So this week in the Anduwin Chronicles…
The tavern is filled with an air of darkness, evil and hate, seemingly emanating from the necrotic wand held aloft still by Granuelle. It’s wood is knarled and twisted, with a purple shroud dripping from it. Kavan, upon seeing this wand recognises it to be an older and carrying a dark magic taint. He senses there is something ethereal on the other end of the wand, connected to an other place. Kavan’s magical suggestion over Karl, to seek friends in the pirate ring, begins to take hold. The paladin rallies himself, and struggles to see through the darkness spell which holds its over him. He is unable to sense where the coin casting darkness is, so chooses to light a flame torch, dispersing the shadows, and walks toward the door where Abraxos is. Karl tells the samurai that he is going to get help. Abraxos gets a sense that this is not the whole truth, and doesn’t allow Karl to pass, but after a short shove, Karl moves Abraxos out of the way and exits the land boat. Once outside, he shouts out, at full volume, “members of the ring pirate group, I need your help”.
Far off, Patch turns to Brant and asks if he has any ammunition. He transforms his sword into a heavy crossbow, and Brant hands the cat a magical vibrating sword. The blade sits oddly in the bolt hole as Patch takes aim, to further defend Brant. He prepares to fire at anyone who approaches Brant with a menacing intent. As he steadies himself, he winks a feline smile at Brant to imbue some of his divine healing magics. Brant thinks to himself, and hopes to send a mental message to the Sunken Shores Emperor, that Stenton should get involved, to settle this down, or his mission will hindered. Brant tells Patch that we can just try to outrun Granuelle. More divine light surrounds Brant, as he sings himself to restore more of his health, and heal his wounds.
Abraxos carefully approaches Lady Granuelle, gingerly, and begs her to put down the wand, which is clearly dark magic. “You know you’d be killing him in cold blood” he utters, pleadingly. As this is said, the solider of fortune, Kavan, unleashes a Hex against Abraxos, making him weaker, and preparing to follow Granuelle’s orders, or to attack Abraxos if he imposes himself aggressively. She feels her wand is expended, and used, but senses a connection to the Emperor of Maurdaune. He has has a connection to all these dark wands, and she draws on this connection, pulling power. The Emperors physical embodiment enters her mind, and her eyes turn to full darkness. Veins begins to burst on her neck and arms, and those not burst turn a dark putrid purple-black. She tunnels this new found power into the wand, aiming at a seemingly random part of the wall, but she knows deep down, instinctively, that exactly behind that point, Brant stands, and the wand aims at his chest. She is compelled to finish the bard by the mental voice of the Greyborn Emperor. She declares outloud she intends to finish this, and she throws the wand in a swing, casting a powerful killing blow. As the wand reaches its apex, a white light illuminates the tip of the wand, growing and becoming her magical Jackal. But huge, larger than before. The Jackal grows and becomes more humanoid, resembling a Jackal-humanoid form of someone she knows.
“Daughter, don’t do this, you have the strength in you to stop this. Don’t give into him, like I did” the light for, of Granuelle’s father speaks to her.
She tells him she does not have the power to end is without the emperors help, and she cannot let the party be taken off track once more than Brant.
He instructs her to throw away the wand, and have faith in Brant, and his compassion. To not turn on her friends.
She feels she is weak without it…
But he it erupts her, telling her to cast it aside, and to be stronger than he was, and to recognise the power she has, as well as the spirits of her mother and father always with her.
A shadow grows from a dark corner, joining at Granuelle’s side, and becoming a massive horned form, with glowing red eyes. A deep rasping voice commands her to kill Brant, and to join him, and then to come and face him and either fight with him or die.
She tries to resist, and declares the wand needs to be destroyed, by she does not know how to do this. She hopes to relinquish it, but is fearful of how and what will happen next.
Her father tells her to look within herself, and to let go of the her that is holding her back.
Granuelle conjures her warhammer, and tells that this was her mother’s, and it is her last link to her long dead mother. Her father spirit tells her to have faith in her own power and her mother. She drops the wand to the floor, and in a last display of strength, she swings and lands her blow truly against the knarled wood, breaking it, and dispursing the shadowy form, and shattering her hammer into an impossible number of peices.
White light and a flash engulfs the room, and Granuelle links her vision back, finding herself in a stone Tom , with six bright white light beams. Two of these are slightly wilted and fallen in a faint orange glow.
“The lay lines keep her in. With each corrupting seed, the number of Anduwin souls decreases” a radiant echoey voice whispers.
Back in the tavern, the white bright light unleashes a shockwave, and the inhabitants of the bar are thrown into the air. Abraxos and Kavan are throw away from each other. The samurai collides with a wall, and cracks his head on a urine pot. The solider is thrown into a warehouse or storage building, into bags of milk. Karl is launched backward down the main thoroughfare, for a fair distance, at least 100ft, into a fountain. The water saving his landing. Civilians and patrons of the bar are cast skyward, but they are less hardy, and some are dead before they reach the apex of their flight. Stenton saves himself form the blast with a reactive sheild, and seems to save Farandril in the same magic. The shockwave passes, and Granuelle is back where she stood, with peices of her hammer shattered all around. The ceiling and roof fall back in as the force repelling them is no longer there. She feels a sense of a weight lifted from her shoulder, and that she is now calmer and more at peace with herself. She tries to summon her weapon, but it is gone, and her connection doesn’t bring it to her anymore. She stagers out of the tavern, toward Brant, still in a daze, not angry by shocked.
The debris and dust settles and various people begin to gather. A group baring circular tattoos possibly the band or the ring. Kavan cleans himself of the milk, and picks up the only cat which is interested in he milk residue. Patch sheaves the blade, and dismisses the crossbow, running to Abraxos side, and sending bright healing waves to the samurai. Karl stands up, still unable to see, due to the darkness, and gingerly gets himself out of the fountain, now aware that his was magically suggested to get help. The clouds part and the sun breaks the shadow enough to be dim light, allowing him to see. He staggers back towards the tavern boat, and en route, a man approaches Karl.
“I see your group was in need of some assistance after all”. Coherinon, of the scarlet alliance stands before him, offering a potion to help with his recovery and ringing in his ears. He assures him that the potion will work, but Karl doesn’t drink this, instead, pocketing it, having not fully heard Coherinon, due to the explosion ringing still.
Karl tried to push through the group of gathered, tattooed men, who he hears are looking for the unordinary, seeing him in gold edged armour, and surrounded by magical shade. At this time, Granuelle carefully continues her approach to Brant. He sees this, and panics, hoping to loose her pursuit in the crowd. He reaches a dead end, and starts to parkour up the ships and ledges. She tries to calm, and states she means no harm, and that she is here as a friend to talk. He stops his climb, and peers down at her, unsure. Around him is a man panicked over the bent metal cage and pile of now dead pigeons who obviously died in the blast.
“Why should I trust you?” He asks.
“It wasn’t me. Turns out it was the wand. It had a link to the emperor, and had been corrupting me, controlling me all this time”
“It was never me Brant. It was the emperor” she tells, “he was trying to use me, like he used Croxium. But it’s gone now, it’s cost me dearly. I’ve lost my hammer. My mother’s hammer. Come down Brant”.
He doesn’t move.
“What can I do, to make you believe it is safe?” She asks, keen to reearn his trust.
The exchange continues and Granuelle tells Brant that she won’t ask Kavan or anyone else to kill Brant. Kavan walks up at this time, and swears he won’t kill Brant, because he isn’t being payed to do this. On his shoulder sits the cat he rescued. A voice comes from the cat that almost everyone hears as a meow, but Kavan hears an encouragement to kill Brant, in a quiet and childish voice. The pigeon man stabs Brant ineffectively and leave after Brant pays him ten copper to replace his lost birds, before the bard begins to decent to the ground. Kavan heads back to the tavern, joining Karl, who is healing himself after he was thrown. Patch helps Abraxos up, and Kavan nods in the direction of the samurai, and the effect of the hex ends.
He mob of tattooed pirate the jump Karl, who still cannot see beyond his shadow cloud, and they quickly maul him, grappling him, and dragging him away. Abraxos, Patch and Granuelle run toward this pirate swarm. Slow and tired by our earlier fight, we are slower to enter the fray than the pirates. The try to stab him, and one takes out a pistol, firing directly at the incoming feline, Patch. The shot misfires and the weapon explodes in his face, burning him. Another fires, which grazes him, as he shot cleaves a bloody gash. A large assailants steps out and challenges Abraxos to a one on one fight, and brandishing a large broadsword. The remaining fighters continue their stabs, and seven daggers plunge into the paladin, finding clinks in his golden armour, nearly halfling his health. Granuelle moves up, and casts a thunder wave spell, to try and blast the pirates away from Karl. The spell and sky crackles with energy, as eight of the twelve pirates are thrown ten feet away from the half orc. Karl is able to resist the thunderous effects and not be thrown. Patch heals Karl slightly, before unleashing a burning radiance against the clustered group of pirate. The magic immolates then, turning their skeletons to ask, and dust. The group die, leave the two with guns and the larger man. Patch turns and leaves his hand against the larger man, claws out, to intimidate the few survivors.
Unspoken orders are issues to target Patch, and Brant steps up, casting a spell to let him speak any language. He tells how this is simply a misunderstanding, and he and the party are travelling performers and this was a show gone wrong. A large hatted man walks up, and tells Brant how he loves magic, and his men will be brought back from the magic trick which he thinks is just a vanishing illusion, and not a killing spell. Brant tries to convince the captain he is right, and that the men have been transported across the city, and he is sure they will be back soon. The captain invites us to dine with him in the Great Banquet Hall, whilst word is sent across Booty Bay to find these men. He leads the party down the thoroughfare, past the fountain, and towards a ship with a large door, to allow for his hat, in laughter, seemingly less hostile. Karl manages to calm his rage, still not fully sure what has been said. The cat on Kavan’s shoulder relaxes and calls the crowded group a “pussy” and Kavan issues a orders to the captain, and who seems to be responding as if on puppet strings. He walks into the radiant ring. The spells radiantion burns the hat, and the captains flesh. Kavan puppets the captain to fall down. Staying in the ring, he keeps burning. He stands up, and tries to walk out still being burnt.
He demands to know the meaning of this, and Granuelle says that this magic only works on humans, so this captain clearly must not be a human. He responds poorly, and orders Granuelle’s death. A group of around fifteen pirates begin to encircle us, but have not yet closed the gaps behind us. One gaps leads to the water, and another inland. Karl begins to swing his flail, and taunts the captain, offering a challenge to fight The Darkness Man. The captain accepts the duel, and says if Karl wins we can leave and be free, but if the captain wins, we will all be skinned and turned into the captains new hat. As Karl steps past Brant, the bard enhances the paladins strength, and health, with the power of a bear. The captain calls out for the spear of the leviathan, spinning it wildly, in a great display. He twirls it skyward and it ignites and forms a burning ring. He lunges and slips, skewing three of his own men, missing Karl. He paladin imbues his weapon with searing energy and swings, but the blow connects with the butt of the spear, and twangs this, rather than injuring his opponent. The spear is pulled free of the men, and points to the sky, burning again, but the light glints and his grip faulters. His second swing connects and peices the paladin, burning him and cauterising instantly. The pole is drawn out leaving the spear head in. In relatiation, Karl points a finger gun at the captain, as fire erupt around the handle. Karl then swings but again connects with the spear’s haft. The second swing breaks through the captains defences, connecting at a critical point. The damage is astronomical, and the weapon blinks into radiant flame. As the captain falls into death, Karl pulls the spear tip out, as it is still burning him. He begins to fall into unconsciousness, but Brant issues a healing spell to bring Karl back up, injured but alive. The fight over, the other pirates sheave their swords and start to pay up for various bets that had been placed on the tussle.
The pirates break up slightly, and an older man steps forward. The history teller of the region, who tells that as the captain has fallen, a new captain must be chosen. The likes of this fight and incident has not happened in a long while. At least two days.
We are warned to come join them to dine and be civil. We sit and settle. Brant sets about mending and repairing Karl’s armour. After a while, the old man approaches and asks where the Man of Shadow is, referring to Karl, who is still shrouded in shade. They discuss the plans to rest and fight no more.
Kavan starts to loot the body of the dead captain, and whilst doing so, Karl joins Kavan and suspects the shadow is Kavan’s doing. The solider removes the coin, and covers it enough to hide the spells effect. Kavan then finds a dozen poison tipped daggers, and a wealth of coins. He also discovers a book, or journal written by the captain in old pirate code.
Karl approach’s Brant and asks if he is ok, and the dispute with Granuelle is settled. The bard remains quiet, but Karl then moves on, and tries to offer his sword to Granuelle who doesn’t have a weapon. Brant then suggests to Patch that the vibrating sword be given to Granuelle, but she also declines this.
We settle into the Great Hall, and are instructed to drink, and explain who we are.we learn we are speaking to Johna, a boom keeper and more honourable pirate. One by one, we introduce ourselves, including learning Karl is considered as a contender to become the new pirate captain. They are looking for a man who can strike fear into the sailors, and follow the code which they hold so dearly, until they don’t hold it dearly at all. They are keen to have him as a captain, for the coming conflict, where they will be given armourments by the “kings of the north”. Greyborn Autarghs.
Karl asks who else is a contender for this fledgling captaincy, and asks about how they will be tried. We learn that all contenders are pull in a fighting ring, and those who get out with their eyes go to the next round, and in the second round, it is repeated and the man who has kep his balls is chosen, then need a captain to lead their ships in the Grand Conquest.
Out of earshot, Karl whispers to Abraxos, to get him out of here. Drinks are ordered, and milk is collected for the cat, still snuggled on Kavan’s shoulder. Johna takes his leave as we plan to settle for the evening after several difficult bouts of combat.
Brant leaves and returns to the ruined tavern, hoping to repair bridges with the Silver Assault. He makes a donation to help repair the damage, and then shares he has learned some disturbing news about the alliance between the pirates and the Greyborn. The Silver Assault is already aware of this, but that they are forming a resistance cell against this movement. The Greyborn are reportedly pledging to help the pirate ring in the coming Grand Conquest, as they are not interested in ruling the seas. Brant and Maurice speak about the future of the Silver Assault and how his organisation could be brought back to helping the world, rather than how it is now, where most factions have turned their face away from the light. Brant worries that people are taking advantage of the poor and weak, as the world has become such a dark and dangerous place. Maurice says it will be difficult to root out all the evil at the moment as evil is all around them. They say they plan to do good where they can, but won’t stretch themselves too thin to become ineffective. He warns they are low on resources, and even lower on friends to call on to help.
Back at the Great Banquet Hall, Karl tells that he can see a benefit to becoming the pirate leader, for their support in the war, but he is worried about this. Granuelle tells she agrees with these worries, and she feels we should leave and get to the temple and save the world through the mission the sunken shores emperor had given to us. Brant shares, as he returns that he was thinking of nominating himself as a contender for pirate captain. Karl wonders if Brant feels he can do what must be done. Brant is keen to turn the pirates away from their alliance with the Greyborn, and use them as soldiers in this fight for the soul of the world. Kavan warns of the horrors of the fighting pit, and is unsure that Brant has what it takes. He warns that the pirates cannot be trusted, and even under his banner, the may still rape and pillage.
Patch takes a stroll to s blacksmiths, and attempts to commission a Glave for Granuelle, but is told he would be best speaking with Johna, who collects the things that wash up, and a glave sounds more like this style of weapon. Patch returns to the Banquet Hall, and speaks with Johna. He is told that Johna is willing to give a tour of his warehouses of his collection. They agree to meet in the morning, with all the party. Johna then offers Patch a purple bubbling drink, and encourages him to down it. He cat drinks, and feels nothing for a moment. It isn’t alcohol, but is more of a hallucinogenic. He starts to hear colours, shouts, “look how fast I can go” then speeds in circles around the hall.
Kavan goes off in search of potions of healing. In his search he comes across a woman pushing a trolley of urns. She says she is collecting the ashes of fallen souls, and plans to sell these, as they work as an sexual stimulant for elves. She encourage him to buy one urn, in exchange for showing him where potions can be bought. She introduces herself as Ashy Jen, and she is keen to trade an urn for this information. He learns the contents are still born children, or her grandad, or cats. Kavan suspects this information is false and that she is just using ashes from burnt trees. The pair set off, towards a potionshop. She tells she collects ashes from potion maker apprentices, when things go wrong. Kavan offers her one of his blown off fingers, as a trade. She winks and offers him a transaction in place of trade. Kavan asks how she is able to tell which ashes go into which urn. She explains that she ordered a special sieve to be made but a templar, who was able to separate ash by its size, and so she learns which could be human or could be cat. After a haggle, Kavan purchases the smallest urn, and she leaves. He is left outside the dodgy looking potion shop. He enters and sees a small man with a waist length white beard. Several flasks are on display around him. Kavan asks about healing potions, and this man tells he sells some potions, and that all of them that he makes come with a slight twist. Kavan takes an unlabelled potion from a shelf, and asks if this is what he is looking for. The bearded man is cage, and says it is healing and darker. Kavan looks the man in the eye and threatens to pour the flask down the mans neck. He tells that they will all heal, but some may grow or shrink people, or cause the perminant increase in strength, or the growth of, or loss of as whole limb. Learning of the risk, and the potential side effects, the prices of the potions are surprisingly cheap. Kavan wants a larger amount, but feels he is being extorted. He swings his axe into the shop keep, who is knocked down. The store keep stands and opens a vial, drinking it, and becoming a massive monstrosity, with muscles growing and bulking to disproportionate sizes. The store keep uses brute strength and smashes clublike fists into Kavan. The sorcerer reacts by unleashing a ring of darkness which he can see through but the store keeper cannot. In the dark, Kavan stabs one of the captains poison daggers, and punctures a blood vessel. He steps around, and hopes the muscles beast cannot see him now, but two more club strikes his Kavan. A soft, mellifluous voice reaches out the dark and says, “your potion wasn’t enough, the best incrediants for another one would be at the bottom of the bay”. The beast’s eyes roll back, as he seems to be under the effect of a suggestion. He barrels through the back wall of the store, into the distance. Kavan then collects a supply of potions, and walks away back to the great banquet hall. Where we are rested, eventually.
We reconvene, where Patch is in a slight hungover from his drinks, and Abraxos takes hair of the dog. Karl approaches the group, and shares the potion that Coherinon gave him. He asks Brant to identify is using his alchemy tools. The bard spends some time looking at this, and suspects this is a potion of alligiance, where the drinker will show a resounding loyalty to the person who brewed it, in this case, Coherinon. Brant shares his learnings, and in doing so, Kavan asks him to look over the potions he has aquired. Brant suspects they are potent and powerful, but will have side effects. Patch uses the time Brant is looking at the potions, to conduct a ritual moving his warlock magic into the vibrating sword, before we all set off for our tour with Johna.
And that’s where we left off.