AAR: Taste of Home

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AAR: Taste of Home

Post by etherial » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:49 am

Mission: Taste of Home
GM: etherial
Date: 2017-12-08
Difficulty and circle rating: Circle 2 Medium

Player Rewards:
Celemir: 800 LP, 230 Silver
Maxim: 800 Legend, 130 silver, +1 Booster Potion, +1 Kelix's Antidote, +1 Absorb Blow Charm
Rilya: 800 Legend, 230 Silver
Shengis Kharn: 800 Legend, Absorb Blow Charm, Desperate Blow Charm, 17.5 sp

Downtime Actions Available:
Celemir: Craft Weapon Step 9 (Rank 2) (Anything Damage 4 or below)
Maxim: Animal Training: 7 (Rank 1)
Rilya: Forge Weapon: 13 (Rank 2)
Rilya: Item History: 13 (Rank 2)
Rilya: Alchemy: 7 (Rank 3, Known: Booster Potion)
Rilya: Animal Training: 8 (Rank 1)
Rilya: Craftsman: 17 (Rank 2) (armor, weapons, or other mundane items)

Further Information:
Make camp at 38.04 if you want to contact the Blood Wood.

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by Shin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:58 am

Annals of Maxim the Name Taker

TH 1421. To Wyrm Wood and back again.

At last the opportunity came. I had spent week upon week in the Bazaar, stalking an opportunity to win free of the City and finally gain a taste, the tiniest morsel of the Freedom so casually owned and callously discarded by my ancestors. Why they chose to entomb their descendants in Throal is beyond my ken, but entrap me they did and so my need to escape the drab and dreary halls of the Dwarven Demesne had grown to be palpable companion on my daily quests, with whom I shared frequent and lively conversations.

So it was that when I caught rumor of an elf looking for adventurers to guide her to the Wyrm Wood to look into whispers of dark magics and darker rituals, well, naturally I thought that is a foolish thing to do, even for an Elf! But stacked against such wisdom was my incessant need to not just fly in the open air--Throal has been open for some time now, but to actualyl explore. To travel. See what the scourge has wrought and how we the givers of names have persevered. Well, anyway, such are the things one whispers in one's own ears when justifying doing some foolish for profit and fame. My Need and I argued back and forth, but of course, Needs won. So to Wyrm Wood we went.

Honig Enterista hired herself four adventurers in the end--An elven woodsman who had never seen the woods, A windling weaponsmith with a penchant for forging trollish weapons three times her height (she never did tell me how!), and coincidentally a troll who appeared quixotically not to have a weapon. The Passions weave their own stories and we just try to carry the tunes. I fancy myself an excellent alto. The journey North was simple enough. Apparently travel has become common enough that bandits have taken up residence along the... Well I won't call it a trail, and it certainly wasn't a highway, which I still maintain shows poor consideration for job advancement opportunities for a would be highwayman, but... Well, most of them are dead now anyway, so I suppose we've spared them the regrets of later years. I do try to be kind.

We crossed the serpent at Sosanopa by ferry and made the outskirts of Wyrm Wood in less than a week. For all that the province has been said to have been wrecked and left in havoc and chaos, it all seemed rather tranquil to me. The Wyrm Wood itself, however, was another story.

We gained access to the Wood following a trail blazed by others who had come before us. The transition from the light wood shadowing in its lee and The Wood itself was impossible to miss. As we crossed the threshold, the sense of unease was immediate. This, of course, could have been in response to the blood red foliage of the twisted trees, or the vinelike kudzu nature of the undergrowth and foliage choking out the light beneath the canopy. Or perhaps it was the twisted little trail which wound itself through these malicious giants like a child tip toeing past an abusive drunken parent--eager to avoid notice. Everywhere was the smell of death and blood, strife and battle. The trees wept and drank their own bloody tears and the ground squelched with the redness of it. A more clear and unmistakable invitation to withdraw I have not yet encountered.

Before I had had the chance to share this particular wisdom with my boon companions, they had trapsed on down the trail. I myself had been distracted by the peculiar and singularly terrifying nature of the Wood itself. Once seen... Once comprehended I sought to avail upon my companions the treacherous trail upon which they tread. The dangers so soon to confront us, but they were too eager to be done with their task or I too long in the realization of it. Before I could warn them of the dangers, the Forest struck.

Wolves they appeared to be. Wolves in form and fashion. Tooth and Claw and Furry ferocity. Tails was quite certainly uninterested in making their acquaintance I can assure you, if he hadn't already felt quite ready to leave the moment he set paw to bloody trail. He's still cross with me about that. But I digress. Where was I? Wolves. yes. Wolves. They came out at us from out of the foliage. That red and stem, violent violet foliage painted in the lurid colors of the carnal house mad man spewed forth these Wolves like newborns, born whole and full grown, and enraged at the world for the affront of it all. But to be sure, they were not brought forth in such fashion. I had sensed their patterns, the patterns of animals touched and twisted moving in through the undergrowth even before I raced to catch up with my companions.

They set upon our Troll first, as he led the way, with a remorseless ferocity from all sides. I thought perhaps he might collapse then and there. I think perhaps he nearly did. From there a fight broke out the likes of which I have not experienced before. The troll seemed to grow skin of bark and bellowed fiery rage. I thought these powers of his, but perhaps he was just insulted at nearly being killed by a half pack of rabid dogs that barely came up to his knees. The rest of us did our best to disentangle him from them. Our woodsman, ignorant of the woods and incapable of finding North as he was, proved a proficient archer and after some effort, we managed to regroup and fight a fighting withdrawal back down the path and across the threshold of the wood.

It was then, finally, I was able to share with my compatriots the terrible truth of this place. It had been changed. Made anew into something not as it was. The place had a pattern to it, a discernible pattern. Clear in a way in which most places are not (for do we not know that all places have a pattern). It was a place of ritual, and everything there, the trees, the foliage, undergrowth, flower, root and stem, all of it, even the animals themselves were a part of it. Connected. Feeding upon each other. Breathing. The Forest had come for us. Those wolves which were not wolves. Celemir.. The woodsman, he said as much as how they were not behaving as animals should. The troll said nothing at all, stunned as he was from the experience. Our employer for herself was speechless as well. It had come for us with a message, reinforcing its initial statement which we had so consciously chosen to ignore. LEAVE.

But let it not be said that Elves are not pedantic, nor insufficiently possessed of that peculiarly elven disdain of all others that says what is reasonable and understandable is what elves are to know, and what it is for other name givers is to wallow in ignorance in the mud--They sent us an emissary--just to be sure there would be no misunderstandings.

That night, as we recovered from our injuries and made a somewhat fitful rest of it in those skirts of the wood I have mentioned already, their envoy appeared. He came trailed by not one but three of his malicious red weeping trees. He came to repeat the message that those who had come before us had heard once before. The Wyrm Wood is no more. Its name they have taken and remade. The Blood Wood is what stood before us, and we--at least those of us who were not Elves--were not welcome there. We were to leave at first light. Elves, of which there were two in our company (Honig, our employer, and the woodsman Celemir), could remain, but only if they underwent a ritual he called the Rite of Thorns. This ritual, he claimed, would implant a wood elemental within each of them, causing thorns like those of a rose bush to grow and sprout from under their skin, leaving them in constant, never-ending agony. It was, he said with the luminary light of the insane, the perfect defense against the Horrors. He claimed that by doing this to themselves, the horrors could take no sustenance from their pain. But, of course, they weren't really doing it to themselves, they were doing it to each other, but this and many other excellent points were ignored as unworthy of repudiation. I tried to talk some sense into him, and into my friends, as the whole thing seemed... more than a little suspicious. What I've read and heard of the horrors led me to believe this was exactly the sort of insanity they would conspire to have a people do to themselves, and thus were they not, in fact, more likely the catspaw of some maniacal horror who had them dancing to the very tune which this elf wished to dance for us to prove how free of taint he was. Right down to making pretty patterns with the blood leaking from his own dripping appendages!

After the shock of the wood earlier in the day, however, none of my companions had the stomach for any more horror, and the enormity of the possibility of it all made them quiet and docile. We agreed readily to the envoy's request that we depart at first light and so we did.

The conversation was not entirely absent diplomacy however. While the envoy steadfastly refused (I think the word disdained might be most appropraite in fact) the idea of sending an ambassador to Throal or issuing a proclamation or any such, he did agree that in the future, should other elves wish to learn more about the modern realities of the Court (The Blood Court?) and the true elven people or some such (he had a particular turn of phrase he seemed to favor), that they might come here.. or there, as in the camp we were speaking with the envoy in, and wait. That should they do so, an envoy would come to speak with them. Questions might be answered and so forth. We agreed this was good and it was on this point that we left off with the Envoy. I do not think he cared for me at all!

The next morning, we gathered some samples, or more accurately watched Celemir gather some samples--he may not have been to a Wood before, but he had clearly spent many a year dreaming about it! Rilyah (that's the weaponsmith) provided us with some jars to preserve the samples in, and so collected, Honig felt satisfied and we left. Early enough that the envoy did not reappear to express his dissatisfaction at the promptness (or lack thereof) of our departure.

We traveled home in excellent time, much as we had come. Quickly enough that new bandits had not had time to take root from the fallows of the old. And so we have won through to here, Throal, our home (and the bandit's home as well, if he was to be believed) hale enough to present this report to the Library for the edification of the curious and the learned.

No journal can cover all the details of a journey so taken nor a trip complete recalled in all its facets. These are the faces which shone brightest to my memory, but in the fullness of time, perhaps others will prove to shine longer. The medallions of Sosanopa which ward off cadavermen and their belief that adventurers from Throal had tried to steal them in the guise of helping. The lost nethermancer who made them and the unknown source of the cadavermen themselves--near enough to be a common nuisance, but far enough away to still be unknown... The map which Rilyah made, which, despite lacking proper dragons and kraken and such showed a route from Sosanopa to Bartertown left in the hands of the Blood Elf Envoy. The Red Weeper. The Welt. And other facets beside. The Serpent, engorged and fat, yet still swift and deadly, nearly uncrossable, and the ferry at Sosanopa, full on one side, but without station nor pier upon the other. Why, I wonder. Why only on the southern shore. Why indeed. Why that hill on that path, how is that of the what must be few enough travellers braving the wilds to go from Throal to Sosanopa that path through that wood would be so well traveled to breed so many clutches of bandits. Which facet will shine brightest you think? I don't know, yet, but I'll be sure to keep an eye out. A person has to develop an eye for these things. To know what's worth taking, and what's better off left on the table.

-- Maxim, Thief of Throal

Honig Enterista

Nameless Blood Elf Envoy

Nameless surviving Bandit Leader

Celemir, Elven Woodsman
Rilyah, Windling Weaponsmith
Maxim, Windling Thief
Shengis Kharn, Troll Warrior
Last edited by Shin on Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by Arikail » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:58 pm

A journey to the Blood Wood, a journal entry by Rilya

I have just returned from a most interesting, and perhaps a bit disturbing, place. I finally made it out to visit the Wyrm Wood, now called the Blood Wood. A spellcaster (I believe) by the name of Honig Enterista had heard the rumors of the corruption in the Wood, and wanted some adventurers to take her there to collect samples. She ended up with me, Maxim (another Windling, yay!!, and a Thief), Celemir (an Elven Woodsman), and Shengis Kharn (a Troll Warrior). This seemed like a perfect time to see how well my attempts at Troll weapons turned out, and I had just recently finished smithing and forging a Troll Sword, which I offered up for use during our expedition. Shengis happily took it and gave it a few practice swings, seeming content with the weight and balance. After that was all settled, we set out for Sosanopa, a river settlement to the northwest, that has a ferry for transport across it.

But first we had to get there. It seems my new sextant actually works (the salesman in the Bazaar assured me the other one was just fine and worked perfectly, but after a long discussion, agreed to let me switch it out. After the performance this outing, I'm convinced the problem was with the sextant, and not my ability to use it) and we started out in the rough direction of Sosanopa. I kept careful readings and notations on the way there for use in making a map later.

We were set upon by the expected bandits again. This time masquerading as someone that was given authority by the king of Throal to collect tolls to build a highway through the area. I would hope they would be smarter than that, but according to them, most people decide to pay. Unfortunately for them, we did not, and it resorted to the usual with bandits, proving they are bandits: they drew weapons and attacked. No real official would do that. It was over quickly. Shengis made good use of the sword, saying it worked well, and one bandit fled in terror, screaming something about a crazy Windling. Maybe I should say hobbled away in terror, after I rammed him with my spear in the shoulder, knocking him on his arse. Teach them to try and waylay travelers making their way through the wilderness.

One of them escaped, and we did take the opportunity to interrogate one of them that wasn't quite so fortunate. He seemed to be saying that the bandits have some sort of base/meeting area in Throal itself, where they organize and head out to various stations. That may require some looking into. The bandit problem is becoming a real problem. We ended up letting him go, with a dagger to fend off the wolves. Personally, I hope they got him. If not, I hope he considers his career choice. We did try to tell him that he would be better off following an honest trade. I have heard that with the prevalence of bandit activity, they are drawing more attention from adventurers and adepts recently. If he continues along this path, I don't think he'll be much longer for this world.

Reaching Sosanopa, we were asked to give a sign of not being horror marked by the local guards. Using the notes I had taken on the trip there, I made an excellent map of the route we followed from Throal to their settlement. I will be submitting that to the Great Library so that others don't get lost. They seemed satisfied with our endeavors, and agreed to give us passage across the river. Speaking of the river.... It's huge. flying out over such an expanse.... I'm not sure I like the idea. It's perfectly safe under normal circumstances, but if something were to happen.... The thought doesn't bear thinking about. Arriving on the other side, we continued on our journey to the Blood Wood.

We came across an area where the woods thickened, and a strangely muddy stream crossed our paths. Shengis too the lead through the wood, followed by me and Celemir and Honig. I didn't notice at the time (Ixran took a liking to the beautiful red flowers there, so I had to get some to make him a new wreath), but apparently Maxim got caught up in something. He started yelling about something in the wood when suddenly we were set upon by wolves. Vicious wolves at that. One of them took a particular liking to me, rushing in close and snapping at my legs. It happened quickly, and I'm not entirely sure what happened there, I think I passed out. I came to with Celemir carrying me and giving me a shake as we were fleeing from the wood. Strangely, the wolves did not give up after being wounded, nor did they pursue us beyond the borders of the wood. According to Maxim, this is because they were somehow tied to the pattern of the forest, as was everything there.

We found a camp s ways from the wood, so we could recover. Everyone remained intact, though walking was very slow going for me. Fortunately, my wings were undamaged. That night, during watch, Celemir noticed an elf in the woods watching us. Approaching, the two of them spoke for a few minutes, before Celemir returned to wake everyone. It was an interesting discussion. It seems the elves here had performed a ritual linking themselves and all the creatures therein to the wood, at the same time causing them to sprout thorns that constantly bled. The pain, being self inflicted and constant, protects them from the Horrors, they say. Maxim thinks it is a form of Horror taint, but I'm not so sure. They perform the ritual on all newborn elves, and invite others to come and partake and join them. They do seem a bit fanatical in their devotion, and a bit condescending. I did manage to take a look at their pattern (the elf and the living trees accompanying him). It is unlike any I have ever seen. Very complex, and a thing of beauty in it's own right. I'd love to study it more, especially as Maxim says they are all tied together. I didn't see any evidence of that, but it is possible. I also didn't see any hint of the wood spirit the elf said was inhabiting his body (hence the thorns). The long and short of it was we would be allowed to stay the remainder of the night, but we were expected to leave the next day. after he left, we hurriedly collected samples for Honig to take back, storing them in the Pot of Grumbah so they didn't decay too much on the way back. Celemir found some wonderful examples, and I think I found some good ones myself. At least, Honig was happy that she would be able to study these, even if they brought more questions than answers. With the exception of a slight miscalculation on my part putting us a bit further west on the river than intended, returning to Throal was easily done. Maxim did have to brave flying over that huge river to get us a ferry back across. I'm glad he volunteered, as I don't think I'd like that.

(Accompanying this journal entry is a well drawn map of the path from Throal to Sosanopa (mapmaking 18))

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by BattleChad » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:37 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Maxim and Rilya for their contributions.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by Dougansf » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:27 am

Celemir's Chronicles

Honig Enterista (Elf Nethermancer) shares my concern about the reports of what has happened to the Wyrm Wood. She is looking to research its corruption so that she can determine whether the Elves within are truly free of the Horrors or enslaved by them.

Honig uses the Throallic posting service to recruit others to the journey. We are joined by Rilya (Windling Weaponsmith), Maxim (Windling Thief), and Shengis (Troll Warrior). Rilya instantly makes a good impression by offering a spare Troll Sword to the group to borrow. Shengis seems very pleased to give her new creation a test. On the other hand, Maxim seems amazed that she could make something over twice her size.

The Road North
The long journey North gives us time to get to know each other. The little differences between Throal and Avon truly start to stand out. Rilya and I discuss crafting techniques. Maxim takes turns poking fun at each of us (apparently he expects me to be a Journeyman Woodsman already).

The road North is fairly well cleared, in comparison to the wild. We do manage to wander into a small valley where we spot a man crouching in a bush. The man declares this his territory, as granted by the King of Throal, and demands money as reparations for trespassing. When we refuse, and he does not concede the point, his 3 allies emerge from other trees with bows at the ready. Shengis makes short work of the leader, while the Windlings fly to attack the closer two archers. I lob arrows at the one on the ridge. After two have fallen, the other two attempt to flee. As one narrowly escapes Shengis' swings, I run through a copse of trees and put an arrow into his shoulders, putting him down. The last one runs away to the Northeast.

We wait for the 2 bandits left alive to awaken, and question them a little about their organization. It seems that they rotate out teams from Throal. Eventually, we strip them of weapons, and let them go on their way. We choose not to use their camp, in case they return with more.

We arrive at a village on the bank of the Serpent River. The guards seem very defensive about horror taint and thieves. They refuse to let us enter until we go through the Greeting Ritual. We all pass inspection, and are allowed into town, and granted a ferry to cross.

Wyrm Wood
Not long after landing on the other side, we enter into a forest. A true forest. I have never seen it's like before. I can almost feel the energy of so much life surrounding us.
However, this was only the edge of the wood. A short travel brought us into the wood proper, and everything changed. The trees were oozing red sap. There were small streams of reddish water running through the trees. Brambles covered everywhere but a small path. Maxim was saying something about the Astral Plane here, but I couldn't hear him clearly. Just as Maxim catches up with us, Shengis is ambushed by 4 wolves. The wolves don't seem to be impaired by the brambles like we are. Maxim starts shouting about how their Patterns are linked with the Wood. Shengis is gravely wounded by the ambush, but stays standing in our defense. Rilya gets pulled out of the sky, and knocked unconscious. Maxim hovers over Rilya, to keep them off her, while I pick her up and start the slow retreat back to the edge of the Wood.

We limp along until we find an old campsite. We set up our standard watches. During second watch, I spot the trees moving of their own accord, and an elf spying upon our camp. I call out a greeting in Sperethial, and he seems glad to hear that we have not lost our way so much. I explain why we are there, without offering insult or sudden movements. I wake the others, in case of the worst, but he remains at a distance, and the wood elementals with him simply stand there.

He shares with us a bit about the Blood Wood, and the Ritual of Thorns that creates the Blood Elves. He even offered it to me, or remain an Outcast. I have to admit it was tempting. Having a wood elemental bonded with me. To live here in the center of the Elven world. But Honig is right, we need to be sure that this is free from Horror influence. We are permitted to take some samples from around the camp. I share Honigs displeasure about the situation, but she believes the samples may be enough.

The Return
We find another ferry back to Sosonopa, and remain there a few days to recover properly. We notice some stones they have around the village, and they tell us it allows them to defend against Cadavermen. It was something that their Nethermancer leader put together before she died. This sounds like a great discovery that should be duplicated and shared. The guards are very protective of them, as others have tried to steal them before. I discuss with Honig the potential of returning here to learn more after her current research is done.

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by BattleChad » Tue Dec 12, 2017 5:20 am

The Great Library of Throal thanks Celemir for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by Aegharan » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:55 pm

Journal of Shengis Zogugbu Kharn

One Honig Enterista seeks help. Mighty adventurers needed for escort to Wyrm Woods. Maybe Wyrm Woods is Blood Woods. We will see.

Windling-friend Rilya gives us a sword for this mission. The sword feels good in hand and looks good. I put my flail on my back. When you go on adventures people say your name and people give you weapons. Adventuring is good.

A man meets us and says we are in his forest. Other Windling-friend Maxim asks why is his forest. Man says King of Throal gave it to him. Maxim says we must find out if this is true. But the man says big talk but only fights small fight. Man goes down with one strike. Is not his forest now. Problem solved.

We reach Sososopa. There is snake-water. Biggest water I ever saw. People wanted us to make art. Art is pay for travel over water I think. We spent half an hour on a boat. Going by boat is fun. Adventuring is good.

Wyrm wood really is Bloody. Trees have seen big war. Much blood in floor. When I poke ground with sword, only blood sticks, no earth. Many wolves are in forest. Have heard stories of wolves. Stories not true. Wolves hurt real bad and fight good fight. Maybe the wolves are hungry. Windling-friend Rilya goes down. We protect her and keep off wolves. Moving out of forest again.

We take up camp and care for the wounds. Maxim wakes us in the night. An Elf and some trees have come. They talked in Elfish. They are nice. They let us stay. After the night we gather some plants and go home. Big Water is baeutiful. We get paid. We form our name. Adventuring is good.

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Re: AAR: Taste of Home

Post by BattleChad » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:40 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Shengis for his contribution.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver