Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 54


"Fortuitous blessings from our Infernal Master indeed," Lucien clasps Kord's shoulder, "cracking tactic, indeed.”

“Silence as we exit, lest we attract any remaining denizens, once we are clear of the valley we can converse more openly." Lucien basically repeats the same in draconic for the kobold.

The party get into formation, gently ushering the saved humans into their midst whilst roughly handling the bound humanoids towards their rear guard. 

They make the outside of the cave system without interruption and begin their journey back to Cragmaw Caves. 

Once out of the valley, Talmark quips "Well now, we have no need to go easy on those Hobgoblins anymore." 

To the rescues he says "We had been searching for you, Geneve. Berowalt has been beside himself since your capture and the 'good brother knights' would do nothing to aid in retrieving you. Mandel, I am sorry to say that we had no idea you were missing, but glad we found you all the same. After some rest we will finish off the rest of that Bugbear tribe to avenge your treatment, then return focus to the other badies.” 

“Say Mandel, any chance you may be able to make me a new Tabard, perhaps something with a symbol for our little band that we can create? It would be nice to be able to leave 'calling cards' to those we have vanquished, and perhaps to strike fear into those we target next." 

He looks to his companions. "What do you think? A company emblem?"

Mandel looks gratefully back at Talmark. Still somewhat overcome from the relief of being rescued he says, “Most certainly my sire. I am indebted to your good selves and would gladly make you a tabard and some calling cards. Whatever I can do to bring about the destruction of those foul beasts.”

"An excellent idea," Per responds. "I shall wear mine with pride. Do you have any suggestions for such an emblem?"

Lucien slyly smiles, "For most of us, our faith favors a stylized red pentagram on a field of black," he hesitates slightly to gauge the reaction of the rescued, "I am content to leave the details of the design to those more interested, I would request that a red pentagram is incorporated somehow in the design, however."

“Ahh the symbol of Asmodeus, yes. I see from your garb and the scar on your face you are perhaps a priest or a devote worshiper. I am, as a tailor, of course very familiar with the symbols of the faithful, particularly that of Asmodeus whom I myself worship and Irori whom the knights worship. I have worshiped Asmodeus since my birth, and welcome more of the faithful to the Burg. We are not plentiful in the Burg but we are tolerated by the knights.” He looks at Lucien and then feebly spits on the ground, his weakened body denying him the strength to which he wishes to show his disgust. “Those damned Knights. They preach law and strength but they don’t live it anywhere except inside their precious Burg.”

Geneve looks at Mandel and shakes her head, “Why, why didn’t they come and rescue us.” Over whelmed she begins to sob, relieved that she has been saved from her ordeal. 

They arrive back at Cragmaw Caves just before dark. Their guard comes out to heartily great them. They are taken aback the state of the heroes, covered and gore and wounded to the point of barely being combat effective. It had not been more than 8 hours since they’d left the cave and the change in their state is remarkable. The guards are even more surprised that the party has brought back two rescued humans and two monster prisoners.

They rush forward to help their employers and the rescued with two of the guards taking over watching over the kobold and the orc. 

That evening the party discuss their plan. They’ll stay in the safety of Cragmaw overnight, heal up in the morning and then travel as quickly as they can to the Burg. There they can escort the rescued Geneve to Berowalt and Mandel to Dearg, dispose of their loot and reflect upon their experiences (ie level up). They’ll leave the kobold and orc in the custody of the guards and, upon their return, they’ll interrogate them. 

Overnight all the wounded heal 1pt per level and the next morning Kord casts Cure Light Wounds upon Geneve and Mandel, healing them by 4pts and 3pts respectively. He then cures Talmark by 3pts. Luicen cures Talmark by 7pts and Per by 4pts. 

Party strength now stands at:
-        Lucien 15 of 15
-        Kord 17 of 17
-        Talmark 20 of 20
-        Mandalir 17 of 17
-        Per 14 of 23
-        Fremont 10 of 12
-        Clovis 8 of 12
-        Barret 12 of 12
-        Geneve 6 of 6
-        Mandel 5 of 8

Rejuvenated, they gather their items and march towards the Burg which they reach without incident.

It is midday on day 25 as they unsuccessfully attempt to negotiate with Knight Lorenz, duly hand over the 10gp fee and enter the Burg. 



  1. As the group travels to the Burg, Talmark says "Upon thinking of our emblem, as the mainstay of this company is 5, and the pentagram is a 5 pointed star, why not 5 hand prints with fingers together, palms at center with the tips pointing out, making a pentagram, all in red?" He leans in so the rescuees cannot hear "It is a symbol that could easily be made by one of us at the scene of our victories by pressing our hands into the gore of our fallen enemies. Left behind to strike fear into any survivors...." He smiles slightly. "Just an idea. I am all ears for any and all suggestions."

    Upon approaching the gates, Talmark does his best distant and nonchalant swagger.
    "Hello Knight Lorenz. Did you miss us?" Talmark asks, with a seriousness. "I know we were not gone long, but it feels as though we were gone long enough to have done a good knights job by rescuing some unfortunates from the clutches of horrible monsters... which is exactly what we have done. Do not be too jealous, I am sure that with the lack of security in this local area there will be others. You should join us next time, get away from these stuffy walls, do some good."
    He breezes past not needing an answer.

    "Geneve, please allow us to escort you to your betrothed and then Mandel to the tailor's, or do you have a home here Mandel? With the state of the area outside the walls I would not be surprised if a person unescorted would be accosted by never-do-wells within them. I would hate for your freedom to be taken from either of you again, let alone your lives."
    Talmark makes a show of darting his eyes around at the shadows while keeping his hand near his sword hilt.
    "These brother knights care about their own security, but I doubt they care about the same for others."
    (His aim is to hopefully get these 2 to spread the word that our band is the force improving security in the pass, the ones worthy of trust, adulation, and patronage.)

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  3. This happened fairly quickly. To retcon, Lucien provides instructions to the guards at the caves to not allow the monsters to gain strength, give them meager food and water to keep them in a weakened state.

    Lucien leaves the others to take Geneve to Berowalt, but, now that is has been revealed Madel is a fellow Asmodean, engages with him at length about any rumors or personal knowledge he may have of the knights, and especially the Curate.

    Then it is time to cash in the ears and, "loot," with that bastion of honor, Capt. Wallache.

    1. I have a 3-part sub-plot I want to start this visit to the Burg. The first stage is Lucien inserting himself into the inner workings of the Guildhouse (basically, manipulating Master Jurgen into hiring Lucien to review, correct, amend and adjust guild contracts.)

    2. OOoo, I like that, a lot!
      I'd like Talmark to try to "make friends" with some of the Brother Knights, probably through Sildar, with an eye towards subverting and maybe converting them, maybe having them join with us or at least erode faith in their organization. Without being a bore, of course!

  4. One of the things Lucien wants Talmark and Per to do while training with the Knights (this visit and others) is to play up Lucien's commitment to the "civilizing" aspects of the Asmodean faith, and claim Lucien detests the more "severe" aspects, concentrating efforts on enhancing respect for structure, order and rule of law (this would help to leverage stage two when Lucien plans to engineer the arrest of Capt. Wallache.)

    1. Nice! Shouldn't be too difficult to do, as we have already been saying that we came to help stabilize the area and have been doing good work wiping out the badies with nary a word on the Burg's laws. In fact, we've been bitching about the entrance fees and such, which isn't something someone who stays hard to The Law would do. Talmark will do his best!

    2. Per will back you up all the way.

  5. Argh, the tension ... Malandir can almost feel the level up and new skills that await him!

    1. If Malandir is up to it, part of stage two in my plan is his getting a hold of Capt Wallache's ledger for a few hours and then returning it without him ever knowing it was missing, so we're talking breaking and entering x2 in the same night. Very dangerous, but do-able.

      Kord cannot really do the planning for this - DM/PC and all, and I totally trust your sneaky brain. Take into account tailoring Kord & Lucien's spell lists to assist, Crafting Alchemy and Crafting Wondrous Items, and directing all the rest of the party on what to do to make it go easier.

      That is in the second stage, which will not be implemented for a couple return visits to the Burg yet, so it may be 15+ sessions down the road or whatever, but start planning now.

      Lucien wants to go over his books to see if he is skimming coin, if he is, all is great, and if not, he will forge evidence of it for a later accusation.

  6. Perhaps a day or two covertly watching Captain Wallache's movements, and then casing the place he is likely to keep the ledger, would be a good place to start for Malandir. Then he can see to the removal and subsequent return of the ledger .. maybe there is a way to make a copy in order to provide more time for its in depth study?

    It would also be good to know his routine, where he goes, who he drinks with, etc ... all of which might provide other opportunities for acquiring more information or influence for your stage 2 ... and which is right up Malandir's skill set.

  7. Sorry guys it's taking me a while to get around to this.

    Got a few work life balance issues at the moment.

    On the positive side, I've been getting in a bit of real life gaming, which hopefully I can get written up and posted at some stage.

    We've been playing a bit of Orks Drift. I'll try to get some snazzy photo's together and post them.

  8. Ork's Drift .. sweet, that's a blast from my gaming past! Hope the work life balance moves in your favour!

  9. Ork's Drift sounds like a mutated japanese car race game, lol!

  10. It's a GW-ization of a famous British colonial battle during the Zulu wars... the Defense of Rorke's Drift.