Let’s get on Discord Saturday and test out our voice connection, troubleshoot any problems.
Sorry for being tardy on this. Here’s the March Schedule:
Mar 1 No Game
Mar 8 game!
Mar 15 game!
Mar 22 game!
Mar 29 game!
[This post is never going to get updated, so here’s a bit of lore from last season.]
Millennia ago, a great many of crusades were led by the first angels against demon kind. While these crusade were mostly futile (as truly destroying demons is challenging), many other creatures were caught in this divine wake. Included were the astral Titan Mendacium Obvium. Obvium was the Titan of lying, deception, and selfishness. He tricked fleeing demons into believing that he was an Archdemon, offering them protection in exchange for servitude. Unfortunately for him, this also attracted the attention of the divine crusaders, who soon marked him as a foe.
Astral Titans are incredibly powerful. They are most easily compared to demigods: not invincible, and certainly not all-powerful… but still a force to be reckoned with. Cliche phrase: describe the capability it actually matches.
He dealt one of the final blows to Obvium, dealt from within his body, for Astral Titans are truly Gargantuan. Araquiel was left for dead inside the carcass of the Titan, and he himself believed he was dead, at least at first.
Adding more details over next few days.
South of Sing’jar we have Belgar island, populated by sea elves, whom are generally defensive and isolationist. They distrust people from Faroth, notably because of Faroth’s history of sending gnomes south to plunder magic and gems from Belgar. Belgar elves trade willingly with the western shore of the Burati valley. Burati are mostly humans and elves, and export lots of grains to the area, except north to Sing’jar, because of the difficulty of crossing he Burati mountains to the north. The Burati river to the south forms a border with the Kyln.
Kyln are a small nation of hobgoblins. They are notable for having co-invaded Sing’jar during the Devil Insurgency. Kyln hobgobs are a vigilant society, at peace with Burati and Belgar, but ever watchful of Yil and Witkif.
The Yil heights are occupied by the Yuan-ti and their attending thrall. The area is complicated with lots of secretive house societies that maintain their own trade routes for contraband north into the Kyln, R’rusk, the high elven city east of the Kyln population, is the most popular silk road trade route. Any high level character could get hired as an escort on that illegal trade route.
Witkif is the capital city of the Whitechalk Cliffs region, the large spit that sticks far enough west to change the very seas north and south of it. Inhabited by orcs, ogres, and some giants, they are often rejecting their half-breeds or conscripting them for raids against Kyln and Yil.
Dandilion spit is a dangerous place to dock because storms can dash your boat ashore so easily. The town itself it made of splintering ship planks, and finding any square carpentry is rare. There are three pubs here, and it is the fafstest way to switch ships or trade goods in bulk if the weather is kind.
Snail Bay is a twisting sandbar draped araound sharp limestone outcrops in the delta of the Yarrow river. Not as much trade here and a much slower life-style. Sea traffic is barred many hours a day by tides that expose the Yarrow sandbar and the Seal’s Head sandbars. The Yarrow river does not flow fast enough to erode these areas when the tide is out. This makes Snail bay an effive place for smugglers to dock.
Pinola cliffs is a strange collective that is one of the most curious places to buy magic or make armor. Each of the four large outcrops of rock is joined by rope bridges to large houses built into the side of the limestone cliffs. There are families of dwarves, elves, sea elves, and half-orcs that each have a family business on an island or in the cliffs.
Gromet Silvering and Cupola Coglatch are a pair of gnomes living under Faroth mountain in the Rudston Classic tunnels, the first dwarven works on Faroth. This is the tunnel system that Jamnut Fender Works started in. Gromet and Cupola don’t care much about being forge gnomes but live on the sidelines of the forge dwarves of Fenderworks.
Today, a rowdy crowd of human sailors squeezed their way into the Drunken Whaler pub, and started talking rude about the dwarves. Gromet was quick to play both sides and soon the dwarves had flattened the sailors and both the mine police and shore patrol were headed in.
In the last few seconds of the fight, Gromet convinced Knifeswill, the Dwarven barkeeper to pay him to stop the fight. Messaging with Cupola, Cupola impersonated sheriff Ironblock, abd the dwarves were distracted from killing the humans. The next moment, Ironblock himself steps onstage and pounds the handle on his hammer on stage to marshal the attention of the dwarves.
Later, Gromet and Cupola get kicked iff the docks suspiciously watching the Serpent Blue docked with the wounded humans being carried on board. Visibly irritated, a Yuan-ti in a golden robe berates the crew.
Clearly, this Yuan-ti needs his purse lightened, but no good plan arrives until Sarah Tite’nale, a banished faery who doesn’t sparkle, decides to join the fun.
Amroth Cavepool, a young 70, was a bright miner and good with his fellow dwarves who lived deep below the Sing’jar mountains. Almost since his birth under these mountains, he had been present either defending the clan against the Cult of Ulexnil or repairing dammage to the tunnels from purple worms. Everyone had been busy for years, people were constantly being hurt, but they were saved by two things: the passages between east and west slopes of the mountains that brought trade with the surface, and plentitude of fungus that grew in the old passages left by the purple worms.
Uncle Harnig Ruktite had spent many years leading ore cars up to the elves on the east and out to the humans on the west to trade for game and wheat. On his latest trip he was late, and Agus Cavepool, on patrol, found him slumped against the wall, unconcious from a stab wound in a tunnel on the west side. This was unusual, because the Cult would not have used blades, it would have been magic. The humans were too loud and typically repelled by the traps near the entrances to get so far. Some malicious cavedweller was on the loose!
Amroth, Agus and aunt Elinke stuffed their packs with jars of pickled mushroom slices and salted deer jerky, hefted their picks and set out to find the culprit. First, the connector tunnels between the family areas and the mining viens: normal. Next the ore discard paths that lead east: interesting lone tracks on the gravel. Then the discard paths that lead west: more tracks by the same foot prints and signs of dwarf scat. A new tunnel was found dug to the mushroom grove and it had regular footprints. No one would notice stealing fungus from the back of the cave. The team retreated to watch the path.
A single young dwarf appeared, climbing over a bolder they hadn’t considered had any room behind it, and started walking the path to mushrooms. As he approached, they noticed he was bald with barely a beard. Was he burned? He barely stood out from the darkness as if he was also the color of shadow. Agus signaled and they all jumped down from the walls and surrounded the fellow. Amroth felt a jab below his eye and immediatly fell backwards, but Agus and Elinke both struck him with their picks and he went down.
The prisoner was clearly foreign, and appeared to resent the sight of them. He was gray skinned and had a few spines as wiskers on his chin. This was a Deurgar, but none had been seen in this land…ever. His name was G’ning-ar, and he didn’t now how to get home. He liked how dark it was in the caves, because where he came from it wasn’t dark enough. But wherever that was, he couldn’t find a way back. He was lost from his family and doing fine by himself, thank you. The shook G’ning-ar down and found almost a sack’s worth of daggers, gems, and stolen jerkey from their pantries.
There was no way this Deurgar was going to live among the Cavepools, he was a thief and an unrepentant one. No recognition of good dwarven god was about him…this was a rogue from another world here for no apparent reason. Agus, Amroth and Elinke tied his hands and lead G’ning-ar up a dozen levels, nearly to the surface, and left him there on the floor, without his daggers. “Go any lower,” they said, “and we’ll break your legs and leave you on the surface, you thief!”
G’ning-ar hated the Cavepools. Hated them more than the other wierdo magic using dwarves he met in the south that kept shooting magical arrows and fire at him. That wasn’t comfortable, but at least he didn’t get a chance to be insulted and humiliated. These Cavepools were all dicks. Any chances to steal from them would be welcome!
And for the next 200 years, G’ning-ar make a trip every week to wreck something owned by the Cavepools. Not always successfully, but enought to keep them constantly cautious. No dimwitted knuckle dragging pick swinging dwarf would find a rogue deurgar in a million years, right?
Gruuden’kar son of Gnuden’tik, slayer of Shivvek, was always full of stories, and constantly derailing conversations with a “one time, you know…” and a “that reminds me of,” to the point at which granson G’ning-ar son of Pubshan son of Gruuden’kar learned to just say “that’s right, grandpa,” and go on swinging his toy hammer when being toted about on Pubshan’s back.
They, Pubshan and Gruuden’kar, would take G’ning-ar scavenging in the old city Tatus, once home to a hundred-thousand Githyanki. Old buildings would be stacked with abandoned weapons, magic wands, staves and bows decorated in many manners. Not all of them were safe, either. Before touching any appealing item, it would get collected into a blanket and not directly touched until cleric Tru’de-gar could determine if it was cursed.
G’ning-ar, when he was a young thirty or so, decided to wander off while Pubshan grandpa were moving a pile of fallen bricks away from a big door. Duergar are hardy, but any chanse of slipping away and finding some silence always appealed to G’ning-ar. It became very quiet, very suddenly…and he couldn’t hear his clothes rustle, he breath, or his heart beat. He looked down and found himself in a glowing circle of runes.
The next place he saw was nothing but endless sky. In the far, far distance was a floating island that looked like a corpse covered in tiny buildings…just floating in the sky…getting smaller. Turning around, he saw an short, iron banded house floating about twenty steps away. He was twisting to the left, the house was slowly twisting to the right. He waved his legs and started twisting backwards.
This was trouble. Shouting wouldn’t help, he knew. Duergar common sense told him that he was probably doomed. But Gruuden’kar might have told a story about something like this. So he spun and thought. And got more and more hungry. Grandpa Gru once told a story about how he followed a Githyanki through a portal onto a field of air. It didn’t make any sense to G’ning-ar at all at the time. But Gru said he figured out that in the field of air, if you thought in unison with your feet, your intention would wisk you along. Gruuden’kar finally cought up to the Githyanki and stabbed him in the back, stole his purse and satchel of onyx stones that he then threw away becuase they would only be useful to a filthy wizard.
The iron-banded house was slowly rotating into view. G’ning-ar purposefully swung his leg and opposite hand in stride as if we were walking to the house. And he got moved closer. In a few strides he even felt like he was walking on a path. In a minute, he grabbed the handle to the door, swung it open, and stepped through.
And his back smaked as if he fell twenty feet onto a tallas slope. He slid down and crumpled up against a rock wall. Welts and scratches along along his back, arms and legs were stinging madly. And it was much darker than he remembered seeing in a long time. Grampa Gru tended to wander about the city in it’s dim light so frequently that the total dark of a cave was rather rare.
Letting his head spin, his ears ring, and his welts throb…slowly the shape of the tunnel, the rubble, and the pick marks of the mine he was in became clear. This tunnel was crap dwarven work! Their tools were dull, the idgit bastards! They didn’t clear a path on the floor so they could keep clearing. Sigh–he got up, shook himself a bit and found his balance, and decided that he brought this exile on himself. He would miss his dad and grandpa, but clearly, this place was entirely new…
Before conciousness ever developed, De’dee-dad’m was whisked as a spore from an explosion of rock chips deep in the Underdark into a planar portal into another world. De’dee stuck to a rock that felt wrong for many centuries until an earthquake, a small breeze and a drip of water gave him the strength to grow.
A century later, after growth and fruiting and emitting De’dee’s own spores, he fosters a circle of myconids in a deep cavern full of violent bipedals that constantly break the rock. This confuses De’dee, because it disturbs the mycelium he and his myconids try to grow. Luckily, a great earthquake broke open new fissures, bringing forth more water and more minerals and even a stream of organics from a distant surface never tasted before.
The circle spread upwards into a chamber with flat surfaces and a magical warmth that De’dee would instinctively cherish. If he went too close to it, he would get sun sick, but at the correct distance, it brought stories of far away places and news of the surface. Many magical beings existed on this world, and De’dee and the Dad’m circle learned that their heritage belonged to a material plane inaccessable to them. Here there were things such as day-elves, giants and dragons that were foriegn to De’dees fruiting forefathers. There was a personality in the energy they talked to: Eatur-Ima. Eatur was from a place of energy and was continually baffled by the lack of light, wind and energy in this world.
Twenty years ago, the rock sang with foot prints and the Dad’m circle shrunk and hid in the walls of the chamber. Bipedals broke into the chamber and stole Eater-Ima, and with that violation, the circle of Dad’m lost it’s link to the stories of the other worlds.
Since then, the circle of Dad’m strove to grow, expand and learn. They know that there are hundreds of bipedals, thousands of arachnids, and hundreds of spirits in the tunnels below the mountains of Sing’jar. They know the stories of elves, dwarves, devils and even druegar trying to survive in the deep cracks of the earth.
But they miss the warmth and knowledge of Eater-Ima, and would share a hundred stories with the heros who would return Eater to the chamber of Dad’m.
Darian Earthrok, hero of Sing’jar, survivor of the orc invasion, made big news when he registered as an exploration company. He stood on the railing of the mayor’s porch and addressed the gathered people who followed him to the mayor’s mansion, addressing the crowd in a bold voice:
The destruction in the hills has opened the doors to raiders and theives from all directions. The mayors decree to register explorers is fair…her concerns about not letting evil artifacts be freely traded in the city is prudent. But the plundering of the ancient homes of the dwarves is no better than pillaging and defiling the dead!
Dwarves do not break down the doors of your temples and steal your silver…we do not wrench open the coffins of your mothers and fathers to steal their burial gold! Is it this double standard that dwarves must suffer because parts of their homes are unnocupied now? Think! Consider how you want your neightbors to respect your family after you die…act with respect.
I form this exploration company to learn about our fathers below so as we can appreciate our lives above the more! Their works in the name of Moradin and the blessed family of the ancients should be curated, not smelted! Help me set an example of how to learn from the old tunnels of my fathers and treat them with repect and honor.
And Darian hired dozens of explorers, paying them 10 gold a week in hopes that they would not be sneaking treasures out and sell artifacts to other agents in town.
Our new party was eager to work:
- Cador Slatefoot, Dwarven cleric, devoted to Moradin
- Thardis the Minotar fighter
- Vazas the Dragonborn sorcerer
They were lead into the North Cavepool tunnels by Craynor Blacklap, an experienced human fighter. This entrance was hidden: covered by a large pile of fallen bolders. An entrance narrow enough that Thardis had to crawl through.
Tunnels lead to very large rooms, very large, with signs of ancient occupation. One room had a statue of a demon whos ruby eyes were clearly attempted to stolen, but the floor was littered with brittle, rusty tools and scrapes around the eye sockets. A deep fissure would blow cold air with a mournfull trumpet sound. A hallway with shriveled corpses spiked to the walls. Giant rats, eager for fresh visitors. A skeletal snake that projected a nest of jems. A pair of zombees that seemed to wander up from below years previously. A torture chamber littered with rusty surgical tools and human bones. Footprints of some human were seen leading to the second level, as well.
This few hours of spooky exploring in the entrance level of the Cavepool North entrance definitely took everyone’s minds off their struggles topside. But they returned, having dutifully mbrought back the gems they magically marked to issue to the controller.
But there was no controller back at camp. There was nearly no camp! A sad looking dwarf, Bluestone, spoke with Craynor about how Darian was evicted by the mayor’s tax collectors for not renewing his company license, and word was out that Darian ran out of cash by paying his explorers so much. Darian went on the move that morning and was no doubt lost below the hills somewhere.
Bluestone and Clark set abou
t discussing how to incorporate their own exploration company, the two of them being experienced at it, having been through many tunnels in the Large Entrance. Bluestone explained how the magic marks from the making scrolls they were issued could be expunged, if necessary, but selling items without company markers could be dangerous if you ended up selling to a sheriff’s agent.
As they settled into dinner, sitting around the fire that evening, Thardis noticed movement and pointed it out. Bluestone started talking overly loud, covering the quiet planning of the other members of the party whilst calmly wrapping his war hammer in a burlap bad and pouring oil on it. Behind a small hill, six humans crouched and popped their heads up occasionally, planning a raid on our party.
Thardis met them boldly and swept his glaive madly, chopping and hacking. Craynor stood before the Vazas, who unleashed a thunder wave, crippling most of the bandits. Cador rushed to Thardis’ aide before long, having been felled early in battle. From behind, came Bluestone with his flaming war hammer and beat the remaining bandits to their deaths.
As they recovered from the attack, they all agreed that they fought well together, and they would probably survive better in the tunnels than constantly surrounded by theives on all sides above ground. Craynor and Bluestone agreed to travel to the mayor’s office and register as an exploration company the next morning.