Play Day 17 - 26/04/2013

Date: Oathday 9th Desnus.

In the lands of T aggriell

The party begin this session, still in the morning of Oathday, having just defeated several armed human fighters, large zombies and one Ogre; capturing the Red Raven in the process.

*********

The party stand around the still flaming body of the large Ogre that they just killed. The Red Raven, pulls hard against the thick rope that binds his hands. The other end of the rope is still attached the belt of the Ogre but the fire is quickly severing that bond.

Krondor sheaves his Acreis long sword and grabs hold of the end of the rope before it can burn through.

Isabella, looks hard and long at the Vernal Key; a smile lighting up her face. She carefully puts the glowing orb away into her backpack.

The Red Raven speaks, urgency visible in his voice, "You must release me. I have to rescue my beloved!"

Isabella walks over to the Red Raven, "You are in no position to be giving orders! I want to know what is going on here. T ell me everything you know!"

The Red Raven looks at the Cleric and pleads, "I do not have time for this! You are risking my love with this time delay!"

Isabella responds slowly, "I have all the time in the world. T alk!"
The Red Raven replies: "Very well! T wo weeks ago my beloved and a band of twelve companions travelled north to explore. Only two of the group returned and told me that she and two others had wandered into a strange cave and never returned. T wo by two the rest of the group entered the cave and none returned. Strange glowing runes on a wall could be seen near the entry and these were recorded onto paper. When only two remained of the group they took the
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written copy of the runes and returned to find myself and told me what had befell the rest.

I travelled to a hidden monastery, that I have had previous dealings with and sort the help of one of the old wise men. After telling him what had happened and looking at the recorded runes, he told me the tale of an ambitious djinni, The Jarl, who had committed a grave crime against his lord. His punishment was to be banished for all eternity in a magical prison on the Material Plane that could never be exited except if one held the Vernal Key. The Vernal Key was then placed into its resting place, the Vernal Cup, which they and maintained the Magical Prison which is why it had to be relatively close. positioned 50 miles to the south. The Vernal Cup was in fact the power source that held

I spent two days with the old man, who instructed me in how I should operate the Vernal Key to open a pathway out of the prison.

With no other choice, I stole the Vernal Key from the good and trusting people of

Winewold. That I shall never forgive myself but to save Geppa I would do anything! I used the power of the Cape to escape Winewold with the Vernal Key and quickly reach the Nordein Glacier but a steep price did I pay. I overused the Cape, which one should never do, and in doing so I have forever diminished my health. But I would give my last breath to save her!

I suspected others may try to follow me so I instructed my men to delay any followers and I a white frost dragon lurked in the area.

set up some traps of my own too. Eventually I found the cave, though it was a near thing, as

Having entered the cave I realised quickly that the corridors were changing in some places at random times and some corridors stayed constant. I was also aware that the Jarl could sense the presence of the Vernal Key and he would be searching for it. I kept moving, avoiding everyone and everything and kept looking for Geppa.

Just as I had found her tracks and was nearing her location, in one of the more dangerous areas of the prison, in my haste I allowed myself to be captured by an Ogre and his band of misfits that also roamed the corridors.

I was trying to free myself when you arrived. You must help me!"
Isabella responds, "Your problems are not mine. I have no interest in saving your beloved. I just want to get out of here before the Jarl gets his hands on this Vernal Key."

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The Red Raven replies with steel cold confidence, "You need me to operate the key. No one else in your party will know who to use it. Help me save Geppa and I swear to be in your service. I will not try to flee you and will aid you in any manner you ask."

Isabella looks hard into the unblinking eyes of the Red Raven. She can feel his cold if we have to save your precious woman to get out of here then so be it."

determination and more, she knows without any doubt that what he says is the truth. "Fine,

The Cleric cuts the rope bonds securing the Red Raven. Extending a hand towards Isabella, the Red Raven speaks, "Thank you my lady."
Isabella does not extend her hand to shake, "You'll excuse me but with your reputation I'ld rather not give you the opportunity to steal my stuff."

"Given the circumstances, my lady, I don't blame you," he replies and bows. *********
Now with the Red Raven leading the party, he walks ahead at a brisk pace. Stopping at each intersection he examines the ground before continuing. This continues for nearly chambers passed; most of which is unfamiliar to the party. forty five minutes. A large amount of ground is covered, with numerous passageways and

Eventually, an area of the ice corridors, much more irregular and colder than anywhere is there!"

else, is reached. As the Red Raven is examining for tracks he looks up quickly, "Noise over

He starts to move rapidly through the corridor until up ahead light can be seen and the sound of roars and flaming gusts of fire.

"GEPPA!!!!!!" shouts the Red Raven and sprints forward with abandoned. "Great! There goes any chance of a surprise attack!" shouts Isabella jogging to keep up.

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In the light ahead an attractive female can be seen. She wears cold weather gear and stands next to a prone body of man in armour, blood pooling around the body.

She is shielding the body against a hulking, hairy beast, roughly humanoid in form but twice as large, with long white fur, large jaws and razor shape claws.

A Yeti!

In one hand she swings a large

wooden club that has iron nails raised up towards the Yeti and from her hand towards the creature.

sticking out of it. Her other hand is occasionally flames shoot forth

his pace.

The flames appear to be keeping the creature at bay.

The Red Raven is sprinting towards her.

The Monk is the only one capable of keeping up, as the rest of the party struggle to match

The Red Raven comes to a stop standing next to Geppa. His only weapon, a small dagger, that he waves desperately at the Yeti.

Seng charges at the huge beast and swings his forearm into the knee of the creature. It and channelling his inner chi to flow around his body; bolstering his defence.

howls in pain. The Monk steps back and enters a low defensive stance, breathing deeply

Krondor begins to run towards the beast too but as he gets within 30 feet the Dwarf looks into the eyes of the beast and he falters. Fear envelopes the Dwarf fighter and he skids to a halt, his battle-axe held before him like a shield. He kneels down and turns his gaze away from the terrible creature before him.
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Isabella sees the effect the creature is having on Krondor. She rushes towards the Dwarf and places a hand upon his back and whispers, "Let Cayden's strength protect you from Evil."

Krondor immediately stands and looks at the Yeti. The Dwarf shouts out a battle cry and then starts to sprint towards the fearsome beast.

Isabella runs up, behind Krondor, her morning star ready. Arforth raises one hand and makes a quick gesture, "Pra Nat!"
A warmth envelopes the Wizard and he can feel a protective aura surrounding him. Having finished his Protective spell, he then moves toward the Yeti.

A loud roar bellows forth from the Yeti. The creature swings one hand at Geppa and its claws rip open a large wound on her side.

Seng tries to move around to the rear of the beast but trips on the uneven ground and falls onto his front. The beast turns towards the fallen Monk but the creatures' gaze is then drawn towards the sound of approaching Krondor. The Dwarf Fighter is running forward The Dwarf then raises his shield and wills the protective energy forth from it. Yellow protective light envelops the Dwarf.

and shouting a loud battle cry. He swings his battle axe and cuts the beast across one leg.

Elamros, standing about 60 feet away, aims his bow and lets loose an arrow - just as the yellow protective light that surrounds him.

Krondor takes a side step. The arrow hits the rear of the Dwarf but is deflected away by

Isabella steps forward and strikes the Yeti with her morning star and opens a large wound

on the beast. The creature howls with rage and Seng uses the opportunity to get back up. The creature continues to swipe its massive claws at the party. Seng, Krondor, Isabella, the Red Raven and Geppa continue to slash at the beast. Elamros lets loose numerous arrows at the creature. Arforth, with his blazing eyes, sets some of creature on fire.

The Red Raven tumbles forward and rolls to the rear of the creature. As he comes up from the roll, he jumps up high and swings his dagger at the neck of the Yeti, which is bent over
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trying to hit the low Dwarf. The Red Ravens' dagger cuts along the throat of the creature

and a large, wide cut opens up. Red blood flows from its neck and covers the front chest of the beast. The creature spins around, its hands coming up to its neck, then it falls over onto its side - unmoving.

The Red Raven rushes over to Geppa, "My love! At last."
Geppa holds him back tightly, "I knew you would save me," she then turns and looks at the body of fallen fighter behind her.

Both Geppa and the Red Raven move over to the body. Geppa places a hand on the

shoulder of the body and starts to cry. The Red Raven envelops her shoulders with one arm. He looks back at the party and speaks in a soft, sad voice, "This man was T eko. He was a trusted friend to both Geppa and myself."

Isabella moves to the fallen body and checks him, "I am sorry. He is too far gone for me to heal. You have my condolences."

Krondor moves over and slaps a hand on the back of the Red Raven, "Yes, the death of a friend is never easy. You have my condolences too." *********

With the battle over, Geppa is introduced to the party and she explains how she and two corridors and could not find an exit out. They were soon attacked by two large snow

others from her party entered the cave. They wandered around and got lost within the icy wolves which killed one of her companions. She and T eko then continued to wander. They saw the camp of the "accidental prisoners" but being only two in number and not knowing their intentions they chose to avoid the camp. Geppa, who is an accomplished sorcerer soon realised that this was not a normal cavern but some type of planar envelope that

twisted the physical laws of reality. They had just accidentally wandered into the Yeti and taking a mortal blow in return. She had used her fire sorcery to keep the Yeti at bay for nearly five minutes when the party and the Red Raven had arrived.

Geppa was about to be struck down when T eko throw himself at the beast to protect her;

The party, very weary after a long time wandering and fighting, decide to return to the

camp to rest before continuing. With the Red Raven guiding them, who walks hand in hand their way back to camp.

with his beloved Geppa, they arrive back at the large cavern filled with "ice trees" and make

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Once again they speak to Sarond, the unofficial leader of the camp. The Red Raven tells about freedom.

the accidental prisoners about finding the vernal key and the whole camp is a buzz with talk

Exhausted, the party of heroes, along with the Red Raven and Geppa, gratefully fall onto the makeshift beds and sleep deeply.

*********

Later, after a long and well needed rest, the party wake. For the first time in days they feel confident about their situation. They have the Vernal Key and soon will be returning home with a large horde of treasure.

Isabella approaches the Red Raven and speaks, "We need to talk. Alone. Come with me." The Red Raven and Isabella walk out of the camp. Krondor watches them leave, his eyes narrowing in suspicion.
Once a distance away from the camp, Isabella turns to the Red Raven, "Let me make this care about getting enough coin to fund and complete my quest." plain - I don't care about you, Geppa, these 'prisoners' here or the town of Winewold. I only

The Red Raven crosses his arms and leans back on one of the "ice trees", "And what quest would that be Cleric?"

"That is MY business," Isabella replies. "Those greedy bastards back at Winewold have

been making a fortune from this Vernal Key for centuries and all they can offer us in return for risking our lives to retrieve it for them is some bottles of wine. I don't think so. They can afford a lot more and I will keep this key until they pay me due amount."

The Red Raven lifts one eyebrow in surprise, "Really? Extortion is it? You plan on holding

to ransom a group of peaceful people, who's very lives are now in danger, for some coin?" Isabella smiles, "Not just coin thief but magical weapons, armour, rings, potions! They have it all. I've seen those shops selling all those goods. I need it for a greater good - you would not understand. That village has wealth galore to spare."

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"Actually they don't," replies the Red Raven. "Many of those shops are only set up during the annual harvest festival. Most are external traders from Pachham, Winterhaven, Hewbrook, Anwich and Lington. The shops that are there as locals are all independently owned. There is no governing body and no taxes are levelled. Most of the locals are ransom?" farmers, miners or simple craftsman. Do you intend to negotiate with each local for your

"That is the problem of the person that hired us, the major Antero. He can bloody well get the key, your special abilities would be useful." Isabella says to the reclining thief.

the payment we ask for from the rest. How he does it - I don't care. YOU can help me hide

The Red Raven stands up and looks directly at the Cleric, "I have already done the people of Winewold enough harm, though what I did I did for love not greed. I will not help you."

Isabella narrows her eyes and her voice takes on a dangerous edge, "Then are you against me? Will you try to stop me?" Her hand moves closer to the hilt of the morning star.

"No, you have the advantage over me lady. You have helped me save my love and I owe you a service. I will not interfere. Once I return with my Geppa I intend to give up my ways. The as I once did. The Red Raven will be no more and I will give up the cape." people will be against me now and without their approval I will no longer be able to continue

Isabella relaxes and walks towards the camp, coming close to the Red Raven on the way, "Good, if you know what's good for you, you'll stay out of it." *********

After a simple meal the party discuss what they will do now. It is decided to get the

occupants of the camp to come with the party to the Jarl's lair and with their help grab all get the Red Raven to use the Vernal Key to exit the icy prison.

the loot there. Once that is complete they will make their way back to the magic runes and

The group leaves the large cavern and make their way back to Jarl's lair. It is as the party left it. The treasure horde remains in the centre of the room.

After twenty minutes, the vast amount of coins and other goods are secured within six prisoners. Everyone present is used to carry a chest, except Elamros, who remains on
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large chests. Each chest can be carried by two of the heroes or by four of the accidental

watch with his bow ready. Slowly, with their heavy burden, the group makes their way back to the magic runes.

Once more, Isabella prays to detect magic. She sees the circular vortex of eldritch energies that congregate in front of the runes. She explains what she can see to the Red Raven and moves to hand over the Vernal Key to him, pausing slightly with some hesitation to release the key.

The Red Raven takes the glowing orb and moves it delicately in the air in front of him at the point described by Isabella until with an audible ping the orb locks in place in the empty air and begins to glow brightly. For the next two minutes, the deft hands of the Red Raven slowly as he does so. move and manipulate the Vernal Key in strange motions - the colours of the orb changing

Suddenly with a loud bang and a whoosh of rushing air, the Vernal Key becomes free again and starts to pulse with yellow light.

The Red Raven, sweat visible on his brow, speaks, "We have to hurry. We need to make our way over the other arcane runes. That is the actual door. If we carry the Vernal Key there whilst it is still pulsing we can leave here. If we take too long we can't use the key for another year."

Isabella grabs the key off the Red Raven, "I'll take that. Let's move!"
As the party begin moving forward, large heavy steps can be heard coming from the direction they need to go.

"Everyone ready your weapons!" roars Krondor.
"I think we just got the attention of the Jarl," the Red Raven says as he readies his hand crossbow.

At the other end of the corridor a large humanoid figure appears. The real prisoner of this icy hell. The Jarl of the North Wind.
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Behind him two more of the flying creatures are circling.

As the party are looking at the Jarl, he suddenly vanishes! Isabella shouts, "He's invisible! He's looking for the Vernal Key. Everyone around me!"
One of the flying creatures flies at speed towards the party and then starts to shift back and forth in air, making it hard to focus.

Elamros shouts, "That dam Blur spell again!" Arforth raises a hand and speaks, "It won't dodge this!"
T wo blue bolts appear at the Wizards hand and fly fast and true to the shifting flying creature. The bolts hit and the creature spins in the air, one wing lower than the other.

Elamros shoots two arrows at the shifting creature but only one hits.
Krondor charges down the corridor.
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Isabella shouts, "Get back here Dwarf! Stick together!"

The Dwarven fighter ignores her shout and runs head fast at the flying creature, swinging the cold ground.

his battle-axe up at the it. The blade slices the beast in two and two bloody halves drop to

Suddenly the air above Krondor swirls and the Jarl appears in the space there. His massive hammer is above his head in both hands. The Jarl drops down and smashes the hammer into the Dwarf, knocking him back with the blow.

"Great Calistria! That thing can fly and turn invisible!" Elamros yells. The Half-elf Rogue sends two arrows toward the Jarl but only one hits its target.

The Jarl looks down upon Krondor and in a loud, deep voice, "You are not the carrier!"
As soon as the Jarl had appeared, Seng had started sprinting towards it. His speed so upon them. great that as soon as the mighty hammer of the Jarl had hit Krondor the Monk was already

"Does anyone listen to me?" says Isabella with anger, "Stick together!" Seng jumps up into a flying kick and strikes the Jarl in the chest.
Isabella bows her head and prays. A yellow glow surrounds her giving her protection from evil.

The remaining flying creature flies fast down the passageway and approaches the group. Its mouth opens and from it bursts forth rushing air, filled with small particles that rip and tear at skin, clothing and armour. The rushing air hits three of party, opening small bleeding cuts on them.

Moving with speed and agility the Red Raven rolls under the flying creature and stands up on the rear side of it. Before the creature can turn or react the dagger of the Red Raven blood pools around the lifeless creature. plunges into the back of its neck, dropping the creature immediately to the ground. Black

Arforth with eyes ablaze looks at the Jarl and suddenly the left leg of Jarl bursts on fire.
Isabella points one hand at the Jarl and speaks, "By Cayden - BE SILENT!"
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The air hazes between the Cleric and Jarl but no other effect happens. The sounds of battle can still be heard.

"The spell failed!" cries Isabella.
Seng moves rapidly and jumps up - the monks hand snapping up wards towards the Jarl's head. The blow connects and the Jarl steps back, visibly stunned, and unsteady on his feet.

"That's it lad! Now's our chance!" shouts Krondor as he swings his battle-axe at the stunned Jarl, the blade opening a nasty wound.

The Red Raven runs over to the Jarl and moves to the rear of the unsteady foe. With a a vital organ.

aimed precise strike, the Red Raven plunges his dagger into the back of Jarl, cutting open

Seng breaths in deeply, focusing his chi, then his body snaps into motion. Hands, feet, slowly topples over and hits the ground hard.

knees and elbows strike forth against the Jarl. Bones snap and organs rupture. The Jarl

The Jarl of the North Wind lays motionless, blood coming from numerous wounds.
"Quickly we must move to the exit before it's too late," the Red Raven speaks with urgency as he looks at the slowly flashing vernal key, that protrudes from the backpack of Isabella.

Isabella bows her head and prays, opening her eyes and sees that a bag on the belt of the Jarl is glowing. She speaks quickly, "Grab that bag and the gold rings on his fingers. Let's go!"

Seng grabs the items quickly and then the group move off with the six chests. They quickly make their way to the other arcane runes and as they approach near it a massive, over powering white flash knocks all the group onto their backs - unconscious. *********

Krondor blinks his eyes. The white slowly fades from his sight. His head is hurting and his mouth dry. Sitting up he looks around. All the others in the group are around him but laying on the floor unmoving but breathing. All six chests are also there. Blinking his eyes
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and focusing he sees that they are no longer in the icy prison but back in the Inclusion Hall of Winewold. Above him is the reliquary that holds the vernal cup.

Standing next to the vernal cup is the Red Raven and he holds the vernal key in his hand. The Red Raven looks down at the Dwarf, "I took this from here and I shall return it."
He places the orb into the cup and a loud hum, almost painful, sounds and then fades away. Krondor slowly gets to his feet whilst the Red Raven comes back down to join him.

The Red Raven begins: you travel with is not.

"My friend Dwarf, I see that you are true of heart and mind but I warn you now, one that

One of your party has a dark heart. Ambition and pride her downfall.
Your Cleric wished to keep the Vernal Key to herself and use it to force the people of selfish desires. Winewold to give her vast treasure. She would risk the lives of many others for her own

I too have a less than stellar past but I only stole from those of well enough livings as to be able to not be effected. I only kept a small portion and gave most to the poor and needy. save the life of another. I did not steal for my own benefit .... at least not until I stole the vernal key and that was to

I had planned to give my red cape to your group and let you decide whom was to receive it cape can only be used by one that it is freely given too and freely accepted.

but I can not let the cape fall into that Cleric's hands. I bestow the cape to you Dwarf. The

Do you accept the cape?" Krondor looks at the others, still unmoving, and at the face of Isabella, "Yes, I accept."
After handing Krondor the cape, the Red Raven moves over to the unmoving Geppa and kneels down, "You have another choice to make now Dwarf. Do you let me leave with my love or detain me here for the authorities? I will not fight you and will accept your decision."

Krondor moves to the Red Raven and bends down, "Go. T ake your love. I will deal with the others and with her." He turns to look at Isabella as he says the last.
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The Red Raven grabs and picks up the small body of Geppa, "Thank you Master Dwarf."
He moves to one of the rear doors and quickly leaves. Krondor places the red cape around his shoulders and fixes the clasp, holding it in place.

A minute later the others, one by one start to stir.
cursed, filthy, lying Red Raven!"

Isabella gets to her feet and seeing where she is looks up at the Vernal Key sitting in the

Vernal Cup. She looks around angrily at the group searching. She screams, "Where is that

Krondor moves over to stand in front of Isabella, "Lier? That means a lot coming from you!" The others start to move closer. Seng speaks, "What do you mean?"
Krondor points a hand at Isabella, "She had planned to steal the Vernal Key and force the people of this village to pay for it back!"

Isabella seeing the faces of those around her, turns from being angry to unsure, "Hang on that's not right. I wasn't stealing it. We risked OUR lives to find it. Why shouldn't we be benefit!" compensated for our effort. This village is rich! I was thinking of you guys. We would all

Elamros leans in, "And when were you going to tell us?"
Isabella replies quickly, "I wasn't. None of you have the stomach to do what is needed. So I made up the stuff about the holder of the vernal key losing their mind to keep ..."

"You did what?!?" roars Krondor.

"That doesn't matter," interrupts Isabella, "We deserve more. With that wealth we could buy better gear and equipment and mounts! That stuff could get me to the sword of Dremel sooner. Why shouldn't we be rewarded?"

"Because," starts Krondor who then raises his voice to a bellow, "we gave our word to do it! And we agreed upon a price! We do not go back on our word and WE DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE IN DESPERATE NEED!"

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"I'm sure this is all a misunderstanding. I don't believe Isabella would risk peoples' life for coin," Seng speaks in a calming voice.

The Cleric lowers her head, "Don't you understand? I was given a task by my god. When I get inconvenienced to make that happen?"

find the sword it will help hundreds of thousands! What does it matter if some people now

No one responds.
never taken ..."

Isabella sees the red cape on the Dwarf, "I hope you aren't thinking to claim that for your own. That belongs to the party. I have given myself to this party over and over and I have

"ENOUGH - it's mine," roars Krondor.
The Dwarf walks up to Isabella, within a hands span away, and speaks with a calm voice, "It was bestowed upon me by the Red Raven. It can only be used by one that it is freely arrangement between him and I. It is not party treasure! I will honour his request." given to. The Red Raven made it clear that he did not want you to have it. It is a personal

Isabella begins to say something then stops.

She turns and walks to one of the doors. Everyone quickly gets out of her way. As she is walking away, she says in a loud voice without turning to look, "I'm going to the inn. Get those chests to our rooms so we can sort it out."

Without any glance back she leaves. Elamros and Seng exchange surprised glances.
heart."

Krondor stares at the door she left through and mumbles, "One of your party has a dark

"What was that?" Elamros asks. Krondor turns to the half-elf, "Nothing."
*********
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And as the party organise to gather their new found treasure and with the cheering of the "accidental prisoners" at their freedom and the cries of triumph of the locals as they come of Desnus, that is where the play session ended. through the doors to see the return of the Vernal Key - at roughly 8pm on Oathday the 9th

The quest: The Flight of the Red Raven, is concluded.

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