Welcome to the New Age

Chopping Maul 01
Prelude

October 15-18, 24 NA

Mayor Bruce Courdry asks a group of young people from Grayson and the Wizard's Tower to investigate missing and mutilated cattle under the leadership of ranger William Black.  While on the trail, they come across a mysterious meeting between Orcs, Goblins, and other mysterious creatures.  A meeting that seemed to suggest that Grayson and Caer Nimir might be in danger.  

They are captured by a spell before they can slip away.  While unconscious, one party member makes a fateful bargain.  When they awaken the party finds itself captives of the Poison Frog Goblin tribe…

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Chopping Maul 02
Or how I learned to stop worrying and kill goblins

October 18, 24NA

After escaping the cells in the goblin prison, our heroes find that they are in a lair belonging to the Poison Frog tribe.  They defeat Croaker, the tribes frog trainer and take his apprentice Tad prisoner.  Tad tells them that Chief Grum has taken most of the warriors to attack Grayson along with "General Skybreaker". 

Tad turns on them while in the party fights Mender — the tribe's shaman — and her apprentices.  Just before the fight, Aideen thought she saw a small creature in the goblins' great tree, a creature with eyes that flashed an angry green, but no sign of the creature was found.

The Shaman's altar held some clues as the goals, since there were the remains of a decorated egg simiar to a pair that rest in the office of Mayor Courdry.

The group decides to use a blocked passage to the second floor, one that seemed to be filled with filaments of fungus, but as Declan found, it was the webs of a monstrous, scarred spider.

Several of his companions have noted Desmond's newfound power and may be questioning why he hadn't revealed them before.

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Chopping Maul 03
or If I had a Hammer...

October 18 to early morning October 19, 24NA

The party moves to the upper level of the ancient shopping center, finding the private rooms of Chief Grum, his grisly trophy room holds the heads of four enemies and the Fey-Crafted longsword:  Coblynnod Bytheiad or Goblin Hound.  The Mithral Blade seethed with a hatred for the goblins who hid it from its true mission.

While the rest of the party debated the nature of the sword, Aideen saw a shifty figure slip into the goblin nursery, where they found a dark wizard or perhaps a warlock performing some dark ritual on the goblin infants.  The goblin wizard was quickly dealt with, but harder on some was the fate of these squirming bundles of teeth.  Desmond unexpectedly argued to spare one of the babes the wizard had been marking.

Aideen took the extermination hard.

The goblin wives were much less troubling, as were the lieutenants left to help Mender run the lair while Chief Grum was gone.  The Hammer proved to be a dangerous enough foe that Gareth decided to use the power of Coblynnod Bytheiad as well as his own powerful divine smiting, ending the threat of the powerful smith in a single blow.

All the goblins slain — except for the one baby that Desmond convinced the party to spare — the party exits via the tree to find themselves in fresh air again.  Signs suggest that the bulk of the Poison Frog Goblins left for Grayson two days earlier.  They leave for Greywinder Village in hopes of finding horses to shorten the trip home.

A night's cheerless travel with the fussing goblin baby would wear on anyone's nerves, but near dawn and Greywinder still an hour away they come upon Old Salt, a priest of Odin, set upon by goblins and a bugbear.  A weary group charges into one more battle, helping the old man to defeat his attackers…

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The Conquest of Grayson part 1
or "WE HAVE SOUP!!"

October 19-23, 24NA

The party and the cleric "Old Salt" arrive in Greywinder village in the hopes that horses might be provided to help them warn the town of the danger, but word has arrived before them from the post rider.

Oona Bristlebelt, headwoman of Greywinder Village hears them out and offers them the help they need.  Old Salt reveals that he was given a vision during his communion with Odin.  He was told five names:  Skadi, Wendigo, Grendel, Sirrocco, and Typhon — they are to be the Heralds of the Queen.  He also told them of the Depp Clan's settlement near Washington DC.

The Bristlebelt introduces them to Severus Browning, a druid, who gives Gareth a bird enchanted to pass a message to him.  The group sets out on horseback to see what the situation at Grayson is.

They circle the town by night and begin to see the problems.  Grayson is overrun by goblins, and the light of the morning shows the arrival of four ogres from the south eastern "Ogre Fens."  The group slips away to have a look at the Wizard's Tower, only to find it trapped and sealed by a magic chain.  When Declan gets too close a storm cloud forms over the tower, and after getting even closer he is struck by lightning.  The blast scares off most of the horses. 

The party flees the dramatic scene of the tower and are not discovered.  It is decided to make for Ringing Hammer Hold in the hopes of finding help, but that road is damaged in several places by orcs, and may well prevent the dwarves from offering help.  A dangerous climb and a near discovery by the orcs culminates in being caught by a dwarf patrol who mistake them for refugees and offer to give them haven in the Hold.

The party convinces the dwarves to take them to meet with their superiors to see what help the dwarves can offer…

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The Conquest of Grayson part 02
Or a Miner Problem

October 23-24, 24 NA

Our heroes arrive at the gates of Ringing Hammer Hold, escorted by Karn Coppergleam to meet with the council about the problems facing Grayson.  Karn turns them over to Dame Susanna Cleareye-Stormborn who takes them before the council.

An argument is going on between Annah Keencut and Captain Willim Bravebeard over how they ought to pursue their own problems.  Annah wants to hole up in the village and wait out the orcs, hoping they might pit themselves against the gates of Ringing Hammer Hold.  Captain Bravebeard wants to send out troops to hunt and kill the orcs, clearing a path to Grayson.

In the end, Grunr Stormborn orders the troops made ready but takes Aideen aside, while the rest of group is sent to the home of Gaffer Foamingbrew, the Brewmaster of Ringing Hammer Hold.  Gaffer entertains the young heroes with stories and conversation and beer (and soup).

Meanwhile, Aideen learns that Grunr wants the party to go and contact a pair of dwarves surveying an old coal mine that might have an exit out of the mountains without passing the orcs.

The next morning, the group, with the addition of Lini Cinderflow – a Dwarven cleric of Dunatis – descends the shaft to find the dwarves.  Instead they find fungus creatures and the skeletal remains of two dwarves and one elf.

 

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The Conquest of Grayson part three
or Home again, Home again Jiggety-Jig

October 24-25, 24 NA

The party completes their exploration of the mine tunnel, clearing it of devious shadows and horrible undead miners.  The dwarves are able to then clear the rubble filled mine entrance, leaving the way to Grayson clear.

A trip overland sees the town much the same as they left it, though they do spot a giant roaming the streets.  More undead prowl near the river gate on the Western edge of town, as well as a fire breathing dog.  

Now that the group is home, what will they do to raise the populace against the goblins holding their home captive…?

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The Conquest of Grayson part 04
The Reclaiming of Grayson

October 25-26, 24 NA

The city of Grayson is now under the control of the goblin army, but it's citizens are ready for the first match to light the flames of rebellion.  

A cold, late fall rain covers the party's movements as they search for help.

The heroes first attempt to approach "the Highwayman's Rest" but find that the busy tavern seems to be a haven for the carousing conquerors.  Iliken speaks to Bill, one of the kitchen staff, who tells him that he will pass on word of the impending Dwarf assault.

Red Simpson contacts the rest of the group leading them all to meet with Blackmantle, the mysterious leader of the town's criminal underworld.  Blackmantle is preparing to present resistance within the town, but she understands that without outside help, she can't hope to defeat the goblin occupation.

She wants to set the party to kill the giant that holds the town guard prisoner in their own cells as the dwarves attack, while another force attempts to rescue the town council and Mayor Courdry.

The giant is a terrifying foe that very nearly crushes Desmond with a thrown rock before the fight even gets started.  Expert teamwork allows the group to defeat the giant quickly enough to let them also turn and help retake the town hall alongside the  Blackmantle's forces.

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The Conquest of Grayson, Aftermath
Or Five Adventurers and a (goblin) baby

October 26-29, 24NA

The town of Grayson has been rescued.  Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Giants have all been dealt with. Our heroes are acclaimed by the town council as the saviors of the folk, and are now Esquires of Grayson – though what that means might be open to interpretation.  They are gifted a house and awarded handsomely for their service.

There is some disagreement over the fate of the goblin baby, with Desmond urging that the child be left in his care, while Declan, Gareth, and Aideen want to turn it over to the tower and the Magister.  In the end, the Magister turns over custody to Desmond, but makes it clear to him in private that he is now being watched.

Severus Brown and an Elven Druid arrive with news that Gwythr ap Llewellyn was poisoned during an attack that stole the Faberge eggs he held and his only hope is the leaf of a fingerleaf plant, found beyond a portal to the feywild.  A Portal that will close at sunrise on November 1st.

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Fey Tales part 01
Apples and oranges

October 29-30, 24NA

The trip to the Greywood is cut off when a toxic cloud affects the party in their bird forms, forcing them to crash to the ground in the remains of a recent battle.  While attempting to determine what happened, the party is attacked by creature resembling a large hunting cat with barbed tentacles and some kind of "displacement" effect.

After dispatching the beast, they travel to the gate, solve its mystery and cross over to the Feywild, where they encounter the dryad Afalblodeau, who watched the gate from the fey side.  She offered to help the party find their goal if they promise to hide the gate from Dialb, a fey knight holding the fingerleaf plant in his keep.

Afalblodau warns them of a pair of human hunters, whom the party defeats later, cursed by Dialb into becoming bestial monsters.  She warns them that the fey knight keeps satyrs in his service, making cider from the apple forest around them.

Upon arriving at the keep, the party gains access to the meeting hall through diplomacy and gains audience with Dialb, knight of the Summer Court.

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Fey Tales part two
Door number One? Door Number Two? Or Door Number Three?

October 30, 24NA

The Fey Knight Dialb offers to turn over the fingerleaves if the party retrieves three stones for him from remote places he either can't or doesn't want to go.

Each door is marked by a strange symbol.  

The first door leads to a strange laboratory marked with the same strange letters (DOSA) seen on the elf's remains in the dwarf mines.  The place is lit by Old Age technology, bright and well maintained.  Strange open-skulled rats occasionally pass by in open topped pneumatic tubes.  Observation Windows over look a chamber where bizarre tentacle faced creatures experiment on humanoids, twisting their forms for no discernible purpose.  The chamber with the crystal is watched over by a bizarre mass of flesh with a single massive eye and multiple stalks, each tipped with an eye.  It shouts an alarm telepathically and then attacks the party, causing a variety of strange effects from its eyes.  As the creature is defeated and Desmond takes the crystal (shutting off the power) the rats gather into a swarm and dominate him — delaying the group's exit.

Eventually the party tumbles out into the tower of Dialb.

Door number two leads into a constructed passage of worked stone. Where the party finds heavily painted images of an invading army met three times, once with flood, once with fire, and once with falling stars (Each of these points is determined to be a trap, potentially sealing the passage).  The passage turns two corners before opening into a burial chamber with a massive sarcophagus and two smaller, less decorative sarcophagi.  The massive sarcophagi has a mummy in it (that does not come to life) and a secret tunnel under it that is revealed when it is slid aside.  But as the party finds the tunnel, the other two sarcophagi burst open, and undead surge out to attack!

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