So this week on the Anduwin Chronicles…
We start the session with Du’Reth leading 428 and Granuelle out of the encampment to visit an Alchemist named Hal who was living here long before the army arrived. He’s a strange man who keeps himself isolated for his own reasons, that and the fact he tends to blow up his little shack. They pass several Guards throwing sand down on the silt covered rocks, the rains may have stopped but the walk down is still treacherous, a fitting concept for Bukka Montane right now. On a hill a little over a 10 minutes’ walk away is a small brown Yurt planted on the top of a hill. They head up a winding dirt path and outside the home find an elderly gentleman hunched over and digging at the ground with a trowel. He startles as they approach, wiping his nose on his muddy sleeve, his pale milky eyes blink suspiciously. The only reason he can see is the number of googles and thick lens that magnify his vision.
Granuelle approaches and asks him for his help, she’s after owning some healing potions for the battles ahead. He’s sniffs and snivels like he’s got a bad case of hay fever, twitching and rubbing his soil ridden hands. He agrees to help and slips into his Yurt where he immediately starts making strange noises, boings and twonks, metal grating against metal, small explosions and crackles of energy which lasts a few minutes. He appears again, looking a little bewildered and admits to missing a vital ingredient, Fizzleforp which is a deep purple herb that grows only in the ‘Deep Descent’. There a big flower with orange leaves, grows out of the walls of the chasm and the herb is only salvaged from around it. The points behind his home where a lush coloured plants and trees are growing around a huge hole. They will need to lower themselves down about 400ft or so and get some if they want him to finish the potion.
Granuelle airs on the side of caution and asks him to appraise a couple of potions she’s acquired over her adventures with the party, to test his skill. She pulls out two, one a dull yellow which after a sniff and dab on his tongue he informs her will grant her the ability of the Spell Clairvoyance whilst the bright Blue would allow her to Fly for a short period of time, a minute or so at most. The last a dark Orange he proclaims will give her a good fiery burp. She’s confused at first and then realises he means Fire Breath. She than pulls out the strange flexible cylinder with two identical ends. He has not idea what it does anymore than she and it’s unfortunate, but she’s assured of his skill and decides to retrieve the herb. After all there’s nothing dangerous about lowering oneself into a hole, 400ft down behind a strange Alchemists home to retrieve an herb that he just happened to be out of.
428 offers to go with her. There is a winch that would lower them down but as sturdy as it looks Granuelle nor 428 are light people especially not with Granuelles new Plate Armour. She tries to persuade him otherwise but he’s adamant, so they head for the hole. Along the way the Alchemist warns them about the worms, apparently, they are his last assistant which is why he’s run out of herb, not had any fresh supplies since. The hole drops down into total darkness, the plants and trees that surround the edges flow like a waterfall down into the hole. The only light is from several phosphorescent mushrooms glowing faintly.
428 leaves all his stuff behind on the hill along with Magnus Chest which he hasn’t let go since his disappearance. Granuelle even leaves some of her vast armoury of magical items behind too and they ask Du’Reth to watch over their possessions. The platform creaks as Granuelle steps on and 428 pulls out his Climbers Kit, latching himself along with 250ft of rope to a rock by the edge just in case the Winch should fail he wants a lifesaver. When 428 steps onto the winch however it immediately snaps under his solid weight of muscle and they start falling. 428 instinctively tries to grab at Granuelle and his large arms wrap around her, holding tight and then the rope goes taut around his middle, snapping them back up. Feeling like he left his stomach along with his stuff at the top of the hole 428 with Granuelle in his arms swings and slams into the wall. To preoccupied to stop himself from hitting it, smashing his face into the vegetated rock. The mushrooms soften most of the blow but 428 is smothered in a scented fungus that for a second the Lesbian Granuelle even finds herself attracted to him. For a second!
They hang ferociously against the rock wall, the dim glow of the plant life around them. The sky above a small hole 250ft above their heads. Du’Reth peeks his head over the edge, careful not to fall in and calls down to them. They grungily admit to being ok if a little battered. Assured of their safety Du’Reth starts rummaging through their stuff, trying to find anything he can of who they are and what their plans are. 428s stuff, mostly are weapons and strangely a lock of hair from what he discerns is a Female Troll. Magnus chest, a few odds and ends, papers and letters. He recognises the name Magnus Marche and already he’s getting an idea of who these people are. Amongst Granuelles he finds a couple of boxes of ammo, the stuff used by the Maudornian Greyborn and their guns. It’s all taken into consideration as he carefully puts the stuff back in it’s place, he will need to report all this.
Down in the crevice 428 can hear a slithering, crawling sound in the darkness. He suggests they leave, which is strange, usually he’d be jumping for the chance of a fight. Could it be he’s learning some humility from being amongst the group. Granuelle refuses thought, they’ve come this far after all so her Magical Orb and activates the Investure of Wind, the air starts to swirl around her and carries her up out of 428’s arms so she’s able to fly. 428 is reluctant to let go in case she should fall but she assures him she’s fine and dives down, deeper into the hole, the walls are oozing and seeping but eventually she spots the Orange Petals and recognises the Fizzleforp, floating in mid-air and grabbing a handful. The minute she rips it out of its roots however a gust of stale air explodes up from below, stale and stinking like an obnoxious burp. She has a bad feeling about it so rushes up to the surface.
A crackling sound of hundreds of wings beating against each other, glances down into the darkness her Darkvision enables her to see the hoard of bat like creatures before they hit her. Instinctively she uses her Investure of Wind to buffet them away, swirls of wind force them into the plants, those that manage to fight it fly past. They’re an ugly creature with the wings and bodies of bats but larger and with strange faces like Catfish. They screech and flap and hit 428 still hanging by his rope, clawing at his bruised flesh and exploding out the top of the pit into the daylight.
Granuelle seeing 428 is wounded worst than ever decides to give him a hand out of the pit, flying up underneath him and carrying him to safety. Du’Reth seeing the rope slacken and the bats circling the pit entrance releases its knots and the bat like creature’s swarm back down. At the bottom of the tunnel a huge tentacle appears slapping madly at the walls under Granuelle, the plants it hit suddenly bloom and expand its ferocious swipes try to grab Granuelle before she can escape. Weak as he is 428 still manages to cast Toll the Dead at the creature but it seems unaffected, so he warns Granuelle of the danger. Flying faster than ever to escape she throws a Gust of Wind down at the tentacle forcing it down. A strange echoing wail bellows from below and then the bats hurtle towards them returning to the deep.
428 goes into a Rage as the bats charge at him again and Granuelle blasts up at them with another Gust of Wind. They get buffeted by the wind and several them explode from the impact but more continue to drop and shred through them. 428 takes the brunt of the damage which slash and hack at his enraged flesh, their blood and guts smeared over his chest. The Tentacle makes one last reach for Granuelles leg as they burst out of the hole but it’s not able to reach, it laps at the edge instead, the plant life growth increases but it’s clear the Tentacle can’t reach any further.
Granuelle still holding 428 in her arms touches down near Du’Reth and they watch the Tentacle retreat into the darkness. Du’Reth hurries to 428’s side and does what he can to ease the wounds, he’s lost a lot of blood though and needs immediate medical attention. Hal is pleased to see them and takes the herb but 428 isn’t happy that he didn’t tell them about the monster in the pit. He’s all for throw him down there to see it for himself but Granuelle persuades him otherwise. Hal sees 428 covered in the what he called an Echtomushroom and Bat goo, he scoops up a blob on his finger and tastes it. In exchange for the gunk that’s covering 428 he offers to make them a Healing Flask, enough Healing Concoction for 6 people at least. It will take a day to brew however but they can pick it up in the morning. It’s agreed, they need to figure out how they’re going to get to the Capital anyway. Before they leave Du’Reth has a word with the Hal and after some wheedling and discussion manages to persuade him to work with the army, to supply them with Healing Draughts. Hal asks to think on it and Du’Reth is pleased.
Granuelle helps 428 to the Infirmary and gather their stuff together that’s when she notices that her stuff has being moved, someone has gone through it. She questions Du’Reth who was meant to be watching it. He lies and tells her Hal looked and he couldn’t stop him. Granuelle decides to take him at his word. After all, out of the two of them, Hal seems the most likely and strange. She makes sure nothing has been taken though fist before they head back to the encampment.
Back in the jail cell Journee is told he’s made bail. He’s only been locked up for a few hours but it’s enough, he talked to the guards a little who told him the Maurdorne Greyborn have taken most of Bukka Montane. There’s a mysterious warrior who’s not a Greyborn however leading the charge, they name him the Earthbreaker. He’s Earth Warrior, a humanoid figure wielding a magical trident able to bring the very earth and sand down on his enemies. Hes always seen with a small object in his hand which when his magic seems to excel, there was one incident with a flash of light destroying an entire legion of soldiers in seconds. He mows through his enemy like they were nothing, stationed in the east. The Greyborn have come from that way to force their enemy’s west where they have nowhere to go and their backs are to Maurdorne itself. They have congregated here, what’s left of any real fight in Bukka Montane, there’s something here that’s keeping them safe but how long will that last.
As Journee leaves he throws the guards a gold coin for their hospitality. Stepping out into the Mid-Morning light he notices several the Fanatics are having a talking down to by the Quartermaster. The young woman he was having a good time with only a few hours ago can’t even look him in the eye. He wasn’t ever trying to be their Messiah, but he does feel some regret that they should blame him. In truth he felt that if he didn’t pretend they were likely to rip him apart. Religion is not Journee’s strong point, leave that to the priests and Clerics, Journee looks after himself he doesn’t need some divine Anduwin being watch over him. He shrugs off his thoughts and slips away. That’s when he notices Granuelle and 428 coming in from outside the Encampment with Du’Reth and Silvanus approaching from the opposite direction. Journee thanks Granuelle and Silvanus for his freedom. He’s pretty sure that it wasn’t a group decision that he be freed but Granuelle tries to assure him that he is a valued member of the team and to prove this she gives him a Wand of Fireballs she’s found but has no use for. He thanks her for the gift, but his worries aren’t forgotten. He knows the truth and he doesn’t care, at least that’s what he tells himself.
Meanwhile as all this has being going on. Brant seeks out Mage Sandra in the Library. He sees a young woman wearing blue and yellow robes, deep in thought and researching a heavy tomb. Brant steps up behind her and interrupts he explains about talking to Old Man Elroy who he’s not so impressed by. After all what is the importance of the apparent line of the Sudan other than supposedly being one of the first spell casters. Brant tries to argue the logic of this after all where is the evidence. She counter argues with where is the evidence that he wasn’t. Brant realises he’s not impressing her very much as he gets tongue tied over himself and may have accidently said something racist to her which she doesn’t take kindly. He doubles back on himself and gets the point of seeking her out, he needs to know about Teleportation Magic. She is considered an expert in the area. He successfully persuades her, and she starts to warm to him with the praise. He wants to know how far she could teleport someone? She can just about master Intercontinental meaning she could teleport someone within the same state. She’s being stuck here a long time herself, since the Greyborn Invasion her magic has being somewhat erratic. He asks if she could perhaps send a group of 5 people and a horse to the capital of Bukka Montane. She admits she could get them either close or inside the city itself, but nothing is sure. Before the invasion she could have sent them to an exact location, having them sitting in a chair even but she’s being struggling off late. He tells her to keep practicing, they will need her skill.
Back to the main party. Journee is not happy to see Du’Reth has made himself familiar with the group. He blames him for his incarceration no matter how short and his accusation of starting a cult which in Journee’s mind was completely unfounded. Granuelle asks him not to argue though, they have enough to deal without bickering amongst themselves. Silvanus gives 428 some much needed Healing and they decide to seek out the Quartermaster who when he sees Journee makes it clear has being given his one chance. Journee’s grits his teeth and suffers in silence for Granuelles sake. She explains about the hole and the tentacle. It’s must be well over 400ft long so how large is the creature it belongs too. Hal has been here long before army came to the temple, so he must know of it. The Quartermaster promises to investigate it.
Granuelle than, following her recent state of giving things away gives him a Pistol and ammo, for them to recreate and strengthen the army’s meagre arsenal. Along with a spare crossbow. Du’Reth explains how Granuelle has being a good negotiator with Hal who has agreed to make Healing Draughts for the army. The army is going to be taking the war to the Dragonborn in a matter of days, they will need his help. The group knowing something of the future events having come back in time remember that Orion fired in this direction, possibly at the mobilisation that the Quartermaster wants to send out. They inform him about their need to reach the capital he offers for Du’Reth to go with them as back up. They accept apart from Journee who just grumbles and groans under his breath. They head out to find Brant and see what trouble he’s got himself into.
Du’Reth however stays behind for a moment to speak privately with the Quartermaster. He assures him that Granuelle can be trusted though he’s not so sure about the others. They have secrets and can’t be trusted yet. The Quartermaster isn’t sure he wants Du’Reth to go with them, but he needs a spy and if it turns out that the group are working for the Greyborn he wants Du’Reth to stop them by any means. He hands Du’Reth a small silver cylinder and tells him to light it, it will stop them for good and save a lot of lives if they are working for the enemy. Du’Reth obeys and puts it within his robes.
Brant having left Mage Sandra seeks out Mage Hingleton whose known for being very flamboyant and in your face. So, Brant should get on well with him. Mage Hingleton is a Mage of the Fashion Arts and has created several magically influenced clothing including the newest and greatest development of a wizards hat with outrageously two tips. Brant admits to really liking this two-pointed hat idea. No one takes Hingleton seriously though for good reason. Brant wants to know more about the special clothing. Hingleton explains that he wears a special robe that deflects damage, his gloves can absorb the energy of magical attacks and throw it back at the enemy and he’s currently working on an idea for a flame flowing hat. He has already finished augmenting one that when thrown, swings back and lands back on his head. Brant encourages him to add lasers on it.
As they wait until morning to pick up the Healing Flask. Granuelle bonds with a new weapon, a black crossbow that seeps a necrotic explosive sap. She claimed it off a couple of Cultists back in Naramia. She also attempts to Augment her Armour with the spell Mage Armour to strengthen it but realises she needs some proper magical tools to do so. Brant picks up his stuff from the Blacksmith, his rapier sharpened and fixed. 428 gets his Great axe repaired and moves the Augmentation from his Lightning Axe to his old repaired axe. Du’Reth goes to the arsenal to get himself some new weapons for going on ahead with the group. He gets a new shiny looking steel tipped, barbed spear and a bag of darts. Journee manages to find a small amount of explosive in the encampment, enough to make a grenade and seeing Granuelles with her new crossbow decides to milk its combustible sap sure and make a new explosive mixture out of it for a Grenade. He also makes some empty casings to be filled when he should find more explosive.
The next day Granuelles Healing Flask is delivered and with Brants assurance they speak with Mage Sandra about sending them to the Capital, today. Du’Reth comes with them much to Journee’s disdain. They discuss where to be teleported, Sandra must know the location and with Brants help who knows the city quite well they pick a spot. She reminds them that there may be some turbulence along the way and she can’t promise they will all get there in one piece. It’s very reassuring as they all hold hands or hoof as Julio, Granuelles horse is going with them of course.
The air around them ripples and fades as they blink, their eyes become unfocused. Theres no turbulence like last time in fact it barely feels like they’ve left but when they open them they have teleported to a much warmer climate, the air is thick with smoke and the sound of gunfire and exploisions. Brant, Du’Reth and Granuelle all appear in a corn field within the city, a small farmland on the less residential side. Journee, 428 and Silvanus however are nowhere to be seen. They have in fact teleported to the second floor of a derelict building, half destroyed by bombs. The sounds of gunfire much louder for them. The Orion looms overhead, the heat of its many engines blaring, smoke spewing from its exhausts.
Granuelle and Du’Reth suddenly notice 6 Dreadbats each bearing a Greyborn fly overhead and duck down into the corn, so they’re not seen. Brant walks out onto the edge, his diminutive size making it easy for him not to be noticed. He recognises some of the buildings and knows they are in the poorer outskirts of the city. Not far from where they were supposed to be dropped. Hopefully this means the others are somewhere near. There is a network of tunnels under the city which Brant needs access too. They are here to rescue the King of Bukka Montane and they are their way in. Du’Reth informs him however that they are all blocked apart from one, luckily, it’s the one Brant’s looking for. They just need to get to it, located under a Theatre about 15 minutes’ walk away. Unfortunately, the city is full of Greyborn who will shoot them on sight.
At the same time 428 finds himself sprawled over a heap of fire blasted bricks and picks himself up at the same time, Journee is trying to get out of a clawfoot bathtub. He creeps downstairs, but it looks like the building is empty so returns and looks out the upstairs windows. He sees Greyborn just down the street throwing something on a huge bonfire in the middle of the street, bodies, books furniture, it’s all fuel for the fire. Suddenly there’s an explosion from the building opposite and the wall is thrown out onto the street. In the cloud of dust and debris arrows are fired at the Greyborn, mostly missing their mark. The Greyborn start shouting out orders and a large Gatling gun is pushed into view and aimed at the source of the arrows.
428, Journee and Silvanus have no idea where they are in the city or even if the others managed to make it here ok. All they know is they need to get out of here quick, so they make a dash for it, running out the back of the building but Silvanus nudges a beam of wood, holding up most of a wall. The beam tumbles bringing with it most of the wall and the Greyborn turn and see them, they swing the Gatling gun round. White hot bullets scream through the morning light. Two shots narrowly miss Journee. But 428 and Silvanus are both shot in the back of the shoulders and legs, glancing shots but enough to make them stumble a little as they run on. The Greyborn fighting on both sides decide to focus their gunfire on the arrows being fired at them instead of giving chase to which the trio are thankful.
Brant, Du’Reth and Granuelle who is riding Julio stealth through the backstreets of the city, so far, they’re gone unnoticed and arrive at Pendleton Square opposite the Theatre. There a ruined fountain in the middle and the cobblestones square is dotted with smouldering carts, left deserted. Several crosses are scattered about, 15feet higher with blackened and burnt bodies, pegged up and crucified, obviously dead. They scope out the area before stepping out of the alleyway, their only protection. The fact they’ve got this far without seeing a Greyborn is unsettling. At that same moment 428, Journee and Silvanus appear across the square covered in dust and grime and sweaty from the run. Seeing Granuelle sitting on Julio, Journee runs to her oblivious of the danger. Silvanus and 428 following.
As they run across the square a silent shot is fired. 428 Is shot in the neck and he angrily dash forward screaming out Greyborn and scooping up Journee and Silvanus under his arms, blood streaming from his neck. It’s not a life-threatening wound, his neck too thick to let it be anything but a scratch but it’s startling how close it could have been. Another shot is fired hitting the cobblestones behind them as they dive into the alleyway the others are hiding down. Du’Reth notices the shots being fired and the location of the gun, a wooden tower just to the right of the Theatre. He dashes towards across the square but he’s not faster than a bullet which cuts through his shoulder, a clean shot. Granuelle dashes on Julio towards the tower, seeing the shots fired now herself at the same time Brant quietly runs away down another alley way to reach the tower the long way around. Journee struggles out of 428’s grip, now that he’s being held against his will he feels sorry for Brant whom 428 keeps carrying like a handbag against his will. He dives out the alley and behind a cart where he casts Minor Illusion to show Brant’s head appearing above a cart, to draw the fire. Silvanus seeing all it would take is another bullet to hit 428 to kill him orders him to stay and take cover as she leaps beside Journee.
Du’Reth realising the doors to the Theatre are locked or barricaded runs to the tower instead to stop the gunfire before it attracts the wrong kind of attention. He makes it to the door but Granuelle kicks it in, leaping off her horse. Another shot is fired at Journee, narrowly hitting his head and splintering through the wooden cart, the illusion ignored. Silvanus summons a Fog Cloud into the middle of the courtyard for more cover. Brant continues to go down the long way and climbs onto the roof of a warehouse near the tower and Theatre. Du’Reth runs upstairs and using his Ki to give him at extra burst of speed. He makes it up to the top in a matter of seconds. He finds a Greyborn at the top with the muzzle of his sniper gun pocked out of a crack in the stonewall. He orders him to stop but prepares to fight if it should come to that.
The Greyborn turns and Hes got a noticeable purple tattoo, his veins visibly pulsing up the arms and neck and his eyes a dark red, he looks infected. He drops his gun and pulls out a large silvery blade made of what looks like glass, he rears back and swings but falters as Du’Reth spell Sanctuary kicks in and the blade narrowly misses. Du’Reth tries to stab him back with his new spear but it skirts over the Greyborns armour and embeds itself in the ceiling, the close quarters making it a difficult weapon to manage. Than Granuelle appears at the top of the stairs and the Greyborn swings for her instead, she manages to deflect it with her hammer, but she can feel the incredible heat burning off the blade.
In the square 428 stays in his alley, not moving like he was told but anxious to help and then Silvanus orders him to run to the theatre while the Greyborn is distracted. He dashes, making a dodging weave through the carts and crucifixes just in case with Journee right behind. At the same time Brant runs along the roof of the Warehouse and tries to smash into a boarded window of the tower. His tiny body just bounces off like he was an annoying fly. Hiding in the fog 428 and Journee search for the door, it’s not budging but Journee casts Primal Savage, his nails grow into black talons, dripping a dark red ichor that sizzles on the stone. He runs the claw between the double doors, focusing on the lock. A trickle of foul smelling smoke and he’s melted the mechanism, the doors open outwards but all it reveals is a wall of furniture, chairs and shelves piled up and barricading the door.
That’s were we left it. Until next time readers