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Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Enchanted Forest Job

  • Begins 1 month later at Heroes’ Guild Tavern, following a training session with Tancred of Stonewall; he gives them a Job to travel to Chopwood to assist the Shariff, Coffur Oldmoney in hunting the down the Laughing Bandit who has seemingly taken to now abducting children!
  • While prepping, Dustan encounters Magister Mintôr, his instructor, who gives him an iron key when he learns that the Company are venturing into the King’s Wood. In case of Faeries.
  • Arrive at Chopwood ahead of shariff and meet with some of the locals, including Patron Morrell, the reeve, and the local senior hunter, Hewe Farwood. Learn a bit about the situation from the local perspective.
  • Following day, the shariff arrives and has a meeting with locals at church. Locals want shariff to “do something”, but he thinks this is a trap by “Laughing Bandit” who he suspects locals to have been assisting. A local druid named Oddmar enters the meeting and claims that faeries took the children, though no one believes him. Shariff announces intent to enter Wildwood to find Laughing Bandit and, oh yeah, retrieve the missing girls.
  • Druid to lead expedition at Company’s suggestion (even though shariff doesn’t trust him) with Hewe Farwood backing him up to keep him honest. Once past the small wall denoting border of King’s Wood and Wildwood, things start to get weird. Encounter several strange magical traps that claim some of shariff’s men: a basket of fruit that puts one man catatonic when he bites into an apple; a ring of mushrooms that result in another dancing like a crazy person until Dustan blasts him out of it with an air jet; pixies that attack like rain; vines coming alive to drag some men away.
  • Brother Getwelle asks Oddmar the druid if something has changed lately, and the druid says (ominously) that yes, everything has changed. He’s a traitor to whom great fame and wealth unimaginable has been promised. Goblins attack from a sinister-looking tree. A wild melee ensues where both the druid and many of his goblins are felled.
  • Inside the tree, the Company discover a golden magic mirror, as well as baby goblins growing out of the tree roots! They further discover the catatonic girls. Dustan uses the key Mintôr gave him against the mirror (while ignoring ominous whispers), which breaks the glass; later, Murdok will gather up the gold parts of the mirror to assuage his Greed.
  • The sinister tree is burned at the Company’s suggestion and the weirdness seems to recede. The shariff is pleased with their aid, happy that they’ve rescued the missing girls, but confused at the druid’s sudden by inevitable betrayal.
  • Mission successful!

Player Notes:

  • Two times in this session we had a spell-casting critical fail. The first one was admittedly more entertaining, with Getwelle essentially buffing his foe.
  • This is thrice that we’ve run afoul of someone using the ‘great fame and wealth unimaginable’ line has been used. As a player, I recognize that Gigermann is ripping off the (vastly underrated) “Middleman” TV show (which I think I need to rewatch) bad guys’ line of “my plan is sheer elegance in its simplicity”, but I think the the players (or at least Kenrick) is starting to suspect a greater Foe at work behind them. He’s going to include that as part of his report to the Heroes’ Guild.
  • The trip through the actual enchanted forest part with the traps didn’t work quite as well as it should have from a player’s perspective. I think, in retrospect, it would have made slightly more sense to randomly roll which PC was closest to the action and ask that player what he’s doing to try and prevent the loss of the men-at-arms. Still, I definitely liked the tone of the traps – they were very faerie-like.
  • No game next week as it is the Independence Day weekend and at least two of the players are unavailable.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Paladin Escort Job

  • Begins at Heroes’ Guild Tavern, catching up. Given a task by Reyvanna the Black to escort Ser Bryton Good-Heart who needs some muscle to wipe out a necro cult. They are to meet him at the Low Market at dawn near fountain. Everyone departs to prep.
  • Meet Ser Bryton in morning. Several of the characters fanboy over him. Depart and travel; the Company are surprised that Bryton removes his kit to be “incognito.” Stop overnight at traveling hostel. Murdok has a dream regarding a dude suffering from Burning Pox.
  • Arrive at Taxford. Pay toll. Bryton sends the Company to deal with some tasks while he goes into a brothel!: Dustan goes shopping; Leodan finds a beggar to pass on a message; Murdok goes to collect a 50 pence debt; Getwelle goes to a church to get a relic (the REAL one) (which he ends up stealing); Kenrick loiters and is spoken to by a man wanting to speak to Ser Bryton.
  • Camp overnight, then in the a.m., Ser Bryton goes fishing while sending PCs to scout out possible village. PCs have Leo scout ahead, then circle back to keep an eye on Ser Bryton. Village seems semi-deserted with skittish locals & a super pissy church leader. Return to Ser Bryton to let him know.
  • Leo observes Ser Bryton interrogate a dude (water board). Learn of cult at village due to Truthsayer spell. Kit up and attack. Ser Bryton reconsecrates altar while we hold off cultists. Getwelle hits the cultist leader with Command, causing him to drop several magic things so Leo & Murdok are able to drop him. Kenrick & Magnus lance a foe, slaying him instantly. The rest break.
  • Ser Bryton reveals that he’s going east to investigate the growing Evil that has been chasing him.
  • Mission successful!

Player Notes:

  • Getwelle’s attempt to get the relic was an amusing mess as he failed a Fast Talk check, thus angering the priest. He ended up grabbing the relic and running. This marks the second time that we’ve failed a critical event in this run.
  • Everyone kind of figured out (or at least started to suspect) that Bryton was sending everyone off in random directions to distract attention from the bad guys chasing him.
  • As before, this is missing a bunch of background stuff. Just doing the minimum for the outline!

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Company of the Bere

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Year One: The Sewer-Rat Job

  • Begins at Heroes’ Guild Tavern, catching up. Summoned to Válaris who has a new job for the Company: giant rats the size of dogs being an issue in the Old City (East and West Side).
  • Kenrick & Dustan meet with the mayor who wishes this to be resolved before the King of Naboria arrives in one week, get info & list, while the rest wander around and scope the area. Once the team reunites, they now have a list and decide to begin canvassing witnesses the next day.
  • The Company splits up: Kenrick & Getwelle are together with the brother acting as the talker, Dustan leads Leodan and Murdok. The former encounter John Thatcher at the docks who had an encounter with a ROUS when it broke into his house. Learn of link to apothecary (owner asked about them) and sewers (how the rats move around). Dustan’s group meets with a city watchman who was attacked by a big ass rat some nights ago.
  • On the third day, Getwelle and Ser Kenrick meet with a merchant who has a servant who slew one; they investigate the week-old corpse and Getwelle does detect a very tiny spark of magic. The other team encounter some kids looking for their dog that chased something off the night before. They determine that the apothecary is the next destination.
  • Go to apothecary, hear a scuffle so they break in to discover a big rat attacking “Eyan Vestôr”. Head into the sewer … for a couple of days. Enter the lab and thoroughly crush a small mob of dire rats. Discover a pair of corpses present as well as notes indicating this is an alchemical experiment under the auspices of someone called “the Magpie.”
  • Summon the authorities to deal with the bodies. Later learn that “Eyan Vestôr” they met was probably the Magpie as the real one was one of the corpses.
  • Mission successful! And with a single day to spare!

Player Notes:

  • First time we’ve played this in several years. We’ve had some roster changes since last we played: three players are no longer active, so Dustan and Murdok are now played by different people and Rayna has “retired” from active play.
  • Gigermann used a variation of the Zombie mob rules for the rat swarm to ensure it didn’t take forever and a day but, in retrospect, that surprise round may have been too much. Most of us kept forgetting the SM -3 for the swarm, but also forgot to use Telegraphed Attacks (since the swarm wasn’t dodging) so it ultimately worked out. GM thought it was anti-climatic, but the rest of us didn’t.
  • We spent a lot of time in the sewer because he failed our skill challenge.
  • There was a lot of background stuff that I didn’t cover in this, the most important of which being that the King’s Wedding is coming up.

See the Daniverse Blog for the GM’s post-game debrief.

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company battles a djinn…

  • At the Cave of Winds, the djinn-lord Atah Keth, now possessing the body of Sheik Rashid, commands the nearby Fa’iel to stand and defend him from the Company. Ismir succumbs to the djinn’s magic and does as bidden, attacking the others.
  • Meanwhile, a group of Atah Keth’s centaur soldiers attack the remaining refugees as they continue to crowd through the portal. Haruki and the free cat-people defend Finn and the refugees. Haruki is wounded, but fells two of the centaurs on his own.
  • At the cave, the Company fights through the mind-controlled Fa’iel warriors to attack the djinn-possessed-sheik, who, after Brum manages to finally land a blow, turns Aramis to stone, followed by Brum. Desperate, Thorondil uses Smil-Blam (Gestlin’s unpredictable Rod of Wonder artifact) to banish the djinn, who immediately flees, taking Rashid’s body with him.
  • With the fight done and all arrived through the portal, Finn creates another portal direct to Castle Defiant, home at last. As they all begin to cross over, they see that the banner of the “rightful heir” to Defiant, as well as that of the King of Caithness, indicating they are in residence.

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company flees the destruction of their patron…

  • The Company, including the 43 locals from the otherworld, arrives on the other side of the portal to find Zat Al-Dawahi being torn apart by the other djinn lords, while their forces battle each other throughout the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls. The Company flees the palace into the streets, fighting their way out of the city.
    • Finn Sardock remains unconscious from the effort at creating the portal, and is carried along
    • Haruki uses his tetsubo to bar a gate, leaving it behind.
    • Ismir finds his former wife and her new husband dead, and takes up their two-year-old son (also named Ismir)
    • Aramis is seen “casting spells,” and at one point, Thorondil hears him speak with the voice of Arn Rainaldson
    • Zyanra and her felinoid kin flee with the group, now free of their mistress
  • The city is destroyed just as the Company gets clear of the border of (formerly) ZAD’s domain
  • Other survivors are gathered while Finn recovers
  • Finn creates a portal to the Cave of Winds, where the Company is meant to rejoin Sheik Rashid and the other Fa’iel, taking the hundred-or-so survivors with them; Haruki stays behind to guard Finn who is to cross over last
  • As the group is still crossing over, Ismir leads the company into the cave to find Sheik Rashid being held aloft by the neck by a much-weakened and damaged Atah Keth, completing possession of his body…

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company helps Finn Sardock return to Yrth…

  • Finn Sardock gates in to meet the Company as they arrive in this strange world, and explains his situation—he has been hiding here for (probably) seven years—before gating them back to his adopted home, an otherwise-abandoned, walled town, on a hard-to-reach hill.
    • Ammerah is at the town, with their two young children.
    • With them in the town are forty-or-so refugees, total-pacifists who will not touch weapons at all.
  • Finn cloaks the beacon to suppress its magical signature, lest it draw too much hostile attention. Later he uncloaks it to study it, to discover how to use it to guide him in creating a portal back to Yrth, knowing that the local enemies, “Nightmares” and their “beast-man” army, will notice it and attack.
  • In the night, an eyeless “Nightmare,” armored and bearing a strange sword, appears in the courtyard and attacks Finn, but is repelled by Thorondil and Ismir, as the rest arrive to see it disappear into the shadows.
  • The next day, the Company looks to shore up the town’s defenses against the inevitable assault, supervised by Brumrumli, while Finn’s family and the refugees prepare to evacuate.
  • The beast-man army attacks the town gates and breaks through, just as the Company, Finn, and the rest of the town’s occupants flee through Finn’s portal.

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company battles ghouls and snatches an artifact…

  • At Iram dhāt al-ʿimād, the Company finds itself surrounded by ghouls, and fights them back-to-back, until they finally break.
    • Brumrumli wields “Klang” for the first time.
    • Haruki is cut a time or two but shrugs it off.
    • Ismir’s arm is severely crippled.
    • Thorondil wields “Grimslaughter” for the first time.
    • The fight is joined by some sort of “carnivorous mist” that devours the surviving ghouls as they run away.
  • They quickly grab the altar and flee the ruined city, staying just out of reach of the mist.
  • After some days, they return to the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls, and present the altar to Zat Al-Dawahi. She needs a few days to prepare for the next task.
  • After preparing, ZAD summons the Company. She presents them with an “anchor” to take through a portal to the world where Finn Sardock is lost. There he can use it as a guide to create his own portal to return.
  • ZAD creates the portal, and the Company enters, arriving in another world. They are met by a years-older Finn Sardock, who asks, “What took you so long?…”

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company journeys to the City of Ten Thousand Pillars…

  • Rewind: The Company spends some of their off-time gearing up for the next mission.
    • Aramis finds a strange ring
    • Ismir hires a local sage to identify the magical properties of the ornate bowl he found hidden in Farouk Ibn Said’s palace, and the strange “pendant” he found in the dragon’s hoard.
  • The Company sets out for Iram dhāt al-ʿimād.
  • A couple of days on, they encounter the scene of a massacre of a colony of Dragon-Sworn who had occupied an abandoned city.
  • Entering the Great Desert, they encounter a nearly-dead man in the desert, apparently fleeing Iram dhāt al-ʿimād. As the Company carries him with them in a cart, he dies, and is later buried when the Company makes camp.
  • A week on, the Company arrives at the lost city of Iram dhāt al-ʿimād.
  • As they reach their objective, the altar Zat Al-Dawahi had sent them to retrieve, they are confronted by a band of ghouls, led by a spellcaster, who orders them to attack…

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company returns to the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls…

  • Continued from last session
  • Farouk Ibn Said is cast down to the arena floor, where Zyanra is allowed to end him finally to her satisfaction with Ismir’s meteoric knife.
  • Thorondil, Haruki, and Ismir go to the palace to join Zat Al-Dawahi’s triumphant forces in the looting. Ismir finds a secret stash containing an item of great value in the palace.
  • The company joins ZAT’s forces as they return to the Citadel of Ten Thousand Pearls, sped along by ZAT’s magic.
  • At the Citadel:
    • Aramis rests, to recover from his injuries.
    • Brumrumli is summoned to a meeting with the visiting merchant, Thráin Ironfist, who attempts to extort him into aiding his business.
    • Haruki interacts with a gaggle of oprhans/urchins, to their great amusement.
    • Thorondil meets Zyanra’s litter-mates.
    • Ismir encounters his former wife, whom he thought dead, finding her happily married to another, with a young son.
  • Waiting for five days:
    • Brum is magically transported to another plane, where he lives a lifetime, is married, widowed, and lives as an airship captain, before returning suddenly, mere seconds after he had gone.
    • Haruki encounters a slave ring and destroys it utterly, during which his lack of restraint causes him some concern.
    • Thorondil encounters a pair of dragons (he did not know at the time were Primus and Secundus) and releases them.
    • Ismir, depressed about his wife, asks ZAT for a mission; she sends him to kill a dragon, and he returns with a unique item from its hoard.
  • The company is briefed on their next task, to go to the “lost” City of Ten Thousand Pillars to retrieve a golden altar.

Dramatis Personæ

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Wherein the company fights in a pit while the city around them burns…

  • Continued from last session
  • Brumrumli, Haruki, and Thorondil meet in the middle of the arena and fight back-to-back. Haruki is saved from certain death from behind when Brum throws himself into the path of a mighty blow that cripples his arm through his shield.
  • Ismir cripples a spearman and leaves him to aid Aramis, but the spearman, from the ground, hurls his spear and strikes Ismir in the back, wounding him grievously.
  • Aramis duels an Elven swordsman, equally matched, until Aramis finally makes a mistake his foe can take for an advantage and is struck, passing out just as the others of the company arrive to his rescue.
  • Meanwhile, overhead, the giant, translucent figures of Zat Al-Dawahi and Farouk Ibn Said hurl spells at each other until Farouk is defeated, falling to the arena floor, while ZAD’s invaders defeat the city’s defenders, and spread throughout the city, looting and burning everything in their path.