Munster's Greyhawk Campaign

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

Cheesy Summary Wednesday 17/03/2010
Trust me... Shadow Walk is perfectly safe!

The Band of Seven Songs have been on the march in company with the Highfolk levy, the Home Guard, the friendly cleric Torik Redaxes-son and the mercenaries Tovak Bloodheart and Maerith of the Cold Moon. The march had been without incident, and Zonkel even managed to get a ride on a supply wagon as his short legs had great difficulty keeping pace with the human and half-elven soldiers. Arriving at the village of Laurellinn, they found a settlement preparing for war. In a clearing of about 600 yards, a manned wooden palisade surrounded about 50 buildings- including a sizeable inn and a number of lumber warehouses. An army of Furyondy was seen to be marshalling in the clearing outside the walls, with hundreds of tents arrayed in neat white rows. Many of the soldiers appeared to be wounded, with horrible burns from acid and fire in addition to the usual fare of cleaved limbs and missing fingers. An air of determination emanated from the camp however, for a costly victory had been won against the forces of the Old One in the lengthy Badlands campaign. Most of the soldiers wore tabards and surcoats with the device of the Barons Kalinstren and Littleberg.

Having taken an informal role of leadership with many of the Highfolk militia, some of the soldierly inclined among the Band of Seven Songs such as Avras, Ranton and Holmer assisted in setting the large Highfolk camp alongside the Furyondian one while others elected to head into the settlement for their own purposes. Cae in particular found the arrival at Laurellinn daunting, as she had lived there for an entire decade some 80 years previously. She expected to find Endryll Copperhands, her son, curious to see what kind of man he had become and why he had never chosen to answer any of the eight letters that she had written him since she left him and his father, Bjorn.

Zonkle had been attempting to unravel the protections upon the massive spelltome of Zebedaster Frost, the former Master the Fane of Scales, but to little avail. Deciding that a slightly more experienced worker of abjuration spells would be needed he decided to teleport back to Chendl and enlist the aid of Ringlerun. There he discovered that the old wizard was in the process of planning a trip with the King to Keoland, where it was hoped an alliance might be forged against the Old One before it was too late. Ringlerun informed Zonkle, as His Pious Majesty’s Chief Councillor on All Matters Illusory, of a state secret. The imprisoned Illusionist Nelkoth, who had been captured after failing to destroy his Heartstone doppelganger, was gladly telling the Kings agent’s all that he knew of his former masters- Ormuz, Patch and Radduj. He also gave Zonkel Nelkoth’s spellbooks as did not have the time or resources to decipher them and considered Zonkle the right gnome for the task given his command of the arts of Illusion. Ringlerun also attempted to dispel the protections on Zebedaster’s spelltome but was unable to do so, insisting that it was a puzzle he may be able to solve on the journey to Keoland. Thus, Zonkle gave the potent tome into the old wizard’s keeping.

After establishing his bona fides with the Furyondians, ensuring that he would not be slain upon his return, Gagor Hadush stalked off into the forest on his own business. Whatever he had in mind there, the brooding half-orc was in no mood to volunteer the information to anyone.

Cae sought out her son, nervous at the prospect of meeting him and unsure if she should even reveal her identity. Asking after him amongst the villagers of Laurellinn she was directed to the local bowyer/fletcher’s shop- a surprisingly grand and prosperous affair not far from the Oak’s knot, the local inn. There she found a solemn half-elf with silver hair, hard at work fletching some arrows and engaged him in “shop talk” about different styles of bow and what fletching works best. He spoke with pride of his children, grand children and great grand children too, most of whom had followed him into the business. She decided not to introduce herself yet as she was pleased enough that Endryll was talking with her, and about a subject that they both loved. He even showed her his masterpiece, a composite bow of yew and horn. Promising to return and discuss the possibility of enchanting the weapon, Cae left to rejoin her companions with a spring in her step and hope in her heart.

A tired Furyondian company was returning to town from the east, led by none other than the Archmage Karzalin and nearly thirty of the wizards associated with the Chamber, a dozen scouts and about fifty exhausted footmen. Many of the encamped troops clamoured to get a look at the famous wizard, as well as not a few of the Band of Seven Songs. Karzalin appeared to be very tired indeed, and his face was grim as he dismissed the men and set out for the village with a small entourage in tow.

Meanwhile, Terevas had set up a beer tent for the Furyondy veterans and the Highfolk militia, acceding “in spirit” to the wishes of Captain Gareenway of the Highfolk and Captain Sir Roderick Farantor of Furyondy that any booze be strictly rationed for the troops. Rendar and the giant Tovak more or less aided Terevas in this endeavour, while Maerith sought privacy to study her craft at the Oak’s Knot Inn and Holmer and Ranton made the rounds of the camp hoping to bolster morale. While setting up their tent and later over beers, Avras and Torik got into a friendly theological discussion concerning the merits of Trithereon and Ehlonna. Avras did his best to convince the priest that he was “barking up the wrong tree” with his goddess and Torik, not the sharpest wit in the Highfolk, used his prepared notes to refute the warrior’s claims.

Feeling quite good about her afternoon, Cae decided to find the campfire of Lord Jon Eldon, a councillor of Highfolk whom had accompanied the Home Guard. Jon had been a lover of Cae’s some twenty years earlier and up until now had been unaware that they were traveling amongst the same army. He was overjoyed to see her and introduced her to his friends around the campfire, including Captain Gareenway and a wizard named Tavin Ersteader. The two old friends caught up over a simple dinner, and Jon told her about his brilliant and willful son Victor, whom had been educated in Furyondy and was an aide to Karzalin himself.

After a few drinks to drum up some dwarven courage, Cae left the camp and returned to the shop where she found a matronly, suspicious looking woman and a couple of youngsters helping Endryll with his work. Happy to see her, the master bowyer closed the shop a few minutes early and introduced them as his daughter Alsa Halflane, his grandaughter Naria and his great-grandson Endryll. After some smalltalk about Endryll’s father Bjorn, who had died of old age some forty years earlier, the half-elf bade Alsa and the others go and wash up for dinner while he had a word with his new friend.

Cae screwed up her courage and told Endryll that her name was Cae Crystalbow and that she was his long lost mother, come to visit after 70 years. Naturally her son was quite disbelieving, claiming that his mother was long dead, slain by gnolls. His father had told him so, he said, and Cae responded that this was a lie. Endryll’s initial shock turned to outrage when the truth of her words began to sink in. Where in the Hells had she been? Cae explained that she had sent a letter every 10 years to “keep in touch”, though that just appeared to make Endryll even more angry. The idea that a letter every ten years was enough for Cae was certainly not enough for her offspring. Endryll told her that she had cursed him and kicked her out of the shop.

Marching directly to the beer tent, Cae declared her intention to get “shit-faced” and proceeded to drink herself into a stupour.

Returning to the camp, Zonkle was sought out by a young mage in red robes who introduced himself as Victor, and asked the gnome if he would be willing to return with him to the Oak’s Knot for an audience with Archmage Karzalin, adding that it was a matter of some urgency. Zonkle responded that he would be pleased to do so, and sent among his companions that something was afoot. He then followed the young fire mage into Laurellinn.

Karzalin looked exhausted, his once neatly trimmed beard gone wild and his eyes red and gritty. His fine robes were singed, dirty and torn in places and the array of wands formerly about his person were gone. Only his glowing staff indicated the power that was the Archmage’s to command. He informed Zonkle that the Badlands campaign was won, though many leagues of forest had been devastated and more than a thousand good men had been lost. Over six thousand of the Old One’s troops were no more, and he had nearly incinerated Vayne and Radduj though they were certain to be back. Furthermore, the Greater Boneheart Wizard Mole had irretrievably been slain by Sir Harry’s agents in the County of Crystalreach.

It was unclear who might replace the fallen Mole in the Greater Six, but Karzalin said that his money was on a little-known Baklunish fellow by the name of Kermin Mind-bender. More importantly, Mole had been in possession of a number of documents indicating that a half-fiend by the name of T’kes Deathhand, the most powerful and feared Gnoll chieftain of the Vesve, was in negotiations with the Lesser Boneheart Priest Olive, known to be the late Mole’s second. These negotiations revolved around an ancient tomb of someone called Aknar Ratalla, thought to be somewhere to the west of the Badlands, near a waterfall on a tributary of the Att River. If Olive could deliver the location of the tomb, said to contain some mighty weapon that this Aknar Ratalla used, T’kes and his deadly followers would join the Old One’s camp.

This outcome would, obviously, be unacceptable for Furyondy, the Archmage noted in his usual dry fashion. He further added that although he had never come across the name of Aknar Ratalla, there was only one waterfall on a tributary of the Att that he was aware of. It was near the township of Barillon and he needed the Band of Seven Songs to get there before T’kes or Olive and keep this weapon out of the hands of Furyondy’s enemies.

Zonkle said that the Band of Seven Songs was ready and willing and would leave at first light. He had just the spell ready to get them near the place too- Shadow Walk. Paying his respects to the Archmage, he then left to round up his friends and make preparations only to find Gagor missing and Cae blisteringly drunk. The rest of the Band, plus Torik who reaily volunteered to assist, settled in for a much needed rest.

The following dawn saw the band ready to go, though Cae was quite worse for wear until Terevas applied his secret hangover cure- a well executed slap to the back of the head along with a unique spell of his own devising. As they set out a young man approached the party and introduced himself as Owen Halflane, a militia scout currently attached to the army of Captain Sir Roderick Farantor. In particular, he wanted to meet Cae Crystalbow of Clan Krysalyn, whom he added was his great-grandmother, much to the amusement of her friends.

Upon making Cae’s acquaintance, Owen quietly explained that Endryll suffered from melancholy and Bjorn and at least a couple of the family of each generation had conspired over the years to spare him knowledge of his mother’s letters. His mother Alsa and his cousin Mae weren’t happy that Owen had come to speak to Cae as they were now the keeper of the letters and furious that she had come back to Laurellinn after staying away so long. He on the other hand, had no hard feelings and hoped that Cae and her human family might become friends at least in time. Endryll was in a fragile state, but should be alright with his family to look after him. He then shook hands and returned to the village with a wave, and a kernel of hope for Cae that she might be forgiven for the foolishness of her youth.

Without further ado, Zonkel cast his Shadow Walk spell. The Band of Seven Songs made swift progress towards Barilon through the Plane of Shadow for a number of hours, though a few of the party that had not traveled in this way were deeply uneasy about the foreboding, shadowy trees that loomed over the party as they trod the forest path. For several hours they travelled without problems except for the odd alien warble or the unnatural swaying of the trees.

As the Band of Seven Songs rounded a bend in the forbidding shadow forest, a few of the party members began to act confused and a cloying, greasy, unclean cloud erupted amongst them. Striding out of the nothingness was a giant of shadow, laughing as several people keeled over with sickness and others attacked their friends. Terevas managed to hit the giant with a scorching rays spell as someone yelled “Nightwalker!” The fiend, seemingly unperturbed by the fiery rays, answered the half-elf quickly with another unholy blight and then pointed his finger at Terevas and a coruscating purple ray shot forth to hit him in the chest. He immediately collapsed to the ground, dead. Torik Redaxes-son called on Ehlonna to protect her servants and quickly cast a rejuvenate spell to restore Terevas’ fleeing spirit, as Zonkle dismissed his spell and the Band of Seven Songs fled back to the Prime Material Plane. Shaken by the encounter, they continued the last few miles to Barillon without the benefit of the gnome’s magic.

For his part, Zonkle assured the rest of the Band that an encounter with a Nightwalker was rare in the extreme and that the shadow walk spell was quite, quite safe…. most of the time. And they weren’t far from Barilon after all, so their chances of getting to the tomb first were now very good. And no one died, well…. for long anyway. So his job was well done and the cranky looks from the rest of the party were entirely unwarranted.

The Band trudged on, towards danger yet again.

Will the Band of Seven Songs reach the Tomb of Aknar Ratalla before T’kes Deathhand and the envoy of the Lord of Pain, Olive of the Lesser Boneheart? What secrets lie with the bones of the dead and how can they be secured from the forces of Iuz? Will Cae’s family forgive her for the foolishness of youth, and will any of the Band ever let Zonkel take them on a Shadow Walk again? Find out next time…

Cheesy Summary Wednesday 25/11/09
An Old Friend Returns...

The Siege continues! As Goodmonth passes into Harvester, the scorching, oppressive weather of high summer continues and the people of Chendl struggle on. The crash of mangonel stones striking the walls has become more or less a constant, hammering home the despair that threatens to steal the heart’s of the capital’s brave defenders. As a result of the Darknight Disaster and the loss of much of his bodyguard, the King issued a decree that has caused waves in his court. The Band of Seven Songs would hence forth share protection duties for the King along with Sir Hadric Silverlance and his men, who have been reassigned to securing an outer cordon around their lord. The distinguished knight is known to be deeply (but quietly) offended that a group consisting mostly of commoners has been promoted to his level. Court wits have been having a field day with the development.

Zonkle Knacklesack, Chief Magical Advisor for All Matters Illusory has become the King’s closest confidante and rarely leaves Belvor’s side. Ranton the Vengeful and his Shield Lander exiles provide a bodyguard for the two wherever they go, bolstered by the tireless alertness of Cae Crystalbow and the wiles of Rendar Redaxe. The newly promoted sergeant Avras of the Household Regiment acts as liaison with Sir Hadric and the other knights as they concentrate their efforts on securing the outer palace, doing his best to smooth ruffled feathers. The noted priestess Mercion and her redoubtable friend, the halfling Figgen have joined forces with the Band of Seven Songs while the third of their party, the famed mage Ringlerun, has left for distant Keoland on the King’s business.

All of this is, of course, a clever ruse fashioned by Zonkle, Ringlerun and the King. Belvor has left the capital altogether in the company of Ringlerun. They joined much of his personal guard who were smuggled out by the old mage after Darknight. Having rendezvoused at a manor near the edge of Fairwain lands and all have taken a desperate journey to seek aid from Baron Jemian at Worlende and Viscount Luther at Brancast. In Chendl only Sir Harry, General Gallantren, Lord Priest Garaeth and the Chamber of Four have been made aware of the ruse. Even Sir Derryian and Gagor Hadush, absent when the Simulacrum was cast, were left in the dark although Sir Harry gave Zonkle discretion to allow trusted people knowledge of the secret.

Over the following three weeks Zonkle gently steered the exuberant faux-Belvor through numerous faux-pas. The simulacrum, while in possession of most of Belvor’s memories, did not have the emotional content associated with them and so appeared to be the King of old, known for his carefree and sporting manner. Indeed, not a few court wits have commented that the King seems to have found a new steel in the fires of the siege- or that it has unhinged him completely. The faux-Belvor makes frequent public appearances to bolster morale but never seems to get too close to any of his subjects (lest they notice the coolness of his skin).

In the meanwhile, Derryian and Hadush have grown suspicious of the party but have remained out of the loop. Sir Derryian has continued his defacto leadership role on the northwest wall as Sir Alexander Quentish slips further into melancholy. His rapport with his Shield Lander militia has increased, and Mortimo Marek and the Emridy Armsmen have worked hard to integrate the newcomers into the fold. Gagor has spent much time outside the walls, infiltrating enemy ranks to gather information, sabotage the mangonels and assassinate as many chieftains and officers as possible. His efforts have led to a paranoid effort by the enemy to secure their siege weapons, drawing large numbers away from another possible assault on the walls.

But still, it is only a matter of time. High Priest Patch and Archmage Ormuz are on their way with their own troops and the city surely cannot hold without reinforcements.

However, aid has arrived from an unexpected quarter. Terevas Sevensong, known in some circles as Terevas Earthshaker, has been missing for the better part of a year and completely unaware of the chaos that has ensued without him. His search for his friend Rach took him high into the rugged mountains of the Clatspurs and into great peril. Although he has related little about his journeys he has returned with Rach in human guise, a copper wyrmling in his charge and sporting the iron ring of a gnome friend. He related that he had just teleported to Crockport, expecting to meet the wizard Ralston, return the boots of teleportation and collect his own possessions before setting out to rejoin the Band of Seven Songs. There he found the old wizard’s tower in rubble and the city overrun by orcs, undead and demons! Wisely deciding to flee as numerous enemies took note of his presence Terevas struck out for the nearest place that came to mind- Chendl.

The appearance of the inhuman sorcerer on the Field of Triumph created a panic of it’s own. After the horrors of Darknight, the defenders of the city had been given standing orders to charge anyone sinister that appeared out of thin air! Some quick thinking on the part of Terevas led to him casting a Voice of the Dragon spell and luckily for him, an ally was within earshot. Sir Derryian forestalled the imminent attack long enough to establish Terevas bona fides and the childhood friends, guardedly reunited, headed to the palace to confer with the rest of the Band. The welcome was somewhat spoiled, with Hadush’ rudeness towards the “servant boy” almost earning the wrath of Rach.

As the young dragon’s spittle sizzled on the floor, Terevas related some of his tale adding that they had made an enemy of a powerful red dragon known as Farflame whom had made the destruction of Rach’s bloodline his obsession. Farflame seemed to know wherever Rach was whenever the copper was forced to resume his natural form and had indicated that he would seek the younger dragon wherever he went. Therefore it was only a matter of time before Farflame became a problem for Chendl as well. At this point someone commented that the palace did, in fact, have rooms that were warded against scrying or any other kind of detection magic. The faux-King added that if Terevas was willing to make the protection of Chendl his problem for now, then he would see to it that Chendl would make the protection of Tervas and his kin against Farflame a priority when the siege was broken. Gratefully Rach agreed to retire to the shielded rooms as his Karmichael form had only a few hours left.

Suddenly a servant was found eavesdropping on the conversation. The party swiftly captured the boy, who was frightened into near catatonia by the presence of Ranton. His second, Hangman Holmer, used his facility with ropes to bind the boy and the interrogation began. The rather groggy young lad Gil said that he worked in the kitchens and mindlessly repeated an order in a high pitched, girlish voice telling him to “hide, listen, return and report”. Obviously the servant was under the power of some sort of compulsion and utterly without fault, but perhaps he could lead to the capture of the Old One’s spy in the palace! Clearly woever was responsible for the leak in the palace was using the largely ignored servants as their unwitting agents. Young Gil was released under a new compulsion to return and report nothing of his capture, while Terevas followed at a close distance in search of a “snack” and Ranton, Rendar, Derryian and Figgen took a more casual pace.

Gil did indeed return to the kitchen, where Terevas saw the servant boy report to none other than an equally dazed Dair Mooncaller, the young halfling cook whom had served many a fine meal to the Band on the road. The sorcerer hailed Dair and abruptly the spell was broken and the halfling was overjoyed to see a friend thought lost. Seeming to come back to himself, he asked Terevas if he had seen Dair’s good friend Dallia Thistledown, a fellow lightfoot. Apparently Dallia had been a travelling cook and bard in her youth and had settled in Chendl three years ago to accept a position as the Royal Chef. Terevas’ keen elven ears also heard further orders being given in the same girlish voice behind the closed pantry door. Abruptly the door opened and a young, strong woman stepped out with a similar glazed look and, to the amazement of the other servants in the kitchen, started trying to club the half-elf with a rolling pin. A chuckle issued from the pantry as the spy within moved to escape.

Doing his best to avoid the blows of the wench without harming her, Terevas shouted a warning to Rendar, Derryian, Figgen and Ranton as they entered the room. Ranton bellowed at the servants to block the exits but they instead fled from the unfamiliar, menacing warrior in a blind panic. Dair ducked for cover as Figgen went to Terevas’ aid and Rendar sought out the tell-tale signs of an invisible foe. Thinking quickly Terevas reached into the pantry, grabbed a tun of flour, hurled it into the kitchen and let loose with his patented “Hey!” spell. The tun exploded and flour covered the whole room, outlining a small form making for the nearest exit.

Rendar set out after the spy, only to be waylaid by a spell. “Ensure my escape and kill your friends”, she whispered, and Rendar felt powerless to resist. At first he ignored Ranton and looked for Terevas, Derryian or Dair but when the big warrior pushed past the ranger in pursuit of the receding cloud of flour Rendar was compelled to act, dealing the Shield Lander a horrid blow to the side. At a disadvantage and with the spy escaping, Ranton thought better of tackling Rendar and rushed off after Dallia. Derryian engaged the ranger and tried to reason with him, only to receive a blow from the Axe of Gella himself as Terevas dodged past with supernal speed.

With the two old friends in a deadly standoff, the sword Ansanther took a direct hand in events. Calling upon her Holy Avenger powers, she dispelled the enchantment and freed the Ranger’s mind. With redoubled fury Rendar took chase after Dallia as Derryian was quickly left behind. With Ranton screaming at guards in the courtyard to “stop that cloud!” the spy was quickly surrounded by Household regiment guards and Sir Hadric’s knights. One sergeant in particular distinguished himself, continually disrupting Dallia’s attempts to escape via dimension door spells. Now visible, the sweet eldlerly halfling was struck several times and it swiftly became clear that she was something other than a simple bard. Born down under many strikes, she let loose with a last horrid, shrill pronouncement, “My Lord comes! Your city will fall, and be scoured from the Oerth!”

As the Band of Seven Songs and their allies looked on, Dallia Thistledown rapidly fell to rot. Cae carefully picked out a ring and what appeared to be various spell components hidden in her apron. They were left to ponder the last, dread words of the creature and speculated that perhaps she was some strange variant of a lich. The King resolved that her quarters must be searched, and the party left the remains under the care of Sir Hedric Silverlance, his knights and the brave sergeant whom had played such a decisive hand, now identified as one Owen Gwynn.

Will the quarters of Dallia Thistledown reveal the extent of her treachery? Can the city hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive? And what menace does the red dragon Farflame pose to the Band of Seven Songs?

Find out next week!

Cheesy Summary Wednesday 18/11/09
A King's Gambit

Enjoying a few hours of rest and recuperation before their return to the grim, besieged city of Chendl the party took advantage of the comforts of Leren and Zonkle’s home in Greyhawk City. Cae made some inquiries about purchasing a number of spells and magical items that she had heard about while Rendar and Avras got some much needed sleep. Leren informed Zonkle that they were effectively broke, with all of their profits and much of their capital spent on outfitting Chendl’s defenders with the rare and costly cold iron weapons purchased from the dwarves of Karakast and Dumadan. Much of his own fortune had gone on setting up the Two Coppers Inn in partnership with the missing Terevas Sevensong then wining and dining the likes of Guildmaster Dougal McBain, his fellows in the Brewers and Ostler’s Guild and Guildmaster Ren o’the Star of the Merchants and Traders Union in order to ensure that they did not interfere with the opening of a new inn in Greyhawk territory. Lastly, contributing to the resurrection of Zonkle and the wizardly escort to the temple of Boccob had cost them every last remaining coin in their coffers. And payment from the crown of Furyondy would likely have to wait until the end of the war as Belvor’s own funds were draining fast.

Leren said that he would have to sell the Two Coppers as Terevas owed him 6000 orbs for his half of the business and Leren had no capital to continue on his own. Unless they could get together some gold to purchase beer from inside the city and abroad, and find an able man to run the inn as well, the venture was sunk altogether. On the bright side he would need only a few hundred orbs to get the alchemy and magic shop running again as with he and two able apprentices hard at work that business could look after itself. Zonkle did his best to cough up some gold at this dire news and by the time that the party was ready to leave, Leren’s uncharacteristic solemnity had mysteriously departed and he seemed once again his cheerful and ebullient self.

At last Ringlerun insisted that they return to Chendl as they would be sorely missed in their duties. They returned to the docks, collected Avras’ spear from the watch at the River Gate on the way, and found a clear spot next to a Rhennee barge. Avras was left unsteady when he happened to inhale some pungent smoke wafting out of the cabin of the barge and then Ringlerun teleported the party back to their customary place in the inner city. They then parted ways on their own errands but invariably whether it was Derryian, Redwolf or a Household Guardsman that they encountered, they were informed that it was urgent that they assemble at once and make their way to Sir Harry’s quarters at the Eastern Gatehouse. This was easier said than done as Hadush could not be located, and Avras found himself stuck in the shop of the half-orc’s eccentric friend, Ranjandum the apothecary, who introduced the curious warrior to other fragrant smokes as well as his supply of fine imported dates and figs.

The rest of the Band, less the missing Hadush, collected the befuddled Avras and continued on to the gatehouse. There they found Sir Harry in whispered counsel with Ringlerun. Sir Harry dismissed everybody else in the room save a silent helmed and visored soldier and Ranton the Vengeful. Ranton is a scarred Shield Lander veteran, renowned for leading a small army of vicious, vindictive and dedicated Shield Lander exiles. Ringlerun worked a Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum and the Acting Grand Marshal briefed the party on the state of the city. In short, Chendl was close to collapse. She had too few defenders and too many enemies outside the walls. The rumours that High Priest Patch and Archmage Ormuz were on their way appeared to be true, as the former had been spotted in several engagements in Crystalreach and the latter was known to have situated himself in Crockport. Both appeared to be making their way towards the capital judging by the scrying efforts of Karzalin and Ringlerun. In the opinion of both the knight and the old wizard Chendl could not survive an assault led by the High Priest and the Archmage of the Boneheart. Reinforcements must be had and soon if the capital was to be held.

At this the visored soldier removed his helm and revealed himself to be none other than King Belvor IV himself! New lines of worry creased the Kings face and shadows had gathered under his eyes, the struggle against despair writ large upon his features. For the first time since the Band had made the King’s acquaintance he actually appeared to be a sixty year old man, and a weary one at that. The King voiced his agreement with Sir Harry and Ringlerun, adding that two Furyondian armies were camped less than 100 miles away. A large army of Viscount Luther Derwent of the March was in a stalemate with the enemy at Brancast ford on the Crystal River less than 80 miles to the east. Baron Jemian of Littleberg was less than forty miles away in a fortified position on the road to Worlende but appeared to be unwilling to advance on a greater enemy. He continued that he needed to leave Chendl and whip these two and the rest of his recalcitrant Great Southern Lords into action but if the people were to realise that their King had left the city they would think he was deserting them, causing panic and chaos. This had left the Paladin King with a horrid dilemma. Stand with his people and face certain doom with his city? Or leave to rally support elsewhere and consign his people to hopelessness and despair, followed by a very likely doom?

The resurrection of Zonkle Knacklesack had provided a new solution. If the Master Illusionist could fashion and maintain a phantasm of the King for as long as a month, Belvor could travel south, raise some reinforcements, break the stalemate at the ford of Brancast and attack the besieging army from the rear. If all went well the siege would break and the enemy would fall back, buying the city precious time to resupply, reorganise and evacuate noncombatants! If the attack did not succeed…. well, the King left that unsaid. All in the room understood the consequences if the King’s gambit failed.

But the plan would hinge on whether Zonkel could pull off the titanic task of maintaining an illusion more or less constantly for an entire month!

With but a few seconds thought Zonkle responded that he could go one better. If given free reign he could in fact fashion not just a phantasm of the King, but a simulacrum of the King! A near-living, breathing, thinking duplicate of the King of Furyondy that could carry out Belvor’s duties and physically interact with the people of Chendl. It would be a trial to control the fake Belvor but he felt confident that he was up to the task. Even Ringlerun was astonished at how far the gnome’s studies had come along in recent months and despite the exorbitant cost of more than 14000 wheatsheaves worth of rare reagents and components, all agreed that this was a good plan. The King in particular seemed pained, as that sort of gold could feed the entire city and the refugees for 3 months! With his usual sardonic air, Rendar shrugged off his magical haversack and produced over 10000 gp of gems. King Belvor was briefly overcome with emotion, then offered the ranger his word that at the war’s end the Crown would repay every last copper common with generous interest besides, and further reward should Rendar wish it. The Simulacrum King plan was on!

Then one final hitch in the plan came to light. Sir Harry’s spy ring had uncovered evidence that the Old One had an agent in the King’s own palace! Who the traitor was had not been discovered yet but any subterfuge would have to survive their scrutiny until the spy could be ferreted out. For the King to suddenly bring a band of adventurers into his inner circle would look suspicious. In order for such a change of guard at the palace, the King explained that honours would need to be heaped upon the party to make it seem like a natural development. Their defeat of Vayne offered a natural pretext for such honours. Zonkel was offered, and accepted, the position of Chief Magical Counselor for All Matters Illusory. Rankin and his men would be made his guard of honour. Avras was offered the station of a gentleman, a position in the King’s Household Regiment, and the promise that any man who called him a bastard from this point on would have to answer to the King himself. Unwilling to make any oaths of fealty, Cae and Rendar demurred any ranks or reward, insisting that they would join any bodyguard assigned to Zonkel instead.

With the matter settled the King replaced his helm and left the room, a simple chagrined soldier seemingly under a shouted reprimand by Sir Harry for failing in some special duty. The knight allowed himself a grin, saying that he “always wanted to tell off a King”, before dismissing the Band back to their respective duties for now. That night Ringlerun secretly teleported to the southern lands to gather the necessary elements for the spell, and Zonkle prepared himself for the trying month ahead as the rest of the party offered what support they could. All but the King’s Generals and Karzalin and his fellow Master Elementalists would be kept in the dark about the plan. Even Sir Derryian was to be told nothing of the subterfuge until the King returned with his relief army.

In a secret chamber at noon of the next day Zonkel began to shape the block of ice that would become the faux-Belvor. Avras, displaying yet another hidden talent, gave the gnome plenty of helpful hints on how to shape the ice the better to make a useful disguise. Exactly what upbringing had the Bastard of Crockport enjoyed to know such useful skills? Finally the body was ready and the spell was cast! King Belvor stared into the eyes of a near perfect replica, and appeared somewhat unsettled. He immediately made sure that the simulacrum understood exactly whom was the King and whom was the copy! He then took took some assistance in removing his custom-made magical full coat of plate, gave over both it and his legendary greatsword, the wondrous Mantor. Finally, most reluctantly, he gave over his crown.

The King then donned a rather more serviceable suit of plate and mail, took up his ancestor’s sword, Bronzeblood, and thanked the Band of Seven Songs for their aid and their discretion once again. He then left by a secret passage with his traveling companion, Ringlerun the Mage.

The “new” king, seemingly quite satisfied with the situation then smiled at the party and said in a dangerously upbeat manner, “ Come, we have a Kingdom to run….”

Will the simulacrum fool the Old One’s spies? Can Sir Harry and the Band of Seven Songs uncover the traitor in their midst? Can Zonkle maintain control over the faux-Belvor or will the new King rule with disastrous results? Can the King return with an army before High Priest Patch and Archmage Ormuz arrive? Can Chendl weather the gathering storm of the fury of the Boneheart?

Find out next week!

Cheesy Summary Wednesday 11/11/09
Darknight Aftermath

Forced to leave their fallen in the charge of some wounded Household Regiment soldiers, the party bade the men take Zonkle and Louis to the temple of Rao. Exhausted from their struggles they pushed on to their section of the west wall, accepting what first aid could be given from Redwolf’s field hospital. Sir Derryian and his new men, the Shield Lander exiles, had acquitted themselves well and had all but repelled the assault by the time that the Band of Seven Songs reached their posts. It would appear that the major push against the west wall on this occasion was south of the gatehouse and the wall took heavy damage and casualties there instead. As the false dawn settled the brave defenders on the wall pressed on and the enemy fell back from the walls. The sun finally broke across the horizon, the enemy retreated to their camps and the brave folk of Chendl realised that they would live to fight another day.

The tally of the Darknight Disaster was costly. 719 civilians and refugees slain and 1242 defenders fallen to shadows and wall assaults by skeletons and orcs. Many of the fallen were veterans, men that Furyondy can ill afford to lose. The east wall must be reinforced as two thirds of their defenders did not survive Darknight. The renowned Master Illusionist, Zonkle Knacklesack was slain along with his friend, the sagely Louis d’Vitae. Numerous pockets of undead continue to plague the eastern city, taking many clerics away from the wall where they are sorely needed. Although the Greater Boneheart Mage Vayne has been vanquished for now, it would appear that the plans of Commander Xenvelen were successful as the morale of the besieged folk of the capital is at an all-time low. It appears that he sent clerics and mages only into the city along with a handful of shadows under cover of dimension door and invisibility spells, using the undead to create havoc and spawn further shadows.

The Band of Seven Songs immediately began making preparations to have their companions resurrected. Visiting the Temple of Rao, Rendar met the Ambassador of Veluna, Victus Gellain, who seemed to be in an agitated state. Canon Avras Vendenn informed them that he had already communed with Rao and been informed that Louis d’Vitae could not be resurrected. Their god had other plans for the priest. After discreet inquiries, it was revealed that of all the priests of Furyondy only Lord Priest Garaeth Heldenster had the power to return Zonkle to life and even then the Master Illusionist would be diminished. Rendar announced that he had contacts in the church of Boccob in Greyhawk City, having been resurrected there himself by Patriarch Ravel Dasinder a number of years previously. The only catch would be that a truly extraordinary diamond would have to be consumed in the spell and the assistance of the Patriarch of Boccob always came with strings attached.

Cae called upon the assistance of Zonkle’s good friend Ringlerun the Mage, who agreed to teleport the party to Greyhawk City. Preparations were made and Rendar, Cae, Avras and Ralston left for the Free City with the corpse of Zonkle. The River Quarter in High Summer was particularly fragrant with the stench of rotting fish and sweat. Avras and Cae were introduced to the extortionate gate tax, freesword tax and even a cargo tax to transport the body of poor Zonkle into the Free City. Cae’s mithril armour drew attention as they moved through the city and numerous ill-aspected characters appeared to be following the party by the time they made it to Zonkel’s house in Clerkburg. His old friend and business partner, Leren o’ the Duchy, had made preparations to buy the diamond from the Guild of Jewellers and Gemcutters and was forced to call in more favours to ensure a wizardly escort to the Temple of Boccob the next day.

In testament to Zonkle’s reputation or perhaps Leren’s influence, an escort of no less than 12 wizards waited in front of the house at dawn the next morning. Among them were the famed Otiluke, President of the Socirty of the Magi and Jallarzi Sallavarian, a known friend of the Archmagi Tenser and Kieren Jallucian. The thieves of Greyhawk melted away into the city.

Rendar’s friend Altamaic the Calm waited for the party at the Temple. He had organised an interview with the Patriarch, who had just 11 minutes to spare the Band. Altamaic had always felt beholden to the Band for helping him to return the Mad God’s Key to the temple, and let the party know what the Patriarch would like to hear to gain his endorsement for the resurrection. Unfortunately Cae let this inside knowledge slip in the interview, thus earning Altamaic the censure of the Patriarch.

Ravel Dasinder conducted the lengthy and intricate resurrection spell as soon as Zonkle’s corpse was prepared. As the party and Ringlerun looked on, the massive diamond over the gnome’s heart seemed to grow indistinct and sank into his chest. The Master Illsuionist had spent a harrowing, interminable time “in a dark place where indecipherable yet malicious whispers and cruel laughter were all around while agonising shooting pains spread through his limbs and a terrible thirst took hold of him”. Abruptly the All-Seeing Eye of Boccob pierced the gloom and bathed the illusionist in it’s awful, cold light. Zonkle had the impression that he was falling through the planes of existence and then finally, woke with a gasp and a shuddering sigh.

The Patriarch of Boccob took the shaken Zonkle into the catacombs beneath the temple, where he was shown an enormous, detailed map of the Oerik. The Flanaess was in trouble, with great welts of red, purple and black energy encroaching from the north, northeast and east. Pockets of white, blue and grey existed in the middle of ther map, corresponding to the nations of Furyondy, Veluna, Nyrond, the Iron League and the Sheldomar states. Some of these directly clashed with the darkness and appeared to be flickering and receding in the face of the war. Other areas were calm and untroubled, such as the lands of the Greyhawk plain and the Urnst states. Ravel claimed that these last areas were at peace because they were in balance, and the wars engulfing the rest of the lands threatened to throw out the balance permanenly. He further explained that if this were to happen, the results could be disastrous on a cosmic scale as the world of Oerth was like a lynchpin ensuring the balance of the Great Wheel!

While Zonkle attempted to absorb these revelations, Ravel calmly asked exactly what the gnome would be prepared to do to uphold this balance, for such was the true price of his resurrection. He also coldly explained that it was well within his power to put Zonkle back where Boccob had found him. The wizard replied that in fighting the Old One he was already upholding the balance. Ravel said that he agreed, but to succeed in such an endeavour in the long term the gnome must be committed to neutrality, not weal, and that the church of Boccob would call upon the gnome at times in the future to do some things that he might find disagreeable or in direct contravention of his morality. He may even be called upon to perform an act that he might deem to be evil! Such was the will of the Lords of the Balance, and such was the price of his continued life.

Upon weighing his (lack of) options, Zonkle agreed, and he and the Patriarch left the wondrous map and rejoined the party. There the gnome was welcomed joyously by Rendar, Cae, Avras and Ringlerun. Thanks and offerings were given to the All-Seeing Eye, and they returned to Clerkburg. Leren too was overjoyed at the return of his friend and business partner, for he had some bad news to tell.

Find out next week!

Cheesy Summary Wednesday 4/11/09
Darknight Disaster

The Band of Seven Songs had returned to Chendl triumphant after the attack on the Greater Boneheart Mage Vayne only to find the city under attack. Trumpet blasts and screams could be heard from the outer city, and it appeared that the attack by the forces of Iuz had already begun. Initially uncertain whether to answer the cries for help or hasten to their stations at the wall, the Band appeared to make up their minds when the Velunese Heavy Infantry and a a number of Household Regiment soldiers passed them at double time on their way to the east wall. Cae’s lover Parrais Endulanth was among them and she immediately set off to help, followed by Rendar and Hadush. The rest of the party did their best to catch up, struggling to see in the gloom of Darknight. Even the everburning street torches of Chendl appeared to be somewhat dimmer.

Those party members with keener sight noticed a number of soldiers collapse abruptly further down the street. Cae and Zonkel recognised the effect of a cloudkill spell on the night breeze and shouted a warning to the Velunese soldiers. The Master Illusionist then dispelled the deathly fog on his second attempt and the reinforcements continued on to the north wall. Louis fell behind as he sought assistance from the Temple of Hieroneous but found only one defending priest in residence. The old priest, Eltram said that the rest of the Archpaladin’s clerics were already on the walls, gave Louis a box full of holy water vials and swiftly barred the doors against attack.

As the reinforcements made their way to the east gate they saw the defenders were hard pressed in the gloom. A wave of shadow appeared to be sweeping up the wall and attacking them from behind even as enemies stormed the battlements. While Parrais and his men rushed to their aid, a few of the party members saw an odd sight down a side street. At the edge of the gloom two women dressed in white walked down the centre of the road, apparently escorted by two veterans of the Household Regiment and two militia men. Something was queer about the group, something out of place. One of the women was swathed in diaphanous white and bore a crimson cloak, while the other wore a white robe with a chain hauberk and a dark cloak. As the Band of Seven Songs looked on, the light from the everburning torches along the street seemed to flicker and go out.

Suddenly realizing that danger was near, the Band started to scatter as one of the women cast a fireball spell wreathed in darkness. Most of the party avoided the worst of the blast and took cover behind hedges, bushes and nearby walls. Zonkle was not so lucky. The gnome had stacked his energies heavily towards the surprise attack on Vayne and was ill-prepared with his defensive magics. As the fire engulfed him he recognized the taint of ancient forbidden magic infused with negative energy. The strength drained from his limbs and he fell to the ground as weak as a babe. Too late the party realized that he had been left behind, out in the open.

Cae scored a hit on the woman in the crimson cloak and hid behind a bush. Rendar rushed back to aid the gnome as the other woman cast a wind wall spell across the street. The half-orc’s shots were deflected harmlessly. Avras waited behind the hedge for a foe to come near. The Furyondian’s accompanying the women drew close and their slavering fangs and red eyes revealed that they had fallen prey to a vampire! The mistress of the spawn then revealed herself as the crimson cloaked woman, calling down thousands of bats upon the party.

Seeking to find advantage with a levitation spell, Cae found herself and Avras to be the main target of the bats as Rendar attempted to scoop Zonkle up only to find himself foiled by the gnome’s mirror image spell and the distraction of the buffeting bats. A spiritual weapon in the form of a glowing sword appeared to attack the ranger and the illusionist as the spawn closed in and tore at the two of them. Avras and Cae struggled to fend off the bats and get some distance as the normally ruthless Hadush, perhaps remembering the kindness of the gnome towards him, threw his bow down in frustration, drew his scimitar and rushed to Zonkle’s aid. He struck hard at one of the spawn from behind and was surprised to find the Household guardsman more enraged than hurt.

The source of the darkness coalesced into shadows. The undead were breaking off from the dark cloaked woman and attacking the huddling residents of the great houses of Chendl. The screams and alarms throughout the city were growing as more and more people were slain by the undead and spawned anew to take even more life. The woman in the dark cloak, now close enough to show her holy symbol of Iuz, stood calmly behind the wind wall and summoned two allips among the party. Avras fell prey to their hypnotic whispers, and stood uncertainly as the crimson cloaked vampire approached him. Hadush and Rendar were raked by the vampire spawn several times, and felt their strength ebbing as they desperately fought back in defence of their fallen friend. Zonkle lay all but helpless, his position desperate as his mirror images started disappearing and the vampire spawn scored some lucky hits on him.

Luck had fled the Band of Seven Songs! The beautiful vampire’s eyes bored into Avras, and she whispered, “Come to me, darling”. His will overcome the warrior dropped his sword and allowed himself to be enfolded in her arms. Too late he felt the sting of her fangs but was powerless to resist. Cae finally got some distance from the bats, and elected to get even more distance still so she could bring her bow and spells to bear. Hadush slipped in Zonkle’s blood and lost footing and his scimitar, struck hard on the way down by the vampire spawn that he was fighting. Rendar too fared poorly and could only look on as his old friend Zonkle was struck again by the unclean spiritual sword of the Old One and the life draining rakes of the undead. The Master Illusionist died right there in hopelessness and agony under the life draining claws of the vampires.

Realising that the fight was lost, Rendar and Hadush withdrew and ran for their lives. Cae blasted some of the bats and destroyed one of the militiamen spawn and one of the allips with a fireball. Avras began to succumb to the bite of the vampire, who paused in her feeding only to hiss a warning at several shadows that had drawn in for a taste as well. Louis finally caught up to the fight and too stock of the situation. He attempted to use his amulet of emergency healing on Zonkel, little realising that it was too late, and sought to regain the advantage by casting a briar thorn spell at the undead. The spell took effect and the vampires were caught, tearing at the briars and themselves in frustration. The remaining allip seemed unconcerned, and continued its awful whispering. The last spawn looked for fresh meat and took chase after Rendar and Hadush.

Louis continued his assault with a dragon breath spell and incinerated the entrapped vampire spawn and the last remaining allip as Avras broke free from the domination of his vampire. The two wrestled and the Bastard managed to gain the advantage as Cae struck her with a magic missile spell. Hadush and Rendar ran into four Houshold Regiment guards, one of whom gave his sword to the half-orc as another desperately blew three sharp blasts of alarm with his horn. Suddenly the party seemed in control of the fight. Unwilling to yield the field, the priestess of Iuz summoned a giant skeleton with a massive club and ordered it to smash the priest. Louis trusted to his ring of blinking and stood his ground as the first brutal swings from the giant’s club passed harmlessly through him.

Cae launched another magic missile at the vampire in red. She whispered “remember me, lover!” to Avras and then collapsed into mist, leaving the warrior empty handed. The Bastard briefly considered rushing the priestess, then thought better of running a gauntlet of shadows and withdrew as the undead surged forward at the command of their mistress. Hadush and the Household guards hacked the last remaining vampire spawn, one of their own comrades, to pieces. Rendar, as if remembering a dream, activated some heretofore unknown property of his axe and a great, hollow sigh seemed to erupt from the weapon as the wind whistled and runes began to glow on the axe and from his ritual scars. The shadows appeared to recoil from the ranger, giving the party time to withdraw.

Louis elected to remain for a few moments more but this time the giant club found its mark. The brave priest of Rao was crushed, pulverized into the wall of a mansion. Even the priest’s trusty amulet was unequal to the task of snatching him from death’s embrace. The rest of the Band fled the fight with Rendar well in the lead and the guards behind. First one, then another guard fell behind and were consumed by the shadows. Not three hundred yards to the north they ran into a band coming back the other way.

None other than Lord Priest Garaeth Heldenster of Hieroneous had answered the call of the horns. The breathless high priest, accompanied by his bodyguard of priests, temple guards and a number of Household Regiment veterans had sprinted halfway across the city from the north wall, strangely quiet from the battle. The exhausted Band of Seven Songs fell into step behind the warrior priests of the Archpaladin as the Lord Priest and his men turned the shadows back, their faith obliterating many. In the distance the party saw the vampire and the priestess falling back as their shadows were destroyed. Finally they withdrew altogether, using a dimension door spell to flee the city.

The streets are far from quiet as pockets of the undead remain to harry the living and battle rages on the east and west walls as the forces of Xenvelen and Galfaellin assail the capital. Exhausted, drained, bloodied and less of two of their number, The Band of Seven Songs are left to their own devices as Garaeth and his men continue into the gloom. The Darknight Assault continues. Does the party have anything left to contribute to the defence of faltering Chendl? What fate worse than death awaits the poor departed Zonkle Knacklesack, Master Illusionist? Will Louis earn his just rewards for service or suffer despair in the afterlife? Can the Band of Seven Songs endure this Darknight Disaster?!? Find out next week!


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