and survived his four attackers while the sorcerers and eventually Eliza were dispatched. After the ritual was halted the group saw the falling stars they had noticed earlier come crashing down to the east, very close to Tolon. 

It was at this time that a warden of Tolon climbed out of the pit and approached the group, Xein greeted him happily and he was logged, as was D'alton, everyone else had the good sense to avoid that. Before fleeing the quarry everyone, except Manwathiel, grabbed a horse from the collection of ones the Fell Humans had been using, then they rode like bats out of Hell heading back towards Tolon. Tolon was in fine shape, but as they returned to the highway and continued more or less south they discovered a massive smoking crater in the road and felt the presence of sorcery. There was enough sorcery left clinging to the stones for the group to discover that they had been affected by sympathetic magic, just as the ritual rock in the quarry had been. 

Edit After The Fact: It is at this point in the campaign that we lose Josh as a player and he joins the Navy. Josh's Fell Human engages in seafaring as well and goes on to become a member of Haven's pirate fleets and swiftly rises to power and because the leader of the Orcunraytrel expedition somewhere around thirteen or fourteen years later.

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