AAR: Scales of Justice

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AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by Fortesque » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:29 am

Scales of Justice
Time: 2018-06-23@23:00 GMT
GM: Fortesque (Whyr'wyndyl)
Circle: 8
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Thane: 19000 LP, 2100 Silver, 3 TI Points
Ceadda: 19000 LP, 2100 Silver, 3 TI Points
Romari: 19000 LP, 2100 Silver, 3 TI Points
Aegy: 19000 LP, 2100 Silver, 3 TI Points

Downtime Actions Available:
Romari: Map Making 8 (Rank 1)
Romari: Item History 20 (Rank 5)
Romari: Research 35 (Rank 9, 20 sp)
Aeggy: Alchemy: 12 (rank 5, Booster Potion, Kelia's Antidote, Kelix's Poultice)
Researchers may spend 20/2 Silver for +3 Steps

Further Information:
The ruins of Marrek have been discovered, though not explored. (51:09)
The PCs conducted formal negotiations with the dragon Nightsky to allow Castigan Grah access to ancient Marrek ruins.
New Gnashers species - with bright colors and flight - have been encountered.
New Marrek (not actual name) must be founded alongside a Questor House of Mynbruje AND that Questor House must be incorporated as governing oversight of New Marrek. -- Negotiated agreement between Nightsky and Castigan Grah
Last edited by Fortesque on Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by Aegharan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:09 pm

Journal of Aegharan, Illusionist and Thief

We head out to meet Castigan Grah. Following the directions he gave us, I noticed that encoded in the directions and coordinates were a second set of coordinates. We decided to check the hidden coordinates first. If that really was a hidden message, we find Castigan, if I read too much into these numbers, there's just wilderness. Turns out that it really was a hidden message and Castigan is paranoid about some groups within Throal working against him and he knows of an ambush.
So this guy deliberately sent us into an ambush, on the chance of us deciphering his code. This is the start to a great friendship.

We find him, he tells us about the city of Merrek and that he wants to repopulate the city. Before the scourge Merrek was deemed not worthy to be saved through the Scourge by either Throal or Thera. He tells us that he wants to reclaim and repopulate Merrek. He then tells us that Merrek is protected by an invisible wall, that has a "leathery touch". We get a Krillra from one of his companions and make our way towards Merrek.

When arriving in Merrek, Thane quickly finds out that the wall is rather short and moves when we approach one end. Thane and Ceadda move into different directions and circumvent the wall. A dragon appears. The "leathery" wall seems to have been the wing.

The dragon, his names is Nightsky, waits here and wants to prevent Castigan Grah from entering the city, to prevent him from reclaiming and repopulating Merrek. We asked him for his trouble with the city; apparently the people of Merrek did great evil and even tried to kill Nightsky.

The dragon also told us that Castigan Grah is searching for a secret within Merrek, that could not be kept safe within Throal by us, because he has people within Throal pulling the strings and him acting on their behalf. He also let us know that he is waiting for what's coming from north and his dealings with Merrek will then be done with.

We made camp for the night, where Nightsky visited us. We noticed him in the vicinity, but we did not notice him leaving a giant footprint between our bedrolls.

On the next day we head north and find an apocalypse-inducing heard of more than a hundred Gnashers and some colourful things that we did not recognize on the distance we kept to keep safe from the Gnashers. The Gnasher ate everything in their way, leaving no tree, brush, gopher-hill or actual hill behind, just a barren desert.

We decided to go back to Castigan Grah and try to convince him to talk to Nightsky and work our diplomatics to resolve the issue between them and cut a deal. We convinced him to talk to Nightsky and weigh the available options.

The deal that was reached was the city of Merrek may be rebuilt, but that an order of Questors of Mynbruje oversees the city, and that whatever form of government is reached for Merrek, the Questors of Mynbruje takes a secondary role in this government and get to take part in directing the city. Nightsky and Castigan Grah both were OK with this agreement.

It is to be noted that a formal conversation with a dragon is delicate procedure. We were lucky to have a combined knowledge-base and knew the correct way to approach the situation. We started with greetings, then offered some gifts (which were mostly not received well), then elaborated on the matter at hand and only then explained our propositioins, arguments and adressed the other party's arguments.
After everything was decided, we headed towards the Gnasher-Stampede. Nightsky said that there are Wormskulls between the Gnashers, and that the colourful beings are more powerful Gnashers. He proposed that we get some of the leaders out and he takes care of the mass of Gnashers.

We set out and met 5 Rainbow-Gnashers on the open field. Ceadda immediately went to town on one, striking it down and killing it within seconds, while Thane took some brute hits and Romari and I were still weaving threads.
Although Romari and I were hit fiercely by the Gnashers, I managed to make quick work of the two attacking Romari, while he cast spells on Thane. Thane and Ceadda killed off the Gnashers and then were attacked by a wormskull. It did not stand a chance and was quickly overwhelmed by the combined forces, as he was our single last opponent. He did manage to grieviously wound Thane though.

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by BattleChad » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:35 am

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by ChrisDDickey » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm

We got a note from Cashgan Grah giving us directions where to meet him. He has exiled himself from Throal in search of the Pre-Scourge city of Marrek. He is well funded, but has limited support from the adept community. Which is why he must call upon us once more. His expedition has found Marrek, but he has been denied access to the city ruins. He needs talented diplomats - or seasoned shock-troops - to help him past this final obstacle. As I told the person who passed the rumor on to me, I am most certainly not a diplomat of any kind, but I make a decent shock-trooper.

The Bookworms thought they detected a code in the note, and so we went to the location directed in the coded part first, and that is where we found him along with his two most trusted associated, Nurga the Scout, and Anglash, a Nethermancer. He said that he feared his note would fall into enemy hands, which is why he sent the true location in code, and had the rest of his people in hiding. Is it just me or is he getting paranoid? He fully and freely admits that he must be horror marked, almost certainly by a Wormskull, as a voice speaks to him in his head many nights. He claims to be resisting it's blandishments, but ... that is exactly what a horror corrupted person would say. He acts paranoid, but there are many who would slay him rather than let him approach bearing a horror mark.

He gave us an inspirational speech about the ancient city of Merrek and it's History and values. He gave an impassioned paean to the mercenary code of honor. As an adventure, and particularly as a troll Sky Raider, people often assume I am a mercenary. I am not. I am an adept. I follow my way and my path, which is not the way of the mercenary. I respect that the mercenary code of honor is actually a code of honor, and any code is better than to have none. But it is not my code. As I listened to Cashgan expound about how the mercenary way was best, I thought of his horror mark, and wondered if this full throat hymn to the mercenary code was a horror's twisted thinking. I did not know him well enough before the horror mark to be sure of any changes.

He said that he had found a large area of ruins he was certain were the remains of Marrek. But there was a huge invisible wall completely around the city. He said the wall felt like leather (which we all thought was strange). Since he was horror marked, and we did not want the horror to know what we were doing, we decided to leave the three of them where they were and we went to the city alone. We took with us Anglash's pet Krillra, which he had trained to act as a messenger. I volunteered to take care of it. At first they look ugly, but you know, after a while you realize they are kind of cute.

We approached the ruins, and sure enough found an invisible leathery wall. However I observed through the play of the wind on the sand, that the wall was only just in front of us, yet the wind seemed to be moving freely past us a dozen yards to ether side. I moved to the East, and the wind was blocked where I moved to, but the wall no longer extended quite so far to the West. I asked Ceadda to move to the West, and suddenly a Dragon (!) dropped it's invisibility power and appeared directly in front of us! You have heard the joke about the 4 blind men describing the elephant? I am just glad that I can describe that a dragon feels like a leathery wall, instead of describing the teeth, claws or fiery breath! Visually, the Dragon was at least 40 feet long, not counting it's tail. It's skin was Jet black, except for the silver spots. He introduced himself as Nightsky, a dragon name I recall hearing, but whose tales I was unable to recall at the time.

We talked and Nightsky said he did not like Cashgan Grah, nor trust him. He had not liked the city of Marrek of old, nor it's values. Among the many transgressions it's ancient inhabitants made, Marrekians, with the approval (or at least not the active disapproval) of it's government tried to assassinate Nightsky himself. He was glad that Marrek had been left to be destroyed by the Scourge, and was opposed to any attempt to attempt to reestablish it. He said that something would be coming from the North in a few days to destroy the ruins, and that he would keep Cashgan and his agents out until then.

We decided that the best course of action was to have Cashgan sit down and talk to Nightsky. See if we could broker a deal of some sort. We spent the night nearby, and in the morning traveled to the North upon our Flying Carpets to see what was there. We found a large herd of at least 100 Gnashers. Mixed among them were 5 or 10 brightly colored things that looked very different, but that moved freely among the Gnashers. The herd was moving slowly but steadily towards Marrek. It was eating everything in it's path, even hills and leaving behind nothing but broken rubble. It would clearly wipe the ruins of Merrak totally away in less than 2 days unless something was done. I proposed that we test the herd now, just to see what the brightly colored things were, and to see if we could move or divert it. But it was agreed that the most urgent and important thing was to get Cashgan talking to Nightsky so that they could reach a mutually agreeable solution.

We returned to Castigan, told him about Nightsky and brought him back to Marrek to discuss issues. They both agreed that we should argue Cashgan's points, and that Nightsky would judge the merits of our arguments and perhaps propose some middle ground they could both meet upon..Romari started off with a very excellent opening statement that had some obscure etiquette flourishes that seemed to go over very well with the dragon. Aegharan also did very well, but upon Ceadda and my turns to speak we struggled mightily to find the correct words. All of my social talents are tuned towards intimidation, not persuasion. Before the debate Romari cast "bedazzling display of logical analysis" upon each of us, but before we spoke Nightsky gave an irritated shrug and dispelled it with a gesture. It left both of us very tongue-tied.

It seemed extremely clear to me that there was probably a middle ground between the two points, and the best course was to reach that middle ground as directly as possible. Cashgan seemed fixated upon the physical location of the city, even though we could all see it was nothing but ruins and piled stone now. He also seemed to want to restore the values and governing principals of the ancient city, and have the new city follow the same mercenary code of honor that lead to the old city being left to face the scourge without any rites of protection. Nightsky seemed to very much dislike the civic values of the old city, and did not want to see them reestablished. I suspected he did not hold a grudge against the stones tumbled to the ground behind him (though dragons are strange, and it is hard to predict their whims and moods). Anyway, I also don't care much for the guiding principles of the ancient city, and I suspected that it would be easier to shift Castigan upon this position than Nightsky. Therefore I took as my first text Barsaive History and spoke about how unpopular Marrek's civic behavior had been, and how it had been a direct result of the abandonment and death of most of it's citizens. I plainly laid out that I thought the middle ground that would be acceptable to everybody was that Cashgan should abandon his plans to reestablish all of Marreks civic values, and that if he did that, Nightsky might be persuaded to allow the resettlement of the physical city, given a guarantee that the soul of the ancient city would remain dead. Alas, though I felt I had stated it plainly, my words were not pleasing to Nightsky. He castigated me for having the temerity to argue his side of the argument. Or maybe he was just upset that I argued it so badly because I don't really see how even a dragon can be so touchy as to disapprove of somebody agreeing with him.

In the 2nd round of speeches, Ceadda and I again did very poorly, and I resolved that in the third round I would just give a wordless bellow! Why should I, a fighter, try to stumble around trying to find the correct pretty words. If I am destined to fail in my attempts to communicate, at least I will fail by doing the wrong thing well, rather than fail by doing the right thing poorly. Amazingly, my wordless bellow worked! My words had not been impressing the dragon, but my wordless passion did! (Romari and Aegharan continued to make more cogent arguments, and Ceadda gave demonstrations of our fighting prowess). For my final turn, I did not say a word! I just did something that I had wanted to do since he dispelled the DDoLA spell upon me. I gave him a Steely Stare! And it worked! I could feel the magic taking hold and see the dragon felt it's effects! Of course it only lasted a few moments and I imagination the dragon quickly shrugged off the effect, but for a while, I had him intimidated!

Eventually Nightsky announced that he had reached a decision, and said that he would allow Castigan to enter the city and refound it if Castigan agreed that the city would always maintain an order of questers of Mynbruje and one other condition that he allowed us to propose. We proposed that whatever form of government the city took, that the questors of Mynbruje should always be incorporated into the government at a high level. Which, when you think about it, was exactly the idea I was proposing at the start, that Nightsky scolded me for proposing! That Castigan needed to give assurance to Nightsky that the new government should value justice, and not be Mercenary! And that Nightsky should allow Castigan to enter the ruins and refound the city!

Anyway, with that agreed, we had to do something about the herd of Gnashers. I figured we could probably take 100 Gnashers (if nothing else, fly high above them and watch while the spellcasters rained down fire and flame), but we knew that there were something else (colorful) running with the herd. Also, Nightsky told us that yet another Wormskull was controlling this large herd. He told us that the colorful things were a new variant of Gnasher called "Gyre Gnasher's", and that they could fly. It was decided that we would attempt to draw off the Gyre Gnashers and the Wormskull, and that when we had done that, then Nightsky would rain fire and fury and dragonbreath down upon the common herd.

There were 5 of Gyre Gnashers that we drew off and that Ceadda and I stood forth to meet. They have a very powerful dive attack. One did me much damage and almost knocked me down. 2 of the five ignored Ceadda and I and attacked the spellcasters behind us, They did manage to knock Romari down. After their initial dive attack, Gyre Gnashers are not much worse than normal Gnashers. I mean they have a horrible bite, but it is not nearly so bad as their first attack. While we were fighting the Gnashers, Romari let us know there was a wormskull in the area. It appeared and Terrified Ceadda.It then used it's Skin Shift power upon me, giving me 6 wounds! I should say 6 MORE wounds, since one of the Gyre Gnashers that attacked me had already given me a wound!

Having 7 wounds, I found it difficult to fight the wormskull. I kept managing to hit it, but never very hard. The final blow I think was dealt by one of Romari's spells. In addition to my many wounds I was damaged and strained almost to the point of exhaustion. I must say the wormskull executed it's attacks perfectly. I have meditated much upon my Iron Concentration and my Lion Heart. Ceadda has not and it was he whom the wormskull used it's terror power upon, and me whom it shin shifted. If it had tried to terrify me, I like to think my lion heart could have resisted it, but I had no way to resist the pain of the skin shifts.

Now that I have healed enough that I can again hold a pen (and a spear) I look forward to shortly helping Castigan search the ruins of Marrek.

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by BattleChad » Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:36 am

The Great Library of Throal thanks Thane for his contribution.

Journal Reward: 950 Legend Points and 525 Silver

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by BattleChad » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:55 pm

We'd received word from Castigan Grah that he was in need of some assistance in his plans to return to and resettle the old city of Marrek. Apparently he had changed locations since last we'd met, but had passed along a message detailing where we might be able to find him. Aegharan thought he noticed something odd about the message, something to do with a secret set of coordinates. Turned out he was right, as the hidden message lead us to Castigan, while the obvious directions would have sent us into an ambush as we later learned. Smart move.

We do eventually meet up with Castigan and his entourage, and he tells us that he has in fact discovered where Marrek once stood, but has encountered some kind of invisible wall that is denying him access to the ruins, and asks us if we might possibly be able to find a way in. Of course we can, so we agree to the job.

We travel to where Castigan encountered the wall to investigate. Sure enough, our progress is halted by something none of us can see, but has a strange leathery feel to it. Thane and I make our way in opposite directions to search for some kind of entrance or hole, when suddenly a HUGE dragon appeared. I guess he was using his invisible body to block the path, and by going in opposite directions, we forced his hand.

Luckily for us, the Dragon, Named Nightsky, doesn't want to fight. He explained that he only aims to prevent Castigan from entering the city, fearing that under Castigan's leadership, Marrek would become a force for evil in the world as it had under the rule of Castigan's ancestors.. After some discussion, Nightsky agreed to speak with Castigan the following day, and hear his arguments. He warned us, however, that a threat approached from the North that would level what remained of the city.

We camped nearby for the evening, and were visited overnight by Nightsky himself, if the large draconic footprints in and around our campsite were to be believed.

Next morning we flew North to investigate the threat that Nightsky had mentioned before meeting back up with Castigan. It didn't take long to find it. A herd of at least a hundred Gnashers was heading almost Directly for Marrek. With no time to lose, we made our way directly back to Castigan, and were able to convince him to meet with Nightsky to discuss his plans for Marrek.
The meeting went favorably for the most part, though I'll admit I did have a bit of trouble observing the formalities. Nightsky and Castigan reached a compromise, allowing for oversight in the new government by individuals who would keep the newfound city just and peaceful, in an attempt to prevent it from reverting to its old ways.

With all of the talking out of the way, now was the time for action. We still had a herd of Gnashers to deal with, and we flew to their location without delay. Nightsky agreed to engage with the majority of the creatures, while we were tasked with slaying any who broke from that main herd.

We were able to handle the Gnashers handily, including a new and colorful breed that we'd never encountered before, but were less prepared to deal with the Workskull that accompanied them. This Horror was presumably also directing the mostly mindless Gnashers. It used its power to paralyze me with fear, while inflicting grievous damage on Thane. But we pulled together and were able to dispatch the Horror, leaving Castigan free to rebuild his ancestral home.

-From the Journal of Ceadda, Human Warrior

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Re: AAR: Scales of Justice

Post by etherial » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:35 pm

The Great Library of Throal thanks Ceadda for his contribution.

Journal Reward: 950 Legend Points and 525 Silver