Drakenhold

The Final Chapter

They stood at the edge of the valley of death. Symbolic death? Does that hurt? Sven, after glancing at the multitude of deceased spirits, turned to Prestollion “We might not make it out of this.”
Prestollion’s gravelly voice growled “I weren’t afraid of them when they were alive, I’m not afraid of them now that they’re dead.”

At an unspoken signal the group began walking toward the valley.
“I can’t go in.” said a voice familiar to Sven, but new to the others in this band of mercenaries. Wilhad the bard who’d been haunting Sven this past year was agitated for some reason. Sven was used to ignoring Wilhad, but to the others this new voice was getting their attention. Wilhad had only become corporal after the landing on the moon and was only now able to interact with the whole party.
Seeing that he had everyone’s attention Wilhad continued. “If I go in, I’ll never leave again. I have unfinished business. There’s things I must do.”
Sven spoke up, “But this is your chance. You can transition to the afterlife. You don’t have to be an echo of your former self.”
“I’m not going in” is all Wilhad replied.

Sven then refelt a wave of guilt for causing Wilhad’s demise all those months back and promised him once again that he’d try to accomplish what Wilhad couldn’t.
“Just like you promised to sing my love song to Britney.”
Sven felt guilty about that unfulfilled promise; Sven was planning on do it. He just has not had the right opportunity so far.

Sven then realized that his goals and Wilhad’s aspirations were not so different after all. Sven’s wanted to establish a monastery and that could easily become a center of music education as well. After all, the singing of hymns and praises were always a part of worship.
So into the valley they stepped and as they watched the mists parted revealing Wilith, Coelric’s deceased wife. It was a touching moment as they talked and kissed, but the longer they spent in this valley the more it poisoned their bodies. Coelric’s friends had to intervene to hasten the parting so the group could continue down the path.

Prestollion might not have been afraid to enter, but there were still things dangerous to him. Many things, a multitude of beings, who Prestollion had killed while back on the planet below. They all started to gang up on him. It was as if they knew that if they could delay this giant of a dark elf then the local environment would do to him what they themselves couldn’t do while they were mortal.
With the help of his friends, and a heroic effort of will he repelled their avalanche.

The final ordeal was a test of friendship. Boris (the bear) had fallen behind the others. He had a keen appetite for desserts and feasting and it showed. “Just go on without me.” He called as he sat down for a rest. Only with Sven’s nagging assistance and Coelric helping Sven (Coelric didn’t think Boris was worth saving.) did Boris find the inner strength to get up and keep moving.
Right on the threshold between where the valley of the dead ends and the next area starts was a bridge with a towering Giant guardian

At the Bridge each person crossing had to declare their name. This was a test of humility. Golvendir was the one most challenge by this as he took such pride in his titles and honorifics. He chose wisely though in that he declared both his good and bad names. It was an equal pairing of those that brought him shame and pride.

As the party crossed the bridge, their goal was in sight, for in the horizon was the temple to the Moon goddess and that was where they were taking the Moon Sword.

As they walked across a field the old Hag Gretchen came before them to harass and block their path. St. Whitric intervened on their behave and fought the Hag. The only minions left that the party had to contend with were Lunatic Stags that had been specifically bred to guard this lunar field. They were tough beasts to kill as their wounds would magically heal if struck by mundane weapons.
Prestollion came to St. Whitric’s aid by challenging Gretchen, herself, to combat when she’d teleported across the field. He strode a couple steps forward and in a brilliant display of swordsmanship lopped off her head!

In the meeting hall of the Temple the party of heroes were greeted by the deities of the heavens. It was then that they learned that they symbolically represented the 7 vices that afflict mortal kind and also the seven kingdoms that allegorically as the closest match to those 7 vices.

Sven represented Pride and how a code of honor can go bad when the statutes are so strict that no-one can live up to them. The monastery and School of Music he established eventually became broken down ruins as no students wanted to enroll in it.

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The Day the Constellations Moved

The Day the Constellations Moved.
A sailor was at sea as he tried to align his sexton with the celestial canopy. An unexpected motion caused him to stumble. “Wait that wasn’t the ship moving; the stars I was looking at shifted.”

There above his head was a void where once was the constellation some called Draco used to be.

Meanwhile on a wooded ship too small to be visible to the sailor or anyone on the surface of the planet, Sven pondered his next move. Sloatgar was battling the Universal Dragon and it wasn’t going well for him. The whole of their plan rested on this Dragon vs. Dragon combat, but if their ally was defeated too quickly the distraction he was to serve would be too short of a time span and the Air Ship wouldn’t be able to sneak past.

Sven had faith in the Gods and in this moment that was more of a handicap instead of a benefit. Because of his faith in the divine deities he knew he was a mere mortal and the battle that was being waged and the course they’d set sail upon were way beyond his ability.
Then he remembered one of his favorite passages. The epic tale of David vs. Goliath, and he then knew there was something he could do. Just like how David’s stone smote the giant between the eyes; he’d hurdle the anti-magical blue stone he’d been carrying since the Cursed Lands into the beast that blocked their path.

Across the ship he raced and from the prow he threw the fist-sized stone. It arched through the aether and struck the cosmic dragon.

And it did nothing.
Then it did something bad.

Three small dragonling demons erupted from the spot that the rock hit, so instead of wounding or even distracting the beast Sven’s peril was increased.

Below is a quick summary:
St. Whitric appeared to the bearers of the Moon sword and advised them on how to converse with Smoatgar as they try to get the Dragon’s aid.

The college of Air magic swooped in for an aerial attack.

The flat disk of the planet being supported by the 4 elements is seen. (Some claim those 4 elements were standing on the back of a turtle.)

Smoatgar distracts the Universal Dragon named X.

The ship makes it to the moon and in a “fender – bender” landing the mercenaries disembark next to the tree of X fruit.

Sneever over eats and is now comatose.

Walking across the moon’s surface the heroes come to a valley were all the dead souls go and they might have to face all the people they’ve killed. Wilhad will have to stay there and can’t follow Sven anymore.

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Bears in the Woods

Boris (the bear) slept soundly in his near hibernation. As he slept he dreamed; he often had vivid dreams as it was a side effect of his magical craft. As the Animal-magi practitioner took on the form of various animals often the mental state of the mimicked animal was imprinted upon the wizard’s subconscious mind.

Thus he dreamed.

And in his dreams sometimes he’d be soaring in the clouds. Sometimes he’d be chasing prey.
In nightmares he’d be the prey being chased.

In his particular dream, this night he dreamed that all the members of his herd/pack/friends were under attack by undead skeletons. They were yelling to each other to get up and they were also squealing in pain as they were mortally wounded. One such scream was very rodent like and thus Boris knew that he must be having his reoccurring nightmare about when he was a mouse being chased by a cat.

Somewhere back in his sleep fogged mind he thought “I hope this dream ends soon or I won’t be rested come tomorrow morning.”

  • Meanwhile **

Sven’s to-do list:
1. Return a sword to the moon.
2. Wake a sleeping dragon and convince him that a country he on purposely left needs his help.
3. Stop being haunted by a Bard he accidently killed.
4. Convert Coelric to the true faith.
5. Stay out of the civil war as now the rebels don’t like his group and the dominate power never did.
6. Reestablish the Mercosian Kingdom.
7. Oh and buy some cheese the next time he’s in town.

Now back on task**

A faction of the wizard council wanted to claim the Moon sword for themselves. Knowing that it was the council’s decision to send the band of mercenaries to see the Dragon Sloatgar they planned an ambush.
The location was planned to perfection. It was away from the city so there wouldn’t be any witnesses and it was still far enough away from Sloatgar’s lair that there wouldn’t be any chance of the dragon interfering.
Those rogue magi used an enchanted skiff that was assigned to a larger vessel to sneak up on our heroes. As the heroes slept magical spells were woven that animated bones and plants that should have remained unquickened in the natural order of things. These abominations stepped lightly through the forest and as the dragon tail mercenaries slept they launched their attack.
The phrase a “Life or Death fight” could only be applied to half the combatants as the attackers were already dead.
The body counted reached high and Coelric was able to accrue a few more scars before the skeletons and mobile trees were put down.
In the final predawn hours our heroes were able to lure the rogue wizards into a parlay in which it was the magi who had the tables turned on them and were ambushed. The loot gained was the flying ship.
Golvendir wasn’t too comfortable about being aboard a flying ship, but he did have to admit that it was going to be a faster, more comfortable way to travel. His friends thought ahead and brought aboard a couple barrels of soil to keep on hand.
And thus it seemed that the journey to visit Sloatgar would proceed at a faster pace now that they were airborne.

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the wizards world

We stumbled around town trying to find out information. We then stumbled on to an owlbear which was terrorized the town folk. We slated it after it pounced on sven…. We later found out it was a shape shifter mage…. The also have a skelton town guard. We finally sought council with the council of wizards. They were scared of the moon swords power. The told is they have no ideal of how to get rid of the sword. The told us to seek out slothgar… The mage dragon… We had to skip town because they were after us. The mages came to kill us and take the sword. We had to take the loud mouth from the hotel… He is suppose to be some kinds of wizard… I guess we will fins out…..

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a mighty ship

We fought our greatest fight ever. We managed to over take the ship owned by the bright blades.

Scratched, wounded and bludgeoned Sven faced battle as ill prepared as he’d ever been. He only had a sword. His armor was in the hold of the ship and his shield was nowhere to be seen. Big Guthin hit him again and again with his walking stave that magically grew. And even then that was the least of his worries. The giant ogre Touk was the most fearsome foe on the ship. Sven felt outclassed by him and was glad Prestollion had squared up against him. That giant Dark Elf might be the only person who could stand up to Touk.
It was in one of the rounds of the bout that Prestollion struck him a mighty blow. So thunderous was the hit that the sound blended in with the actual thunder and lightning that flashed and echoed across the sea.

And nothing…. Touk shrugged it off like it was nothing.

Again Sven was harassed on all sides and it looked as though Prestollion too was getting flanked. When Prestollion was focused on Touk other members of this crew took advantage of the situation and would sucker punch him. The two brothers were the worst. Sven then decided that back to back was the best way to fight and he slowly crossed around the ship’s mast to stand next to the dark Elf.
Eventually it became Sven’s turn to take a swing at the ogre. In an all or nothing gamble Sven reared back his arm and struck with all of his righteous fiery.

And nothing…. Touk shrugged that off as well.

Lurching and rolling the ship rocked and forth. Such was the movement of the ship that even seasoned crewmen lost their footing. Some tumbled overboard into the sea; a lucky few got tangled into the ratlines. Touk was one of the unlucky ones. The storm and the sea did what Prestollion and Sven couldn’t.

Lucky for us there was a huge storm that helped dispose of their huge ogre. He got tosses over board. After that it was a fight freedom. Prestollion killed the last two of the brothers who had been giving him hell while chained to the ship. The named character’s left are big guthin leuwolf and the captain (hogar).

Wilhad saw the Moonsword leave Sniver’s hand and arc out to the open sea. Wilhad being a ghost couldn’t do anything to help in this temporal bashing of bones and flesh. And he wasn’t really sure if he would have helped in this combat even if he could have. After all it was Sven who had killed him.
The risk of losing the Moonsword though was too great. For as this deceased bard knew from the tales and songs he’d sung the Moonsword didn’t stay lost. It would find a new owner; perhaps someone evil like the orc Roargad who the Dragon’s tail mercenaries took the sword from.
Wilhad took a split second to assess the situation. It would have to be him to get the sword back. By reflexive instinct Wilhad thought “but I can’t swim I might drown” but then the realization of his state came back to him. “I’m already dead.”
The weight of steel falls quickly through salt water but even faster than that is spirit. This ghost of a man rushed through the water and eventually caught up to the Moonsword as it plunged downward.

We stole their magic weapons and chained them to the ship. We are now headed back to lothica. This is the land of mages. Coleric Was greatly wounded he will need time to heal… Everybody but the mighty Prestollion and sven received many of wounds. They were unscratched because they are the toughest of the tough.
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fighting chance

I believe that leowulf and guthin will aid us in the fight maybe… I think the priest is a wizard of some kind… He is not to be taken lightly. I believe the brothers will be easily defeated…(there was three of them) The leader of the blades and their ogre will be the hardest to beat.I think we can make it threw this if we work as a team.

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fight for freedom

Our ship was on its last leg… Water was coming in faster than we could get it out. Our fearless captain thought without any further problems… Well the horizon showed us a ship… We signaled it. The captain threw his smuggled weapons over board. Much to our surprise it was the Gorgon, the bright blades ship… We thought we were saved at last. They summoned coleric to the ship. They offered him his old job back in exchange for getting his companions to surrender. The church had double crossed us all. They hired them to get rid of the moon sword and us for good. The bright blades wanted to sell us into slavery to earn a little extra profit, making the party work in the copper mines in Emirhad. Coleric lies to blight blades and says that shield breaker is the accursed object they seek. Their leader throws it over board.(yea we decided to play along with the captive part for now)

Everyone except Coelric was chained to the mast of the ship for 2 days. During this time Coelric socialized with all the notable members of the Bright Blades to see if any of them could be counted on as allies but mostly ticked people off. Notable among the Brotherhood of the Bright Blades are:

  1. Leowulf the swift (Coelric’s old mentor)
  2. Hargar the brave (Captain of the Bright Blades)
  3. Touk (dim witted ogre with a pet rat)
  4. Frier Tatric (man of the cloth and of mysterious purpose)
  5. Big Guthin (ranger)
  6. Werhad & Radwold (brothers of the man Prestollion killed in a bar)

“I like the Rat. Rat is my friend.” thought Touk as he swabbed the deck with his mop.
No-one understands me the way my best friend Rat does. He’s always there for me and never lets me down. Not like the others. They laugh and tease me just because I’m big and slow.
Touk then scratched the fur between the ears of his pet rat with his massive finger.
Hagar just doesn’t understand. He not like rats. He tried to kill Rat’s family. That was a sad day Touk recalled and he was glad that he’d given an extra piece of cheese to Rat on the day the Bright Blades cleaned out the bilge.
I’ll let my new friend Coelric play with my best friend. Hopefully Rat and Coelric will get along nicely with each other.

Coelric though was not above manipulating Touk and used the opportunity to try to hide Rat in amongst Werhad & Radwold’s belongings. The only flaw with his thinking was that he was on a ship full of thieves, cutthroats and robbers. Coelric was spotted in his attempt. Perhaps it was the brothers or maybe anyone who mistrusted Coelric but Rat was removed from that location, killed, and placed in Coelric’s backpack.
When Touk was informed of this he went into a rage. As Coelric and Touk fought Coelric had lost his will to fight because he didn’t want to kill Touk (just use him). Preferring to dodge instead of backstab Coelric delayed the fight long enough that eventually Hargar came out of his cabin and broke up the fight.

we plan to escape at night. With the help of Coleric and the party wizard. We have been set free and are about to make our way below deck to get ready for battle. We need our weapons and armor. This is the fight for freedom death or slavery… The party has never faced a foe such as this. The blades have many heroes. We must win this fight. We must not be defeated. Hopefully coleric has everything in place for us.
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The Kraken Rises!

Outline Sept 9th
1. Prestollion is in a bar fight.
2. We leave town
3. Bandits in the woods
4. More bandits (probably friends) in the woods attack the original bandits.
5. We charter a Ship named Philippe of the Sea. The captain’s name = Guy of Avon
6. Kraken attacks.

Here’s 2 – 4.

It was with great Haste… (after shopping for weapons)… and with great speed…. (after purchasing some potions) and without any deliberation … (after doing some heraldic research) that the party of heroes set out to the coast of the Eternal Sea.

Their task was simple get the Moon Sword out of the kingdom before the King knew of its existence. As they traveled the road at a certain bend a band of bandits ambushed the heroes. Their response to the threat was to press the attack to the right flank Coelric and Prestollion were already on that side so Sven and Alhwin crossed the field to lend assistance.

This tactic created an opening on the left flank which would not have been a weakness except for when the battle had only been engaged for a few moments when a second band of thieves joined the fray.

Was this a second wave of enemies?

Coelric recognized some of this new group as his old friends who he used to carouse with.
Golvendir determined that hiding the party’s wealth was the best option when faced with this quantity of thieves and bandits in the vicinity.

Much to the party’s surprise and relief Coelric’s old friends left as mysteriously as they appeared. It would seem that they were playing some sort of guardian role and making sure the Moon Sword made it out of the kingdom. Though grateful the party was left with more questions than answers.

Here’s my entry for #6.

Sven once again faced an enormous foe. He’d heard the party whisper about him being a coward and Prestollion had basically shunned him since the battle on Dark Gate. That Dragon still haunts his dreams. But in that battle he had nothing left. He’d given his all to defeat Roargad and Cenbold. In that battle he was fatigued, bruised, battered and perhaps his faith had even faltered for a bit. He had trusted in the Strength of his Arms, the arms of man, instead of putting his faith in the divine. And in that moment of only relaying on the strength of his body he ran.

Today was going to be different though. It was with a revival of his oaths that he was now prepare; his soul and spirit were also in this fight. But words and prayers are one thing. What’s really needed is a leap of faith to prove his intent with action and then he’d have moved beyond the mere words.

It was with Alhwin’s urging that the Kraken became the target for his holy might. Leaping from the crow’s nest he and Alhwin collided with the sea beast. The grappling, stabbing, and plunging caused the salty sea to froth with blood, and slime.
An oath of anger and purpose erupted from Sven’s mouth.

“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale kraken.”

Sven road the sea monster as it dived into the depths. In desperation he thought of the potion of Water Breathing that Golvendir had purchased for him, but it was impossible to unstopper the cork for it was all he could do to hold on.

Eventually the tangled two breached the surface again and Sven was flung free from off the beast. Exhausted and half drown he dog-paddled to the magic table that was part of the flotsom. Nearly collapsing he clung to it eventually having to make room for a few companions and there they bobbed until a rescue line was thrown.

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Moon rise over Cardone

I think Labor Day weekend has caused me to forget details about the game session. Here’s an outline and if we agree then (if I have time) I’ll turn this into a narrative.
Outline of game session.
1.We made it back to the Dragon’s tail Inn and healed for a couple weeks.
2. We volunteered to join the army and we each used our strengths to win the battle and reclaim Dark Gate.
3. We went to the capitol city, Cardone, and there was told to leave quickly so the moon sword doesn’t get confiscated by the king.
4. We then headed south down the road to the coast so we go to the island that’s ruled by magicians.
What other events happened?
What were the quirky and humorous or bold and brave encounters we had?

(I do like my title for this post though)

I just remember the chicken flight potion. and when Golvender got “mind fog” that Bryan said he clucked like a hen. That was funny enough to be included in the written up.

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Dark Gate has Fallen!

Game Report August 26th
Our band of heroes limped back to the Basilica of St. Whitric to cleanse their wounds and heal from injuries that were gained from combat.
An obligatory visit to Garnish revealed that Sven can make a fairly decent singer when he vocalizes the same song that Wilhad the ghost is performing. Wilhad always charges dearly for any assistance he gives and Sven is now a bit worried about the debt he owns this haunting spirit. Garnis passed along that the orc army had not been seen in quite a few days.
The Dragon’s Tail mercenaries then marched at a double pace to warn the Dark Gate of the Orc Army’s intent and while on the way encountered their old friend the Stone Giant. This “friend” it was decided was best left alone so they avoided him.
Once the Dark Gate was visible it became clear that the Orc army was camped at the foot of it. There was no way the heroes could approach from this side of the gate. They opted then to cross over and deliver their warning from the civilized side of the Bridgandor Mountains.
Coelric was lead scout and discovered a sizable contingent of the Orc Army on this side of Dark Gate. This wasn’t good and meant that soon Dark Gate might be surrounded. He evaded many scouts and guards and eventually made it to the gate itself.

From up on top of the battlements stood their old Nemesis Cenbold plus their new enemy Roargad the chief of the Orc Clan and head of the evil army. It suddenly became evident that Dark Gate was held by the very people it was supposed to keep out.
The heroes then leapt into action with the Battle cry “We’re mercenaries. We don’t think; we do!” and a bold frontal assault ensued.
It was decided that this was the closest they’d ever come to getting the Moonsword out from Roargad’s clutches. A smash and grab or hyper-accurate strike to lop off the leadership of this army and then run away would be the only way to survive the confrontation.
Golvendir conjured up an Earthen ramp that allowed the heroic mercenaries the chance to run up and have a face to face confrontation with their enemies.

As the party ran up the ramp a few orc archers released a scattering of arrows that wounded and slowed down their advance. The individual members then dealt battle each according to their strengths. Prestollion carved huge swathes of carnation as the rank and file orcs died en masse. Coelric strategically blocked a doorway. Golvendir was finally able to utilize some scrolls that he’d written months ago and sent some golems to do his bidding. Sven was able to score a lucky shot on Cenbold with his “Only once a battle” crossbow. He then ignored the horde of minions and boldly challenged Roargad to personal combat. The two clashed with blow after blow but eventually Sven won and the moon sword then became the possession of Alhwin.
The battle awoke Mogtric the mighty dragon and he bleached out a stream of lava that did great damage not only to the party but the walls and floors of Dark Gate. That is except the party members who had fled the battle running as fast as they could.
In a desperate gambit to not become flambé Golvendir battered with Mogtric. We’d give him his tail back and he wouldn’t kill us.
Mogtric then swooped down and grasped the magi in his claws where he then flew to Garnis the Rat King’s court. Upon reaching the sovereign a potion of regeneration was demanded and as a parting ‘thank you’ the dragon released a bust of lava that covered the throne and audience chamber.

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