Saturday, November 14, 2009

RuneQuest Campaign: The Road to Pavis

When we left our party, they were on a trek to find the Ficus Aureus, or Money Tree, tied to Bullford’s Esrola shrine. Accompanied by Griswald and Salvidienus Cansor, a Lhankhor Mhy sage, they overcame many obstacles to find the tree, although Griswald was carried off by a gigantic bird of prey just before they found the tree. On the way they found a terracotta jar they later learned was sacred to Xiola Umbar.

On the way back to Bullford, the PCs were forced by a storm to seek shelter in a hut which appeared to have been occupied by a Lunar scholar of some sort. In the hut, they found a sleeping baby covered by a thin layer of dust. The baby was impervious to harm and would not wake up. Simple tests by Cansor suggested it was extremely magically powerful. That night, the hut was attacked by trollkin, although their Dark Troll mother intervened when it became apparent the PCs were not Lunars, but not before Grom had sliced off a couple of arms. The PCs then witnessed an epic fight between heroes on a distant hill. A Lunar magician wielding two scimitars defeated a Mistress Race troll, then sat down to play his Aulos.

The PCs earned the friendship of the troll mother, who sheltered them before setting them on the right path to Bullford. On the way down from the hills, the PCs encountered a ghost-ridden barrow, haunted by two lost souls of faithless lovers.

After arriving at Bullford, the players received their reward and were delighted to find Griswald alive, having been rescued by the intervention of Orlanth.

After a few day’s rest, the players were introduced by Henere to Jaldon the Black, a non-Praxian hero from Prax, who asked them to convey messages to two people in Pavis: Krogar Wolfhelm and Suneye.

En route to Pavis by water, the PCs came across a fight between newtlings and gorp. Intervening, they turned the battle in the newtlings’ favor and Skye found herself blessed with a Water rune by Kinope, daughter of the river.

Encountering Pavis, the PCs encountered Rudent Pheric, a Lunar bureaucrat who took an instant dislike to Grom, and Karntayar, a Lunar decurion follower of Yanafal Tarnils who challenged Grom to a Humakti duel. Grom pulled out the win, and asked only that Karntayar pay for an evening’s entertainment. The PCs delivered Salvidienus to the Knowledge Temple, where he alerted the Sages to the baby. The Sages proceeded to devote large resources to understanding it.

After Grom discovered a great deal about the Lunar politics in the city from Karntayar in a night at Geo’s, the PCs sought out Krogar at Gimpy’s (and were able to lose some followers thanks to Skye’s knowledge of the city). The next day happened to be Humakt’s Holy Day, so Grom Ashburn attended at worship ceremony where he found himself especially blessed. He now has a Death Rune emblazoned over his left eye.

Krogar revealed that Jaldon’s message meant that the Lunar magician they had run across was Vindrman sol Veir, a great hero of the empire. This was unspeakably bad news.

The PCs needed money to identify some items they had acquired, and Krogar offered a deal. They could run a quick ransom mission into the Troll Stronglands and ransom a figure of prophecy, Brennason, from the Gunddahaak Clan, who had captured him. The players set off, accompanied by a pair of dwarven Rubble Trackers, Solibar the Huge, a Humakti mercenary, and Galen Pechoi, a Vingan archer and old friend of Skye’s. On the way in, they encountered another bureaucrat, Aldent Pheric.

The PC’s troubles with Lunar bureaucracy continued as a mounted Lunar patrol, led by Garimond the Apostate, attempted to shake them down. The party stood their ground and incited Garimond to violence. Grom sliced off another arm and Garimond escaped certain death only by divine intervention. The PCs then discovered the Central Bridge occupied by a gang of broos, led by what seemed like twins. The PCs prevailed after a tough contest that drained their magic (and Grom sliced off some more arms) and saw Grom and a dwarf infected with disease. The PCs encamped for the night to restore their power.

After an uneventful night, the PCs proceeded to the territory of the Gunddahaaks. Blowing a horn in a fountain square as instructed, they were confronted not by the clan Queen, but by a Zorak Zoran Death Lord, Karatagg Gan. He surmised that Brennason was more valuable than the PCs were offering, and surrounded the party. When they set up to resist, he unleashed two huge Shades on them, fearshocking them into submission.

Xaraya and Grom woke up stripped in cages in the dark. They soon discovered that in other cages were Solibar, the object of their quest, Enostar “Bad Dream” Brennason, a shaman called Stars Like Night, and an uptight Yelmalion called Leotychidas. Soon, a priestess of Xiola Umbar came to them and expressed gratitude that they had brought the terracotta jar. She released them and helped them regain their property, but not their money. She advised them of a way out through the sewers connected to the cellar they were imprisoned in. She informed them the trolls had eaten the dwarves and sent Skye and Galen back to demand more ransom, on the grounds that their red hair made them protected by Pikat Yaraboom.

Trying to find a way out, the party discovered another cellar containing chests of trade goods, which they were able to ransack despite the attention of the Great Troll guard.

Turning back to a barricade they believed the priestess had told them to go past, the party encountered a hole in the wall surrounded by vines, identified as Darkvines by Stars Like Night. Pushing through, the PCs realized the vines were carnivorous but flammable. They devised a way to set fire to the vines and burned them out. They discovered in the husk of the central mass a dead elf, who possessed several runes. Unfortunately, they also had to deal with a gigantic chaos root that had broken through the roof of the cellar.

Exploring further, they discovered a tomb of an ancient figure, clutching a scroll. A flood-damaged room contained fragments of a library, with a few volumes salvageable. After trying to work out how to open a mysterious door, Enostar suggested putting the runes they had discovered together to create an EWF rune. This opened the door. Behind, they found two majestic, ancient robes, and a suit of armor made of dragonbone.

Finding a way out of the cellars, the PCs discovered Garrath Sharpsword, Skye and Galen leading a rescue party. Garrath laid out Enostar with one punch.

Returning to New Pavis, the PCs discovered that the armor was Bonesung Armor from the EWF and the tomb belonged to Harukesh the Scaled, a Wyrm’s Fang Exultant. After receiving a bid from the Knowledge Temple, Xaraya arranged for the scrolls and robes to be sold to the Temple of Pavis, making the friendship of Fleeter Nemm.

The PCs attended a council of war arranged by Garrath Sharpsword and various groups. Sneaking into the Rubble so as not to attract Lunar attention, the groups formed a 30-strong party aimed at punishing Keratagg Gan for a variety of outrages.

Having made contact with dissident forces within the clan, the party split into three for a three-pronged assault on the temple, which began with Stars Like Night defeating a guardian spirit.

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