(D&D) Adventures in Anitus

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Thorfinn, Eliza, Petal, Arjanir, and Grigor return south to Anitus, passing by the trading pavilions after Lotheric, Tiberious and A__ followed Atala who insisted on freeing the captive elves in the slave caravan heading north.

Our party wanders into the Rock Pub near the south end of the cairn trading pavilion. The half orc bouncers at the door are not impressed with the clean and legal look of our party. At the bar are a cloaked mage, a wiry ranger and a steer sized half orc. The other patrons are mostly humans with service aprons on, tossing coppers on the floor to bet on arm wrestling matches. The wiry ranger teases Grigor about not being able to beat Knuckles (half orc) in an arm wrestling match.

Grigor is so nervous being in this entirely evil place that he jumps the gun on the first match and pins the half orc’s arm in a quick moment. The next round, Knuckles squeezed Grigors hand into a sausage and won. The pressed on with one more round and Knuckles won in a more matched challenge.

Eliza was challenged next by the ranger. Eliza introduced herself and likewise the ranger introduced himself as Daturan. The high-elf and the half-drow were equally matched. Ever the advantage seeker, Daturan surprised Eliza with a leg sweep and Eliza lost her footing off the top of the big wrestling stone—but recovered by spinning and landing on her opposite leg. The crowd cheered and threw more coin on the floor. Eliza dodged a shove, and then did a kick at Daturan’s knee. Daturan swung away from the strick but over-extended, and Eliza threw her off the wrestling rock.

With the winnings, Eliza bought the part another round of hard cider. It tasted like fermented goat piss, which was probably pretty good—by orc standards. Conversation was rather strained between the two parties. The skinny hooded half-orc next to them chipped in with bitter jokes and private out-loud laughs. Thorfinn would ask where to get some good jobs, and Daturan would respond with an evasive answer that showed kind of a patronizing distrust of the party. Knuckles would joke about how Thorfinn and Grigor seemed too clean and smelled like pine cones. Maybe they liked elves?

Time to go, decided Thorfinn. As they walked to the door, the half-orc bouncers were joking about easy marks. Thorfinn, sensing a trap preemptively twisted out of the way when passing the bouncer on the left, but Grigor got struck in the ankle by the opposite bouncer. They fought—but Thorfinn, Eliza and Grigor were subduing the half orcs but really not hitting them effectively. Petal flew out of Eliza’s hair, and started entangling the fight with ground vines and a sleep spell on Knuckles who rushed out to the melee rather late.

Thorfinn and Eliza wrestled free of the vines and finished subduing the half orcs. Daturan and the hooded figure, Allda, started golf-clapping–”Not bad, forest lovers. Grab a hold and let’s sell these suckers to Trader Sam’s”. Grigor, Arjitan, and Eliza agreed that people should not be sold into slavery, even if they were evil half-orcs, and said to meet up with them north of the cairn. Daturan continued to loot the bodies and placed 8 gold pieces into Thorfinn’s hand, saying “I’ll get more from selling these chumps then I’m handing you. Let’s go!” Thorfinn silently but grudgingly agreed—mostly to see the process this place considered normal—and helped Daturan drag the half orc around to an adjacent tent with an orc banner hanging over the entrance. With a few more gold in their purses, they left north.

At Daturan’s camp, the group discussed what they thought the plan was. The evil in the land is the power of a network of curses on a group of cairns around Galentaspar. The whole region is unhallowed. Additionally, each cairn is a desecrated area. The most powerful people in the region are necromancers and unholy clerics. The drow really only admit trade with peoples obeisant to Lolth.

Daturan hates the mayor of Anitus. Not really a yaor—more like a charismatic evangelist. Such a clever talker, Fray Underhof tricked Daturan out of a caravan full of slaves by selling Daturan right to another slaver an opposite route. Daturan has tried to assassinate Fray many times, but had failed repeatedly Fray has only increased his influence and has his own cadre of cairn keepers and henchmen. Fray lives in a tiny gap between the rocks at the base of cairn. According to Daturan, only pawns can now get close enough to Fray to be effective—and Daturan is too well known to get close.

Eliza says it is probably important enough to buy a hawk as soon as possible to let Feltor know what he’s up against. Where would they find a hawk? Should they rather go back to the rock wall? Or should they just continue to infiltrate Fray’s organization and complete Daturan’s revenge?

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(D&D) East to Galentaspar

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Our party has reformed. Nillaffin made it independently to Greenlaf Camp and later Lotheric, Annaeus, Petal, Eliza, Atalatie, Tiberius, and ____. Simon the Wizard introduced Avo to them, who told them of the burnt wagon of dead elves that approached Galentaspar.

Feltor, captain of Greenlaf Camp, rallied the troops and lead them east. They walked for days until they reached a toppled stone wall a few miles away from the shimmering desert. To the north and south two tall cairns of rock were visible, and to the east, a low ridge with tow small spires behind it. As they approached a burnt spear with a bit of leather tassle swaying on the breeze, the sky grew darker. Riders set out from the north and south cairns and before them the bones of fallen creatures wiggled and assembled into a skeleton army.

Thunder rolled and drow captains leading orcs on wargs lead an attack on the elves. Fear overwhelmed the eleven troops and a fifth of the elves were unable to retreat and were overtaken by the skeletons, orcs and drow.

Feltor retreated a few miles and the evil defenders fell back. A halk with a message from Simon alighted on Feltor’s shoulder and they whispered. A new plan emerges: Feltor suggests that the evil magic is to much for an army to pass, but not so much that simple trading parties are forbidden to travel through. The troops each threw in a weapon, and Feltor asked our party to pose as traders. Communicate by hawk in one week and let us know how you’re doing…and so Feltor took his troops home.

Lotheric lead the party to the southern cairn and they were approached by a small patrol of one Drow and two gray skinned elves. The party had to purchase trading licenses. In the tented town around this large cairn, the party didn’t withstand getting pickpocketed and was best with salespeople every few seconds. Pushing wards, they met Frank Whitestone of Atarius Arms.

Frank was not impressed with this rag-tag crew and Annaeleus was not super successful at selling the used weapons in a shop filled with bright shinny new weapons. But before they were kicked out, Lotheric bought an uncommonly endowed greatsword. Next they need to survive the evening and come up with fresh plans for the next day. How to find out about the magic of Atarius?

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(D&D) Updated Calendar

Expanded dates due to improved availability!

Meet in the I St entrance hall
from 12pm, ending at 3:30pm.
Bring your own lunch/snacks.

September 17th (after Find Your Place at BUF), and 24th

October 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th

November 5th, 12th, 19th

December 3rd, 10th, 17th

 

(D&D) A Crater of Undead

Galentaspar is overseen by one of the generals of Januflax–Blackbone Vunumklar. Blackbone is a great example of greed and evil, promoting those who aggrandize him the best. Promises are surprises to be interpreted later. Promotion could mean death, damnation, or riches.

Eclipsen Darkmoon, or any drow for that matter, knows this game well. Knows it well enough to bring in contestants to promote to Blackbone or to hire for himself. Eclipsen does not openly talk about Lolth, and for good reason : Lolth would compete with the greater deities worshiped by Januflax and Blackbone.

But that doesn’t mean that Eclipsen isn’t playing both sides…the drow below Glentaspar are not strong enough to withstand both a fire giant and a red dragon’s wrath. So any power mad bozo is promoted to Blackbone and a few predictable nut jobs are played close to the chest.

The gravel pit is a deeply evil and desecrated area now. Feltor has suspected as much since Ginndale, Bindle’ti and one hundred elves were killed approaching the Galentaspar. Disreputable traders appear to travel in and out of there freely. And a whole orc army came out of there. The Elves have not raised an attack on that front for almost one hundred years.

Feltor burns with vengeance focused on the east. He does not talk about the orcs in the west or the corruption at Faroth. He is confident that nothing approaching from the west. His anger is focused on Galentaspar. He coaches his lieutenants daily on fighting orcs and how to save water.

What Feltor doesn’t know is what protects the pit and who’s protecting it. The dwarves in the eastern foothills tell stories of patrols of undead in the middle of the day shourded in a dusty cloud of sooty darkness. Dark spots roaming the desert like fleas crawling across the wreckage of a proud Dwarven kingdom that now only admits practitioners of theft and death.

Does any elf stand a chance?

(D&D) proposed schedule

The library is being booked regularly and the Chinese school is also using the upstairs classrooms. What I believe is actually free is the old entrance hall on the west side of the Sanctuary. There are already two tables there. I don’t think there will be any competition for the location.

DATES

Sep 17
Sep 24
Oct 8
Oct 15
Oct 29
Nov 12
Nov 19
Nov 26
Dec 10
Dec 17

[D&D] Before the Gravel Mine

Before the orcs ruled the gravel pit Galentaspar, it was a thriving Dwarven kingdom: Ludhold. Prized magical lead minserals such as galena and dioptase were prized from the depths of the ridge where Ludhold stood. Crimskill, a brutal minded fire giant, crushed Ludhold with the help of the red dragon Rodorax. He chased the remaining dwarves to the eastern edge of the Sing’jar mountains where he was pleased to find them fighting not only with the elves, but among themselves. He crested the peaks, the natives scurrying before him and saw the sea–and smelled a stone giant. Saw the influence all about him–the large stones no elves would bother moving to make such battlements atop this ridge. Infuriated, he marched across the straight of Sing’jar to Faroth and battled Thromcom, crushing him with his burning hands, leaving his rocky bits scattered in the sea…and the whole island on fire.

Pleased with himself, he traveled south, seeking new plunder–and a mate. There was word of better giantesses in the south–much better than the dull hill giants that seemed to crowd the Sing’jar hills. Past the minotaurs and past the archepellegio to the sound of Ginc’yo, in which a rocky bay covered with smog sitting below steep cliffs he smelled the scent of other giants.

That whole bay no longer exists, just the twisted earth that shows evidence of a mighty battle that left a mountain sundered into a vast rockfall that completely covered the town under the smog–no stories but this remain:

Vanjollen, bastard brother of the cloud giant Jotthilmien, was cursed by their uncle, storm giant Thragrush, into the form of a small human with ash colored skin. Vanjollen adopted the name Chimswip, and passed his punishment as a chimney sweep, travelling from town to town, telling stories and invitably being forced out for not paying for food or drink. Chimswep climbed the peak above Ginc’yo and lived a hermit and could only be heard singing the songs of giants…and eventually, the songs of Lolth and the Drow.

Sailors of the archepelleio tell stories of the smoggy city that suffered under a vengeful despot who made the townspeople mine coal and harbored spiders and dark skinned warriors that herded the townspeople into their homes at night. Gnomes of Faroth tell tails of Chimswip Steel from the south, a hardened metal that rivaled adamantium and left  your hands black as soot after working it.

Crimskill brought a giantess back from the south that  wielded two black-headed hammers that would not shatter no matter what she hit them upon. On both her shoulders were tattoos of spiders. Her hair was white but her eyebrows were as black as coal, and she wore a necklace of giant’s teeth and earrings of what appeared to be gray human molars.

The ruined Ludhold, now known as Galentaspar, still smoking years later from the piles of coal still burning from the dwarven forges still cooling down, attracted an Orc warloard Rudchok Firefemur. The orcs tell stories of seeing a huge eruption to the south and in the morning the tunnels below Galentaspar were filled with dead orcs–swollen and rotting from spider bites. Every night for a year, the orcs fled to the edge of the gravel pit to avoid the black skinned elves that climbed from the tunnels and guided spiders as orcs guided wargs, and collected orcs for food.

Rudchock, having recovered from a spider bite himself, finally gathered strength abd gold enough to hire sorcerers to protect him and negotiate a settlement with the Drow. Now on the eastern side of Galentaspar rises eight thin stone spires coated with webbing. Every night the webbing is repaired by spiders from the deep and at midnight, the Drow come to gaze at the sky through the webs or trade with the Orcs.

All the mages in the desert seem to have traveled through Galentaspar for meetings with the lead drow: Eclipsen Darkmoon. Eclipsen, as a young and vicious assassin that often left a pile of dead orcs at the end of every trading session used to laugh about how he was forced to learn about metallurgy in the mines, and one day he hit his hot bar so hard the roof of the cave blew away into the sky and he fell through the clouds and landed on crappy lead ore to the north.

Eclipsen, now more serious with age, is credited by the orcs has having brought prosperity, education and discipline to the orcs. A hundred battles were won after the cairns were raised, orcs say. Not even a dragon could attack Galentaspar now, they boast. But the peace in Galentaspar is never easy. The Drow the patrol at night and the half-drow that patrol the day clearly hold no respect for the orcs. The captains of Crimskil and Rodorax the silent foes and are tolerated because they trade in gold and magic items.

A complex arragement of five buroughs surround the crater of Galentaspar: each mercenary that rules their cairn taxes the trade. Only the most clever orcs may get a chance to speak with these kingpins. The kingpins pay tribute to the Rudchock family and to Eclipsen. If you want to get to the magic items for trading, you have to matriculate from a day-side trader to an endorsed night-side trader to descend into the pit.