AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

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AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by etherial » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:55 am

Mission: Ghoulish Rescue
GM: etherial
Date: 2017-12-28
Difficulty and circle rating: Circle 3 Hard

Player Rewards:
Aegharan: 2000 Legend, 205 Silver, 2 Healing Potions, 2 Booster Potions
Nista: 2000 Legend, Last Chance Salve, Booster Potion, 230 Silver
Rilya: 2000 Legend, Last Chance Salve, Healing Potion, 105 Silver
Romari: 2000 Legend, 405 Silver, 1 Healing potion
Thane: 2000 Legend, 5 Silver, 2 Healing Potions, 7 booster potions, 1 Kelix's Poulitce (25), 1 absorb blow charm (50)

Downtime Actions Available:
Aegharan: Alchemy (7) (Booster Potion)
Pethrytholilanista: Alchemy Step 6
Rilya: Alchemy: 7 (Known: Booster Potion)
Rilya: Forge Weapon: 14 (Rank 3)
Rilya: Item History: 14 (Rank 3)
Rilya: Craftsman: 18 (For mundane items)
Rilya: Animal Training: 8 (Rank 1)
Romari: Alchemy 7 (Booster Potion)
Romari: Map Making 8
Romari: Research 20 (9 base, +4 Speed Reading spell, +3 Throal library 20sp, +4 Karma)

Further Information:
The town of Sosonopa is now closed to outsiders. Its leader appears to be a Horror.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by ChrisDDickey » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:22 am

From the Journal of Thane Cawdor, 3rd circle Sky Raider.

A call for help has reached Throal. Word has arrived that Ghouls have attacked a caravan traveling south from Sosonopa towards Throal. A number of people were reportedly taken alive and carried off towards the east. the village begged our assistance in rescuing them. Considering how long it took for word to reach Throal, and how long it long it would take us to reach the area, I held very little hope for the poor unfortunates. I greatly feared that we would arrive to find nothing but a pile of well gnawed bones. Further, ghouls are very near the top of my least favorite list of monsters to fight. Their poison gives me the willies. Still, the ghouls needed to be dealt with, regardless. I purchased a few Kelux's poultices and joined the posse. The group was very heavy with spellcasters: Aegharan, an Illusionist, Aegharan the Wizard, Nista the Nethermancer, plus Rilya the windling Weaponsmith. I must say I was very well buffed the entire time!

I can't conceive how the province has sprouted so many bandits. Surely until a few years ago, all these people were snug in in their kears and well fed. How is it that so many have so soon chosen to flee to the wilderness and attempt to waylay the few travelers this poor wounded world has. The latest group to find us approached in the middle of the night, their spokesperson commented upon the fact that we had build our campfire upon a hill, and that it was visible for miles. Apparently they were all too dim to take that as a warning that we felt little need to hide from the scurvy likes of them. Once again we killed half, but the rest got away.

Upon arriving in Sosonopa, we were given a few additional details. We were told that the caravan was 3 carts and about 30 people. It was attacked by 5 ghouls. One of the ghouls was slain, but the others carried off 4 live people, the surviving caravaners had returned to Sosonopa. We talked to a village leader named Ivon who said that the village had few adepts or skilled fighters, but that he was a skilled tracker and could track the ghouls for us. We set out at once and hiked the remainder of the afternoon. With 6 people, we were able to double up on the watches. The early watch woke us all up and we were all on our feet and ready when we were attacked by 5 Ghouls, one of which was bigger and stronger than the others. Fairly early on I was wounded, and the poison upon the ghouls claws also attacked my internal organs, making every movement a pain. I had to step back and apply a poultice, but the damage and wounds handicapped me from that point on. At the very end of the fight I took one last little scratch, which again poisoned me. the scratch was enough to send me down into unconsciousness, but my companions tell me that poison nearly killed me. Aside from the one solid hit that wounded me early I only took strain and scratches, it was the poison damage that laid me on my back and very nearly my deathbed. Aside from having used my Absorb blow charm, I also had to use a borrowed healing potion and both my booster potions, and even then I still had one wound after my morning recovery test. I hate fighting ghouls. I can only be glad that all 5 ghouls were slain. It remained merely to follow them back to their nest and see what had become of the captives.

The tracks we were following were much fresher, and it did not take very many hours to backtrack them to a cave. It was a large cave complex, and took a while to explore. At one point we realized that Ivan, the village leader was no longer with us. We worried what might have become of him. As we explored we occasionally found clusters of huge cocoon like things.

Eventually we arrived in a very large cavern with a sunken pool in the center. As we approached, 4 creatures were just emerging from some cocoon-like pods. Just as we were moving towards them to engage, Ivan, or something very like him, appeared behind us, except now it had a barbed stinger. it taunted us and called the things emerging from the pods it's "children". It then attacked Romari (who was in the back). As quickly as I could I disengaged from the pod person I was fighting and positioned myself to where I could charge the Ivan-thing. This was a horrible and frustrating fight. For a long time I felt as if my karma was ineffective. Even when I my karma seemed to be working, I could not hit anything at all. By far the star of this fight was Aegharan. His illusion spells gave us much-needed protections at the beginning of the fight, and in the later half of the fight he almost single-handedly burnt to "death" 3 of the pod people. Many of us were ganging up upon the Ivan-thing, but few of us were hitting, and fewer still were the times when we did more than minimal damage. I guess the dribbs and drabs of damage were adding up, because eventually he ran away. Without him and his horror powers the pod people were much easier to take out.

After slaying the pod people, we did more searching and found 4 more pods, these full. We opened one and found little recognizable as human inside. We burned the pods and searched the cave thoroughly for more unhatched pods. We returned to Sosonopa to denounce the Ivan-thing and let the people know one of their leaders was a horror, but the village refused to give head to our words and fired upon us. We must soon return and cleanse that village - if anybody inside of it can still be saved.

Upon returning to Throal, I trained for 3rd circle.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by nathaniel » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:06 pm

From the jornal of Romari Savre Wizard of the 3rd
Ghoulish "Rescue"

A runner from Sonasopa came into to Throal asking for help with a recent ghoul attack. Aegharan an Illusionist, Thane a Skyraider, Nista a Nethermancer, Rilya a windling Weaponsmith, and myself banded together and made haste to Sonasopa.

After a few days of travel we were ambushed by bandits. This is the 3rd time I have been assaulted by bandits in less than 2 months, something needs to be done about this plague. Aegharan was knocked out this time instead of myself, a small favor as far as I was concerned but I doubt he felt the same. We were able to dispatch a few of the bandits but they are cowards by nature and the rest fled into the night. We were unmolested the rest of out trip by that particular type of scavenger.

We made it to Sonasopa, no exchange of craftsman skill was displayed which at the time didn't bother me. We were headed into the woods and not into town why would we need to prove anything to the townsfolk. I retrospect this was a mistake of the highest order. I am almost 100% certain that the beings that dwell within the topn are either constructs of a Horror or marked by one.

The town “leader”, a self professed tracker, going by the name of Ivon guided us towards where his “missing” townsfolk were located. A few hours outside of town we made camp. We doubled up watches, lo and behold we were attacked by ghouls not an hour into our 1st watch. Thane took the brunt of their initial assault while the rest of us cast enhancement spells before laying into them with damaging spells. The battle was frenzied and the ghouls poison rent the flesh of those that were hit more so than their claws ever could. Nista battered the ghouls with Astral Spears to rather devastating effect while Aegharan's illusion magic confused and beguiled them. Rilya crushed the ghouls flesh while in an awe inspiring manner Thane took the brunt of their attacks and used his shield to both harm and knock flat the enemy. I, of course, used Mind Dagger to both harm and open up weak points in the ghouls defenses. Even with our magic and might Thane was knocked out towards the end of the fight, but thankfully he was only unconscious. We rested up and healed our wounds as best we could (lots of potions) and got what rest we could as we had villagers to “save”.

The next day Ivon lead us to a cave where the “tracks” lead. We descended into it's depths when while exploring Ivon vanished. We thought he had been taken and began to look for tracks ourselves. The tracks we found lead us into a massive cavern with a brackish pool in the center. AS we began to explore 4 pod people emerged and began shuffling their way towards us. It was at this moment Ivon made his appearance and dastardly plans were laid. He suppressed our karma, revealing his true nature as a Horror. The battle was pitched and mobile as pod people and Ivon tried their best to end out lives. Once Ivon had each of us with this stinger thing he ran off, He may not have gotten all of us and our attacks might have caused him concern enough to flee but I am unsure. With Ivon gone we were able to deal with the pod people though Aegharan's illusions and fire magics were instrumental in dealing with them.

Once we had dealt with these pod people we searched for more, determined give Ivon a pyrrhic victory if nothing else. A search of the rest of the cave we found 4 more occupied pods. We burn them. We also found a mound of supplies we took what we could and burnt the rest. We made our way back to Sonasopa to denounce Ivon as a Horror but alas the villagers would not head us, weather that was from lies or corruption I cannot say, and instead attacked us with arrows. But we headed back to Throal alive and with news of the horror that lived in Sonasopa.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by Arikail » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:05 pm

A Ghoulish Rescue, A journal entry by Rilya, Windling Weaponsmith

A runner arrived from Sosanopa, looking for brave adepts willing to help the city out. It was under attack by ghouls, and recently a caravan had been lost to their depredations, and some people taken alive back to their lair. A number of brave souls took up the call, including Romari (Elven Wizard), Thane (Troll Skyraider), Pethrytholilanista (Elf Nethermancer), and Aegharan (Elf Illusionist). Thane recommended a quick trip to the market before heading out to stock up on poison curatives, which most decided was a good idea.

The first few days out of Throal were mostly uneventful as we hurried on to Sosanopa (I did have time to talk with Pethrytholilanista about Nethermancy, which I have been studying recently with another Adept. She was able to fill in a couple of bits in a few areas that were giving me difficulties, but I still don't think my understanding is quite where it needs to be. Also, she did like talking about a missing (dead?) husband a lot). The route wasn't always clear, but having traveled this way before, the map I had was adequate. After retiring for one night, we were beset by bandits. A few were dispatched, the others fled. I have heard grumbles about them a lot recently, and even heard rumors that someone is recruiting to go face them head on in their lair. The less bandits they have for that, the better, I think.

The rest of the journey to Sosanopa passed quickly and without incident. Arriving at the gates, the guards seemed a bit hesitant at first. I quickly stepped forward and introduced myself, and surprisingly enough, they said they heard of me, all the way out here. I didn't ask what they heard, but told them we had arrived to help with the ghouls and their missing caravan members. Sensing we may not have been the best prepared for hunting and tracking in the wilderness, the citizens offered Ivon, their leader, and also an accomplished tracker. Upon being summoned, he asked if we could depart immediately, and it was decided we could. So, with him in the lead, we once again proceeded out into the wilderness, east this time.

During the night, Aegharan came and woke everyone up, saying something was approaching us in the darkness, and we should get ready. He was, of course, right, and very soon we had a small pack of ghouls in the camp. It was a hard fought battle, and we nearly lost Thane to the ghouls and their poison. His talk during our journey about the virulence of the stuff was not far wrong. We triumphed in the end, but it was not a certain thing. Patching ourselves up as best we could, we set out again in the morning.

Ivon lead us once more, until we came to a cave entrance, with some stairs carved into the rock. Breaking out torches and light crystals, we proceeded down into the depths. The darkness here was oppressive, and it was dank, not at all like Throal and living underground there. Something about the place made me uneasy, and Romari said the place was badly corrupted.

During our explorations, we found what looked to be man-sized cocoons that had already broken open, spilling their contents out into the world. After investigating some of these, we noticed Ivon missing. Scouring our steps, no sign of him was found, but we did find drag marks, some of them fresh. Following them deeper into the cave, we found an open area, and presumably the remains of the caravan guard, as they hatched from their pods and moved towards us. And then Ivon returned.... With a stinger, and saying how he was going to sample us and it wouldn't hurt. We might even survive. (The fear that flowed through me upon his appearance, I think that changed something in me. My teacher had been telling me how I was having problems invoking the Frighten talent because of my inability to harness my inner fear and externalize it. Now I don't think I will have that problem ever again. Always will I have that dark memory of him stepping up out of the shadows and piercing Pethrytholilanista with the gruesome appendage.) He made his rounds, though Aegharan's illusions did mitigate some of the damage. I believe he was only able to sample Pethrytholilanista and Thane, but that is scary enough. He taunted us as he fled back into the shadows, saying we would meet again, if we survived these pets of his. And survive we nearly did not. Pethrytholilanista was nearly surrounded by the spawn as Ivon fled. I rushed in to make sure that didn't happen, taking a heavy blow meant for her just in time. It dazed me, but I don't think she would have survived.

Between us, the last of the spawn were dispatched , with Aegharan's fire and Pehtrytholilanista's astral blasts aiding Thane's mace and Romari's magical incantations in wiping the filth from the earth (I even scored a killing blow myself, my spear plunging into a spawn creature much like Ivon's stinger....). We found many cocoons, setting each to the torch, and in the deepest recesses of the cave, we found a rather nice cache of supplies that the Doppler had taken from previous victims. I would have liked to have done more for them, but the victims were already loose somewhere, now making victims of their own.

We made our way back to Sosanopa, to warn them of the threat posed by Ivon, but as soon as they saw us, they attacked with arrows and fire. They did not give chase as we fled, and I swear as I looked back, I saw his shape at the gate, grinning at our backs. Something sinister lives in Sosanopa, and there is no telling how deeply it has infested the town. It must be wiped out before it spreads further.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by BattleChad » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:05 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Thane, Romari, and Rilya for their contributions.

Journal Rewards: 100 Legend Points and 138 Silver

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by rosinavs » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:59 am

From the Journal of Pethrytholilanista

I took yet another compensatory obligation, on this juncture to rescue or avenge a brace of members of a caravan who were waylaid by ghouls near Sosonopa. My companions on this venture were: Rilya the Windling, who seems to have finally learned how to find her way about; Aegharan, a polite enough former companion from earlier travels; Thane, the Skyraider I met on my last perambulation; and Romari Savre, a Wizard with whom I had not ventured before.

There were bandits on the way. We defeated them. I tire of mentioning this circumstance.

Upon arriving in Sosonopa, we met with a local luminary named Ivon, who gave us details on the capture of the wayfaring merchants. We set out with him to assist us in tracking, and were set upon by ghouls in the night. We had enough warning to be prepared for them, but Thane was sorely wounded and poisoned by the ghouls in the battle. I loaned him a healing potion, but he was still wounded upon breaking his fast.

We then used the much fresher tracks to pursue the ghouls in their lair. It was a cave and took some duration to explore to little avail. Once we had perused multiple chambers and tunnels, we noticed that our erstwhile guide, Ivon, was no longer in attendance upon us. We continued our investigation of the cave, hoping to find him, and came upon a great chamber with a deep lagoon in the center. Four creatures emerged from encumbrances shaped like cocoons as we drew nigh. Then Ivan infiltrated behind us, now bearing a stinger and calling the fiends its children. It stung me, as I had been hanging back to cast spells, and I spent much of the ensuing confrontation evading him and his minions, taking a wound and much damage while sidestepping their close quarter blows.

It was quite difficult to cast spells upon the preternatural creatures. From spinning the netheressence into strands of magic to unleashing those filaments upon their destinations, I could feel the roving of the ether sunder and the gossamer cords drift from their objectives. Even pouring my Karma into the enchantments was to no avail. Once Ivon left his charges to devour us, my magic worked once more, and we trounced the creatures handily.

We examined the alcoves beyond the great pool, and found what were likely once the namegivers, now nearly unrecognizable in their transformation into abominations. Any attempt to warn the village of Sosonopa that their former leader is now anathema miscarried, and we returned to Throal. That village must now be cleansed. If any within its walls yet do not bear the imprint of that Horror, it is a miracle.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by Aegharan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:27 am

Journal of Aegharan, Illusionist of 3rd circle.

Reports of an attack by Ghouls near Sosanopa reached Throal. Apparently a caravan was attacked and some civilians were dragged away by the Ghouls. My trusty friends Rilya the Windling Weaponsmith and Pethrytholilananista the Elven Nethermancer, as well as Romari Savre the Elven Wizard, Thane Cawdor, the Troll Skyraider and I made way to Sosanopa to follow up on this incident and hopefully rescue the civilians.

I had encountered Ghouls before, near the Serpent River, and nearly succumbed to their poison. Knowing this, Thane and I bought poultices to aid us should we get wounded. This was a wise decision.

On the way to Sosanopa we encountered bandits again. And again they fled as soon as we put up some resistance. Or so I am told, because I didn't really see much of the fight, laying in the grass. As soon as the fight began, I felt 2 strong hits on my back and the back of my head and woke up only when the fight was over. I think I might need to work on improving my constitution or at least be seen later, so that when I'm attacked, I have already cast Illusions to protect me and my friends. Also there is this "getting rid of the bandits" thing, as they get quite tiresome. I wonder if all the bandits we meet are part of the same gang or if there are multiple gangs, as their numbers don't really seem to diminish.

Reaching Sosanopa was strange this time. I readied an excellent comedic piece of Acting to prove to the guards that I am not marked by a Horror, but this time they did not ask for this greeting ritual. I thought that maybe they have encounter people being marked, but still being able to properly display their artisan skills. The truth turned out to be much darker.

Ivon, a kind of magistrate of Sosanopa and a tracker, accompanied us on our way to where the Caravan was attacked. I shared the first watch with him and noticed movement coming closer to our camp. I woke everybody up silently and we readied for an attack, when 5 Ghouls attacked us. I tried my best to protect Thane with my Illusions, as the Ghouls all seemed to focus on him after he charged into them. Unfortunately I was not fast enough, so he was wounded and the poison took a heavy toll on him. So I took his place in the front and had the ghouls strike at my displaced Images, while the rest of our group focussed on knocking them down. In hindsight we should have focussed on the biggest Ghoul first, and maybe I should have communicated clearer what the poison does, as my shouts of "focus that ghoul" were partially ignored. I will make sure to study Ghouls and their poison to be able to brief my teammates more thoroughly, should we encounter this beasts again. In the end it was very good that Thane and I bought the Poultrices. Had he not had the Poultrice and the Blood magic protecting him, I think he would be dead today.

Following the fresh marks in the next morning, we reached a cave. Going down the entrance we searched it, moving through the dark to then suddenly notice that Ivon was gone, although he was with us just a moment ago. We searched for signs or tracks and found marks of persons being dragged. Following these we reached a huge cavern with several cocoonish-looking pods. 4 pods opened and namegivers crawled out. First we were not sure if they meant harm and were a bist hesitant to attack them and just readied spells, but it soon turned into fierce combat, getting ultimately intense when Ivon turned up behind us, suddenly had some kind of a stinger and attacked us, using his stinger to rip pieces out of Nista, Thane and me.

My Illusions did again provide some really good protection, but the sheer amount of enemies on two front was nearly too much to bear for us. Then I made a mistake, planning to go to the back and attune one of my matrices for heavier spells, I stepped behind Nista, leaving her open to the emotionless pod-people, resulting in her being wounded. The firespell I had planned for Ivon was not effective, as he unfortunately vanished from the cave before it was ready. Instead I burned some of the pod-people. Along with Nista's astral Spears and Romari's Mind Magic, we harmed them enough so that Thane and Rilya could finish them off in close combat.

What made me think in retrospect was how my Karma did not seem to work for a good portion of this fight. I will make sure to study Horrors to find out how this all worked. Now not only for the Ghouls' poison.

Searching the cave we found some more pods, possibly carrying more mindless pod-people. We burnt them. Between the rubble we found nothing special of great interest.

Heading to Sosanopa to warn them about Ivon we were met with closed gates and arrows flying in our direction. This town is to be seen as corrupted and under the control of a Horror. We will have to cleanse it. I look forward to meeting Ivon again, this time hopefully prepared for the fight.

We returned to Throal safely and did not meet bandits this time.

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Re: AAR: Ghoulish Rescue

Post by BattleChad » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:58 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Aegharan and Pethrytholilanista for thier contributions.

Journal Rewards: 100 Legend Points and 138 Silver