Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Session XXXVII: A New Cause

Six months have passed since our party of adventurers, lost beneath the ruined tower of Zenopus, have returned to their Moon-tower. In that time, Caladan had fallen to the forces of Empress Kushana allied with the Pirates of the Blue Rose and all lead by Morak, who installed himself as ruler of Caladan.

To fortify their Moon-tower, Gnarly created a perimeter of thorny bramble with a pathway that only he and his companions knew about. He also sent out his woodland friends to gather information about Morak and Kushana's troops and while he had down time built up a Mushroom-man army (well more like a squad).

During this time the party had discovered that there was a possibility that Morak had spared Lord Osric and locked him in the Merchant Guild's dungeons and that the bandits north of Caladan are former Caladan watch members who escaped during the invasion of Caladan.

Vinny, along with Arg and Flora headed into Caladan to try to get in touch with the Crafty Magi. Stopped at the gate of Caladan, they were only allowed in with a special Writ of Passage by order of Lord Morak. After paying the fifty gold coins each, they entered Caladan and headed over to the Green Dragon Inn.

Finding members of the mysterious guild, Vinny learned that Risiri, the leader of the guild, is in good favor with Morak and thus, an enemy of Osric and Arvin's Avengers.

Vinny hatched a plan where the party would set out and look for the band of 'bandits' north of the town to try to gather a force to expel Morak and rescue Osric.

The party, including Gnarly, traveled around the outskirts of Caladan and headed for the Bridge of Avery over the Blackmoore river. They ran into some soldier guards who questioned them about their travels. Arg, almost began a fight with them but eventually they were given passage without incident.

Traveling north along the the Great Coast Road they were eventually way-laid by bandits who were discovered to indeed be the former Watchmen of Caladan. After it was determined that Vinny and Gnarly were original members of Arvin's Avengers (who helped rescue Lord Osric's daughter over a year ago), the Watchmen took them into their confidence. Blindfolded, they were lead to the camp.

At camp they parlayed with the leader, Bronswick, and told him that Osric was possibly alive and that a possible rescue of Caladan's former lord would rally the citizens and force Kushana's troops out. Bronswick thinks it's a good idea but doesn't have the man-power to overcome the ever-increasing troop presence. Vinny suggests that he will head into a near-by town to try to gather some more men-at-arms (intending to charm them if they refuse) and so leaves with Arg and a couple of watchmen.

While they were gone, Gnarly and Flora head north to Harrowood to seek out the head of Gnarly's order, the druid Morrison of Morrisonwood. On the way they ran into a party of adventurers on their way towards Brookestone on the trail of Fumark the Foul who has gone missing searching for the slain dragon Medora's treasure. The travelers tell Gnarly and Flora to avoid Morrisonwood as the master of the wood cares not for uninvited guests.

Not heeding the warning they continued on, and entered Morrisonwood. As the mysterious woods closed in around them, they had the intense feeling that they were being watched and followed. The creatures of the forest kept a close eye upon them. Eventually, Gnarly spoke with a chipmunk and convinced him to take him to see the master of the wood. A large bear came out of the woods and told Gnarly to follow him.

The bear lead them into a beautiful natural grove where dwelt Morrison and his lovely companions Pamela and Rose. He invited his guests to partake in the sweet harvest of the forest as he and Gnarly spoke.

Gnarly tried to convince Morrison to aid them in their efforts to free Caladan from the rule of Kushana's forces. Morrison laughingly refused as he felt the city was a blight on the face of the landscape. Gnarly offered up that Kushana was even raising the dead to aid her in her quests. Morrison only replied that he felt that there was no difference between the living and the dead as the living wrapped themselves in man-made environments. Though he was slightly swayed by Gnarly's arguments of the roaming undead, Morrison remained unmoved to aid them.

After finishing their meal, Gnarly and Flora headed back to their camp.

Meanwhile, Slick Vinny and Arg were traveling through the wood when they came upon a party of soldiers seeking out the bandits. From a distance Vinny charmed half of them while the rest returned arrow fire. Arg pulled out his mace and hammer and charged across the field dodging the hail of arrows coming at him. He burst upon his enemies and began bashing bones and brains all over the field. The charmed soldiers headed back to camp lead by Vinny and Arg carrying a pile of soldier's armor.

Back at camp it was decided to seek the aid of Lord Blackmoore and Gnarly sent Tuk the owl, along with a note, west to the town of Blackmoore...

(Gnarly, Morrison and Flora hanging out in the 'Druid Grove')

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