The Westerlands

Session 49: Truth & Consequences
Ow! You hit me in the EAR!

Where we left off…

After determining that the Cydonic Prince, Steponas has likely been abducted by the same gang of vampires who have been warring with Carboni’s 3 Rings Guild, the party captures one of a pair of mysterious individuals they discovered tailing them from Steponas’s last known residence.


Setting: A cluttered alleyway just off of Panthium’s crowded central market.

Fearing the inevitable approach of the city watch after their pursuit of the individuals who were following them, our heroes decide to take their captive to Carboni’s for interrogation. Before leaving the alley, Santiago knocks him unconscious, not trusting him to remain quiet due to a rather flippant attitude initially exhibited towards his captors.

The party exits out the far side of the alley with the unconscious skulk stuffed unceremoniously into the bag of holding. They make sure to let him out for air every few minutes, and generally proceed with caution to avoid the notice of the city watch.

Upon arrival at Carboni’s Guildhall, the party takes their prisoner down to a holding cell in the lower levels. When he is removed from the bag, the group discovers that their pursuer was actually a changeling. When he slipped into unconciousness, his features slipped back to their natural undefined state.

After sending for the thief master, Xandre & Santiago launch into a good-cop bad-cop routine hoping to loosen their prisoner’s tongue. After coaxing some basic information out of the changeling – his name is Leo, and he does, in fact, work for Samara, Xandre offers him a role in Carboni’s ranks in exchange for more in-depth cooperation. Meanwhile, Santiago engages in visible and aggressive martial arts exercises punctuated by brief intimidating charges to scream in the cowering changeling’s face.

Not wishing to be on the receiving end of the 1/2 orc’s fists, Leo agrees to cooperate and reveals the following information:

  • Samara and her gang did, in fact kidnap someone matching Steponas’ description a couple nights previous.
  • He was brought to the safe house where Leo was based before being transported to Baron Ashenwood’s Estate.
  • The gang operates a number of safe houses and business fronts around the city. Non-vampire gang members are kept largely insulated from other cells on a need to know basis, but the vamps utilize a series of portals linked to the Plane of Shadow to travel unseen between Baron Ashenwood’s holdings.
  • The Ashenwood estate contains no entrance on the material plane, but is said to be accessible from the Plane of Shadow.
  • Leo’s base of operations is the closest access point to the Plane of Shadow in relation to the Baron’s estate. It is located in a section of abandoned sewer accessed from the commons just outside the Vecnan Parish.
  • The trip across the Plane of Shadow is rumored to be very dangerous, and gang members refer to it as “The Run.” No non-vampire is known to have completed the Run alive.

Leo agrees to provide the group with directions to his base of operations and a map of the sewer leading to the safe house. After securing Leo’s conditional promise of protection from Carboni, the party retires to their rented cottage in the Pelorian Parish.

Later that night:

During the night, while Lanna and Santiago are standing watch, smoke suddenly begins to pour in through the windows and under the door of their cottage. Lanna and Santiago raise the alarm and proceed to battle the spreading flames as they shatter windows and pour into the house. Upon looking outside of the house, Lanna sees what appears to be someone in Pelorian robes watching the blaze from afar.

Roused by Lanna’s continued cries of alarm, the rest of the party wakes and gathers their belongings. When it becomes apparent that the fire is beyond their control, they decide to flee the burning building. Santiago smashes his way through the front door, surrounded by a ring of flame. Vester & Lanna climb through one window while Rayne and Piruk head out another. Xandre and Kit elect to take a more direct route from the upper level, leaping to safety with only mild injury suffered on the part of the bard.

As our heroes gather to assess their status, Lanna notices the mysterious figure has disappeared. The smoke from the fire, however, has roused the Parish and Pelorians are now converging on the site to battle the blaze. Santiago also notices a mysterious symbol painted on the chimney, which is determined to be an ash leaf.

Safe from the inferno, the party is put up for the night in a Pelorian house of healing. The plan for the following day consists of research and preparation for their strike against the Ashenwood gang.

Session 50: Santiago's Possession Problem
Have you tried NOT being possessed?
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Where we left off…

Our heroes have put up for the night in a Pelorian house of healing after escaping from their rented cottage which was set ablaze with them in it in the middle of the night.


Having spent the rest of the night without further incident, the group decides to spend the rest of the day preparing for their raid on the Ashenwood Gang’s hideout. They head to the market to purchase non-metal weapons and armor for dealing with the vampires’ rust monster pets, and then head back to the Great Library of Boccob in search of a sage who can tell them about the Plane of Shadow.

Session 59: The Keep at Thunder Vale
A place to hang your helm
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Where we left off…

It is dawn on the 5th day since setting out from Thunder Vale. Lord Dekelor is dead and Sturmholt is once again in the hands of Steponas’s men. Our heroes have recovered the Yautso and now prepare to return to the Vale.


The Courtyard at Sturmholt

As the sun rises over the eastern plateau, Holdout troops continue to pour into Sturmholt through the teleportation circle activated by our heroes. The first soldiers establish a defensive perimeter along the walls while later arrivals begin to form up in the courtyard.

Soon, the Holdout leadership, including Steponas arrive on the scene. Dekelor’s shroud-covered body is borne to the chapel as soldiers look on, a mix of sadness and resentment playing across their faces that such a man was bested by outsiders.

As Yuri’s Blackhats escort bruised Oathsworn prisoners out of the manor house, the Prince turns to the party.

“Seeing as these men were defeated at your hands, I think it is appropriate that you have a say in their fate. What shall we do with them?”

The party elects to have the prisoners re-earn their right to bear arms by serving in the reconstruction and refortification of Sturmholt. Steponas commends their formidable, yet merciful deeds as the party gathers to teleport back to Thunder Vale.

Bestowing the Keep

Back at Thunder Vale, Steponas informs the group of the details of their reward:
  • Fr. Yarov has agreed to act as interim castellan until the group appoints a permanent assistant
  • They will receive 1 squad of heavy infantry to serve as guards
  • They will receive 15,000g to be put towards restoration of the keep and hiring its initial staff.
  • The keep will be presented to the group as an adventuring company, rather than to any one individual. The party chooses to call their company, “The Seven” in honor of its lucky connotations and the seven founding members.
  • To make the transition official, the party members must take the Cydonic Oath of Knighthood. Once the details are squared away, Steponas gathers the people of the vale at the base of the cliff beneath the keep and anoints the party as Knights of Cydon and Wardens of the Vale.

First Orders of the Seven

Before leaving for Panthium, the party meets with Father Yarov to establish their first orders for the keep. They decide to hire a second squad of guards and a smith. They repair the keep’s curtain wall, barracks, barbican, smithy, armory and living quarters.

The meeting is then interrupted by a pair of earthy individuals respectively representing the herding and farming interests in the valley. They express their concern that they will likely need to make the Vale their new permanent home, and that in order to have enough food by next winter, they will need to work the land to generate food. They differ, however, on whether this is best done through herding or agriculture.

The Seven send the two away to properly compose their proposals, and so that they may discuss the options in peace. After some deliberation, the group decides to establish a combined agricultural guild to look after the Vale’s food production. To help foster the good will of their people and to boost the outlook of the new guild leaders about their compromise, they then throw an impromptu feast in celebration of the Vale’s revival.

Return to Panthium & Departure

One week after beginning their mission to recover the Yautso, the Seven return, once again to Panthium. It appears that their raid on the Ashenwood gang has become local news as Baron Ashenwood has posted wanted posters around the city offering a reward for information about those who robbed him and murdered his niece. The party makes their way towards the Fharlanghnish Parish to rendezvous with Gatwick, but first, Kit, Vester and Xandre stop off at a couple of taverns to sow disinformation about the Ashenwood raid -blaming the activity on orcish thugs. Their efforts drew the attention of a pair of agents for the Eye of Vecna who tailed the trio for a short time before thinking better about the dangers of confronting the group directly.

Rough Crossing

The party arrived at the Traveler’s Spire to find an impatient Govan Birk looking to get underway. After securing a reluctant Ceffyl in the vessel’s hold, and stowing their gear, the air ship pulled back from the spire and turned its nose to the East.

A week into the journey, the Zephyr runs into a summer storm over the Cloud Peaks. Our heroes are awoken in the middle of the night by a panicked gnomish crew member. He pleads with them to get on deck. When the party steps out into the driving rain, they notice three unconscious gnomes dangling by a safety rope over the side of the ship. They had been struggling to reinforce the wing struts with an extra rope line when they were blown overboard. The party quickly sets about hauling the injured crew back on board. Once they are safe on deck, Vester rushes them downstairs to tend to their wounds while Kit secures the wing rope. Then, a flash of lightning strikes the deck, setting it ablaze and causing the ship to lurch violently. Thrown to the ground, Rayne thinks quickly and uses her rod of frost to extinguish the blaze.

Meanwhile, a sharp, panicked sensation from Ceffyl draws Rua’Lanna downstairs to the hold. Rigs, the Warforged cargomaster is struggling to hold back a stack of cargo that broke loose when the vessel lurched. Lanna throws her back to the pile of crates and calls for Vester to locate the security spike which broke loose their net covering. After retreiving the spike from across the hold, the three manage to resecure the cargo net.

However, there is more trouble on deck. The gnomish pilot struggles to steer the Zephyr against the buffeting winds, Santiago rushes to the helm to lend his strength while Kit and Rayne dash to the forward observation room. Kit spots a looming mountainside directly in the airship’s path and shouts to Santiago to take evasive action. The half orc wrestles with the unresponsive controls as the mountain rushes ever closer. Just as the Zephyr’s fate appears to be sealed, the Warforged, Weller drops Govan Birk and dives on the controls, adding his weight to Santiago’s muscle. The ship rolls violently to the right, scraping against the mountainside, but avoiding a direct collision. The left wing snaps and dangles precariously and the elemental binding ring is knocked askew, but the Zephyr survives to ride out the rest of the storm.

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Session 60: The Wingriders
"Yoiks! and Awaaaay!"
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Where we left off…

The storm has passed and our heroes find themselves drifting across a landscape that is drastically different from the comparably lush green that they are used to. The Red Wind Wastes sprawl beneath, a vast expanse of rocky desert and tablelands distinguished by the rusty red color of its soil. Winds whipping down canyons and across unbroken flats stir up a haze of red dust which partially obscures the ground below. The G.A.V. Zephyr limps along through the sky as its Gnomish crew do what they can to make repairs in flight.


Inflight Repairs

With the assistance of our heroes, the crew of the Zephyr manage to repair the damaged airship as best they can within a day. That evening, the Seven gather on deck with the crew to celebrate a job well done. Xandre entertains the Gnomes with tales of daring-do and ballads of old. Santiago, however is troubled once again by the demon inside him. A nagging feeling, which began as the storm subsided has grown inside the half-orc, compelling him to go to the northeast. The demon attempts once again to take direct control of Santiago, but the monk manages to control the urges within him.

The Ragewings

Several days later, our heroes are taking refuge from the desert heat, when they spot a squadron of wyvern riders heading in their direction and closing quickly. The orc wingriders bank into an intercept course. They will hit the vessel broadside. Rayne fires off a fireball which blasts one rider from his mount and causes the rest of the flight to scatter. Kresimir then hits the lead wyvern with a glitterdust spell, blinding pilot and mount alike. A followup shot from Lanna’s bow causes the blinded wyvern to veer away.

As they approach, the remaining wyvern riders stand in their saddles and begin whirling grappling hooks over their heads. As they get in range of the rail, they fling the hooks ahead of their mounts. No sooner have the hooks grabbed hold, then the riders leap from the backs of the onrushing mounts, disappearing beneath the hull of the ship. The wyverns land on the near side of the deck, their jaws snapping at the end of their serpentine necks. Just then, a roar and a thump from behind. Our heroes whirl to see the wingriders in flanking position… brandishing their battle axes in one hand and the end of their grappling ropes in the other…

The fighting on deck is swift and fierce as the wyverns snap their jaws at anyone who approaches, the gnomish crew scramble for cover. Kresimir conjures a dense ball of whirling air, which he sends hurling about the deck, knocking several wingriders to the floor before hurling them violently overboard. Up on the forecastle, things are not going as well for our heroes. Govan Birk, the Gnomish pilot struggles to control the helm while simultaneously fending off attacks from wyvern and orc alike.

Then, a still circling wyvern swoops across the deck, snatching Govan from his perch and carrying him the length of the ship. Thinking quickly, Kresimir directs a grease spell onto the struggling pilot who manages to wriggle free of the wyvern’s clutches, crashing hard to the deck at Xandre’s feet. Santiago then bellows the command to activate his magic earring. As the 1/2 orc’s body swells to twice it’s size, he charges across the deck, vaults off of the Zephyr’s cargo hoist and pounces on the back of the fleeing wyvern, driving both his fists into the beast’s shoulder joints and sending it crashing to the deck.

The tide of battle turned against them, the remaining orcish raiders attempt to flee. Most are cut down as they struggle to reach their mounts, but one Orc manages to grab a soarwood life ring and leap from the ship to float slowly back to earth.

With the immediate threat past, our heroes look to the wounded, aiding their allies and finishing off any of the raiders who still breathe.

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