Cask Away Crew

Session 6
A Date with Death

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DAY 7 – 3rd, Midsol 6th

As Lynn slowly turns around, she sees a floating skeletal apparition appear from the far wall. Panicked and frightened, she does everything in her power to halt the approach of this ethereal menace, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. In one icy grasp, it drains her life force completely, with her last action a desperate scream as the air leaves her lungs and her body hits the floor.

Meanwhile, Marta and Ander face their own spectre in the street, as it does it’s best to drain Ander of his strength. In the room adjacent to Lynn’s, Marven and Belarius face off with a different kind of enemy, as Marven’s own shadow rises up and saps Belarius of his life. Back outside, a similar blackness slithers up the porch, robbing Haeden of his consciousness.

Fighting transient phantoms on all fronts, the Cask Away Crew valiantly survive the encounter, powering through their resistances, with Marta’s spiteful side providing assistance. No member of the party made it out unscathed however, and the rag tag band weren’t lucky enough to rest; as soon as they regrouped, the raging bonfire Ander had lit was quickly snuffed out, as if by itself.

Peering out the window, Belarius and Ander see a visage of death, imposing and necrotic in nature, this gilded corpse appears from nowhere on a flaming steed, corrupting the ground it stands on. Commanding its mount to leave as it arrived, the new arrival turns its attention to the Crew, situated in the second floor bedroom, and starts to approach the abode.

With little time to formulate a plan, the majority of the party decide to bail out of the window, back down on to the street, some more elegantly than others. Lynn and Leon in the next room opt for a more subtle form of defense, concealing themselves behind an illusory bookcase. Ander, wanting a piece of the action, stands strong willing to face this otherworldly creature, who promptly incapacitates Ander effortlessly with a single word.

Out on the street, the majority of the rest of the crew don’t get far before this being appears before them. Marven flippantly and facetiously dares to respond to one of its rhetorical questions, the response he gets is agonising pain, as all his nerve endings light up simultaneously, overloading his brain turning him into a fitting, drooling shambles on the sand. The being follows this up by exhaling a large amount of muddy-coloured gas, seeping in to the armour and skin, through their pursed lips and clamped shut eyes, until the rest succumb to coughing and vomiting fits, removing them of control of their bodily functions.

Its final act of arrogance is to, almost half heatedly, dispel Lynn’s illusion with a flick of the wrist. Informing the only two standing adventurers that “nothing they’ve done has saved this town”, that it had got what it had came for, and was long finished with the place. Lynn and Leon rush downstairs, just in time to see it remount its incandescent mare, before disappearing just as quickly as it arrived.

Leon quickly repairs the well as best he can with the tools at his disposal. Collecting fresh water, he and Lynn care for their companions, trying to make them as comfortable as they can be, one-by-one migrating them back into the bedroom upstairs.


DAY 8 – 4th, Midsol 6th

After spending the night attempting to sleep off the effects, the crew awake to find themselves with the mother of all hangovers. Aching, weary, and sore, they take stock of the situation, filling each other in on what happened.

Lynn, being fortunate enough to have a formal and private education, recalls a being such as the one they experienced the night before, in one of her sorcery books. It most closely resembled what is commonly referred to as a Lich. Formerly a magic user such as Lynn, a Lich has transcended mortality, sacrificing its humanity in the process.

With this knowledge, and a chance to analyse the events of the night before, it would appear that in the Lich’s arrogance, he was seemingly pulling his punches with the group, merely toying with them.

Disturbed by the power of the creature, and depressed by its ill omens, the Cask Away Crew debate their next steps.

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 5
Remnants of the Past

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DAY 6 – 2nd, Midsol 6th

Spending some time exploring what remains of Arosh’s desert home, the party find it abandoned. All that remains are empty buildings frozen in time, most in dire need of repair. Haeden spends his time wisely investigating each of the buildings, while doing so he recycles one of the lounge chairs, re-purposing the frame to use as fire wood. Meanwhile, the rest of the group scatter around the settlement, searching for any clues to the ethereal mystery. Marven and Ander kill the coarse monotony and sensory deprivation by engaging in various hi-jinks.

Assuming the typical ghost trope of only being active during moonlit hours, they decide to bunker down for the night, dotted around the town. Unbeknownst to the rest of the party, Marta’s keen eyes and advantageous position allow her vision of mere traces, benign suggestions that perhaps the Cask Away Crew are not as alone as first impressions would imply. On the other hand, Marven believes his time would be best spent searching for buried treasure, unfortunately leading to a fruitless and exhausting night.


DAY 7 – 3rd, Midsol 6th

After a surprisingly uneventful night, the group rejoin to consider their options. Marta, perhaps passing it off as heat induced hallucination, omits her visions from the conversation. However, intuiting that might not be the end of it, she attempts to detect any kind of magic in the area. Again, sensing nothing certain, only faint echos of something arcane, presumably from the night before.

Realising the settlement well has thus far been unexplored, Belarius, using Ander as a living anchor, launches an expedition into the dark depths of the local well. Unfortunately, due to the absence of light and awkward conditions, he is unable to perceive anything far below the surface.

After resurfacing, they bring the whole crew to where Marven, having a day off from adventuring, is napping in the shade. Before they decide any further concrete actions, a stranger approaches from the main street upon a horse. Haeden successfully manages to telepathically communicate with them, who he quickly recognises as his old acquaintance Lilithia. She warns the group of the dangers of this part of the desert, and that they have been exceptionally lucky to have made it this long unmolested. Generally staying away, so not having seen anything first hand, she can aid the adventurers only so much. Ander, being Ander, attempts to forcibly keep Lilithia with the party by incapacitating her horse. This doesn’t work out so well, as he ends up paralysed and prone… for a second time this week. Being unwilling to stay much longer as it was, and now disgruntled, Lilithia rides off into the sunset, leaving the group with a bitter warning.

Heeding her advice, they take action and prepare themselves for the second night in the settlement. Using Haeden’s firewood and an assortment of torches, they shed light throughout the main street, with members of the crew posted to various positions of vigil. Once again Marta extends her sphere of consciousness, in order to catch the same traces as the night before.

As the sun is replaced by the moon, and their torches cast flickering light over the buildings, Marta perceives a veritable fountain of magical essence on the periphery of her senses. At the same time, Lynn, who was taking watch in one of the nearby bedrooms, suddenly notices the room get very cold.

Are the crew about to encounter the subject of Lilithia’s dire warnings? How do they propose to counter this menace? What exactly is the nature of Haden and Lilithia’s relationship? Closing the seventh day with more questions than answers, anything could happen over the course of the next few days.

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 4
Midnight Massacre

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DAY 4 – 5th, Midsol 5th

As soon as Belarius is spotted, the encampment alarm is sounded, and before they have time to react, the crew find themselves surrounded and outnumbered by armed guards. From the ranks of which steps their leader, the female half-orc who goes by the name Arosh.

After cuffing all the intruders and leading them inside, Arosh questioned the party as to their intentions. Despite their best efforts to blag their way out of the situation, the experienced Arosh easily saw through their deceptions and managed to ascertain exactly what they’re up to. After hearing their side of the story, and reuniting them with Ander, Arosh felt it necessary to defend herself against the actions of the minority of their group. Explaining that they are not agitating Faversham out of choice, rather, they are actually employed by none other than The Marquess himself. She explains that they originally eked out a living in the Suraban Desert as mercenaries and guards. However, one night they were overrun by a wave of ethereal ghouls, who attacked indiscriminately and without mercy.

Barely managing to escape with their lives, the few survivors fled for Faversham, under the impression that the leaders there would aid them. This proved, at least for now, a naive assumption, as Noreak was not willing to provide something for nothing. For reasons known only to him, he has promised to help Arosh and her followers, but only if they occasionally but consistently launch raids on the city and surrounding areas. The alternative being homelessness and starvation, Arosh reluctantly agreed.

Being presented with this information, the party offered to see if they can resolve the relative unknown of the desert ghosts, freeing the mercenaries from their immoral contract. Arosh, herself intrigued by Noreak’s machinations, vows to aid the crew when she can, should they be successful.

Throughout this discussion, finding the entire thing boring, Ander’s attention lied elsewhere entirely, plotting a “conquest” of his own…


DAY 5 – 1st, Midsol 6th

After a night spent at the camp, the party set out towards the Suraban Desert. Aided by a local map provided by Arosh, Marven navigates successfully, and leaving the dangers of the river and forest behind them, the party enjoy a peaceful march across the Faversham plains. They reach the edge of the desert in the middle of the night, ready for a solid nights sleep after a long days walking.

Unfortunately for them, this was not to be. During Lynn’s watch, the party are attacked by a dozen or so stirges, grotesque bat-mosquito hybrids looking to feast. The swarm of pests drank from every party member, incapacitating them one by one as they fell victim to rapid blood loss.

If it wasn’t for the quick thinking of Marven and Ander, the party could’ve easily met a grim end right there on the cliff edge. Marven’s rapid application of his healer’s kit managed to stabilise Marta, ensuring at least her survival, before succumbing to two bites himself. Meanwhile, Ander’s mad rage at these insects lead to him destroying three of them, without the use of his weapons, before collapsing from exhaustion on Leon’s deathly pale body.


DAY 6 – 2nd, Midsol 6th

After spending some time recovering while the sun rises, the group make their way down the cliff and enter the desert proper. Two hours into a heady, sickening walk through the heat, the group encounter a completely out of place mansion, plonked arbitrarily in the middle of the desert. After discerning it is a physical object existing in their plane of existence, but being unable to gain entry and it seemingly empty, the party move on, marking this oddity on their map.

Making steady but laborious progress, the party eventually find what matches the description of Arosh’s original home: a veritable ghost town. Abandoned and rotting, this small settlement is eerily empty, utterly devoid of any suggestion of life. Wind whisps around the structures, swirling the sand up. Walking through the dusty streets, the party take shelter from the midday sun in what would appear to have once been a store room or shop of some kind.

With the mystery of the ghost town ahead of them, and the ominous plans of Noreak still to be revealed, the future is unclear for the Cask Away Crew.

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 3
Plan A, Plan B, Plan 5, Plan Firestorm...

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DAY 3 – 4th, Midsol 5th

As the morning sky darkens and the temperature plummets, a lightening crack appears as if from no where. Suddenly, Haeden is standing with the party, apparently utterly unaffected. Having finished his studies, he commandeered one of the teleportation sigils and used it to instantaneously appear next to his associates.

The reunited party cross over River Gilpin using the Duskbark bridge. Taking Belarius’ suggestion, they follow the river back south until it meets the foreboding Gilpin Forest.

Entering the forest, attempting to use it for cover, they find their progress impeded by hanging vines and thick underbrush. Marven, using harvested squid ink the day before, wisely attempts to mark their route through the forest, aided by Marta’s cartography skills.

As they find themselves within a wide natural corridor, their path is blocked by dense spider web, unlike any have seen before. Before they have time to find an alternative route, Marven who is studiously marking trees at the rear of the party finds himself rooted the floor, by the same substance.

After a sickening battle with two huge spiders, looking for those who disturb their territory to feed to their children, Ander suffers a poisonous bite to the thigh. It quickly takes control of his fine motor control, and he drops to the floor like a felled tree (ironically what he just attempted to do himself). Lucky for him, the spiders are dispatched before they can carry him off to their lair.

With Leon’s expert navigation, the party manage to make it through much closer to their intended destination. Fatigued by their slog through the forest, they decide to camp out under the stars.


DAY 4 – 5th, Midsol 5th
After an uneventful night, the party stealthily approach a point of interest they spotted a few miles away. Ander, Leon, and Haeden successfully manage to recon the settlement, avoiding the routine patrol.

Deciding that more information is required before action, the party shuffles around the side of the camp, eventually finding the main entrance.

In a single decisive action, Ander decides now is the time. He confidently strides towards the guards manning the door, before failing to muster a believable reason for his presence. Lucky for him, and seeing this, Lynn also decides she should do something, in the way she does best, and immediately flings a firebolt. With surprisingly quick thinking for a Half-Orc, Ander suggests he’s there to warn the camp of an impending attack, such as the firebolt over his head.

All things considered, he got off pretty lightly, but the last the crew see of him is handcuffs being placed around his wrists as he’s escorted in to the camp. In a matter of hours, what was reconnaissance has now changed to a break in. Using the same rope trick as before, one by one, the Cask Away Crew subtlety enter the camp.

However, Belarius being the last one in is then immediately the first one to mess up, as he conspicuously peers around the building, is spotted by a somebody on the inside…

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 2
The Black Waters of Gilpin

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DAY 2 – 3rd, Midsol 5th

The party spend the morning planning their next steps, speculating that purchasing passage on a ship up the river would be best. Haeden, however, decides his time would be better spent studying in one of Faversham’s temples, and parts ways for the time being. As the rest of the group approach the docks, they notice similarly dressed humanoids from the morning tailing them at a safe distance.

Upon reaching the docks, the board the nearby trading ship and speak to the captain, Saza. After negotiating a reasonable fair for the six of them, they notice Ander Kulenov at the helm, practically wearing an owlbear carcass. Lynn sweet talks the hulking tower of muscle, securing him as a solid member of the party… but at the cost of an undefined future “favour”.

During their spare time before The Cunning Caper is scheduled for departure, the party goes on a relatively fruitless shopping spree. Marta ensures her trusty ocarina is up to scratch by getting it tuned at Staff & Stuff music store, of which she is a regular. The rest of the party, sans Belarius who opted to stay on the ship, find their way to Jones’ Arcane Supplies magical component store. The proprietor of which warned them of the dangers of the location their taxi would be taking them to, that of the Viridian Swamp.

After regrouping back at The Cunning Caper, Saza sets sail for Duskbark Village, with the party confined to below decks for the duration. A few hours and miles from Faversham docks, the boat abruptly stops…

Following Saza’s orders/cries for assistance, the party support her in a chaotic battle against two Giant Octopuses. One of which nearly had enough Half-Elf Ranger meat to last it a week, if it weren’t for the combined efforts of Ander and Belarius.

Many uneventful hours later, The Cunning Caper finally arrives at the first stop on it’s way up river: Duskbark Village on the outskirts of the Viridian Swamp. After securing board for the night (with Ander purchasing some questionable material from the night staff), the party head to bed, mostly unsure of the next day’s plans.


DAY 3 – 4th, Midsol 5th

The next morning Ander, perhaps feeling he has to earn his keep, forages a varied platter of nuts, berries, and fruit from the fertile environment.

After a successful, but unrewarding, attempt to gather information from the local businessmen by Leon, the party set out to prepare and gather supplies for the coming trek into the wilderness. Ander puts a deposit down on a bespoke metalwork order for a hunting horn, for a reason known only to him.

With the unknown of the Faversham Plains stretching out far in front of them, the crew make their way out of Duskbark Village. Despite the time of day, the sky suddenly darkens…

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 1
Tavern Tolerance

DAY 1 – 2nd, Midsol 5th
The party meet each other in the Cask Away tavern, Faversham. During their afternoon tea, a young, skittish, elven boy enters and attempts to be as incognito as possible. Shortly after, five burly thugs barge in and start a quarrel, enquiring about the boy, who uses their momentary distraction to escape out the back door.

Using the skills at their disposal, including illegal destruction magic and Marven’s quick witted intimidation, the party allow four of the bandits to escape with their lives. In the chaos of the bar room brawl, Marta helps herself to a bread knife.

As thanks, Birin offered them free night and food, and informed them of a local bandit menace, the attacks of which have increased in recent months. There was a vague suggestion that a few of the sailors had seen what appeared to be a relatively new settlement of some kind, north of the city.

He then went around to see if he can get a reward from the local businessmen for ridding them of the bandits.


DAY 2 – 3rd, Midsol 5th
Next morning, the party are rudely awoken by three “commercially equipped” individuals. And although the crew weren’t apprehended for murder or public disturbance, they did not manage to obtain any further information or clarify the situation. Notably, Marta was of particular interest to these three.

Author: Danilo (DM)

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