Cask Away Crew

Session 18
How to Tame Your Griffin

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DAY 16 – 3rd, Midsol 8th

The group recuperate after fending off the attack from the vicious group of gnoll. While some rest up and tend to the wounded, Ander decides to cut off the pelt of one of the gnoll as a victory prize of his battle to take with him.

The group prepare to set off but some of them spot three dark figures coming towards them from the north. After a moment of debate the crew decide that it would be best to try and avoid further confrontation and ride out to avoid being seen.
As they ride off on horseback, Leon looks to see that the figures are three huge griffins. He shouts this to the others and they ride as fast as they can but he notices that one has landed at the scene of their last battle. The remaining two draw closer and closer and the crew debate on what to do, Ander deviously decides to swipe at Lian‘s horse to use it as a decoy but just narrowly avoids falling of from the sheer weight of holding his sword one handed.
The griffinsfly closer and closer and Leon takes a shot at one, sending it into a dive bomb attack to which it misses and tumbles across the floor. The other attacks Ander and lifts his horse off the ground, sending Ander tumbling to the floor. The warrior half stunned leaps up and goes for the grounded beast as it tries to make an escape. He leaps up and clutches the bird like leg, hanging on for his life. Haeden and Belarius see their comrade and catch on to his actions and start to fashion some lasso’s, Haeden manages to hook his over Ander’s foot and Marven assists in helping to pull them in. Belarius unfortunately fails on his first attempt but after some mad roping in skills manages to haul his rope up for a second attempt which ensnares the feathered fiend around the neck.

The second griffin, seeing it’s fellow brother in trouble swoops back in and cuts the rope around Ander’s leg to which not long after Ander is soon shaken off along with the rope. Haeden refashions the rope into another lasso while Leon and Marven shoot at the second gryphon sending it into a hasty retreat.

The group soon pull the beast down and have it subdued, knocking it unconscious. They drag it back to the corpse sight to obtain meat to feed it and gain it’s trust but soon find that this is a task in it’s self as the griffin show’s no signs of being called ally just yet.

The group after resting up for the night set off the next morning for Thesk, leading the griffin on with some meat on the end of one of Ander’s spears. They soon find the ground become more arid and dry as they come into a more mountainous area and eventually come across the town of Gresnik. The towns people stare on unsure whether to be scared or worried that a giant griffin has been led into their town.

The group walk through and soon come across a large group of people angry and shouting outside a large building. After listening in and inquiring carefully they soon find out that the towns people want to mine using a new technique but the druid’s don’t want the balance of nature disturbed from this action..

Will the group help to alleviate the situation or will they carry on in their quest to attain a gryphon companion?

Author: Sam (Leon)

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Session 17
Farmers, Brigands, Gnolls!? Oh my!

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DAY 15 – 2nd, Midsol 8th

Belarius, Leon, Ander and Marven await outside the farmer’s house. Belarius begins patrolling the perimeter whilst Marven stands guard outside the front door. Lian and Haeden begin inspecting the house in an attempt to be searching for vulnerabilities from bandit attacks however Haeden is quickly seen as suspicious and stopped before he could attempt to rifle through the bookshelf. Marta is given some hay in the corner of the room to sleep on whilst Haeden cleans up the plates and bowls and sneakily steals a spoon.

Outside the house, the group decide on turns to keep watch as night falls.

DAY 16 – 3rd, Midsol 8th

The group bids farewell to the farmer and bids welcome to Butterscotch, Ander’s new chicken. The path to Thesk leads them away from the safety of the main road and upon their travels they spot something on the horizon…

A group of Gnoll brigands descend upon the party!

COMBAT

The two groups charge at each other, slinging spells and arrows, landing heavy hits on two gnolls, Belarius, Ander and Viktor. Belarius dashes towards the leader gnoll however his horse becomes spooked and throws him off. Marta reduces a gnoll to critical health and running for his life as the rest fire arrows at the part with one critically spearing Belarius.

The party begin their counterattack by disarming, maiming and thunder waving the gnolls, knocking some off their mounts. Belarius is bleeding heavily as the leader gnoll turns to Haeden. Three gnolls shortly fall to Anders, Leon and Marta as Blaez rips out the throat of a horse. Belarius finally falls, however barely gets back up again. Anders and Leon continue their onslaught slaying multiple gnolls leaving the leader and one wounded gnoll left standing.

Working as a team, Marta blinds the leader allowing Leon to land a heavy slash proceeded by Ander’s killing blow with a javelin. The last remaining enemy is finished off with a blow to the back of the head with a shovel by Marta.

END OF COMBAT

The group spend an hour in the bright midday sun tending to their wounds, sounded by their fallen enemies, before continuing their journey to Thesk…

Author: Chris (Belarius)

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Session 16
Farm Fire Fight

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DAY 15 – 2nd, Midsol 8th

The group, now accompanied by Lian, finally decided to begin their adventure to Thesk in search of the Sun Blade. By evening, Lian is hungry and the group decide to look for food in the nearby farms. They decide to go to the nearest farmhouse, to perhaps ask for food, or steal, but as everyone gets closer, they notice a big pillar of black smoke emerging from the house. Lian, Marven, and Marta get closer to the house to discover the house is on fire. Lian kicks the door open and is the first to rush indoors. Marta goes round the back and Marven and Haeden enter through a window, using Marven’s crowbar. Haeden doesn’t make such a graceful entrance and get caught up in the curtain.

Soon after, the rest of the gang arrive. Something catches the attention of Ander, and he stumbles up to the first floor of the farmhouse. After being cut free, Haeden’s attention is quickly taken by a fine selection of plates, cups and, posh looking knick knacks. Over in the next room, Lian discovers a boot on the floor of on of the smoke filled rooms. Upon touching it, the boot moves and goes to kick Lian. The boot is attached to a murderous bandit. Whilst the two are fighting, Marta is crawling on the floor in an attempt to sneak up on this bandit and tie his shoelaces together to try and trip him. She doesn’t succeed at being particularly stealthy, but remains undetected. Upstairs, Ander hears the screams of a woman and bursts into the bedroom, where he finds this woman, with torn clothing and defending herself with a chair leg. On the other side is another bandit with not a lot of clothing. Whilst all this is going down, Leon is valiantly trying to put out this spreading fire with buckets of water. However, the fire is too strong and the water doesn’t have much affect on it.

Marven leaves Haeden and joins Lian and Marta in fighting the bandit by throwing a knife at him. Whilst the three of them are fighting, Haeden seizes the opportunity to entirely fill his arms with stolen goods, but on his way out, he notices an unconscious man on the floor. He calls Marven back in to help this man with his healing magic, as he bolts out the door with his new loot. Lian and marta continue fighting this bandit. Marta strangles him with rope and Lian douses the man in oil and pushes him in the fire. The two then exit as the fire is slowly consuming the building. Marven heals the man and carries him out of the house as well.

Lian, Marta, Marven, Leon and Haeden make it outside, but realise their companion Ander is still inside, brawling with the bandit upstairs. During this the woman runs out of the room. The group attempt to help Ander fight with Marta’s Magehand and Lians archery. With this assistance, Ander shoves the bandit and himself out of the burning building.

As the fire further consumes the farmhouse, the remaining bandit emerges with a knife to the throat of the woman. Lian, Marven and Haeden succesfully avoid hitting the captive and weaken the bandits grip with arrows, bolts and magic. Lian walks up to this weakened bandit and drives the tip of his arrow into the heart. Moments later, the bandit falls lifeless.

The man who was rescued from the building begins to break down in tears as he witnesses his home falling down as the fire consumes it. Ander considers taking the woman with him, but decides against it, as he discovers that she is this mans wife. The gang suggest the couple head towards Faversham where they might get further help. Lian, Haeden and Ander decide to take horses for themselves to help on the long road to Thesk.

Ander decides to go and check on the farms chickens. He casts a ritual to speak with the 3 chickens he finds. After some persuasion with these not so intelligent creatures, one of the chickens decides to come with him on his adventure. With this, Ander gains a new chicken companion. Ander and his new friend reunite with the group, who decide to move on to the next farmhouse to get food.

Everyone gets on the back of one of the three horses the group recently obtained and ride up to the next house, owned by a half orc farmer. Lian attempts to deceive the farmer with offers of protecting the house from the bandits from earlier. After much persuasion, and Haeden’s use of mending to impress the farmer, the group are allowed to stay. Haeden, Lian and Marta enter the house, Ander goes to forage for food and the two rangers remain outside to keep on watch, to protect the house, as Lian said so. The three inside are given soup and meet the farmers son. Lian chugs down most of the bowl whilst Haeden and Marta struggle to get their fair share. The group decide to spend the evening here before continuing with their journey…

Author: Micky (Marven)

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Session 15
Opulence and Arrogance

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DAY 15 – 2nd, Midsol 8th

After seeing the guards off along with Birin, Belarius and Leon head back upstairs and fill the rest of the crew in.
After agreeing that they should see what Donovan wants, they split the loot evenly between themselves and set off towards the castle hoping that Lian doesn’t arrive too soon.

After a short while they find themselves at the foot of Faversham’s towering castle. They proceed in without any of the guards hindering their entry and make their way into the lavish interior of the castle. Walls and floors adorned in expensive fabrics and materials and finished in brilliant reds, golds and purples, the group take in the opulence and décor, Ander also admires the softness of the carpet on his bare feet.

Not long after their entry they are addressed by an attractive young female half elf who pulls out some documentation and starts matching names to faces with precision and efficiency.
Afterwards she leads them down many corridors to Donovan’s chambers, her footsteps and turns very robotic and exact. The group are then led into an antechamber and are instructed to wait until being called. Marven enquires about the alcohol in the cabinet to which the half elf tells him that drinks are complementary, so he eagerly helps himself!

Not long after, the Marquess Donovan Noreak himself enters and greets the group warmly and ushers them into the main room. Belarius, Marven and Haeden take a seat in front of his desk while the rest of the group stand, a little wary of their host and what he might have in store for them.

Noreak addresses the group and thanks them for taking care of the bandit problem in his town. Then speaking to Leon directly, presents him with a gift wishing him a belated happy birthday. Unwrapping it, Leon finds a bag of holding containing a porcelain doll, he thanks Noreak but feels a little unsure as to what to do with a porcelain doll and puts it back into the bag.

The group finish their meeting having learned little, and head out of the castle and back to the Cask Away, hoping that Lian had not arrived yet and grew impatient with them. Upon arrival they settle down and fill Birin in as to what happened at the castle while they wait. Several hours later, Lian enters as expected, and struts up to Belarius and Leon arrogantly demanding if they are all ready. Gathering together, the gang quickly find themselves heading out westward towards Thesk….

Author: Sam (Leon)

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Session 14
The One with all the Money and all the Rats.

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DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th

After an awkward attempt at mouth to mouth resuscitation, Ander eventually makes the wounded Belarius comfortable.
A few expended hit die later and both Ander and Belarius are now stable and the big man is able to briefly examine the peculiar pair of spectacles he has found.

Whilst Marven recuperates, the others loot the cabinets dotted around the room, finding various ciphers, tools, and a strange, glowing potion. Belarius barely hesitates before trying a drop and feels somewhat sprightlier than he did a few moments prior.
A map tube containing a scroll is also discovered, a possible spell scroll which is swiftly pocketed by Belarius.

Searching the drawers of a nearby desk reveals a diary and a note which reads:

“Just in case: what has a face, two hands but no arms or legs?

Not to be outdone by a simple riddle, Belarius confidently states the answer is “a clock”. The words have barely left his lips when a acute low rumbling echoes around the room and suddenly part of the wall shifts back to reveal a passageway.
However, nothing is as straightforward as it seems and the three members are instantly confronted by a strangely menacing, viscous black gloop which begins to seep at a steady pace out of the newly revealed path and towards the crew.

Ander retrieves one of his few remaining javelins and takes aim at the mass of clouded matter. What appears to be an on-target hit, immediately proves otherwise as the gloop splits just before the javelin makes impact, revealing bubbling stonework underneath.
The black mass takes offence to this and rises up in retaliation, attacking Ander who suffers acidic burns to his bare skin. Thinking fast, Belarius casts Firebolt and makes contact with the enemy but amazingly, the gloop completely absorbs the impact, leaving little visible degradation. Ander, now filled with rage at the seemingly never ending barrage of enemies in the tomb, or because he wasted another javelin, draws his Great Sword and swings with fiery intent at the mass, striking it hard and cutting off the tendril that had previously attacked him.
To his dismay, his Great Sword becomes dull after making contact with the mass and now inflicts one less point of damage.
Belarius now withdraws his crossbow and fires once, the bolt pierces the mass and causes it to shatter and spray up the passageway walls.

With the gloop now vanquished, the crew decide to press on through the new pathway, where the air seems fresher and more palatable than the stifling air in previous rooms.
The three come across a new chamber, and entering cautiously they notice three sacks in the corner. Upon inspection, they discover a ludicrous amount of gold, silver, copper, and precious gems.

With no viable exit in this room, the three must head back the way they came but now with the addition of heavy sacks full of money. After a brief discussion, they decide to pocket the gems for themselves but split the money between the Cask Away crew once reunited.
Lugging a sack each, the crew members retrace their steps and are soon back in the cavernous expanse, now much quieter than when they first entered.
Belarius devises a plan to build a raft to aid in transporting the money but before any construction can begin, they spot another amphibious creature about fifty feet away.
Luckily for them, they remain unseen and Belarius uses this opportunity to withdraw his crossbow once again and take aim at the creature.

The other half of the Cask Away crew arrive at nightfall back in central Faversham and at the now very familiar site of Birin‘s pub.
Leon heads inside to speak with the barkeep himself and advise him they have returned with a fallen Brother. Birin is initially aghast that the crew would bring such a person into his establishment but soon relents and allows the crew make bed for the night on the condition that Paul is taken upstairs through the trade entrance as to not cause a commotion amongst the patrons.
Leon and Marta guide Paul down the side street as quietly as possible., silently followed by Blaez. The night seems calm bar the ship horns in the distance.
However, the stillness is abruptly disturbed by scratching sounds, which grow louder and move closer to the four figures.
A swirling mass of rats emerges from the darkness and engulfs the feet of Leon, Blaez, Marta and the unconscious Paul.
Sensing a fight on their hands to clear a path, Marta first heaves Paul up onto a nearby crate then climbs up herself, withdrawing her Halberd and swinging wildly at the frenzied bodies of thousands of rats below.
The rats seem to move as one and begin climbing atop one another to reach her, forcing her to climb up higher to the roof of a nearby building.
Meanwhile Leon and Blaez attack with sword and teeth respectively, thinning the mass of rats with every swing and snap.
Whilst up on the roof, Marta casts Mage Hand and scoops up forty or so rats, hastily depositing them in a barrel and sealing them in. Having been dealt nips and bites from the hundreds of swarming rats as she climbed up, Marta casts Cure Wounds on herself to regain some energy.
Blaez valiantly continues to rip and tear at the small creatures surrounding him but Leon becomes slightly overwhelmed. Seeing this, Marta lowers herself back onto the crates and attempts to jump towards Leon and crush the rats that are steadily encircling him. Unfortunately it doesn’t go as well as she would’ve hoped and she only succeeds in squashing Leon’s toes.
Tired and now fed up, Marta removes the shovel from her bag and swings with all her might at the final pack of rats; their tiny bodies go flying into the brick wall, smearing it with blood. The calm silence returns to the dark alleyway.
Leon and Marta retrieve Paul from the crates and continue on to the service entrance of Cask Away, but now covered in rat blood and scratches.

Later on that evening, the group reunit at Cask Away. as Belarius, Ander, and Marven made it back to the tavern whilst Leon and Marta were fighting rats out back.


DAY 15 – 2nd, Midsol 8th

They wake in the morning to loud banging on the tavern door. Three guards enter and begrudgingly inform the gang that their presence has been requested at Noreak’s castle.

Author: Nicola (Marta)

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Session 13
Vigil of the Minotaur

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DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th

Just like Ander’s hand had disappears into the faux chest, Paul and his escort disappear from sight as they round a corner on their journey back to Cask Away. With no way to contact their friends, Ander, Belarius, and Marven must face this new foe alone. The ensuring eerily quiet battle belies its blistering pace, with all three members of the crew securing solid hits on the entity, before Ander finally wrenches his hand free and cleaves the monstrosity clean in two.

With the mausoleum returning to stillness, the entity slowly dissipates leaving little behind. Upon investigation it appeared to be covering, guarding even, a trap door to the foundations of the building. Given some “persuasion” and a following minor incident, the door is opened and one by one the guys drop down into the darkness. Following the tunnels, they eventually come to an unassuming, apparently purposeless room. Marven, perhaps preoccupied by the thoughts of suddenly being separated from the whole group, absent mildly walks across one of the floor rugs, which quickly gives way underneath him revealing a shaft into darkness below. He uses reflexes earned through years of wilderness living to flip around and catch the lip of the hole, leaving the furnishing fluttering into the abyss. With the help of Ander, he manages to climb back up, the group now acutely aware of the risks before them.

Meanwhile, Leon, Marta, and Haeden bring Paul back to Cask Away, to find it unusually busy. Entering the pub, leaving Paul outside as not to arouse suspicion, Leon and Haeden attempt to make contact with Birin. Somewhat unprepared for this crowd, he appears flustered and is unable to accommodate them immediately, instead appealing for a few minutes to finish up his current tasks.

Back underneath the Faversham cemetery, the expeditionary team find themselves deeper, in a vast subterranean cavern. Dark, humid, and cloying, the expanse has a fast stream running through it, blocking their progress to the far side. Their eyes following the flow, they spot the rug from upstairs caught against iron bars at the streams exit from the cave. Beside it, two of the local amphibious residents are taking a particular interest in this, for the time being.

With ingenuity of that of a spelunker, Marven crosses quickly and quietly using his rope to anchor himself. Ander, never one to shy from the direct approach, dives straight in, leaving Belarius to keep watch on the bank. Luck on their side, all three manage to cross safely without alerting the natives. It isn’t until the rug has been determined safe, that the Giant Frogs look elsewhere, and begin to track the newcomers. Opting for a tactical retreat, the team scrape and scramble up the side of the cavern, desperately trying to reach the exit before being overcome. Fuelled by adrenaline, they barrel through the opening and careen through the tunnel, unsure of what lies ahead.

Upon meeting Birin on the first floor of the Cask Away, Leon and Haeden update him on what happened at the cemetery and with Brother James. Visibly pleased at the eradication of at least a part of this corruption, he is then shocked to hear that they have not only found another cultist, but also bought them to his pub! Not willing to accommodate the cultist in front of the crowds below, he asks the party to come to service entrance late at night, under the cover of darkness. Leon asks for some healing items to help Paul regain consciousness, and at first he finds the idea reprehensible, so it’s not until Leon’s calm explanation that he retrieves a small potion and first aid supplies.

Ander, Belarius, and Marven begin to investigate their surroundings, finding themselves in seemingly the final room; a functional office with a desk, chairs, and a dilapidated cabinet. Sensing items of interest behind the dirtied glass of the cabinet, Belarius and Marven manage to shatter one of the panes, covering the trinkets inside in glass. Before they have a chance to progress, behind them out of a pile of remains a figure is being assembled. As the bones float through the air and combine, it becomes obvious that it is unlike the skeletons from the above. Huge, equine calf and thigh bones snap together upon dense hooves, gauntlets glad around heavy set fists crack as they attach to the spine. One-by-one, ribs float off the ground and make a cage easily big enough for a Hafling. It’s not until the head is manually placed at the top of the spine and the eyes flare bright green, that they realise what they face: an undead Minotaur, its bones magically reanimated to guard this location. Standing over 10 foot tall and wielding a great axe the size of Marta, he is an imposing presence and unwilling to cooperate.

On the far side of town, Leon leaves the medical kit with Paul and explores the local area for access to the service street behind the pub. Finding it within a short walking distance, he returns to the rest of his group and they begin to make their way there. With quick thinking and believable acting, they ensure that Paul appears to be inebriated, rather than on the brink of death, much to the amusement of passers-by. Relocating the business access, the quartet make their way down the dim alley, eager to see what further information they can draw out from their willing hostage.

Underground, the Minotaur charges at Belarius, failing to connect by only a shade, and instead causing the entire room to shake from the impact with the wall. Ander manages to tackle it to the ground, the other two using this opportunity to get plenty of good strikes in. However, the distraction cost Ander his life as he, despite mountainous endurance, succumbs to repeated gores from the horns of the creature, his lifeless body tumbling across the room as it shakes him off. Now free from Ander’s grasp, the enraged creature swings its axe in frustration, gravely wounding Belarius who also falls unconscious. After the brave sacrifices of his comrades, Marven expends his final spell slot in order to rescue Ander from death, before finally felling this monstrosity by caving the skull in with repeated blows from his mace. As the green eyes are extinguished, Belarius groans in agony from across the room, surrounded by his own blood. Leaving Ander to collect his thoughts after his brush with death, Marven dashes over and aptly stems the blood loss, stabilising his companion.

Immediate danger behind them, the two remaining conscious dungeon divers begin to uncover the mysteries of this dwelling.

Author: Danilo (DM)

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Session 12
Cemetery Showdown: Reanimated

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DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th

With the main targets taken care of, the crew are left with dealing with the skeletons that James had previously summoned. After swiftly knocking James unconscious with a headbutt, Ander approaches the skeletons currently surrounding Marta, and decimates one of them by ridding him of his legs and stomping him into a fine dust. Remembering where he is, Ander regains his composure just in time to dodge a strike from the nearby skeleton. Noticing the company of Ander, Marta sings a song as to inspire him, and inspire him it did as he is soon crushing the skeleton’s skull with his bare hands.

On the opposite side of the cemetery, Headen and a skeleton archer are having an intense ranged battle with arrows and firebolts colliding in midair. Meanwhile, noticing her surroundings are danger free, Marta sits upon James to ensure his capture. Belarius summons his scimitar which he dropped, to knock the hooded figure out cold whilst Marvin dashes to join him. Back to the fight with Headen and the skeleton archer, Leon joins the fight with a hit to the skeleton with his bow and then ducking for cover as does Headen, leading to an unaware charging Ander getting hit with an arrow from the skeleton archer. Seeing a window of opportunity Leon delivers the final blow to the archer with his longbow.

With the final skeleton dead the group can relax and loot if they so wish, but first Marta pours water on James, which cause him to suddenly awake and paralyse Marta. The paralysis doesn’t last for long as Leon steps on James, breaking the spell on her. Belarius and Marvin tie up the hooded stranger, and carry him to the rest of the groups location. Back together Marvin and Ander goes on a bone hunt, looting anything they find that could be of use to them. Marta question James as to who the stranger is and what this meeting is about but no answer from James is given,. upon seeing The stranger tied up, James’s expression changed to that of a worried look, thus Leon took this opportunity to indicate James but James is tougher than he look, and no response is given.

Belarius, annoyed from the lack of answers James has given the group, changes his eye colour to that of a blood starved demon. Dropping the stranger to the ground Belarius closes in on James and threatens so that he can tel us all he knows. This technique worked but maybe a little too well as James pisses his pants in fear and the will to fight in his eyes disappeared. Now susceptible to their questions but still with attitude, James tells them that the hooded man his the same as him, a worshipper of the Lich. With all the questioning going on the stranger awakes, terrified and willing to tell the group anything they so wish. The group quickly take a liking to this stranger as he seems willing to do anything they say as to not die.

Having a new source of information, the group agree that this stranger is a lot better than James, who simply gives you blunt answers with attitude. The group also talk about how the answers would be more truthful because of how terrified he is. Speaking out loud, Ander exclaims that he is going to kill James, whilst looking at the group for approval. seeing no nods of disagreement, Ander takes his spear and slowly drives it into James’s heart, distracted by this the group are unaware by an attempt of escape by the stranger, but is stopped short by Belarius who notices. In a terrified and near fainting, it would seem as though the stranger is in some kind of comatose state.

Realising that the stranger is in no condition anymore to give answers, the crew act upon themselves to clean up their mess. Leon collects his arrows, Marvin collect his bone meal, Belarius cleans up the stranger, Marta collects her horse and Ander buries James in a already dug hold by Blaez who was ready to bury a bone. With all their mess cleaned up and any evidence of what happened here minimal, Marta asks the stranger for his name, which he replies with “Paul”. With everything taken care of the crew proceed to head back to Cask Away with Paul. making their way out of the cemetery, Paul points to a mausoleum which attracts the attention of Marta, causing her to investigate the mausoleum and finding a suspicious door. Marta reports her findings to the crew and a planed is formed for Ander, Marvin and Belarius to stay behind to check it out while the others head back to Cask Away.

Ander’s group head towards the mausoleum, to find a iron barred door that is slightly ajar. Looking inside, the trio find shelves full of caskets lining the walls. Without hesitation Ander walks inside, ignoring the risks that may be at hand, spotting a chest at the back of the building which catches his eye. Upon trying to open the chest, his hands sink into it, and pull him in closer, whilst slime tentacles appearing behind it ready to grab anyone who dares fall victim to its ruse, and that somebody being Ander.

With the identity of the stranger revealed and the group split up, how will Marven and Belarius deal with this slime tentacle chest and will Ander be free of its sticky grasp. find out next session with, the Cask Away Crew.

Author: Calvin (Ander)

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Session 11
Cemetery Showdown

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DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th

After defeating the guards on the bridge, the crew finally reach the other side, taking a well-deserved rest and time to restore their energy. As soon as they are done taking in the view of the river and larking around to kill time, they turn their attention to seeking out the temple. Upon arrival, Marta takes the opportunity to disguise herself as an elderly church-goer to infiltrate the church unknown. Meanwhile, Haeden unsuccessfully attempts to pickpocket a passerby after scanning the crowd for a worthwhile target. This interaction only resulted in raising the suspicion of everyone in vicinity as they are passing down the street.

Marven, Leon and Haeden take to hiding in a back alley whilst Ander and Belarius blend into the crowd. Marta advances into the church seemingly undercover despite a few bystanders noticing her surprisingly youthful stance for her age…

As the disguised Marta exits the church, she passes by Brother James, who now has his arm in a sling due to their previous meeting. Brother James then leaves the church and begins to walk to his meeting. The crew follow him whilst trying to blend in, with everyone being different distances from each other. Marta and Victor The Pony remained the closest to Brother James, Haeden, Leon and Blaez followed Marta and at the back, Ander, Belarus and Marven followed as well.

After remaining hidden to Brother James, Marta successfully stalks him back to a cemetery. Whilst still disguised as an elderly church goer, she decides to steal some flowers from a nearby window to help her blend in and appear like she is visiting someones grave. Shortly after this everyone else arrives. Before going further, Marta disguises herself yet again, and casts locate object to determine Brother James’ location.

Marta’s spell leads them to a central point in the cemetery. A grassy area, with a large tree in the middle, and a path behind it. Everyone spots Brother James beneath this tree, talking with a hooded stranger. Marven tries to duck behind a gravestone, but is spotted by the two of them, which then rumbles the rest of the party.

Leon quickly fires a single arrow into Brother James’ foot, as Ander decides to charge head first to him, however, Brother James stops him with a paralysis spell. Brother James then casts a spell, quickly followed by a crossbow bolt from Marven to the arm, which revokes his ability to cast. As soon as Ander recovers from the paralysis, he tackles James to the ground, backed up by Blaez’s growling. After more fighting, the hooded figure decides to make a run for it behind the tree, but is pursued by both Belarus and Marven. Hayden stays with the group and casts Firebolt and Magic Missiles at the fleeing target.

Later in the fight, the effect of James’ spell is revealed as skeletons armed with shortswords become reanimated and begin to attack the group. Anders is still grappling James to the floor, whilst Leon, Blaez, Haeden, and Marta occupy the attacking skeletons. On the other side, Belarus is still in pursuit of the hooded figure, whilst Marven shoots with his crossbow to attempt to slow him down. Despite this, the two of them are having difficulty stopping the hooded person, who has almost reached the end of the path and escaped. Marven takes one last shot with the crossbow and hits the hooded figure in the Achilles heel, which brings him tumbling to the ground, where he is soon apprehended by Belarus and Marven.

With the main targets taken care of, the crew are faced with the skeletons that James had previously summoned. How will the crew deal with these undead pests and who is the mysterious hooded figure, find out next session with the Cask Away Crew… and Ander.

Author: Hayden (Haeden)

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Session 10
Level Three Shenanigans

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DAY 11 – 2nd, Midsol 7th

Following on from the day’s previous events, the group are sitting in the Cask Away after Lian’s dramatic exit. As afternoon turns to evening Marven decides to use Ander as a willing test subject to explore the properties of his Squid Ink he acquired from the giant squid fought aboard The Cunning Caper, finding that it causes its imbiber to experience mild heat resistant effects. Deciding there is not much else they can do for the day, the crew decide to call it a night and find the next morning feeling stronger, faster and better than ever before… (with Ander growing a lot of hair).


DAY 12 – 3rd, Midsol 7th

The meeting they intend to investigate was found out to take place on the 1st of the following week, and as had just turned 3rd, the gang spend the interim three days doing various activities. Belarius foraged for spell components, performed a weapon bonding ritual, and continued his reading. Lynn spent her time with her family business. Marven, Ander and Leon go into the fields and plains outside of the City . Marven searches for ingredients, Leon gathers rare food and herbs and successfully gains an animal companion by the name of Blaez, a Wolf. Ander meanwhile is attempting to use his newfound power to talk to Blaez to which Leon cautions the wolf of his orc friend’s ways. During all of this Haeden also goes to sell his signet ring in the town, bartering for a higher than offered price from the shopkeep.


DAY 13 – 5th, Midsol 7th

The group find themselves back in the Cask Away and discuss a plan for the following days investigation as Birin goes up to the table to ask for the party’s progress and course of action. After informing each other of the status quo and Ander making a deadpan request for a chicken, Birin returns to his duties. Later the seven (and wolf) go to their rooms ready to sleep as Marven uses Ander again to test a newly gained sample of rare flower found earlier in this forage resulting in a moderate healing effect. In return for his services Ander decides that Marven makes a comfy pillow, nearly crushing him before being persuaded to sleep in his own bed.


DAY 14 – 1st, Midsol 8th

As morning breaks on the day of the mysterious meeting, the party sans Ander awakes and proceeds to get ready for the day’s events. Belarius slaps Ander awake whilst blaming Marven for the rude awakening causing a dazed Ander to bolt up and run into the seperating walls promptly resulting in a floored and even more confused half-orc.

The crew eat breakfast and set off towards the temple of Corellon however upon reaching the bridge over the River Gilpin they are surrounded by a group of thugs led by a heavier armoured thug who ordered the thugs to attack.

R-R-R-ROLL INITIATIVE

Quick to react, Leon sends out Blaez to guard Lynn and Haeden and nicked one of the three thugs surrounding the group from behind. Lynn takes the opportunity to sleep said thug whilst Belarius charged at the leader and thug in front of the party forcing them back with a spell and fending off the leader’s vicious attacks. The battle becomes a hailstorm of bolts and spells as several bolts strike true on Haeden and Marven whilst Ander enrages and cleaves a nearby thug clean in two. Haeden takes the chance to create an acidic sphere that launches straight into a reloading crossbow-thug, melting his face and hands to the bone killing him.

Marven and Belarius struggle to land blows on the thug leader meanwhile Lynn’s firebolt goes wide of its intended target, striking the unsuspecting sleeping thug who immediately wakes up from the now burning state of his clothes and self. The thug leader starts pay back on Belarius landing two clean strikes with Belarius in turn surrounding him in demonic flames. At the back of the group Marta riding her trusty horse Viktor, swings her halberd goring a thug in the side and Haeden casts an empowered shatter spell obliterating the remaining two thugs at the rear of the party but also catching Leon and Marta in the radius.

Attention turning to the last thug alive, the leader, Ander, Marven, and Belarius deal heavy blows, leaving him bloody but still standing and as a firebolt from Lynn goes wide the leader deals a near mortal blow to Belarius before sprinting away from the trio, expertly but narrowly dodging all attempts to stop him. Marta and Viktor both back standing thanks to the help of Leon, charge for the run-away and using the long reach of the halberd cut him down and pierces his chest, walking back triumphantly to the rest of the group, silhouetted by the dawn glow of sunrise.

Author: Chris (Belarius)

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Session 9
With Great Power Comes Great... Tomfoolery?

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DAY 11 – 2nd, Midsol 7th

After the crew finish dealing with the shady fellow at RFT, they head out from his lair whereupon they spot the doorman approaching their position. Belarius, sensing a bad omen, decides running is the best option and sprints away, meanwhile the rest of the group are confronted by the doorman who relays information from Lolleth that the lich of 120 years past only had its physical body destroyed, and not its phylactery. He also explains that the lich was previously the magical aide to the then Marquess, but was unhappy with the way the city was run, and launched an unsuccessful coup.

After catching up with Belarius, the rest of the gang reunite with Leon and Marta back at the Cask Away, where the pair share what happened at the Church of Corellon, telling them of the feral monk and his vague letter regarding a secretive meeting. Likewise, the rest of the group update Leon and Marta of their findings at RFT, including the Potentiality Remnants. The team, with some passionate encouragement from Birin, decide to investigate the monk’s meetings whilst Haeden and Marven decide to perform an act of their own.

Belarius, Lynn and Ander upon reaching the temple of Corellon decide that Marta and Leon’s re-appearance in the area might not be welcomed kindly and it is agreed for them to wait in hiding until the three have finished their investigation. Upon the trio entering the church they question a distraught monk who had helped the other two the other time. With some careful probing and Ander’s intimidating presence they learned the “when”, but unfortunately not the “where”.

Meanwhile, Haeden, feeling partially responsible for the loss of Marven’s longbow, offers to assist him in carrying out a scam he’d been planning for some time. The two of them decided to create the image of a platinum coin using Haeden’s predistigitation spell and use it to buy a new bow. After locating a suitable weapons shop, the pair dive into a nearby alley and with a dull flash of blue light, create the image in Haeden’s palm.

Entering the store, Marven nonchalantly asks the proprietor to purchase a brand new longbow and 30 arrows. However, their plan suddenly falls short when the shop owner attempts to take the coin from Haeden, and is unable to touch the transient illusion. In a moment of adrenaline induced inspiration, Marven suspects that they might’ve had a higher chance of success if they made a physical Gold Coin appear Platinum. However, due to their lack of planning, this is not the gambit they went with, and the proprietor immediately see’s through the amateur spell and calls two guards to take care of the troublemakers using illicit magic for reprehensible exploits. In a last ditch attempt, Haeden tries to carry out Marven’s Gold coin disguise idea just as they are handcuffed, which does manage to trick the uninformed guards, but sadly not the shop owner and the they are arrested anyway.

On route to prison, Haeden is able to bribe the guards with eight Gold for their freedom, but they also have to carry out a small task for them in return. The guards weren’t happy with their current work schedule; always having to patrol in the evenings, missing dinner with their families. They asked Haeden and Marven to enter their boss’ office in the prison and change their work times, this way the guards have plausible deniability. Marven and Haeden agreed and were taken to the prison with open manacles and placed in unobserved, unlocked cell. Later in the evening when the prison is quieter, one of the bribed guards comes down to give them the signal, and Marven and Haeden make their way upstairs. Checking to see if anyone can see them the pair sneak into the office and search frantically for the ledger. Headen finds no such paperwork his in panicked hunt, but Marven takes a moment and attains some clarity, finding the timetable amidst the documents discarded from the desk. He studies the handwriting already in there, and changes the timetable with a similar cursive, hopefully imitating the boss enough that the subtle modifications go unnoticed. Working together to quickly reset the office, covering their traces, the pair of con artists make their way out of the prison incognito, after informing their municipal comrades that their task has been completed.

Upon their arrival back at the Cask Away, the miscreants are interrogated by the rest of the group as to their whereabouts. Assuming an air of confidence, Marven explains what happened, but ensures them everything is “taken care of”. The group collectively decide to think about heading towards Thesk, where they believe the Sun Blade is located, one of the Potentiality Remnants they are after.

Not long after, as they are enjoying dinner, the lively bar suddenly goes quiet after the entrance of a very rugged and muscular human male. Quickly noticing their large group of diverse individuals, he makes a beeline for their table. Ander swiftly informs his party that he recognises the approaching as Lian, a slaver from the mining camp Ander was forced to work in as a child. Lian explains that he has heard of their exploits, and intentions, and reveals that he is intimately familiar with their intended destination. Proposing to aid them in their quest for the Sun Blade, Lian simply asks for all of the rest of the loot they find on the expedition. Belarius negotiates a week to finish up business in the town to which Lian reluctantly agrees. Ander knows that this man is trouble; he can be ferocious and was actually believed to be dead, but nevertheless takes him up on the offer. Leaving the group as abruptly as he joined, Lian tells them to meet him in a week without fail, allowing the gang to finish the evening in the bar and get some rest for the next morning…

What will happen next time with the Cask Away Crew? Will Marven learn from his mistakes? And if Lian has survived the rockslide, who else from Ander’s violent past has survived too? And what of the aggressive monk’s meetings? How high does this corruption reach and what foul plots are being advanced in the shadows?

Author: Micky (Marven)

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