AAR: The Road to Nowhere

*ARCHIVED* Sub-forum for the original West Marches Discord campaign

Moderator: etherial

User avatar
Posts: 944
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:04 pm
Location: Berlin, Massachusetts

AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by etherial » Thu May 10, 2018 3:40 am

The Road to Nowhere
Time: 2018-05-09@23:59 GMT
GM: etherial (Gronk)
Circle: 2
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Blaethynn: 3 TIPs, 800 Legend, Physician kit, Booster potion, 180 silver
Fliver: 3 TIPs, 800 Legend, 55 Silver, Healing Potion, 2 Physician kit refills
Whyr'wyndyl: 3 TIPs, 800 Legend, 180 Silver, 2 Booster Potions

Downtime Actions Available:
Blaethynn: Forge weapon 10 (Rank 3)
Blaethynn: Craftsman 8 (Rank 1)
Blaethynn: Item History 9 (Rank 2)
Fliver: Research 10 (Rank 3)
Fliver: Mapmaking 8 (Rank 1 - spend downtime to possess charts of locations and routes)
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
Robert, Son of Paul, is dead.
A path has been cleared from Avonmore to the Coil River Cliffs.
Cadaver Men have been sighted along the North Shore of the Coil.

Posts: 957
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:02 pm

Re: AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by ChrisDDickey » Thu May 10, 2018 8:59 am

Lentera Riktar has been asking around Borgan's Rest for some adventurers to hire. He is a merchant out of Kaer Avon and wants to establish a route between his kear and the river, and a trading post on the river. He was pestering Lawrence, the village drunk when we walked in. Lawrence is an Adept, but is not an Adventurer, or at least not by choice. He occasionally gets drug out of town by adventurers who want him to translate Bog Gob for them. Anyway, Robert, Whyr'wyndyl, Blaethynn, and I heard about Lentera's need and he hired us. Blaethynn is a windling weaponsmith, so while we had a well mixed group of disciplines (Warror, Weaponsmith, Illusionist, Wizard), our racial mix was unusual in that we had 3 windlings and a human. We were a bit alarmed when we heard that it might be necessary for us to do some trail improvements, since we were not a group long on muscle. But for the most part he just wanted us to check out the trail and make sure there were no monster lairs too near it.

It took us a few days to get from Borgins Rest to Kaer Avon. On the 2nd night we were attacked by 4 wolves. Whyr'wyndyl got much chewed up. We discussed tactics and agreed that everybody would focus their damaging attacks upon the same foe in order to finish one off quickly, rather than spreading the damage around. We spent an extra two days in Avon so that Wyndyl could recover from his wounds, then we set out south for the river about 2 days hike away.

There was a footpath already established, and they wanted it expanded so that carts could travel it. Mostly it just required a certain amount of hacking the brush back, we did not do anything about trees. We figured that the first cart heading down would have horses that could pull the stumps. At one time, while the others were hacking at a particularly overgrown patch of thicket and I stood watch, I simultaneously spotted 4 Blood ravens approaching from the East, and a Bear coming around the West side of the Thicket. I gave warning, but two of the blood ravens were upon me before I could maneuver, and I was wounded by their bites. I tried and failed to blind one of them, and retreated to the depths of the thicket where I figured they could not follow me without landing (they fly faster than I do, but I am much more maneuverable). The others decided to focus first upon the Bear, and slew it fairly quickly, but in the meantime Whyr'wyndyl was attacked, and a nasty peck right next to his eye temporarily blinded him. I returned tot he edge of the thicket and eventually blinded two of them, which flew off, I don't know if they damaged themselves hitting trees or not, while one or both of the other Blood Ravens were slain. It was a short fight but quit sharp while it lasted.

At long last we arrived at the farmhouse built by Lentera's sister and her husband. At first glance it seemed pretty normal. A couple of pig farmers just after slaughter, with a line of a dozen or so carcasses hung up. However after we got close and started to talk to them, we realized that the couple were both undead, and that the carcasses were all elves!

I was worried that I could have been fooled for even a second, and considered that maybe, instead of being fooled at first, we might be seeing an illusion or a mind control now. Was this some evil undead trying to pass as human? Or was a horror trying to fool us into attacking an innocent pair of elves by making them look horror tainted? I decided that for safeties sake I had best bring every magic I could bring to bare upon the question. Fortunately, as an Illusionist, this is what I do best! I did a half magic test, with karma, and True Sight, and using my See the Unseen spell that I had been chain casting. After that I was pretty darn confident that these things were undead, and not some external glamour laid upon us.

After the fight with the wolves, we had talked about focusing our fire and not spreading the damage around. I don't know exactly what happened, but I guess somebody forgot. The same person must also have not known that the very first rule of fighting Cadaver Men, is only wound one at a time. Again, I don't know exactly what happened, but after the first flurry of blows, both CM were enraged. Whyr'wyndyl was, as usual serving as a meat shield, taking the brunt of the attack. Whyr'wyndyl has seen Robert casting Life Circle of One before, and saw him doing so now. It is a very distinctive spell, as it involves moving in a 2 yard radius circle. Anyway, Whyr'wyndyl had taken a lot of attacks, and being 3/4 dead already, retreated up to the farmhouse roof. He made a slight miscalculation (and him not being a spellcaster, nobody can blame him for this), in that Robert had only woven the thread to the spell, he had not actually cast it yet. With three windlings up in the air, the Male CM attacked Robert, shredding him horribly. the female CM climbed the roof of the farmhouse and finished off Whyr'wyndyl! So even if Whyr'wyndyl had not retreated, the same thing probably would have happened. but instead of the first shredding Robert, and the second Whyr'wyndyl, it would have simply been reversed. I managed to drop the male CM with a True Ethereal Bolt to the back.

Blaethynn was plainly worried that the remaining CM, if it could not reach any other target, might choose to start eating Whyr'wyndyll, and so, after making a dart attack, bravely choose to hover just 3 feet off the ground, meaning that the horror construct did have a target more appealing than the bodies of our unconscious friends. The CM recklessly leapt off the roof and attacked him, knocking him unconscious. Keeping well above it's reach, I pushed another TEB through it. The thing then tore Blaethynn's riding goat to pieces, and I slew it with a TEB.

I was able to awaken both Blaethynn and Whyr'wyndyll, but Robert was dead. Not wishing to make a mistake, we had both Physicians in the party check. We searched to see if anybody had a last chance salve, but there was none to be found. We did not feel that we could construct a proper pyre big enough for 15, so after carefully sorting through the effects of the dead (Robert, The farmers, and the victims) and storing those possessions we could not carry, we used block and tackle to lift all 15 bodies into the rafters of the farmhouse, and piled all the wood we could gather before nightfall below. Then fired the farmhouse.

We spent that evening on the roof of the barn, and in the morning returned to Avon to report what had happened to Lentera's Sister, her husband, and whomever those 12 other elves were (we carried some of their personal effects back to Avon, but I don't read Elvish).

These two Cadaver Men were VERY freshly made. A few weeks old at most. Unless the horror was just passing through, there is obviously a horror laired in that area.
Last edited by ChrisDDickey on Sun May 13, 2018 5:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:59 pm

Re: AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by Reyntrannin » Thu May 10, 2018 2:04 pm


It was a bright day as I went to Borgan's Rest with my companions, Whyr'wyndyl, Fliver, and Robert. We were following up on a rumor we had heard about a merchant who was looking to hire some Adepts to clear a path for a new trade route, and I was so excited that they let me join them on my first adventure outside.

We found the merchant, an Elf Named Lentera, in the tavern, where he was trying (usuccessfully and rather obnoxiously) to hire a guy called Lawrence. One of my companions started bantering with Lawrence (I guess they knew each other), and this got Lentera's attention. i won't go into the details about setting things up with him, but I think he might want to keep this little venutre a bit of a secret. Oh well, he never actually asked us to keep it quiet, just said something about his plan "not being in the interests of Throal" or something like that. I don't remember exactly, but I guess it's not important.
Anyhow, turns out he's from a place called Kaer Avon and wanted to set up a trading outpost on the Coil River, but there was no path good enough for loaded carts and tradesmen to use, so he wanted us to go along the route, clear a path for the carts, and clean up any wildlife that could be problematic. I know you don't totally approve of things like that, but not everybody is as comfortable with animals as you are.

So we went with Lentera to Kaer Avon. First night out, I get shaken awake by Robert (more like kicked awake, but I forgave him, considering he was trying to save our lives). We were being attacked by a pack of wolves! They had surrounded Whyr'wyndyl before we could get any defenses up, and the largest one managed to hurt him so bad he lost conciousness. Not that I really noticed at the time, one of them came around and started trying to gnaw on me! I was able to evade and got lucky enough to jam my spear in his eye, but I don't think I could have done that if our spellcasters had not already been blining and weakening the wolves. A few seconds later, I guess they decided we were too tough to have for dinner, because the rest of the wolves ran off. Whyr'wyndyl was roused and very battered, but he was still ready to soldier on the next morning despite his wounds. I really couldn't believe how tough he was. It took another day to reach Kaer Avon, and we rested there for a couple more days before moving on with our mission.

After Whyr'wyndyl was feeling better we started heading south toward the river. Lentera said there was a farm where his sister (I think) lived that we could stop at along the way. Getting there was a lot of hard work. There was so much brush and vines and undergrowth that had to be cleared so the carts could follow. We ran into some blood ravens and a bear while we were clearing things out, but managed to drive them off with no problems. One fo the ravens clawed up my face a bit so I wasn't really able to do much with the blood in my eyes. Whyr'wyndyl actually went toe-to-toe with the bear and just beat it down with his shield.

After two days we reached the farm, and it was clear right away that something was strange there. They had several carcasses of what they called pigs hanging up to drain, but when I looked around, there weren't any pens or livestock to be seen. When we asked where the other pigs were, the farmer (There were jsut him and his.. wife I guess? We never did get introductions.) just said they "find others." Really creepy, right?

So I was looking at these carcasses trying to figure out what was wrong with them, and the farmer was offering Fliver a drink, when Robert says something about "a drink of elves' blood", and I kinda freaked out. I saw Robert start waving his hands around like he was casting a spell, so I got out my spear, and good thing, too. turns out these "farmers" were actually a pair of what Fliver called cadaver men. They were really fast. I manged to hit one in the back while Whyr'wyndyl distracted it, but the other one ran after Robert and clawed him badly, causing him to fall down almost instantly. I flew over and slashed it as I passed, trying to get it to chase me, but it had just had too much after the beating it had already taken and fell down instead of chasing me.
The woman chased Whyr'wyndyl up to the roof of the house and clawed him really badly, so I decided to try the same thing, keeping low to the ground to get her to come after me. It worked, but I almost wish it hadn't. She was so fast and before I knew what was happening, she had knocked me out too.

Fliver woke me up after he finished the woman off, and I took a look around. Things were horrible. The woman had turned and killed my goat, Cici, right after she knocked me out, but there was even worse waiting. Fliver went to help get Whyr'wyndyl up, so I went over to check on Robert. It.... He wasn't just knocked out. when Fliver came over to see what was wrong he checked too, but there wasn't anything we could do. Then it got even worse. Fliver said that since these cadaver men had killed them, we had to burn all the corpses, Robert's included. So we had to stack everything in the house and then set it on fire. We stayed there for a while, making sure the fire didn't spread and recovering from the battle. Then we returned to Kaer Avon to inform our employer that his path was cleared. Well, sorta.

You never told me about this part. I'm still trying to come to terms, but I'm not going to give up.

I'll make you proud of your cousin,


User avatar
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by BattleChad » Mon May 14, 2018 4:13 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Fliver and Blaethynn for their contributions.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver

Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:55 am

Re: AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by Fortesque » Mon May 21, 2018 5:37 am

Journal Six - Road to Nowhere.

Please excuse the wrinkles in these pages. I have not the self control necessary to prevent the tears, nor the wine spills, at this time. Adventuring has become something new to me. Gone is the innocence of youth.

We met Lentera in Borgan’s Rest. He is an elf from Kaer Avon. He had spent hours trying to convince Laurence Traugott to take on an adventure. No wonder he was so willing to hire us within minutes of our arrival to Borgan’s Rest. The “we” were Blaethyn, Fliver, Robert and myself.

He wants to develop a river port on the Coil River for Avon to tap directly into the river trading network. He is planning on using his sister’s small farmstead as the jump-off point for creating this port village. That plan, I’m sure, is being modified as I write this.

Lentera’s sister and brother-by-marriage were converted into cadaver men. Cadaver woman? Are cadaver creatures engendered? Is “engendered” a word? What is a du...nevermind.

I raise my cup to sympathize for Lentera’s loss. But I empty my cup several times over because of my own sense of loss. Selfish, I know. But what is a windling to do?

Robert is dead.

I did not protect him as I said I would. I have promised my companions, time and again that I would be their shield. But I was not that shield for Robert.

A Warrior on the battlefield is dispassionate. It must be that way so that we can connect with the ebb and flow of violence. But this Warrior is also a windling. The windling in me can’t let go of the Passions - specifically, grief and shame - that I feel.

But I can drown them.

Whyr’wyndyl (un)Evenflame, Warrior of the 3rd Circle

User avatar
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:43 pm

Re: AAR: The Road to Nowhere

Post by BattleChad » Sat May 26, 2018 3:23 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Whyr’wyndyl for his contributions.

Journal Rewards: 40 Legend Points and 57 Silver