AAR: [8M] Proxy Battle 2020-09-19 2300 GMT

The current version of the Earthdawn West Marches Discord campaign, effective Jan 1, 2020

Moderator: etherial

Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: LFG: [8M] Proxy Battle 2020-09-19 2300 GMT

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Sep 20, 2020 7:18 am

From the Journal of Zivilyn, Windling Magician: Proxy Battle

After months of work, my efforts have finally come to fruition. Sif, an Earth Elemental who has given valued assistance in the protection of Barsaive, has been bound to a collar for many centuries. Some time ago, a group of adventurers from Throal had encountered her in the Caves of Koilos and, finding her control collar, had brought it back with them and left it in the hands of the Borodai Mining Company, a group of incompetents with a very grandiose name who are willing to cut corners when it comes to protecting the lives of their employees (I can only presume the adepts were ignorant of what Sif had done and would do, and also of what Borodai stood for, for who would enslave such an ally as Sif, who has fought for possibly centuries to contain a horror that inhabits crystals that had been fighting to enter our world, aided by a powerful Obsidiman Illusionist known as "The Hidden", and recently managed to trap them in an enchanted prison with the assistance of more Adepts).

In the course of my various studies, I had uncovered evidence that the Gray Cliffs Company, a merchant concern that primarily sells assorted enchanted goods and alchemical creations, held legal title to the mines in the Caves of Koilos, and therefore technically also should own Sif (although a law that protects Namegivers from slavery yet exposes Spirits to the evils of the same feels quite inadequate, I am willing to use the weapons of the oppressor against them where I can). I don't believe Nefra (the head of the company) truly shared my convictions regarding the offensiveness of enslaving Spirits (if I had to guess, she was fairly ambivalent on the matter), but she was very receptive to the argument that the Gray Cliffs Company should own the mines and was willing to agree to allow me to restore the collar to Sif in exchange for my assistance.

After very extensive litigation supported by my research, at long last Borodai agreed to forfeit any claim of ownership to the mine (and Sif) if the Gray Cliff Company would secure for them an outpost along the Alidar River. Having worked so closely on the matter, I agreed to put together an expedition to clear the site and recruited Reyis, Azurea, Nez, and Sandrin (an Elven Air Sailor who I had not met in some time) for the task. Sandrin acted as our navigator, and guided us expertly to the site that had been chosen, a small river fortress, where we encountered a group leaving the fortress with a number of wounded soldiers and a few carts.

We weren't looking for a fight with them, and so we got to talking. They did not appear to be hostile, and explained that the fortress was "haunted" by "ghosts". They had intended to secure the location for themselves, but they had suffered such losses that they had instead decided to move to a different ruined fortress further downriver. A few of them stayed behind to share a meal with us while their wagons went ahead. For reasons which I will shortly make clear, so far as I am concerned they can die in ignominy. They seemed unimpressed with what Throal had accomplished, and declared their intention to live free of Throalic rule, under their leader who they said was a mercenary, something like Ivarjden the Dyre I believe, a Troll who had disappeared from public view some months ago. After sharing lunch, they left, and as there were those among us who doubted their good intent, waited to see them off a ways before we entered the fortress ourselves.

Repairs had recently been made to the drawbridge by the group before us (which as yet had no Name, or so they said), which was good news for Sandrin and Azurea (who had the misfortune of not being able to fly, though I recall Sandrin being an Air Sailor so he probably could have jumped the gap if necessary). We started looking around, and the place did seem to have an unnatural chill to it, and Azurea thought she could see some movement beyond the courtyard area. I felt it wise to prepare by providing everyone an Astral Shield before going past the lower interior wall between us and the rear area, and then I approached hoping to be able to negotiate with whatever "vengeful ghosts" were there.

They did not seem much like vengeful ghosts to me. In fact, they seemed *exactly* like the demiwraiths that Nez and I had previously fought against when helping Langren track down the spirit of a Master of the Wild (we had discussed options, and those or storm wraiths were our best guesses based on the inadequate descriptions the other group had given, so we weren't terribly surprised, but I had really hoped it would just be an Ally Spirit that could be persuaded to help guard the place perhaps; no such luck, unfortunately). They were as frustrating to fight as I recalled from our previous encounter, and were led by some strange being that did indeed seem to be insubstantial, but blasted us with freezing winds that knocked us down. I couldn't figure out what it was, although I am no Nethermancer (although the group before us did include one, which makes it all the more perplexing that they couldn't recognize demiwraiths); it looked strange in the Astral, but that is hardly specific. We had done some preparing though, and while they gave us some trouble, there were not enough remaining to defeat us.

We did some quick looking around, and found this yard filled with corpses, some that looked to have been possessed by demiwraiths, and some that had insignia marking them as having been in the earlier attack. We also uncovered a journal that indicated the demiwraiths were probably made from the corpse of people who had tried to take shelter when they could not find it anywhere else leading up to the scourge. They were "fortunate" in that they were not tormented until death by Horrors, but less fortunate in that they froze to death in the first winter. The area was not tainted in the Astral, so whatever created the demiwraiths must have happened a long time ago. We started to clear out the area, when someone remembered that one of the people we had seen getting into a wagon earlier had been moving strangely. On further reflection, my Wizardly training allowed me to recall that he had been moving as if shackled, although I could not see any on him. Alarmed, we checked around for signs that this place might have been inhabited, and the inhabitants carried off as slaves, while we watched, but there were no signs of that. The soldiers who had attacked had no shackles or whips or nets to capture people with, and there was no sign of a fight with any but the demiwraiths, but it was still concerning. It was at this point that the sound of boots crossing the bridge to the fortress could be faintly heard.

It was the group from earlier. Their leader apologized for what she was about to do. When the fight was done, I didn't apologize for dragging their sorry behinds back to Throal (those that were alive) to face judgment for their crimes and to allow them to be interrogated by the Eye of Throal to determine the extent of the threat. Their Nethermancer, who seemed unusually stealthy and skilled at placing a dagger in one's back, managed to escape, presumably back to their new camp. We followed the wagons as best we could, but did not arrive in time to free the prisoners before additional soldiers met up with them, even with the assistance of magic. We continued following them until we found their alternate site, another ruin in worse condition than the one we had just come from (but presumably less filled with demiwraiths). They had what was starting to look like a small army there, and a number of slaves working to rebuild it. One man, who had been driving a wagon, went among the slaves directing them in an odd manner, as he seemed to be almost polite from what we could tell; wracking my brain, I recalled stories of Questors of Dis, and this man's abilities seemed to match the stories. I worry that this may be the next Grakor.

The return trip was fairly swift, and we advised those waiting to secure the fortress quickly, as well as warning them of the threat; they had best be well-prepared for the possibility of slaver attacks. I have no love for the Borodai company, but I do not wish them or their innocent employees to be enslaved, and I intend to make a point of following up to see that those employees were not just abandoned to their fate in the mountains without protectors. The nearby communities must be warned of the presence of these blackguards; the Broken Spear moot controls the peaks in the region as I understand it, and in addition to Throal I expect house Syrtis will want to be warned. Perhaps I should ask Moe to write a letter to his brother. I recall his wife was highly placed in Syrtis. This will require a great deal of attention to resolve, and the nature of the threat is still not fully understood, but the danger cannot be understated. Another den of a Mad Passion is festering in the heart of Barsaive, and we must not allow the disease to spread further than it already has.

Posts: 467
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:02 pm

AAR: [8M] Proxy Battle 2020-09-19 2300 GMT

Post by bronzemountain » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:40 pm

AAR: Proxy Battle
GM: Dvarim
ECR: 8
Difficulty: Medium

Player Rewards:
Sandrin: 19,000 LP, 900 SP, 3 TIPs
Reyis: 19,000 LP, 900 SP, 3 TIPs
Azurea: 19,000 LP, 900 SP, 3 TIPs
Nez: 19,000 LP, 900 SP, 3 TIPs
Zivilyn: 19,000 LP, 900 SP, 3 TIPs

Alternate Rewards:
50% off: Perfect True Earth kernels

GM Reward: A'horangi (13,000 LP, 750 SP, 3 TIPs)

Nez: Animal Training 7/17, Research 9
Zivilyn: Animal Training 8/18, Research 24, Item History 4/15
Reyis: Animal Training 6/15, Research 21
Azurea: Alchemy 4/10 (Booster Potion, Small Light Quartz, Absorb Blow)
Sandrin: Craft Weapon 1/7 (Weapon up to step 2, 1 day/size), Item History 4/18, Research 17 (20 with 20sp)

Fort Onondar, on the banks of the Alidar, has been secured and transferred to the Borodai Mining Company. Sif's amulet has been returned to her and she is once again her own Elemental, beholden to none. Members of what was originally the unfortunately named 'Farmer's Fury' mercenary company, including Devia Akobor, have been captured for questioning. It would seem that the Troll Warrior Ivarjden has been busy recruiting people and establishing bases of power. It is possible, and worrisome, that he is working with a Questor of Dis. Something big and dangerous appears to be happening under our noses. Kobar Nero has escaped, and presumably alerted his commanders to the Adepts' presence and interest.

Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:14 am

Re: AAR: [8M] Proxy Battle 2020-09-19 2300 GMT

Post by Dougansf » Wed Oct 07, 2020 4:43 pm

From the Adventures of Sandrin
Chapter 16 - Proxy Battle

Zivilin has been busy. Brokering a deal between the Bordai Mining Company and the Gray Cliffs Trading Company. In the center lies the earth elemental Sif from the Caves of Kolios, held hostage by her amulet in the hands of the Bordai. Weeks of mediation have settled on a mutually agreeable path forward: The Gray Cliffs will help Borodai acquire an outpost on the Alidar river in exchange for the amulet. Now it is up to Zivilyn and those Adepts who join him to scout and recapture the outpost.

Zivilyn gathers up myself, Azurea, Reyis, and Nez.

The outpost in question is Fort Onodar on the banks of the Alidar River not far from Sifs location.

We head down to the Alidar and follow it along the mountains. We spot a few Trolls hunting, even have some conversations with them. Very few wild animals.

Farmers Fury
We arrive at Fort Onodar, sporting old stone walls that survived the Scourge.
From afar, we spot some activity outside the walls. There are some pyres nearly burnt out. There are people being bandaged, people are on guard or packing wagons, animals are ready to leave, campfires have been stamped out. Some of them are wearing badges with a flail upon it.

Zivilyn and I greet the Namegivers. Devia does most of the talking, the apparent leader. She introduces her second, Kobar.
She claims that they just attempted to move into the fort, but lost many people inside to some ghosts. They're leaving to search for another place to call home.

We exchange greeting rituals and share a distanced meal. We notice that they remain cautious around us. Kobar and another focus on us long enough to know that they're astrally sensing us. I take their measure, and seek common ground by implying that I'm also from the tight quarters of the Dahnat, where the poor are crammed together and treated badly by the nobility and guilds. This strikes a chord with Devia, who is attempting to lead her people to a better life. Devia talks at length about protecting others, but this also reveals a disdain for those who can’t protect themselves. She believes the strong should rule, though she is impressed with us as we’re well-armed.

Their group was once known as Farmers Fury, but they've recently joined with Captain Ivarjden "the Dyre." A Troll Warrior and military commander of some fame, though he's recently fallen out of the public eye.

In the end, they invite us to join The Dyre when we're done serving the nobility. In return, we suggest they could afford a better life by working with the establishment. We give them plenty of time to leave with their carts of wounded Namegivers before turning our attention fully to the fort.

Fort Onodar
The fort has directed some of the river to form a moat around the external walls. Though the original drawbridge is long gone, a new one was built by the Farmers to span the gap.

To our surprise, Astral space remains Open here. It was no kaer, so lacked many people to attract Horrors. However, from what Devia described, there are undead within, most likely demiwraiths. Angry spirits inhabit corpses and freeze the living with their touch. We take some magical precautions, and enter the fort.

The entry area is in ruins, and littered with the bodies of the recently fallen. A short search reveals nothing of the undead. As we move into the rear courtyard, we spot a ghostly woman pacing about as if worried. Zivilyn tries to communicate with the spirit, and springs the trap. The female screams, sending wind to knock Zivilyn out of the sky. Several demiwraith soldiers emerge from hiding places and attack, calling out to the "warm bodies."

Nez, Sagamartha, and Reyis chase down the ghost. Before she's defeated, she knocks Reyis out of the sky, bouncing off of a platform, and then to the ground. Reyis is fortunate to survive the fall.
Azurea and I use weapons of shadow and light to dramatic effect against the wraiths. Zivilyn enhances us with his magics, while attacking the wraiths with his bat, Haze.

In the end, we are all injured, but alive. While starting to rest, we discover a lockbox with a journal inside. In the early days of the Scourge, survivors saught shelter within Fort Onodar. Sadly, they fell victim to exposure and starvation. To cease this cycle, we burn the bodies and set the spirits to rest as best we are able.

Inevitable Betrayal
Before we are able to take our proper rest, we hear Devia calling to us from outside the fort. Looking into the courtyard, we spot her with two of her guards. She makes a half-hearted apology, but The Dyre does need this fort.

Wasting no time, I attack the guards, bringing one down immediately. Nez follows suit, attacking Devia and the other guard with Sagamartha. At Devia's command, Kobar appears from nowhere behind Reyis in the back, enshrouds both of them with Ethereal Darkness, then Surprise Strikes him with a Night's Edge enhanced blade.

Devia proves that she is a Warrior and Elementalist with her attacks against me and Azurea. Storm Dancer's lighting strikes prove ineffectual against her. Reyis casts Shark Rend to bring Devia down. This breaks their morale, the last guard and Kobar both flee. Zivilyn and Nez fly down the guard to get some questions answered.

After some recovery time, we follow the tracks to free the captives and find more groups of soldiers have joined up with the group. There’s another outpost down river they are heading to claim. Same direction that Kobar went. We see the captives unloaded and put to work. The human we saw before is leading them, acting in a way as a Questor of Dis would.

Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:18 am

Re: AAR: [8M] Proxy Battle 2020-09-19 2300 GMT

Post by Jexel » Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:10 pm

The Written Histories of Nez and Sagarmatha

Zivilyn looked to broker a deal between the Boradai Mining Co and an elemental named Sif who was subjugated under the Co. The Gray Cliff’s Trading Co has made a deal if we secure a trading outpost on the Alidar River. (Fort Onondar). Ziv gathered Sandrin, Reyis, Azurea and myself.

We ran into a group that was leaving the Fort. Said the fort is haunted and not worth their time. They seemed to be very pro strength and were looking to set up another Fort on the river for “protection”. Devia, Kobar, Chevok, Ora and some regular’s said they are now following Ivarjden known as the Dire. Which spiked the memory of some of my campionons. Ivarjden is a troll warrior mercenary who has gone quiet over the last six months.

After entering the fort we come upon some demi wraiths. Sagarmatha does not like the unnatural ways of these things. It appears these poor souls tried to take shelter from the long night in this fortress.

We started to think of the group we met earlier and how some of them dressed and moved oddly. Zivilyn decided that some moved as if they were in chains. At that time others decided to come back and take the fort from us.

In an odd form of greeting the leader apologized for what they were about to do, just before the battle began. We were able to subdue and defeat all but one. The most skilled appeared to have strong Nethermancer magic tied with the ability to ambush like a deadly cat.

After following the others who did not attack us we found a large army with many slaves gathering at the other fort. Repairs were beginning as well. This appears to be a rising problem, which Ziv thinks is tied to questors of the mad Passion Dis.

Post Reply