The Overlord's Wake

Trouble in Northamlet
 

A messenger from the Countess D'Orlon arrives at the main temple of Zorica the Fallen, God of Knowledge and Hidden Things, seeking an investigator to find out what is happening in one of her villages – Northamlet.  There have been increasing attacks around it, and the villagers were behaving strangely.
 


The Abbot bequests the Lay Priest, Jon, recently returned from a 5 year fact finding mission, to carry out this task as he sees fit, with no renumeration from the Temple.  And frankly, the Abbot was quite put out to be asked at that time.  Nevertheless, Jon sought out those whom he knew could be trusted to protect him in these uncertain times – first seeking out the Consulting Mage, Lilliastre (Lilly to her friends) who was at that time training Dessima the Drider in the Dark Arts, and also the use of pastels.  Lilly was flummoxed on the knowlege about the county of D'Orlon and also wished further combat expertise and sent for her friend Elgar, the Elf Duelist.
 

The county of D'Orlon was once attacked by a lizardfolk army over 100 years ago.  The Count lost his life against the Lizard King, but his daughter won the day.  The current Countess is the descendant of the daughter.
 

Making their way to the county, Jon scouts ahead and discovers and ancient Gryxx tree, useful for healing cuts.
 

When entering the county, diligent scouting and navigation enables them to ambush some bandits, who were themselves intent on ambushing those using the main thoroughfares.  One bandit is captured [feel free to wax lyrical on the combat for everyone here].  The bandit was keen to forsake the others anyway, and soon reveals their leader is Grigor the Viper, there are in total 50 bandits, but they're usually taking turns raiding and ambushing, and the main base is 3 days journey (by foot, not on any road) in the Weird Dragon(1) direction from Northamlet.  The bandits were employed by the Cult of the Sleeper to waylay folk around the area.
 

Consulting the Unaussprechlichen Kulten, she happened to be carrying (2nd edition, with etchings), Lilly relays that this cult believes that the Sleeping One will awaken and lead them in victory over all the lands.

 
From the bandits the group retrieved 4 coin and 12 rations.
 
Quote of the session:-
On the dubiousness to their wellbeing of the Elves distracting the bandits while the Human and Drider attacked them,
Craig: "This is the elfy group, that group is the less elfy"
 

 
(1) Directions are based on the major regions as they relate to the centre of the world – Old Castle.  They are Weird, Dragon, Blessed and Dwarf.  They are somewhat equivalent to West, North, East and South in that order.
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Preliminary Investigations
Villagers are ensorcelled and discoveries are made

Having defeated the bandits on the road to Northamlet, the party crosses a bridge into the hamlet. They are greeted at the bridge by Ozruk, a mage and one of the leaders of the Northamlet community.

The party arranges lodgings at the Mist in the Morning inn. Elgar successfully negotiates with Ozruk to provide free board while the party investigates at the Countess's behest. Ozruk is sceptical at first, but is convinced by Lilly presenting Jon's letter from the Abbott, after fishing it out of her bag of books. Meanwhile, Jon fails to achieve the same ends by using a charm spell on the innkeeper.

Later that day, Lilly talks with the traders passing through the inn to learn more about the local bandit problem. Another group has been recently active Drakeward from the hamlet; and while the trader reports his group being outnumbered two to one, Lilly suspects he's exaggerating to save face.

Meanwhile, Jon goes to investigate the local church, speaking with Canon Bryar. Bryar is unhelpful toward the outsider cleric at first, until under the influence of Jon's charm spell. With Bryar under the spell's influence, Jon discovers that a local named Edwin is suspected of being a cultist. Jon also arranges a lunch date for the following day.

The following morning, the party steps out into the hamlet for market day. Local farmers hawk produce, trading between themselves and resupplying the traders for their journeys. Several of the passing traders also hold stalls, mainly plying their wares to each other.

Seizing upon the idea that the most well-off trader must be in league with the bandits, Jon calls on Zorica the Fallen for guidance. His guidance spell becomes the grandest of spectacles in the market square – a winged apparition circling through the crowd and coming to a stop above the head of one of the merchants: an alchemical vendor named Lim.

Lim is at first displeased with Jon for driving away his business, but is quickly calmed with a touch of magic from the cleric. Lin divulges his secret for evading the bandits: the use of night vision potions for safe travel under the cover of night. Jon splashes out fifteen coins for a potion*, then spies suspicious activity across the square.

Jon pursues the suspicious figure: first attempting to follow surreptitiously, then later following at a run to tackle the fleeing farmhand. While grappling with the farmhand (and before Dessima's arrival on the scene), Jon again puts his charm spell to work. He briefly exchanges pleasantries with the farmhand before leaving him to go about his business.

Back in Northamlet, Elgar and Lilly watch a performance by some local players. The troupe acts out the tale of Lanareth (a figure of local legend) and her seduction of the handsome blacksmith's son. Consulting her tomes, Lilly discovers that Lanerath's home is rumoured to be close to Northamlet; and that accounts of this legendary figure speak of lovers being taken into the house and never seen again.

Later in the day, Jon keeps his lunch date with Bryar and then goes on a tour of Ozruk's tower. From Ozruk, Jon learns that Lanareth's home was understood to be surrounded by water. Ozruk suspects an abandoned nearby (warehouse? mill?) may be the location of the house.

With Lim out in the square, Dessima attempts to break into his room. Failing to pick the lock, she then recruits Lilly and Elgar for a second attempt. Lilly picks the lock with magic, forcing air into the lock to set the pins inside. Once in the room, Elgar and Dessima search Lim's possessions. Elgar finds a single magical playing card, while Dessima finds an expensive gem set in a fine cloak. Dessima elects not to steal the cloak, instead taking a letter revealing the name of Lim's supplier; and then she hides away on the ceiling to keep watch on the room overnight.

Lilly keeps watch downstairs for Lim during the search, and sees Jon drinking the merchant under the table. Jon takes Lim upstairs to pour him into bed, and then the party discusses strategy for the next day before retiring for the night.

Jon thinks the party should follow the guidance of his deity and escort the merchant Blessedward, seeing what transpires along the way. Lilly is keen to spend the day tracking down the bandits for some civilised conversation, which may or may not follow some uncivilised bloodshed.

Quote: "These are glassless windows. For the underglasses." – zee GM

*And also some derision, for needing a potion to see in the dark

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We Seek Them Here, We Seek Them There
In which the party looks for bandits

Overnight, Lim has been utterly boring. Well drunk from Jon's hospitality, he's gone upstairs, poured himself into bed, and snored the night away. Dessima is disappointed, having gone to all the effort of hiding to watch him overnight. As compensation, she steals the gem on his cloak pin and leaves the room looking ransacked.

Day One

Dessima and Lilly wake early, and are joined by Elgar for breakfast. They discuss hiring on as caravan guards for the merchants, hoping that the opportunity to plunder coins from the roadside might draw out the party's quarry. Jon joins nursing a hangover, and then offers the party's services to Lim for free.

At midday, the caravan sets out. Off the path Jon finds a corpse, dead for some time. The corpse has a metal cup, which Jon takes for himself before rejoining the caravan. Lilly navigates for the caravan, riding ahead and guiding the merchants on a safe path through the county.

Day Two

The caravan advances, making safe, fast progress with the aid of Lilliastre's navigation. Jon scouts into the wilderness, and comes across some nice flowers. Nothing else of note happens.

Day Three

The caravan reaches the border of the county, rejoining safe roads beyond the reach of the bandits' activities. The party leaves them to their travels, turning back toward the woodlands and their unfulfilled promise of bandits.

Jon and Lilly seek supernatural guidance to find the bandits, but neither of their spells is successful. Elgar instead scouts ahead, finding signs of damage to a stand of trees. He then navigates the party directly into an attempted ambush by an ogre.

The ogre plans to do violence, and charges toward Lilly. Jon attempts to intervene, then Elgar steps into the path of the attack, taking a blow from the ogre's heavy club. Standing her ground, Lilly responds with magic; lightning arcs through the air and the ogre loses an arm. Dessima follows with black magic of her own, taking down the wounded ogre. Elgar searches the ogre's body, finding a diamond worth 900 coins.

Day Four

The party travels through safe terrain, and then on…

Day Five

The party returns to Northamlet, to learn that bandits have ransacked the rooms that they stayed in. The party accepts Canoness Bryar's offer of a night's accommodation in the common room of the chapel.

Day Six

The party sets out in search of the bandits and the tales of Lanareth. Scouting ahead, Jon sights a peak on the other side of a chasm. Dessima attempts to navigate for the party; little progress is made, and as the party's path takes them along the treacherous edge of the chasm Elgar loses his footing and strains his ankle. As Lilly manages the rations, she discovers that some of them have spoiled.

Day Seven

Day seven of the party's search for the bandits sees Lilly scouting ahead. She sights boars in the woods, and brings the party to hunt them to replace their missing rations. One of the boars is burned by Dessima and flees into the woods; the other two are slain, but Elgar and Jon are wounded in the process. Elgar, under the influence of the Whispering Deck, kills the boars with his bare hands while his sword hangs forgotten at his side.

Jon navigates the party on their way, and they make good time. Lilly has found a sheltered spot overlooking the bandits, and the party makes camp for the night. Jon uses his clerical magic to protect the camp with a sanctuary spell, while Lilly fails to use her magic to peer at the bandits in the moat house ruins.

The adventurers settle in the for the night and make their preparations to deal with the bandits in the morning.

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March on the Moathouse
In which the bandits are routed
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Descent into the Depths
In which dungeons are investigated and potions are drunk
Quote of the session:-

After animating a zombie and rolling its new stats-
Mike: The zombie has +1 in all stats – it's better than me!
Craig: Well, it has a functioning brain

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The Cult Cometh
Defence and destrution of the fanatics
Quote of the session:-

After various disparaging remarks about the whole party being able to see in the dark except the human, but the human drinks a night vision potion and questions other abilities to see, especially NPC's.
Deborah: That's our think, to see in the dark!
Peter: Take back the night.. vision!

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Doors not opened
The crate escape

After spending a night back at camp recovering and getting healing spells for the cleric, the party encounters a door that is held shut with a crate. Half a session latest, they discover that overnight the cult leader escaped at his own pace down a tunnel. The group almost opens a door behind which a large thing was probably lurking, but instead rescues three humans from the lizard man larder. 

Consulting Zorica, leads Jon to believe that these victims are not safe if left to wander amongst the corpses of a bandit camp that still is home to a giant spider while in shock. So the group decides to look after them, just in time to see some during bandits. 

Quote of the session:-

Jason: I don't need to because [BURP]

 

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Dragon, it out
Miner ghosts
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Monster Hunt
Something rotten in the Old Castle

Returning home and to their regular jobs, Elgar receives a standard monster hunt directive from the government.

 

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