Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fragments of the Last War 1.7

Eifer, Tirane, AC 9 

The party returned to Darvek in the previous game where the cleric Xanorin concocted a cure for their disease with the reagents.  They spent the next month in Darvek honing skills, upgrading their weapons, and preparing a return to the grippli ruins and the door.

Since the village was no longer plagued, trade caravans and travelers returned. With party funds, they purchased a wagon and a team of mules, a pair of locked chests, and provisions.  As the the date of their departure approached, Malpais found a mercenary named Halen who agreed to accompany them for a share of any loot.

Over eight and a half feet tall, Halen had vaguely orcish features but was far larger than any orc anyone had seen.  When asked his species, Halen shrugged telling them he didn't understand the question.  They quickly found Halen understood very little.  Still he carried a great axe and wore a nice suit of banded mail, so they figured he had an idea how to fight.

The season had approached late summer now.  The days were still hot, but the nights were cooling.  They expected to be back no later than the Harvest Festival in a few weeks.

This time avoiding the lake and the bogs, their wagon made good time.  Malpais and his dog, Perro, rode ahead much of the time scouting.

On the second day, he heard the sound of a kobold in pain, and, on closer inspection, spotted a red-scaled kobold tired to a tree and while another kobold in black robes whipped him.  Surrounding them were a dozen kobold zombies.

Malpais recognized the kobold tied to the tree as Gurtle and the party decided to rescue him.  Wading through zombies - Thanequeel ended up with another zombie follower - they approached the nercromancer.  He vanished and sought to relocate before attacking, but Nota'Cor used a flask of glowing liquid to illuminate him.

The fight was tense, but they dispatched the kobold quickly.  Nota'Cor seized the necromancer's spell book with glee.

Once freed, Girtle told them that the necromancer was a servant of the Kobold King and then asked if he could go.  They agreed and decided they wanted to explore the ruins and the door beneath instead of confronting a kobold kingdom.

On returning to the ruins after a month, they found the spider webs  and husks gone though the hole in the bell-tower remained.  Insider they setup camp in the barracks room and a stable in a side room.  Thanequeel and Nota'Cor wanted to rest, but Malpais decided to explore the rest of the ruins with Halen.

The only other room still intact appeared to have been a library though most of the books had long since rotted.  As they entered, Malpais noticed a bunch of stalactites on the ceiling, became suspicious and took a shot at one.

He and Halen were quickly surrounded by eight flying tentacled squid about two feet long.  While Halen managed to keep them off his body and even kill a few, several grabbed the grippli and attempted to crush him.

They survived, but the air was tense for a time.  In a box on one shelf, Mal found a ledger of the Order describing the daily workings of the order, their suppliers and contact with other settlements and forts.

The next morning they returned the sub-level of the ruins.  The door was locked with iron chains crossing it in a large X and in the center, a lock in the shape of god Desna's butterfly.  Around the lock, the inscription in grippli read "Sealed by the Order of the Gun and by the grace of Desna.  This door may be opened by a servant of the Gun by the grace of Desna."

After some search, they found a shrine to Desna upstairs in one of the collapsed sections of the ruins and on it sat a silver butterfly.  Malpais took the butterfly and placed it on the lock, but nothing occurred.  Eventually, after much shenanigans, he asked the door to open "by the grace of Desna" and the door opened.

Past the door, lay a long smooth corridor (rounded like a tube.) Nota'Cor informed the group that the magic that had carved the corridor was very old.  Along the way they passed alcoves with skeletons whose eyes glowed and from each came a voice that said "Leave this place at once!"  Not ones to listen to skeletons, the party continued on, expecting the skeletons to attack.  They did not.

At the end of the corridor was an entryway with tapestries and carpets.  Closer inspection showed the cloth had long since vanished, staining the walls and floor with patterns that wiped away.  One side of the entryway, the skeletons of five grippli lay as they fell to violence centuries earlier.

Passing through several rooms they found to be mostly empty except dust, broken marble and rusting iron, they came across a marble statue of a human female with an inscription in draconic that read "My Lilliana."

Making their way back to the entrance they came across a workroom with marble tables and rusting equipment.  One table sat three glass boxes.  One housed a book in an unknown language, the second a book written in elvish about the medicinal and poisonous qualities of flora, and the third a scroll of healing.

Attached to the workroom was another room divided in half by glass.  Inside the glass sat an iron pot and a chest.  On approaching the chest, Malpais was attacked.    

They decided the chest was a mimic.  It was rather an animated object, but I let them believe it was a mimic.

Halen and Nota'Cor were severely injured by the chest before they destroyed it, and the chest turned to a goo.

Ignoring the iron pot, they decided to barricade themselves in the viewing room and recoop. 

I'm starting to feel like our Pathfinder game focuses more on combat than anything else.  I also find it hard to challenge them in combat.   

Parts of this session were inspired by Dungeons and Dragons Basic module B1 In Search of the Unknown.

Continued on Fragments 8

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fragments of the Last War 1.6

Eifer, Tirane, AC 9

Our story continued this week as Malpais and Nota'Cor tried to find the regents to cure the Darvek Fever.  As Mal began falling ill to the fever, the party pushed on to find the cure.

Our session began in the glade where previously the party captured a hobgoblin ranger.  Having interrogating him, they realized the sky was clouding and rain was approaching,

Mal and Thanequeel built a large lean-to for the party to rest though Thanequeel slept underground.

Malpais and Kryplis took watches, but Nota'Cor refused to to so and Asim fell asleep during his watch.

When they woke the next morning, the hobgoblin had escaped - his bindings had been cut.

Kryplis mentioned if the party wanted to make some money he knew a wizard who would pay for cockatrice blood, and then he and Asim left to return to Darvek.

Malpais and Thanequeel built a crude raft so the party could cross over to the island in in the center of the lake. Dense undergrowth covered the island's shores.  Once inland, giant Eucalyptus trees form a tight canopy. 

After they landed, a group of armed snakemen attacked the party, killing Ur and severely wounding Mal's dog, Perro.  Intense fighting followed until Malpais shot the snakemen's leader in the skull.

Following his retreat and the death of one of their comrades, the island's inhabitants fled.  Fortunately for Mal, Thanequeel healed his dog just in time.

In the center of the island, the party found a clearing in the Eucalyptus trees surrounding a two-hundred plus foot tall darkwood tree.  While collecting bark for the cure, Nota'Cor and Thanequeel also took a sizable chunk of darkwood.

They return to the raft only to find the body of the fallen snake creature missing.  Rain continued lightly throughout the morning as they poled across the lake toward the direction of the witch's hut.

Sometime later, walking though some low lying bogs where the mists of the storm hid the boggy landscape, our party found themselves surrounded by saucer-sized mosquito that bit everyone but Nota'Cor.  Fortunately, Thanequeel, irradiated them all with a negative energy burst.

Itchy, ill, and tired they continued through the humid air until our party found a wooden palisade surrounding Ulizmilla's hut.  Carefully, looking inside the fence, they found a small vegetable garden with squash and beans and a chicken coop.

Probing the house they heard nothing until telepathically Nota'Cor felt a voice yelling "If you will not join me, you will die."

And a blast of frozen air broke open the roof then rose toward the clouds.  Inside, they party found a puddle of ice and gore.

Locating the pickled opossum, Mal decided to clean floor of the dead witch's remains and cook a chicken with squash and beans in her oven.

They ate and rested after looting her hut of odds and ends.

Located in the hut, they found directions do a set of old ruins set on an iron mine and decided to search for mushrooms there.  The next day, the air less humid, the party made their way out of the bog and into the foothills.

After some searching, Mal directed them to the ruins, which appeared merely centuries old though no known civilization should have built them.

At the edge of the ruins and plaza sat a web-covered bell-tower.  Approaching the webs, numerous monstrous spiders poured from the bell-tower to attack the party.  As foolhardy as ever, the party assaulted the spiders.

As Mal was swarmed, Thanequeel cast a spell that fizzled, caused the bell-tower to rumble and a giant hole appeared in the masonry.  A large tentacle broke through the wall, wrapped around the body of a human dressed in purple robes.

Nota'Cor, enlarged, cast a true strike spell on his falchion, then assaulted the tentacle, slicing it in half.  The stump withdrew into the wall with a pop.  Searching the dead human's body, Nota'Cor threw the corpse into the hole.  Within moments, the scene in the hole shifted from inky blackness to the bottom level of the bell-tower.

Pressing into the plaza, Malpais spotted a statue in the shape of a grippli holding pistols.  The base of the statue read in the grippli tongue, "In honor of our founder, Bartolomeo, who established the Order that Night may be held back.  He died with honor at the battle of Niblus."

Bartolomeo is a legend to the Order of the Gun, but members like Malpais know very little about
him.  That a grippli founded the order was also a shock to him.

Entering the ruin, they found a barracks room with decaying beds of all sizes.  A voice from the attic asked the party not to kill him.  A red-scaled kobold, Gurtle, appeared and begged to be allowed to leave.  Asked why he was at the ruins, he told them he was escaping the Kobold King.

When asked about any iron-penny bun mushrooms, he told them there were some in the mines and took the party to the lower level where they found the mushrooms that had turned to iron.

In the basement, next to where the mines began they found a door locked with chains.  In the center was the butterfly symbol of Desna.  "Sealed by the Order of the Gun and the grace of Desna.," read the insignia on the seal.

The kobold, Gurtle slipped away, while the party discussed their next course of action.  Rather than exploring the rest of the ruins and the door, they decided to return to Darvek with the ingredients for the cure.

This week I reduced their action points to 2 instead of 3.  I think the Pathfinder Plot Twist cards are better so I'm going to get rid of the action points next time.

This week's adventure was inspired by Pathfinder module D0 Hollow's Last Hope. 

Continued on Fragments 1.7

Monday, July 21, 2014

Species: Elemental-kin

From time immemorial, the elementals and those of the physical plane have interbred, albeit in small numbers, producing mixed offspring.

In the last years of the Great War of Horrors, some humans bound themselves and their descendants to the Elemental Lords, swearing pacts and having children.

The intelligent elemental-kin today are scattered through throughout settlements on Eifer and beyond.  On the Fadha archipelago, off the western coast of Tirane, a civilization of elemental-kin arose to power during the previous centuries, spreading learning and enlightenment.  However two centuries ago, their empire crumbled back to the islands themselves as the most recent wave of Horrors scoured the surface.

Now the new civilizations of the caer-dwellers, knowning nothing of the surface's more recent past, believe that prior to their arrival the world lay barren since the days of the Great War of Horrors ten thousand years earlier.

Intermarriage among humans and elemental-kin is possible, but one elemental ancestry inevitably dominates.

The following have been adjusted based on the Pathfinder Advanced Race Guide to balance them with other player races/species.


The ifrit trace their ancestry back to fire elementals.

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom
  • Native Outsider
  • Medium size
  • Normal speed - 30 ft
  • Darkvision - 60 ft
  • Spell-like ability - Burning Hands 1/day (caster level = character level)
  • Energy Resistance - Fire resistance 5
  • Fire Affinity - Ifrit sorcerers with the elemental (fire) bloodline treat their Charisma as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Ifirt clerics with the Fire domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.  All ifrit spellcasters gain +1 caster level for all fire and light spells.
  • Wild-heart - Ifrit receive Improved Initiative as a bonus feat (+4 Initiative)
  • Tempered - +2 save bonus vs starvation, thirst, and exhaustion
  • Language - Ignan


The oread trace their ancestry back to earth elementals.

  • +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
  • Native Outsider
  • Medium size
  • Slow speed - 20, never slowed by encumbrance or armor
  • Darkvision - 60 ft
  • Spell-like ability - Grease 1/day  (caster level = character level)
  • Energy Resistance - Acid resistance 5
  • Earth Affinity - Oread sorcerers with the elemental (earth) bloodline treat their Charisma as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Oread clerics with the Earth domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.  All oread spellcasters gain +1 caster level for all earth and acid spells.
  • Granite skin - +1 natural armor bonus to AC
  • Treacherous Earth - Once per day, Oread can will the earth to rumble and shift, transforming an adjacent 10 foot radius patch of earth, unworked stone, or sand into difficult terrain.  This lasts a number of rounds equal to the oread's character level.  After the duration has finished the affected ground returns to normal.  The Oread's movement is unaffected by the altered terrain.
  • Language - Terran

The sylph trace their ancestry back to air elementals.

  •  +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Constitution
  • Native Outsider
  • Medium size
  • Fast speed - 40 feet
  • Spell-like ability - Feather fall 1/day  (caster level = character level)
  • Energy Resistance - Electrical resistance 5
  • Air Affinity - Sylph sorcerers with the elemental (air) bloodline treat their Charisma as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Sylph clerics with the Air domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.  All sylph spellcasters gain +1 caster level for all air, sonic, and electrical spells.
  • Breeze-Kissed - Breezes follow the sylph wherever they go.  Gain +2 racial AC vs non-magical ranged attacks.  Once per day, a sylph can make a ranged bull rush or trip against one creature within 30 feet.
  • Language - Auran


The undine trace their ancestry back to water elementals.

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
  • Native Outsider
  • Medium size
  • Normal speed - 30 ft
  • Swim speed - 30 ft, can move in water without Swim checks.  Swim is always a class skill.  +8 to all Swim checks.
  • Darkvision - 60 ft
  • Energy Resistance - Cold resistance 5
  • Water Affinity - Undine sorcerers with the elemental (water) bloodline treat their Charisma as 2 points higher for all sorcerer spells and class abilities. Undine clerics with the Water domain use their domain powers and spells at +1 caster level.  All undine spellcasters gain +1 caster level for all water, ice, and cold electrical spells.
  • Amphibious/Aquatic - Undine can breath air and water
  • Hydrated Vitality - When completely submerged in water, the Undine gain fast healing 2.  Undine can heal up to 2 hit points per level per day with this ability
  • Language - Aquan

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Fragments of the Last War 1.5

Eifer, Tirane, AC 9

Back to our game this week after a break, we saw a new player and the return of an old player.  Continued using chips for Action Points.  I also introduced Pathfinder Plot Twist and Critical Hit cards.  The Critical Hit card only came up once, but the Plot Twist cards were a big hit.

art by Eyvind Earle
The Plot Twist cards have two sections.  One, in black text describes some kind of game mechanic and the other a list of four narrative options.  I gave the players the use of both the game mechanic and one narrative change.  If these work out, I'm thinking of getting rid of the points for reroll.

Back in Darvek from their expedition to the mine, Garek, Nota'Cor and Mal found themselves infected with a powerful version of the Darvek Fever.  Nota'Cor and the local healer and sage Xanorin translated the mysterious priest's journal and learned the disease was a gift from his god.

Based on the description of the illness, the Oread Xanorin believed he could create a cure but would need items from the Eucalyptus  Forest that began twenty miles to the east.

Xanorin noted they needed Darkwood bark.  Darkwood trees typically grow in more tropical climates, but a grove exists in the Cynwrig Forest.

He also wanted them to visit a human witch in the Forest, Ulizmilla to obtain some pickled opossum (a dwarven delicacy.)  Finally, he needed iron-penny bun mushrooms (fungus that grew in iron ore then transmuted into iron.)

I took the Pathfinder module "Hollow's Last Hope" and modified it for the reagent quest.

When they prepared to leave the next morning, Garek had taken ill in the night and was unconscious with fever.  Xanorin warned Nota'Cor and Mal it was unlikely their bodies would fight off the fever without the cure.

As they packed their wagon for the journey, Mal and Nota'Cor were met by Grey Seer Thanequeel.

Having fled the orc patrols on the road earlier, he reconstructed his zombie, Ur, and found his way to Darvek.  When they saw him, the ysoki was hunting through cast off items thrown out for fear of plague.

Hearing their plight, Thanequeel decided to help his friends "Tall green friend" (Nota'Cor) and "Small tasty friend" (Malpais) find a cure for the plague and possible get himself infected at the same time.

As they crossed the cork oak forests west of Darvek, the road occasionally lead through cleared land where settlers had built farms. 

In one such hamlet, a group of human children ran past them.  One held a burlap sack, one held a grey cat, one held a bunch of reeds, and the last child sang.

They stopped stare at Nota'Cor and Thanequeel, but clapped and laughed when the saw Mal on his dog.

He asked what they were about and the eldest girl told them they were going to the festival to prevent the Goblin Queen's return.

The group ran off.  Later when passing one of the homes, the party spotted the children dancing around a bonfire as one of their number threw a screaming burlap sack into the flames.

A human adult woman ran out of the house with a bucket of water, doused the fire and screamed at the children to stop burning cats.  The party discussed the situation as it was occurring but decided not to interfere.  Malpais was convinced the Goblin Queen would return if they stopped the children.

By mid-day, they decided to stop and eat. Nota'Cor and Thanequeel debated necromantic magic, while Mal found and followed a set of goat-hoof tracks.  They disappeared a few yards into the forest and instead Mal found a sylph male suspended naked in a net.  He showed signs of having been whipped while his clothing and gear sat nearby, neatly folded.

Once freed from the net, he introduced himself as Asim Ibn-Abbas of the Fahdan archipelago.  An exile from his own people, Asim told them he was a transient magus and on his way to visit his friend Xanorin in Darvek.

Mal showed him the brass trumpet holy symbol he'd taken from the ur-akash priest in the mines of Darvek.  At this point, Asim's player used his Plot Twist card that gave him a +20 on a knowledge roll.  Examining the item, he identified the trumpet as one of the holy symbols of the god Azathoth, a god who plays an important role in Fahdan mythology. 

Asim decided to go with the party, as he thought they were looking into something regarding Azathoth.  The other three didn't tell him about the disease.

That evening at sunset they came across three woodsmen (human, dwarf, halfling) drinking and singing.  The dwarf expressed his horror at the children in the hamlet, while Thanequeel sneered at him.  Mal talked them down from a fight, and the party followed the woodsmen to the nearby lumber camp.

When they arrived at the camp, the guards told the party that they were not welcome as it was a
Gracchi Camp.  None of the loggers would speak with them either.  Finally, Thanequeel asked to speak to the person in charge and they were taken to the Overseer's tent.

The Overseer's hut was a filthy collection of junk, taxidermied animals, and old food.  The Overseer himself was a filthy, overweight halfling.  He expressed no interested in helping the party until they mentioned they were looking for pickled opossum.  He then offered them directions to the grove, the witch's hut and some mines where they might find the mushrooms if they would 1) bring him a pickled opossum and 2) take his nephew with them as a guide.

The nephew turned out to be a halfling, Rafe, whom Nota'Cor and Thanequeel met on their journey to Cymru weeks earlier.  He was delighted to see them and had composed an off-key song honoring their defeat of the goblins.  Nota'Cor threatened to destroy his lute.

They began their trek along an old lumber road the next morning. Malpais had begun to feel feverish.

Around mid-morning, Mal found multicolored blood smeared on a tree and five small fairies pinned by arrows.  Nota'Cor and Asim collected some of the blood, while Thanequeel licked it.

A few hours later the wagon rode over a covered pit.  It crashed to the bottom, destroying the wagon, killing the mules and injuring Nota'Cor, Rafe and Thanequeel.  Mal had jumped clear of the pit and Asim floated to the bottom.

Now lacking their wagon and mules, they continued on foot.  By mid-day, they had arrived at a clearing in the woods on the edge of a lake.  Thanequeel noted this was the lake with the isle of Darkwood trees.  In the center of the clearing sat a small box.

Thanequeel convinced Rafe to examine the box.  As the halfling sauntered through the glade, a band of four hobgoblins attacked the party with longbows.

Nota'Cor, Thanequeel and the zombie, Ur, took one group while Mal and Asim rushed another.  The fight went pretty quickly.  The party is pretty tactical now.

As Rafe approached the box, an arrow shot from a tree and killed him.  Nota'Cor used his Plot Twist card.  The branch the fifth hobgoblin was sitting on broke and he crashed to the ground.

As Nota'Cor and Thanequeel fought the hobgoblin (they had vanquished their two minor hobgoblins quicker) it became apparent they were outclassed by the ranger. Asim and Mal joined them, but the ranger threatened to kill one of them.  

Thanequeel's player used his Plot Twist card.  Suddenly, Kryplis appeared along the lake edge.  With the bakali's help they beat the hobgoblin into submission.  Thanequeel insisted they take him prisoner for questioning.

Though they took all his gear, the hobgoblin agreed to take them to Ulizmilla's hut in exchange for his freedom.

We all liked the Plot Twist Cards.  The Critical Hit card came into play once when Nota'Cor flayed the ranger.  Since the Ranger was a named character instead of an extra, I gave him the option of using a critical hit draw if it came up.  It did not.

This section was inspired by the Pathfinder Module D0 Hollow's Last Hope.

We still have plans to convert the characters into Dungeons and Dragons 4th and 5th editions as well as a GURPS conversion.  I've heard good things about 13th Age as well.

Continued on Fragments 1.6

Monday, July 14, 2014

Species: Ysoki

When I first added in the ratfolk (called Ysoki on Eifer), I thought about a society based on the rats Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

Being that I gave my players leave to create their characters' cultures/past, Grey Seer Thanequeel's player (a Warhammer fan) really wanted the race to resemble the Skaven from the Warhammer universe.

While I am not a huge Warhammer follower, I am a fan of Michael Moorcock's work, so I liked the idea of Law/Chaos.

I decided to compromise and do both.  According to their legends the Ysoki emerged/obtained sentience during the years after the War living in the ruins of human cities in southeastern Tirane or they were granted this by their god.

Depends on who you ask.  Other ratkfolk in other places in other times would have their own origin story that my or may not contradict this.

Two groups of Ysoki live on/in Tirane.  Confusingly for outsiders they go by the same name.  The primary difference between the groups is the worship of the Horned Rat.

As the Ysoki do not measure time consistently as other species do, obtaining an accurate timeline is difficult.

Sometime during the previous centuries, a faction of Ysoki rejected the worship of the Horned Rat and attempted to kill the Grey Seer clerics.  Civil war erupted and Ysoki society splintered.

Those who remained loyal to their god kept the Ysoki city-ruins and have since multiplied, filling their homeland, worshiping their god in his temples and especially around his great shrine.

Those who rejected their god fled west across the Sea of Grass hiding in the foothills of the central mountains.

As I did not want intelligent species to be evil by default, we decided the Homeland Ysoki were a Chaotic Neutral bunch.  Each out for themselves.  They maintain the trappings of a government counsel and relationships based on blood/clans.  But  individual advancement remains the foremost of their society. 

Those who rejected the Horned Rat (claiming it was an evil entity not the creator of the Ysoki) eventually fled the ruined cities of their Homeland.

Where the Ysoki who remained in their Homeland despise dwarves and distrust most surface dwellers,  the Exiled Ysoki sought to cultivate friendship (or at least acceptance) among their new neighbors.

Cut off from their god, they pursued the arts of alchemy and magical sciences in their new homes - built beneath the great rose forests in the southern foothills of the central mountains of Tirane.  Rejecting their former culture and pressed to survive, their society values the health of the group over any individual.

Ysoki (ratkin)
  •  +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence or +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength
  • Small: +1 AC, +1 attack, -1 CMB, +4 Stealth
  • Normal speed - 30ft
  • Darkvision - 60 ft.
  • Burrow - 20 ft
  • Scent - track by smell (Survival - dc 10, +2 per hour), detect others within 30 ft
  • Plague-born - +2 vs poisons and diseases
  • Languages - Ysoki

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fragments of the Last War 1.4

Eifer, Tirane, AC 9 

Back to Pathfinder for this week's session.  The players are getting a better sense of their characters and strategy.  They have even thought to incorporate diplomacy with their violence (once).  They are not good at traps though. I retooled the Dungeons and Dragons 3.x module "Burning Plague"  for this session, though it ended up being more inspiration than an exact play through.

The party (Mal, Kryplis, and Nota'Cor) decided to wait out the night and rain, to recuperate and then take the supplies to Darvek in the morning.  They are getting better at managing resources it seems.  

Nota'Cor and his dog sat in the front of the wagon.  The Ur-akash had grown up, it seems, taking care of animals, and was the only one remotely capable of driving the wagon.  Kryplis sat on the boxes in the back of the wagon, mostly watching the forests as they traveled.  Malpais rode along on his dog with the wagon chatting with Nota'Cor about the goblin (noblin) Garek and how they intended to get their revenge for being abandoned.

Later that evening they arrived outside the village of Darvek, a small nickle mining town nestled in hilly forest.  A rough wooden palisade had recently been erected across the road into Darvek. 

The Dwarves, wearing  the symbol of the Gracchi family, as well as some noblin cavalry had quarantined the village.

Met by a squad of jovial dwarves, the party was offered wine and cheered for bringing through the wagon.

Learning they had dispatched the bandits on the highway, one of the dwarves ran to find Gilna Gracchi, the family's local factor who was leading the quarantine forces.

Across the surface of Tirane, the dwarves have for the past century created merchant towns and lead caravans.  Various families emerged during this time to dominate trade and politics.  In Cymru and the Sirdu coast, the Gracchi family dominates politics and economics.

When a plague appeared in Darvek, Gilna decided to close the town until it ended or a cure was found.  She forced most of the villagers remained inside whether they were infected or not.

While waiting on Gilna to arrive, the trio was spotted by a goblin cavalier on beetle-back who greeted them.

Recognizing Garek, Nota'Cor and Mal demanded restitution or a fight, but the noblin quickly convinced them (in a stunning piece of roleplay) that he had given them the greater portion of the loot (untrue) and helped them by making them self-reliant. 

While they were talking, Gilna arrived and pleased with the supplies, she thanked the party for their efforts.  When Nota'Cor asked her for payment, she reminded them of their contract with the Death Head.  (Something they'd let slip.)  Gilna then offered a reward if they could find the cause of the disease in the village and put an end to it.  Nota'Cor, Mal, and Garek agreed.

Kryplis announced he intended to return to Cymru as he had another job waiting.  He promised to bring them employment from his new boss in the future.

After agreeing to investigate the nickle mine, they were stopped by a tall blue-skinned alchemist who refusing to reveal his name, but told them he was an "Observer" and offered them food and drink.

The Observer asked Malpais, Nota'Cor and Garek questions about themselves and then about the priest and the shrine in the cave-ruins.

When asked what it was that was trying to come through the shrine, the Observer told them "Infinity." 

When Mal confronted him as to his role, he told them he had only come to watch.  He warned them they would find a similar but more dangerous experience in the mine.

He then offered a fortune and some potions he had for sale. The purchased some healing potions and two unmarked ones.

The Observer told Malpais he would find a statue of Baralmeo in some Grippli ruins and he should pay close attention to the inscription.  Mal replied that grippli didn't have ruins.

The Observer told Nota'Cor he would soon be tempted with power and his choice would dramatically shape his future.

The Observer told Garek a regiment of noblin cavalry would be lost for mysterious reasons, that he would be with them but be one of the few survivors.

They dozed asleep from the food and wine, waking the next morning to find the Observer gone.

The garrison let them into the town, noting that they would prevent the party's escape if they plague wasn't ended.

Less than a decade ago, caer-immigrant humans traveled to Cymru hoping to begin a new life away from the underwarrens of the Caer Colwyn.

Over the past few years others have settled Darvek seeking work in Gracchi family's mines.

When the party arrived, two villagers had died the night before and others were ill.

They were met in the center street by the mayor, a dwarf called Hilis Faldcrack and an Oread healer Xanorin.

The pair explained to the party that the sickness began a few weeks earlier but was limited to a few miners.  Now it spread through the population.   Xanorin thought it might come from the well.

Nota'Cor examined the well and found necromantic energy.

At this point, they party decided to enter the mine.  I gave them each 3 poker chips.  They would get 3 Action Points that could be used to reroll any roll, but they would not gain anymore during the session.  Any unspent points disappeared. My players have played Savage Worlds and Fate Core now and like the idea of tokens for altering game play.  I still have some work to do on narrative altering.

Cautiously entering the mine, they surprised a dozen red-scaled kobolds sitting around the canteen tables.

A fire burned in one corner and over it sat a cookpot. They immediately attacked, murdering their way into the room.  At this point, they began needed to pass Fortitude saves to avoid infection.  They spent several Action Points rerolling here.

The last kobold begged them to spare him, but they murdered the kobold all the same.  Garek felt uncomfortable with the slaughter after the fact and wondered if they should have talked to at least one of them.  Thanequeel's player hasn't been here in a few games, he chided the party earlier on hack-n-slash.

Continuing deeper into the mine, the shaft opened into a large cavern lit by flowing green fungus that reflected in mica.  Great stalactites hung from the roof of the cavern, dripping water into pools which surrounding stalagmites.

A wooden boardwalk ran across the floor of the cavern, so the party decided to follow the boardwalk.  Halfway through, the boards cracked and they fell to the bottom.  The fall knocked out Malpais and injured the rest.

Overhead, they heard chitterlings in Draconic and were told to surrender by a band of kobolds.  Their shaman shot a bolt of magic at Garek's beetle to threaten them.

Nota'Cor cast mage hand and sent a thunderstone to the to the top of the pit while Garek revived Mal.  Only Garek's player has played some version of D&D/Pathfinder before, but I realized at this point my players need tougher challenges.  The encounter contained one adept kobold and 6 regular kobolds.  The shaman ended up deafened then failed his next spellcasting roll.

Mal, the grippli, jumped out of the pit, took cover and began shooting the kobolds.   Garek and Nota'Cor climbed from the pit using Garek's grappling hook and tugged the beetle to the top. 

One kobold escaped, the rest the party killed.  Afterwards, Garek wondered if they should have spared someone.

Approaching the far end of the cavern, the party found scaffolding leading up into the mountain.  They were hailed by the escaped kobold, and this time Garek hailed him instead.

The kobold Medok begged for his life and freedom in exchange for showing them the home of the demon.

He noted their shaman had made a deal with the demon: the kobolds would get the mine and town after the demon was done with it, but they became sick just like the town.

When Nota'Cor (the only character who speaks Draconic) agreed, Medok offered to write him a song and began singing.  Nota'Cor hates bards and told him to stop.

Their final destination was a great cavern deep within the earth.  From their perch near the top of the cavern, the party spotted a carved temple at the far end of the cavern, glowing faintly in the darkness.

As they approached they saw a mound of bodies rotting into an underground stream.  Several zombies kneeled before the temple and a lone voice chanted "Iok-Zothoth" within.

Working their way quietly toward the bottom of the cavern, Nota'Cor determined that stronger necromantic energy emanated from the temple.

In their ambush, the party was spotted and attacked by rising zombies.  Garek attempted to ride to the temple where an ur-akash priest directed his zombies, but the cleric froze the noblin in the saddle.  His beetle, undirected attacked a nearby zombie.

Mal fought his way through the zombies with his blunderbuss and Nota'Cor followed.  When the pair reached the steps, they were hit with a blast of negative energy from the cleric.  Both ran for cover and took potions.  The cleric followed after Mal only to have his holy symbol (a brass trumpet) yanked from his hands by Mal's tongue.  Once Garek was freed he charged the ur-akash down and the trio beat him unconscious.  They failed to stop his bleeding and the priest died.

Mal spotted a large floating purple crystal floating above an altar and shot it.  The crystal cracked and began pulling the temple stones to itself. The trio escaped in time to watch the temple implode.  Afterwards, the streams waters cleared.

At the top of the cavern wall, they were met by Medok who cheered them and promised to write a song in their honor once he made it to Cymru.

Back in Darvek, they found the plague had left the town but now they were sick with a more virulent version.  They had found a journal on the ur-akash and with the help of Xanorin translated it.  The Oread noted that he could brew a cure for the disease now that he had the journal but would need three items from deep in the forest.

We ended here with the party needing to find the ingredients for their cure.  The next game will be a count-down as they will lose Constitution as time progresses.

Continued on Fragments 1.5