Friday, August 10, 2012

Session XLII: Sparks

Session characters
Slick Vinny................Human Theurgist
Skwanky Furrytoe...............Halfling Hero
Arg...............Half-orc Grunt (3rd level)
Gnarly Blunderbush...............Human Initiate of the 4th Circle

BACKGROUND
Over six months have past since Arvin's Avengers defeated father Halford's undead army and destroyed his Temple of the Black Sun.  In that time, Lord Morak's rule has become more solidified within Caladan  Any small uprising against Morak was quickly and violently put to rest.  Overall, his rule isn't overly cruel and the town slowly returns to it's regular prosperity but he does have other things on his mind...

Talk of the defeat of the undead army that were harassing travelers on the road south of Caladan gives the citizens something to debate, discuss and sing about.  Arvin's Avengers are initially looked upon as heroes. Traders and gypsies gather around the tower to sell their wares.  But that is short lived, however, as the murder of a number of traders, their blood drained, raise the superstitions about the mysterious tower once again and the mysterious Lady in White.  Not to mention Gnarly's numerous Mushroom-men roaming the grounds.  The tower and it's heroic inhabitants were once again shunned.

To protect her father's life, Lemunda agreed to wed Morak.  Osric still lives within the grounds of the former Merchant Guild but is a broken man. 

Kushanna's troops move through the city and gather in the plains north of the Iron Hills and Harrowood.  Arvin's Avengers receive word via Tuk the Owl that small skirmishes have taken place between Kushanna's and Blackmoor's troops.  It is felt that the siege of Blackmoor will begin soon.

A letter is received by the occupants of the Moontower attached to the foot of Steve the Raven.  It reads:

WARRIORS OF THE MOONTOWER
YOU ARE SUMMONED TO ASSEMBLE
IN THE PRESENCE OF
LORD MORAK
RULER OF CALADAN
ON THE EVENING OF THE MORROW

Signed with what can only be considered the stamp of Morak.

Gnarly questions Steve the Raven and discovers that a Stygian wizard Zadir is working with Morak and that Zadir is the raven's master.

There was much debate as to how to handle the summons.  Vinny felt that this was a trap for Arvin's Avengers and he wanted to attack Morak the night before and catch him by surprise - just the four of them (a typical D&D plan). Gnarly was a bit more cautious and Skwanky and Arg could just really go either way.  So it was decided to send a response via Gnarly's owl Tuk.  The response arrogantly stated that Arvin's Avengers declared the Moontower and Harrowood sovereign nations outside the rule of Lord Morak and they would be sending two emissaries to converse with Lord Morak.

The two emissaries were Arg (a short-tempered half-orc with a 4 Charisma and Skwanky - and we all know what kind of trouble Skwanky gets into).  While they headed over to the meeting with Lord Morak, Vinny turned Gnarly, Tuk and two Mushroom-men invisible so that they may sneak into the manor after Arg and Skwanky.  Vinny, however, had his own plan.  He would turn himself invisible, levitate off the ground, and pump himself over the wall with a bellows. However, with his Strength being only a 4, he cast Strength upon himself to make it so he can actually perform that feat.

Arg and Skwanky were escorted in to meet a furious Morak who was insulted by the lack of respect and interest from the Moontower's  occupants.  The ever 'diplomatic' Arg insulted Morak to his face and Morak called his guards to capture them and remove them to the dungeons.

Arg and Skwanky did not take that at all and drew their weapons to attack Morak while the guards rushed in.  However, hiding in the wings, the Stygian wizard Zadir cast sleep upon the two Avengers and they were taken away unconscious.

Meanwhile, Vinny was hovering above the grounds charming various guards.  Two guards minding the door to the thrown room are persuaded by his 'ethereal' voice to let him in.  They do and Gnarly follows but one Mushroom-man is left outside.

Inside the thrown-room they saw a wounded Morak being tended to by his guards, Zadir the wizard and a mysterious woman - Zenopus the Vampire!

Seeing an opportunity to destroy all their enemies at once, Vinny, using the Crimson Skull of Yam-Gregak, cast a fireball at the group, in doing so, making himself visible.  The fireball exploded and killed most of the guards, wounded the wizard, vampire and Morak and set the room's tapestries aflame.  But before they got a chance to react to Vinny's surprise, the magical Avenger surrounded them with a wall of flame.

To cause even more confusion, Gnarly cast pyrotechnics, through his owl Tuk, upon the flaming room causing to flames to explode into fireworks and sparks!

Zenopus the Vampire
But Vinny's surprised was short lived as Zadir dispels the wall of flame and Zenopus flew through the air to attack.  Vinny called his charmed guards over to defend him but Zenopus easily places them under her control and puts them to sleep.  She then attacked Vinny.

Gnarly, meanwhile, shrouded the throne in a concealing mist and he and his Mushroom-man attacked Morak and Zadir.  The wizard Zadir fled for his life as the Mushroom-man pummeled the wounded Morak.

Finally, Gnarly Blunderbrush lifted his spear and with a vengeful shout: "This is for Arvin Ardmore of the Temple of Mithra!" pierced the heart of Morak, killing him.  Thus Arvin Ardmore had been avenged (from waaaay back in session 5)!

With Vinny drained of blood from the Vampire's 'kiss', Zenopus picked him up and carried him off to her lair...

Gnarly high-tailed it out of the throne-room being chased by the palace guards and leaped off the terrace into the ocean far below....

Arg and Skwanky are imprisoned in the castle's dungeon, but without Morak to rule what will become of them or Caladan?

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