Western Heartlands of Venarth

Game 3
Why did it have to be rats?

After recovering from recent near (or actual) death experiences, the team knew they had to return to work immediately.

While the deVilles did not have anything for the team, they said they’d reach out if they heard of anything.

The guild job board had a couple of interesting offerings, and in standard Party style, they took two jobs—giant rat extermination, and delivering an item to the Kingdom of Rath.

After approaching a caravan, the team made arrangements to travel with them—perhaps offering extra security if needed. Since departure preparations weren’t yet complete, the team moved on to their next task—exterminations.

The giant rats had chewed their way into homes, and were beyond what the local ratcatchers could manage. The team boldly engaged them, clearing the lead individuals, but catching a disease for their troubles.

But some swarms still remain…will the heroes manage to overcome?

Game 2
The Day the Party almost died..

Hey.. someone should write out what we did.. how we encountered the small group.. and that the presumed “Boss Villain” disappeared on us.. but we found the daughter, and returned her to the Lord. We were rewarded with 1200 gold in addition to the gold and silver we found various items to be divided among the party.

Journey Away from Elricton
over hill, over dale

A journey of 35 miles starts with a single step.

Devil Trigger
When Negotiations Break Down; start Break Dancing.

Where to begin? Prolly those damnedable bells. They sounded off, and we were forced to engage the enemy without having the ability to continue our ambush. So much for getting into the baracks and making them pay in blood before they ever woke up. It was a sad day.
Instead, we volleyed down the incoming forces with arrows, and left the fighting to the brawlers (Including my brave, brave little ghouls. Remind me to give them a field promotion…)
We cleared the walls. It was a bit of a massacre. The Orcs never saw us coming. Between blades, arrows, spells, and fists, we casually dispatched everything without having so much as a concern. When we went into the courtyard however, we had a bit more of an issue. It wasn’t really the ogres. They had a bad time. They were killed after failing to understand the importance of negotiations. They’ll not get another shot at learning the importance of them. We on the other hand got a lot of shots off.
Then came the demons. Much to my surprise, Llethira actually tried to talk them down. I suspect that they were here for Quivah. (The teifling was likely the one from the lab that we totally did not destroy. Should have. He was a dick. Maybe? Not sure. Hanging with demons sort of disqualifies him from getting a second check.) They, of course, politely refused to talk, and refused to leave when Llethira asked them. So; I gave them a casual banishment. Worked on one of them. From there, it became clear that we needed to lay the law down.
The fight was hard fought; the extent of the power that was blasted into them in order to put them down was impressive. I sort of feel bad for the one demon. Imagine, coming into the world, watching your friend getting sent back to whatever hole they crawled out off, getting chased down by a beam of light, paralyzed by a ghoul (lol), getting confused, and then getting absolutely beaten down from Merel while the master gets absolutely annihilated without getting so much as a foot further than the point they dropped in, Getting forced to dance, confused, and getting an absolute beat down from Quivah. Getting even more embarrassing, it tried to run. It teleported, and I unloaded all hell on it; with my skeletons and most powerful spell smashing into it. But in the end, a Merel longshot bolt was all that was required, right in the back of the head. Vir’Kama is going to be so pleased to hear that we are stopping demons dead…. I wonder if I can make them into undead? Nah; Vir’Kama AND Llethira would kill them dead… Again.Pretty sure Brahk is not a fan of them either surprisingly.
Still, our newest additions are certainly proving to be worth their weight in gold. Can’t wait to see Brahk and Vir’Kama wrestle out for dominance… It’ll be funny; Vir’Kama’s got an extra like two and a half feet on him. My money’s on oldschool. I’ll have to convince the others to take bets….

Emerging From the Shadows
New faces in new places.

While we were making our plans to invade the castle, two people wandered into the inn, and surprisingly did not immediately leave, nor start by picking a fight with the dozen and spare few undead that were within, instead opting to get in for a drink. Turns out, they are mercenaries for hire. While ordinarily, we would turn down the assistance, the fact that we were going to likely stab ALOT of bugbears in the very near future, as well as the fact that there was a castle to follow up with, I opted to give them a share of the loot (Without either Llethera or Vir’Kama present… They’ll prolly be okay with it at the end of the day. Or I’ll have new minions.) Much to my surprise, they were quite sassy and willing to stand their ground despite the fact that both Kiva and myself (And a dozen plus skeletons and ghouls) were there. The fact that they were willing to talk the talk means either they know what they are doing, or they are far too over confident in their skills.
While Llethera may have been confident in our (Her) ability to get the bugbears to stand down, I believed that they were going to become new floor rugs for the castle (Their bones for obvious reasons were not going to be used for such purposes.) However, much to my dismay (Don’t tell her or Vir’Kama…) She was able to get them to stand down. We then proceeded to in the evening, make our way to the castle. We opted for a quiet approach, letting the two “scouts” and the druid take point, with the two casually killing their way through the first tower. Once they had cleared it, they were unable to prevent the alarm from being triggered, which resulted in the rest of us engaging, with Brahk tearing up the upper half of the tower while Kiva and Jorm let the rest of us into the castle. From there, the slaughter begins. It seems that despite their differences, Kiva and Jorm have at least bonded in their fondness of bloodshed. We’ll have to see where the rest of this goes…

The Bugbear We Never Knew...
Wait; they burn their bodies?

After returning from rescuing Kriis, who now goes by the name of Kiva, and acts very differently (Prolly picked up an astral hitchhiker…) We have decided on taking a break from our shenanigans while we contemplate our next moves and prepare for the mighty event that is coming up; reclaiming my newly acquire castle. That we are intending to use as a base of operations for the Wolves of Claggin; Soon and likely to become the Order of the Wolves of Claggin rather than the Company of The Wolves of Claggin. Interesting thought. But, before we settle into the idea of moving our belongings, we have opted to take the castle. But first; resting. And recouping. The usual things.

Lletheria made her first move against her brother, singing her praises and working for the good of her people, showing her prowess and knowledge of leadership I assume. She always had a hand for making things go her way.

Vir’Kama worked on preparing his mighty warrior priests for the inevitable move into the castle. He’ll undoubtedly be ready to set up his place of worship before I get the lab even measured out. I suspect that they will be a large boon.

Kiva got up to something, I’m not certain exactly what she was doing, I can tell that she is going to be an interesting companion, since we can’t seem to keep track of her, and she has changed quite a bit. Curious how much is her, and how much is the new entity, and if it is or will be Kriis’ will to keep the entity. She seems happy enough at the moment, but as with all things, observations will need to be made.

I learned Carpentry. It’ll be important in the coming days; we’ll need the ability to create works of art while we wait for everything to settle down; after all, the castle is not going to just be a base of operations and a place where things happen. It is a place where a new era begins. A Goddess will be born here, a Legacy and Legend will be crafted here. And this, this becomes my Eternal Home, where I shall rise again as a master of undeath. But first, the first step.

The trip to the end of the empire was considerably quieter than I had expecting, with only a single Green Dragon showing up to introduce itself. It was hungry, or so Lletheria told us, so we fed it. May need to capture or negotiate with one of them for a proper hunting ground; get some… Additional firepower for my castle. But we fed it, and we were on our way to the Waypoint inn.

The Waypoint Inn is a comfy enough place; certainly a little more comfortable than I was expecting, but more importantly, it is a good place to serve as a starting point for our campaign into the castle. The days are getting shorter, and winter will be upon us soon. We need to be prepared for the coming of the new season, preferably in a new lovely home.

Lletheria and Myself set up our respective areas, and began to Scry the locations, preparing for the soon to be invasion of the area to reclaim my castle. Kiva sent a message on my behalf, I say mine, because really, her method of delivery is… Appropriate for my methodology. Tragically, as it turns out, Bugbears burn their corpses. Something that I shall have to remedy when I claim my proper throne in the castle. Lletheria began negotiations, and has come back with the statement that they need two days to come to a decision. While they talk, we prepare. And I, I am coming with an army. I will not be denied my castle. Demons and Devils be damned, I’ll have my throne before the frost sets in.

Return of the Returning
How not to not kill a priest.

Well; we did it. We got Kriis back. It took a great deal of effort, and we fought demons and things, but we did it. There was a minor incident that involved us (Myself and Mable) putting down a priest from another world. He had given us the task of killing him, in order to be transported to where Kriis was. While I was all too eager to make it so, Mable made it happen a little faster, and between the two of us, he was dead before he hit the ground. Something that did not sit well with either of the other members of the party. Of course, the Hell Gate that was summoned might have been a bit more ironic than it was suppose to be.

We killed some more demons there, and made certain that we set ourselves up to take on all those who would cross our paths, which was, to no one elses surprise, more demons. It took little effort to put them down (And finally get a couple into the Bag for Research) but we were able to find our way into the realm, and retrieve a much unconscious Kriis from her resting place in a laboratory. Vir’Kama suggested that we not go with my plan of utterly wrecking the place and taking everything that we didn’t burn down (Something about the fact that anyone who was able to stay in the literal abyss prolly not being the person that we want to anger.) So, instead, we just took her and left. Sad face.

Upon returning, we found ourselves somewhere in a forest, uncertain of exactly where we were. But we now have Kriis, who will need to get her bearings once more. Also, need to get Mable to stick with us, maybe join us at the castle? Could certainly use a druid to keep tabs on the place while we, well, technically I, research undead. Need to not chase off the wildlife and such. Also, we have to work on getting a Church running, a Lab and Study going, and hopefully find a proper place to set up a college as well. So much work, and so much time to do it in. But one step at a time. Go and murder the escaped supplies. Or, at least figure out if we are even in the right place. Or more, where we are at all. Curses on the forests. But have to make sure I do it outside of Mable’s earshot…

Vir'Kama's Undefeated Astral Wrestling Competition Prelude!
A Creative Way to Kill Enemies Study by the Wolves of Claggin

After a well earned rest at the end of the whole Lizardfolk ordeal, the rest of the party woke (I still get to enjoy books while they slumber.) We set out on another adventure while I renewed my minion count, and we strode with confidence down the hallway, and I attempted a dramatic entrance with cloak billowing and door bursting open; buuuut with my cloak unavailable (Since it is in the backpack we cannot access) and the power of my kick only being enough to push the doors open gently (Damn this frail frame) the others had the opportunity to have their laughs, and the three humans (I’m starting to think they are a rare species outside of cities) decided that our lackluster appearance of being a threat (You’d think a small division of heavily armoured and armed people would be enough to put people off on attacking us) they drew weapons. Well, one more tried before being turned to a red paste by my ever alert undead soldiers, and another one was casually lit on fire. From there, Vir’Kama killed one, Mable put a swarm of bugs on another (Worst way to die ever by the way) and Lletheria tried to talk one down, who didn’t seem to be listening, until I tried to paste him too and Vir’Kama put himself between my archers and the last man (I swear, it is like he didn’t just watch me turn someone into a smear across the floor with arrows. It is a feat to be able to do that!) and Llethera and Mable set to making the newly aquired prisoner talk. While they were doing that, more target practice strolled in through the doors trying to be tough, but the doors were not even fully open before a wave of my arrows ripped them down. And we got a second prisoner.
Apparently Mable has some experience with showing people how to be evil, as the one which gave the least most useful information was cut down, and Mr. Big Bad Dragonborn decided to show up, and got to see Mable call forth wolves before he got to see the Lady of Dragonborn show him how things are done. And she made him dance, while we laid another curse to make sure he would dance until he died or surrendered. And apparently he thought poison would be an easy way out. Turns out though, we all have the ability to heal, prevent toxins, and prevent death. (Which is somewhat ironic that we are a blender of death on a whim) and he was forced to talk anyway.
And Mable ran down the other human with her wolves when he tried to escape (Harsh). While Lletheria and Vir’Kama got information from the leader, Mable and I played with the corpse to instill a little fear and horror in our presence. Turns out that Mr. Bad Dragonborn (Whose forgetable name I’m sure Llethera remembers. Why do Dragonborn need such complex names? I’m sure they make sense in Dragon tongue, but that is a study for later in my life.) was merely doing his best to prevent bad things from escaping (I’m still sold on the idea of Vir’Kama Werewolf. I’m sure he isn’t though, so I’ll save that theory for when we get Kriss back…) And so I offered him to come back with us and redeem his name, start a new life. He politely declined (Still would make a good wight if I could find my way back here eventually…) and informed us that if he was to leave, his plan was just to throw himself into the Ethereal Realm and hope for the best. (Lol)
Still, he showed us to the grand staircase up, and he left us the key (Despite the fact that I am a key to anywhere I want to go) and we ascended the stairs. It was about half way up when Mable had the brilliant idea that my undead fortitude and inability to become tired meant I would become a good mount to rest her legs. So we had to climb the stairs twice as we tumbled down the stairs. (Curse my frail frame.) and while Lletheria and Vir’Kama had a snack and a little drink, we made our way back and Vir’Kama carried her under his arm. The doors at the top of the stairs were only a mildly inconvenient lock, which I was able to put out of commission with such practiced ease that I really should sell my skills as a locksmith (I see no problem at all with advertising that an undead can break into anyone’s home with ease… New plan, not do that.) and we made our way into the demon hall.
The demon/devil we encountered took my strikes like a champion, and we had to fight it with absolutely everything in our arsenal. Vir’Kama began a wrestling match with it, and showed why he was champion of wrestling in the group, while seering its flesh away with his amulet of evil. (Remind me not to hug him.) With a great deal of effort, we managed to finally lay the creature to rest, but my resources are all but spent (Good thing I learned how to heal. Vir’Kama took a beating over asserting dominance.) We’ll have to be a bit more careful up here. Even with the additional wolves, we are at a disadvantage going forward. Perhaps a little more caution is advised here.
But we are coming Kriss.

The Longest Keep Grind ever...
I don't want this castle either anymore....

After what seems like a short eternity of grinding through the most bizarre halls and rooms, the mighty Wolves of Claggin can finally get some rest.
We met a very fancy elf, who may or may not have been a witch, we don’t know. We for once, had a pleasant conversation, and discovered some actual information that is relevant to our future fights! Yaa! Bad news is, it is a Flesh Golem. A Golem I cannot control… Bbbbbuuuutttt pretty sure they still burn. Fire solves most problems. But the real problems, they came after.
It all started with the simple argument of what to call the half goat thing. Vir’Kama said it was a Satyr, Lletheria said it was a Pan, and I still stand by the fact it was a quiver. A very fancy quiver. And when it started playing its instrument, I turned out to be right, as storing my arrows in it turned out to be a pretty good choice.
Then came the Plants. Screw those things. For being little shrubs? Hedges? I’m not sure what to even really call them. They were surprisingly resilient to be trimmed, cut, and lit on fire. I personally hope we never see them again.
We then encountered Trolls. Turns out, Vir’Kama may, to put it politely, not like them. At all. He lit them on fire and proceeded to kill them. And there were the spidermen; which got the drop on us, and were very much ripped to pieces by a not impressed Mable (Wolves. New respect for the little wolves. Need to hasten research on animating them…)
Finally, we encountered Lizardfolk, who Lllethera tried to convince to join the United Lizardfolk Alliance. The prestige was lost on them, and we had to put them down. Tragically, one of them was a cleric. Many of my minions fell to his divine words. Three more sinners wiped from my hands. (Not sure which ones they were. Prolly the gnolls…)
But The loss of them will be lost; as now I have some Lizardfolk recruits. They’ll do nicely.
Oh; and as we settled in for a nice little safety rest, we played with the dice some more. But I broke them. On the bright side, I was able to convince Vir’Kama to teach me the ways of his people, at least, the way in which to emulate conversations with the divine. As a result; I may have some fancier new powers that are from a divine source. It should help keep everyone alive, and also, may help my odds of getting my research complete. Gods be willing and all.

Owlbear vs Vir'kama Delayed!
There was other stuff too. Like Devil's Game Dice.

After the borrowing of coin from the coffers of the Goddess Nallia, we encounter a trio of specter creatures, who were lain back to rest with short order.
After that…. Well, chaos hit…. And it hit hard…
First, the secret room we (I) discovered, had a large marble table (Dibs) with a pair of large fuzzy dice… (More likely opal, it was chaos and excitement, so the detail of the thing that I handled a few times are… A little fuzzy?…) Llethira did a Detect Magic, and naturally, the dice radiated magic . Powerful Magic. When Vir’Kama went to snag the dice before we had properly identified them, I may have… Interfered entertainingly. After the first use (Making it an amazing success rate toy) of the Paralyzing Wand, Mable promptly proceeded to push him over, poke him, and otherwise annoy him while also making him a proper bed.
Naturally, he was upset when he came to. Apparently Skeletons do not do well against sunblades. But mine took it like a champ. The tough little one was eventually reduced to dust though (Sadly, I will have to replace him… He will be remembered. As being the worst priest ever…
After having identified the dice as being fortune altering dice, Vir’kama declared that no fate would stand between him and Kris, and promptly rolled the dice. We all agreed, in it to the end.
Things get interesting from there.
Vir’Kama became stronger, and something about livelyness? Highly overrated.
I ascended mortal means and became more clever as a result, also finding the location of Kris, in part due to stacking favours of the gods and altering luck, just a little.
Llethira became wounded, and healthier? Very befuddling.
Mable had to be convinced, but she got a Owlbear pet, and the means to get to Kris.
While Vir’Kama and Llethira were argue the semantics of using their divine powers to influence the dice and to alter the results, I rolled again and got smarter for the effort.
Then Llethira took the dice. It was a sad day indeed. Still; I have the gloves of borrowing for a reason, should boredom come calling…
After having gone into the Ethereal Demiplane of ensnarement, (Which I masterfully drew) we settled in for a rest. Or what was suppose to be a rest. (My raven is super upset about the fact he is white now. Like that is his biggest problem…) and Vir’Kama issued the challenge of wrestling with the Owlbear, which Mable took exception to. And then the little hut became a vineyard (Which ensnared poor innocent Llethira, who had nothing to do with the whole thing at any point…) While it made a nice seat for me, and did not impede Vir’Kama as intended. But Llethira quickly halted the whole wrestling on another realm while our companion is in danger on hold. And got rid of the vines. And demanded we sleep.
It is weird being the only one that does not need to sleep again. Playing 3 Dragon Ante with skeletons is a little odd, especially since I can still see their hands. (Don’t tell them that though) ((I’m pretty sure the Raven suspects something though… Might need to get a new companion.)) (((Good thing I packed the extra robes, not sure if anyone else packed her clothing?)))