Keratia

Session 1 - Guard Duty (Testbot)
The party is hired as caravan guards

Adventure begins as any adventure does, a group of mismatched people gathered in a tavern, sitting at a table, listening to their job description. Gathered at the table were Kharnor a Half-Orc Bard, wearing a badger skin hat and showing incredible talent in playing a bagpipe, Rale Thislelea a Halfling with a roguish look about him in fancy clothing, Jin Feng a Wood Elf wearing military uniform, Nima a Half-Elf in dark leather clothing, Urth Hornraven a Human Ranger, Tyrwin Bramblewyne another Wood Elf but a Druid, and V’har Tzeer a Dragonborn who enjoyed employing telepathic communication as a chief way of talking with others.

They were hired as guard duty for a caravan headed to Wex. A job paying 60 gold for about a week of travel. Simple as jobs go.

The second night however, after the caravan had passed Lowwood and before they reached Midlewood, they had to rest on the way. The caravan owner, having planned for this, guided the party to an abandoned graveyard, relatively safe except one gaping hole in the wall.

The party, uneasy having previously seen wolf pack tracks on the road set up watches for the night and as fortune would have it, the wolf pack attacked.

While vicious in their own right, the party were numerous and luck was on their side and they managed to deal with the wolf pack while only two of them took serious injury. The dire wolf that attacked shortly after the pack lay dead with Rale’s dagger in its eye and several of its teeth littering the ground. It was then that two peculiar items were noted. Firstly, that the wolf corpses were either rapidly decaying or already on the verge of decay as they collapsed to the ground. And secondly, that there was a shape of a crescent moon drawn with now-dried blood on their foreheads.

Happy with their victory however, the party went to sleep. Yet not a full hour had passed when a dark tall figure was sighted standing above the rapidly decaying corpses of the wolves. It’s eyes glinting in the darkness, it gave a brief look to the party and the watch, and with a swift and effortless swipe of its claw, it decapitated the dire wolf and took its head with it deeper into the jungle. It wasn’t until sunrise when Urth, after seeing the claw marks and the footprints, confirmed their fear that the nighttime visitor was in fact a large hybrid werewolf. All the more reason for the party to hurry to Midlewood.

Upon arrival, the caravan owner settled the half payment as promised and the party scattered in the city to rest or prowl and to prepare for the rest of the incoming journey.

(I wrote this because I thought no one else would :P If you think I’m wrong prove it and write next session’s adventure log.) -TestBot

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Session 1
Guard Duty

Our adventure begins Cohford, in the Kingdom of Bray. Warriors, soldiers of fortune, mercenaries, explorers, adventurers, and murder hobos pass often in these lands in search for riches and glory. Recently there has been a request for these characters to provide security for a caravan traveling to the city of Wex. So in the Caravaneer lodge, our heroes meet to discuss their mission and introduce one another…

The first is Nima, the Half-Elf Rogue. A pale half elf with flowing jet black hair down until his shoulders, a sword in a leather hilt on his belt and a bow on his shoulder. A quiver of arrows behind him, hung from his belt. A green half-cloak reaches out from his grey hood and hangs from his right shoulder, reaching down to knee. He often walks with a smile on his face, a stride in his step, and a generally positive mood. He is almost always seen in his leather armor over his dark green clothes, black leather pants, and dirty stiff leather boots that seem to always magically attract mud.

Next is Rale Thislelea, the Halfling Rogue.

Then there is Vhar Tzeer, the Dragonborn Warlock.

There is also Jin Feng, a Monk Lieutenant of the Hanedan Empire. Jin is a darker-skinned elf with a haunted look in his eyes. His long dark hair is usually pulled back into a ponytail, as it and the stubble he’s begun to gather are the main two signs of his partial departure from the army proper. A mostly black uniform with gold highlights and three lieutenant’s crosses on his shoulders marks his rank. A shortbow rests on his lower back, and he carries a well-made quarterstaff of dark wood, long since worn smooth from use.

Amongst the others is Urth Hornraven the Human Ranger.

Additionally there is Tyrwin Bramblewyne, the wood-elf druid.

And finally, there is Kharnor. A Half-Orc Bard. Kharnor “Carnage” Claymore. A burly orc like many others, wearing simple clothing yet armored with a scavenged leather jerkin. His arms are adorned with what looks to be scars running up and down his arms, but upon closer inspection one can tell they are not mearly scars: they are music bars with notes, reminding him of his song of valor. He wears his hair into a single topnot ponytail, and secured to it is a fex made from a skinned badger.

This strange group of people make introduce themselves after the caravan master arrives and informs them of their quest. They are to protect the shipment of food and supplies until they reach the city of Wex. They must first traverse through the Brayvoir Forest, cut through the Graystack Mountains, and brave Shelgen Forest until they arrive to their destination. Their path is mapped out to them, and they are given time to ready themselves for the journey ahead.

After a night of drinking the party leaves before the sunrise, heading west into the Brayvoir Forest. Their first stop would be Lowwood; they will rest there for the night before moving onto Midwood deeper within. Their travels to Lowwood was uneventful, though they spent the meantime sharing tales and speaking about themselves.

They reached Lowwood shortly before nightfall, and the party was allowed to do as they please with their time. Urth and Tyrwin ventured into the woods to gather natural regents, while Rale sought to feed his vices. He searched for Dragonborn Smokeweed, a powerful psychedelic substance were even a single bud could induce violent hallucinations within large and hardy the Dragonborns. Kharnor spent his time gathering information from the locals, hearing rumors of wolves deeper within the woods. As the night grew on the party settled into the Inn, resting for the next day.

Once more the caravan woke up before the crack of dawn and traveled through the forest. Thanks to the skills of the party’s ranger, they were able to traverse the woods with relative ease, though they would not be able to make it to Midwood within the same night. Fortunately the caravan master knew of a location nearby which would provide ample protection against the wilds, and so they went to search for it. However as they looked, Jin spotted the ravaged corpse of a deer not far from the forest roads. The creature was obviously ripped apart by animals, likely the wolves Kharnor had heard of. The party took note, but continued onwards regardless.

Eventually they arrived to the location the caravan master spoke of: a walled off graveyard. Ominous, but secure. A friend of the caravan master found the location, and he had secured it with a simple lock. The party moved inside and observed their surroundings. The first thing they noticed was a section of wall which had fallen: the savvier members immediately knew that if enemies came, they would come from there. Thus those prepared set down simple hunting traps for the inevitable. The next thing that was noticed was the tomb. Rale looked through the stone building, followed by Kharnor. There they discovered that the tomb was dedicated to the goddess of life, and served the purpose any tomb would: to house the dead. After some exploration they left, though Kharnor left behing his staff as some sort of offering.

With the horses settled it was time to rest for the night. Watch orders were made, a campfire constructed, and the party was ready to sleep. Jin and Nima, being elves, chose to sleep in the trees. Kharnor, being the adventurous sort, chose to lay his bedroll onto the tomb’s roof. The others sleep on the ground and fell asleep. The first watch noticed nothing out of the ordinary, but it wasn’t until the second watch that danger occurred. Urth noticed the eyes of a wolf in the forest, and when more arrived he took his horn out and signaled for battle. Everyone were roused and combat ensued.

The wolves struck first. Effortlessly sailing over the traps laid out for them, pouncing to Urth and Tyrwin, who was near. Twyrin was badly injured, as was Urth. Regardless however they fought. Tyrwin brandished his brutal cudgel and struck the wolf, and soon Rale the Halfling rogue attacked from the shadows, removing an eye from one of the feral beast. Though effective, the savage monster did not go down. V’har channeled eldritch powers through his body and attacked the beasts, but between the crowded battlefront and the nimble wolves, V’har did not have a clear shot.

Urth acted next,drawing his short sword and cutting down an animal. And leaping down from the tree, Nima took out his own bow and fired into the melee, but unfortunately he did not find his mark. By this time Kharnor had been awoken by the sound of the horn, but he was truly ready by the sound of combat. Seeing his allies fending off the pack, Kharnage brandished his claymore, leaping from his rooftop shelter and directly into the fray. He cleaved the head from a single wolf upon landing, challenging the beasts to face him.

And face him they did. One wolf answered his challenge and bit his arm with it’s powerful maw. Another wolf emerged from the forest and went straight towards the weakened Urth. He was take down by the wolf as it savagely mauled him. Twyrin, forced into retreat due to his own injuries, casted a spell as more wolves arrived. He summoned a blade of ice which impaled a wolf through the skull, before shattering into icicle shrapnel. The ice cut into the other wolves, weakening them enough for Rale to slay a wolf, piercing it’s heart. Jin also took down a wolf with a graceful blow to the head using his quarter staff, finishing it off with a crushing fist. Nima once more appeared from the shadows and slew a wolf with an arrow through the eye, before finally Kharnor hewed through the final wolf with a swing of his claymore. Blood and victory fueling his bravado, Kharnor called out into the forest, challenging the darkness to face him. And the darkness answered.

From the forest came a direwolf. It charged towards Kharnor to avenge its fallen brothers, but the orcish song-warrior was ready for him. Parrying the wolf’s blow Kharnor set the direwolf to be taken down by his allies. The first was Rale, who despite his injuries suffered from the battle, managed to throw a dagger deep into the direwolf’s eye, all the way down to the hilt. Twyrin aided Urth and healed him of his injuries, just in time for him to pick up his weapon and strike the wolf, weakening it further. The honor of giving the direwolf it’s deathblow as Jin. As the beast was recoiling from Urth’s slash, Jin slammed his staff into its other eye, stunning it long enough for the well-seasoned soldier to effortlessly grasp it’s neck and break it like a twig.

The battle was won, but there was something admiss. Upon the bodies the wolves had a strange crescent symbol drawn on their foreheads in blood. Additionally the smaller wolves began to rapidly decay, faster than they naturally should. Only the direwolf remained, but everyone was tired. There were many wounded and had no energy to carve the wolf of it’s flesh and bones. The party went back to bed, resuming their watch. But their night did not go uninterrupted. A few hours after the battle, another visitor arrived. A hulking beast, with claws sharper than any blade and the strength to tear a man limb from limb. Or to tear a direwolf’s head from it’s body, which is demonstrated to the unfortunate guard on watch. The werewolf left without another word, but it’s sighting forced the party to leave soon. Werewolves should not be here so far to the north. Whatever its purpose, the party was not equipped to investigate.

Though the night was eventful, the caravan managed to get a full night’s rest and arrived to Midwood soon after awakening. Their battle with the wolves gave everyone quite a learning experience, but their quest was not over. Obtaining half of their pay once they arrived at the city, our heroes rest up and get ready for their next adventure.

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Session 2 - Ambush! (TestBot)
Hey my cargo is walking off!

After the caravan set off from Midlewood and to the mountain pass, the weather turned foggy. Of course this wasn’t to the likeness of anyone but they still had to push on regardless, especially since their resting place that Brian had chosen resided a ways away still.

As they arrived at a narrow bridge pass, a prime area for an ambush if there were to be one, they were promptly ambushed. A group of rebels called the “Blue Stripes” outnumbering the party (albeit barely) blocked the way and attacked the caravan. After a few seconds of combat, the leader of the ambush, a quick man of much skill, charged for the carriage itself pulling out barrels and revealing the true cargo that was being carried unbeknownst to the party.

Under the fruits and vegetables were Brayian (?) arms and armor, the armor spilling across the bridge in direct shot of the Blue Stripe acolytes who were prepared with special wands to animate the armor, making it carry off barrels of weapons.

While the combat itself was certainly not going the way of either engaged party, the Blue Stripes had claimed what they were here for and retreated, having lost their leader, a few soldiers, and failing to burn the carriage. This was the end of the ambush.

After recovering from the fight, the party were annoyed and angry with Brian who had lied to them about their cargo. Some took issue as this information would have drastically changed the initial perceived risk of the job and some were angry as this would drastically change the worth of the job. Either way, Brian had now half his cargo and a disgruntled protection party. His reason for the lie was that since none of them were soldiers of the land (as he was supposed to receive for the caravan) any one of them could have been a Blue Stripe. While reasonable, this did not change the party’s attitude at their current perdiciment and they had to plan to somehow retrieve their lost cargo as Brian outright refused to go anywhere until he had his cargo back.

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Session 3 - Blue Stripe Outpost (TestBot)
Spoopy Ghost of bullshit many actions

As sun rose behind heavy clouds, fog gave way to rain. The party move down the slopes of the mountain following the heavy footprints of an animated suit of armor carrying a blood stained barrel of weaponry.

Eventually, they noticed a smoke column not far off coming from inside a walled off compound of sorts. Perhaps an abandoned church of cemetery. The party using a great deal of caution and stealth moved close and eliminated a guard, the sound of thunder silencing the twang of the bow and the thud of its hit on the wall behind the skull of an unaware guard. They inched closer and closer, and finally followed by the harmonious sound of bagpipes backed up by the drum roll of thunder they launched their attack. A jaguar chewed on a dwarf, paralyzed by the eldrich magic of a dragon born, swords flashed, arrows flew from the shadows, bagpipes played. The compound was taken and two survivors had retreated into the church.

Rale, Kharnor, and Nima prepared to break in through one of the windows while the rest gathered up at the front door, however before they could breach the doors, the doors opened and a suit of armor began attacking the group. The battle in the church was a tough one for the party and made even more difficult by the next being the showed up.

From the back of the church came a tall figure. humanoid at the top yet hazy and cloudy waist down. It carried several chains, each ending in a humanoid skull. It was quick and resilient to normal attacks however the magical weapon of V’Har very quickly dealt significant amounts of damage. Significant enough for it to flea and thus leaving the bruised and battered party victorious.

As the party made preparations to leave, two items of note were found. One was a magical map of some sort. Able to accurately and instantly portray the geographical and political situations of the world of Keratia and the other was a symbol. An evil and ominous symbol of a skull flanked by two large wings. This was the symbol of the Lichdom. The symbol of the Lichdom in the possession of a ghastly figure, presumably (and later confirmed by the map) commanding the local Blue Stripes. While this had ominous ramifications, it was a topic best discussed later when the party had tended their wounds and was perhaps in the secure confines of a town or at least on the road and away from where a ghost may come back to any time.

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Session 4 - Wex (TestBot)
Lots of sneaky beaky crap happens

Things that happened because I can’t figure out how to put it into writing nicely. Someone else do this session:

  • We altered the contract (to +30G per person)
  • We got to Wex
  • Sullivan who was the Crosswinds boss changed it to only +5G per person
  • We got the gold (35G per person)
  • Rale was tailed
  • Turned out Rale slept with a rich guy’s daughter and now has a hit on him.
  • Party set up trap for assassin who was a no show
  • Nima went for a night walk (not a warewolf. Stop being suspicious :) )
  • Party got “hired” for ruin exploration up north (no cash up front or payout). Leaving in a day. Contract said they get everything and the wizard that hired them can buy anything he wants from them.
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Session 5 - Forest Research Outpost 46 (TestBot)
We really should not have touched that

After spending another day in Wex and sorting their personal businesses and making some last minutes purchases the party set out north with Bao and after a brief night rest in the forest they arrived at the ruins the next noon.

The area was swampy in a sharp contrast with the forest they had just walked out of. Some stone ruins were visible in a vaguely circular pattern around a central pillar. After some inspections by Bao and Kharnor’s ritual of understanding languages, the found out that the name of the location was “Forest Research Outpost 46” and soon after they found a moderately accessibly entrance beneath a good amount of mud.

After the party made their way through the doorway and down some stairs they found themselves in a sort of a chamber overgrown with vines and ferns. They quietly made their way into the room and investigated the ferns when they were ambushed by the very ferns themselves! The ferns were aggressive animals hiding themselves as ferns and the vines were angry plants.

After a quick and painful combat the party reestablished security in the room and continued their investigation into the next room where they found a few desks and a blue stuck door.

Being unique, the party took interest in the blue door and opened it, finding a large statue inside. A statue with pristine hard armor and a functional shining sword. They party began discussing how to deal with the statue when in the confusion either Rale decided by himself or was told to take its sword. He approached it and at touching the sword the statue came to life and backhanded Rale into the nearest wall. The statue was now awake, angry, and a very real threat. It was tough and seemed to largely not give a single thought to massive strikes against it. It fought the party all the way out of its room until it took a knee and recharged. It then stood up, took down Rale with a heavy strike, put handcuffs on him and went back to its previous state of motionlessness.

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Session 6 - Outpost 46, explored! (TestBot)
Where we don't learn to not touch things

I can’t for the life of me write this session. Someone else do it pls.

Things that happened:

  • Ruins were explored
  • Ferns were fought
  • Magic doors were opened
  • A not_a_stargate was discovered, touched, and summoned a massive construct of whoop ass
  • Vhar got branded
  • party returned and discovered a capib in the woods
  • It was a (literal) bloody trap.
  • Party followed trails back to Wex, saw an execution
  • Party left south after receiving a letter calling them there.
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Session 7 - Murder we wrote (TestBot)
We have plan A, B, C, D, 5, and DD

Eventually, the party arrived at Abbeyvale. Eager to pay of Rale’s debt to rid themselves of the weight of one of their members being tailed. They found themselves in conversation with a nameless Tiefling who after meeting with them, gave them an option. To kill a captain of the army in exchange for Rale’s debt.

The party planned extensively for the murder. They planned to challenge him in the melee, then to get him drunk and take him outside of town where he would be murdered. If none of that worked then they would plant a stolen necklace on him to condemn him to execution.

the reality however was different. The captain performed admirably in the melee and only Jin managed to stand up to him. Afterwards the party challenged him to a drinking match in which he eventually passed out, retreating to his tent.

Rale took this opportunity. He sneaked into his tent, slit his throat, and escaped. Anxious from his recent act of assassination, he hid the dagger just in time before the town went into lock down. The dead captain was discovered, the hunt for the murderers had begun.

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Session 8 - Investigations of The Crown Divinum
Officer? Am I being detained?

The group eventually gathered and began to quietly plan for how to deal with the investigation. They came up with an alibi for Rale (setting him up as their “accountant” and taking all his weapons and armour). They then went back down to the common area of the inn they were staying at just in time to hear commotion outside from the apparently arriving reinforcements.

Outside a contingent of armoured men had arrived. They were escorting an adorned carriage which stopped in front of the other inn. From it emerged a man adorned in intricately designed heavy plate armour. He was one of the highest ranking members of the Crown Divinum. The party knew that their situation had gone from bad to much much worse.

The investigations were to begin soon and of course the foreigners were (correctly) some of the prime suspects. In the short span of time they had, Nima began teaching the group how to lie under literal oath as it was more than likely that the newly arrived paladins would be using truth spells. Soon enough they were called away one by one to be questioned. Eventually, Rale broke. Either by the failing of his will’s defense or his consciousness, he confessed to the party’s involvement in the murder. Soon enough the party was arrested and put in jail. There was however a sliver of hope. The newly arrived captain had a habit. His executions were personal and done in duels. This meant that their death was not imminent nor certain.

As soon as they were left alone in the jail, they began preparations for escape. Nima picked the locks and the aprty gathered their equipment, gave back Rale’s weapons and armour, and headed for the door. Two guards were killed. Outside was the captain preparing for his duel with Rale (and later with the rest of the party as Kharnor confessed to involvement in the crime to assist Rale) surrounded by his escort. The party saw movement. The Tiefling was also arrested and was being brought into the jail. The part set up an ambush and quickly killed his guard freeing him. They planned with him for the party to engage the Crown Divinum forces outside, allowing the Tiefling to gather help and assist the party in their escape. The implication being that this would be the “extra” payment for the assassination.

The party begun an ambush on the forces outside, engaging in a very risky combat. The captain alone was a very difficult target judging by his armour, rank, and implied skill. Now however, he was surrounded with a contingent of paladins which made the combat extremely deadly. Soon enough Kharnor and Rale were downed in combat and the rest of the party was struggling with the enemy. Suddenly, before a killing blow fell on a party member (who was it that was saved?) a ghastly sword pierced the captain. The ghost that the party had encountered earlier had arrived and had just killed their enemy.

Soon the party gathered their wounded in the arena and met with the Tiefling who told them of a man named “Davos” in a nearby town who would smuggle them out of the country. They thanked him and were shortly on their way, fleeing out of town and eastward.

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Session 9 - Escape from Bray (TestBot)
And they bravely ran away

Things that happened:

The party fled east in a several day long trek, avoiding the roads and signs of civilization. The journey being more long than perilous.

Eventually the party came across a cabin. An abandoned cabin surrounded by the corpses of dead farm animals and emanating a small rumbling noise through the ground. The party quickly changed their direction and headed at least a mile out from the cabin before camping for the night.

The cabin’s inhabitants however did not leave them alone. It was home to a type of large bug like creatures that traversed through the ground. the seven bugs ambushed the party.

Contrary to their demeanor and shape, they were not as instantly deadly as assumed. The party managed to mostly deal with the acid sprays and horrid bites and put down the seven assailants. Their sense of dread calmed by their victory over the unknown enemy, the slept through the night and headed for the destination.

Two days later and they had arrived at the city walls. They split into groups and made their way into town without any suspicion from the gate guards (excluding the small issue with Tyrwin’s inability to play a musical instrument) the party arrived at one of the town’s less prominent inns. Somewhere they would most likely find Davos. Sure enough, they did.

While the party spread around town to replenish their sanity and their supplies (and as always Jin painted on a rooftop), Nima negotiated their escape from Bray. A price of 90 gold was settled for their extremely short notice escape and their destination was set for Trassis Republic. Davos was on his way to prepare and the party had to spend four hours not getting murdered. Four hours passed.

As the party was boarding the ship, a contingent of troops surprised them. Quickly assailing them with magic and arrows, the forced the party into a hasty departure. The party returned fire however Tyrwin fell into the water. The ship was too far away to allow the party any immediate rescue methods and before they could even consider any, the mages in the troops hit the water with their spells, freezing and most likely incapacitating Tyrwin. The ship pulled away and a realization sank in. Tyrwin was left behind.

  • Mage-Pile: Like dog-pile, except done from a distance, with more elegance, and far more deadly.
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